White Arms Of Athena – TBA (Prosthetic Records)
The odd ones out in a sea of death metal on our last primer for 2013 are Texas progressive metal upstarts White Arms Of Athena, who made a few waves in 2011 when they dropped their debut album Astrodrama. Metalsucks, Decibel Magazine, and yours truly raved about the record’s ability to seamlessly (and seemingly effortlessly) throw shades of Cynic, Between the Buried and Me, and Blink 182 (yes) into a brand new sound of catchy and challenging psychedelia. For their second album however, the band are focusing more on a more straightforward White Arms psychedelic rock sound, if such a thing exists. Bassist and songwriter Tom Sifuentes (above left) writes:
Comparing the old material to new, I would say Astrodrama was our take on progressive music rooted in a very “metal” sound, with waves of prog that were more rock or jazz oriented. I’d say this album might just be the opposite; our brand of prog featured in rock and jazz styles we’ve come to enjoy more since recording Astrodrama, with flairs of experimental heaviness. Some songs are looking to be very simple in structure, while some are more erratic with flow and ideas. Not much is set in stone as far as themes or even a producer. Ideas are flying around though, and since the music will be somewhat rooted in a different style, don’t be surprised that those aspects might be different as well.
You can count on one thing though; new White Arms Of Athena by the end of 2013. I’m liking this year better already. The band’s debut album is available at Amazon for the low low price of $5. If you don’t have the record yet, get it now on the cheap. You can also stream it below via Bandcamp.
Ulcerate – TBA (Relapse Records)
Auckland, New Zealand’s death metal heavyweights Ulcerate delivered one of the greatest albums of 2011 — certainly my favorite extreme metal record of the year — in the form of The Destroyers of All. The album is groundbreaking, further solidifying the fringe genre of post-death metal (if it were ever a thing to begin with) by blending brutal technical death metal with a dense apocalyptic atmosphere. The band has since signed to Relapse Records, where they are expected to release a new album by the end of the year. Not much else is known at this point in time, but as soon as word hits on new Ulcerate, I won’t hesitate to let you know.
Fleshgod Apocalypse – TBA (Nuclear Blast)
Despite being around for a while in the scene, Italian symphonic death metal meistros Fleshgod Apocalypse finally broke out (as far as death metal can, really) with their sophomore album and Nuclear Blast Records debut Agony. Now two years later — as is usually the case every two years — the band are crossing the threshold into a new record cycle as they write and record for their new album. Just like with Ulcerate above, details are murky, but we do know that you can expect a new Fleshgod record out this year, as well as more North American touring presence, as the group signed with a new management group with rising US presence late last year. Fingers crossed!
Wormed – Exodromos (Willowtip Records)
Wormed are a band I’ve only recently been getting into, and I regret not getting in on the excitement early on. This group of Spaniards push death metal to its technical and brutal extremities, weirdly crossing paths with slam and prog. They’re almost avant garde in their delivery, in fact. It’s a shame that it technically took them about a decade to release their second full-length record Exodromos, but it’s better late than never:
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most innovative recordings ever written by WORMED. Ten tracks with an intense brutality, traveling at breakneck speeds, charged with dissonant dynamic riffing and tremendously overwhelming heaviness. The overall sound is sophisticated, sharp and more compact than the previous recordings. Every detail is perfectly calculated, and it’s by far more technical than ever.
Exodromos is a prequel of their debut album Planisphaerium; the story tells about futuristic science concepts and chaotic visions of the last human left in cosmos, Krighsu. These are particularly in relation to the awakening of the “Chrym” once the last humans of the year 8K, called the Terrax, dissapeared, and the known universe was absorbed by a quantum wormhole in a inverted multi-vectorial reionization. Krighsu, will travel through xenoverses to found a new world with the human seed. The paradox: Krighsu is not the habitual human you all know.
You can catch this sci-fi conceptual mindfuck out March 26th on Willowtip Records. The record’s opening track ‘Nucleon‘ can be heard below: