If the internet is good for anything it’s pornography and music, and since this is a music website, I guess I’ll talk about the latter. Anyway, May, much like any month, has seen a bucketload of albums released, but we all only have so much time to sift through the things we like, let alone sift further through things we might not like. On the back of that catharsis, here are three albums that I can almost guarantee will blow your socks off and thusly, should move straight to the top of your priority pile.
No Omega – Culture
This is an album that instantly grabs you by the back of the eyeballs and tears them out through your skull. The first track starts with about five seconds of static then explodes into post black riffing and anguished screams that abruptly tear across the music. As the album progresses, it only gets more intense, as quiet moments of calm breed apprehension of the violence that is about to be visited upon you. The album as a whole paints a pretty bleak picture of the world, but individually, each song has glowing moments of brightness that really make each song unique. ‘Cogs’ is a manic exercise in relentless hardcore ferocity that’ll leave you feeling like you just got kicked in the sternum causing your heart to explode whereas ‘Feral Houses’ operates on a much softer, but no less heart exploding level.
This is basically Hesitation Wounds playing Numenorean. Every song on the album is overflowing with tortured emotion; angst and pain assault you with the force of an oil tanker spilling its contents at your doorstep. This is apparent in more than the vocals though; even the guitar work and drumming feel desperate and enraged to the point of making you want to curl up in a ball and stuff your ragged fingers into your eyes. If you haven’t gathered already, this is one powerful album. It fully deserves not just your attention, but your dedication.
Ulsect – Ulsect
If there’s one thing I don’t like about death metal, it’s how stale it is (sue me); finding good death metal is heavily dependant on how unique some aspects of the band can be. With this in mind, I went and listened to Ulsect… And holy shit. Astoundingly heavy bass drags this whole leviathan through the murky depths that is the atmosphere of this album. Effortlessly flowing between distorted cacophonies of sound to moody, atonal dirges, Ulsect epitomises this realm of dark, extreme music. ‘Moirae’ shows just how deep that darkness runs; progressing like the slow, crushing tentacles of a kraken destroying a sea vessel before transitioning into ‘Unveil’ much like the grotesquely rupturing hull of that selfsame ship.
It would be wrong of me to label this as purely ‘death metal’ really, as Ulsect include the best parts of Ulcerate; the booming reverberations of the drums and guitars with the atmospheric and blackened parts of Dodecahedron. Sharing two members with the latter is probably a good way to sound like that, but it does so without sounding derivative or tired. Ulsect’s only drawback is that the second half of the album feels too short, but realistically, has there ever been a better reason to just listen to it again?
Blood Sun Circle – Distorted Forms
There’s always different types of heavy; songs that feel heavy for distortions sake, and songs that feel heavy because of the instrumentation — Blood Sun Circle is both. Combining jarring, dissonance with earthy, dark melodies. There’s a theme of unease that weaves its way through every song, as if something about them is not quite right. The guitars that drive those melodies are mesmerising in a Neurosis sort of way, but have this Young Widows-esque twang to them that leaves them sounding truly unique. Every element of the band is done perfectly, from the strained, grungy vocals to the subtle nuances of the strings. Special notice needs to be given to the drumming though, as it drives the whole lumbering vehicle forward; even if it isn’t the first thing you notice it is always delicately guiding the songs to their riveting and often unnerving climax.
Listening to the whole album in an entire sitting is also a treat; allowing that festering, smouldering mood that has been cultivating to reach an oh so satisfying conclusion. From ‘Mercy Kill’s anxiety inducing melodies to ‘Hideous Twin’s grinding, crushing drones, Blood Sun Circle have crafted something unlike anything else. For someone who likes music (that’s you) not throwing this on for a few spins would be like ingesting copious amounts of bleach. You’re basically disabling yourself by NOT listening to this album.