Ascended Dead – photo by Scott Kinkade
This is the second brief round-up of new songs and videos I’ve managed to assemble today, having unexpectedly found myself with time I didn’t think I’d have. Once again, as in the first installment, I’ve focused on three things that just surfaced overnight or this morning. With a bit of luck I’ll have a third installment finished before I have to pay attention to paying work. If that fails, there will be another roundup tomorrow.
ASCENDED DEAD (U.S.)
To lead off this segment I have “Ungodly Death” (is there any other kind?), the maniacal first preview track from this California band’s new album Evenfall of the Apocalypse.
As the drums whip up a battering storm in this song and thunder booms in the low end, the guitars blurt and boil, squirm and shriek, and the vocals are just as berserk, reveling in their ugliness. The fire-fueled fretwork is somehow both crazed and razor-sharp in all its rapidly darting and freakishly swirling contortions, and the drumming is equally adept at both keeping pace and adding to the feeling of mind-mangling mayhem.
Evenfall of the Apocalypse will be released by 20 Buck Spin on May 12th.
Next up is a powerhouse new song and video from Seattle-based Lacabra. Entitled “Human Quilt“, its subject matter concerns the phenomenon of mass ritual suicide among religious cults (the title was drawn from a description of an aerial view of the Johnstone massacre, depicting all the dead bodies laying on top of each other).
The sinister riffing catches the listener’s pulse immediately and drives it hard, with extra propulsion added by head-hooking, head-moving beats and a big bass rumble, and the menace in the music is underscored by the raw, gritty savagery of Lance Netherlin‘s inflamed snarls.
Bursts of tremolo’d guitars and a frantically swirling solo generate a feeling of near-exultant madness, in keeping with the song’s subject matter, and the madness further ignites through jolting chords, frenzied double-kicks, and clobbering snare-work. The song is fueled by feral energy, and it’s as hook-filled as it is mean and marauding.
“Human Quilt” is the second single from Lacabra’s new five-song self-titled EP. Last year we premiered the first one — “Fractured” — and in case you missed it, I’ve included that video right after the new one for “Human Quilt“.
To wrap up this second installment of our round-ups today I picked “Strand“, the dynamic first single and video from Zeit‘s new album Ohnmacht.
Zeit explain that the album’s title is a German word that “describes a state of lethargie”, “a powerlessness that results in an accepting behaviour despite the fact of being oppositional to tragic events”. In more detail, they elaborate on the album’s concept:
A life between the chains of civilization: Stumbling from crisis to crisis, we numbly stare into the nothingness. “What now?” the mind wonders as it dances into the shadows. Frustration, anger and disgust are pushing us to the beat of forced productivity – driven by pandemic, war and climate change. The world struggles with itself and yet does not give up. Because where all is lost, there is hope and freedom. Expect nothing, fear everything.
In “Strand” the high whir of the frenzied and writhing guitars itself generates a feeling of despair, and there’s scalding fury in the vocals. Those sensations create disturbing and disorienting sensations, feelings that are underscored by bursts of skittering and blurting fretwork and relentless drum tumult that’s punctuated by big booming detonations. On the other hand, the music also segues into episodes of staggering, doom-laden bleakness.
But the song further includes punk-fueled pugnaciousness and a kind of whirling ebullience, as well as a segment that seems to channel (in searing, swarming tones) a feeling of tormented confusion and frustration. The song feels like a fight between oppression and defiance, but leaves no clear winner.
Ohnmacht will be released on April 14th, and it’s available for pre-order now.
Lacabra really hits hard! I don’t normally appreciate clean vocals mixed in but somehow it fits well within their songs.
Zeit, tho. That’s some tasty black metal right there! I like their message as well. As I get older (I’m 58) I often feel as if I am becoming more and more inurred to things happening that are utterly outside my control.
I’m in a similar situation, except I feel constantly pissed off about things going on in the world that are beyond my control, stunned and infuriated that they are still happening. Not a great contributor to mental health.
That’s exactly what “Ohnmacht” means
The Ascended Dead band photo made me buy the record.