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ALBUM OF THE MONTH LOUDER THAN A BOMB

DÄLEK

‘Asphalt For Eden’

It’s remarkable how much the musical landscape has changed in the five years since Dälek announced they were going on hiatus. Of course, this New Jersey outfit were by no means the first to combine hip-hop’s rhythmic clout with a noisier, industrial aesthetic (themselves having always been indebted to the likes of Public Enemy, El-P and Techno Animal), but their dark, idiosyncratic style certainly occupied its own highly distinctive little niche within the pantheon of “extreme” music. Their once seemingly singular vision, however, has been elaborated on in the last few years by all manner of abrasive avant-garde rap acts who owe as much to Merzbow as they do N.W.A., like Death Grips, Clipping and Ratking, to name just a few, with this angular sound seeping into the mainstream consciousness to such an extent that even bloated self-parody Kanye West began to use harsher, more abstract production techniques on his ‘Yeezus’ album.

Given this change in sonic climate and the fact that longtime DJ Oktopus isn’t a part of Dälek’s current incarnation, you’d be forgiven for worrying that ‘Asphalt For Eden’ would be a dated and unnecessary addendum to an otherwise stellar and fearlessly ambitious discography. Thankfully though, oh ye of little faith, such thoughts quickly turn out to be entirely unfounded; born out of MC Will Brooks’ desire to explore heavier terrain after delving back into standard boom-bap hip-hop with his iconAclass project, the album feels like an entirely organic return for the group. Their sound hasn’t changed all that drastically – layers of swirling, My Bloody Valentine-esque guitar still collide with those speaker blowing Godfleshian drum loops in the most hypnotic way possible – but Dälek sound noticeably rejuvenated and reinvigorated here.

At little over 38 minutes, it’s also their shortest record to date. Whilst this means that none of these tracks (save for the album’s meditative instrumental centrepiece ‘6dB’) build into the same kind of monolithic sound structures as the tracks from 2007’s ‘Abandoned Language’, nor is there any room for twelve minute noise freakouts like the classic ‘Black Smoke Rising’, it benefits them in other ways as ‘Asphalt…’ is also arguably the most immediate and urgent sounding record they’ve released yet.

Take ‘Masked Laughter (Nothing’s Left)’, for instance, where Brook’s famously brooding, monotone flow breaks into a looser, angrier drawl as he spits venom at the world’s injustices whilst seemingly expressing his own frustration at music’s apparent inability to right these wrongs (“I don’t need a fucking anthem, I need change”), or the unstoppable, crackling bounce of ‘Critical’, a no-nonsense hook-laden four minute banger that would probably dominate the airwaves if released on a major label. The final combo of ‘Control’ and the arrestingly beautiful ‘It Just Is’ are two of the finest tracks in the band’s oeuvre, the former finding them at their most claustrophobic, polemic spewing best, and the latter proving that their brand of audio terrorism is still just as capable of tugging your heartstrings as it is bashing your grey matter into a bloody pulp.

Sounding leaner, more energised and angrier than ever, ‘Asphalt For Eden’ proves Dälek have lost none of their relevancy and casts an imposing shadow over the current industrial hip-hop scene they helped to foster.

GORGUTS

‘Pleiades’ Dust’

SEASON OF MIST

Just in case you didn’t get the memo that Gorguts aren’t your typical death metal band, Luc Lemay and chums have seen fit to follow up their acclaimed 2013 comeback ‘Colored Sands’ with a single 33-minute composition inspired by the major intellectual centre of the Islamic Golden Age. Oh, but of course! However, while ‘Pleiades’ Dust’ is undoubtedly an ambitious undertaking, it’s also far from impenetrable, with the band striking a well-honed balance between their trademark nerve-shredding dissonance and extended periods of intoxicating, Eastern-tinged melody. As on ‘Colored Sands’, Lemay and fellow guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Krallice) weave an intricate web of huge, crashing chords and warped leads, which is underpinned by the equally dextrous bass work of Colin Marston (Behold… The Arctopus, Dysrhythmia, Krallice) and versatile drumming of Patrice Hamelin (Beneath The Massacre). The expansive, pseudo-classical structure allows the band to explore every idea to its fullest, with the mesmeric interplay on display during the piece’s more reflective moments serving to heighten the impact when Lemay’s throaty growls and pummelling mutant riffs come back into play. The final twelve-minute stretch is particularly devastating, as the four-piece traverse through ambient drones, leaden doom and brain-scrambling riff barrage, before going out in a blaze of glory with a dazzling solo and a swell of noise punctuated by some final gentle glimmers of clean guitar. Once again, Gorguts have further distanced themselves from the death metal pack. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess…

