Eulogy Reissues Discography On The Essence/Dismal LP/CD

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Florida death metal band Eulogy re-issued their discography as a limited edition CD and vinyl album on Dark Symphonies Records last year. The recording features the The Essence EP (1993) which is both heavily bootlegged and even more insanely overpriced than normal on eBay, and the 1992 demo “Dismal.” Both releases have been remastered from the original analog tapes.

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Thevetat releases Desecration of Divine Presence

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Thevetat (ex-Ceremonium) has unleashed its most recent record Desecration of Divine Presence on vinyl for metalheads who like the kind of immersive, cavernous death metal and black metal that Incantation, Profanatica and Immolation made famous. The band issued the following press release:

Another day to spread death! Clearly, it is evident this effort attracts a vile kind. Good deeds unpunished… Fellow wolves, send a message to this page for your orders.
Two color variations are available.
Experience the madness.
There is much minded from beasts. Ave Satani.

Some people need a reminder. “Desecration of Divine Presence” is available now and orders are being taken on this page. This is merciless death devoted to the end of the world. Make your desires known to the devil. Speak for the dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Obsequiae Premieres In The Absence Of Light

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Obsequiae, Minnesota’s organic, medieval metal outfit, is preparing for the release of their sophomore LP, Aria Of Vernal Tombs, through 20 Buck Spin later this month. While the anxiously awaited album is already reaping critical pre-release acclaim, the physical embodiments of the record has been very slightly delayed, so in response, the band and label have issued another new passage of glorious audio from the platter to the masses. American Aftermath has lent their assistance in issuing In The Absence Of Light through an exclusive premiere from Obsequiae’s Aria Of Vernal Tombs.

You can listen to In the Absence of Light on Soundcloud.

Obsequiae’s debut, Suspended in the Brume of Eos, was featured on DMU’s best of 2011 album selections.

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Torchure re-issues The Essence on Vic Records

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German death metal band Torchure has re-issued its second album, The Essence, on Vic Records. The album was produced by S.L. Coe of Scanner and Angel Dust and comes with very special liner notes, rare pictures and two re-mastered unreleased tracks as bonus.

Torchure formed in 1985 and released three demo tapes before unleashing their debut album through German underground metal label 1MF. Their debut, Beyond the Veil (1992), showed a style of death metal with origins in heavy metal that nonetheless managed to be both intense and moody. Torchure toured Europe to support Sepultura and Pestilence. After the tour founding members and brothers Andreas (guitars) and Thorsten (bass) Reissdorf died in a car accident. The band decided to go on and found two new members who were also brothers and with this new lineup recorded their second album, The Essence (1993).

Vic Records re-issued the Torchure debut Beyond the Veil in 2013 as reported previously. The reissue of The Essence seems to have received much the same treatment with bonus tracks, expanded booklet and a jewel case CD instead of digipak. The reissue can be ordered from Vic Records directly.

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The Ouroborean Circle declares its presence

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Metal spills over into other areas of life. Every person has a philosophy, and if they are attracted to metal, it is that personal worldview that drives them toward it and not the other way around, although certainly metal further informs that worldview. As a result, metal finds similarity in other ideals that generally seek truth instead of seeking social approval.

For this reason, society has always feared heavy metal. Society is based on control, which is based on the idea of creating a “truth” which manipulates people. This fake truth is to some degree necessary to keep people doing the things required for us all to survive, but over time it becomes tempting for those in control to skim off the top. To do this, they expand the fake truth to obligate people to do stuff that benefits the people in control.

In the 1960s, metal gave the finger to both the establishment and the hippies who were basically preaching a watered-down version of the fake truth in vogue in that era. In the 1990s, metal gave the finger to the vision of us all happily getting along. And now in the 2010s, metal may be giving the finger to the idea of society itself. This document recently appeared in our unpublished staff-only address:

INDULGE

Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence!

