Week of January 27: In our first ever Tracks of the Week roundup, Corpse Thrower take on fascists, General Grievous offer up some sludge and Midnight take us back to black metal’s first wave.
Pearl Jam do the ‘Dance Of The Clairvoyants’
The Seattle grunge legends returned with the funk-induced ‘Dance Of The Clairvoyants’ last week, the first single from their forthcoming album Gigaton. With hints of ’80s David Bowie and Talking Heads, this urgent and catchy new track is the freshest they’ve sounded for some years and suggests Gigaton will see the band hitting a newfound creative stride.
Ohio wrecking crew Midnight drag us through the fire
The approach to metal that Ohio crew Midnight take is refreshingly unadulterated, and ‘You Can Drag Me Through Fire’ is a brilliant example of their thrilling speed-come-black-come-thrash metal style, taking black metal back to a time when it was basically thrash with pentagrams, and came without the baggage of nazis, murderers and arsonists.
General Grievous bring the heavy with ‘Napomnie’
The latest release from Russian sludgers General Grievous is a remorseless bout of dynamic extremity, with ‘Napomnie’ proving a standout track on a record lined with them. It delights in the frenzy, jumping from one style to the next whilst lurching back and forth between tempos without warning.
Copenhagen’s Konvent strive for another death-doom revival
The title-track from the Danish death-doom quartet’s debut album is a towering beast of a song that marches on at a deathly pace, showcasing not only the entrancing guitar work of six stringer Sara Helena Nørregaard but also the malevolent vocals of frontwoman Rikke Emilie List. Ones to watch for sure.
Death metal newcomers Corpse Thrower slaughter some nazis
These Californian bruisers are roaring onto the scene with an absolutely savage blend of death metal and punky grindcore. Their remorseless new demo Nazi Slaughter is spearheaded by the brutal title-track, which switches the gory genre’s often innocent victims for those whose beliefs are inherently violent.
UK metal maestros Elephant Tree set the ‘Sails’ for doom
With new album Habits dropping this April via Holy Roar Records, ‘Sails’ is an incredibly positive taster of what’s to come from the band’s third full-length. Hypnotic and immersive chords drenched in dreamy fuzz are the backdrop for the almost Madchester-style hazy vocals that lead the track. Expect big things from this band.
Collaborators Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross heal our wounds
Released in amongst the pair’s three-volume Watchmen soundtrack, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ original score for Trey Edward Shults’ powerful drama Waves (which is currently in UK cinemas) may find itself a bit lost, but it’s a characteristically abstract and enveloping listen, well deserving your time and attention. This lengthy number is an ambient masterpiece.
Post-black metallers Agvirre make a bold statement of intent
The way the poignant violin sits juxtapositionally on top of the lo-fi blackened chaos served up by Manchester collective Agvirre is initially somewhat jarring, but it’s soon clear this odd mix serves a purpose. The band’s debut EP, released last Friday, showed that they aren’t simply a black metal band. Standout track ‘Muzzle & Mask’ is so chock full of ideas that it’s hard to digest at first, but the way it finds time for chilling clean vocals, eerie melodies and dissonant atmospherics across its twelve-minute runtime is impressive. With some refinement, Agvirre could be game-changers.
Brazilian legends Sepultura show their class once again
‘Last Time’, an early highlight from Sepultura’s upcoming full-length Quadra, is a shining example of how the record’s full-sounding production gives room for all four members to shine; frontman Derrick Green in particular has never sounded so commanding whilst Andreas Kisser’s solos are intergalactic.
Strasbourg sludgers Peine Kapital cave in some skulls on ‘Sanguinarium’
Operating in a realm somewhere between Corrupted and Grief, these French sludge behemoths have offered up a delectably heavy slab of extremity on their latest ten-minute track. Don’t sleep on this one.
For more, check out some of our recent reviews here.
Words: Adam Pegg, George Parr