Well, no unforeseeable calamities befell me or our indomitable site in the last 24 hours, and so I’ve probably set a record for us today with the fourth roundup of new music in a row. If you include tomorrow’s Shades of Black column (barring a calamity), that will be five in a row.
The incredible thing is that even with so many daily installments, one after the other, there’s still a big pile of worthy new metal I haven’t managed to feature, and in that respect there’s nothing particularly unusual about the last week. Every week, the flood just keeps surging.
GREAT FALLS (U.S.)
I fibbed a little. Not everything in today’s collection surfaced during the last week. These first two songs, “Trap Feeding” and “Old Words Worn Thin“, are a tad older than that. They’re both from a new album by this devastating Seattle crew that will be out on September 15th through Neurot Recordings.
“Trap Feeding” immediately teleports us into an exhilarating catastrophe — of full-riot drumming that moves like a high-speed avalanche; of pounding bass tones heavy enough to shame pile-drivers; of discordant, siren-like guitars; and of even wilder screams.
The maniacal but technically jaw-dropping drumming seizes attention non-stop; the lo-frequency hammering could cause bridges to collapse if played loud enough; the vocals at sufficient volume might also strip paint from your walls. Even when the riot briefly becomes less of a riot, you can feel the floor shaking from all the humongous impacts, and those guitars burn like an acetylene torch in agony.
If you’re not sucking wind after that one, the only explanation is that you didn’t play it loud enough. Excess volume is a good idea with the other song too. At first, “Old Words Worn Thin” sounds like someone rhythmically banging on sheet metal from a few blocks away, but then it begins to move like a huge tunnel-boring machine, gouging through bedrock in heaving surges while drummer Nickolis Parks clatters away on your neck and the guitars feel like ghosts wailing or ants swarming under your skin.
This one is more bleak and brutish than “Trap Feeding“, more likely to leave you feeling crushed both physically and emotionally, and the screaming is raw torment dialed up into the top of the red zone. There comes a point when the drums snap like an off-kilter metronome and the bass murmurs — strange small interludes before Great Falls ramp up their sonic demolition machine, bringing out the riff-jackhammers, the unchained drums, and the screeching psychosis of the guitars.
There’s one more interlude, an amalgam of ethereal wailing tones and dim but busy skittering sounds, one last chance to take an uneasy breath before the band do their best to end the world in cataclysmic destruction and terror.
Heaviness comes in different forms of course, but in their own harrowing way these two songs are really fucking heavy. So is the subject matter, which you can read a lot about on the album’s Bandcamp page.
There you’ll also discover that the album’s closing track is 13 minutes long. Is it survivable? I could tell you, but I haven’t yet worked up the nerve to hear it, or any of the other 6 songs. Of course, I will, as soon as I can withstand imagining my home and soul being shaken to pieces.
The name of the album is Objects Without Pain. It comes with a lot of terrific artwork.
THE KEENING (U.S.)
Rather than force something to compete with Great Falls in a heavyweight fight, which wouldn’t be very fair, I decided to go off in a different direction with this next song and video.
“Little Bird” does muster booming drums and bowel-loosening bass lines, but piano keys, shimmering strings, crystalline voices (and other wraithlike instruments) create an ethereal and haunting impression. Nevertheless, though elegant and beautiful, the music is stricken and distressing, and not just because of what’s happening to the protagonist in the accompanying video.
Yes, it’s a big exception to our rule about singing, but the singing here is so heart-breaking, so soulful, so captivating, that I couldn’t ignore it. The surrounding music merits the same adjectives. It’s all spellbinding, and before the end the song’s scale and intensity swell, like expanding clouds in front of the sun.
The song is from a debut album of the same name by this solo project of ex-SubRosa member Rebecca Vernon, joined here by her talented friends Lucy Sharapata, Andrea Morgan (Exulansis), and Teresa Byrne. It will be out on out October 6th via Relapse Records.
I know very well that most people who come here aren’t looking for songs like that last one, which of course is one reason I stuck it in there — always finding what you’re expecting can become dull. But having done that, I do want to appease the wolves at the door, and to do that I chose “New World Disorder” by Dikasterion.
But this isn’t just red meat for those who hunger for blasting drums, crazed goblin cackling, and riffs that roll in searing waves — though the song does deliver all those sensations. It also segues into feral slashing chords and rocking beats, and those dense riff-swarms also begin to sound haughty as well as perniciously sinister.
Fevers burn in the flying fretwork and manic percussion, causing this sonic devil-steed to race headlong in a wild hunt, with a macabre demon on its back urging it on in a voice ruined by madness.
The song comes from a 30-minute album named Chaos as a New World, which includes fantastic cover art by Cinis, and which will be released by Amor Fati Productions on September 1st. When we premiered the band’s last EP four years ago, I remarked that “Dikasterion have escaped Hell again, and brought much of Hell with them”. Sounds like they’ve done it one more time.
Almost 9 years ago we wrote several articles about a Finnish black/death metal band named Coprolith, prompted by the release of their second album Death March. Turns out they released an EP two years later (War That Carries My Name), which I must have missed. Time can dull attention, but their name did come back to me when Rennie (starkweather) recently passed along a link to a new self-titled Coprolith record. But it turns out to be a different Coprolith.
This band is from Toronto, and what I’ve chosen as the conclusion to this Saturday round-up is their five-track debut demo. The only preview I had from Rennie was that the music is “suitably ugly… just as the name would imply”. Man, is it ever.
Even the song titles are ugly: “Putrid Cruelty”, “Killed Twice”, “Hallucinatory Bloodbath”, “Disfigured Beyond Recognition”, and “Fields Of Tooth And Bone” — and of course the ugliness doesn’t stop there.
The guitar tone is pure corrosive filth, spliced with the ear-splitting shrieks of sadistic string torture. The throb of the bass is monstrous. The vocals erupt in grotesque abyssal roars and rabid strangled howls. The drums are the only thing not ugly in tone, but they seem most comfortable meeting out high-speed obliteration.
I’m all for ugliness in death metal, but that alone isn’t always very satisfying. What makes this demo extremely satisfying is that these marauding maniacs have a gift for riffs, and switch them up with aplomb. They might whine and writhe like furious maggots one moment, brutishly chug and chew the next, jump about like gleeful pile-drivers the next, and then drag and quiver like lethally sickening guts — and that’s just in the first song.
The drumming is equally variable and always gripping, whether it’s cracking the neck like a spring-loaded ax, dropping bunker-busting bombs, administering the jackhammer, or going flat-out like overheating machine guns.
And the band also spice things up (poisonous spices, to be sure), with screaming and miserably wailing leads and doses of berserk sizzling fretwork, like brains frying in a hot pan. The bass is also an important contributor, maybe especially so in the closing track, right before Coprolith decide to fry your mind to ash with feedback.
Mostly the music is insane, like the soundtrack to a frighteningly disease-ridden asylum in Hell for the unmedicated psychotically violent. But the changing riffs and mutilating grooves keep it from spinning off into sheer chaos. On top of that, Coprolith do throw in that song “Hallucinatory Bloodback”, which at the beginning and end is slow, grisly, and thoroughly blood-congealing — with a riot of brawling, scampering, shivering, and stomping in the middle.
That’s not the only song where the band trudge through viscera and sewage, dragging listeners by the throat behind them. They do that a lot. That’s part of what keeps you on your toes (and saturated in horror). But the traumatic chugging and the churning serial-killer frenzies leave at least equally lasting impressions.
You’ll need steel wool to scrape this off you. Coprolith, by the way, is the scientific name for fossilized feces.