By popular demand, this segment is back. Can you imagine how many albums we’ve all missed since… The last time an article like this was posted? No more I say. NO MORE! Plus, this month had too many great releases for me not to share them with you. Frankly the hardest part was winnowing them down to just three. Lastly, listener beware, they are horridly screamy, horribly depressing, and hugely satisfying if you can get through them all.
Lingua Ignota – Caligula
Released: 19th July 2019
Kristin Hayter, the creative and enigmatic force behind Lingua Ignota, and longtime collaborator with The Body, is possibly my favourite musician. Caligula is exactly the reason why. The breadth and implementation of dynamics and noise throughout every single song is mesmerising. A fierce shriek pierces the throbbing, morose lamentations on ‘DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR’ whilst a piano and string accompaniment ebb and flow around the vitriol. But this is only a snapshot of a single song; every moment on this album is wondrously unique yet, uniformly shattering.
A more “sensible” approach to song writing prevails in the pulsing, ephemeral ‘DAYS OF TEARS OF MOURNING’ whilst ‘IF THE POISON WON’T TAKE YOU MY DOGS WILL’ is the reverse; a sonic pilgrimage into a blizzard of white noise and liturgy. The main take away for this album, is that each single facet, be it classical, noise, metal, electronic, whatever, all find a perfectly formed place in the constantly swarming and bubbling melange of the album. Expect the unexpected as cliché as that is; because each new twist of the music will have you scared or elated.
Throes – In the Hands of an Angry God
Released: 26th July 2019
Holy Roar Records are one of my three favourite underground labels for many reasons; Conjurer, Ithaca, Rolo Tomassi, Holy Fawn, Møl, Svalbard and now… THROES. To call a black hole heavy and dense would be an insult to Throes. Cosmic despair and monolithic sludge wend their way forth from the instruments of this Idaho based quintet; so much so that it is possible death by violent spasms and internal bleeding will result just from my listening.
‘Carrion’ might just be the most disgustingly heavy song you’ll hear all year, but it’s not from the speed. The vocals are throaty, the tuning is low, the noise is harsh; the heaviness stems from the absolute inevitability of it all. If Converge is a bullet, Throes are a skyscraper verging on collapse. Distorted squalls rein supreme on this record. I would not be surprised to see Dylan Walker in the background working his soundboard, while each member throws vocals duties around. From ‘Bad Meat’ to ‘Fang’ the music is hard to endure but violently rewarding.
False – Portent
Released: 12th July 2019
If you have never heard of False, you have never heard of black metal. One of the most immediate bands in my listening history. Their debut Untitled was a vicious attack with subtle, melancholy undertones. Portent is less vicious, but no less morose, packing a wealth of sadness and woe into its forty minute run time. The grandeur and finesse of False’s music cannot be overstated, it is so artfully woven and layered that it defies understanding on a technical level.
‘A Victual for Our Dead Selves’ kicks off the album in a superbly satisfying way. Vocalist Rachel is a real draw, her scratchy, scathing voice slithers off the music, rebounding at the listener like a coiled snake. The strings underneath are so complex that to dig under the vocals is to excavate an unwritten, forgotten language. It’s quite frankly mesmerising listening to the twists and turns of the guitar as each riff soars from one complicated arpeggiated riff to the next.