LIFE IS A LONG SONG

GORGUTS AREN’T ALONE IN ATTEMPTING A SINGLE-SONG RECORD

MESHUGGAH

‘I’ (NUCLEAR BLAST, 2004)

The Swedes’ 21 minute opus is one of their most disorientating and ambitious

DEATHSPELL OMEGA

‘Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon’ (NORMA EVANGELIUM DIABOLI, 2008)

Deathspell’s first harrowing foray into long-form EPs wouldn’t be their last

SLEEP

‘Dopesmoker’ (TEEPEE, 2003)

Written and conceived through the largest smog of marijuana smoke ever seen, Sleep’s hour-long masterpiece is one of metal’s most infamous one-song albums

INTER ARMA

‘The Cavern’ (RELAPSE, 2014)

This 45 minute odyssey is another ambitious gem from this unclassifiable Richmond based band

ALKERDEEL

‘Lede’

CONSOULING SOUNDS

There’s something to be said about “poor” productions done on purpose to emulate some beloved lo-finess of yore, but whatever, we’ll do it when we have a bigger wordcount and when it doesn’t actually work. Yes, ‘Lede’ sounds like a scratched ‘Under The Funeral Moon’ vinyl was dropped in a puddle of mud, but rather than a gimmick, it actually suits the muffled, sludgy attack of the disgusting 39 minutes on offer here. The devil farting in your general direction on the cover is also a pretty good representation of what you get from this, the nastiest-sounding and also best album of the Belgians’ career – it’s unpleasant, at first you wish they hadn’t done it, but in the end you laugh and end up sticking around for another go.

ART OF BURNING WATER

‘Between Life And Nowhere’

SUPER-FI

It’s been a full decade since Art Of Burning Water’s debut full-length first wowed us with their caustic mixture of noise rock abrasion, grindcore energy and Melvins-esque sludge riffery. With the small avalanche of splits and EPs they’ve unleashed over the last couple years, they’ve got this ugly, angular sound down to a fine art, and this sixth full-length is their best yet. Their raucous, punk-as-fuck riffing style has never sounded more potent – check out simultaneously melancholy and triumphant closer ‘Kindness Is Strength’ – and when combined with their frenetic enthusiasm and gleeful disregard for convention (not to mention their penchant for chucklesome titles – ‘Voivodian Solutions To Die Kreuzian Problems’, anyone?) produces an unhinged, unpredictable and supremely enjoyable record.

BEHEXEN

‘The Poisonous Path’

DEBEMUR MORTI

An atavistic approach delivered with visceral precision, Finland’s Behexen aren’t playing for points. ‘The Poisonous Path’ maintains the primeval rawness of their early work, whilst offering more atmospheric moments like dramatic closer ‘Rakkaudesta Saatanaan’. Devoutly old-school in approach, yet still managing to sound fresh, ‘The Poisonous Path’ rarely grants quarter, only to then re-double its efforts in a further savage assault. Seared with the fires of Hades and with no regard for trends, Behexen marry Hoath Torog’s monstrous vocals and the cavernous production with malevolent buzzsaw to summon a feeling of real dread which only the finest Satanists can conjure. Sticking to their guns, Behexen have crafted another fitting offering to the horned one.

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About Terrorizer Magazine

This month’s cover stars are 25 years old this year and have just released their tenth album, so for Katatonia it’s a double whammy. But with age comes clarity and knowledge and as you’ll have heard for yourselves, the band’s new release ‘The Fall Of Hearts’ is such a brilliant piece of melancholic metal. Perhaps not the most obvious of coverstars, it’s safe to say that Katatonia deserve the honour through consistently delivering awesome albums and going the distance when others have fallen by the wayside. I know you’ll enjoy José’s story as much as I did reading it for the first time. This issue is packed, as always, with a cross-section of brutality and extremity and was brought to you as certain staff members recover from two of the best festivals in the calendar – namely Roadburn and Ritual Festival. You can read about both in this ‘ere issue too.
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