Hey guys, I’m going to be trying something a little different this week, so bear with me for a minute. Remember our old “Singled Out” series that unfortunately fell to the wayside? Well, I’m going to be bringing it back a bit with this “Singles Roundup” post. Whether or not it’s going to replace “Singled Out” in any way remains to be seen, but essentially, the formula is the same: I collect singles that have come out recently and write up blurbs on them that are, ballpark, 150 words. The reason for this is that there’s just so much damn good music that I want to talk about on the site, and not enough time (or slots) in the week for me to write about all of it! This is the most efficient way for me to bring stuff to your collective attention, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Anyway, without further ado, here’s the first (and hopefully not the only) Singles Roundup!
VIRVUM – “Ad Rigorem”
Truth be told, I’ve been waiting on this track for quite some time. VIRVUM’s brand of progressive death metal found its way into my ears a little over a year ago with their debut track “Infernal Howl,” and from the opening onwards I knew I wanted more of their extreme jack-of-all-trades approach that threw tech-leaning death metal, black metal, and brutal death together into a potpourri of slams, blasts, and riffy tech sections.
Suffice to say, their sound has changed slightly, and the influence the new wave of progressive death metal – spearheaded by none other than Fallujah – has had on them is undeniable. “Ad Rigorem” starts off strong and only grows into more of a monster of a prog-death jam. The slick aesthetic and contemplative vibes lend themselves quite well to their sound. For those with a taste for Inanimate Existence, the aforementioned Fallujah, and other such groups, VIRVUM is a band that demands your attention.
Thy Catafalque – “Mezolit”
Black/folk/avant-garde metal powerhouse Thy Catafalque is on their way to releasing the followup to last year’s Sgurr, which was an excellent album that streamlined the band’s sound for an album with all of the same emotional/intellectual payoff as their previous works but touting a much more accessible methodology. Now, Meta is coming, and if “Mezolit” is anything to go by, it’s gonna be chock-full of great music.
Here, the band takes a slower, more methodical approach, building off of a solitary, simple melody for the first half into a doomy, plodding war march of a track before switching into a soaring mid-paced chorus. The buildup is satisfying; the delivery is impeccable. Recommended for fans of black metal, avant-garde metal, folk metal, or anything that will get you really pumped to climb a mountain and/or torch a village.
Oathbreaker – “Needles In Your Skin”
Oathbreaker have somewhat of a reputation as a prodigal band in the blackened hardcore/black metal scene, and this song showcases exactly why that’s the case. Blasting forth from the gate, “Needles” is an emotional ride through the band’s more post-black inspired side. However, it still manages to find space for aggression, twisting the sentimental formulae of Lantlos and An Autumn For Crippled Children to great effect and turning the typical emotional catharsis of the genre into a delicate dance of aggression and melancholy.
Melodies sting as much as they soothe, instruments crest and fall in unison, and frontwoman Caro Tanghe’s vocal performance ties everything together into a package bursting with raw emotion. The production is suitably open and visceral, taking the ethereal side of black metal and the meaty, thick sound of hardcore and twisting both into odd alternative versions of themselves. A track defined by the conjoining of absolutes, “Needles In Your Skin” is for anybody that needs something hauntingly beautiful to get them through the day.
Départe – “Vessel”
A while ago, we ran a feature about a one-man powerviolence project called W R I T H E, whose debut EP stunned all of us over here: it was nasty, depressing, fierce, and barely five minutes long. Now, the mind behind W R I T H E is introducing us all to the blackened death metal project of which he’s a member, so say hello to Départe.
Crushing, violent, and oppressive, this band is not to be trifled with: a colossus of sheer force given sonic form, “Vessel” is a powerful, powerful slab of metal that combines the unadulterated nastiness of black metal artists like Deathspell Omega and Leviathan with the atmospheric approach to heaviness that bands like Portal take. Sonically, it’s far closer to the former category, but the approach is still clearly similar to the latter. Listen to this for your daily dose of nihilism and unabashedly grim aggression.