Getintothis’ Mark Davies is back and taking a peek at some of the year’s first bloodstained offerings, including a country album…?
So, the less said about the cultural events that tailed 2016, the better. Metal-ically on the opposite hand, as we discussed previously, it was a much more positive affair. Indeed, the year was packed with highly-regarded releases from the scene’s heaviest hitters. It seemed like they were all vying for their place in every publication’s end-of-year listicle.
Unfortunately, a possible downside to this barrage of quality is that we are all now sat pondering, in this good year 2017, “Who is left?”
Of course, the rumour mill was at it again for the Nth year running, with mentions of a new Tool album, but as always, we’ll be disappointed, left wanting and hear nothing about it for another year. They could turn around and surprise us all, and if that day comes, we will issue a formal apology, but we aren’t holding our collective breaths. I think fans have finally given up on Necrophagist though, that one was getting very tired.
Those Atlanta lads Mastodon are due for a new one in Spring this year which, according to drummer Brann Dailor’s interview in Rolling Stone,sees the band reunited in the studio with producer Brendan O’Brien and treading much darker and heavier territories. O’Brien’s the guy responsible for the band’s 2009 Magnum Opus Crack The Skye, so colour us very excited for that release, and more info will be provided on that as we get it.
It’s been three years since the last Behemoth record, which means we could be in for another blackened death metal treat this year, but that is merely speculation at this point. However, whilst we’re on the topic, we wanted to introduce an interesting side-project entitled Me And That Man, from the Polish giant’s frontman and founder Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski, who are putting out a country album…
We know what you’re thinking, because we were thinking it too: Me And That Man is grammatically incorrect; it should be That Man and I, but also, a country album from the frontman of a world famous Blackened Death metal band? What even?? However, we sincerely request that you hold off on all judgements until you’ve heard the first single the band dropped on January 13 2017 My Church is Black.
Me And That Man – My Church Is Black (Cooking Vinyl)
What the band has put out here could have easily had a helping hand from either: Tom Waits, Nick Cave or his baddest seed, Warren Ellis amongst others. It’s gritty and dark in all the right places, yet sounds credible enough to be listened to by actual fans of country and folk music, so have a listen and see what you reckon. Darski isn’t one to shy away from untypically metal feats it should be stated, as his role as a judge on Poland’s The Voice in 2011 (like that Cowell thing but Polish) should show.
If it’s Polish Blackened Death metal you are after though, and can’t wait for Behemoth to get back in the studio, and also enjoy bands like Hate, look no further than Begerith. The band unleashed their latest album A.D.A.M. that charts the creation, rise and subsequent fall of the titular Biblical figure, but in typical death metal fashion; with thunderous drumming, squealing and ferocious guitars and gutteral verses spat out of hell itself.
It’s is quite difficult to not draw comparisons with Behemoth and their 2012 release The Satanist to be honest, Begerith recorded in the same studio and even used artwork from the same artist Denis Forkas, and sonically this could very easily be The Satanist Part II. In our opinion though, this is necessarily a negative thing. It isn’t unusual for bands to draw inspiration from one and another, and in Begerith’s case it helps give the band, who have only one previous album and an EP, a little more credit to their name. A.D.A.M. is well worth checking out, and if you commit the time to it, is a rewarding experience.
Begerith – A.D.A.M. VIII (Self-Released)
Not that we could really forget, but it is definitely still winter here in the north of the world, but it only gets colder the further north you go, and things really do not get much more frostbitten or darker than Icelandic Black metal. We introduce to you lucky readers, Draugsól with their debut album Volaða Land. Hailing from Reykjavik, the heartland of Iceland’s Black Metal scene, a scene often centring upon the atmospheric and depressive aspects of the genre. What Draugsól are offering, in contrast, is an attempt at reaching the more sonically epic and progressive heights that black metal can bring to the table.
The album’s focal story is based upon the existential crises that often arise from living in a seemingly futile and careless world such as ours. The band begin to peel back layers of meaning with tortured screams and groans, as they search for the deeper meaning of existence. What they find is actually something we discussed here way back in July, where the only thing that is certain in life is the uncertain. You have to just dive in and hope that you come out the other side a little more enlightened than when you went in. Two parts screaming brutality mixed with one part beauty and one part cerebral pondering, this is not an album to be overlooked.
Draugsól – Váboðans Vals (Signal Rex)
Another interesting release to slide across our desks is a satisfying slab of old school heavy metal from the ex-guitarist of Portrait, Richard Lagergren, frontman Oscar Carlquist, of heavy metaller’s Ram, and drummer Patrick Dagland. The project is called Source, as is the band’s debut EP, and it is a leather-jacketed and studded throwback to the days of headbanging to your favourite cassettes, whilst driving round the estate in your dad’s old Ford Escort. Hints of proggy orchestration in the opener, thrash riffage and guitar duets, along with Saxon-esque vocal sections all smash together to form this brilliantly dark and catchy slice of nostalgia.
The band have promised more to come in 2017 from Source, so we promise to bring you more info as it drips slowly down the vine, these guys are in no hurry, craftsmanship of this calibre takes time to perfect, but we hope for more great things to come.
Source – Let Him In (Self-Released)
Speaking of which, if you’re into buzzsaw guitar tones, d-beats and politically-infused gutturals, Washington State’s own The Drip put out their debut album The Haunting Fear of Inevitability via Relapse Records this month. The band first came upon the scene with their A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics EP back in 2014, and have since been in the studio with Joel Grind (of grind legends Toxic Holocaust) to hone their skills and get even angrier at the state of the world.
From the outset, it is clear these guys have a lot to say, and only 13 tracks across 31 minutes to say it, so meandering and carefree this is not. The Drip are abrasive and raw, and have created a powerful and violent statement of intent to the world with this debut album. The track featured here is reminiscent of the recent output from Belgian death-grinders Aborted, as is the rest of the album. Blastbeats carry the track along at breakneck pace, with sawlike riffs cutting mercilessly through the mix, and it only gets heavier from there. You’d be remiss to miss this.
The Drip – Blackest Evocation (Relapse Records)
Loads more to look forward to in 2017, leaving these aforementioned gems aside, with possible releases from Aussie djent giants Circles who have been hard at work in the studio piecing together a follow up to their seminal Infinitas. Reinvigorated UK tech metal extraordinaires Sikth have also been squirreling away riffs for a new release following their 2015 EP Opacities. In addition, if you like your metal with a good dose of tongue-in-cheek vulgarity and hairspray, those spandex-clad legends Steel Panther also have a new album Lower The Bar due out in March. There’s plenty to keep us entertained as the year shapes up to hopefully be a bit better than last, so until next month!