SHADES OF BLACK: HORNS & HOOVES, DEUS VERMIN, DINBETHES, VELJESSURMA, BRII
I forgot that my spouse planned an outing for us this morning, so I’m hurrying. Thankfully, I had time to make these selections before this morning. I think they will provide a scintillating musical adventure for the adventure-seekers among you. It was definitely an adventure for me, since I’m pretty sure I hadn’t heard the music of any of these bands before, and they’re all making their first appearance at our site. Without further ado, let’s go….
HORNS & HOOVES (U.S.)
Brooklyn-based Horns & Hooves will have their debut album I Am the Skel Messiah released on June 17th by Invictus Productions. Not having heard their 2016 demo Consecrate the Marrow or their 2017 EP Morbid Lust, I didn’t know what to expect, and so the album’s first advance track popped my eyes wider and dropped my jaw to the point of unhinging.
“Endless Rosary” is a wild carnival of sound, a breathtaking spectacle of riotous drumming, screaming guitar soloing, thoroughly rabid vocals, and diabolical riffing that blazes, blares, and convulses in episodes of feral ecstasy. The song’s energy is explosive, its twists and turns manifold, and the overall effect is that of an over-the-moon thrill-ride.
DEUS VERMIN (UK)
Next up is a new demo entitled MMXXII by these UK-based black/death wizards. Four tracks long, it’s a marauding but adventurous trip that makes copious use of dissonant guitar contortions that create crazed and poisonous moods, coupled with swift tempo changes, breathtaking drum assaults, a cavorting bass that plays a prominent role, and delirious vocal savagery.
The songs are mostly turbocharged in their intensity, extravagantly unpredictable, and immaculately executed, but the sound is filthy and frightening enough to satisfy the desire for something unclean as well as something that will spin your head all the way around and inflict obliterating punishment. The demo is over before you know it, but so mind-blowing in all its intricate and insidious twists and turns that the impulse to run through it again is irresistible.
After the unbridled spectacles created by Horns & Hooves and Deus Vermin, the opening of this next song seemed like a needed breather. But “Venijn” turns out to be a spectacle of its own, albeit one that’s much more steeped in gloom and catastrophe.
The guitars glint and gleam around somber spoken words at the outset, but are already beginning to radiate a melancholy mood. Those ringing riffs seem to become more freighted with tension and turmoil when the drums begin to slug and the vocals turn to cauterizing screams and guttural roars, but with repetition they create a dire and distraught kind of trance-state.
Eventually, Dinbethes breaks the trance through blasting drums and manifest frenzy in the guitars (they still gloriously ring, but feel like a mind coming apart), and the spectacle reaches a new height when tormented singing soars, yet it re-creates its uneasy trance again at the end.
Dinbethes is the solo effort of J. from the Swarte Yssel collective, which features bands like Shagor, Ossaert, and Weerzin. The song is off the project’s debut album Balans, which will be released on vinyl LP by Babylon Doom Cult Records on June 17th (with CD and MC editions coming through Swarte Yssel).
Now we come to a song off a new EP by the Finnish band Veljessurma. Entitled Noidansolmu, the EP is a four-track affair that’s set for release on June 3rd by Naturmacht Productions.
This new song “Hume” is the EP’s opening track. It proceeds at a loping pace, combining yowling and seething guitars and flesh-scorching screams. As inflamed as the riffing sounds, it also seems dismal and downtrodden in its mood. When the drums begin hammering, the mood of the music takes an even darker yet more majestic turn, and eventually soaring voices add to the feeling of tragic grandeur.
There also comes a point where fast, thrashing riffage and piston-pumping drums convert the mood into one of belligerent defiance. The song surges and fights, but grim and glorious vistas return.
To quote from Naturmacht: “Noidansolmu is a compilation of four bloody and grim tales of maraud, manslaughter and battles of ancient fenno pagans. Veljessurma is aggressive, distorted black metal mixed with folk melodies and heathen spirit”.
From the mind of the person behind Kaatayra (Caio Lemos) comes a new album in the guise of his other project Brii. Corpos Transparentes is a single 36 1/2 minute track, and quite an enrapturing adventure. It features both singing and snarls (with Pedrito Hildebrando as lead vocalist) and a rich array of instrumental variations (including magnificent piano performances).
The music is often light and airy, bright and dreamy, spacy and cinematic, but often undergirded by remarkable drumwork that flies like the wind, and of course the harsh rasping vocals give it a vicious edge.
The album will undoubtedly appeal more to fans of progressive rock and metal than devotees of black metal, even though it has bits of blackening, like pepper on a grand platter of multi-hued fruit, but I still wanted to include it here because it’s such a spellbinding symphony.
I mean this in a good way! Spouses and outings are both positives in my book!
Deus Vermin tickled my pee-pee real sweet like.
You mean it tickled your funny bone?
It only looks funny lol.
I think we’ve now reached the limit of my curiosity. 🙂