Sunday, September 13, 2015

Internal Putrefaction - What Prophets Fortold (1997)

Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Country: Netherlands

I just realized that I don't post nearly enough death metal on this blog. Shame on me - I love death metal! In an effort to rectify this egregious error, I present you with Internal Putrefaction. With a discography limited to just two demos (What Prophets Fortold being the second), this group, despite their named, excelled in writing melodic death/doom. Now, try not to get too caught up in the melodic prefix; they are still very much a death metal band. Throughout the entirety of the demo they display the raw brutality of death metal at the time, with their melodic side mostly manifesting itself  within their slower more atmospheric sections. The production is terrible in a great way, accentuating the filth of the heavier parts and the atmosphere of the slower parts. Occasionally the band will throw in some cleans, and choral chants; well, "throw" may be a bit misleading. This set of songs was definitely meticulously structured, and is surprisingly mature for group still in its demo stages. This is a great listen, so don't sleep on it! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Heart on My Sleeve - "A Tale of Two Hearts" (2015)

Genre: Screamo
Country: Sweden

Heart on my Sleeve have unveiled a new song from their upcoming debut LP 
In the Midst of Hope and Nothingness called "A Tale of Two Hearts" and OH MY GOD, IT'S AMAZING! Honestly, that shouldn't be so surprising considering their spotless track record, but this song is on a whole other level. It features guest singer Arvid, who does an amazing job. His vocals are some of the most sincere I've come across in the genre. Working in tandem with Ina's passionate, broken scream, the combination is just absolutely stunning. Musically, it reminds me a lot of  Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair-era La Dispute. It bursts at the seams with razor-blade power riffs and dials it back to twinkling ambiance when appropriate. It's the culmination of everything the band has been working towards since Blood Is Not Thicker Than Wine. Amazing.

Here is a little about the song's theme by the band: 

”A Tale Of Two Hearts” was the last song we wrote for the album.
Kalle and Gabriel wrote the guitars one night at Kalle´s home with the help of a couple of beers. Later they took the idea to the rehersal room and finished it with the rest of the band.
We had discussed taking in a guest singer for the record for quite some time and we had played with ”Vi som älskade varandra så mycket” a couple of times and they had become friends. We decided to ask Arvid (the singer) if he wanted to do this with us and luckily he agreed. In the early spring, Arvid and Ina sat down to write the lyrics together. They wanted to make it into a narrated story and decided to make it into a love song. ”A Tale Of Two Hearts” is about two people in a relationship, or more like, on their way out of a relationship. It´s about how their different backgrounds and personalities make it hard for them to make it work because one person wants to stay close, while the other person feels threaten by the intimacy."

 Listen Here

Friday, September 4, 2015

Deafheaven - Sunbather (2013)

Genre: Black Metal/Shoegaze/Screamo
Country: United States

 The opening of "The Pecan Tree" leaves me in awe every time I listen to it. The best way it can be described, is a violent euphoria. I can feel it throughout my body; the tingling of my skin, the breathlessness in my chest. I get lost. Lost in the shuddering guitars, the warm smile of the melodies. Lost in a place only Deafheaven can take me. For thirteen minutes, I'm outside of myself, wandering dandelion-filled fields on the most beautiful day spring can offer. That's why I love Deafheaven; that's why I love Sunbather.

It's an album full of these kind of moments. When I listen to the title track, I want nothing more than to lay my head on a tree, and watch as the branches sway back and forth, sunlight piercing through the leafy canvas. For a song that is just as rooted in black metal as it is shoegaze, it is, at times, surprisingly laid back. Sure, there are moments of harshness - halfway through the song its weightless shoegazing melodies fall out of the sky into a pit of cacophonous blastbeat driven black metal - but here, even the cruelty of BM can't stop the album's ecstatic beauty from eventually shining through once more. "Dream House" and "Vertigo" offer more the same; jet-black walls of noise, painted with brushstrokes of shimmering guitars, both dark and beautiful. It's an album that thrives on contrasts.

Deafheaven have crafted a record that shares their inspirations and aspirations all at once. You'll get a pangs of My Blood Valentine and hints of Weakling all within the same breadth; it's a collage of influences that adds up to be a sum greater than its parts. With that in mind, I come back to "The Pecan Tree". That violent euphoria encapsulates the spirit of the band like no other track on Sunbather.  It's lush and gorgeous like shoegaze, grandiose and aggressive like black metal, and sincere like screamo; yet, it is none of these things. It's immediately recognizable and completely unmistakable  -that's why it's the perfect closer. As the album fades into blissful obscurity, it gently whispers three words into your ear; "This is Deafheaven."

Dream On