Don’t Miss This! Vol. 11: Music That Finds YOU
“Hey, check out our band Inflicting Pain Upon the Masses! We play a hybrid of nu-metal, djent, and hip-hop!” Okay, I’ll get right on that. *Checks out band, swallows cyanide pill.*
There is literally no shortage of new music in the world; and since joining the Toilet ov Hell this sentiment has proven this to be true as you all have introduced me to hundreds of new bands! But I’m not complaining, mind you, for it’s all wonderful stuff. So for me it would be a fool’s errand to try and find new bands that you haven’t heard of… but as fate would have it two incredible bands have discovered ME — the Toilet’s local drunk detective McNulty — meet Ethernal and Oneironaught. I understand that Joe Thrashnkill gets tons of promos sent his way, and that’s understandable as he runs this site; but me? All I do is run the Toilet ov Hell Google+ page and troll around YouTube. Yet here we are, and I’ve made two friends whom I want you to meet, so please Don’t Miss This (Volume 11):
Ethernal (occult black metal)
So here I am spending every free moment of my incredibly important life maintaining the TovH G+ page, when I see a notification that somebody added me to his/her circles (oh c’mon, it’s like adding a friend on Facebook!), UK occult black metal band Ethernal. No message, no request to check out their music, just a simple add. “That’s non-invasive enough”, I think to myself, so I went ahead and contacted the band to find out who they are, and ended up e-mailing back and forth with Steven Seagroatt: vocalist, lead guitar player, and one cool motherflusher.
Their most recent release Reborn as Fire (2015) is what I will be examining here. The album starts off a little slow: an intro track followed by two more groove-oriented songs. But come track four (easily one of the best off the album) “Atazoth”, you’ll get a black metal crush to the dick:
Ethernal will make its way onto many of your Last.fm playlists, and could potentially be a serious gateway black metal band to those who have difficulty getting into the genre. I wouldn’t label them as trve klvt black metal, though there are many of those elements mixed into their unique sound. The following label may often be tossed around lightly, but I could easily lump Ethernal into “progressive black metal” (and yes I have come to this conclusion without their permission!).
Upon discovering how awesome Ethernal is, I had to inquire how they discovered the Toilet ov Hell. Steven’s response:
The group has won the interwebs for me over the last week.
I ended up in a private dark web chat one i think. They all seemed pretty shocked I had turned up there. Seems somebody shared a link there. Anyway I started to notice a few visits from the toilet tuesday where the release was mentioned and thought I’d check it out.
“Azatoth” is just the beginning of a wonderful album. Reborn As Fire contains so many interesting twists and turns that once you think you’ve nailed its identity, it’ll surprise you with a 5+ minute epic journey. I found myself thinking, “this is my favorite track” roughly every other song. Rather than plodding along with familiar trappings of black metal; they sucker punch you with an acoustic interlude, a massive groove-oriented passage, or an absolutely shredding guitar solo (the solos on this album are top-shelf). One of the band’s greatest strengths is the ability to incorporate multiple elements into one song, employing seamless transitions without ever feeling forced! A prime example is my favorite track “Sisyphus”:
Mr. Seagroatt promised me: “write about us, and I’ll send you a free t-shirt.” LOL that’s not true at all, for this detective is without corruption! But through our e-mail chats, it did turn out that I overpaid on the Bandcamp site (one British dollar =/= one American dollar?) and he went above and beyond, sent me an Ethernal shirt which I wear with pride:
Ethernal is a top-notch band and of course Steven Seagroatt is a nice-ass dude who would fit right in the Toilet as well (I think he’s on Facebook, but nobody cares about that social media outlet). Stream/buy all their music on bandcamp and for fuck’s sake add them to your circles on Google+!
Oneironaught (progressive rock)
First off… HO-LY SH-IT, how did this all start? With one simple response by the band to my [five year old] laser tattoo removal video, which read something like this: “check us out if you like Tool, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and King Crimson.” And it turns out, I do like 3/4 of the aforementioned bands! Does Oneironaught have a telepathic link to me? Yes, it would turn out that they do.
Before I go examining their most recent full-length Enlist Today, I want to share with you the band’s model of self-promotion. It always interests me (as I am not in a band) how musicians spread the word and advertise their own music. So I followed the link which they attached and it led me to a live performance of a song entitled “Fed and Happy”. I liked it. I liked it A LOT. So I visited the band’s webpage and here is where I found the biggest surprise (please visit right now, I’ll wait right here.).
You have a “Prog Rock” tab, a “Prog Metal” tab, and a “Oneironaught” tab. Oneironaught‘s webpage isn’t even focused on their own band! So I click a link to download “two of their heaviest tracks” for free and jammed out for a few hours while I worked. 24 hours later I receive a notification e-mail that the band needs me for their help; and the link took me to a page that explains the band’s history, and at the very bottom asks if I’d like to purchase their debut album — in digital format — for $9.99. I couldn’t have hit the “yes” button fast enough! Seriously, I bought it right away and have been jamming to it ever since. In the end it was the band’s unique approach to self-promotion that won me over so well.
I sent an e-mail to Dave Meiloch, drummer for the band, and hold onto your butts: he’s cool as fuck and a super down-to-Earth guy. His explanation of the band’s website:
It’s been a cool project. I hope to do a lot more with it soon. I’ve been starting to get requests from up and coming bands to write articles about them. I think it’s so funny that our band’s website and social media is transforming to be more about other bands than our own.
That’s the kind of guy with whom I can get down, also I’m sure he’d make a true friend of the Toilet. I’m not going to waste too much of your time here, let me tell you about an album that retroactively made my best-of list of 2013: Enlist Today by Oneironaught:
Though the entire album is full of great songs, the first one that I want to expose you to is “World 8-4”. Mix slower psychedelic riffs with heavy passages, laid over steamroller bass lines and you’ve got yourself one helluva hit, all in less than five minutes. This is not a band defined by technical wizardry, although each musician knows his strengths but never over-indulges. Similar to Rush‘s “La Villa Strangiato” in that each player takes his own turn without overshadowing the other musicians.
The next track is my favorite off the album, “Your Body Is Responding Incredibly Well (to the Pregnancy)”, and it’s eight and a half minutes of unpretentious, progressive rock bliss. Take for instance how it builds up with musical restraint to an unexpected — yet wholly appropriate — funky bridge with bass riffs and keyboards, appended by heavy-ass riffage over unpredictable drumming. Once the listener arrives at the half-way point, he/she might expect it to be over BUT… insert tasteful guitar solo followed by a catchy riff which we haven’t heard before yet in the track, but somehow exists in the same place of existence so appropriately.
If you visit Oneironaught‘s YouTube page, you’ll see a handful of studio performances of songs that aren’t on Enlist Today, but have a smidgen of patience as David informs me that a new album will be released in 2016… But for now you can check out their previous material on Bandcamp. And as with Ethernal, please give the band some love on Google+!
Detective James McNulty