Video Premiere: Purity – “Serpentine”

Purity is an apt name for a band that serves as the purest distillation of nu metal’s heyday. Well, the aggressive side, that is. (They are named after a Slipknot song, after all). In a world where every nu metalcore band simply replaced power chords with single note riffs, Purity dug deeper. The Las Vegas collective even added a master of noises to sample, and electronics and DJ.

The turntables appear throughout the video for “Serpentine,” the second single from upcoming EP Animus. Keeping in-line with the best case scenario, they use the additions subtly and tastefully. Mononymously monikered frontman Worm explains the addition as a logical extension of their love of industrial, ’90s club music and more. He and guitarist Jett Stotts decided it was the best way to incorporate those influences without a massive sample pad and backtracks.

It’s both practical and more. It spices up the stompy grooves, but also engendered the closing industrial outro. The whole song is a pissed off attack, complete with panicked breakdown, and the music matches that energy.

Worm puts it bluntly:

“‘Serpentine’ is easily the most venomous Purity has ever been, which makes it a fair representation of Animus. It’s the angriest music we’ve ever made, all piss and vinegar, which is a fair bit different than our last EP. ‘Serpentine’ in particular came about from having seen so many people do nasty shit to one another, being stung by people we thought we could trust, and seeing people play social games to gain success, validation or ‘clout’—whatever you wanna call it. This is a testament to just keeping true and pure to who we are and not tolerating anything less from anyone. We wrote it for everyone who can identify with that mindset. It’s like we’ve always said: it’s for the freaks, fuck the fakes.”

Get your freak on with the Errick Easterday-directed video below.

Pre-order the Animus EP digitally and merch on Bandcamp. Cassettes are forthcoming. The EP drops March 19.

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Video Premiere: Silenus – “The Garden Is Burning”

Silenus are building their own world from Long Island. Their imagery and art feels like the Hell in the religion of a tribal cult that worships the ground, fully aware of what’s underneath. The video for “The Garden Is Burning” pulls the imagery from “The Calf” from the dark into a more complete light.

In their own words, “This is raw, a true reflection of self. This is us from root to limb.” Whether that quote refers to this video, song or the EP for which it serves as title track matters not. One view will enrapture you in what they call “this primal force that is Silenus.” The band, formed in 2015, continue, “We’ve finally created something that matches how we feel as a whole. There’s an energy to Silenus and each of us feel it every time we play, write and record. We want other people to feel that too.”

They’ll also feel off-put, as the video brings to mind 2019 horror cult classic (in the making) Midsommar. The panic-inducing metallic hardcore also features some haunting vibes. Far from what metalcore became, the singing is low and rumbling, yet similarly effective—a spectre hovering in your peripheries.

Silenus’ goal is much more direct, yet insular.

“The differences between our previous release and The Garden Is Burning are time and concept. Our previous release focused on our conflict with environment, while The Garden focuses on the growing conflict with self: the subtraction of the outside world and into our own. This project takes all that we were trying to convey with our previous release and amplifies it, This is not only a more enraged Silenus but a matured one as well. If Life Out of Balance was a flesh wound; this is the deathblow.”

Listen and watch at your own risk in the player below.

The Garden Is Burning EP is out tomorrow via Daze Records. You can buy it on CD, as well as a poster and Silenus shirt, via the label.

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Track Premiere: Black Sheep Wall – “New Measures of Failure”

Black Sheep Wall imploded following 2015’s prophetically titled I’m Going to Kill Myself and its hilariously cartoon-cute artwork. Now, half-a-decade and a rejuvenated reformation later, they’re keeping their art otherworldly on Songs for the Enamel Queen. This is exemplified in the still cartoony, yet hardly cute cover (once again by Jeff Rogers) and the music. “New Measures of Failure” finds the Californian sludge lords wading deeper into the surreal swamp.

The song is 13.5 minutes and feels like it—a compliment here. Many descriptions of long songs wax poetic about how quickly they pass, but this makes full use of its runtime. Yet it doesn’t get boring, instead going from sludge rumblings through similarly murky tones played in a frantic manner. A third of the way through, they go into a self-described Slint-esque talking part—the kind chaotic metalcore bands adopted. And so it goes, from rambling ranting to rumbling reverb, tiring out the listener throughout.

It’s a feeling appropriate to the message of the song, as told by vocalist Brandon Gillichbauer (Rowsdower, ex-Admiral Angry).

