We had another rare day today when there were no premieres on the calendars. Because I write almost all of those, this gave me some extra time to use in compiling another roundup of new songs and videos. But then my fucking day job unexpectedly reared its head like a hungry serpent, and greedily consumed almost all that extra time. So, this roundup wil be short, but hopefully you’ll find it sweet.
BLACK LAVA (Australia)
I always get a thrill when I see a new cover painting by Paolo Girardi. One of these days I’ll then discover that some album adorned by his artwork turns out not to be worth recommending. Maybe that has already happened at some point in the past, but if so I’ve forgotten it. It didn’t happen today.
What I saw today, and what you now see, is Paolo‘s cover painting for a debut album named Soul Furnace by Melbourne-based Black Lava. Lots of molten vulcanism in that verbiage, and the just-released title track provides some justification.
Oh, it’s eerie and gloom-shrouded at first, but the heat increases. The riffing roils and writhes, the vocals scream as if the man is being burned alive, and the drums go off in obliterating bursts.
But it’s an interesting song too, because the sinister, eerie atmosphere of the reverb-laden opening continues surfacing, the fretwork twists like slithering snakes, and gruesome growls trade places with the broiling screams. Tension and turmoil build within the music and erupt into demented outbursts. The song also turns out to be wickedly catchy too.
Soul Furnace will be released by Season of Mist on November 4th.
RIPPED TO SHREDS (U.S.)
This California band are following up their 2020 album 亂 (Luan) with a new full-length, on a big-name new label for them, and today we got a taste of it through the premiere of an anti-war song named “Reek of Burning Freedom“.
The song is a high-speed discharge of scathing, blizzard-like riffing tuned to chainsaw decibels, bullet-pumping drums, horrid bellowing growls, and deranged screams. The music scathes and boils but also gallops, clobbers, and menacingly broods, and it makes room for a fireball of a solo too. It’s utterly savage, and a great way to jump-start your heart, or to provide a welcome companion if you’re feeling really pissed-off.
The song comes with a well-made video that gives a good picture of Andrew Lee and his bandmates marauding their way through the track on stage. The new album, 劇變 (Jubian), will be out on October 14 via Relapse Records. The arresting cover art was created by Guang Yang.
THULSA DOOM (Italy)
After you listen to this next track you’ll figure out that I got locked into a particular kind of mood and music when I chose the first three songs in today’s collection.
This new song by Thulsa Doom, “Cursed Domains Beyond“, also leans into deranged death metal (circa the early era of Morbid Angel, among others), using roiling and jolting riffs, gut-punching beats, and rabidly snarling vocals (sometimes doubled for extra-explosive ferocity) to do their dirty work. But they also spice up the assault with abundant doses of supernatural soloing, insectile arpeggios, avalanche-strength percussive upheavals, and even a maddened stomp that chills the blood. A creepy and convulsive experience for sure….
The song comes from Thulsa Doom‘s debut album A Fate Worse Than Death, which is set for a September 30 release by Invictus Productions.
It occurred to me that after those first three songs I ought to close with something that would shove you off-balance, at least a little. I wondered how to do that, and then landed on the following video for a new Stormruler song.
Granted, it moves fast, like the three preceding tracks today, and the vocals are a scalding torrent of acid, but the music is a black metal sword-and-sorcery kind of thing, packed with magically swirling and darting fretwork, sky-high synths, and a general air of menacing and hellish grandeur — albeit with bursts of vicious instrumental conflagration to leaven the extravagant theatricality of the overall experience.
The song is the title track to a new album named Sacred Rites & Black Magick that will be released by Napalm Records on October 14th. The cover art here is by Giannis Nakos of Remedy Art Design.