I won’t repeat everything I wrote here yesterday about why I’ve fallen behind in my usual attempts to keep up with newly released music (you’re welcome). Suffice to say, for this column I followed the same blunt-instrument, cutting-the-Gordian-knot strategy as I did yesterday.
BUT AUS NORD (France)
At the risk of being accused of clickbaiting, or at least bait-and-switch, I’m starting with a piece of welcome news — but it isn’t accompanied by music.
The news is that on August 25th Debemur Morti Productions will release the second part of Blut Aus Nord‘s Disharmonium album series — Disharmonium – Nahab — accompanied by the chilling cover art of Polish artist Maciej Kamuda. That’s an earlier date than a previously announced calendar spot in September.
According to a press release, the new album will continue to explore nightmarish themes drawn from H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos, reflecting them “through a new mirror of terrifying Black Metal lunacy”. As for music, we’re informed that a first song and also pre-order options will be revealed on June 12th.
In previous editions of this column I spilled enough adoring words about Svartkonst‘s first two albums, Devil’s Blood (2018) and Black Waves (2020), that my fandom should not be in question, even though I never managed to complete full reviews. I will have a third chance to be more comprehensive, because a third album of ravaging black/death is now on the way, this one named May the Night Fall.
What we all now have as a preview is a lyric video for the song “Endless Dark“, and it’s a very tasty but very poisonous morsel. As we’ve come to expect, it deploys corrosive chainsawing guitars spun up into tremolo’d frenzies of madness, gut-busting rhythmic grooves that maniacally hammer and detonate like grenades, and ravenous-werewolf howls.
The melodic quotients of the blizzard-like riffing are somehow simultaneously dismal and ecstatic, and the song also segues into episodes of monstrous imperiousness, lonesome agony, and soaring glory. All in all, a spine-tingling and bone-smashing affair, well-designed to get pulses jumping.
May the Night Fall will be released by Trust No One Recordings on August 29th.
This Greek black metal band’s “comeback” album Evil Summons Evil has been out for almost four months now via Hammerheart Records, and I tried to help spread the word in two previous editions of this column. Now I have a third chance, because a few days ago the band released a lyric video for a track off that album named “Where Angels Fear To Tread“, which includes a guest appearance by vocalist Heljarmadr from Dark Funeral and Gra.
Once again, Deviser have delivered a fine piece of black symphonic pageantry, grand in scale and both predatory and stricken in its moods. The voices of furious demons expel the words in scarring, razor-like tones as the guitars cavort, the rhythm section slug, and the synths burn the heavens in vast conflagrations.
BLOOD STAINED DUSK (U.S.)
Once again YouTube’s musical algorithm proved its intelligence by serving up a song off Blood Stained Dusk‘s new EP right after that Deviser music video just above. Not only was that song (“No Light Shall Penetrate“) a perfect companion for “Where Angels Fear To Tread“, but it was also a good reminder that I hadn’t yet heard the EP, which follows this Alabama-based band’s last full-length by a hefty 15 years and includes performances by a couple of new members.
Released by Black Lion Records in late May, Dead Lights Beckon Me collects two singles released by the band in 2020 and 2023, respectively, plus a third new song (the title track) rendered in two versions, one of them an orchestral instrumental.
Like Deviser, Blood Stained Dusk create haunting and harrowing musical pageants on the new release, relying on vast symphonic sweep, earth-shattering bombast, multitudes of swirling and sizzling fretwork, bursts of munitions-grade drum mania, and come-for-your-throat vocals as their main ingredients.
The band operate on a grand scale almost all the time, but what they’re portraying is haughty savagery, monumental calamity, shattering fear, and mass despair. Madness also reigns in “No Light Shall Penetrate“, that song I heard right after the afore-mentioned Deviser video, leavened with bits of melancholy pinging piano melody, a couple of sorcerous guitar solos, and soaring choral voices in its spectacular mid-section.
I think it’s not easy to make such grandiose music without falling so far into excess that it causes eyes to roll, but Blood Stained Dusk navigate those pitfalls very well, varying the experiences from song to song in ways that hold attention while simultaneously taking your breath away, further examples being the old revival-style singing at the outset of “Worship and Disintegrate” and the mesmerizing keyboard melodies and bursts of buzzing and swirling riffage in that same song, not to mention the constantly variable drumming and the genuinely extravagant harsh vocal performances throughout.
I managed to miss out on this Welsh band’s first two releases, a self-titled demo in 2019 and a 2020 EP named Evil Will Triumph. Their forthcoming debut album The Blackened Crusade will allow me to catch up to them. It promises 10 brand new songs, and one of them is out in the world now.
The drumming, which enjoys a prominent place in the mix, seizes attention right away in “Tir Du“, hammering and halting and hammering again as the riffing exuberantly boils and an also-prominent bass bubbles away. By the time the vocals come in after an electrifying bridge, screaming like a banshee on fire, the drummer has switched to d-beating and the guitars seem even more feral.
But there’s still more to come, with the drummer converting to rocking beats and the guitars radiating a kind of swaggering menace. The rhythmic variations continue unabated, as does the relentlessly head-hooking riffage, which kicks into a pulse-pounding jab. If all the instrumental performers are capable of packing so much gold into a single song, it’s a very good come-on for an album that’s got 9 more of them waiting in the wings.
The Blackened Crusade is set for release on June 10th by the Welsh label Marwolaeth Records.
I wish I didn’t have to end this column now, because I’m definitely not at the end of the list of new music I’d like to recommend, but unfortunately I have a shit load of other things I have to deal with today. Fortunately, I have an excellent new discovery with which to darken your day here at the end.
And oh hell yes, “Galactic Will of Oppression” is extremely dark and deleterious, but more multi-faceted than you might suspect at first. At first it seems stripped-down, with depressive chord progressions making their way over simple thumping beats. The first sign of twists and turns to come is an unexpected keyboard melody that swirls in brilliant otherworldly tones through the grim, emotionally clawing riffage.
The rabid, bestial harshness of the vocals might be expected, but the drum rhythms shift into both blasts and punk-like cadences, and the guitars begin to moan and wail, deepening the song’s overarching feeling of agony. Without losing the thread, the spinning guitars dart about in fevers and elevate in sounds of yearning; a bright but forlorn piano melody surfaces; and morose yowling tones intrude and flow, feeding into another glimmering wellspring of that mesmerizing early keyboard melody. Somehow the music, so downcast, becomes glorious.
LanzerRath hail from the beautiful Traverse City on the shores of Lake Michigan. The name of the new album that includes this song, their fourth full-length in five years, is Metagalactic Domination. It will be released on July 14th by Northern Spire Productions.