Would one four-song roundup yesterday have been satisfactory? Were two of them too many? Is it overkill to add music from four more bands today, for an even dozen of them? I hear your answers to those questions, all those deafening howls of “NO!!! WE WANT MORE!!!””
So, on we go….
DEATH BREATH (Sweden/U.S.)
It took me almost a week to catch up to Death Breath‘s two-track EP, The Old Hag, but once I did I haven’t been able to get enough of it. It does its dirty work in just a bit more than 7 minutes, which makes it really fucking easy to keep going back to it whenever I need a musical riot to rocket me out of the doldrums and make me feel like fighting the bastard world.
It’s been a hell of a discovery, because I was unaware of the band’s previous existence, having missed out on Let It Stink and the band’s sole album, Stinking Up the Night from 2006. Now I know that Death Breath are Nicke Andersson (Entombed), Robert Pehrsson (ex-Runemagick), and Scott Carlson (Repulsion).
These two songs waste little time kicking your ass into high gear. The title song is a full-throttle rampage of brazen, blaring and swirling riffs, battering drums, throaty growls, rabid howls, and unhinged soaring yells. The band also throw in doses of mercurial and cavorting fretwork as well as a spiraling guitar solo that will make you want to lift your invisible oranges heavenward.
“Forest of Disgust” is equally adrenaline-fueled, but brings in a lot more feral punk influence. It romps and races; the vocals might be an even more livid display of madhouse intensity; and the soloing is a goddamned supernova, but the thing will clobber your skull like an army of mallets too.
It’s all just fucking glorious. More please!
Like that raucous little Death Breath EP, Vorlust‘s debut album Lick the Flesh was also released on July 15th. Like Death Breath, Vorlust also boasts an impressive line-up, including Sonny Reinhardt from Necrot, Avinash Mittur from Nite and Wild Hunt, Marcelle Marais (aka Cunnus) from Cardinal Wyrm and Bonestripper, and Dustin Ponko from Dipygus.
What they’ve collectively concocted here is a monster barrage of death-metal bludgeoning and devil-thrash mayhem, laced with hellish supernatural vapors. The work of the rhythm section is of the spleen-rupturing variety, even when they’re throwing you on the backs of galloping stallions or bolting into punk beats. The riffing careens from grand, ominous chords to groaning slogs, from bursts of maniacal circle-saw evisceration to episodes of quivering madness and thuggish jackhammering.
The soloing (which is a huge part of why this album stands out from the pack) sounds like a coven of witches spinning and levitating around a bonfire or casting frightening hallucinatory spells, and sometimes they draw curtains of morbid gloom across the proceedings. The vocals vent the words in horrid guttural roars and ravening howls; they sound like Cunnus would enjoy nothing better than to have your throat in her teeth.
This is one of those albums where, once you’ve started, going along for the full ride is irresistible. The song-writing is so dynamic, and the genre ingredients so multi-faceted, that every song becomes an adventure, including the devilishly creepy Spanish-language interlude track “Templo de Carne” (which features guests Eva Tusquets performing invocations and Monique Painton performing taiko and percussion). Each track stands alone well, but it’s best to just give yourself over to the whole thing without interruption, straight through to the oppressive, haunted-house calamity of “I am Woman I am Beast“, which brings the album to an end.
Having been deep into death-metal(ish) riot and ruin through the first two selections in this Saturday roundup, I decided to stay there with this next song, another one off Consumption‘s forthcoming second album Necrotic Lust, which is set for release by Hammerheart Records on August 26th.
On this latest taste of the album, “Ground Into Ash and Coal“, guest vocalist Jeff Walker from Carcass joins the Consumption duo of Håkan Stuvemark and Jon Skäre. The song proves to be a menacing and maauding beast, one that lumbers and then attacks. The drum patterns and riffs change constantly, and the moods of the music change as well, incorporating both feral savagery and melancholy gloom, and the soloing is both fiery and enthralling. Predictably, the vocals are riveting throughout, and the song also picks its moments to apply a jackhammer to your neck.
ILUNA PERPETUA (Brazil)
I suppose it’s possible there’s someone out there who doesn’t like death metal riot and ruin, so I’ll close with something that isn’t in that vein. Many options to choose from, of course, and I impulsively chose another complete album. What you’ll find below is Awake At the Deep End, the debut full-length from this Brazilian trio (one of whom now seems to be based in Ireland).
When you begin the Bandcamp stream, you’ll hear the title song first, even though it comes fifth in the running order — and I predict it will open your eyes wide. It reveals an electrifying amalgam of vicious, gritty snarls and frightening abyssal growls that come close to throat singing, as well as moody and murmuring bass lines (which repeatedly seize attention), bullet-spitting and neck-cracking drumwork; and dramatic, sweeping melodies that sound desperately sorrowful in their emotional resonance.
Darting and swirling guitar leads and rapidly vibrating bass tones add a vivid sparkle to the music. The song flies fast, and is so elaborate and dramatic that it seems almost theatrical.
The ravishing grandeur of that title track is a hallmark of the album as a whole, but other tracks bring in still more vocal variety, including tomented screams, rough barks, wild yells, and sinister, imperious declamations, as well as rapid tempo shifts, jolting instrumental grooves, and a broader tapestry of emotional colors. The drumming is relentlessly electrifying, the bass is an ever-present joy to hear, and the layered guitar work is ceaselessly elaborate and compelling, interweaving beautiful (and sometimes celestial) harmonies, scintillating solos, and flights of prog-metal extravagance, along with hard-charging assaults of savagery.
Well, there is one digression from what’s described above, a slow interlude track named “AION IV:XX” that sits dead-center in the album. It’s also dramatic, but at least allows the listener’s hurtling pulse rate to rest — but not for long.
Iluna Perpetua obviously aimed gloriously high on this album. They pack a lot into these head-spinning songs, and obviously enjoy operating on an epic scale. They sound like an army, but are only three. That this is their first-ever release makes it all the more remarkable.