Dysguesia hath returned once more this month wearing fewer layers than it did last time, Getintothis’ Mark Davies gives us the low down.
All of us pasty sun-shy metalheads better get slapping on the sun-cream for the single week of summer we are having, before it inevitably goes cold and grey again.
I mean, if you’re really committed to the cause, you’ll still keep wearing the black band tees and camo pants, but it’s honestly fine to dress down a bit, ya know? Maybe replace those camo pants for camo shorts?
Either way, the sun is now accompanied by heat and it has sent the industry into a frenzy apparently, along with that of most British people who have no idea whether to take their shirts off in public spaces or not (hint: please don’t).
This frenzy comes in the form of massive announcements by some very prominent bands in the scene, which is perfectly fitting for this positive mood the added vitamin D has granted us, so let’s not delay and get stuck right in!
Up first, it’s fair to say that Indianapolis-based progressive metallers The Contortionist have gone through a pretty stark transformation in the years since the deathcore stylings of their debut album Exoplanet in 2010. Skip ahead to 2014 during which they dropped the ambient lushness found in their last effort, the wonderful Language. This change occurred around the same time their previous vocalist Jonathan Carpenter left the band to be replaced with the harmonic-extraordinaire Michael Lessard.
This shift saw the harsh vocals take a back seat in a majority of the tracks, with more of a spotlight on the vocal harmonies, interesting jazzy time signatures (which they have always had, just not as laid bare), and ambient soundscapes punctuated by a powerfully groovy bass tone.
So skip ahead to earlier in the month when eager fans were gifted with the announcement of the band’s new album, Clairvoyant. The first single of which, Reimagined, is linked below. The track takes the newer vibrant sound the band have crafted on Language, and molds it into something more powerful and direct, edgier. We fervently await Clairvoyant due for release 15 September via EOne Heavy/Good Fight Music.
The Contortionist – Reimagined (EOne Heavy/Good Fight Music)
Progressive technical death metal band The Faceless have been at the centre of many a controversy over the past few years, tour cancellations due to fallouts with venues and management, an endlessly delayed fourth album, and members dropping out left right and centre, only to be replaced by new ones, or old ones in the case of the reappearance of vocalist Derek ‘Demon Carcass’ Rydquist in 2015, who first featured on the band’s first two albums, amongst handfuls of other accusations that have been flung at them.
Debacles aside, the band, essentially the mouthpiece for founding member and lead guitarist/clean vocalist/vocoderist/keyboardist (yeah, really) Michael Keene, have been putting out wonderfully complex and original extreme metal for the best part of a decade now. In Becoming A Ghost, the band’s fourth album which is tentatively slated for a late 2017 release (though no official date has yet been given), will hopefully be no exception if the two pummelling tracks we have heard so far are any indication.
The first single, The Spiralling Void, dropped in September 2016 so it’s been a tough wait for new music, but we can safely say that the latest single, Black Star was definitely worth it. Within, you can hear the prog influences fairly blatantly, along with some old-school Chuck Schuldiner-esque guitar lines. Keene’s crooning clean vocals make their usual appearance, and love them or hate them, it is hard to argue that they aren’t a part of the band’s signature sound at this point.
We’ll keep you updated on any news as we get it on In Becoming A Ghost, and in the meantime, enjoy this:
The Faceless – Black Star (Sumerian Records)
“Dying Fetus have been around so long they should be called Dying Teenager” so says one YouTube goer, and besides being hilarious, it’s also pretty accurate. Veterans in the scene, these guys have been going since 1991, and still going they certainly are. Their latest album, once again rocking the three-member-strong line-up of John Gallagher, Sean Beasley and Trey Williams, is going to be a beast, how could it not be with a title like Wrong One To Fuck With?
Released via Relapse Records on 23 June 2017, we can already tell from those tasty hooks in our featured track Die With Integrity, that this is tech death with a bite. Blast beats abound, accompanied by frenetic guitar leads, and catchy riffs, it’s a combo that has sustained them for over fifteen years, so why stop now?! Check it out below!
DYING FETUS – Die With Integrity (Relapse Records)
Those fellas in Mastodon are surely some of the hardest working musicians in the modern metal scene, if you don’t countDevin Townsend of course. Alongside touring almost constantly, including an upcoming UK tour, in between recording albums and making tracks for Adult Swim, they also find the time to be part of other bands and projects too. Whether it’s alongside members of The Dillinger Escape Plan like in Killer Be Killed or Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, or in Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor‘s case, joining forces with upside-down guitarist and keyboardist Core Atoms (Zruda, Gaylord), and guitarist Raheem Amlani to create a synth-driven, psychedelic shitstorm known as Arcadea.
When Brann first announced that he was involved in a side project, it was colossal news particularly because he was the only member of the band up until that point that hadn’t branched off, meaning that Arcadea must have been something really special to lure him out of his Mastodon-ogamy. We can guarantee you though, that we were not prepared for this. Much like last month‘s Igorrr, it is extremely difficult to categorise this band as anything other than… weird? But in a cool way? In a way that makes you want to explore new worlds with them, whilst also dropping acid.
We would say that Gas Giant, our featured track, gives you a good insight into what you can expect from the rest of the album, only that isn’t necessarily true. Think of this track as more of a snippet, a teaser for the main event, and be sure to check out their Self-titled debut Arcadea which was released on 16 June 2017, via Relapse Records.
Arcadea – Gas Giant (Relapse Records)
Instrumental math rock isn’t usually something we associate with summer vibes, for that you need slow tempos and hazy riffs, nostalgia for a bygone time, but somehow Chon have brought out one of the most luscious, summer-vibey albums we’ve heard in years. Their sophomore record, Homey, released on 16 June 2017 via Sumerian Records, is the stuff summer dreams are made of. Jazzy chords and glassy guitar tones bouncing off each other in a whirl of positivity and funky grooves is just one of many ways to describe what Chon have laid down here.
First formed back 2008, the band have come a long way, having begun modestly only to end up touring with the likes of Animals As Leaders, Periphery and Sikth just recently. Having listened to them, it’s easy to see how they could score such massive tour spots, these guys are literal virtuoso players. However, in contrast to other players of their caliber, Chon forego the brootz and choose instead to create some of the chirpiest, preppiest music ever known to humankind.
The tracks all feel so inspired by joy and warmth, that it is almost impossible to feel anything other than blinding happiness and filled with the urge to wish all of your fellow humans a “good day”. It even worked on us, where being miserable is a lifestyle choice, so consider yourself thoroughly warned. Have a quick gander at Continue? and try your best not to think back to the summers of your childhood, riding your bike in the sun, and drinking panda pops whilst rolling around in the grass, we dare you.
Chon – Continue? (Sumerian Records)