“‘New Measures of Failure’ was one of the last songs that I finished writing lyrics for on this new album. The title is derived from a conversation between myself and original vocalist Jeff Ventimiglia regarding our current life situations. ‘New Measures of Failure’ is a reflection on the process of drying-out, the realities of relapsing, and the subsequent sexual desires that come with chasing any form of serotonin. The song was written in part after a long term on-again off-again relationship had gone belly up for the last time and the cathartic release that comes from the desire and acceptance of being loathed by someone who once loved you.”

Bathe in that hatred below.

· Black
Sheep Wall – “New Measures Of Failure”


Songs for the Enamel Queen is out February 26 on Silent Pendulum Records. Pre-order it on vinyl or digital here.

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Track Premiere: Spire – “Hymn IV – Puissant”

Since releasing their eponymous debut EP in 2010, the Brisbane, Australia-based black metal duo Spire have become a force of torrential and punishing black metal. Their debut album, 2016’s Entropy, marked the band’s arrival on the world stage, but now that everyone believes that they understand Spire and what to expect from them . . . Things are about to get really interesting.

According to the band, their sophomore album, titled The Temple of Khronos, is “the ultimate culmination of hysterical delirium, collective choral madness, and grand composition.” The band calls their second album, “A liturgy to Time itself. To further fan the flames of excitement surrounding The Temple of Khronos, out February 19 on tape, CD and 12” vinyl from Sentient Ruin, we have the pleasure of presenting our readers with “Hymn IV – Puissant,” the album’s insane, penultimate track.

The band warns: “The fourth Hymn to Immortal Khronos—Puissant—is a gauntlet to the face of all non-temporal faiths.”

“Hymn IV – Puissant”

Preorder Temple of Khronos from Sentient Ruin

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For Those About Squawk: Waldo Pecks on Asphyx, Nervosa and Accept

Happy New Year, motherpeckers! It’s ya boy Waldo, bet you thought you’d never see me again. And while it’s a new year and all, things seem “normal” or as normal as they have been for the past 10 months. So, I’m going to review some upcoming releases and let you know what is beaking cool and what is not.

Man, one of my favorite death metal acts, Asphyx is releasing their 9th or 10th full length Necroceros on Century Media. First of all, what is with that title? What is Necroceros? A dead rhinoceros? Who knows, who cares? What is important here is this record kicks some tail feathers. Proving that Martin van Drunen still has one of the best vocals in death metal, Necroceros has a more punk feel, on the more upbeat tracks anyway. There are plenty of riffs here, but also there are certainly no surprises. There are some doom tracks, some faster tracks, but they all sound distinctly like Asphyx. There are some “one-note” passages here, again mostly on the faster tracks, but the real gems here are the “doomier” tracks. This is not their best, but a solid death metal record nonetheless. 8 fucking Pecks.

Brazilian deathsters — and recent Decibel cover starsNervosa are releasing Perpetual Chaos on Napalm Records. Spoiler alert: I don’t absolutely HATE something on Napalm Records. The thing that some would note, is that this band is comprised of all females, and in this birdbrain’s opinion, that doesn’t matter at all. They CAN write a riff and they DO write some killer songs. This is mostly a thrashy death affair with some death/doom thrown in. The riffing here is hooky and really sticks with you. The one problem I have with this is the production does not lend to the aggressiveness of the songs. The overall sound of this really just has no “beak,” and if was a little meaner, (which I’m sure they are live) this would be a stellar release. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Probably the best German metal band to ever hit the scene, Accept hits us with a heavy metal slab called Too Mean To Die. I was expecting to HATE this, but actually it’s quite the contrary. This is how “heavy metal” should be. Everything works here, especially considering there’s only one original member (not surprising since they’ve been around for like 100 years.) This is traditional heavy metal. This is hard-hitting, up-tempo hard rock, and only really slows down in a ballad (which, of course, is here.) I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is no Restless and Wild, but man, this delivers. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Until next time… Waldo out!

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Video Premiere: Thetan – “Frustration/Focused Hatred”

Apparently powerviolence doesn’t lose its power when it loses guitar. Thetan are TECHNICALLY a drum and bass band, but the style is much more violent.

“Frustration” and “Focused Hatred” come from the duo’s 2019 LP Abysmal, but the video that smashes them together was filmed earlier this year. They came to NYC to film a video for their collab LP with Kool Keith, Thetan, and played a show just before COVID-19 shut the city down.