  • Indulgence is a model of pleasure seeking activity.
  • Empirical pleasure must exist in contrast to self-destruction if it is to be quantified in the context of carnality.
  • Consumption of repetitive experience is a pathology, not indulgence.

This group will not be for the slaves, but the masters. It will draw lines and cause anger.

Membership is open and expressive. ID cards will be available soon.

[illegible] humans do not entry.

I have written back to the email address provided and await a response, although probably I am not elite enough to qualify for membership or even a ten-question interview. Whether this is fallout from the Cobalt debacle or not remains to be seen.

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Sorcier des Glaces – The Puressence of Primitive Forests

Six song preview from the new album:

The record label says:

Sorcier des Glaces has finally finished recording its third album called “The puressence of primitive forests” that will be released on July 25th on Mankind’s demise records. A limited edition of 100 copies will include “Snowland” (original master) as a second CD. – Mankind’s Demise

This is part of the band’s triptych:

We can officially confirm that a third opus is in the making. So there are
going to be 3 new chapters in the Sorcier Des Glaces’ saga. The first one
is “The Puressence of Primitive Forests”, expect a release date in July
2011 on the Quebec label Mankind’s Demise Records. A cover song will be
featured on the album, our version of Hungary’s TORMENTOR “Tormentor I” (we
covered the first version of that song, originally appeared on “The 7th Day
of Doom” in 1987). Mankind’s Demise will also release a limited 2CD edition of the album that will include a remastered version of our first album (1998′ Snowland). I
know that the album has never been officially available, we’ve been asked
so many times for that so now this is your chance!

We wish to make the second album (“North”) available not too far after
“Puressence…”, all depends on how things will turn out.

Concerning the third and final chapter, it’s actually in the making, all
songs are composed and some parts are already recorded as I write these
lines. It will be called “Ritual of the End”. Hopefully we will record
three cover songs too for that album, 3 bands that are very influential for
Sorcier Des Glaces’ sound and material since the beginning. Here are the
projected track-listing of the album:

1- Under the Moonlight
2- Morbid Ritual
3- Snowland
4- The Frozen sword of Midnight
5- The sign of the End
6- Slumbering in the Dark (outro)

Expect the three releases to be total Cold Primitive music! In our opinion
far better than everything we have done in the past (Snowland in 1998 and
Moonrise in Total Darkness in 1999). Everything gets darker, colder,
primal…. engulfed in a sombre melancholic atmosphere. Some riffs are very
old, composed even before our first album!
As for the split mini-album with Québec’s MONARQUE, no release date yet but
It will certainly be in the first half of 2011. It will feature 4 exclusive
Sorcier Des Glaces songs (2 new songs, a cover and a remake of “The Night
Throne” from the Snowland album) they will not be featured on any of the 3
upcoming albums… – Sorcier des Glaces

The band has also release a complete MP3 of one song from the new album, “…Et les Anges périrent sous la Neige.”

Download it (MP3, 7mb) or watch:

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Matter/Form; Surface/Structure; Instance/Essence

I love cosmic music. When downtrodden 1970s Germany had to re-invent itself, it came up with this devotional, esoteric, futuristic, reverent and hopeful music.

Cluster – Zuckerzeit

This is one of those albums that gets pointed out to you by the sage music veteran in a corner at an impromptu house party. “Yeah, you like Tangerine Dream and Eno? Try this out. It’s the real deal. A big improvement over those.” So you get it from your record store or favorite blogspot, and throw it on the speakers, and listen. What will strike you quickly is how aesthetically powerful and diverse this is. Each song picks a different set of sounds, and as a result, stands apart from the others. How they did this with 1970s technology I will probably never know, but I can imagine it involved hours of painstaking work. You will not find this breadth of richness of experience and variety on a Tangerine Dream album, and Fripp/Eno loses its surface shine in comparison. For this reason alone, I can see why so many people swear by this album. For those who like mid-1990s ambient, you can hear how this album must have been a major influence on Aphex Twin and clearly was on Electric Company. The same zen for many different perspectives on the same object applies. However, all the effort went into the surface: melodic development is near non-existent, and song structures are linear or cyclic but embrace no particular narrative and go really nowhere. The result is a listening experience that’s all on the surface and misses the real point of music, which is composition: writing melodies and fitting them into songs that sound like the profound truth of some experience. “Zuckerzeit” doesn’t hold a candle to Tangerine Dream or Fripp/Eno in this regard. Those august composers can show the same view of many different experiences, while Cluster resort to many perspectives of what is essentially the same underlying experience.

