NINE SONGS I LIKED THIS WEEK IN LIST FORM APR 2 – APR 8
Hey all, back from a week off because, well, I needed a week off. Had the honor and privilege of meeting some of the wonderful souls I have been writing about/talking with online for the last million years, so that was nice. The world effectively falling apart is less nice. But, whatever. Music and all that. Be sure to check the two premieres I went ahead and blurted out this week: the amazing new album from Tunisian experimental black metal project Ayyur, and a new track from noise artist Mouth Wound. Both incredible, trust me.
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1. Alkymist – "I Shall Lay on the Pine Needle Floor" (Black Metal – Independent). It's been much too long since the excellent black metal project Alkymist released, well, anything at all. So long, in fact, that I had to rummage all the way to the ole FB page to find my post about the stellar Wreckage of the Raging World. And while a loose track isn't really what I had in mind after so long a wait, a loose track this fucking good will just have to do. Atmospheric, ruthless, symphonic, beautifully paced and creative black metal of the highest order. Now, if we could just get a whole album? Please? FFO: The Ruins of Beverast, Esoctrilihum, Agalloch.
2. Gnaw Their Tongues – "The Sacrificial Dance," from Rituel des Ancêtres (Avant-Garde Metal – Burning World Records / Roadburn Records). I'm a simple man. All you need to make me happy is to get two of the most fertile, brilliant minds in extreme music and get them to create a monumental piece of music inspired by Igor Stravinsky's uncanny The Rites of Spring. That's it. On this absolutely stunning creation you get both Maurice de Jong (Gnaw Their Tongues, Hagitesse, The Sombre, Cloak of Altering, etc) and Déhà (Acathexis, Silver Knife, Slow, Wolvennest, etc) each spilling their enormous brains all over the canvas of our minds. This is from the Mories side, but, really, treat yourself to both as you sip red wine and watch a city burn. FFO: Watching cities burn.
3. Wytch Hazel – "Angel of Light," from IV: Sacrament (Heavy Metal – Bad Omen Records). One of my favorite, and, honestly, very few heavy metal bands I follow are back spewing their putrid sunny positivity all over your dim faces. Gotta say, not a huge fan of the drum sound here, but, as always Wytch Hazel brings it with that amazing double-guitar harmonies to get you to your steed very quickly before you go on some quest or some shit, I don't actually know how this works. Just they are among the absolute best at what they do. Away! FFO: Iron Maiden? I guess?
4. Tsjuder – "Gods of Black Blood," from Helvegr (Black Metal – Seasons of Mist). The modern masters of that little thing called Norwegian black metal are back, with their absolute best artwork to date (just look at that thing!) and some nasty, nasty tunes. Their first album without the chops of the legendary Antichristian, they nonetheless do quite OK with the drumming machine known as Jon Rice. This is, without a doubt, the kind of black metal you can measure up with the, shall we say, orthodox golden standard, but, as with anything Tsjuder, it just fucking slays. FFO: Funeral Mist, Gorgoroth.
5. Esoctrilihum – "Lunḁḁr Phalanx of Ω Draco," from Astraal Constellations of the Majickal Zodiac (Black Metal – I, Voidhanger Records). Speaking of brilliant and prolific (I'm pretty sure I've written those words at some point already), the French phenom and wellspring of never-ending black metal is back with a gargantuan new album. And, judging from the first couple of tracks, there's every reason to expect all that we have expected from the Esoc-Wizard-Man: Relentless ferocity, melodic dynamism, and pure insanity. FFO: Esoctrilihum?
6. Godflesh – "Nero," from Purge (Industrial Metal – Avalanche Recordings). Well, here it is, finally, the first Godflesh track from the first Godflesh album in a very long time. And, true to form, it sounds like motherfucking Godflesh + the production sounds crystal clear and yet still somehow scary as all hell. Not much to say here but to play this one into the ground. FFO: Motherfucking Godflesh.
7. Coil Cloud – "From the Shadowy Towers of the Empty Orbits," from Towers of the Empty Orbits (Atmospheric Black Metal / Post-Rock – Pest Productions). I have never heard of this Dutch band/project, but oh boy I am hearing them now. Strongly. Atmospheric black metal that sounds luscious and beautiful to the point of the clean guitars sounding like a mix of post-rock, screamo, and, yes, even surf. Above all, however, it's just a stunningly beautiful thing. Here's me calling this to, at least, the atmospheric section of the year-end list. WOW. FFO: Envy, Rosetta, Deafheaven.
8. Vulvanic – "Who's the Skin Taker," from ブラックエンジェルの色合い / 秘密の夜の殺人者 (Raw Black Metal – Sentient Ruin Laboratories). Black metal so mean, so nasty, so disgusting that, at times it sounds like anything from an abstract noise project to the grinding mayhem of bands like, say, Swarrrm. All of which is to say this sounds like someone vomiting into my eyes, in the absolutely best way possible. Otherworldly, weird, and tremendous. FFO: Vomiting in people's eyes.
9. Burning Palace – "Ornaments of Bone," from Cimmerian Altars // Ornaments of Bone (Dissonant Death Metal – Total Dissonance Worship). Not a new album, a couple of new tracks, but both super strong and interesting, for different reasons. I chose this one because I felt like my head being stabbed repeatedly by electric guitars and that's precisely what you get here. A lot of moving parts, a ton of transitions, and all balanced perfectly to create one manic, unstoppable, and, ultimately, grand and emotional experience. Superb. FFO: Teeth, Aenigmatum, Nothingness.
FIVE MORE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
ONE: Chaos Echoes put some CD copies of their great Tone of Things to Come. Here.
TWO: Portrayal of Guilt are releasing a new album, and have put out this brilliant short film + music from said album.
THREE: Xasthur announced a new double album.
FOUR: It's my first time out of the country in almost four years. It's nice, but your American food is giving me constant heartburn.
FIVE: Yes, Spider God did release an EP of black metal renditions of classic ad jingles.
ONE LAST THING, PROMISE: Ulver are reissuing the amazing, the brilliant Blood Inside.