That time of the month lurches around once more, and Getontothis’ Mark Davies is back with a severe case of Dysgeusia in all it’s hefty glory
Is that… the sun? Nope. Never mind. No, wait! It IS the sun! Pretty soon people will undoubtedly start taking their shirts off and donning the awful shorts and sandals combo, despite it being only marginally warmer than last month. Unless you’re a metalhead, in which case you carry on wearing the same massive hoodie, black band shirt and camo pants you wear all year round.
Either way, the change in the weather has done little to stimulate the metal world, leaving us a little thin on the ground in terms of huge releases or announcements. Being the musos that we are though, it only encourages us to dig a little deeper and pull out a few strange ones from those murky depths!
Up first we do actually have some exciting news, which is the announcement of the unsurpassable Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle fame, joining the Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer) hardcore supergroup Dead Cross. After the project’s previous singer Gabe Serbian (Retox) left soon after recording vocals for the band’s upcoming debut album, they decided to get Patton on the case instead, who recorded his own vocals to replace Serbian‘s and also wrote his own lyrics injecting his unique eclectic influence into the mix.
We have gotten the chance to hear one album track thus far, and it’s a belter. Grave Slave gives us a clear example of one of Patton‘s most focused and furiously aggressive vocal performances to date, the heaviest moments of Fantômas or Faith No More pale in comparison. This is on par with his work for hardcore veterans The Dillinger Escape Plan on their Irony Is A Dead Scene EP, and if Grave Slave is anything to go by, expect more catchy hooks such as “PISTOLEROOOO” and other insanity when their self-titled album drops on August 4 2017 via Ipecac/Three One G.
Dead Cross – Grave Slave (Ipecac/Three One G)
For a change of pace, Aussie prog/alt rock band Dead Letter Circus have got a new one on that glossy horizon, but this is no ordinary album. The Endless Mile, celebrating the band’s ten-year anniversary, is in fact a re-imagining of the band’s debut EP, along with a selection of tracks from their their three full-lengths; what the band describe as “alternative-universe versions” of these beloved songs. The first single to be lifted from the forthcoming release is One Step, first found on their 2010 debut album This Is The Warning.
What we have with One Step is a totally stripped back, piano-driven track with hints of strings and more than ample room to showcase vocalist Kim Benzie‘s wonderful performance. The track is a stark change from the aggressive and frenetic sound Dead Letter Circus are known for, with comparisons usually drawn between fellow Aussie’s Karnivool, and this departure is no bad thing we reckon. On the contrary, it speaks volumes about the band’s songmanship, if a track can be so effortlessly transposed from fast rack to slow ballad, and give it a new lease of life in the process. Look out for The Endless Mile out around June 2 2017 (out via Ten to Two Records), and until then, chuck on some headphones and chill out with One Step (Re-Imagined).
Dead Letter Circus – One Step (Re-Imagined) (Ten To Two Records)
Continuing in this same stripped-back vein, we also wanted to draw your attention to that fantastic collective of talented people in occult-rock band Sabbath Assembly, who have just released their sixth (!?) album Rites of Passage on May 12 2017 (via Svart Records). According to the band themselves, Rites of Passage “presents its listeners with a set of songs that the band hopes will mirror their own experiences of transition” rather than spending their time being pre-occupied with vague interests in mysticism and fantasy like others in the genre.
Sabbath Assembly have given us a chance to peer inside their world and gain a deeper understanding of who they are in Rites. Songs about death, and about Love, like our featured track here, allow us to identify with them on a level previously unknown, and that is what sets them apart. Reverb-dripped acoustic guitars twinkle whilst incantations are sung atop, layers continue to pile on, including some dual guitar bends increasing the sense of unease the track is building.
Jamie Myers powerful and beautiful voice is really the stand out element here for us, she turns what could be a limp spell into a mystical yet relatable feast for the ears. Though you’d be hard pressed to find much that could be considered “metal” within the track, sonically at least, it does have a sort of unquantifiable metal spirit within it, and that is what the band are getting at here. Check out Does Love Die below and hear for yourself.
Sabbath Assembly – Does Love Die (Svart Records)
We did mention earlier that we had pulled some strange ones out for this month right? Well, we don’t think that you are adequately prepared for Igorrr. We know this because we were woefully underprepared for Igorrr too. There’s no shame in it.
The brainchild and project of french musician Gautier Serre, this is unlike anything we have heard before. Upon a cursory listen, you will find elements of the baroque including a harpsichord, black metal, opera, breakcore, trip-hop, and even a little southern rock lilt that lasts all of three seconds. That is just one song, the full album Savage Sinusoid is out via the prestigious Metal Blade Records on June 16 2017, and we can only stand to guess the kind of madness contained within its bounds. His music has been called avant-garde and experimental, but we think that even these labels are not so strongly affixed.
We’ll give you a little walk-through for our featured track, ieuD. The track begins with the harpsichord, playing in that familiar baroque style like something out of a period french drama, but it isn’t long until a wailing sombre male voice enters to disturb the tranquility. We aren’t even sure what language he is singing, but it doesn’t matter because his voice devolves into screaming a short time after anyway. We then get hints of breakcore, with little electronic stutters and whirls, and the familiar black-metal tremolo-picked shredding riffs scrape onto the scene.
Then we are returned to baroque once more. This time with an operatic female voice, that of singer Laure Le Prunenec of Rïcïnn and Corpo-Mente, whose angelic and haunting voice also dissipates into screaming further into the track. Then back to black metal, which is then fused with trip-hop creating a real mosh moment, the voices switch between operatic and screaming almost on a dime. We are then gifted with that Ennio Morricone moment, and the track finishes with a single horrible recorder, a sound known particularly well to anyone who has ever been to a primary school performance in the UK.
If you aren’t sure what to make of Igorrr, that’s okay, we weren’t either at first, until we wanted to keep hearing the track over and over again. Though it dabbles in so many genre and throws so many elements at you, from all sides, each one never over-stays its welcome and is used thoughtfully, yet provocatively. Honestly we have no idea what the album will hold, but if it’s anything like this, count us in.
Igorrr- ieuD (Metal Blade Records)
From baroque madness to dissonant insanity, we bring you news of a new album from those death metal pioneers Ingurgitating Oblivion who have been carving their own little section of hell since 2001. Much like our piece on Artificial Brain last month, IO (as they are often shortened to) are in a similar niche, but if you replaced the sci-fi elements with pure mayhem. Comparisons could most definitely be drawn to Abyssal, Deathspell Omega or Nightmarer, this is death metal at its most disharmonious and bleak.
Taking unexpected turns and shifts, our featured track Amid The Offal, Abide With Me skulks along, and infuses unfamiliar elements such as the slow breakdown towards the beginning, the popping bass further in and the oppressively dissonant yet airy closing section. Being the album’s final track, it definitely has a resigned finality about it in its almost ten-minute length, but also works as a manifesto for what they are about as a chaotic entity. The full album Vision Wallows in Symphonies of Light is out now via Willowtip Records, and we strongly advise you to check it out.
Ingurgitating Oblivion – Amid The Offal, Abide With Me (Willowtip Records)