Welcome back to another edition of Embracing the Descent and another opportunity to catch some fire from this week’s incoming metal. At this point we’re pretty sure you got it but for a recap: if it’s your first visit, we briefly discuss a handful of the current week’s new releases that stood out for whatever reason and maybe, from time to time, a week behind. We won’t be hitting everything because a 40 – 60 entry piece ain’t happening and who’s got that kind of time anyway. Let’s jump in and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent.
Depending on any person’s point of view and personal experiences, the world can be daunting and downright nasty. On debut Burden of Sight, California’s Vale channel our current state of disarray and where we may be headed – obliterated into a Mad Max type future – into six tracks of roaring anger and disgust. Whether it’s the cavalcade of galloping and thick black metal on “Guilt Among the Dead” or the death metal stomp of “Grief Undone” or just how keenly they combine these two styles elsewhere on the album, one thing’s for sure; Vale rip and tear their way through 30 plus minutes of fire and vitriol. And make one hell of an opening statement in the process.
The fact that Into the Nuclear Fire, debut demo from New England’s Rancorous, found its way on a few 2018 end of year lists wasn’t happenstance. It was a seedy trip through black-thrash-death and speed metal that placed the band’s love for early Sodom and Kreator squarely on their sleeves. And now with second demo, Stealth Dominion, not much has changed which, in this case, is a very good thing. “Cold Revenge” and “Revelator” are filthy and furious while “Prime Sacrilege” slows things down enough to highlight, and allow us to enjoy, the band’s marvelous interplay. The one thing that has changed here is the sound, it’s clearer and more defined which lets these songs breathe better than on Into the Nuclear Fire but otherwise, this is another killer notch on their spiked bulletbelts and hopefully another step closer to a full length.
‘FRIGGIN DEATH METAL, MAN’ yelled some random dude at a show late last year and while, at the time, I couldn’t share his sentiment I am reminded of it and share it now due to Goregäng’s FRIGGIN good debut Neon Graves. Much has been, and will be, made over the pedigree here; Wombbath, Venom Inc., and Ribspreader as it should be seeing as how great all those bands are. And it carries over in spades here, mostly in the songcraft and tight-as-hell delivery. The moldy riffs of “This Era of Human,” the punkish gang vocals on “False Flags,” the methodical death stomp groove in “Cathedral of Chemicals,” and in the superior drum explosions as heard in the opening moments of “Feeble-minded Rash” are all parts that equal a killer sum. And again, for a debut, (keeping in mind these guys are seasoned) this album might just be the tightest and nastiest death metal I’ve heard so far this year. It’s FRIGGIN DEATH METAL, MAN.
Visigoth are a band on fucking fire. Yours truly felt that Conqueror’s Oath was among the best that 2018 had to offer us and they’re back with two new songs that already outdo that work of greatness. When I tell you Bells of Awakening has everything, I mean this has everything.
High flying vocals: Check
Dark Souls references: Check and Mate
The band’s commitment to taking what would, in other hands, be ham-fisted nerd culture references and turning them into truly stunning songs is a sight to behold. I’ve long since been made wary of “metal songs about video games” because, lets face it, not very many of them end up being good. Visigoth write good songs first and foremost about the subject matter they’re passionate about, and it makes a world of difference. Praise Visigoth, Praise the Sun.
Like we said, light and quick. But powerful. Wonder what will grab your attention this week? Report back, inquiring minds must know.