Posts Tagged ‘Death’

Emanzipation Productions – 2nd September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

From a certain perspective, all aspect of life can be seen to exist as one vast intertext, whereby everything connects and intersects with something, everything, else, by some devious and circuitous route. So the title of Ensanguinate’s debut long player actually makes me think of The Sisters of Mercy, whose singer, Andrew Eldritch, devised the band’s ‘head-and-star’ logo by ripping off one of the illustrations from Grey’s Anatomy – the medical textbook, not the television series. And of course, an inescapable aspect of life, which diagrams for dissection plainly remind us in the most clinical of fashions, is the inevitability of death.

I’ve sat myself down in my office to compose this review under circumstances very few would have predicted only this morning, whereby here, in Britain at least, this morning has become an evening of mourning with blanket coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. I need to simply switch off from all of it, what will likely be the start of a month of commentary, with endless shots of palace gates and cavalcades while the rest of the world is on pause.

The best escape always lies in something completely different, and in strange or difficult times, pure catharsis invariably tends to be the best remedy. Ensanguinate are the very essence of catharsis, distilled to optimum potency. Their bio describes the band as ‘Slovenia’s putrid entry into the death metal grimoire of old. Leaning heavily on the genre’s occult beginnings, the band stands out by distilling Possessed, Morbid Angel, and Grotesque into a searing death/thrash assault that deviates from today’s run-of-the-mill death metal’.

The tiles are great, and speak for themselves, with the likes of ‘Cadaver Synod’, ‘Perdition’s Crown’, ‘Lowermost Baptisms’, and, my favourite, Gaping Maws of Cerberus’ perfectly summarising the music itself – snarling, subterranean, satanic guttural utterances barked against a fast and furious backdrop of guitars charred and blackened like burnt offerings strewn around the opening to the pits of hell.

The hell-for-leather riffing and frenetic drumming is all-out from the first bar, with ‘Hunted’ packing in the darkest, dirtiest sonic carnage into under four minutes, and still shoehorning in a truly frenzied guitar solo.

Ensanguinate really do work the epic solo, and while there’s a certain element of genre cliché and absurdity about it, this kind of gnarly metal is the only context where solos aren’t only excusable, but one hundred percent necessary, essential even. The slower intro on ‘Ghoul Presence’ lumbers into showy, almost symphonic territory, before it goes all-out obliterative pace and raw-throated growling.

Eldritch Anatomy is the sound of a band revelling in excess, with everything louder than everything else, and everything is dank, murky and dripping with the dirtiest distortion. It’s full-fledged filth, bowel-shaking nastiness dragged up from satanic swamps that steam so hard you can picture the sweat running down the walls as the band whip themselves into a furious frenzy.

The album’s final track, the seven-minute ‘Vile Grace’ begins altogether more delicately, with some gracefully picked clean but chorused guitar before the power chords crash in hard and slow and build to a thunderous chug. It’s hard and heavy and offers a condensed rendition of all of the album’s main elements, albeit at half the pace and so with added weight and sledgehammer impact. In doing so, it rounds off an album that has it all in terms of texture and dynamics, and delivers every note with an unstinting ferocity that’s admirable.

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Melodeath-infused thrash metal gang Katapult has dropped ‘Comfortably Dumb,’ the second single of their upcoming debut album, Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes. An explosive banger, “Comfortably Dumb” slams the hypocrisy of accepting the meat industry.

“Tracking the vocals for Dumb was such a blast,” states Johan Norström, vocals. “All songs prior to this I had tracked all by my lonesome, but for ‘Dumb’ we tried out software that allowed us to stream high quality audio in real time, directly from the DAW. Having Florian on the other side really pushed me to try stuff I didn’t even know I had in the arsenal which ended up really cool,” informs Norström.

“What a hate anthem,” states Florian Moritz, Guitars. “The feeling you get is ‘Fuck everything and especially you!’ and I fucking love it. It’s a hateful Punk Song that’s just meant to get your juices flowing,” says Moritz.

