Welcome back to another edition of Embracing the Descent and another opportunity to catch some nuggets from this week’s incoming metal. If it’s your first visit, we briefly discuss a handful of the current week’s new releases that stood out for whatever reason. We won’t be hitting everything because no one wants to read a 40 – 60 entry piece and who’s got that kind of time anyway. Without further ado, let’s jump into it and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent. And do leave us a comment if you have thoughts or gripes.
Remember the piss and venom Tides of Sulfur displayed on their 2016 debut Extinction Curse? Happily, we can say that their new EP, Paralysis of Reason, ups the ante by a wide margin. The filth is filthier, the nihilism in their snarls is even more bleak, and the songwriting is superior. The rolling thunder of “DLMM” and violent immediacy of “Worms” offer ear worms for days but “Pariah” is the lightning rod of the album with its incendiary hardcore meets sludge approach which is something this band has hung their hat on but here is proudly front and center like a beacon at the gates of hell placed there so no one gets lost. And the fact that the music makes you believe in all the anger and hatred is a huge plus, these guys seem to wallow in it and enjoy bringing company along for the ride. If Mastiff and Primitive Man ever mixed DNA, it would sound something along these lines so kudos to Tides of Sulfur for going further down the vitriolic spiral but being convincing in the process. Recommended for those that enjoy pain and negativity in audio form but do play it loudly for full effect.
At the announcement of Vltimas’ —- comprised of David Vincent, Rune Eriksen, and Flo Mounier —- debut Something Wicked Marches In, the sigh of skepticism was louder than Iommi on a finger pickin’ adventure. We’ve heard it before: legends come together, put out an album, and fall flat attempting to recreate the past. While this trio’s debut isn’t entirely original or forward thinking, it is quite the surprise in that it’s not only catchy as hell but memorable in its layered songwriting and melodic vines that intertwine around Eriksen’s full bodied black metal leaning guitar work and Vincent’s beastly vocal performance (return to form, finally). Take the title track and “Monolilith” for example, they’ve got electrifying riff work and some of the best vocal acrobatics Vincent has put to tape in some time. But Mounier shines the brightest throughout. His, at times inhuman, performance is the unifying theme that keeps the album steamrolling along at a breakneck pace. He’s well known for speed and dexterity behind the skins but finding that perfect spot between Vincent and Eriksen the way he does is a stroke of genius. That said, without any one member this would be a vastly different album and one that probably wouldn’t hold its own weight in a tub of sand. See “Diabolus Est Sangius” for just how good these three musicians sound when they gel completely, it’s a nasty death metal number with shock and awe built right in. Without knowing exactly how this thing would sound, it sure did tick all the checkboxes of what was hoped for and then some.
There’s some food for thought. What will YOU be jamming this week?