SEEN AND HEARD ON A BANDCAMP FRIDAY: DYING FETUS, OAK PANTHEON, BLACK ANVIL, FAWN LIMBS
Because this is a Bandcamp Friday a ton of bands and labels have launched singles and other releases to take advantage of the opportunity for a bit more income. I wish I could put the spotlight on a dozen or more of them, but I just don’t have the time for that. Instead, I’m reduced to throwing a few mental darts into that great mass and pulling out what got hit.
Barring a meteor strike on my house, an invasion of fast zombies, or prostration before the demon alcohol tonight, I should have another roundup of new music for you tomorrow.
DYNG FETUS (U.S.)
To help propel the launch of a North American tour that starts today, Dying Fetus have released a new single (with a video) named “Compulsion For Cruelty“, which apart from a 2018 split is their first new music since 2017’s Wrong One to Fuck With.
It’s fitting that the video for this new song is interspersed with show footage, because the song is a crowd-pleaser, well-calculated to to stirring up frothy pits. Of course it’s a thuggish and jackhammring neck-wreckr, but the band switch gears repeatedly, ejecting high-speed doses of spidery fretwork and bullet-spitting blasts, and the guttural tandem is as monstrous and foul as ever.
Pretty good proof that Dying Fetus aren’t ever going out of style.
OAK PANTHEON (U.S.)
Oak Pantheon are old favorites around these parts, as you’ll see here from how often we’ve written about them going all the way back to 2011. But it’s been six years since their last album and four years since their last releases of any kind (the Sol EP and a split with Amiensus). So getting new music from Sami and Tanner (along with bassist Jake and drummer Andy) is like a reunion with old friends.
Who can deny that we live in a hell-bent age? And so it’s entirely fitting that Oak Pantheon‘s new single, just released today, is named “Bard of the Hell-Bent Ages“. Its lyrics are desolate and disgusted. And what kind of music accompanies their vivid rendering of disarray and downfall?
In the case of this band, that’s not easy to predict in advance. Here, the vocals are immediately wild and hair-raising, and the riffing seems to swirl and dance at first, and soon elevates to blazing heights above a vibrantly bubbling bass and drums that bolt from a gallop into an electrifying outburst.
The song’s racing speed is nearly unrelenting, but its fire-bright intensity is leavened with barking whispers and gasps of resignation and by a riveting guitar solo that swirls and chimes, anchored by a gripping, head-moving interplay in the rhythm section. The race resumes after that magical interlude, and the fires blaze again in an exhilarating finale to this multi-faceted, head-spinning adventure.
Definitely a song worth hearing again and again, because there’s a lot to unpack here, and the way everything works together is a fascinating thrill to experience.
“Bard of the Hell-Bent Ages” featurs cover art by by Collin Estrada, and it was recorded and mixed by Sean Golyer and mastered by Adam Tucker. It’s available to stream and purchase on Oak Pantheon‘s Bandcamp page, as well as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc. It will also appear on their upcoming, yet to be announced, third full-length album.
BLACK ANVIL (U.S.)
This very impressive New York City black metal collective have moved to the Season of Mist label for the November 4 release of their fifth full-length, Regenesis. The news of anything new from this band is always cause for intrigue, because they’re not a group whose music has dug itself into a rut and stayed there. Where will they turn this time?
The second sign of that is the next song and video I chose for today’s collection. The name is perhaps an odd one — “8 Bit Terror” — but man, it irresistibly seizes attention. The menace in the music is unmistakable, but it’s also kind of mesmerizing, and it rises to glorious heights in the partially sung chorus and in the soloing spectacle that flashes near the end. On top of that, the rumbling and rocking rhythms and piston-punching grooves are primal in their compulsiveness.
In a nutshell, it’s a fascinating song that breaks away from black metal convention. The video is also absolutely fascinating, and credit for it goes to Emmy-nominated visual artist Sean Pierce from NYC’s Toilet Boys.
Regenesis features cover art by by Metastazis.
FAWN LIMBS (Finland/U.S.)
Back in June Fawn Limbs delivered a four track EP named Oleum to Decibel to be a part of the magazine’s ongoing flexi-disc series, and today Fawn Limbs finally released it via Bandcamp.
These fours songs fly by in about 5 1/2 minutes total, but Fawn Limbs pack a hell of a lot into that quick trip. If you can keep your balance as you listen, you might have a second career as a tightrope walker, because the twists and turns are both manifold and startling.
By turns the music caustic and calamitous, dreamy and bunker-busting, grimly oppressive and violently unhinged, eerily unsettling and utterly nightmarish. It’s like a couple of mad scientists at work with lots of lab equipment and human guinea pigs at their disposal, screaming and un-moored from any sense of convention or mercy.
Perhaps needless to say, it’s a riot to listen to. Even after four listens in a row, I still can’t find my balance (no tightrope-walking for me!).
Can’t wait for Black Anvil. Each of their albums is so distinct in style, yet unmistakably Black Anvil.
And Dying Fetus –can they possibly top their last record?