Abyssal Throne is now in stores. On Monday, May 4th, Nethertale is releasing an average album, a supposed conceptual work of some appeal to mainstream metal fans in the vein of technical wanking death metal, which is accompanied by a soon to be released novel written by its own vocalist. A run-of-the-mill work of a band that will bring more of the same to please the crowds of metal posers. Available now in Tipo stores, Leyenda rock, Pentagram and Loita underground … Surrender to the Commercial Mainstream!
Luciferian Rites play black metal in a style that at first calls to mind middle-period Graveland. The hand-strum technique outlining chords is also in line with Immortal’s At the Heart of Winter and less obviously with Burzum’s technique. Immortal haunts this monument of an album in its most aggressive parts, but it is the commanding voice of Fudali that we hear echoing through the halls. Once the first impression has passed and the inventory of recognizable influences has been done, though, the individual beauty slowly comes out. It does not reveal itself, as this is very subtle music. It is the listener that must tune in, must hang on to the song, the album, and hear as every inseparable and utterly dependent — and necessary — part of its construction works together to create the transcendental black metal experience.
Drums play an incredibly important role here, lending an eloquence not even Immortal or Graveland, from whom Luciferian Rites borrow their musical language, show. The Achilles’ Heel of When the Light Dies is that songs start and end in strong statements that only serve as such because nothing comes before or after them, respectively. After a song starts, though, it is carried through a seamless transition of sections whose single riffs appear to be the most simple but that brought together create a magnificent super-riff. This could go on and serve as the song itself, but the band will often take a break in the middle, only long enough so that it counts as one. Unlike most other bands who use this structure, Luciferian Rites does not do this as a means to restart a song that has ran out of gas. Instead, in this brief moment the listener’s attention is brought back from the stupor of the first part of the song into conscious focus, only to renew the journey.
Some will say this album is seen in a positive light on this site because it adheres to old school precepts. Simple-minded people prefer simple explanations, it relieves them from the burden of having to think analytically. The truth is much more complex. Luciferian Rites excels in the subtle art of coherent, sensible, and purposeful composition, independently of the style. In their effort to find simple explanations and excuses not to have to face judgement and challenge their own views and the status quo, composition choice is equated to musical style. To some degree this is true, some styles have been built upon essentially flawed concepts (see Deathcore). But it is not true to the extent that we excuse bad composition by calling it stylistic difference, because “we are just different, but no one is superior”. This misplaced humanitarian impulse drives art to starvation and highlights gimmick and novelty acts as the masses of casual listeners turn their heads towards momentary satisfaction.
When the Light Dies is a strong candidate to the Mexican metal pantheon, standing in quality besides the best of legendary countrymen Avzhia and Cenotaph. Calling to mind the sensibility of Ancient’s Svartalvheim, Luciferian Rite’s sophomore release expertly builds on the classic works, sweeping aside accusations of retro-worship in a confident gesture of originality.
Compared to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy most films appear to simply be extended commercials with music videos for the emotional parts. Telling the story of Soviet infiltration of the British secret services through an interlocking series of clues, this film takes the approach that Agatha Christie might use for one of her cerebral murder cases and applies it instead to international espionage. It will never outsell The Avengers because in this film, every detail is part of the mechanism that builds up to an intense finale for its ultimate revelation. Even more damning, themes in this movie illustrate human narcissism, how the West was destroyed by the same individualistic self-interest that made it strong, and the importance of honor, loyalty and truthfulness.
Gary Oldman stars as John le Carré’s character George Smiley, modulated from the outsider nerd in the book to a methodical and highly analytical man who finds much of society around him to be short-sighted and erroneous. Like the best characters from literature, he endures civilization as it is but upholds it as it is at its best, creating a worldview that would approve of the mythological analysis of the human soul as found in Slayer lyrics or the darker days of grindcore. Exiled from his position at MI6 because of his refusal to endorse a new and magical source of Soviet secrets, and passed over by those who built careers on it, Smiley hunts for a “mole” or double-agent who is compromising British intelligence whenever it tries to operate in enemy territory. Unlike those who have taken over his former role, he searches through the type of logical analysis and study of the relationship between details that made sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, Hercule Poirot, the Continental Op, Phillip Marlowe and Miss Jane Marple legends in their field.
