Yesterday I took the first step in a journey of a thousand miles — an only slightly exaggerated metaphor for the task of wading through all the recent songs and videos that might yield selections for these roundups. Today, as you can see, I managed to take a second step. By rough count that leaves about 2.5 million additional steps.
I’m beginning with artwork, unaccompanied by music (the column is called “SEEN and Heard”), but then moving into some new sounds and videos (and more cool cover art).
MOTHER OF GRAVES (U.S.)
This Indiana death/doom band released their debut EP in January of last year, and Todd Manning gave it a very good review for us. He concluded by hoping that a full-length would be close at hand. The hope is now fulfilled, because Wise Blood Records will be releasing the band’s debut album Where the Shadows Adorn on October 14th. And for that album the maestro Paolo Girardi created the stunning cover art you see above.
But what you see above is only half of the full painting. Here’s the complete work:
A first single from the new album will be released next week. We’ll be watching for it.
FACELESS BURIAL (Australia)
One good turn (or painting) deserves another, and so I’m following Paolo‘s creation with one by the great Dan Seagraves. This piece greets the eyes on the cover of the forthcoming third record by this Aussie death metal trio, an album named At the Foothills of Deliration.
Word nerd that I am, I had to search for the meaning of “deliration”, and it seems to be an archaic synonym for delirium. But I think it’s fair to say that the album’s first advance track, “A Mire of Penitance“, ventures far past the foothills of delirium.
Proceeding at a lurching, stomping, and skittering pace, it’s an ugly musical brute that seems fairly insane right from the start, thanks to bursts of feverish leads and screeching strings, but becomes increasingly crazed, thanks in part to snare-drum eruptions, prominently burbling bass notes, and wild vocal excretions that join in with guttural growls.
The music mewls and meanders, quivers and blares, cavorts and careens, batters and brawls, and gleefully darts about, changing tempos and musical patterns with relentless abandon but razor-sharp precision. The inventiveness of these escapades is eye-popping, and so is the technical skill with which they’re executed.
The album is set for release by Dark Descent and Me Saco Un Ojo on October 7th.
Once I had gathered together the pieces of my mind that had been spun apart and scattered by that last track, I pondered where to go next — and decided on a different kind of wildness, courtesy of the black/thrashing hellions in Sacrilegia.
What’s up next is “Reactionary Angel“, the first single from a forthcoming EP named Sold Under Sin (the band’s second release after 2019’s The Triclavian Advent). It’s a goddamned riot of maniacal drumming, sandstorm riffing, and lycanthropic snarls and screams. Superheated solos spiral up and out in berserker fashion and wail in ecstasy. The riffing spins, scythes, and contorts as well, weaving around bass-work that pumps like a piston and drum fills that are off the chain. Undeniably vicious stuff, but thoroughly exultant in its anarchic revels.
Sold Under Sin will be released by Invictus Productions on September 30th.
I’ve been waiting and waiting for a first song from this new band ever since I learned that their lineup includes members of Barghest and other South Louisiana stalwarts, and today it arrived. I had high hopes for Faustian‘s debut release, and so far the hopes hold strong.
“Birth of Apparitions” is a heavyweight death metal marauder, but pleasingly intricate in its fleet-fingered fretwork. In addition, the music drops into a dismal crawl, where gargantuan growls extend into hideous echoes and the guitar moves like a grief-stricken worm (if such a thing could exist). When the speed spools up again, we’re treated to another display of deranged riffing, along with some caustic screams and jackhammering grooves. Like other tracks in today’s collection, this turns out to be a head-spinner.
As you can see, we also have another great piece of cover art. This painting is “Death and conflagration“, the central section of an 1870 triptych called “Disaster” by the Polish artist Adam Chmielowski.
The song is from a self-titled EP that will be released by Black Lion Records on October 7th.
EXORDIUM MORS (New Zealand)
I have just enough time for one more selection before having to shut down my NCS work for the day. And the choice I made is roughly in keeping with what has preceded it in today’s collection.
The song I chose, “A Pyrrhic Sacrament“, is from a forthcoming sophomore album from Exordium Mors named As Legends Fade And Gods Die. It has a savagely momentous opening and then begins to race on blistering hooves. The snare pops the neck and spits bullets while the riffing convulses and brays and barbarous vocals shriek and bellow.
Everything moves at a dizzying, high-octane pace, everything calculated to keep your pulse rate up in the red zone, and the riffing brings thrashy chords into play along with plentiful flurries of insectile finger-work. As if the song couldn’t be more electrifying or dervish-like, the band throw in a soloing spectacle as a lead-in to one final instrumental storm of vitriol and volatility.
The song’s lyrics are ruthless, enraged, and quite fascinating, and I encourage you to check them out at the Bandcamp page for the song. And once again, we get to gaze upon a terrific piece of cover art, this time by Khaos Diktator Design.
As Legends Fade And Gods Die will arrive in full on October 31st via Praetorian Sword Records, a very long eight years after the band’s full-length debut.