Singled Out is our weekly column to round-up the singles and new tracks from the past week dropped by bands we cover. Consider this our weekly mix to help keep you all on top of the latest releases from across the metallic and progressive spectrums. Read past entries here, and go on ahead below to get Singled Out!
The Black Dahlia Murder – “Threat Level Number Three”
One of the most popular North American death metal bands keep giving the gift of sweet, sweet melodeath. The Black Dahlia Murder have already dropped two tracks from Abysmal, and two fine tracks they are, but they’ve saved the best for now. “Threat Level No. 3” is manic from the get go. It has a killer chorus that has Strnad keeping pace with the riff, note for note in most parts. This unison of vocal and guitar melody pushes the shit out of the groove in this section and is oddly reminiscent of Miasma era Black Dahlia. The guitar harmonies are lethal as ever, especially when the harmony itself change slightly throughout the song. The brutish middle section of the song has the band dipping a webbed toe into a slam swamp, just long enough to get a feel for it before jumping back out. The kickback to Miasma and Nocturnal rears its head again nearer the end of the track, without sacrificing any of the new found intensity that Everblack lacked sorely. Behind the kit, Alan Cassidy continues to show the haters that he more than fills the shoes of Shannon Lucas before him. A blistering track and surely to be a new crowd favorite.
Cult Leader – “Suffer Louder”
Since releasing their debut EP Nothing For Us Here and their 7″ EP Useless Animal, Cult Leader have gotten angrier, heavier, and much more pissed off. Cult Leader released the first single off of their upcoming debut album titled Lightless Walk which is coming out on October 16th (my birthday is the 13th if someone wants to be kind enough to send me the album as a gift ;)) and we at Heavy Blog are excited to hear it.
The first single released off of Lightless Walk is titled “Suffer Louder,” and let me tell you, the song title fits. Once the song starts, no matter how happy or angry you were before listening, everything changes and you suddenly want to smash everything to the ground. Cult Leader are honestly one of my favorite heavy bands, and they should be one of yours, too. They’re one of those bands whose albums can sound the same, but it would be okay because they’re masters of their craft. That’s not to say Lightless Walk is going to sound the same as the 2 EPs before, but Cult Leader’s heaviness and abrasiveness will forever remain.
Deafheaven – “Brought To the Water”
If there is one band in recent memory that has caused almost unparalleled controversy in the metal scene within the last 10 years, it is certainly Deafheaven. Doing the unthinkable of mixing shoegaze and post-rock in with their black metal, then daring to take their experimentation a step further, by (gasp), playing in a major key, they really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Plus, they don’t even burn churches. Well, the good news is that Deafheaven finally, to a degree, cut out all that “musical experimentation” crap and have managed to deliver a track with a much thicker black metal skeleton, as well as actual riffs. “Brought To The Water” shows a band that has experienced somewhat of a return to form, swapping the bright, warm sounds of Sunbather in favor of the darker, more black metal driven approach they took on their initial releases, such as Roads To Judah and the Demo. However, it would not truly be a Deafheaven track without giving people a reason to burn them at the stake for being hipster scum, and so they still manage to deliver their signature post rock element. Around 4 minutes the band begins to bring a bit of their shimmer back, eventually allowing it to crescendo to a full, somewhat sunny riff. Deafheaven may never satisfy black metal purists, and may upset some Sunbather-era fans with their newer, darker direction, but it is undeniable that their music remains entirely distinct and unique.
Kylesa – “Shaping the Southern Sky”
Kylesa are back with a big, swinging number that would have blown the 70’s rock chart to pieces had it come out around that era. Never a band for resting on their laurels or throwing out music for the sake of it, “Shaping The Southern Sky” is an expansive exercise of writing prog tinged rock and roll that still bites hard enough to band a head or two. The band’s experimentation with instrumentation and soundscapes comes to a heady point with the spaced out mid section of this track. We’ve seen this kind of jam sesh done very, very well already this year with Ecstatic Vision but Kylesa are here to let everyone know that they do it just as well, if not bigger and bolder. The instruments all sound so lavish and luxuriously coated in reverb and delay, it’s easy to space out and get caught short when the track comes to a slow burning end. There’ll be more of this to come from the forthcoming Exhausting Fire and more of this shall be devoured by I.
Maserati – “Rehumanizer II”
Fans of retrowave-infused electro-post-rock rejoice! Maserati are returning this fall with Rehumanizer, which follows their best album to date, 2012’s Maserati VII. Mixing elements of dance/club beats with invigorating riffs and silky synths, in recent years Maserati have focused on high-octane instrumental music that defies easy categorization, though with its emphasis on space and retro sci-fi themes, it falls pretty easily into the growing niche of retrowave releases that have been popping up the past few years. First single “Rehumanizer II” pretty much delivers exactly what one would expect and hope for in new material from the group, nothing more and nothing less. With a brief buildup it takes very little time to rev up into action and deliver the goods for a 5 1/2 minute runtime that feels like it goes by in a flash. And while the music is perfectly fine, let’s just take a moment and appreciate the majesty that is the cover art for this album. There’s some serious Dune-level 80s sci-fi art happening there, and it’s freaking glorious. If the music even comes close to what that art evokes, then Maserati will surely have another excellent release on their hands. We’ll know for sure when the album drops October 30 through Temporary Residence Ltd.
So Hideous – “Yesteryear”
I’ll be completely honest, up until this track, I was entirely unacquainted with post-black/post-rock/emo/what-have-you upstarts So Hideous, which is a little surprising given how low to the ground my ear is for stuff like this. I’d gotten the scoop on them before from others at the blog, but “Yesteryear” is my proper introduction to their wondrous tunage. And to continue being entirely honest, I’m beating myself up for only now getting around to them. This song is an emotional tour de force: across seven and a half minutes, the band traverses a wide variety of emotive soundscapes, each of them as beautiful and lush as the last. From the sparse piano intro, to the black metal swells and orchestral backings, So Hideous uses their string section to paint wide swathes of shimmering colors entirely their own onto a canvas of post-black. Evocative, powerful, and beautiful, “Yesteryear” promises a radiant trip through twin worlds of rapturous bliss and crushing despair, and all signs point to So Hideous’ upcoming album, Laurestine, (out October 16 through Prosthetic Records) delivering.
Soilwork – “Enemies In Fidelity”
Soilwork come at us with the second track from the upcoming The Ride Majestic in “Enemies in Fidelity.” It’s a little more subdued than the title track that was revealed a couple of weeks ago, striking at a slower tempo than its predecessor. While solid, it’s a great deal less striking than the first reveal of the album, with the synths standing more prominently alongside Speed’s vocals and the guitars and drums providing more of a tempered experience. A strange choice for a second single, due to the dissonance caused by the aggression in Speed’s voice during harsh vocal segments and the hushed instrumentation involved. It’s only when the clean vocals come in that everything really comes together. Not the biggest fan of this track, but it probably works better within the context of the album than as a single.