Friday, September 1, 2017

Weekend Playlist: September 1st, 2017

This week we have the stateside release of a magnetic female japanese power metal effort, the next album in Gothic metal band Paradise Lost's catalog, the new Anubis Gate, a desert trip with Red Mountains, a symphonic death metal epic by Septicflesh, and an ambient pop outing by White Moth Black Butterfly. Before we start though, I try to find posts by the band or label on Youtube, the Official Bandcamp page, or some other venue, but Mary's Blood is hard group to nail down as their YouTube currently only showcases tracks that are 3+ years old. Instead of posting nothing, I wanted to post a Deezer playlist, but that comes with its own issues. Hit the "expand" button in the top right corner to play and view the album. Deezer is a great service... when it works. They use old protocols for just about everything web-based so it's hard to get it to work. I am looking into getting a Spotify account instead to make this a bit easier. Of course, if you have an account on a streaming service I highly recommend checking these tracks out in full. Enjoy!

The Playlist

"Fate" - Mary's Blood

Mary's Blood released "Fate" back in October 2016 in Japan, but it took until this past week for the album to be officially released to the rest of the world. For those unfamiliar with Mary's Blood they are an all-female japanese power metal band -made up of several ex-Destrose members- with incredible talent, particularly Saki, whose guitarwork is up there with the leading talent in the genre; seriously, Gus G, Marty Friedman, and Kai Hansen might need to take down some pointers here. The band absolutely kills it, and deserves far more spotlight from genre aficionados and fans of heavy metal music as a whole.

"Medusa" - Paradise Lost

Over the years, Paradise Lost, has had plenty of variations on their gothic metal brand from more hardcore outings to more pop-gothic signatures. On "Medusa", the follow-up to 2015's incredible, "The Plague Within", the group nestles itself right in the middle of it's diverse catalog. "Medusa", could be seen as a "greatest hits" of sorts as songs vary from the high tempo "Blood and Chaos" to the slower ballad-esque "The Longest Winter". It's another solid outing from a band that continues to experiment without alienating.

"Covered in Black" - Anubis Gate

Anubix Gate is dead. Or alive. Er... kinda both. The band has been through so much trauma over the years from record contracts to health issues that no original member exists. Still, the group's overall sound hasn't suffered. Sure, "Covered in Black" could be considered a bit of a retread for the band, albeit with some heavier doses than usual, but it never once gets dull. The band may expand their horizons (pun intended, look up the band's discography) with future albums, but for now the group is sitting just fine sticking with what they know best and playing the hell out of it.

"Slow Wander" - Red Mountains

Red Mountains open "Slow Wander" with a slow torrential riff that pours over the listener like the setting sun in a hazy desert. The album breathes both psychedelic moments and romping desert/stoner rock, with vocalist/guitarist Magnus Riise, guitarist/vocalist Jostein Wigenstad, bassist Sverre Dalen and drummer Simen Mathiassen striding meaningfully towards the top of the peak. This is a triumph of a sophomore album. For now I only have a link to the debut single "Rat King", but will update with the full album once they post it so keep an ear on this space. Edit: Full album is up!

"Codex Omega" - Septicflesh

On their tenth album, "Codex Omega", Septicflesh offer another solid symphonic death metal outing. Besides the addition of a new drummer, Kerim "Krimh" Lechner, the outfit remains the same, along with their signature use of a real orchestra and chorus to back up the pulverizing death metal. This is a major step up from "Titan", and worth a look for fans of death and symphonic metal genres.

"Atone" - White Moth Black Butterfly

Founded by Daniel Tompkins (TesseracT) and Keshav Dhar after forming Skyharbor, White Moth Black Butterfly follows a different musical course from those two aforementioned groups. A passionate progressive pop outing, "Atone" continues where "One Thousand Wings" left off but with a bit more flair; branching out from the ambience that defined the first album. Acoustic guitar drives "The Serpent", and "Tempest", while more in line with "One Thousand Wings", glides with a pounding drumbeat. The whole album builds on the original sound with rich textures and addicting lyricism. If you need a bit of a break from the earlier albums in this post, or need something to relax to, White Moth Black Butterfly has you covered with their gorgeous, ethereal sophomore effort.

Hope you found something to listen to and have a great weekend!
- The Catalyst