SEEN AND HEARD: DYING FETUS, BURNER, DISCREATION, COMMON WOUNDS, SLAWIA
Dying Fetus, photo by Scott Kinkade
Here we have a mid-week round-up of new songs and videos I want to recommend. I was very tempted to call it “PART 1”, because I have another collection already picked out. But I also have to finish the write-up for a premiere we’re hosting today, and I never know when my fucking day job will rear its head. So, I’ll refrain from promises and just hope the today’s second roundup works out. If it doesn’t I hope this will tide you over.
DYING FETUS (U.S.)
To start, here’s “Unbridled Fury“, a new Dying Fetus single (and video) that came out last Friday. I don’t suppose I need to say very much by way of introduction. Dying Fetus are an institution. Most everyone who visits this site knows the band’s music and knows whether they like it or not. The song will please those who do (it pleases me), and won’t interest those who don’t, because this is a rock solid Dying Fetus song.
You get the barking vocals straight from the belly; skull-cracking and bullet-spitting drumwork; jackhammering and gut-punching grooves; bursts of feeding-frenzy riffage and flickering fretwork; and the kind of thuggish brutishness that wakes up the reptile brain.
The song was released on February 3rd by Relapse Records.
I won’t say that this next song is exactly “in the vein of” Dying Fetus, but it did strike me as a good follow-on to “Unbridled Fury“.
Prepare for a rumbling and rattling tank attack, all pistons pumping and the guitars spraying napalm while the high-low vocals channel violent madness, plus the kind of start-stop grooves that knock a person flat. The song roils as well as delivering a ruthless beating – speaking of which, the band telegraph that a breakdown is coming, and when it happens the jackhammers break up the pavement, followed by one final spasm of electrifying chaos.
“Hurt Locker” is a stand-alone song released by this band from South London just two days ago via Church Road Records. It follows up their debut EP A Vision of the End, which came out last June. It is dedicated “to the Ukrainian people, fighting a war they shouldn’t have to, and the Russian civilians and soldiers that chose to resist their tyrannical government.”
War is the subject of this next song too, which was presented through a lyric video. I’m not clear on which European conflict the song has in mind (there have been so many), though it was written on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but I’m very clear that the song is a killer.
“Iron Times” features Discreation‘s new vocalist Marc Grewe (ex-Morgoth), and man, what a voice! Full of fire and fury, blood and bone. Behind those vocals Discreation create an atmosphere of harrowing darkness through frenzied, tremolo-dominant riffing, obliterating percussive assaults, and pummeling bass-lines, leavened with slower, stomping passages that sound grim and cruel.
There’s both violent madness and abject agony in the music, and it makes a striking impact. It brings to mind the line from Arrival that “in war there are no winners, only widows.”
The song is the title track to this German band’s sixth album, which will be out on March 24th via Massacre Records.
COMMON WOUNDS (U.S.)
I wasn’t familiar with this Phoenix band, formerly named Dead History, before checking out this next song. They profess a love of “90’s noise rock, post grunge, and emotionally driven post-hardcore”. But if you read that and jump to the conclusion that the band aren’t heavy, the first single off their new album will crush that thought.
“Phantom Limb” lunges and pounds with bone-bruising force, and both the utterly raw and convincingly wild vocals and the darting and whining guitars torque up the tension and pierce through the music’s earthquake/avalanche turbulence in emotionally searing ways. The song also sounds beleaguered and dismayed, as well as untamed in its fury.
The song is from the self titled album, which releases on March 10th via Protagonist Music. The band’s members include guitarist/vocalist Ian Lanspeary (ex-Run with the Hunted) and bassist Matt Martinez (ex-Landmine Marathon), as well as guitarist Corey Rial (Seas Will Rise) and drummer Steven Campbell (War Tongue, Bog Oak).
To close what I hope is the first of a two-part roundup today, I chose “Scything Death” from a new album by Slawia (Славия) from Cherepovets, entitled Majestic Medieval Darkness.
From the first moment, the riffing is ravishing in its dolorous intensity, coming in waves of rippling sonic anguish. The intensity of the tormented vocals is also white hot, and the song’s bleak energy is amplified even further by the vulcanism of the bass, the manic shine of the lead guitar, and the riotous drum fills that break up the metronome snap of the snare.
It’s a thoroughly gripping and immersive torrent of melodic black metal, and the elegant variations in the riffing make it even more heart-breaking. Be forewarned: This one is very hard to get out of your head.
Majestic Medieval Darkness is set for release on February 28th by the Antiq label.