Feb 012023

Venomous Concept


I have just enough time for a quick mid-week round-up of recommended new songs and videos. There have been a lot of new things this week so far, but that’s par for the course. These four happened to be among the ones I impulsively checkws out this morning. Hope you dig ’em all!


I have a soft spot in my head heart for Venomous Concept, so I’m beginning with the new video for “Fractured“, the third one released in the run-up to their new album The Good Ship Lollipop.

The song was inspired by some troubles Shane went through during the upheavals of the pandemic and his efforts to pull the pieces back together. He wrote this, which will explain the imagery in the video:

“Music was always my comfort, but during this time my family needed me to be strong and I really wasn’t. I was breaking apart and trying to figure out how to put myself back together, and hopefully leave some of the bad bits behind. “Memories came—my childhood, my parents, my family, my children, my friends. Then the words to ‘Fractured’ came… I am still piecing myself back together, trying to be just good enough.”

The song is a hard-punching head-mover, but also mesmerizing. It reveals a strong post-punk/new-wave influence (genres I was immersed in when many of you were listening to metal), but with scorching vocals mixed in with the clean, and it’s catchy as hell too.

If you don’t know, Venomous Concept is the brainchild of Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Brujeria, etc.) and Kevin Sharp (Lock Up, ex-Brutal Truth), and they’re joined here by guitarist John Cooke and drummer Carl Stokes, who’ve been around a few blocks themselves.

. The video was directed and created by Andy Lefton.

The Good Ship Lollipop will be out February 24th via Decibel Records (US) and Graphite Records (EU).





Hail the hearse! The Black Moriah are returning with a new album aptly named Desert Hymns & Funeral Grins, and today they brought us a video for its second single, also aptly named: “Blessed By Buzzards“.

These road agents of the blast furnace have concocted another gripping song to add to their repertoire. The finger-tapping bassist nearly steals the show at first, but the slashing chords and torrid vocals create the dire mood. As you listen you can feel the desert wind on parched plains and the daunting presence of death, even though the rhythm section inject the song with the pulse of life. The song also catches fire in electrifying fashion, becoming even more feral and fierce in the delirium of madness.

Desert Hymns & Funeral Grins will be released by Folter Records on February 17th. I’m also including a video for the album’s first single, “The Devil’s Grin“. Very sinister and supernatural at first, that one becomes a racing romp, both swaggering and menacing as well as infernally feverish.




AUSTERE (Australia)

Sullen” is the name of a new song crafted by the august Austere (the duo of Mitchell Keepin and Tim Yatras) from their new third album Corrosion of Hearts, which has been a really long time coming.

The press materials promise that the inspiration for new album “derives from the early Norse black metal scene and its depressive offspring, but also stretches further to the gentler and more emotional approach of blackgaze”. True to those words, “Sullen” is an amalgam of sensations over its nearly 12 minutes. It’s depressive but also lush in the heart-breaking ring of the guitars and ripple of the keys, and it also gets the blood rushing. On top of that it creates a feeling of panoramic scope that’s glorious as well as inconsolable.

One of the song’s many instrumental layers resembles a banjo. Speaking of many layers, the vocals vary as well, intensely wailing as well as scalding the ears, and the guitar leads soar and drift like hawks on a thermal. The drumming also seems perfectly attuned to what’s happening in the music. Easy to get carried away by the immersive brilliance of this song, and it leaves me eager to hear the rest.

Corrosion of Hearts is set for release by Lupus Lounge on April 28th. “Sullen” will be the only single released in advance of that date.




OROBAS (Denmark)

And to close out today’s brief round-up I chose a recent single by this blackened death metal band from Kolding. Entitled “Upholding the Asuric Traditions“, the song narrates a tale from Hindu myth about a woman (Diti), if I’m not mistaken) who was one of the sixty daughters of Prajapati Daksha, one of the 13 wives of the sage Kashyapa, mother of the the Daityas and the Marutas, a bitter enemy of the Devas, and obsessed with bringing the Asuras into power.

The music gets the blood boiling fast, thanks to the vigorous pounding and battering of the drums, the mad roiling of the riffage, the gut-slugging heaviness of the bass, and the gargantuan monstrosity of the growls. The experience is a savage one, simultaneously bludgeoning and eviscerating, even in the instrumental break when the drums boom like bombs and the guitar swirls in serpentine ecstasy — leading up to a spectacularly exultant guitar solo. Take deep breaths before you begin….

Upholding the Asuric Traditions” will appear on a forthcoming album by Orobas projected for release later this year. It will also be released as a single by Utah-based Slaughterhouse Records, with a B-side consisting of the band’s cover of a Mayhem track. Orobas was first formed by the drummer Hephaestus in Dhaka, Bangladesh in early 2015; he moved to Denmark in 2019, where Orobas now exists as a quintet.


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