Aug 302023

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley, but they didn’t gang a-gley today: I succeeded in completing the second Part of today’s roundup of new songs and videos. If you missed Part 1, here’s a convenient link to that.

DAUÐARÓ (Iceland)

I couldn’t resist beginning with this first advance track from Dauðaró‘s new album Nýir Heimar because (a) the cover art is fantastic and I wanted it to be at the top of this page; and (b) the song is scary as shit and why should I be the only frightened person around here?

This solo project from Reykjavík is obviously prolific — Nýir Heimar is its seventh album in three years — but I’ve found that the music is always worth checking out, even if it has a tendency to spawn nightmares. And nightmarish is indeed an apt word for the amalgamation of black metal and funeral doom in this newest song.

Fyrstu Skrefin” is the 10-minute opening track to the album. Monsters seem to roar from another dimension while chimes of ice tinkle. The echoing roars hideously magnify and then become wails of torment as the drums pound, cymbals crash, and guitars broil the senses and shriek in shrill paroxysms of lunacy.

Earthquake upheavals ensue in the low end, but also vanish. Terrible moaning tones move like a slow landslide of tar. The guitars quiver and peal. Plaintive and creepily noodling piano keys strain to be heard in the midst of cataclysms of sound.

Industrial machinery hammers sigils into cast iron. Something else slashes like massed blades. At the end a sonic spell begins to build, something like an amalgam of keyboards, cracked bells, and cold winds, slowly diminishing into an uneasy silence.

You listen to this, you might have to shake yourself like a wet dog to get your head clear again.

Nýir Heimar will be released on October 11th by ATMF.



STORTREGN (Switzerland)

Here’s something to help you shake yourself like a wet dog — and then gleefully chase fast cars. It’s a mind-bending lyric video for “A Lost Battle Rages On“, a ferociously joyous new song off Stortregn‘s forthcoming sixth album. With tongue in cheek, Stortregn describe it as “BB KING MEETS BLAST BEATS”.

Well, I don’t know about the BB King reference, but the song does provide blast beats — and an abundance of gloriously swirling guitars. It also opens the cage to a crazed vocal bestiary and reveals nimble, proggy bass lines and different ways in which drums can be used as defibrillators and weapons.

On top of all that, the music embarks on a dreamlike drift, which turns out to be just as splendorous as the more extravagant and exuberant fretwork fireworks — and they are very damned extravagant.

The name of the album is Finitude, and it will be released October 13th by The Artisan Era.



AZIMUT (France)

Every dog needs to sleep after chasing fast cars, and perchance to dream. Initially, this next song is less of a riot than the one from Stortregn, more like a very intriguing meditation. But I hasten to add that even that gradual beginning won’t make you sleepy, though it may lead to waking dreams. And you won’t guess where the song eventually goes.

A slow and slightly jazzy bass line and the fragile chime of a triangle lays the foundation for gloomy yet ringing chords. The gradual building of this sonic tapestry continues with the thump and pop of drums, spritely piano keys, and a layering of additional guitar textures. The effect is to draw the mind deeper and deeper into what’s happening.

A lone guitar pulses, and yet another keyboard tone wanders a woozy path. Eventually, more textures appear — mind-scarring screams and tremolo’d riffing that both glimmers and abrades like sandpaper. They push the music’s intensity into a red zone of heart-racing turmoil.

This pretty damned remarkable song is “Au Cœur d’Une Destinée Erratique”, and it’s the second track from this Grenoble-based post-metal band’s upcoming album Dans les Méandres, which will be released on October 6th.


  1. Daudaro is amazing!

  2. All great artists

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