Ash Ra Tempel – Inventions for Electric Guitar

This is another album favored by insiders. Unlike many of the more keyboard oriented sounds of the 1970s, this is pure guitar noise. Hazy, beautiful guitar noise in long sprawling compositions. At least a thousand notes get played on each, it seems, and the styles vary in a deep tapestry from fast and furious to slow and bluesy. You can see every part of the whole that is our modern world embedded in this album. Unfortunately, it’s also a surface treatment; these songs are wholly linear. Ash Ra Tempel have mastered the aesthetics of the cosmic bands and in fact best them in that regard, but have not plumbed the underlying composition. These songs use the right type of simple infective melody, both cheerful and slightly melancholic, and build intensity in the way way as a Tangerine Dream song with lots of chaotic noise harmonizing, but there’s nowhere to go. Songs gradually get more intense and then fade away. They resemble nothing, whether objects in reality or in the mind; their experience is evident from the first note and as the last falls, is fulfilled but without surprise and thus depth. At some point, it becomes clear that Ash Ra Tempel make these songs from a pastiche of influences taken to a new aesthetic extreme, but there may be no content, which is why this release falls short of the true cosmic bands.

Your local hipsters will not understand the points made in this article. Good — the Dunning-Kruger effect triumphs again.

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Analysis of Darkthrone’s “Neptune Towers”

“Neptune Towers” is a song from Darkthrone’s death metal album, Soulside Journey. In this song the artist’s goal is to paint an alien landscape and tell a story, by intertwining riffs and lyrics until they reach an eldritch keyboard climax, which leaves the listener with a sense of awe for the unknown.

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Analysis of Suffocation’s “Catatonia”

By the time “Despise The Sun” was released, Suffocation were on top of the Death metal world and had at this point already influenced the rising slam and brutal Death metal styles that would inundate and signal the downfall of the whole genre as the technicality and the percussive nature of the music would be the focal point rather than the incredible songwriting present. This short EP would prove to be the band’s final charge as they would soon break up only to reform a few years later but without Doug Cerrito, the band drifted off into mediocrity and tired attempts at pleasing the deathcore crowd. Catatonia was initially on the Human Waste EP and showed a band that was composing music far beyond the maturity of the individual band members. In the same way as heroes Morbid Angel, Suffocation took songs from the initial recorded output and expanded on it for later works. Both versions of the song are nearly identical and vary only in performance and production.

Introduction and initial motif

A drum intro quickly introduces a simple descending chromatic riff that focuses on pounding the root note on the first beat of every bar as the fast-picked notes rush towards the root note. The drums crash around until finding stability as Frank Mullen’s harsh guttural roar enters and the riff soon leaves for another minimalist power chord sequence that eschews the root note to create an almost atonal melody that resolves first on a minor third then on a major third and quickly finds the root note before evolving into a stream of single notes. These single notes move the composition to a twisted sense of stability as they utilize a consonant leap in octaves but moving through the diminished fifth to form a chromatic ascent. The melody relies on two octave chords but through the added use of dissonant notes it avoids complacency in familiar territory and seeks to explore the possibilities that are now open. In typical Suffocation fashion the melody is moved up a major third as it progresses before ending on the composition’s main motif. The main motif starts with a flow of simple palm muted power chords half a tone higher than the root note which Morbid Angel popularized so that the static progression still creates tension by refusing to return to a place of comfort and stubbornly maintaining its place. This motif is then followed by the ending of the previous section but moved down a whole tone. This returns the composition to stability and allows the band to play with all those previously introduced. A second ending to the riff appears and is almost chromatic but resides within Suffocation’s vicious sense of melody.

