UK epic doom metal band Desolate Pathway are delighted to announce a guest guitarist for their upcoming album: none other than Kostas Salomidis of Greek stalwarts Sorrows Path.
Guitarist Vince Hempstead commented:
We would like to announce with honour that Kostas Salomidis from the amazing Greek Doom band Sorrows Path has recorded 2 guest guitar solos for our 2nd album planned for early 2016. Last week, Kostas recorded the guitar solos at Fragile Studios in Athens with producer Vangelis Yalamas, and the results are amazing. A great way to connect with our Greek mythology-based new recordings.
The band are also due to hit the road several times this year. Dates are as follows:
Jun 18th: The Cave, Addlestone, Surrey, w/ Hagstone & Famyne
Aug 29th: Power and Glory Festival, Hatfield w/ Stampede, Savage, Martyr, Sacrilege, Lord Volture, Toledo Steel, Salem, Dealer and more
Aug 30th: The Carlisle, Hastings, w/ Lord Volture & Toledo Steel
Sept 19th: The Carlisle, Hastings w/ Famyne
Oct 31st: Fest of Hades, Wakefield w/ Hamerex, Kaine, Aonia, Promethium and more.
Nov 13th: The Haunt, Brighton, w/ Temperance, Seventh Sin & Proscenium*
Nov 14th: The Anvil, Bournemouth, w/ Ded Orse, Bitter Divide & Seventh Sin*
Nov 28th: The Unicorn, London w/ Sir Admiral Cloudesley Shovell
Sorrowful Angels have announced they are back and are now going to be working with Roar Records. Furthermore, they’ve announced a line up change. This is the official band statement:
Exciting times ahead as Sorrowful Angels embark on a new journey with Roar (Rock Of Angels Records) on our side as our new recording and managing label. We are very happy to be on their roster and we thank them for the trust they have placed in us.
This new journey however, will be without our longtime drum hitter Chris Stratigos. You will be missed brother. His place will be filled by Stelios Pavlou, an excellent musician. Welcome aboard!
Boston death metal band Scalpel release their debut full-length, Sorrow and Skin, tomorrow (September 3rd) via Sevared Records. To mark the occasion, SCALPEL teamed up with DeathMetal.org for the premiere of album track “The Black Juices.” Stream the tune at this location.
Creating brutal percussive death metal in the style pioneered by Suffocation, Scalpel integrate West Coast influences (Deeds of Flesh) with their traditional East Coast approach and mix in dissonant melody and more frenetic song structures. To hear more of their music, watch videos on the Scalpel official YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/scalpelofficial.
To celebrate the release of Sorrow and Skin, Scalpel will perform with the mighty GORGUTS on September 8th at The Palladium in Worcester, Mass.. The band will follow that gig with another blockbuster opening for MORBID ANGEL on November 10th at The Middle East in Cambridge, Mass. To order your copy of Sorrow and Skin, visit the band’s store at www.scalpel.bigcartel.com.
On September 3rd, Sevared Records will release Sorrow and Skin from Boston Death Metal Force Scalpel. Unlike most metal music of this time, Scalpel preserves the old school compositional framework and incorporates some modern metal touches.
In style, Sorrow and Skin represents a mix between West Coast dynamism and East Coast rhythmic intensity in the style of metal pioneered by Suffocation and Deeds of Flesh. Working melody into their blasting intensity, the band craft small adventures in power chords.
DeathMetal.org is pleased and honored to be able to live stream a track, “The Black Juices,” from Scalpel’s Sorrow and Skin. As this release works its way through the underground we are convinced it will win over the dark hearts of many a metal fan.
Scalpel – “The Black Juices” – Sorrow and Skin [mp3]
Scalpel – “The Black Juices” – Sorrow and Skin [ogg]
One effect of the recent uptick in nostalgia bands and reunions is that newer bands have seen the light. This illumination is that if a band simply continues where the past left off, it can both have a unique perspective and uphold the traditions that have made metal great. This escapes the dual ills of false novelty and being a tribute band.
