The theme of today’s collection of new songs and videos is: THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES!
Today is my birthday, and as a gift, my employer has decided to beat me until my morale improves. Therefore, this collection isn’t as large as I would wish, but tomorrow is another day, and I expect I’ll have another collection then.
We may love Revocation around here (we DO love Revocation around here), but they have repaid all our affections with “Diabolical Majesty“, a merciless new song that invokes champions of hell “to crush the cursed creatures of the Christian right”. “Onward to victory! Set their commandments ablaze!”
photo by Alex Morgan
Watch the dudes defile a church with their presence, and prepare to be blistered, battered, and yelled at. The song also has a share of dark melody, jolting grooves, a gloriously swirling solo, and some cool interplay between guitar and drums. It’s from an album named Netherheaven, set for release by Metal Blade on September 9th.
(I probably don’t need to tell you, but the astonishing cover art is the work of Paolo Girardi.)
Another band also beloved around here, these venerable purveyors of d-beat punk and metal have a storming new 12-minute EP named Anti-Tank Dogs that’s coming out on August 12 via the Armageddon label.
The wolf viciously howls and growls the words, with fangs bared, sending tingles down the spine; the rhythm section bludgeons with a will; the chords blare with brazen defiance and bleak determination, and convulse in maniacal fury. They may be anti-tank dogs, but the the EP is a fucking tank attack. The closer “Necronomium” brings a change, haunting and atmospheric at first, and then anthemic (a black anthem for a grim and fracturing era), but still crushing.
All these many years after they began, this band is still brilliant.
The beating continues with “Our Falling Species“, a grim but enraged sonic attack that matches the song’s lyrical themes:
Our head’s bowed in exhaustion,
Failing to see the powers reigning over you and me.
We’re nothing but grist in this mill of survival.
A testament to the greed of man.
We are its blade,
Forever to be honed.
A testament to the sin of man.
We are the sword,
To which we atone.
Prepare to be pulverized and mauled, though the band also create powerful moods of overwhelming tension and vast, soul-spearing despair. It’s from a new album fittingly named Dystopia, which comes out via Lifeforce Records on September 2nd.
Time to turn up the heat, but with no relent in the beating. “God In Flames” is a fucking fury. Fast and fast-changing, it melds livid pulses, unhinged insectile violence, and vicious blaring chords in the riffing, scorch-the-earth vocal intensity, and off-the-hook drumwork that’s electrifying. A high-adrenaline escapade that will get your heart beating hard. The angel-burning lyrics are just as lethal as the music.
The song is from the band’s new album Diabolic Slaughter, due for release by Godz Ov War Productions on September 9th. The band’s lineup features members of Embrional, Azarath, Stillborn, FAM, and SquashBowels.
Håkan Stuvemark and Jon Skäre strike again, this time joined by guest vocalist Jeff Walker of Carcass on one song, bringing forth a second album by Consumption, one of the many projects in which they’ve collaborated. This new record is named Necrotic Lust (a title that’s a clue to what’s coming) and it’s pegged for release by Hammerheart Records on August 26th
The first taste of music is a track called “Suffering Divine” (not the one that Walker appears on). There is indeed suffering in the weeping opening melody — but also the beginning of the pounding to come. When the song kicks into racing gear, the drums pump like overheated pistons, the guitar jitters and flashes, grinds and soars, and the voice is a raw and ravenous thing.
There’s a grumbling bass solo in the song too, just before Consumption start to jackhammer your neck and unfurl a scintillating guitar solo. Things get bleak again as the drums rumble and tumble.
AURIFEROUS FLAME (Greece)
We haven;’t had any black metal yet, so let’s fix that with a new song from this Greek band, which is the work of Ayloss, the mastermind behind Spectral Lore, Mystras, and Under A Banner Black As Blood.
Beatings come in different shapes and sizes, and the long “Molten Gold” delivers one that targets the emotions. The drum rhythm is mainly slow and steady, but the scathing, ringing, and flickering guitars burrow into the soul like feeding maggots, sinking the mood into troughs of oppression, bitterness, and pain, as the wraithlike vocals rasp and ravage.
To be sure, there’s something about these dire and deleterious sounds that becomes hypnotic. As the drums begin to pulse with a primitive but more animated beat, the guitar swirls like a mystifying but captivating unearthly flame — which turns out to be a prelude to a convulsion of blasting percussion, deranged and dervish-like fretwork, and wild screams. And thus the music is both ice-cold and… molten… gleaming like liquid gold… an exotic invitation to possession and obscure glories.
“Molten Gold” is one of five tracks on an album named The Great Mist Within, to be released by True Cult Records on July 29th.
ASTRAL HORROR (Finland)
To close, I picked an absolutely captivating and unconventional two-song EP by this Finnish black metal band. I confess that the preceding song by Auriferous Flame put me in the mood for this, and maybe you’ll understand why when you hear it.
The title track “Changer of Destiny” rings with mesmerizing but grief-stricken melody. It’s steeped in anguish and cloaked in an otherworldly atmosphere, seducing the senses even though it’s a very disturbing mood that’s being channeled. Unexpectedly, the mood is periodically broken by viciously hammering bass and drum, and there’s nothing seductive about the vocals, which are frightening tirades of pure torment and rage.
The other track, “Astral Horror“, also radiates an unearthly atmosphere, but that huge thrusting bass and the convulsive drum grooves will get their hooks in your reptile brain. This song is also unmistakably dark, a blend of turmoil and agony, desperation and downfall — but there’s savage fight in the music too. The screamed vocals, as before, are scary in their intensity, this time accompanied by brutal roars.
Near the end, the rhythm thumps like a heart, and the guitar rings and echoes like a lonesome wandering soul in the desert, just before a final burst of wild energy and exotic melody. A very promising debut….