We’ve been excited for months about Relapse Records’ plans for 2015. Late last year, the label announced plans that throughout their 25th year of operation, they will be tapping into their extensive back catalog of records and re-pressing a selection of favorites that have long-since been out of print or are just now seeing vinyl release for the first time ever. The first round of represses have been announced and include influential albums from Human Remains, Pan.Thy.Monium, Amorphis, Incantation.
After the jump, be sure to check out cuts from each album. You may end up making an incredible musical discovery.
Nuclear Blast Records definitely stirred up quite a bit of excitement last week when they announced that 2015 would see new releases from tons of their roster’s heavy-hitters, including Slayer, Meshuggah, Testament, Immolation and Nile. Now with the promise of a new album from the South Carolina-native death metal band, Nile have also just revealed yesterday that they’re planning on touring Europe with Suffocation this fall!
CALLED IT. Vinyl nerds shall rejoice further, as Relapse Records have announced plans to expand their recent trend of re-releasing high-profile out-of-print albums from their back catalog of releases. No more scavenging eBay for a reasonably priced copy of Miss Machine!
Remember how back in school the kids whose last names started M-Z could show up later than the rest of you because it took a while to call the roll that far? That’s kind of how our two-part look at what your Heavy Blog is Heavy Staff is (really) listening to for the first weekend of November works. The stragglers show off their 3×3’s after the break.
January started the year out with a lot of promise, with new releases from Indian, Alcest, and Periphery gaining quite a bit of attention around these parts. However, what floored us the most in the first four weeks of 2014 was the first-ever proper release from Chicago newcomers Warforged. Essence of the Land is an odyssey exploring death metal, black metal, and progressive metal influences that stunned a large number of the staff group. Opeth comes to mind with the band’s dynamic use of keyboards and acoustic guitars as cinematic gateways between stretches of technical riffing and powerfully melodic brutality, or perhaps Between the Buried and Me’s penchant for epic-length songwriting and weaving a larger picture over multiple tracks.
Essence Of The Land tells the twisted tale of a dread-inducing and brooding swamp and the unknown horrors that lie beneath its surface, making it one of those surprising death metal albums where the lyrics actually add a lot of atmosphere and weight to music. So much so, in fact, that the video accompaniment that provides visuals for ¾ of the EP contains the lyrics throughout, alongside footage of the band tearing through earth-shattering riffs.
At the heart of it, Warforged’s sound presents an assortment of progressive death metal influences that still manages to sound fresh and exciting, despite dredging the very bottom of the swampy sludge they strive to recreate. And honestly, what better way to start a new year than with a new band that are reinvigorating even one of the most well-trodden of sounds?
We spoke with the entirety of Warforged to not only get a look into the creation of one of 2014’s best releases, but to get a glimpse at what’s in store for the band’s future.
01. Oblivion Part I: The Chant Of Tyrants
02. Black Veils Of Justice
03. Between Suns of Light
04. Binary Souls
06. Canon in D Minor
08. Reigns in Fire
09. Cancer in Wraiths
11. Oblivion Part II: Infinite Descent
Technical death metal is, admittedly, a rather demanding genre to be a part of. Even when disregarding the usual musical tropes such as song structure, melody, and memorability, the sheer instrumental virtuosity required makes for enough of a filter to wade off most aspiring musicians. Naturally, the real difficulty lies in not disregarding said tropes, rather incorporating them tastefully into the music while staying true to the foundations; but when even the “bad” bands that comprise the genre have to be, in a way, masters of their craft, it’s evident why very few actually reach the plateau of near-universal recognition and praise. Enter Oblivion, a Bay Area-based supergroup of sorts that, while still in their infancy as a band, have a good deal of mileage within their individual careers. Sporting members such as All Shall Perish founding member Ben Orum on bass, and music professor/award-winning composer Nick Vasallo on vocals, Oblivion certainly possess enough potential to join the pantheon of tech-death heavyweights even on their first release. But, does Called to Rise really see this potential come to fruition?
Death metal titans Nile are currently on tour across North America in support of their latest record At The Gates Of Sethu, and they’re pulling double duty the whole way through by playing two full sets featuring songs spanning the group’s entire career. Nile are taking along no regular support across this tour either, instead opting exclusively for local openers. Regular contributor Maclyn Bean attended the Philadelphia stop of the tour on March 7th to photograph the show, which you can see below.
Legendary Egyptian-themed death metallers Nile have released a video for the opening track of their latest album At the Gates of Sethu, titled ‘Enduring the Eternal Molestation of Flame’. The video has a theme of ritual sacrifice interspersed with performance shots of the band. It does a good job of highlighting the grisly, dirty aspect of Nile’s music. It’s probably their best video yet. The song is also one of the best songs of the album, so definitely check this video out! Also of note is that the song was written without time signatures, the band just rolled with the recording and thus measures constantly spill over, which makes this a very hard track to perform! Yet another reason for why Nile are awesome, as if anyone needed any more reasons.
Hailing from Detroit, Konkeror are a no-frills death metal band. They self-released their album so it was a bit under the radar, but their blend of death metal that is influenced by Nile, Behemoth and older Morbid Angel is definitely impressive for a new band. Their production is top notch; and their riffing and drumming are tight, fast and bludgeoningly heavy. The occasionally middle-eastern influenced songwriting definitely evokes their influences heavily, but their sound is original enough to be recognizable. There is something distinctly oldschool about Konkeror, the drumming doesn’t resort to having fills at the end of every measure like a lot of modern death metal bands tend to, instead it’s usually a constant assault of blast beating. This might be odd for some newer listeners, but most old school death metal fans prefer this. At other times, the riffing is very modern in the sense of newer Behemoth, and the band’s juxtaposition of these styles in a way that alienates fans of neither makes them worth attention. An incredibly solid debut with great songwriting, The Abysmal Horizons should put Konkeror on the map with other big names of death metal.