Aug 172023

Oh look! Another mid-week roundup of new music, and it’s even more voluminous than the one I managed yesterday.

To give you a bit of a roadmap to what’s ahead, I’m starting with a perennial NCS favorite from Australia, then moving into an absolutely devastating block of U.S. metallic hardcore, then veering off in all sorts of other different directions.

THE AMENTA (Australia)

The Amenta decided to record a bunch of cover songs by a very eclectic group of bands, ranging from the black metal of Nazxul and Lord Kaos to Alice In Chains, Diamanda Galas, Killing Joke, Wolf Eyes, Halo, and… wait for it… My Dying Bride.

As if the prospect of these covers wouldn’t be titillating enough on their own to pique our interest (because we know a band like The Amenta aren’t going to play it straight with any of those songs), the 40-minute “EP” that includes the covers also presents a new original song, which is the subject of a video that debuted yesterday.

This new song, “Plague of Locus“, is the EP’s title track. As the band explain, it “pairs bit-crushed and pitch-shifted guitars with theremin wails, blasting drums, and an eerie vocal performance to create a song that, at times, nods to THE AMENTA’s 2008 n0n album while always pointing to a new and exciting future.”

As forecast, the song is diabolical and deranged. Its blaring pulse-like outbursts and feverish skittering episodes strangely create hooks that hold things together, but around those hooks the music (and even more so the wide-ranging vocals) create a kaleidoscopically macabre experience — frightening, seductive, bizarre, and violent.

As expected, the accompanying video is as much of a freakout as the music, though vocalist Cain Cressall (unlike his bandmates) is mostly wearing his own face this time.

Plague of Locus (the EP) will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on October 19th. There’s more info about the songs they’re covering at Bandcamp, with hints about how they’ve mutated them.




Now we’re moving into that promised block of devastating metallic hardcore, beginning with a new song from Harm’s Way aptly named “Devour“.

If you call 911 now, an ambulance might get to you by the time the song ends. The EMTs could be useful, because “Devour” is a full-bore brawl. It slugs damned hard, attacks the skull with fracturing force, and the red-throated vocals are pure fury.

It gets damned grim and primitive by the end, but you’ll also notice that the instrumentation, and maybe especially the drumming, is more intricate than you might be expecting.

Before “Devour“, Harm’s Way released another new song named “Silent Wolf“, also included below. This one pulls no punches either, but if anything it’s even more dissonant, abrasive, unnerving, and hopeless.

Both songs are from a new album named Common Suffering, which is set for release by Metal Blade on September 29th.




This North Carolina metallic hardcore band tell you a lot about their music in the name they chose for themselves, and in the name of their new album: Break.Burn.End.

Two songs from the album are now available, and both came with videos. The vocals in both of them are absolutely incinerating. For “The Light Behind” the band back them with dissonant hornet-swarm riffing, punk gallops, and doses of hard-hearted, hard-punching trauma (plus some gargantuan roars).

The other song, “Saying Your Name is to Choke on Ash“, is every bit as furious and hard-hitting, but its rudely needling riffage may be even more unsettling. The weight of the bass is again bowel-loosening, the drums deliver a ruthless beating, and the vicious vocals are again scary as shit.

Break.Burn.End will be released on September 15th via Innerstrength Records.




Now we move from North Carolina to North Dakota and an EP named Generation of Pain that No Divinity released on August 4th.

These four tracks have their way with you in less than 13 minutes, but long enough for this dark hardcore to leave a person shaken to their core.

The pounding in these songs is massive and hard enough to crack pavement and fracture jaws, thanks to a well-muscled and granite-heavy bass and drums that go off like mortars, and the roaring vocal tirades (with some rabid screams in the mix) are hostile as hell.

All well and good, but what are the guitars up to? Well, they screech and chew, seethe and swarm, crash and slash. They not only add the electricity of chaos to the flight-or-fight response provoked by the bludgeoning, they often make the music extremely unsettling.



GRUZJA (Poland)

Everything else in this collection I discovered yesterday, but this next song by these deviant black metal experimentalists I heard for the first time this morning, thanks to a link from Miloš. It occurred to me that it would fit perfectly right here, right after all that bleak and violent hardcore devastation.

Why do I feel that way? Because this song (“Od Przedszkola Do Okopa“) is so thoroughly and gleefully demented. So much so that I don’t really know how to introduce it. But let’s try this:

Consider a violently spinning carnival ride, in the midst of an earthquake, which breaks into a polka dance in hell, jumps about like a pogo that acquired rudimentary intelligence, and lurches like a big shaggy drunken beast, all of it accompanied by a wild and frequently ugly vocal cornucopia. If you’d like to get fucked up without using drugs or other intoxicants, try this on for size.

The song’s title seems to translate to “From Kindergarten to Trench”. I used google to translate the lyrics, and they’re nonsensical, though who knows if that’s the band or google. The song is from an album that will be released on October 6th. I’m not sure about the name of the album.




The next song isn’t as hair-brained as the one above (what could be?), but it still has its own interesting twists and turns.

At its core, “Sandblasted” is death metal, with big bounding rock-based grooves, a burly bass, and scalding snarls and screams in the mix. However, the riffs continually mutate — they’re searing and scathing, sinister and serpentine, weird and wailing, jagged and jolting.

It’s also home to swirling and soaring guitar solos that have psychoactive properties and a finale that will put your teeth on edge. As twisting and turning as it is, the song holds together beautifully well, and proves to be infectious as well as kind of bewildering.

The track is from this North Carolina trio’s new album Blackfin, which will be out on January 3rd, 2024. It’s briefly described as follows: “Entwined in metaphors and oceanic imagery, Blackfin traverses different watery plains in a commentary on the personal and political trials in our modern life.”

I’m also including a stream of the new album’s title track, which was released last month. This one’s a bit speedier and thrashier in places and includes some grand heavy metal chords and some bracing gang screams, but it’s also as much of a head-mover and head-spinner as “Sandblasted“.




I decided to wrap up this roundup with the biggest name in this group, instead of leading with it. I’m also running out of time, so I’ll only say this about Incantation‘s newest song and chilling video:

The name of the song is “Invocation (Chthonic Merge) X“. It does sound like an invocation, and then it sounds like the invocation was successful, and that what it brought forth is pure evil.

It’s from Incantation‘s new album Unholy Deification, which Relapse will release on August 25th.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.