Skronk Death Thursday
Everything you’re about to hear is ugly and shitty, and I know you wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re getting gross with a trio of EP’s from Negativa, Nightmarer, and Sunless.
Before that though, some slightly more conventionally palatable news:
- Lord of War just announced their new album, Suffer, will be out July 8th through Unique Leader. While none of the new songs are up yet, you can acquaint yourself with the band’s first album right here. I highly recommend it if you like the more melodic side of tech death.
- Speaking of melodic tech, Archaic Decapitator have a new song streaming at HBIH. I guess it’s not really tech death so much as it’s slightly proggy melodeath, but a) I don’t care, and b) it’s still really cool. Light of a Different Sun will be out on June 7th; give their previous release, The Catherine Wheel, a listen in the meantime.
- Black Crown Initiate are streaming a new song over at MS. I know a bunch of you guys in the Facebook group weren’t really digging it, but I already like it more than most of the material on Wreckage of Stars. It has a menacing crawl to it that’s pretty different from anything on the previous two albums, and I’m curious to see where they go with it. Selves We Cannot Forgive will be out July 22nd on eOne Music.
- Anata have taken over their Facebook fan page and apparently have something in the works. My butt is prepared.
I imagine a fair amount of you already know about Negativa, as I seem to recall somebody bringing them up awhile ago. For those of you who don’t know them, they were essentially what formed in the wake of Gorguts’ split in 2002. They only ever released one self-titled EP, not long after which Luc Lemay left the band to reform Gorguts. The band had plans to continue, but they were ultimately put to rest with the untimely passing of guitarist Steeve Hurdle in 2012.
But this is a damned monster of an EP. It’s ostensibly Obscura part two, but in a smaller, more easily digested package. It carries many of the same themes and ideas of that album (hell, “Rebellion” has a riff that sounds like a slightly twisted variation of a riff from the song “Obscura”), so if you wish that Gorguts had continued further down that path, then this EP is for you. It’s also worth mentioning that PRC music (linked above) has, at the time of this writing, a very small handful of physical copies left. Jump on those while you can (digital version here).
Up next we have Nightmarer, a War From A Harlot’s Mouth side project. It’s probably the most straightforward of the three bands presented here (ironic, given their main project), but it’s monstrously heavy. Musically, Chasm is a far cry from the mathcore trappings of WFAHM; it’s filled to the brim with nasty dissonant chords and slimy vocals, pushing through the choking atmosphere with a grim and steady pace. There’s a touch of synth present as well that shows up near the end of “Ceremony of Control,” meshing with the already somewhat congested guitar and drum parts, creating a wall of sound that’s almost overwhelming. Don’t mistake that for an insult, though; it’s a powerful effect, and I still have to pick through these two songs to find parts that I missed.
One of the things that distinguishes Nightmarer immediately from others of their ilk is the immaculate production. The guitar tone reminded me of Coma Cluster Void of all things, and the drums and vocals cut through surprisingly well in the mix. It’s bizarre to hear such a clean sound in such ugly music, but it works here. The band still achieves a sound worthy of their peers in spite of (or perhaps because of) the production. Don’t skip this one. (h/t Son ov Wolf)
Finally, we have Sunless, a super new band from Minneapolis. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys play in the shitty backroom of a pizza restaurant with our very own baby-in-a-pumpkin’s band Maeth back in March, and they totally blew me away. Fortunately, that powerful live performance translates really well to the studio; this is a killer-sounding demo. It never sounds cluttered and each member gets an equal share of the sound’s space, and it all sounds very organic.
Musically, it’s very much along the lines of Ulcerate with a little bit of a Luc Lemay howl making its way into the vocals. The drums run at a constant frenetic pace and progress mercurially, rarely sticking on a single idea and lashing it all together with chaotic fills. The guitar and bass are interwoven masterfully, alternating between each other as the driving force of the songs and building on each other in swells of sound and complex riffs. Two songs is just too few, and at the end of “Aberrant Clime,” I am left ravenous for more.
Nightmarer and Sunless can both be found on Facebook; go give them our Toilety regards. Check them out on Bandcamp, too; they deserve your monies. That’s all for this week, tech-heads. Until we meet again,