Check the video here:

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Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes is slated to come out on 25 November 2022 via Discouraged Records digitally and on digipak CD.

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Fabrique Records – 29th April 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

On her latest project, Jana Irmert shrinks the focus of her thoughts and her music on the microcosmic – although that certainly doesn’t extend to the microtonal. What Happens At Night is an intensely-focused work that places the lens onto textures and tones, and an examination of the relationship between the physical and the cerebral. You may call it a celebration of overthinking, but ‘philosophical’ feels a more appropriate term for her musical meditation on life and death – specifically death and beyond, the part of the life journey no-one has ever reported on and will, one assumes, be forever unknown and unknowable.

The liner notes set out the granular nature of the album’s composition: ‘Like layers of sediment, sounds are being pushed up from underneath, floating away or sinking back to the bottom. At the core of the album lies a question: What will be left of us? While Earth melts, we go on. But eventually, there will be a point in the future where all that will be left of humanity is a thin layer of rock. While this may seem like a deeply gloomy prospect, it also carries a great deal of comfort: the reminder that we are only a small particle in a vast system so big that we can never fully grasp’.

This is the limitation we all live with: the inability to comprehend life without us, what it would be like to not exist. Much of it’s ego, but perhaps it’s also a preprogramed limitation. Everything is dust, and once we pass, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we become desert, and nothing changes: the world goes on… and on. And that’s a disheartening prospect; for the majority, our legacy won’t extend beyond our lifetimes, and the world at large is unaware of our existence while we’re here, let alone likely to experience any ripples in our wake. But even the world will be finite, ultimately. It will be swallowed by the sun in supernova. But none of us will be here to report on it by then.

What Happens At Night is dark and stark, and with just four tracks and a running time of less than half an hour, it’s perhaps technically only an EP, but feels like an album in every respect.

There’s a dolorous chime of a bell and a shrieking anguish of tortured spirits trailing like comets fading through the sky at the start of the album’s first piece, ‘Particles’, and everything simply floats and drifts. It’s ambient in the conventional sense: it’s background, you don’t really pay close attention while it’s playing, but it does subtly slant the mood.

‘Ashes’ is but a drifting fragment between the megalithic pieces on either side: it’s barely three minutes in duration. If ‘Dust is the Rust of Time’ is sparse it’s also dense, and a sedated heartbeat pulses uncomfortably throughout, amidst shuddering, gasping breaths of panic. You feel the anxiety at the passing of time; what have you achieved, and what will be your legacy? How will you be remembered in a world without you? It’s a tense, dense, gloomy sound, and you come to realise you are nothing, you’re simply here to go, and one day you will be but dust. Deal with it. And yet… It’s not a question of there being something more beyond, as such. And yet… ‘Stratum’ closes, and it’s the splash of waves and the quiet roar of a buffeting wind and the slow sound of the dust settling as incrementally, life returns to earth in slow, sedimentary layers, and each layer fossilises a period in time for all eternity. You may be dust, you may be forgotten, but in some form, are eternal in the earth.

Irmert articulates nothing specifically or directly here, but instead, What Happens At Night provides a sonic backdrop which invites contemplation.

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Musician and actor, Eric Oberto has just unveiled his new video and single release for the song, Closer Than Ever Before. The song appears in the forthcoming Hollywood theatrical film, Malibu Horror Story due out in late 2022.

‘Closer Than Ever Before’ paints the dark picture of a man running from himself and racing against his own mortality. While being stalked by “Death” himself, he encounters memories from his past and startling entities that chase him closer to that final closing door.

The music video for ‘Closer Than Ever Before’ will mark the second collaboration between Eric Oberto and Erik Gustafson of the band, Adoration Destroyed!

Both Eric and Erik co-directed the music video shoot. Eric Oberto also took on the role of Producer with the invaluable help of Video Shoot Production Manager, Micha Marie Stevens. Erik Gustafson Cinematography brilliantly handled all of the post-production and editing work. Watch the video here:

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