Ufomammut – photo by Francesca De Franceschi Manzoni
I hope your weekend is going well. Mine got off to a very good start this morning as I made my way through songs and videos that surfaced over the past week or so. By sheer good fortune, almost everything I listened to struck a chord, and the ones that rang loudest made its way into this big round-up.
I organized the selections in a way that made sense to me, capped by a shot of pure adrenaline. I’ll briefly tell you what to prepare for.
Prepare for: a slow burn, a dreamy but sinew-triggering trip reminiscent of an old Pink Floyd space odyssey, with an increasingly fiery slug-fest as its destination.
The song is “Psychostasia“. The album is Fenice, out on the 6th of May 2022 via Neurot Recordings and Supernatural Cat.
Prepare for: another slow burn, a haunting, soul-crushing, instrumentally elaborate, and often electrifying genre-bender, at times Morricone-like in its lonesome accents, at times impacting with the force of a jackhammer, at times pummeling and blazing like wildfires, at times spellbinding in its portrayal of desolation. Remarkably harrowing vocals, eerie synths, and a panoply of exotic melodies add to its riveting intensity, its sense of sweeping scale, and its unearthly splendor.
The magnificent song is “Inner Experience“. The album is Connection, set for release on April 18th by this Montana esoteric doom band (which features the drummer from Cellar Vessel and members of Arkheron Thodol).
Prepare for: music of sublime beauty, towering heaviness, and a pervasive sense of saga-like storytelling and mythic grandeur. The video portrays what may be the fate of drunken lords who cross the wrong women.
The song is “En snara av guld“. It’s part of a larger musical narrative inspired by a Norse poem entitled Ynglingatal, which describes the fate of an old Norse dynasty – the house of Ynglinga. The album, Ynglingaättens Öde, is set for release by Napalm Records on April 15th and features guest appearances from members of Korpiklaani, Equilibrium, Raubtier/Hulkoff and more, and guest vocals from the daughter of vocalist/bassist Erik.
KATHAROS XIII (Romania)
Prepare for: another song of dark and towering magnificence which, like Manegarm‘s track, mixes female and male vocals with excellent results, though the female vocals of Manuela Marchis-Blînda rule in spine-tingling fashion. Over 14 1/2 minutes the music booms and rattles the spine, creates dire and dolorous primeval spells, shines like a final sunrise, diverts into noir-ish jazz with smoky saxophones, and levels mountains in a spectacular finale.
Easy to get lost in this one, and not want to find your way home.
The song is “Neurastenia“. The album is Chthonian Transmissions, set for release by Loud Rage Music on May 23rd. Fantastic cover art by Alexandru Das.
BOG BODY (U.S.)
Prepare for: neck-bending cranial trauma coupled with the sensation of something monstrous gnawing your bones. No guitars in this one, nor any mercy, but there’s a low dose of psychedelics mixed into the gnarliness.
The song is “Paralytic Pit Of Swallowed Graves“. The album is Cryonic Crevasse Cult, out on May 20 via Profound Lore. Fine cover art by Chase Slaker.
SIGN OF EVIL (Chile)
Prepare for: being left with a frazzled mind, courtesy of slashing and feverishly swirling riffs, primal beats, grotesquely distorted gutturals, flensing screams, and a swath of nightmarish gloom at the end.
The song is “Bad Trip“, and man is it ever. The album is Psychodelic Death, to released by Edged Circle Productions and Suicide Records Chile on May 20th.
WOLFANGER (Ukraine) and WOLFHEART (Finland)
Prepare for: a jolting and glittering war anthem.
Dedicated to the defenders of Ukraine, the song is “Glory to the Heroes” and it features the music and instrumentation of Wolfheart frontman Tuomas Saukkonen, paired with the lyrics and vocals of Wolfanger frontman Petro Solovey. All proceeds will be donated to the “Повернись Живим” foundation.
Prepare for: a new video for a song with an anguished overture followed by music of racing and soaring intensity laden with sounds of tension and despair, and a folk-influenced, piano-accented instrumental interlude that brings the feelings of tragedy back to the forefront.
The song is “Wolves At Sea“. The album is Wild North West, released in April 2021 by Season of Mist.
And last, but definitely not least, prepare for: a punk anthem that suddenly convulses in an insanely marauding attack as only Wormrot can mount, and then delivers a dose of blaring and skittering fretwork over a drum-beat that will get your legs jumping.
The song is “Behind Closed Doors“. The album is Hiss, available on July 8th through Earache Records.
(Thanks to our old friend Phro for enthusiastically linking me to the new song and video.)