Free Metal Detector: Shroud Ritual & Disseminate

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Two albums for the price of none!

This right here, is an incredible surprise. If you like instrumental metal of any kind, you need to click play on this album. Trust me.

The man behind Shroud Ritual has decided to start the Bandcamp embed on the third track because he believes it best represents the album overall. And for once, I’m not going to bother telling you to skip back to the official beginning of the album. It shouldn’t matter. If you give this song (“Celestial Dome”) a chance, you’ll know if you need to pick this album up and give it the attention it truly deserves. In all honesty, the quality of this debut is only just starting to set in for me too, as it was only released at the end of last week, and after just one playthrough it became apparent that this was going to be something sticking around on people’s playlists for a long time to come.

Last Friday, we received a humble email from Patrick, the lone musician behind Shroud Ritual, about his progressive black/death release titled Five Suns. Now we get a shitload of emails in the TovH inbox, stuff from labels, PR people, spam, and “review requests” from random Russian “female-fronted” symphonic folk-core bands. Often, it’s hard to separate the instantly DELETE-able from the eventually delete-able. After reading the succinct but detailed accompanying description and being greeted with this intriguing artwork (created by Luciana Nedelea), my pants interest became piqued.

By now, if you’ve been listening to “Celestial Dome” while skimming through those last two paragraphs of me garbling and gushing, fruitlessly scanning for a name-drop of a familiar band or reference point, you won’t need any more convincing than the music itself. However, for those of you who won’t even give a click to something until it can be traced back to something you already enjoy, I’ll give a very haphazard analysis of the style(s) found on Five Suns. Simultaneously haunting and majestically structured compositions that are redolent of Tempel and Opeth-level grandeur, sublime textural dynamics that flow with the beautiful poise of Dumbsaint, tasteful virtuosic bursts that’d fit right in on an Animals As Leaders or Pomegranate Tiger track, and the riff-intensity of those Revocation instrumental tracks, all brushed with melancholic blackness.

Expect to hear a lot more about this album before the year is out.


Now on to things that are not so new, and not so beautiful. If you were anything like me as a youth, you spent a lot of time in people’s sheds/garages stoned off your tits sloppily playing shit riffs while drinking whatever trash beer you could get your hands on. Sure, it was awesome, but it led to nothing. Except for the certainty of a future working at whatever dead-end minimal pay job you wanted for the rest of your drastically shortened life-span. Good times.

However, it had to work out for some. Your favourite bands are proof of this. Ever wonder what they sounded like on their earliest recordings? Was it as garbage as that riff you used to spend hours trying to get right with your mentally incapable drummer friend, only to find that the one time he actually fucking listened to what he was doing and landed a take, your mate on bass had ducked-out for a piss and forgot to hit record on your Tascam 4-track cassette-deck? Turns out that no, they actually had talent the whole time. Today, courtesy of Tasmania’s Goulburn Street Records, we get to hear what the brothers Haley sounded like before the formation of Australia’s foremost metal band Psycroptic.

Disseminate‘s only demo was originally released on a cassette in 1998, from the days when you didn’t google with Google. A time when there were vast cities build on Geo, where hyperlinks spread like Angel’s fire, and when strangers were seeking your a/s/l on ICQ, buried somewhere beneath the ceaseless aural assault from the original progenitor of the entire harsh noise genre, two talented young Tasmanian brothers were honing their chops.

Not gonna lie, recent fans of the band might not really be into this as it is quite far removed from their current form, but as a staunch supporter I found it pretty damn cool to be able to hear Joe (guitars) and Dave (drums) belting out some unreleased material that would pave the way for one of my all-time fave metal bands. The brothers, 16 and 18 years of age (respectively) at the time, were only a mere 3 years off releasing Psycroptic’s debut The Isle Of Disenchantment, and shortly after, their seminal technical death metal masterpiece, 2003’s Scepter Of The Ancients. And while I have no idea what became of the young vocalist and bass player that made up the rest of Disseminate’s lineup, they’re almost superfluous to the point. Not to belittle their performance or anything, but let’s face it, the only reason this got uploaded is because apparently any time Joe and Dave jammed it sounded tight. Even when they were teenagers. Fuck.

Anyway, you have to grab this little piece of Aussie metal history for free. No, I don’t mean because I’m telling you to. I mean because Goulburn Street Records have only made it available for free download. You can’t even give them a single dollarydoo for it.

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