Don’t Miss This! Vol. 3
As Stockhausen said in his initial post, 2014 has been a packed year for great new releases. The year’s already seen fantastic new releases from Thantifaxath, Yob, Artificial Brain, Pyrrhon, Krieg, Sólstafir and more, but a slew of great albums have gone unnoticed, hence the introduction of this column. Stock and W. have already made some good picks (Cloak of Altering, Plebeian Grandstand, and Mamaleek in particular) but there are still a few albums that have (or will) come out this year that deserve a little more attention.
This young two-man band just put out their first album this year. Do yourself a favor and check it out here (or here for physical) and help out their fledgling Facebook page (under 100 likes!). The closest sonic touchstone is Deathspell Omega, but Veilburner up the death metal quotient along with the tempo. Picture Paracletus meets Gorguts meets Domination-era Morbid Angel (“In the Constellation of Dust and Shadow” bears more than a passing resemblance to “Where the Slime Lives”) with a dash of their own unique sound. Veilburner have set the bar high with this debut, and I for one can’t wait to see where they go next.
Continuing on that note, Chaotorynth are another fantastic new band taking a similarly mathy, tech-death-by-way-of-DsO approach to weird, dissonant metal. Where Veilburner’s clean production highlights their technical approach to guitar orchestration, Chaotorynth choose instead to wallow in the murky depths of lo-fi production. You can get their album for pay-what-you-want download here, and be sure to like their Facebook page—at the time of this writing, they only have 12 likes!
I’ve already sung the praises of Drowned and Morbus Chron’s new albums before but it bears repeating. Idola Specus and Sweven go together like peas and carrots. They’re tied for best death metal album of the year—with Auroch following close behind—yet seem to have been unfairly overlooked; don’t be a scrub and miss these albums when you’re putting together your otherwise pathetic “best of 2014” list. Get Idola Specus from Sepulchral Voice here, Sweven from Century Media here, and Taman Shud from Profound Lore here.
Though still less than a year old, Couch Slut already have the makings of greatness. Featuring Amy Mills of Epistasis on guitar, the quintet are set to release their debut album My Life as a Woman on October 6th (peep Leandro De Cotis’s NSFW artwork here). I have to say, though, the choice of verbiage in the Handshake, Inc. press blurb seems a bit incongruous, describing the album as “six tracks of blistering, scathing and cock-sure anthems for a dead generation,” “a sinful mix of pride, shame, and massive, emotional noise-rock-metal songs perfect for celebrating the collapse of whatever dying ideals you hold dear,” and “your go-to ‘can’t fuck with this’ record.” What sets the band apart in my eyes is the palpable vulnerability present in vocalist Megan Osztrosits’s pained wails and moans, like she’s under attack by the rest of the band. In a genre full of tough guy posing or faux-earnest confessionals (no examples necessary), genuine emotional openness is more than refreshing.
Speaking of Amy Mills, Epistasis’s Light through Dead Glass came out earlier this year to some fanfare—No Clean Singing, Noisey, Metal Insider and American Aftermath (among others) giving it high praise—but the buzz seems to have faded. This is one of those great albums that rewards the listener on two levels; one can choose to lean in and focus on the deeper intricacies of the songwriting or just sit back and enjoy the prodigious riffs littering each track. At under half an hour, Light through Dead Glass never overstays its welcome, leaving the listener hungry for more. You can get Light through Dead Glass from Crucial Blast via the Bandcamp player linked above.
Don’t Miss This! is an ongoing feature where each of the ToH writers explores a few releases you may have missed this year.