Islander

Apr 142021
 

 

Although there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to the musical parameters of Part 1 of today’s roundup, Part 2 is a little more coherent since it uniformly leans into black metal. However, to suggest that these four songs follow a consistent pattern would be wrong — each one sounds very different from the rest.

SPECTRAL LORE (Greece)

My first choice is “Φονικό Φως (Murderous Light)“, which surfaced as a digital single on Bandcamp yesterday. It was originally written for and released as part of Art Against Censorship, a compilation of 36 songs from Greek musicians to protest a law that was intended to target and silence radical political artists.

That comp was released in February of this year as a free download (here), and I managed to overlook it. It obviously includes a ton of music, and most of it is from bands whose names I don’t recognize, so one benefit of Spectral Lore‘s single will be to help draw attention to it. (I’m not surprised to see a Yovel song at the close of the comp.) Continue reading »

Apr 142021
 

 

I found time last night to rumble through a lot of new or newly discovered music, and enough time today to stitch together a two-part round-up. There’s not much rhyme or reason as to why I put these first four in Part 1, because the music is kind of all over the map. It would have been even more hard-to-classify if I’d included Mick Jagger‘s new jam with Dave Grohl, which I do like despite the silliness of the lyrics.

THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT (Netherlands)

Having finally listened to “Gone Sour, Doomed” and watched the video that accompanied it when it debuted in February, I’m even more befuddled about why it took me so long to do that. I can’t pretend to hold all the songs of The Monolith Deathcult in my head, despite how memorable many of them are, but I will still say that this new one is among the most exhilarating they’ve ever concocted. And the video is HIGHLY entertaining, and proof that the band’s renowned sense of humor is still alive and well. Continue reading »

Apr 142021
 

 

The part-Brazilian, part-German death metal band Incarceration have compiled a discography that includes a pair of splits, an EP, and a 2016 debut album named Catharsis. To that collection of releases they are now adding a new EP entitled Empiricism that’s set for release on Friday of this week (April 16th) by Dawnbreed Records.

On this newest effort the band’s core duo of Daniel Silva (who performs vocals and bass on this release) and Michael Koch (drums) are joined for the first time by guitarists Pedro Capaça (Violator) and Alex Obscured (Speedwhore, Obscured by Evil). Whether for that reason or others, the band seem to have thrown themselves without reservation into the most furious and unhinged side of their sound.

And thus, as you’ll discover through our full streaming premiere today, the new EP generates adrenaline-fueled mayhem with explosive, savage power, although that ruthless, visceral intensity is accompanied by spectral leads and coruscating solos that generate a frightening aura of the occult. Continue reading »

Apr 132021
 

 

Daniele Valeriani‘s cover art for Acausal Intrusion‘s debut album Nulitas perceptively connects to the experience of the music. Both are malevolently frightening (even monstrously so), disturbingly surreal, and transfixing. The linguistic preview of the music offered by I, Voidhanger Records (who will release the album on May 21st) also effectively summons some of that experience:

Acausal Intrusion play chaotic technical death metal tapping into regions beyond time and space, a vessel for ancient and unknown forces to channel into this earth, to dismantle the psyche and destroy the ego”.

And so too does the expression of the album’s concept provided by Nythroth, one of the two men who joined forces to make the music (the other goes by the name Cave Ritual):

“The acausal realm is the source of all true life. It lays beyond our causal world and is inhabited by ancient entities and chaotic energies usually too terrifying for humans to behold. Their intrusion into our reality can spark an alchemical process of transformation through which the individuals emerge on the other side with renewed self-consciousness.” Continue reading »

Apr 132021
 

 

What we have for you here is a first listen to the entirety of Melancholie Der Engel, the debut album by the Italian atmospheric funeral doom project Shamael in advance of its joint release on April 15th by Satanath Records (Russia) and Negre PlanY (Spain).

In crafting this record (during the pandemic) the solo artist behind Shamael, Raffaele Galasso (a member of Gardenjia and Nightcrush) has not broken any molds, but he didn’t need to. The album is so immaculately executed that it’s a monumental achievement despite its adherence to so many familiar tropes of the genre. In its amalgam of sounds it’s ethereal and pulverizing, mystical and ruinous, haunting and harrowing, shattering and spellbinding. Continue reading »

Apr 122021
 

 

The long history of The Blood of Christ (aka Blood of Christ) began in 1994 in London, Ontario, Canada, and from then until now (with one long hiatus) the band has been anchored by guitarist Jeff Longo and drummer Jason Longo, and for their newest release they have been joined by vocalist/bassist Hank Bielanski. That newest release, which dropped last December via CDN Records, is an album-length split with the Japanese extremists Vomit Remnants entitled Eastern Beast – Western Wolf.

Blood of Christ‘s four contributions to the split capture the band’s genre-bending union of death and black metal, shrouded in dark, epic atmospheres and lyrically focused on subjects often atypical for such diabolical sounds.

