Feb 042023

Chat Pile – photo by Juliette Boulay

For this Saturday’s roundup I decided to limit myself to single new songs and videos released in just the last few days. The first is in support of a 2022 album, and the rest are advance tracks from records due for release in March or April. I feel pretty confident in saying that I’ll have more to recommend through a Shades of Black column tomorrow, though I haven’t yet decided what to put in it.


Chat Pile probably don’t need more help getting noticed. Last year’s God’s Country popped up on most of the year-end lists assembled by notable mags and sites that get lots of eyeballs on them. But the band’s new video for the song “Tropical Beaches, Inc.” doesn’t have half a million views yet, so that needs some help.

Something odd is happening to the skin of the video’s protagonist. Relatedly, something disturbing is also happening to his mind. He’s like a powder keg trying to go off, and go off he does.

Meanwhile, Chat Pile sound like a big excavating machine pounding and churning up concrete. A good way to get your groove on while vocalist Raygun Busch loses his own mind. The needling guitars do a fine job portraying the neurons twisting and coming apart. I don’t know why the hell I didn’t put this song on our 2022 Most Infectious Song list. Let’s get those views up!





Here’s another new video that doesn’t have half a million views yet, another tale of a lone man getting back to nature, with the help of a campfire and a big leather container of something alcoholic, and maybe feeling other spirits too as he dances.

There’s singing in “The Fireside“, and heavy growling. There’s uplifting melodies of fiery yet serene splendor, and jolting chugs, and just enough melancholy in the shadows of the music to explain the connection of wintry scenes and the man lost in his own mind. Not a groundbreaking song by any means, but a damned catchy one nonetheless.

The song is the second one released so far from the album The Garden, out March 24th on Agonia Records.





I sense that some of you are impatiently snapping your fingers, waiting for something more extreme. You can stop snapping now and start gnashing your teeth and pounding your fists as you join the ugly, vicious ranks of the “Chimera Soldiers“.

These riffs rabidly rip and chew, and the drummer will give you the beatings you deserve, rapidly moving among your bones to make sure they all crack. Somewhere in the cavern next door the monstrous vocals echo. It’s all grim and gruesome, the kind of mauling tank attack that leaves minds in rubble, though the guitar solo convulses in feverish madness just in case your pulse rate wasn’t already high.

The song is from Kommand‘s new album Death Age, coming on March 31st via 20 Buck Spin, who just don’t seem to make any mistakes in what they choose to release.




BACCHUS (France)

It’s refreshing to come upon album art that doesn’t feature demons and hellscapes, viscera and alien violation, or mountain pastorals for that matter. Just a kind of eerie still life in the style of memento mori, elegant but reminding that death awaits us all.

There’s a kind of haunting and harrowing elegance in the first-revealed track from Bacchus‘ new album too, but it will also mess with your mind. The song marches in an imperious stomp, emblazoned by grand overarching waves of sound, and made more vibrant by a strong bass pulse, the fast flicker of a deranged lead guitar, and bursts of percussive tumult. Feels like being swept out to sea by powerful tides, with no way back, a glorious but doomed excursion.

The band’s music is branded Psychedelic Black Metal, and the vocalist’s wails do sound like they were recorded in an intoxicating altered state.

The song is the opening track from the band’s second album II, due for release by Debemur Morti Productions on April 7th.





A second album from the Oregonian duo Spirit Possession is also on the way, preceded two days ago by the song “Second Possession“. It’s like the king sending the joker to lead the procession’s way.

Wild cavorting guitars and cacophonous screams start the crazed advance, backed by drums that follow no straight and narrow path either. The vocals remain relentlessly berserk, as does the riffing and the synths, which exult in their swirling and spinning lunacy, though some big old heavy metal chords rise up and crash through as well, making one think of swords and sorcery.

The whole thing is thoroughly exhilarating, like being tekleported into a mad carnival and tossed about like Mardi Gras beads among the bouncing and brawling crowd of revelers, who do indeed seem possessed.

The new album is named Of The Sign…, and it’s due for release by Profound Lore on March 31st.


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