Whilst south-east Asian black metal typically leans towards the bestial and war metal scenes, Omenfilth, from the Philippines, instead draw heavily from the Hellenic scene of old. Looking to old Filipino mythology for lyrical inspiration, Devourer of the Seven Moons is an album that captures the same kind of darkness and majesty as the likes of Varathron and old Rotting Christ. Packed full of razor-sharp leads and haunting melodies, it is the sound of a band in fine form, full of ferocity and unholy spirit. There is an incredibly powerful force behind Devourer of the Seven Moons, as if the band were possessed by the spirits of old. This is music of darkness, majesty and sinister in equal measure.
Considering that the band contains members of Ulthar, Abstracter, and Atrament, and that it’s being released by the mighty The Flenser label, expectations are inevitably raised for the debut album by Vale. Thankfully, Burden of Sight absolutely delivers, with its blackened crust onslaught possessing not only the rabid edge that helps characterise the genre, but also a slightly progressive aspect. Combined, it ensures that Vale are at the fore-front of this style – blackened crust has been lacking a real scene leader ever since Young And In The Way disbanded in the light of rape allegations, and in Vale, the scene may just have found one.
Metal, at its most extreme, becomes a genre of seemingly contradictory forces that are reliant upon one another to succeed. As volume and speed increases, bringing with it a sense of chaos, so too does the need for control. After all, a great deal of technical proficiency and practice is needed to strike the right balance between a song sounding rampaging and it simply sounding sloppy. It’s that sense of contradiction that Chasm, the new album from Spanish black/death metal band Suspiral, is forged upon. A combination of bestial carnage and ritual-esque repetition, the album is the sound of a tightly-bound beast, straining at its chains, desiring nothing more than to be let loose upon the world to unleash devastation; and yet there is an almost religious aspect to the control displayed, making Chasm a ritual in a very real sense.
It’s largely taken for granted that, as we grow older, we move on from the music we liked in our youth. There might be some records or bands that stay with us, but odds are that we’ll look back upon our first musical loves with something approaching horror – especially if you’re the sort who lives and dies by the underground. So, I thought it would make an interesting piece of writing to go back and listen to some old favourites for the first time in about 15 years, and see if they hold up at all. This means that those records I liked at that time and still listen to – such as The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails, or anything by Cradle of Filth, or the first two Placebo records, or Kid606’s GQ on the EQ++ (a song from that compilation gives this article its title) – are naturally exempted from this exercise, as are those bands that I’ve had exposure to in recent years via something close to cultural osmosis and enduring mainstream status (such as Green Day or Blink 182). This is about going in with older and, perhaps, wiser ears, and seeing if anything I’ve discarded from my youth is worthy of remembering; or if I stopped listening to it for good reason. So. Here we go.
Happy International Workers’ Day! For those of you who have this day as a holiday, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. For those of us in the UK, we have the bank holiday coming. And here at TSNTW, I’m getting back into the swing of things with a series of short reviews. For this installment, we have world-ending black/death metal; speed-laced black-thrash; a furious feminist statement; a wonderful meeting of progressive technicality and black metal horror; and beautiful modern classical. Enjoy!
The Sound Not The Word was started at a very different time in my life compared to now. Unemployed, living at my parents’ place, with free time on my hands, I decided to do something I’d been thinking of for a while, and start writing reviews of records I liked. It was a humble enough start, with few expectations. But it quickly grew, and despite taking a few breaks over the years, come last Autumn I found that my initial passion had gone; that all I was listening to was stuff I intended to review, and as such, a lot of the fun from music had gone. Working full time, paying bills, and feeling like I had no time for myself made me say: enough.
In many ways, post-rock, ambient, and drone music have a lot in common. All three genres seek, through different methods, to wrap the listener up in a cocoon of sounds, enveloping them in sounds either warm or starkly oppressive, taking their consciousness away to somewhere else. It’s a task that Ten succeed at on new album The Fog Bank. Though nominally an ambient group, there’s a lot of arresting melodies here that mean that tag doesn’t quite fit perfectly; but the overall effect of the music makes it accurate enough. Full of warm drones, blissful melodic lines and an aching sense of beauty, The Fog Bank is a record to sink in to late at night.