Force fed immobilization
Man made liquid controlling my limbs
I want to die, no reason for living
Dealing with complications life brings
A corpse with no thoughts
No feelings or perceptions of life
The pleasures of death I foresee
Nightmares and day mares combining
To torture my being – This torture inhibits my life

Here the lyrics present a victim that has been held in total captivity with no control over his body as he forced to remain in a state of artificial nothingness. The narrator has nothing binding him to life as his psyche is destroyed, and he seeks to attain death as he is burdened by this form of torture. The harsh rhythms combined with the oppressing sense of melody evoke flawlessly how the narrator has been beaten down mercilessly into nothing. The previous single note melody appears in its entirety and this time allows us to delve further into the narrator’s mind.

The world is a graveyard of fools left to cope
With the torment and regret of man now deceased
Ghouls are released to destroy the race
Which we call human beings

Development(1:30)

Humanity has sealed its fate with its actions and there is nothing left to do nor to mourn as mankind is about to be destroyed. The C# root note is suddenly established in this section that appears suddenly with a riff comprised of a speed metal gallop that uses various tremolo melodies as a tail. The whole passage uses no chromatic tones or anything deviating from the natural minor scale allowing a new set of motifs to take dominance in the composition as the previous slow parts had achieved their maximum potential. The first part of the melody consists of a three-note progression played in staccato while dispersed by the endless charge of the low string and uses the major third which has always been an undervalued foundation upon which Suffocation rely on. The major third is the base for Suffocation’s twisted sense of melody and disappeared from the band when Doug Cerrito left and the motifs became much less interesting. The tremolo picked sections of this riff are descending minor thirds arpeggios hinting towards the narrator’s sadness.

Existence is torn from my soul
Perdition is what is believed to be seen
Suffering from the inside
Nefarious is the way
You choose to be – Left with no will to live
My intestinal wall begins to cave in
Trapped as they say
I begin to rot here as I lay

Let us note Frank Mullen’s maturity when comparing this vocal section on both versions on the song. In the Human Waste version, the voice is not yet fully developed and he struggles to maintain a consistent tone and output whereas on the “Despise the Sun” his gruff deep throaty aesthetic is pushed to the extreme and the fast hip hop cadence does not deter the consistency in both volume and tone. A truly remarkable development from an already great singer. Those who would emulate his deep vocals forgot to add the power that conveys the hatred he expresses and sought to reproduce the low tones through pig squeals and inhaled vocals and would sound like a parody of Mullen’s trademark growl. The protagonist is detached from reality as his body can no longer withstand the pain and accepts the end as there is no will to fight. There is no anger conveyed, just misery with no hope of redemption as the narrator awaits his death.
A tremolo picked section appears as the tension continues to increase. The melody is long and very similar to what the Norwegian bands were doing as it is extensively in the minor scale but uses adjacent tones between the more consonant ones to increase anticipation for a resolution. A slight break of half a second shifts the root note again down a whole tone as another speed metal rhythm similar to the last one is introduced. This time we are treated to two different tails as one is a fast almost chromatic power chord assault and the other is a chromatic ascent of two major thirds showing how much mileage and variation Suffocation can create through one simple technique and a strong understanding of composition. The narrator continues his attack in this passage as Mullen emphasizes the stronger beats in the phrase adding more power to the overall part.

Time to take a look
At what has begun to pass before me
Die a slow death
It now begins to take its toll

The narrator has finally closed the chapter on how humanity and himself ended in this situation and now seeks to look towards what is going
to happen in the present. Though the pain of his torture is starting to break his will.

