Bandcamp Friday’s are ideal days for roundups such as this one, because people can immediately act on what they like in a way that yields more money to labels and bands from that platform.
Unfortunately, the random chaos of the cosmos often seems to conspire against me on these days (forget about the fact that conspiracies aren’t random), and it has happened again today, thanks to a huge distraction from my fucking day job.
I’ve managed to pick a few — a very few — recommendations in the small slice of time available to me. I’ll have more tomorrow, perhaps enticing enough to go on your wish list for the next time Bandcamp lets more money slip through their sticky fingers.
I’m leading off with a just-released video for a song by Chorosia from their new 35-minute EP, and I’ve made that choice for two reasons: First, it lets me put Orion Landau‘s stunning artwork for the EP at the top of our page. Second, the song is an out-of-the-ordinary blend of sludge, doom, and progressive metal that proves to be thoroughly captivating.
The name of the song is “Hands, Switchblades, and Vile Vortices“, and those suggestive words turn out to mesh pretty well with the sounds. The music is plenty heavy, plenty vicious, and a big body-mover — rumbling and jolting and putting a spring-loaded ax to your neck, with a panoply of guttural growls, strangled snarls, and frightening screams adding to the song’s bleak and brutish antagonism.
But on the other hand, the lead guitars periodically quiver and whirl, jitter and wail, adding psychoactive elements of intriguing dementia to the music’s hulking and hammering menace, and the extended solo that emerges near the end is a fascinating spectacle of delirium.
The name of the EP is Stray Dogs, and it’s set for release on September 15th by Grazil Records and Kvlt und Kaos Productions in all sorts of formats (digital, vinyl, cds, tapes).
Like Pavlov’s dog, I hurry to any bell rung by Vittorio Sabelli, whose work in the likes of Dawn of a Dark Age, Incantvm, A.M.E.N, and obviously Notturno, I’ve found to be unusually appealing. And yes, as you can tell, Notturno is returning, quickly following up last year’s debut album Obsessions with a new one named Inside.
For the new album Sabelli is again joined by vocalist Kjiel (Eyelessight), as well as by a guest vocalist on the track you’re about to hear, whose name Notturno hasn’t yet disclosed.
This new song, “Autumn Leaves“, is welcome if for no reason other than contemplating Autumn in a phase of broiling heat for much of the world is a very therapeutic idea. And indeed, the song is in many ways autumnal in its feeling — beautifully melancholy and haunting. The harmonized acoustic guitars conjure images of dead leaves falling, and the gasping vocals are haunting.
Yet there’s more here than a melancholy atmosphere. Dancing piano keys, a clarinet, and other non-metal instruments elaborate upon the doleful melody, but the drums also batter, the riffing heats to a pulsating and searing boil, and the vocals begin to scream and roar, creating moods of torment and desperation.
Inside is scheduled for release on October 6th by Hypnotic Dirge Records.
BODY VOID (U.S.)
I suppose we ought to balance the melodiousness of Notturno‘s song with something more hostile and anti-melodic, and to do that I’ve picked the first single from Body Void‘s new album Atrocity Machine, which arrived with a frightening music video directed by Chariot of Black Moth.
This song, “Flesh Market“, is described by Willow Ryan (guitar, bass, synths, vocals) as “maybe the most diverse song on the album. It does a great job at summarizing the wider aesthetic and thematic vision of the record, combining sludge, black death doom, and industrial noise. It’s about the way in which corporate capitalism seeks to dehumanize us and reduce us to meat.”
In the song, you can feel the massive gears grinding that meat, the instruments radiating filthy distortion, and the cataclysmic pounding is equally ruthless. Shrill slithering tones and harsh screams translate the pain, but those vocals can equally be interpreted as burning rage.
It’s an oppressive and harrowing experience, like being ruthlessly and methodically pulverized by sledgehammers while needles dig into nerve endings and spasm there. And then the song convulses in a display of ruinous violence, before trudging into a tar pit of abject agony. The stuff of nightmares….
Atrocity Machine is set for release on October 13th by Prosthetic Records, and features artwork by Ethan Lee McCarthy.