News & views from Paul Castles
Sorry to plunge headfirst into this month’s column on a real downer but in case you’ve missed it the Fleshgod Apocalypse/Hate UK tour has bitten the dust. A variety of promoter cock-ups has left Nuclear Blast with no option other than to pull the plug. It’s a major downer for those of us who had planned to catch the Birmingham date in November. The intention is to get things sorted and try again in the New Year. Hate would have been promoting new album Solarflesh so until they finally make it back to the UK here’s a taste from the Polish pulverisers.
Extreme death metal alchemists Grave Miasma have their debut full-length release Odori Sepulcrorum out through Profound Lore Records this month. A label spokesperson said: “Harnessing that uncanny dark, cryptic, and haunting atmosphere through unrelenting death metal hypnosis and ambience, where the clarity and power of the production and instrumentation does not become forsaken Odori Sepulcrorum is an album which embraces the ancient death metal spirit in its most powerful aesthetic while creating an enrapturing unparalleled death metal vision that’s solely defines itself as Grave Miasma’s oeuvre.” Bold words but having heard this torturous trailer from the Londoners they may well be on to something!
Death metal legends is a label we can safely pin onto the lapels of Carcass safe in the knowledge that no-one would dare try to rip it off. UK fans will have plenty of opportunities to catch Carcass later in the year with a headline spot at Damnation in Leeds followed by a tour with Viking axe wielders Amon Amarth. New album Surgical Steel is out in a couple of weeks on Nuclear Blast and here’s the video for one of the tracks, ‘Captive Bolt Pistol.’
Where would we be without a little Italian doom to brighten our day! Black Oath recently issued their second album “Ov Qliphoth and Darkness” on I Hate Records. See what you make of them with the track ‘Drakon, its Shadow Upon Us’ – from the new album – below.
Another solid Italian job is the second full length offering from Exhumer. Degraded by Sepsis is out on October 15 via Comatose Music. These savagely sick slammers are as hard hitting as an Inter Milan centre-half. Unfortunately I have to award them a yellow card – just missing a red – by not adding a Midlands date to their UK tour. Here’s a taste of what we’re sadly missing out on!
Swedish Melodic Death Metalheads Taketh have just released their second full length album entitled Ignorance is Strength. The album is being shared on Soundcloud so feel free to take a listen here. Alternatively here’s the video for the album’s opening track ‘Moving On’.
Sevared Records are now firmly established as one of Chronicles of Eternal Darkness’ favourite labels. Its latest eye-catching jawbreaker is Sorrow and Skin from Boston death metal maniacs Scalpel. They have a hometown gig with Morbid Angel later in the year and until they decide to jump on a jumbo we will have to make do with this peek at the new album.
No surprise to see Watain’s new album The Wild Hunt being so favourably received. It’s topped #1 in their native Sweden and #18 in Germany. The black metal trio’s vocalist Erik Danielsson declared: “It’s always a special feeling to release an album with Watain; to let the levee break and have the hungry waters gush forth again, swallowing everything in its way. Hail to all of our supporters who gave the release of The Wild Hunt the attention and dignity it deserves!”
While we’re walking on the dark side there’s a delicious slab of South Korean bestial death metal that has not so much as landed on my doormat as kicked the bloody door in! Desecration, Crucifixion, Perversion is the new release from Nocturnal Damnation just out on the excellent German label Dunkelheit. This flesh gorging crusher will certainly get you out of bed in the mornings with some absolutely riotous riffwork.
Decapitated have been flying the Polish Death Metal flag for many years but their countrymen Northern Plague have just started recording their first full-length album. Manifesto is being produced by the experienced Arkadiusz “Malta” Malczewski (Behemoth, Decapitated, Hate). The album should be out for on German label Folter for Christmas. As the band themselves say ‘spread the plague!’ Here’s a look at the Polish crew in action
If you like a side order of violin with your death metal diet then sink your teeth into Idensity. The French crew have just released their second album on Great Dane Records and guess what… they’ve named it after this column… well sort of! Chronicles has been produced by Dan Swano and the band have produced a series of ‘making of’ videos which can be viewed here.
German melodic death metal monsters My Dominion are now in the care of Nihilistic Empire Records. The band will record a debut album later in the year and here’s a taste of what we can expect from the Essen quartet.
Svart Records in Finland are churning out some really hot stuff and another to watch out for next month is Domovoyd’s debut full length release Oh Sensibility. Dark and doomy with barrels of spiraling sludge on top, this is one to keep on the right side of. If these sorrowful demons have passed you by then the best I can come up with is this audio only track from their last album.
Some welcome Black Metal news from the US where New Yorkers Black Anvil are in the studio working on an album for Relapse with a release date of spring 2014. The band has toured with the likes of Watain, Marduk and Goatwhore. Here’s a glimpse of the crew on stage in the Big Apple.
The Relapse portfolio is expanding faster than a lorry driver’s waistline. Also new on board are Oslo death metal warriors Obliteration. The Norwegians have been around since 2001 and have been recording their highly anticipated new album at their home studio in Kolbotn. Relapse will handle the US market with Indie Recordings the rest of the world. If you’ve not come across this lot before then be prepared to be obliterated!
Having started this month’s Chronicles on a low note it’s only fair that I wave goodbye on a higher one. If you like it heavy, slow and smothered in smoke then head down to the Asylum in November to catch an outstanding downtuned double doom bill of Windhand and Pilgrim. Richmond crushers Windhand, are in town to promote new album Soma out soon on Relapse. An atmospheric night of mayhem looks guaranteed. Take a listen to Windhand’s new single ‘Orchard’ – Don’t let the side down and miss this one!