“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That well-known saying attributed to the Chinese sage Laozi (but sometimes erroneously attributed to Confucious) came to mind today as I gazed bleakly at the massive backlog of new songs and videos that would provide the source material for this roundup. Getting through it feels like a journey of a thousand miles, but that old adage encouraged me to make this first step. Will I be able to make another one tomorrow, or instead trip and fall on my face? Time will tell….
I know Bloodbath need no help from our fetid little corner of the interhole, but I’m beginning with a lyric video for their grisly new song “Carved” anyway. It’s just too damned much hellish fun to ignore, and Luc Lemay makes a guest appearance on it too.
It’s easy to imagine the day when some big throng of sweaty metalheads will be yelling “CARVED!” right along with Nick Holmes as he bellows the word from some expansive stage while his bandmates run their cruel circle-saws and punishing jackhammers behind him. Maggots writhe in the music, and horrors quiver and scream. A nice slab of red meat for the faithful.
Bloodbath‘s new album Survival Of The Sickest will be out on September 9th via Napalm Records.
BLACK DEATH CULT (Canada)
Unintentionally I’m sure, we paid no attention to this Canadian quintet’s new album Diaspora either before it was released last April or afterward. It’s just one album of many that I never found time to check out, and I suspect the same was true of my fellow NCS slaves. The video for “Neon Cross‘, released today, serves as a reminder that we need to do some catching up.
The song’s brutish rumbling grooves are potent, and so are the twisted guitar machinations, which slither, quiver, groan, and ring like something out of Sergio Leone if he’d been to acid. Coupled with mutating bass maneuvers and a panoply of noxious vocals, the music puts a chill on the skin and toxins into the mind. Eventually, it convulses into even greater madness, even as it hammers us like nails.
As you might guess from those blithering words, the song is disconcerting, but fascinating in its intricate maneuvers, and far more surreal and inventive than the band’s name might lead you to guess. The video is equally twisted, and equally riveting.
Disapora is out now on Profound Lore.
THE ANTICHRIST IMPERIUM (UK)
LOL, that outrageous artwork! Was it intended to send a message about the music? Well, not according to a comment from this band’s vocalist Samuel Beans about their new album Volume III: Satan In His Original Glory: “We have no message to convey, all we wish to deliver to you is a glorious and reverent ode to Satan, a dream of a world where a black hoof steps on your face forever”.
But wait, isn’t that a message?
Oh, fuck me, let’s not spend any more time overthinking this, but instead dive right into the first advance track, “Third Degree Baptism“. These are swirling and frothy waters we enter head-first, thanks to a tapestry of frenzied and glorious guitar work and electrifying drum and bass. It also dashes us against rocks and pitches us into the air, becoming just as mesmerizing and inviting when it rings as it is crazed and crushing elsewhere.
As you’ll already know if you’re already familiar with this shape-shifting band, the vocals are just as varied as the head-spinning musical kaleidoscope behind them. As you may also know, the band features members of Akercocke, Voices, Werewolves, and The Berzerker.
The album, which promises to be quite a spectacle, will be released by Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings on October 7th.
To conclude this compact roundup I picked “Am Abgrund“, a song that premiered a couple of days ago from a forthcoming album by this heralded German prog-metal band, whose on-again, off-again activities began in the mid-’90s.
This new song is a long one, so settle in. But it’s well worth the time and attention required to follow along in its wide-ranging journey. It reaches absolutely glorious heights, and is equally effective at getting legs jumping and heads moving. The tandem of vocals are both riotously savage and sky-high, and equally transfixing in both manifestations.
And that’s just a brief linguistic taste of what happens here (hint: there are some phases that contrast dramatically with the high-octane segments of the song described above, and the vocals continue varying as well).
The band’s new album is named Ayam, and it will be released by Prophecy Productions on November 4th.