Fast Rites Vol. 10

Summer doldrums?

posted on 8/2016   By: Dave Schalek

The late summer doldrums are here, but many artists are looking beyond the seasons to the stars. Blood Incanation's Starspawn currently has tongues wagging, and the new album from Satan-Is-In-The-Cosmos explorers Inquisition is about to drop into everybody's laps. But, you should also check out the new releases from veterans Monolithe and upstarts Void Omnia for your astronomical fix. We also have our take on some down-to-Earth Swedish DM as Centinex returns, along with looks at albums from Morrow,  All Your Sisters, and Kohti Tuhoa. Enjoy!

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MONOLITHE – ZETA RETICULI 

France’s Monolithe deviated from its sequence of numbered albums with the release of the science/ SF-inspired Epsilon Aurigae in 2015 (the star Epsilon Aurigae itself may merit a future Death From Above article). The same themes continue with a follow up, Zeta Reticuli. That particular star (there is such a star) should be no stranger to fans of the Alien universe, but the three songs on the album reference other SF tropes such as world spanning megalopolises (think Trantor before Coruscant) and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’m in science/ SF geek heaven with such a release, but Monolithe back up their nods to nerdom with great songs of melancholic doom with an approach probably closer to My Dying Bride than to say, Skepticism. Tempos are a bit more upbeat, melodies creep in with keyboards and solos, and a few moments of clean singing make their way into “Barren Depths,” the album closer. Stylistically, not much changes from album to album with Monolithe, but, on Zeta Reticuli, that’s just fine.

[DAVE SCHALEK]

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VOID OMNIA – DYING LIGHT 

Ex-members of Oakland’s Apocryphon team up for an exploration of the more extreme aspects of the cosmos with Void Omnia and its debut, digital only release, Dying Light. Cosmic themes seem to be all the rage these days, but Void Omnia is a long way from Blood Incantation. In fact, as Zach Duvall pointed out, Void Omnia is channeling old Dissection with a fast assault of semi-melodic black metal from yesteryear. Lots of tremolo picking, blastbeats that periodically down shift to a mid-paced tempo, screeched vocals, and moments of melody complete the package. Toss in album artwork that looks like the upper portion of my astronomy sleeve tattoo, and I’m in.

[DAVE SCHALEK]

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MORROW – COVENANT OF TEETH 

Cello? Spoken-word intro in Swedish atop the sounds of a crackling fire? Songs about trees? But what’s that, you say? This is a crust punk record? Bearing the bells and whistles of black metal tomfoolery, London-based neo-crust collective Morrow blends driving d-beat with haunting cellos and drifting acoustics into epic (and epic-length) compositions, and though the combo sounds a bit odd on paper, in practice, it works surprisingly well, a combination equal parts expansive melody and exhilarating energy. Some of the d-beat passages do get a bit repetitive (d-beat? Repetitive? You don’t say… ), but in the context of the whole, the hypnotic approach helps with the neo-folk-punk aesthetic. Originally released in April, Covenant Of Teeth is getting a reissue in August thanks to Halo Of Flies, and it’s well worth investigation.

[ANDREW EDMUNDS]

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Centinex – DOOMSDAY RITUALS 

After waiting through nine years of disbandment and Demonical, Centinex reunited to deliver the impressive Redeeming Filth. Rather than make us wait that long again, Centinex picked up its traditional cycle and dropped Doomsday Rituals in rather short order. Maybe it should have waited a little longer. That isn’t to say this isn’t a solid album, because it is indeed that. It just seems to be lacking something that its predecessor had. After getting over the opening hump of “Flesh Passion” - 90 seconds of introductory riffs stretched into a 3+ minute track – business picks up with “From Intact to Broken” before leveling off with “Dismemberment Supreme”, after which they maintain a steady barrage. Other standout tracks include “Generation of Flies” and “Sentenced to Suffer. After 25+ (with that interruption) years, they’ve gotten the ol’ Swedish death metal thing down pretty well, so, you know, quality. No need to rush. We’re willing to wait for greatness.

[DAVE PIRTLE]

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ALL YOUR SISTERS – UNCOMFORTABLE SKIN

The wild world of darkwave is making a comeback and the metal scene is all too excited to embrace it. All Your Sisters combines post-punk influences and darkwave in a way that is not unfamiliar in today’s music scene. What it does differently, is make music that is catchy and danceable without the need to add flourishes and modernizations that are distracting, annoying, and, usually, senseless. Despite hailing from the hippie capital of the world, San Francisco, All Your Sisters reach into the LaVeyan history of the city along with one member’s life as an EMT to produce lyrics caliginous at their core and complimentary of the sparse instrumentation fronted by the slow movements of the bass. Throughout Uncomfortable Skin there is sadness, remorse and plenty of dance moments (“Black God,” “Reconcile” and “Loss”) placed in stark contrast to the more punky, shouty stretches (“Filled with Waste” or “No Hope”). Think of a mix of Wire with Asylum Party and Dead Can Dance. That’s kind of what is going on with All Your Sisters. The important thing is to dance until you sweat clean through your leather pants.

[MANNY-O-WAR]

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KOHTi TUHOA – Rutiinin Orja 

When punk is blistering and perfect there’s really no need for the album to cross twenty minutes no matter how many tracks it features. Luckily, Kohti Tuhoa is well aware of that fact. This sizzling debut LP, originally released back in 2015, will see release via Southern Lord on July 29, 2016. Sixteen tracks combining Discharge-influenced guitars with the speed and aggression of Japanese D-Beat legends like S.D.S. and Framtid blaze by in just under twenty minutes. Hailing from Finland, Kohti Tuhoa breaks the mold of the Finnish sound and delivers pogo-like punk with Helena’s unrelenting fury and beautifully rolled r’s which are angry/evil incarnate. In contrast to its 2014 7”, Rutiinin Orja sounds professional, full, pervasive and utterly devastating. Fans of crusty d-beat, punk rock and hardcore akin to Halshug’s Blodets Bånd will do well to check this one out. It’s meant to be blasted in a space where you don’t care about punching holes in the walls. It will infect you. In fact, I would say that “Rajoitan Itseäni” is one of the most inspiring punk songs I’ve heard in a long time.

[MANNY-O-WAR]

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