The video is as frantic and manic as the maniacs’ music. Colored filters overlain on the subjects shake, as the camera cuts. At times, mirror images look like Rorscach tests, though it’s hard to make anything with your head banging.

Drummer Chad L’Eplattenier explains this holdout from the world before.

“This was filmed in Queens right before everything got turned upside down. It’s so weird to think that a few days later everything shut the fuck down. What a great show this was! The Third Kind, Gridfailure and Fuckcrusher all killed it! Thanks to Dave Brenner for setting up the show and shooting.”

Bassist/vocalist Dan Emery touches on the song choices and meanings.

“‘Frustration’ is a song about being in a manic state of mind. The lyrics are all over the place and based out of confusion and desperation, the last line in this song alludes to caving in to impulses. ‘Focused Hatred’ is a song about a person from my childhood. One of only a few people that I can honestly say that I truly hated. Her death brought me relief and happiness in a way that I am not proud of, but as part of my own personal reckoning, I have to acknowledge. Not every person in your life is worthy of forgiveness, and that is okay.

“This video is the perfect visual representation for what these songs are meant to embody. It is spastic and unpredictable in much the same way that my thinking was when I was putting the concepts to paper. We try to write songs that have a psychological dimension, as if they were the personification of certain emotions. I think the way this video was shot and edited enhanced that dimension.”

Enter that dimension in the player below.

Buy Abysmal on vinyl via Anti-Corporate Music. Pick up a digital copy via Thetan’s Bandcamp.

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EP Premiere: Wretched Inferno – ‘Fester’

What do you call a prodigy of sounding really dumb? Wretched Inferno are three high schoolers playing caveman death metal so knuckle-dragging it almost feels weird praising them for it. Fester is the Massachusetts band’s first proper release and validates all their teachers’ concerns.

Joking aside, their old school death metal sound belies their high school age—both individual (each player is 16) and as a band (formed in 2018). The trio waste no time exhibiting their brawn. “Devouring Innards” slams right off the get-go, while “Manipulative Parasitism” proves they have a solid handle on melody, too. Splitting the difference in tracklisting and sound is lead single “Necrobirth,” a solid summation of the old school death metal EP as a whole. The closing title track shows Wretched Inferno’s more nimble side, opening with some serious blasting.

All of which is to say mission accomplished. The band revealed their plan for the Fester EP in a statement provided to Decibel.

“The goal of Fester was to summarize the evolution of our sound over the past couple of years and to show what kind of music we’ll be writing in the future. Musically, our goal was to combine all of our influences into something unique but still keeping true to the characteristics of modern/old school death metal and just writing music that’s just fun.”

They would go on to thank supporters like Frozen Soul, Garroted and John from Frozen Screams Imprint. Oh, and Mortician “because they fuckin’ rip.”

They also wax poetic on the next devolution in death metal: from caveman to their ape predecessors.

“Essentially, ‘monkey riffs’ was a term a fan coined on one of our videos of us practicing a new song called ‘Brutalized.’ The way I see it, with the whole ‘caveman riffs’ movement the scene has come up with, I imagine monkey riffs to be the next step up from that. More primal and aggressive, I guess.”

It’s not just a guess; hear the proof in the player below.

Wretched Inferno – Fester EP by Wretched Inferno

Wretched Inferno’s Fester EP drops tomorrow, November 6. You can (and should) pre-order it digitally. A cassette re-press is coming soon via Frozen Screams Imprint.

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Album Premiere: Vessel of Light – ‘Last Ride’

Vessel of Light are a doom metal band that sings about true crime because the Christian in their founding duo asked his Satanist counterpart to avoid the devil. If that doesn’t make you intrigued, perhaps you don’t have a soul. With no shortage of inspiration, Vessel of Light have dropped an LP annually since their 2017 formation and eponymous EP. That makes Last Ride their third full-length and fourth release overall, and you can listen to it early exclusively below.