Sadly for most modern audiences, this film requires attention. No detail is spurious and every scene follows from the systematic and interlocking pursuit of details. In addition, the filmmakers layer that story with parallel themes of love and loss, loyalty and motivation, and strength of character versus the tendency to appeal to pleasant but erroneous notions that receive the aplomb of journalists, politicians and the faceless voting masses. While its logicality deserves praise, the emotionality of this film in bringing out the loneliness of its characters and the equal isolation of the struggle for truth, as not a motivator but a shaper and revelation of personality, enhances a solid story into an epic one. The acting is brilliant without being self-absorbed — no one in this film looks like they are acting, or resembles other characters they have played in other films — and the soundtrack is minimal and on point, the cinematography both bleak and elegant, and the directing and editing show a perfect sense of timing that both preserves atmosphere and cuts out anything but the powerful. Of the films made in the 2010s, this will either be the best or in the top three, because movies this intense rarely come along at a rate of more than a handful per generation.
German Death/Thrash Metal outfit Dying Humanity just released the first music video for “I Am King” from their upcoming album Deadened. The new album will be released on Bastardized Recordings June 12. Stay tuned for more details. Dying Humanity also documented their recording experience in the form of a pair of video studio diaries.
Demoncy’s new release: Empire of the Fallen Angel (Eternal Black Dominion) is set for international release onJune 29th on both CD and vinyl LP formats via Forever Plagued Records. Although originally released in 2003 after years of mysterious silence, the renamed Empire of the Fallen Angel (Eternal Black Dominion) is an entirely new recording. Whereas the original 2003 album was recorded with a full band lineup, this Empire of the Fallen Angel (Eternal Black Dominion) was recorded solely by Demoncy founder Ixithra, with the first four tracks being entirely new compositions.
Tengger Cavalry is a band from Mongolia whose main selling point is that they make extensive use of Mongolian traditional instruments in a metal context. Now, it may be that I am prejudiced both towards East Asian metal and the prominent use of folkloric music in metal, but there are statistical reasons for that. East Asians are not known for their originality in metal (not only…). And very often, when a band sells itself mainly because it uses traditional instruments we can smell the stink of gimmick all over it. Some kind of prejudice is based on the probability of an event given our experience. Sometimes enough experience justifies the validity of this probability. And sometimes we may find ourselves erring in our prejudice. But Tengger Cavalry are not the exception, they are the rule.
The “metal” element in this music is provided through a Rammstein-styled modern stadium heavy rock, a little ala Rob Zombie. The rest is comprised of simple, repetitive melodies played on folk instruments that are never developed . Decorations are provided by different kinds of instruments, while the Rammstein element is used as a backbone. This would work very well as a soundtrack for Arcade machine slasher games, providing a momentary sugar-high with no lasting nutritional value.
The production value here is necessarily very high quality. The music is incredibly catchy and all the same irrelevant, placing Blood Sacrifice Shaman in the same category of embarrassingly cartoonish party-rock-pretending-to-be-metal as late Chthonic and Babymetal. Recommended as T.V. commercial jingles for on-line games and such.
CVLT Nation is very proud to present the seventh covers compilation of their CVLT Nation Sessions series with AMEBIX’ Arise! This reinterpretation of a genre-defining classic is up for exclusive streaming and free download via CVLTNation.com, and features Plagues, Abstracter, Druglust, Coltsblood, American, Agrimonia, Okus and Larvae! These young musicians have done astounding tributes to one of the most iconic bands in punk and metal history.
Check it out at THIS LOCATION.
The CVLT Nation Sessions is a musical project with the aim of reinterpreting iconic music that has influenced a wide spectrum of genres, while also widening the audience for the participating bands. CVLT Nation has recruited some of its favorite underground heavy bands from around the world to record covers for free distribution and download via CVLTNation.com. All mastering is done by Black Matter Mastering in Nashville, Tennessee.
AMEBIX Arise! – The CVLT Nation Sessions Track Listing:
1. Plagues – The Moor
2. Plagues – Axeman
3. Abstracter – Fear of God
4. Drug Lust – Largactyl
5. Coltsblood – Drink and Be Merry
6. American – Spoils of Victory
7. Agrimonia – Arise!
8. Okus – Slave
9. Larvae – The Darkest Hour
Antigama dispatches their seventh full-length studio album, The Insolent in the coming days. This all transpires just one week before the band makes their long-awaited return to American soil for their East Coast tour with Selfmadegod Records lablemates, Drugs Of Faith, including the band’s second time attending Maryland Deathfest.
Recorded in February at JNS Studio in Warsaw, The Insolent was engineered by Pawel Grabowski, mixed by Pawel Grabowski and the band, mastered by Scott Hull at Visceral Sound in Bethesda, Maryland (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed), and features a guest appearance by the legendary Polish electronic artist Władysław “Gudonis” Komendarek.
Orders for The Insolent are available on cassette, eco-pack/gatefold digisleeve CD, black 12″ gatefold LP, and a translucent 12″ gatefold LP, limited to 100 copies worldwide. All four versions are now available internationally from Selfmadegod HERE and in the US via Selfmadegod’s stateside mailorder outlet, Earsplit Distro, RIGHT HERE.
Antigama tour the East Coast US Tour w/ Drugs Of Faith:
- 5/13/2015 Nihil Gallery – Brooklyn, NY w/ The Communion, Buckshot Facelift [info]
- 5/14/2015 The Funky Jungle – Providence, RI w/ The Communion, Eaten, Feedback [info]
- 5/15/2015 Clash Bar – Clifton, NJ @ Mildfest w/ The Communion, Organ Dealer, Pink Mass, more [info]
- 5/16/2015 Second Empire – Philadelphia, PA w/ Infernal Stronghold, Past Tense [info]
- 5/17/2015 Smash! – Washington, DC w/ Ampallang Infection, Blockhead [info]
- 5/18/2015 Cellar Door – Annandale, VA w/ Earthling, Blooddrunk Trolls [info]
- 5/19/2015 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA w/ High Priest, Empty Hands [info]
- 5/20/2015 Main Street Annex – Charlottesville, VA w/ Earthling, Blooddrunk Trolls [info]
- 5/23/2015 Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest [no Drugs of Faith] [info]
You can follow Antigama on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/antigama
The history of Western music did not begin in the baroque period. A continuous musical tradition can be traced back at least as far as the early middle ages and this music itself has links to the musical traditions of ancient Greece. Much of this music fell into relative obscurity due to its notation and the anonymity of its composers, however throughout the 20th century a concerted effort on the part of scholars and performers has resulted in a revival of much of the music of the middle-ages and the renaissance. This series will present selections of music from the middle-ages and the renaissance together with some historical and philosophical background along with reflections on why it is relevant to metalheads.
The earliest medieval music that has been preserved to the present day is monophonic, that is to say it consists of a single melodic line without a harmonic accompaniment. This music has mainly been preserved in the form of the sacred chants of both the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The chants associated with the Catholic church are relatively well known to Western ears as Gregorian chant, whereas the chants of the Orthodox church are less familiar.
From a purely technical standpoint these pieces are interesting due to their use of different modes (scales) and the fact that they focus on pure melody, rather than using melodic lines that conform to a harmonic structure. This approach will not be entirely unfamiliar to metal listeners given that death metal in particular tends to utilise melodic lines which are not rooted to a particular harmonic scheme. From an artistic standpoint these chants are also of interest to metal listeners. Their contemplative and reverent nature speaks to a mentality more aligned with metal than with modern incarnations of Christianity and suggest an understanding of that religion which has long since been forgotten.
The following is an example of Byzantine chant (the chant of the Greek Orthodox Church). Note that it utilises a vocal drone which is not entirely static but moves away from and returns to the tonic note of the mode in order to create tension and resolution. This technique may be considered a predecessor of modern harmony but the music is still essentially focused on melodic material.
Boston-Quebec old-school technical death metalers Zealotry have announced that Alex Zalatan (Inhumatus) will be joining their ranks as the band’s permanent drummer. Zalatan will be in charge of percussion duties for Zealotry’s upcoming sophomore release, The Last Witness. Besides mastermind Roman Temin, Zealotry’s line up also includes Phil Tougas, single member of the project Chthe’ilist, on lead guitars.
Zealotry have made the following announcement on their facebook page:
It is with great pleasure that we announce today that for the first time in our history Zealotry has a permanent drummer.
Alex Zalatan, also of Inhumatus, Cymatics and Burial Moss.
Alex will be performing on our upcoming second album The Last Witness and any future shows we play. We’re very excited abut having someone of his considerable talents behind the drum kit for us.
A demo of what is to come in the second album was uploaded in 2014 and can be heard here.