SEEN AND HEARD: THULCANDRA, ROTTEN SOUND, CATACOMB, LAMP OF MURMUUR, KAAL NAGINI, OSSAERT, MENSTRUAL VAMPIRES, BÜDDAH
I’m very happy about all the music in this mid-week roundup. I’m also very happy about the way it all lines up.
A big part of the fun of doing these collections is not just finding new songs and videos that I think are worth recommending, but also choosing the ones that either flow together well or instead ricochet off each other in unexpected ways. There’s a little bit of both strategies in what I chose for today, but mainly this roundup is designed to quickly elevate your adrenaline and then keep it surging. Lots of good cover art today as well.
I searched out the first time we wrote about Thuldandra at this site. It was in June 2010, when NCS was barely seven months old. The occasion was an extensive review of the band’s 2010 debut album Fallen Angel’s Dominion, in which I included an extensive discussion of the band’s back-story, with notes about the C.S. Lewis space trilogy that was the source of their name. It was evident even then that they held the potential of becoming the truest heirs of Dissection.
Many more NCS articles about Thulcandra followed over the years, and now we can add this one to the list, the occasion being a new album named Hail the Abyss and a video for its first single, “As I Walk Through The Gateway“.
Thulcandra turn on the afterburners for this song. The fretwork is fiery and frenetic, the drumming pummels and booms, and the scathing vocals add to the song’s blackened intensity. Yet the song’s sweeping melodies also have the aspect of a dark and dolorous anthem, and Thulcandra also throw in some barbaric and bracing gallops, adding to the song’s electric appeal.
I saw a few comments that compared the song to Necrophobic‘s “Blinded by Light, Enlightened by Darkness” from their 2006 album Hrimthursum, which was also the subject of a video released last year in advance of the album’s re-release by Century Media. I wouldn’t have made the connection myself, but I do think the songs make a fantastic pairing, especially because Necrophobic‘s lyrics themselves use the phrase “As I walk through the gateway….” I decided to include that Necrophobic video along with the new one from Thulcandra, for extra thrills.
Hail The Abyss will be out on May 19th via Napalm Records. Dan Swanö did the mix and master. Herb Lochner made the iconic cover art.
ROTTEN SOUND (Finland)
The new album by these Finnish grind-crushers includes seven songs (out of 18) that are less than one minute long. The shortest one, “True or False”, lasts for 19 seconds. The next shortest one, “Nothingness“, is the one that Rotten Sound picked for the new video that just surfaced a couple days ago. It extends to 28 seconds – though some heartbeats that bookend the song in the video version push it up to 54 seconds.
I’ll only add that it’s so berserk it will keep your heart-rate at an elevated level following that Thulcandra track, and mangle the shit out of you too.
Apocalypse is the name of the new album. It will be out on March 31st via Season of Mist.
I would have included this next song and video just so I could install the cover art in today’s collection, even if the music had been mediocre. But it’s far from mediocre — in fact, it’s spectacular — and it slots in very well after the first two firebombs in today’s collection.
The ringing chords in “The Kings of Edom” create an imperious mien while the drums go wild and bestial gutturals try to chew up your guts. Moreover, wailing tones spiral sky-high and both the riffing and the drums convulse in an astonishing episode of violence. And moreover, the band switch into a head-hooking groove amidst swirls of unearthly melody and then inflict a dose of jolting riffage, and there’s even some singing while glimmering and glittering sprites of sound move between the channels.
And there’s more, but maybe I’ve said enough to convince you that this is a head-spinner of many facets, and a very exciting enticement for Catacomb‘s long-awaited debut album new album.
And yes, since forming in 1990 Catacomb have had more stops and starts than a car on an L.A. freeway, but at last they’ve made a debut album that this song comes from. Entitled When the Stars Are Right, it will be released on March 23rd by Xtreem Music. The fantastic cover art is by the Ukrainian artist Daemorph Art.
LAMP OF MURMUUR (U.S.)
Well, there’s absolutely no reason for me to let your pulse off the hook now. The second single off Lamp of Murmuur‘s new album Saturnian Bloodstorm absolutely will not do that. To the contrary, it’s just… fucking… glorious.
These blazing and screaming riffs, tuned to the key of you-can’t-think-of-anything-else, are to die for, creating moods both infernal and magnificent, like fanfares for a hellish coronation. The drums and bass rumble the bones, the vocals are demonic, and a swaying melody surfaces in a break from the grandiosity that gives the music an exotic and esoteric aspect. But it’s those glorious (and eventually dire) riffs, augmented by thunderous booms, that command the most attention.