Nathan Opposition (the Satanist) recalls listening to the likes of Sleep, Electric Wizard and Eyehategod growing up. Indeed, all those acts shine through here, as well as even more classic fare such as Black Sabbath and Candlemass. It’s a far cry from the thrashing sound that made bandmate Dan Lorenzo a household name in Hades. That band name makes his religious transformation hit extra hard, but the feeling remains the same as when he released the first of 19 albums he’s put out thus far. He recalls opening for Slayer the night before Hades’ Resisting Success dropped in 1987,

“On the way home we heard one of our songs on a major radio station. I KNEW we were going to be ‘rich and famous’ like our labelmates Exodus! [laughs] You’d think I’d learn, but I am so fucking excited about Vessel of Light’s Last Ride. Even though not a lot of people pay for music anymore and half the country are afraid to leave their homes, I STILL feel like if enough people took the time to listen to a couple of our songs a few times— well, let’s just say I’m as excited today as I was in 1987. Last Ride is really heavy, yet really catchy. I love doom metal, but I have a child’s attention span, so there are no long meandering songs.”

Opposition may not have released as many LPs in his lifetime, but he feels similarly enthusiastic.

Last Ride is a banger of an album! Hit after hit, jam after jam, riff after riff, it’s definitely our most comprehensive performance to date. We haven’t been a band for long, but it feels and sounds like we’ve been together forever; everything really makes sense. The band’s sound combined with my grim storytelling makes for a terrifyingly good time!”

Despite the horrific content, Vessel of Light DO have a hopeful message that the divided world could learn from. Their ability to function despite drastically different comes down to the fact they focus on commonalities.

“We can have a difference of opinion or ideal and still be friends as long as you don’t cross certain guidelines of convictions that I have,” highlights Opposition, whose chosen surname is particularly amusing in this context. “Friends don’t have to be clones of each other to get along. We are all individuals, that’s what this music scene is all about.”

Fortunately, we can all agree on the riffs on Last Ride, which you can jam below.

Vessel Of Light Last Ride by Vessel of Light

Vessel of Light’s Last Ride is out tomorrow, October 23, on Nomad Eel Records. Pre-order it on CD, cassette or digital. The band also has made-to-order merch.

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Track Premiere: Houkago Grind Time – “Hey Toshino Kyouko”

Houkago Grind Time eschews goregrind’s lyrical gore, slaughtering only in sound. The one-man band from Ripped to ShredsAndrew Lee may SOUND like Carcass, Regurgitate and Mortician, but the only thing he’s dissecting is anime. We’re not talking the violent type, either. The titular character of “Hey Toshino Kyouko” comes from Yuri Yuri, while Lee claims K-On as another inspiration.

Both series focus on friendship over fury, which actually kind of translates to the album as a whole. Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) features guest solos from Leon del Muerte (Impaled, Murder Construct, ex-Nails, ex-Exhumed) and Dave Callier (P.L.F.), plus guest vocals from other pals. This song, however, is all Lee. At one point the vocals approach THAT Jim Carrey Napalm Death interview, which is actually high praise.

It’s one minute of pure adrenaline, like the best grindcore often is. In fact, it might take you about the runtime of the song to read Lee’s explanation of the project. And seriously, someone call up Carcass.

“I like blast beats and slice-of-life moe anime a lot, so I wanted to combine two of my favorite things into one song. I also love shred solos and very few gore/grind musicians put shred solos in their music, so I play a ton of shred solos all over the album and got a couple of my favorite grind musicians to contribute solos as well. If anyone could kindly pass my number onto Bill Steer and have him drop me a call I’d love to get him for another HGT release some time!”

Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) by Houkago Grind Time

Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) is out Nov. 13 on Outrageous Weeb Power Productions (US), Grindfather Productions (UK) and Psychocontrol Recs (CZ). Pre-order it on vinyl or digital download.

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Track Premiere: Bather – “Her Black Wings” (Danzig Cover)

Bather underline Danzig’s infernal influence with their cover of “Her Black Wings,” a far cry from their usual sound. The Central Ohioans usually together many form of extreme metal: death, black, sludge and even hardcore, which Danzig is not. However, despite that gulf, they kept it pretty faithful for the Danzig II: Lucifuge classic.

Sure, it’s a little lower and slower than the original, but the spirit is there. The cover really highlights a new side of vocalist Josh Richter, who can croon as well as he can scream. His voice doesn’t have quite the pronounced personality of Danzig’s Elvis-esque emoting, but the dour delivery adds another flavor. The band’s decision to not shoehorn in a breakdown to fit their style extends immersio and shows respect to the work.

The cover came after they finished recording Phantom Guilt, their forthcoming November release, yet were stuck at home thanks to the pandemic. They decided on this song “due to its heavy guitar work and lyrical power,” which are two claims we could never dispute.

Bather’s Phantom Guilt drops next month. For now, check out their eponymous EP on Bandcamp.

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