A meteor didn’t hit my house, fast zombies didn’t attack, and I didn’t prostrate myself before the demon alcohol last night, so I was able to prepare this roundup of new songs and videos.
There’s obviously a lot to take in here, but after an opening trio of death metal malignancy and malevolence the music goes in lots of other directions, some of which I think you’ll find surprising. Lots of cool cover art too.
The opening of this first song creates an eerie and queasy mood, in keeping with its title. The main part of “Bringer of Sickness” also channels disease through its dense, writhing and roiling riffs, palpitating drums, and malignant growls. But Imprecation also administer savage, primitive slug-fests and disemboweling gouging, and bring in both supernatural organs and wraith-like soloing to make the experience even more hideously chilling.
The song was presented earlier this month through a video that makes a hellish match for the malefic music (there are brief shots of bare boobs in it, if you need to be concerned about such things). The band’s new album is In Nomine Diaboli. It will come out on October 14th via Dark Descent. The bat-winged, blood-flooded cover art was made by Jose Gabriel Alegria Sabogal.
In keeping with the mood of that last song, I’m following it with “Cascading Septic Radiation Pool“, another offering of audio terror by this Mammoth Lakes band.
Bell-like tones chime and wail in misery, somehow ringing through immense subterranean undulations, bouts of crashing abrasion, and horrific abyssal growls. The whole thing sounds like it was birthed from some ghastly Lovecraftian dimension. In its foul vortextual movements it’s massively mauling, turgid, and toxic, but also completely unearthly, and even celestial. The nearly submerged snap of the drums is about all you’ve got to hold onto as you try to hold onto your sanity.
The title of the album is Pt. III: Get In… (Enter the Cabinet). It will be released on October 9th by Bloody Mountain Records.
I decided to stay in the vein of horrifying death metal devastation for one more track, and “Body of Punishment” fits the bill just right.
This song moves like big, high-octane muscle car, percussive pistons pumping in obliterating fashion and the riffs spewing flames and smoke. Those riffs, by the way, are crazed as well as poisonous, and so are the gruff barks and shattering screams in the vocal department.
The song will also give you a good jolting, and it does eventually slow to an agonized crawl through congealing viscera (probably your own, after the gutting Vacuous have already given you) — a truly nasty trip in that slower slog, but one that includes some electrifying drum-fills.
The track is off a new Vacuous album named Dreams of Dysphoria, which will be released by Me Saco Un Ojo (vinyl) and Dark Descent (CD) on October 14th.
Well, I think it’s time to make a change — not to abandon death metal altogether, but to move into its proggier domains.
This next song, “Prodigal“, takes almost no time at all to get hearts swelling and heads spinning, thanks to the wonderful clarion-clear guitar solo that launches the track. Once Lamentations set that hook, they add to the extremity of the experience with voracious guttural growls, pulverizing drum work, and frantically darting riffage.
But that beautifully fluid lead guitar continues to appear and lend its magic to the charge, and the band also switch things up with a gorgeous interlude of piano, acoustic guitar, and (gulp!) singing, which leads into another wonderful solo and yet another interlude where a violin creates the sorcery.
The new album is named Passion Of Depression, and it features lots of guest performers, including guitarists Jason Gobel (ex-Cynic), Santiago Dobles (ex-Cynic), Ole Borud (Extol), Ethan Mckenna (Black Crown Initiate), and Max Phelps (ex-Cynic, Exist). The eye-catching cover art was created by Anastasiya Kliantsevich. Willowtip Records will release it on November 11th.
Next up I’ve chosen an arresting video for the first single taken from this Austrian band’s fourth album, Fragment : Totenruhe, which will be released on October 28th by AOP Records.
The song’s name is “World, burn for us“, and it is indeed a scorcher, packed with wild, searing riffage, scalding screams, and full-bore drum fusillades. But the song’s melodies also shift into bleak and bereft moods, where confusion, dismay, torment, and despair hold sway in the swirling chords, flickering leads, and tumbling drums. It’s not just the video that’s arresting – it’s easy to become captivated and swept away by the music too, despite how distressing it is.
Where to go next? I wasn’t quite sure, but then I took a chance on this UK band’s debut EP Spite at the End of the Tunnel, and the answer presented itself.
The members of this band have worked in other groups before, but under the harness of Gnasch they’ve turned their attention to primitive, paralyzing, and psychotic sludge/doom. They’ve concocted a plethora of massive, bone-breaking, and thoroughly unnerving experiences. They’re capable of stomping your poor heads into jelly and loosening your bowels with uber-thick distorted riffs that are both monstrous and narcotic, punishing and woozy.
The music makes you want to heave your body around and will be a cause of neck strain as well, but the music’s also authentically oppressive, desolate, and creepy. While they’re lurching and pounding like a mortally wounded beast, Gnasch throw in piercing leads that add to the feeling of psychosis, and the vocals’ cutting growls, raw snarls, and lacerating screams are berserk.
If you’ve been praying for a chance to be physically and mentally maimed (you fucking masochists), or maybe just to get a slow headbang going hard, you’ve come to the right place.
THE ROVING MAGPIE (Italy)
Now I’m making a sharp turn in the direction of today’s collection, leaving the paths of metal and setting sail on beautifully dark seas with the protagonist of The Roving Magpie‘s latest album, The Deadman’s Chants. It reveals “the last words of a lonely shadowy main character as he and his ship vanish into the devouring tides, while the mesmerizing night sky awaits his final return, with all those stars and nebulas, in silence”.
This is a project of Peter the Oystercatcher, the mastermind behind Blaze of Sorrow and Vollmond, accompanied here by gifted session musicians on strings. In a word, the music is sublime and transportive, a haunting yet hopeful journey across the waves that’s well worth taking.
And don’t jump to conclusions before you hear it — this is folk music that’s not only moody and mesmerizing, but also gets the head moving and the heart pounding, and when Peter unveils his rasping gasps and introduces volcanic upheavals, it’s scary too. Though acoustic guitar, violins, and drums are foremost in the instrumental fabric, the variations in sound are elaborate, and another reason why it’s easy to get lost in the album instead of losing interest and turning away.
The album was released in June by Pest Productions, but I only just discovered it. I was drawn to it by the stunning cover art, though I haven’t found who made it.
photo by Sean Galloway
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM (U.S.)
To close today’s collection, here’s a professionally filmed video of WITTR performing the long song “I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots” from the Two Hunters album to close out Wyoming’s Fire in the Mountains festival in July of this year. The song and the setting are magnificent. Worth every minute. Even after three full days that must have taken a toll on body and mind, the audience sure seems like they felt that way too.
Enjoy the rest of your fucking day. With a bit of luck I’ll be back tomorrow with SHADES OF BLACK.