The song had its premiere at Decibel yesterday, and it’s still an exclusive, so you’ll need to go there to listen. In his introduction Jon Rosenthal wrote: “On ‘Seal of the Dominator,’ which is streaming ahead of Saturnian Bloodstorm‘s late March release, M. adds an extra edge to his music, using meanness and cruelty, but also arrogance and pride, to make his music larger than life (and pissed, just listen to that ending).”
Though I can’t include a stream of this newest song here, I have included a stream of the first single from the new album, “Conqueror Beyond the Frenzied Fog“, which is also fantastic (I already wrote about it here).
Saturnian Bloodstorm releases on March 26th via Not Kvlt Records, Night of the Pale Moon, and Argento Records. The eye-catching cover art was made by Karmazid.
KAAL NAGINI (India)
Okay, it’s time for me to let you catch your breath.
HaHa No, just kidding.
“Refracted Lights of a Blind God” is absolutely berserk, a massive-sounding and massively abrasive war-zone of sound, so blown-out, dense, and choking that it leaves little room for air. That grotesque churning impact makes the sharp and thoroughly maniacal rattle of the snare drum even more striking.
The song does have its twists and turns, converting into merciless stomps and episodes of gut-gouging grotesquerie and gruesome crawling. Horrific vocals are almost submerged in these changing methods of devastation, but still perceptibly insane, and the drums are also relentlessly deranged. It’s the kind of thing that pops eyes and drops jaws, just for how ruthlessly and maniacally destructive it sounds.
The song is the title track to this Kolkata band’s debut EP, which is set for release by Iron Bonehead Productions on April 14th. The artwork was created by Qayin Mandala Graphex.
You’ll still find no room for any deep breaths on this next song. To use an overworked word, because I can’t think of a better one, “De Lichtkrans en de Waan” is epic.
The sweeping melodies are wondrous, though they’re edged with feelings of dismay and tragedy. While those grand sounds cascade high above, the drums provide a furiously hurtling and pulse-punching momentum and the vocals create feelings of torment and fury.
Ossaert also adds to the song’s dynamism with riffs of feral, buzzing savagery and pulsating delirium, plus punk-ish beats and a conversion of those high-flown melodies, accented by fleet-fingered guitar leads, into sounds of confusion and despair. And there’s dramatic, albeit haunting, singing near the end too.
The song is from Ossaert‘s new album Offerdier, which will be released on April 7th by Argento Records. The cover art here was made by Reuben Sawyer.
MENSTRUAL VAMPIRES (U.S.)
Surprise! There’s a new Xasthur album! Well, sort of. Nothing you’d expect from Xasthur (the band), though it’s the same person who is behind the hilariously named Menstrual Vampires.
Transylvanian Recordings, which is handling the release of MV‘s self-titled album, revels in how gross and grotesque the music is:
The most vile, repugnant and disgusting death metal of the year. Influenced by the foul and demented “Shitfun” era of Autopsy and the classick brutality of Immortal Fate and other repulsive demo metal acts from the golden years of Death Metal past. Featuring one of the most prolific luminaries of US extremity, the unholy blasphemer Xasthur, returning to his roots creating dark fucked up and deranged Death Metal. Valentines will be extra bloody this year as we unleash the debut from Menstrual Vampires!
And yes indeed, the album was released on Valentine’s Day. It features: a voice like the grunting and croaking of a sewage-choked crocodile the size of Manhattan; cymbal strikes that sound like paper being violently torn (the only sound that isn’t befouled with thick sonic sewage); kick-drums that resemble subterranean upheavals; a bass that bounces around like a gleeful asylum inmate; and a great array of morphing riffs — lumbering, lurching, and lascivious; sickening and delirious; brutish and brazen.
The band name and song titles are hilariously crude, the guitar tone is pretty goddamned filthy, and some of the riffs are exceedingly primitive (like, caveman primitive), but I’m here to tell you that a lot of the riffs are also crazy-good. And so I’m feeling a strange combination of heaving nausea and fiendish exhilaration, and why should I be the only one?
The ghastly cover art is the work of Necrodevourer.
I’m really not a sadist, and so I thought (to be merciful) I should provide a palate-cleanser after that last sonic abomination. Maybe some melodic post-metal or haunting doom. That thought didn’t last long after I listened to the first single from Büddah‘s debut release, The Curse of Ferrius.
What you get with “Selbtsmord” is a death metal monster that’s both hulking and in the throes of a ravenous fever. The riffing twists and turns with abandon, and so does the drumming, but the throat-ruining vocals are even more utterly insane. The song features prominent lead-weighted bass work, a multitude of mercurial leads, and the kind of drum fills that threaten to distract attention from everything else. And holy shit… those vocals!
Okay, NOW you can catch your breath.
The Curse of Ferrius will be released by the German label Witches Brew on April 20th.
Holy shit that was intense! In fact, I’d say that was brutal enough to melt all four faces of a heavenly angel.