Dysgeusia 33: Old Gods and old school vibes

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Exhumed (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Exhumed

Those days are drawing in, but it isn’t all doom and gloom (unless you’re into that) and GetintothisMark Davies is here to show you why.

If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s the change of the seasons.

That and the fact that no matter how bare the metal scene may look, superficially speaking, if we dig a little deeper, there are plenty of gems waiting to be unearthed.

So we find our inevitably short-lived summer winding to a close, as the days begin to darken earlier once more, and you find yourself having to keep that hoodie on a bit longer than you did only weeks ago.

Depressing? Yes, and with it go the last remnants of festival season, they’re just not good business investments. As hardy as we like to think we are, and no matter how good that line-up might be, nobody likes camping in the winter.

Indeed, the odds of an event landing on a rainy and miserable weekend increase exponentially the further away from the sun we get, funny that. The upside, however, is that bands now begin to take one of two routes, the inward, focusing on writing new material and hitting the studio, or, the outward route, which involves a lot of touring, usually through into the new year.

What this means for us is that we will now start to see more and more new album announcements as the weeks and months go by, and more tours than you can physically (or fiscally) attend. We will be inundated when winter rears it’s bitter head, which is brilliant of course, though it makes our jobs a bit more challenging when it comes to whittling down our metallical track selections for the month! For now, lets just get stuck into what we have to show you for this month’s instalment of Dysgeusia.

A few months back, we did a little introduction feature, and one of the bands mentioned within were a little then-unknown project by the name of Sleep Token. Since then, we have the great pleasure of informing you all that the great and powerful deity Sleep, has been further empowered by the support of major UK tech-metal label Basick Records (Sleep Token got signed, for those who don’t speak concept).

Off the back of this signing, the enigmatic and masked collective known as Sleep Token have put out a second EP aptly named Two as the successor to their first release One, which was released in late July.

Previously, we described the band’s sound as something like a mellower Vanessa Carlton video (the only one she ever did, lets be real here), where Vanessa Carlton is replaced by a soulful male counterpart, and the piano plunges off a cliff into the bowels of hell in the last couple of minutes of their songs. In Two, this, we are pleased to tell you, is still the case, only the songs are even more beautiful in the lovely bits, and even more demonic in the scary bits, with some nice overlapping this time around too.

Our featured track Nazareth, one of three on the EP, has all the makings of a blues number, with smooth keyboard/synth tones and those powerfully melancholic vocals, yet juxtaposed with such cruel and terrifying lyrics, with “Let’s fuck her up” producing a particularly grotesque chill. Elements of other genre are then slowly introduced as we move along, with post-rock drums clattering and vocal harmonies are added for emphasis, until that three-minute mark crashes in with a Lantlôs-esque post-black metal section so moving, that we are almost lulled into thinking that was the heavy bit. We should have known better, because the best/worst is yet to come. If you missed listening to Sleep Token the first time around, do not make the same mistake twice, Praise be to Sleep, may it give Him strength, praise His ways so He may live life everlasting.

Sleep Token – Nazereth (Basick Records)

 

We go from melancholy and demonic, to just plain FAAAAST, we’re talking about those utterly insane dudes from Canadian technical death metal outfit Archspire. We feel like the band really got together after their last album, 2014’s Lucid Collective, and decided that 300bpms wasn’t quite fast enough, so let’s bump it up to 350. Not for the faint of heart, for those who like being able to air-drum to metal songs, or being able to follow lyrics, but dear lord is it heavy.

The band’s latest album Relentless Mutation, only just announced as being released on 22 September 2017 via Season Of Mist, is likely to feature some of their most insane, almost to the point of un-playability, material to date, and we are stoked. Blast beats upon blast beats, riff after riff, and impossibly fast gutterals are on the table here, and we know the Canadians can deliver, just take our featured track Involuntary Doppelgänger as an example. SLAM.

Archspire – Involuntary Doppelgänger (Season Of Mist)

 

From the impossibly fast to the incredibly gory, we bring you news of death-grind giants Exhumed and their forthcoming new album Death Revenge, a concept album surrounding a series of brutal murders that took place in 1820’s Scotland, which is out 13 October 2017 via Relapse Records. These dudes have been going strong and putting out gore-influenced death/grind metal since their inception in the very early 90s, surviving the dreaded ‘hiatus’ in the mid 2000’s that a number of well established old-school death metal bands all seemed to be affected by, (we can only blame Fred Durst, we’re sure) and successfully reforming in 2010, better and more focused than ever.

Metal, metal and more metal – check out the storied history of Dysgeusia here

Make no mistake, these guys are clearly drawing on a wealth of tradition within their field, but as opposed to sounding like they are stuck in the past, they manage to retain the sense of urgency and relevance that they always had. Guitarist/vocalist and central member Matt Harvey often talks about his love and respect for traditional songwriting structure, and this latest material is no exception if our featured track Defenders of the Grave is anything to go by. Though the production is easily an improvement over their 90s efforts, it still has that rawness and we can’t wait for more.

Exhumed – Defenders of the Grave (Relapse Records)

 

Speaking of old-school, those guys from death/doom outfit Spectral Voice are due to drop their debut LP Eroded Corridors of Unbeing on 13 October 2017 via Dark Descent Records, which given the strength of their material thus far, is going to be a belter, and quite possibly one of our Albums of the Year. This eerie blend of death metal grooves and doomy production techniques, with a pinch of black metal thrown in reminiscent of Cultes Des Ghoules if only for the sheer theatricality of Spectral Voice‘s sound.

Our featured track Visions of Psychic Dismemberment, a sprawling 14-minute descent into a bleak chasm of double-kick grooves and screeching, we are fairly certain is only a taster of the raw and vast wonders that these guys are definitely capable of producing.

Spectral Voice – Visions of Psychic Dismemberment (Dark Descent Records) 

 

Last up, but definitely not least, is the wonderfully named noise metal collective Couch Slut, who despite their name, do anything but sit on their arses. Upon first listen, the first thing that sprung to mind is what would happen if Power Rangers villain Rita Repulsa fronted a hardcore noise metal band, vocalist Megan Osztrosits has a similar screech, and boy does this band kick all kinds of ass, with added female empowerment. We were not expecting these kinds of explosive grooves to come out of such an unassuming group, though to be fair, we didn’t really know what a band called Couch Slut would even sound like before we heard them.

The music itself is a blend of stoner riffs, more up-tempo hardcore grooves and even some rock’n’roll vibes thrown in, all topped off by that signature screaming, and some really filthy nasty bass tones undulating at the bottom of the mix. Very cool stuff, and we would kill to catch them live at some point, they put on quite a show or we’ve been told. Couch Slut put out their second album Contempt on 28 July 2017 via Gilead Media and we strongly urge you to check it out. Here’s a Folk Song to hum along to:

Couch Slut – Folk Song (Gilead Media) 

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