photo credit: Jelena Jakovljevic Photography
We had a very good week here at NCS, with a sharp increase in visitors largely driven by Andy Synn‘s five-part of year-end lists. It has warmed our cold dead hearts to see the positive responses and the gratitude expressed to him for the ton of work he devoted to developing those lists. Maybe we would be better off just stopping there rather than risk drowning our visitors in more lists (or rather, those visitors who weren’t already drowned during the week that just ended), but we have a lot more to share in the next couple of weeks.
Next week we’ll have DGR‘s lists, plus lists from Neill Jameson, Wil Cifer, Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, and Seb Painchaud (of Tumbleweed Dealer), and I’m expecting to receive even more lists from other NCS writers and old friends which we’ll publish before the year expires. And let’s not forget that our big collection of year-end reader lists continues to grow (you can see those, and contribute to them, in the comments to this post).
Meanwhile, I’m beginning to figure out what will go into this year’s list of Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and of course I’m continuing to make a (largely unsuccessful) effort to keep abreast of new songs and videos — which continue to emerge every day despite the rapid approach of the holiday season and the expiration of 2021. Which brings me to today’s gigantic collection….
NAPALM DEATH (UK)
I’m probably the last metalhead on Earth to check out the new Napalm Death single, “Narcissus“. I knew it was out there, but kept forgetting to hit it. It’s on a forthcoming ND EP named Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes, which includes previously unreleased material and cover songs. Barney Greenway described the new song thusly:
“‘Narcissus‘ just seemed to fit the bill as one of those rampaging tracks that we always seem to gravitate towards as an album opener. The low-slung concrete mixer bassline at the start really ushers it in nicely. It was written at a time when the ‘alt-right’ was parading itself around, so lyrically I like to think it exposes the vanity and personality cult of that whole thing.”
Enjoy the beating you are about to receive. Mosh in your mind.
Wiegedood recently followed up the unnerving first single (““Nuages”) from their new album with another new song and video — “FN SCAR 16” — which is also unnerving. The frenzied swarms in the startling video are creepy as hell, and the music is also a maniacal, screaming frenzy. I bet you can’t look away, even though you might want to. I bet the superheated swirling riffage gets stuck in your head too.
Check out the inspirational lyrics:
Smoke and ash.
Holy rats crawling in filth
Cosmic cockroaches die by the dozens.
Cough and shiver
Come together in disease.
I know my kind,
Trapped in my own fucking species.
Desperate to dream once again
Of the same nightmares they curse.
Come together in disease.
Now come together in death.
The new album is entitled There’s Always Blood At The End Of The Road. It will be released by Century Media on January 14th.
Thulcandra also released another new video for a song from their latest album, and it’s the title track. Accompanied by the dulcet tones of an acoustic guitar, a comely young thing disrobes and lowers herself into a steaming bath. The electric guitars ring out, and she seems happy — but you know it won’t last.
When Thulcandra start to rock out, the music builds a feeling of tension and peril, and the woman raises a shard of glass. The riffing burns, and blood flows… the drums pound, and a chess game with Death begins… and I’ll stop there and let you experience this electrifying musical spectacle without further ado.
Thulcandra‘s new album is A Dying Wish, and it’s out now on Napalm Records.
I know I’ve been focusing on big names and big labels so far, but I’ve got to throw in one more. It’s a new song from the next album by these thrash legends, who’ve still got plenty of fire in the belly, and it also comes with a video. It will come as no surprise that listening to “Diabolical” will be like jamming high-voltage electrodes into your neck while being engulfed in a napalm blast.
In the video, which features the reappearance of The Mad Butcher, things wind their way to a bad bad and bloody end. Eat up kids!
“Diabolical” is the title track from Destruction‘s new album, set for release by Napalm Records on April 8th, if the world lasts that long.
DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER (Germany)
I think it’s time for me to gradually crawl deeper into the underground with some bands who aren’t quite the household names of those which preceded them in this collection, although this band is still pretty well-known. I put their new song here because we’re already in thrashing mode — and “Volle Kraft” will definitely enable you to continue thrashing your reproductive organs off, and the fantastic multi-toned vocals and pinging keyboards make it an especially diabolical way to neuter yourselves. The wave-tossed video is lots of fun to watch too. Also, whales….
“Volle Kraft” is a new stand-alone single released yesterday by Nuclear Blast.
Now we come to a new video for the title track to the latest album (released in October by grazil Records) by this Austrian progressive sludge band. The song is a fascinating one, and in the video the band perform it live at audio.manufaktur in Vienna.
The music is hammering and jolting, with a kind of off-kilter momentum and surprising bursts of blaring, pulsating, and skittering fretwork. The music is discordant and deranged, but riveting in its multitude of changes. It bludgeons with cold cruelty, slithers like a reptile, introduces psychedelic properties, and convulses in mad spasms. The rhythm section turns in a gripping performance to go along with all the thrilling, sharply executed fretwork, and the vocals are ferocious. Great stuff, and it’s a blast watching them do this.
The next song marks a bit of a sharp turn in the musical path. The grinding and whining guitar abrasion is like needles quivering under the fingernails. The guttural roars are monstrous, and the screams paralyzing. The steady hum of the bass and thump of the drums don’t relieve the bleak oppressiveness of the music, which becomes even more dismal as the riffing slowly begins to crawl, gouge, and chew on your bones.
Things do eventually become violent, with the drums blasting and the riffage spinning up to a dense, vicious feeding frenzy, and the song also becomes a doom-stricken slog through the tar of hopelessness.
The song is “Oneiric Visions“, well-named for this kind of soul-spoiling, blood-congealing, mind-mutilating death metal. It’s from an album of the same name that’s scheduled for release on February 22nd by Old Temple.
DEAD CHASM (Italy)
Now that we’re into doomy death metal with that last song, I decided to stay there with this next one. It has an obscure, unearthly sound. The chords heave and quiver in supremely sinister fashion as the pop of the snare and click of the cymbals reverberates off crypt walls and horrid growls well up from a charnel pit. It’s a ghastly sensation, and still has a dank and hideous aroma even when the drummer steps on the gas and the riffing transforms into a seething mass of flesh-eating disease.
If you seek something crushing, filth-ridden, and preternatural, you’ve come to the right place. The song, “Carved Into Obscurity“, comes from this band’s self-titled album, due for release on March 11 from FDA Records.
FURIS IGNIS (Germany)
I plan to throw a lot of black metal at you in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start now. And so I’m concluding today’s collection with the two tracks released so far from Decapitate the Aging World, the debut album of this one-man Germanic entity.
“Witness the Nightsky Palpitating to the Beat of Premonition” is exhilarating in its storming and head-moving intensity, rushing us through a gauntlet of fast, obliterating, and hard-rocking percussive fusillades, wild blazing guitars that pierce the mind, and scalding vocal hostility. It’s a thrill to hear, even when the momentum abates and the riffing writhes and soars, accompanied by nimble bass lines. But there’s another dimension to the music which comes into play through sky-high mystical keyboards that seem to carry us back into medieval times.
There’s a rawness to these sounds, but they shine as well, and those qualities carry through into the kaleidoscopic second song, “Guarding the Gate“, which extends past the 13-minute mark. At times it has a sweeping, cinematic quality, a feeling of glimmering grandeur, but it equally sounds otherworldly and frightening. It has a transportive and haunting atmosphere, but it’s a predatory piece too, creating a kind of nightmarish spell. There are some truly gripping solos in it too, from both a wraith-like guitar and a bulldozing bass.
The album will be released on January 14th by Iron Bonehead Productions.