As you can see, I found just enough time after finishing today’s two premieres to jump quickly into the non-stop churn of new songs and videos and grab just a few of them to hurl your way.
COLONY DROP (U.S.)
Full disclosure: Colony Drop‘s frontperson Joseph Schafer is a very good friend, and at one time a writer for NCS who long ago helped propel us into a higher orbit before going on to become editor at Invisible Oranges, a writer at other high-profile publications such as Decibel, and a leading co-conspirator of ours in the production of Seattle’s Northwest Terror Fest.
Now with that out of the way, here’s why I’d be recommending Colony Drop‘s genre-bending new song “Colony Drop (Brace For Impact)” even if the vocalist had been hooded and anonymous: because it’s one hell of a rocket ride.
photo by Chris Schanz
The song manages to create sensations that feel sinister and interstellar, in line with both the band’s sci-fi inspirations and traditions of good old heavy-metal evil, and it does fly like a rocket. It’s packed with jolting and gnawing guitar-work and bone-bruising rhythmic grooves but wastes no time serving up a swirling solo with an out-of-the-ordinary tone, blasts of brazen and blazing chords, and gritty snarls and howls that also feel on fire (and eventually scream into the rafters).
It’s an ecstatic and highly infectious romp, but at about the 2:00 mark it kicks into an even higher gear, drums maniacally pumping and guitars convulsing in madness, only to switch again with d-beats and grand-fanfare blasts of melody as a prelude to yet another eye-popping solo that carries the song into a glorious finale.
Here’s a bit more detail about the band, extracted from a press release we received:
“Formed in 2019, COLONY DROP built their sound around the shredding guitars of Benjamin Burton and Ryan Moon (Turian), whose complementary-yet-distinct solo styles hearken back to the tradition of dueling duos: Hanneman/King, Denner/Shermann, and even Downing/Tipton. The pummeling rhythm section of drummer Eric Harris and bassist Ari Rosenschein (Stahv) supports their fretboard pyrotechnics, hence the band’s motto: “High Speed, Twin Lead.” Vocalist Joseph Schafer’s electric growl delivers a litany of sci-fi nightmares and countercultural anthems inspired by the weird fiction of authors including China Mieville, as well as classic anime like Mobile Suit: Gundam, from which the band derives its name.”
“Colony Drop (Brace For Impact)” is the opening track on Colony Drop‘s debut album Brace For Impact (and yeah, you’d better do that), which is set for release on August 25th (LP, CD, CS, and digital platforms) by Nameless Grave Records.
I had two choices after leading with that Colony Drop track: keep firing thrash-powered missiles or knock you off-balance with something very different. You’ll guess right fast which decision I made.
Crypta‘s new song and video “Trial of Traitors” is fast and furious, swarming and jolting, and led by absolutely maniacal vocals that scream and roar. But the band also laced it with clanging stomps, reptilian leads, soloing that’s both eerily spectral and feverishly exultant, swift tempo changes that will keep you on your toes, and even a few brief guitar instrumentals that exotically ring like musical sorcery. (The fast-cutting video by directed by Estevam Romera and Maya Melchers is quite cool too.)
Crypta‘s new album Shades of Sorrow will be out August 4th on Napalm Records.
Okay, NOW it’s time to knock you off-balance.
No, not really. Instead, I picked a song named “Pantocrator” that maintains the fire-fueled energy of the first two tracks in today’s collection — or at least that’s what it does at first, thanks to a thunderous drum-and-bass assault, an expanding blast front of searing riffage, and larynx-shredding screams. When the band slightly down-shift, you’ll get knocked in the head, and those riffs (still too hot to touch) elevate into brazen towers of cyclonic flame.
For 3 1/2 minutes there’s no real relent in the head-whipping, scorched-earth intensity of the sonic vortex this song creates, but Moray do throw in some delirious thrash-like chords, bursts of electrifying drum fills, and even more throat-ruining madness in the vocal department. But after that, the song does slow into a grim, lurching stomp, just in time for a solo that sounds dismal and then becomes a spectacle — and one last fast spin of the fiery tornado.
If you haven’t previously encountered the music of this Provo, Utah band. Metal Archives, which doesn’t yet have this new single in Moray‘s discography, calls their music “Post-Black/Thrash Metal”. But the music has proven to be so variable that you shouldn’t put much weight on that; this new one, for example, sounds like blistering black/thrash — though I doubt the whole album will sound like this: For example, the album credits include performances on banjos, recorder, and pump organ. Color me intrigued….
And yes, the song is part of a debut album, one named The Natural World, which is set for release on August 4th. It’s up for pre-order now. I think I’ll include some words from the Bandcamp page, which add to the intrigue:
The Natural World was written as a microcosm. A story of a world observed between connections woven through drawings on paper, a solar eclipse, the printing press, the dreams of a dead artist, the birth of a litter of cats, a religious man’s crops dying, and empty night skies and the lives held beneath them.
The lyrics of the song below are also fascinating; you can find them here.
Okay, no fooling this time, I’m closing out this round-up with something destabilizing and demoralizing, the first song revealed from a debut album by Hamerfilosofi.
The name of the song is “The Sickle“, and you’ll know whose sickle it is from listening to it. After an exceedingly strange collage of sounds in the opening, the music proceeds in a beleaguered, pounding stomp, saturated with a dense miasma of abrasive riffage that sounds diseased and dismal.
Wild and wretched cries soar from a throat seemingly choked with blood. The riffing becomes increasingly convulsive, but also moans and screams, cruelly scouring the senses above the heavy, steady thump. Tortured voices rave, their minds seemingly being broiled by what the guitars are doing when the march briefly pauses. The song becomes a roiling lake of doomed souls, madly churning poisonous waters in a futile effort to reach a shore too far away.
Solemn chants and madly flickering tones can also be heard, adding to the song’s unnervingly ceremonial aspects, and what an appalling ceremony it is. It all seems to proclaim: This is death’s endless domain, and you shall worship it.
Entitled The Desolate One, the album is set for release on September 22nd by ATMF.