New Releases – 20th January 2017

Here’s my personal pick of the new metal releases coming out today. There’s only a few that stand out but we are starting to get into the first properly tempting releases of the year now.

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Memoriam – The Hellfire Demos II

Following the sad death of their drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns, the legendary Bolt Thrower called it a day in 2016. But their vocalist Karl Willetts has formed Memoriam along with old BT pal Andy Whale and members of Benediction and Sacrilege for added supergroupness. Their debut single The Hellfire Demos was one of 2016’s best singles and now they’re back with the follow-up: one unheard track Drone Strike and Surrounded (By Death) which was previously only available on a Decibel mag flexi. This will be available on vinyl (through Nuclear Blast’s webshop) and you can download it from the usual places. It’s the first real must-buy of the year so get involved!

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Emptiness – Not For Music

Time flies. I was meaning to check out Emptiness’ Nothing But the Whole since it was released in 2014 and I still haven’t got round it. Now they’re back with a new album! I had a listen to a new song Your Skin Won’t Hide You and was thoroughly impressed by its black, unsettling atmosphere. It’s an exciting track, I’ve been reading good things and I love the cover too so this is looking like another must-buy. And as an added bonus, they’re Belgian. I can finally add some Belgian metal to the HMO Vault!

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Ashenspire – Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary

Here’s a promising debut from a Glaswegian avant-garde metal band. It’s an intriguing concept album about the dark realities of British imperialism: something Glasgwegians should know plenty about, with its history of tobacco lords, slave trade and all that. It’s an interesting topic, I like the atmosphere, deranged vocals and the violin but the songs I’ve heard have went a bit over my head. More listens required to see if it connects with me but if you like the weirder strains of metal you should definitely give this a go.

And that’s the lot for this week. To play us out, I thought you might enjoy a wee visual jaunt around Glasgow (it is HMO’s neck of the woods, after all) so here’s the lyric video for Ashenspire’s Restless Giants.

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23 thoughts on “New Releases – 20th January 2017”

  1. Man, I do not hate that Ashenspire you embedded. I have no idea what the hell they’re going on about but it felt “deep” and the atmosphere they create with their music is pretty neat. Also a sell for me is the fact that the “deranged vocals” sound more groaned than growled. I’ll let you know more after I look up “Polybotean”…

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    1. The Ashenspire is a funny one. It does feel deep and has great atmosphere… I’m just not sure if I’m feeling much when I listen to it though. I think I might appreciate it more than I love it. Definitely promising though, so more listens.

      Actually the vocals seemed more deranged when I was just listening to the music. Watching the video, with the words, it seems more restrained! On my headphones it sounded more ranty. I’d like the lyric sheet for this one…

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    2. …and on the topic of looking up words and the vocals. The vocal style is described on their press release as “sprechgesang”. Which I had to look up… means a “dramatic vocalization intermediate between speech and song”. Every day’s a school day at HMO!

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      1. “Sprechgesang” is in fact German for more or less, erm, rap… or what Lou Reed did on Lulu?! Not sure if these are the kind of connotations Deep Atmospheric Band wanted to evoke? But then again I watched it with the music muted, atmospheric enough for my taste… 😉

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      2. Hahaha I guessing Deep Atmospheric Band saying they are rapping definitely has different connotations. Whereas the term Sprechgesang sounds suitably pretentious to someone like me, that’s never heard the term before!

        I’m not sure about them, like I was saying. It’s atmospheric enough… I like the concept… but I’m not really sure that they’re doing anything musically to make me “feel” the concept if that makes any sense? Maybe they’ve been a bit too ambitious for a debut?

        Thanks for reading!

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      3. Now that I actually gave it a listen, what I feel (ha!) is that *they* might have listened to a lot of bands like Subway To Sally (German folk/crossover) & the like, in conjunction with sth. like Einstuerzende Neubauten (German industrial) – ? Also and especially concerning the “vocal style”.
        That at least could explain the penchant for wannabe-fancy choice of self-description in ze German lingo?

        But hey, just fun. Don’t ask me about those bands, I have no idea!

        [wasn’t possible to reply to the correct reply here, sorry]

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      4. I have no idea either, but you may be on to something there! I like this enough that if there are similar bands doing this kind of thing better, then I would be intrigued. They mention a band called Devil Doll as an influence too but I’ve not heard of them either.

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      5. Ah! Just destroying my German conspiracy theory there.Though those expressionist vocals almost sound like German in a way, so if you ever dig deeper, this might be the direction to take. Just watch out for anyone claiming to be a table or such.
        Cheers!

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      6. So, I listened again and I think it is specifically the “sprechgesang” that appeals to me here, moreso than the music. My only listens have been via the lyric video and I must admit that, without being able to follow along reading the impossible to suss lyrical lamentations, I might not be as enthused. But then again, I remain a big proponent of Lulu, so factor that in.

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      7. The Lulu factor seems to be a bit thing here! Wasn’t much of a fan of that myself… His voice reminds me a wee bit of the Hell vocalist too although the Hell style is more sang than… er… sprech?

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      1. Ah shit.

        I DID just get the deluxe of Pornograffitti which I first read about on these pages (thanks Scott). It has some remixes I was missing and a song I never heard of called “Sex N’ Love”. But it’s also missing a ton of bonus tracks I have elsewhere, like Love of My Life.

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  2. Some interesting stuff there. Really pretty interested in Emptiness and that Ashenspire lot. That Emptiness cover is pretty unsettling and there’s something about that Ashenspire track I like a lot. Also, I noticed around the 2:48 mark that the dude with the camera moves to avoid the splash. Attention to detail. Ha!

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      1. No. That was a bit unnerving, eh? Also, when I read that comment initially my brain did that whole word replacement thing… I read it as “not sure they should have spent so much on the video…”

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      2. Quite liked some of the shots of the industrial stuff and the Clyde. Metal needs better videos! I keep going on about this to EvaOverload. She likes lots of electronic music and stuff like that and the videos are almost always amazing! But I put on a new metal video and 9 times out of 10… it’s total shite. This one was pretty decent at least.

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