Climax (2:26)

The initial motif as “Catatonia” is growled enters again, and though it may be the exact same riff  used in the beginning, the context is completely different as this is a passing passage that like a catapult transfers all the energy from the built-up tension to an incredibly satisfying climax that engages in all out combat as the song reaches a level that the great majority of metal bands can only imagine. The melody as excellent as it is, is nothing that hasn’t been heard at this stage of Death metal’s maturity but the context and the little rhythmic embellishments are what allows this melody to unleash more than its own potential. The first power chord which works in triggering the rest of the phrase like a set of falling dominoes, is played slightly after the beat causing the listener to lower their guard before being taken by surprise. On the other side the phrase finishes slightly early making the listener crave more. Both tools utilized during the climax make this simple melody incredibly powerful. The melody is caveman like in how it consists of a stream of alternating minor and major thirds two note arpeggios in rapid succession as they then move up and down a fourth. The legato playing which to the uninitiated means smooth and in the case of the case with minimal input from the picking hand allows the notes to be expressed cleanly without the attack of the string modifying the nature of the tone.

Scared as I lay here dead
From this infectious disease
I want to rise from here
To recover what is mine

Now in a complete twist of fate our hero through a combination of fear and the primal urgency decides to deny his fate and to what he has previously expected to happen. Though his body is destroyed and is no longer living there is an unfathomable will to atone the errors of the past and is the essence of what Suffocation conveys. Through hardships and unrelenting trials of this cold heartless world we have created, the human will is the only thing that can redeem of us and not through reason or calculated thought but by the most basic of instincts can we achieve joy in life.

Conclusion (3:02)

A solo erupts as the band turns to a more consonant melody consisting of a variation of minor third, diminished fifth, major third and ending away from the root note progression that the band had now cemented into the listener’s mind. Cryptopsy would base their classic works on the concept of a solo played on top of a consonant tremolo picked melody. The solo sees Hobbs go through a variety of techniques while confining himself in the realm of previously established motifs not to express horror but a rebirth of life or an ascendance to a higher state that signifies the protagonist’s change after the previous outburst and is optimistic of what they final outcome may be. A new riff emerges that is rebellious and defiant while summarizing succinctly the relationship between the chromaticism of the piece and the motifs taken from natural minor scale. A chromatic base that uses the chromatic ending from a previous motif while combining that with the final motif the band introduces here which is just an elemental minor scale ascent that stabilizes the insanity shown here from a musical perspective.

Abdicate your position in life
Now that you lie deceased
Rising from the tomb you own
To take what is rightfully yours

The lyrics urge the listener to give up on past glories and failures and to take control of one’s current situation and all that stops them from reaching their full potential and from that point to retrieve and regain all that belongs to them and what they deserve. Through showing a bleak world that is empty and nihilistic rather than one full of evil, Suffocation perfectly demonstrate their understanding of the real evils of our world and not through mundane examples but through a febrile imagination that is at the very heart of their music. Soon after previous climax returns in full force again showing that the battle is not won once but by attrition and that the will can only be tested by time. As the vocals end and this grandiose composition ends on the climax but with this time chromatic power chords and the right hand in full action as the band conveys one last time that other evils await our hero through the ominous effect created by the frustration of not having a resolution during a short chromatic sequence.

Suffocation create an entirely unique universe within a small set of rules that allows them to find new unexplored paths through those rules where as a lack of these rules may have tempted Suffocation to try the simpler paths that have already been treaded on. The redemption trope has been used endlessly and superficially throughout the existence of pop culture but can any musical artist claim coming this close to create such a horrifying world that truly evokes our own existence and then to find redemption and victory when there is none to be found. For that Suffocation stand on top of the Death metal pantheon with a few other select musicians and  the band represents the ultimate objective in metal. Triumph in the face of this existence that is brought upon us.

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