Scalpel combines the West Coast style of blasting percussive death metal, commonly called the Unique Leader sound after the label that signed the innovators of this style, with the East Coast post-Suffocation form of grinding pneumatic explosive technical death. The result is high-intensity percussion mated with simple riffs that proliferate into layered textures that expand in complexity as the song develops.
Sorrow and Skin will immediately call to mind recent Deeds of Flesh and Northeasterners Dehumanized, who made similar percussion-intensive death metal with similar pacing: frenetic, but with lots of pauses and interludes, drawing together high intensity moments like scenes in an atmospheric horror film. Scalpel pair up riffs and let them develop, but keep it simple so that no element rises above the others.
The result is high-intensity music that also has enough internal musical meat to keep the brain occupied and searching for meaning in its patterns, which creates a vertiginous effect of discovery when the unpredictable occurs. Use of melody allows songs to embed moods within previous sensations crafted only by the pattern of riffs.
While Scalpel uses little of metal’s classic phrasal riffing, preferring the more speed metal percussive and choppy styles, these riffs branch out to include different textures and rhythms. The result is a sense of each song like a mini-golf course, where each riff has a mechanism and after you play through, a surprise that reveals its purpose in the whole.
In keeping with the West Coast school of percussive death metal, Scalpel uses the “dog barking into the wind” style of vocals that are both guttural but not exclusively bass-heavy, giving them greater range to match instruments. The result packages a good deal of musical activity within songs that, while made from simple parts, end up being tiny visions of inward journeys that take us to more interesting places than the sum of their pieces.
On March 11, a classic returns to print: Cenotaph‘s Gloomy Reflections of Our Hidden Sorrows, which was a sleeper hit back in the early 1990s when by combining crepitant American heavy death metal with esoteric hymnlike melody, Cenotaph invented a national sound for Mexican death metal and stimulated the imagination of many.
Two albums followed, both in the “At the Gates style” of melodic death metal, but fans never forgot the moody and eloquent first album from this talented band. Members later went on to The Chasm and other projects, but over time, Gloomy Reflections of Our Hidden Sorrows has remained a favorite.
Chaos Records is taking pre-orders ($10) now for the CD version of Gloomy Reflections of Our Hidden Sorrows. This version contains an eight page booklet with artwork and lyrics for all tracks, along with original artwork by the Polish artist Ryszard Wojtynski in a new layout. As bonus tracks, the CD edition contains the Tenebrous Apparitions 7″ and The Eternal Disgrace 7″. The reissue has been fully remastered by Roberto Granados at Seismic Sound Studios. Vinyl editions are already available through Chaos Records.
Ideally, this re-issue will have done nothing much to the original production, which while primitive, suited the music perfectly. Along with other innovative classics of the death metal movement the epic slab of creative greatness that is Gloomy Reflections of Our Hidden Sorrows should takes its place among others of its caliber.
It has been over a month since we have launched the song contest here at DMU. Our suspicions that very few people would enter the contest due to our reputation for honest yet harsh reviews were confirmed. This was probably why only two contestants presented themselves in any capacity. Consequently, no winner shall be appointed nor will awards be handed out: two entries do not constitute a contest.
Deepspace23 – Ambient 1:
White noise lays the foundation for this track as various elongated beeps come and go. A slow lingering atonal motif formed with the beeps and white noise. Unfortunately, nothing is built upon this foundation as we are simply treated to a combination of white noise that plods along for several minutes and random beeps. Deeper buzzing sounds erupt as the music becomes somewhat more active and, eventually, a jarring sound sits atop of a lone stream white noise as synths appear underneath playing an almost Burzumesque melody. The music ends on a bizarre melody that stops abruptly and unexpectedly.
The present piece evokes the feeling of drifting through space but lacks momentum as the basic melodies are not developed enough. Sometimes there is only texture while at other times there are actual melodies pulling us to a distant planet. The composition would shine through the beeps and sounds by focusing on a smaller selection of sounds, establishing a language from that selection that escapes conventional harmony, and making sure that each section contains musical content of some form and not just random sounds. The potential to be found here could be developed if the composer could focus on building from the intro, but for now it doesn’t grab the listener’s attention and fails at creating a space voyage.
