I hope your weekend is off to a good start. I got my good start at a baseball home opener last night, arrived home late, and spent a chunk of the morning texting with fellow Mariners fans, still reveling in the ass-whipping they administered to the much-loathed Astros. Which is to say that this roundup will be a relatively short one.
A regrettably short one, because this past week was huge for new metal. I did a fairly good job making lists of new stuff I spotted, and it sure seemed like the torrent was greater than average. I basically just took random shots at some bands who have already proven themselves, and a few that seemed intriguing. To make the quick search a bit easier, I left all the black metal options to explore for tomorrow’s usual column. Be forewarned that this includes a couple exceptions to our rule about singing.
To lead off we’ll go with a new Exocrine song, which two of my NCS comrades enthusiastically pushed my way. It’s the title track from the band’s fifth album, The Hybrid Suns, which Unique Leader plans to release on June 17th.
The band have commented about the new album: “As usual we have paid particular attention on the technical aspects and the speed, however this time we’ve pushed harder on the epic side of things to create a more grandiose sound!”
Notes and beats galore await you in this head-spinning, heart-pounding spectacle, and the soaring chorus is indeed epic. The eye-catching cover art, used to fine effect in the following lyric video, was created by Tania Sanchez-Fortun.
Our old and much-missed friend Phro surfaced with a link to the next song. In his own inimitable fashion he described it to me this way: “It feels like if you got in the back of a pickup with a bunch of forks and then drove through a tornado so they could pummel your head. Or something. I dunno. It’s great.”
The song pairs well with that opening Exocrine track. It’s even faster, equally blinding in its technical extravagance, and even more insanely vicious. Be careful not to stroke out when you listen. The band’s Jason Keyser explains this about the track:
“In the words of Lovecraft, ‘We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.’ On ‘Ecophagy,’ we explore the ‘devour and move on’ mentality of the billionaire pipe dream of colonizing other worlds after we’ve drained our own to a husk”.
“Ecophagy” is from Origin‘s eighth album Chaosmos, out on June 3rd via Nuclear Blast (World excluding Europe) and Agonia Records (Europe). Great cover art, and the extensive press release should have given credit for it.
UNTO OTHERS (U.S.)
DGR hit me with this next one. It’s a new video for a track off the first album released by the former Idle Hands under their new name. Gonzo reviewed it for us, and made special note of the song “Heroin“. He wrote: “[It[ wastes no time going into the heaviest attack the band have recorded so far. Featuring chugging riffs and Gabriel Franco’s ‘I SWEAR TO GOD’ howls, the song is short and sweet, and sets you up gloriously for what’s to come”.
All true. The song is a grim cautionary tale, and the new video matches its intensity. But it’s also another reason why if you look up “hooks’ in the dictionary, you’ll see this band’s name (or you should).
If you haven’t caught up with the album, its name is Strength, and you can find it via the first link below.
In another one of these round-ups last month I lauded the first advance track (“Behind Closed Doors“) off Wormrot‘s new album Hiss as “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”. Well, now we have another new song — “When Talking Fails, It’s Time for Violence” — presented in a video which begins with that earlier track.
These two make a good pairing, back-to-back. They do indeed make for a tsunami of stimuli, and are proof positive why Wormrot are one of the best grind binds on the planet.
Hiss will be available on July 8th through Earache Records.
PRIMITIVE MAN (U.S.)
Because this next song and video come from Primitive Man, you probably know you’re about to have your mood and mind ruined. They explore “Cage Intimacy“, but this is an imaginary concept because Primitive Man never take prisoners.
Prepare now for 11 1/2 minutes of pulverizing and brain-gouging doom nihilism, spliced with episodes of blasting and eviscerating fury and excursions into blood-freezing otherworldly realms of menace and madness, all of it wrapped in a video that makes the experience even more nightmarish and hallucinatory.
“Cage Intimacy” is from the band’s new album Insurmountable, coming out on Closed Casket Activities on May 13th.
GIN LANE (Greece)
And to close, I chose a curveball, as I’m want to do. What comes next is a two track EP named Unpleasant Promises.
It’s said that “Gin Lane represents death and desperation of a diseased community; of a world long drown by the absence of dignity”. The songs meld bright strummed guitars and shimmering synths, tough rhythmic punch and dazzling percussive accents, coupled with emotive singing (which at times reminded me of Neill Young) that sounds like a life with some hard miles on it. There’s grit in the voice, but the range goes high, and the music’s dark hooks and primal grooves burrow deep. The songs have an infectious vitality, but they’re narcotic and haunting too.
Gin Lane is the solo project of Father W. (who’s also the man behind Drunk Motherfuckers Dodsferd, and Grab), formerly of Athens and now living in Crete. The EP is a precursor to a forthcoming album. It was released in late March by FYC Records. I hope it will do you some good, as it did for me.