For the first of their songs on the split, “Forgotten Divinity Chapter 1“, the band resurrected a song that was first included in a 1998 demo and breathed new life into it — and today we’re presenting it through a new lyric video. Continue reading »

Apr 122021
 

 

The Loire is the longest river in France, rising in the French Massif Central, flowing north through Nevers to Orléans, and then west through Tours and Nantes until it reaches the Bay of Biscay at the Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,000 km (roughly 625 miles) from where it began. The history of human civilization along its course is ancient, still evidenced by the presence of over a thousand châteaux along its shores, ranging in their inception from the early medieval to the late Renaissance periods.

There was a time not so long ago when the Loire was also a major channel of commerce, crowded with merchant vessels, as well as a means of transporting people across the country. Among the commercial vessels were flat-bottomed barges used to move salt and other goods as well as sand dredged from the river itself and used in construction. In time, all the economic activity and transport dwindled and decayed, and today the Loire has largely returned to a wild state, though the surrounding architectures are still reminders of long-gone eras.

In the west, on its way to Nantes, the Loire enters Bretagne (French Brittany), the home of the black metal band Hanternoz and the two people who collaborate in it — Hyvermor (Véhémence, Grylle, Régiment) and Sparda (Créatures, Cataèdes). Their newest work as Hanternoz, an album named Au Fleuve de Loire, is a tribute to the great river, one presented in many ways, “from the natural point of view of endangered species to the many drowned souls it carries, from the Industrial Era and mechanization to the medieval history, from the fishing industry (viewed from the fishes’ point of view!) to the memories of the lyricist’s childhood”.

The album will be released by Antiq Records on May 3rd. Two songs from the album have been previously revealed, and today we present a third one — “Bateliers de Loire“. Continue reading »

Apr 112021
 

 

To the extent writing about music matters at all as a form of guidance, it clearly matters more in the case of complete albums or EPs than single tracks. Particularly when a writer is as verbose as I am, it doesn’t take much more time to just listen to a song than to read some goofball’s frothy impressions of it. But it obviously takes a much bigger investment of time for a listener to absorb an album or EP, and so getting some kind of overview can be useful, at least if you trust who’s providing it.

Therefore, the fact that I’m not providing a completely comprehensive overview of the six records collected here (all of them released between late March and last week) is a miserable failure. Much as I hate to be so brief, I’ve still attempted to at least give you a flavor of what each album brings. Given my time constraints, the alternative might be to say nothing about them at all, which I guess might be even worse.

FROSTNATT (Russia)

Frostnatt‘s debut album Det kommer til å bli kaldt, which follows a run of EPs that began in 2019, is a largely instrumental work (with a scattering of vocal samples and a few harsh expulsions) that’s both rugged and scintillating, combining primitive, earthquaking percussive rhythms and brilliantly vibrant ringing melodies of varying moods that stick in the head like hot spikes, plus a well-placed and sublime piano piece. And thus it generates an unusual shamanistic spell, delivering primal, visceral punch as well as ancient and mystical atmosphere, enhanced by moments of poignant beauty and piercing heartache. My favorite track: “Til sydpolplatået“. Continue reading »

Apr 112021
 

 

As I roamed through new music yesterday, searching for what to include in this collection, the following quintet of advance tracks and the EP I’ve put at the end all fell into place naturally. When you hear them, I think you’ll understand why.

As the title of the post suggests, I do plan to include a second installment today — which will be an effort to highlight a selection of complete albums I’ve been meaning to say something about for weeks.

FYRNASK (Germany)

My opening choice is a video that presents a stunning marriage of sights and sounds. The music alone is an intense, almost overwhelming spectacle, one that’s nightmarish and hallucinatory, a seeming manifestation of possession. At first it’s as if Frynask have led us into a chilling realm of anguished wraiths, and from there we become immersed in ravaging turmoil. Continue reading »

Apr 102021
 

 

I made the choices for this large round-up after a long listening session on Wednesday, with the idea of writing it up and posting it the next day. But we had so many other things to post that day and Friday that I deferred. Of course, in the meantime a lot of other worthy new songs and videos surfaced, but I decided to just stick with these selections rather than go back to the drawing board, which would have taxed my already over-taxed brain.

I couldn’t really figure out a good way to organize these songs, though I think I picked most of them because they have a through-line of being unsettling and mind-bending, albeit in different ways. I did include a bit of a curveball at the end.

INFERNO (Czechia)

As I wrote here only a week ago, I was blown away by the first advance track from Inferno’s new album, Paradeigma (Phosphenes of Aphotic Eternity), which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on May 7th. Given the prodigious power of this band’s previous output (which now encompasses a quarter-century of releases), I can’t say I was surprised, but I was still bowled over. And now it has happened again. Continue reading »