Irillion – Tierra Negra –(Parte 1):
Instrumental black metal from Venezuela with a penchant for slow and sorrowful melodies. Surprisingly well-produced for a bedroom project, the drums sound full and the bass pierce through providing power in the low end, even if at the expense of clarity when it comes to the guitar. The last is especially significant given that the guitar and bass mostly play the exact same notes, resulting in the guitar sound blurring into the bass.
Drums furiously pound away as the main motif comes blasting through minor-scale tremolo-picked power chords. The main motif transitions into a slight variant and meets cymbals crashing as it settles a longer version of the first iteration. This drags on until the drums play a tribal beat and the melody deconstructs itself. The guitar plays a syncopated riff that builds some form of tension as if to signify that the time for sadness is gone and now is the time for actions to speak. Where a vicious and uncompromising riff would have fitted perfectly as the tension built up, we are instead treated to the same motif as before. A surprise stop as the guitar drones on while a clean guitar plays an arpeggio. The song halts and falls into gratuitous melancholy, a passage seemingly inspired by hipster rock. The song ends with the drums playing alone.
There is obvious songwriting acumen present as the song flows well, but atmosphere has taken precedence over actual songwriting which should never be done in black metal. Irillion should go back to the early black metal records and see how sorrow was conveyed musically. There needs to be more contrast in those long melodies that are very well executed but lack variation. There is no need for those slow arpeggios at the end, you have to take that wave of momentum and ride it to the end. Enjoyable yet forgettable, this is good music to have as background noise while thinking or reading but lacks the power and strength to draw all the attention that black metal should demand.
Some Final Words
Although both songs fail to meet the high standards set by DMU, both musicians had the courage to allow their works be dismantled and dissected, & for that they should hold their heads up high and go back to the drawing board. It is only by surpassing themselves that they can hope to create something unique, & I hope to hear better music from them soon. If any other musicians are willing to send their music we may host another contest soon.
Most Death metal bands don’t age gracefully and tend to either become parodies of themselves or end up playing pop music. Atrocity after having conquered Death metal decided to experiment with various genres but each of those experiments has been abysmal failure. This band therefore destroyed its reputation in both underground and mainstream circles to the extent of being forgotten by all. But from 1985 to 1992, Atrocity were on the war path until the release of their Magnum Opus Todessehnsucht (Longing for Death). Five musicians with an obvious passion for classical music combined with Floridian Death metal and the Teutonic trio. More precisely their main influences seem to be Death, Destruction, Kreator, Morbid Angel and Richard Wagner.
Amorphis are known for their terrible modern output that consists of ridiculous pop cliches and monotonous chugging. While their latest offering has furthered the pretension of this band and their Opeth like attempts of appealing to pseudo intellectuals through whatever the mainstream considers to be “deep,” it is hard to fathom that this band once produced some of the greatest Finnish Death metal to ever grace our ears. Through restrained, simplistic melodies that were all very tightly knit and some basic understanding of chord theory, Amorphis carved a grandiose album that would see them climb to the top of a fledgling movement.
The album opener “Karelia” – an acoustic piece recorded with two 12-string guitars – announced the intentions of conjuring grand battlefields where heroes would emerge amidst the chaos. The first guitar repeats a basic melody in the natural minor scale as the second guitar follows with the appropriate combination of diatonic minor and major thirds. As the melody continues without variation the diatonic chords move up a few semitones up the scale creeping towards battle as the chords quickly return to their original position until distorted guitars announce the battle.
Dissection was one of the last bands to be associated with violence and action in metal. Jon Nodveidt, a true Hessian who rejected the modern world, committed various acts that most will consider morally reprehensible yet they embodied his personal philosophy and the ideology of his music. Barring the third album, Dissection display a penchant for ambitious composition within a framework of heavy/death and black metal. The second outing reached too far and ended up sounding almost confused from the virtuosity of the musicians and the wide number of techniques at their disposal without the vision to streamline all these ideas. The Somberlain is a lot more focused in its inspirations by sticking closer to the source material and more structured arrangements.
A Land Forlorn impressively bridges multiple approaches to metal.