Nov 152012

In this post are four new things I saw and heard today.  I saw and heard other things today, such as the sight of the Sun (which is worth reporting, given that it’s November in Seattle) and the explosive sound of my own voice when I put weight on my fucked-up ankle the wrong way. That was about as close as I’ve ever come to thinking I could do vocals for a black metal band.

Well, as painful as it is for me to say this, “enough about me”. Here are new videos from Beyond Creation (Canada), Welicoruss (Russia), and Beastwars (New Zealand). The Welicoruss and Beastwars songs are also brand new and will appear on forthcoming albums. But first . . . the debut of a remastered song from . . .


As you may know, Relapse Records has been re-issuing remastered editions of albums by Death. The latest is the band’s 1990 record, Spiritual Healing. This is a two-disc release, with the first one featuring a complete remaster of the original album and the second one including 16 previously unreleased rehearsal recordings, outtakes, and studio instrumentals. If you spring for the limited edition digipack, you’ll also get a third CD of a never-before-released live set recorded in 1990. And if you download the album from iTunes, you’ll get 5 previously unreleased pre-Human rehearsal tracks that aren’t included on either of the CD versions.

Well, enough with the free advertising. The reason I’m writing about Death today is that today Guitar World premiered one of the remastered tracks from Spiritual Healing: “Altering the Future”. You can hear that after the jump, along with the remastered version of “Living Monstrosity”, which appeared earlier. Continue reading »

Jul 262012

While browsing the interhole this morning in an effort to find something that would cheer me up in the wake of learning about the cancellation of the Gojira-LambOfGod-Dethklok tour, I happened upon two new videos that helped considerably. By coincidence, both involve bands whose new music carries an air of dark symphonic grandeur, while inflicting vicious body blows at the same time: Diabolical (Sweden) and Welicoruss (Russia).


Diabolical are a Swedish death metal band with three studio albums and a live recording (2011’s Ars Vitae) to their credit. They’re now in the process of recording a new album entitled Neogenesis. Today, they released a video that includes pre-production excerpts from a few of the new songs, and the music is sounding really fucken good.

The music is a dark kind of melodic death metal, frequently with a black metal sheen. Whether galloping at a furious pace or stomping with imperial might, it’s infernally majestic. The vocals are deep and bestial and the riffing is titanic. But the band also spin sweeping melodies, and they leaven the blasting with soft spaces that include the mournful sound of violins. Through the guitars, subtle keyboard additions, and even choral clean voices, they also create a symphonic aura around this very ominous and apocalyptic metal.

The new video teaser also features a dude who looks like he took in a few too many roentgens somewhere. Continue reading »

Dec 282011

Last night and this morning I saw two new music videos that made an impression. By chance, both bands are from Russia — Impact Fuze and Welicoruss. Though the videos could hardly be more different from each other, both musically and visually, joining them together here just struck me as the right thing to do (and I haven’t even been hitting the vodka) — two sides of a Russian coin: the urban and the rural, the new and the old, a forest of skyscrapers and a forest of pines, the bustle of mechanization and a clash of swords.


TheMadIsraeli sent me a link to this band’s video for a song called “Moscow”. Impact Fuze consists of three extremely talented musicians — guitarist Fedor Dosumov, bass-player Anton Davidyants, and a French drummer named Damien Schmitt. “Moscow” isn’t really metal. The musical style is closer to jazz/rock fusion, but the performances are so extraordinary that I couldn’t resist this video.

Dosumov’s guitar playing reaches jaw-dropping levels of dexterity and creativity, reminding me of great ones like Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, and Alex Skolnick (when he’s performing with his Trio). Schmitt is equally amazing, especially when he’s on his feet, hitting the skins while spinning like a top. And Davidyants is a match for them on the bass, bounding but tight as a drumhead.

The black-and-white video for the song is also an amazing achievement. It was produced and directed by Vladimir “voff” Youdanov, Tamara Cengic, and a team from a company called Voffilms. The imagery moves as fast as the performers, with time-lapse film of modern Moscow on the move interspersed with a visual kaleidoscope of the band performing the song. It’s an inspired union of music and film, one of the best videos I’ve seen all year. Continue reading »