“Metatron’s Cube” by Talon Abraxas
It’s been another very busy week for the release of new songs and videos, and leaves me with a typically daunting task of trying to pick some to recommend, made even more daunting by the fact that the old fucking day job didn’t allow me to compile a round-up earlier this week. To make the task a bit easier, I decided not to write about new songs and videos from the following bands, because they’re all fairly well-known, but I do really like all of what you’ll find via the links below.
WOODS OF DESOLATION (Australia)
As for what I did choose to write about today…
…well, there might be a reason why I put this particular group of six together. It might be that they’re all a bit strange and often unnerving. Why would I want you to feel strange and unnerved? Because I did, and I like to share.
FELL RUIN (US)
The words “manic” and “maniacal” are different, albeit closely related, words. “Manic” refers to behavior that’s very excited or anxious in a way that causes the person to be very physically active or hyperactive in their enthuiasm or nervousness. “Maniacal” is more suggestive of madness, ungovernable frenzy, and even violence.
Why am I thinking about those words? Watch and listen to the video for Fell Ruin‘s song “The Burning Spire” and then you’ll understand. Both words apply. It’s from the album Cast in Oil The Dressed Wrought, which will be released on November 11th, on vinyl, cassette, and digital by Tartarus Records, and on CD by Death Psalm Records:
The name of this Danish band’s debut EP, Kakofini, made me think of “cacophony”, which I suppose was their intent. How did they get 17 record labels around the world to release it on 7″ vinyl? Other than the experience of the music itself, I have no idea.
Of the two songs on this 16-minute release, they’ve made one of them public through a surreal video (which includes nudity). It has a very long name: “Når de ord, vi har brug for skyder op af sig selv, får vi en ny sang” — which in English means “When the words, we need, blossom – we will learn a new song”. Not a conventional name for a metal song, but it connects to what inspired these two tracks. As the band say:
“[Kakofini is} a deeply personal record, where the two songs center around the loss of two people close to the band. The dialogue of death, and how to handle it, is a dialogue the band wants to open with this record.”
The song does have cacophonous qualities, but you can feel the inspiration for the song in the desperation and grief channeled by the rising and falling melodies and the extreme torment of the screamed vocals. The song slows and softens dramatically, and becomes spellbinding, and then builds again to an emotional storm of powerful intensity (and heartbreak). Quite a memorable track as well.
Kakofini will be released on November 3rd.
The person behind Udånde is a Dane named Rasmus Ejlersen, though he now lives in Bratislava, Slovakia. Thematically, his sophomore album under the banner of Udånde is described as a timeline of his own long personal journey “of private, profound experiences with anxiety attacks, depression and anti-depressant medication.” The name of the album is Slow Death – A Celebration of Self-Hatred. “Each song,” he says, “depicts specific time periods of my existence from which were significant for my previous internal struggles”.
So, with that information, the lyric video for “and Denied All Sense and Reason” may make more sense. The song appears third in the running order of the album, followed by three more. As you might expect, it’s in some ways a depressive experience, but much more than that too.
The bass lines will rumble your guts, the drums will crack your necks, the riffs are ravaging, the chords blaze, and the vocals descend deep into death metal territory. To my ears, there’s a feeling of ecstasy in this hard-charging music, which is infectious.
Slow Death will be released by Vendetta Records on December 2nd.
This is not Vaura (a band much admired around here) but Vuara. They’re located in the Russian republic of Karelia rather than Brooklyn. Their music doesn’t sound much like Vaura‘s either. And even though the band names could be mistaken for each other even if you’re not dyslexic, the album’s title would erase the potential confusion: Нормальный человек.
The title means “A Normal Man“. I’m curious about its significance, as I am about the song titles. Maybe I’ll find out. But for now I’m just going to encourage you to listen to the record’s first advance track, “Отец земли (Father of the ground)“. It’s completely immersive (like being caught simultaneously in a wildfire and an avalanche,) and completely harrowing.
A Normal Man will be released by Cursed Monk Records on October 28th.
P.S. I did run the Russian lyrics of the song through Google Translate. Just after the song stream you’ll see what came out the other side.
To tear to heart-rending pain all living things.
In black walls son of lies
dancing on naked corpses,
hungry father of graves
with flesh sewn together with oblivion.
Neither dead nor alive
without voice or hearing
up to the elbow in blood,
on the other side of time.
Give yourself to that
who has forgotten the world.
Trust your throat to the hands of those
whose destiny is to choke.
He is all of thousands of faces,
and millions of fates.
Homeland of crafty emptiness.
Motherland is the mother of suffocation.
Dried blood on the lips
cracking with a smile
every drop of foolish fate
fallen into the hands.
Even with hundreds of obscure band names and their various musical escapades rattling around in my head, I still recognized the name Wyrmwoods when I saw that they have a new album on the horizon, and I still remembered how wild their debut album was — and the fact that the instrumentation on that album included alto saxophone, alto recorder, and melodica.
Okay, I didn’t immediately remember those last two, only the sax. And it’s not a “they” but a single person whose nom de plume (or nom de guerre) is Nuurag-Vaarn.
The new album No Sun Nor Moon, insofar as it has been publicly revealed, still sounds wild, but in some different ways from what has preceded it (in the guttural death vocals, for example). The first single, “Year of Dearth“, feels like being teleported into a mad carnival already in progress. Lots of head-spinning moving parts and elaborate instrumental embellishments, and a general air of unhinged yet joyous delirium — until you reach the surprising, mystical finale.
As mentioned, the name of the new album is No Sun Nor Moon (the sharp-eyed among you will recognize the handiwork of Beksinski in the cover art). It’s set for release by Inverse Records on November 4th.
To close, I have strangeness of a different sort. The music isn’t a metal song, but more like a soundtrack to the fascinating animated video that accompanies it. In the video, some kind of apocalypse has come, perhaps a thermonuclear one, leaving ruined cities behind. The survivors are such creatures as rats and crows, and of course the cockroach. The tale suits the music, and vice-versa. I got a Blade Runner vibe from the music, though I can’t analytically explain why.
What else might an album include that begins with a track like this one (it happens to be the title track)? Well, I don’t yet know, but here’s what’s reported on the album’s Bandcamp page:
“This album focus on noise, dirt, saturation, new or old underground music genres such as krump, pachydermic heavyness, post rock, stoner, analog sounds, 90s sound aesthetics, Mad Max, Dune, Ken Shiro, dust, wind, post atomic, low bpm, paranoia, anxiety, loneliness, Vangelis, analog synths, search for one’s own dimension, catharsis, discomfort, contempt.”
The labels that will release Haboob are Drown Within Records and Light Item Records, and they willl release it on November 11th. I’m not sure who is behind Burla22. I’m just guessing the location is Italy because that’s where Drown Within is located. I’ll have to ask for more info when I get the chance.