New Music Roundup: Abyssal, Rhapsody, Serpent Noir, Metsatöll & More!

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Wherein the supple cheeks of new music grace the toilet’s eager seat.

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Abyssal‘s latest single from their upcoming album Antikatastaseis (June 23, Profound Lore) made some waves when one Keegan posted it to the ToH Facebook group about a week ago. Four little tiny waves, to be precise. More ripples than actual waves, really. Point is, not enough people payed any attention to it, and now I’m giving you all another chance. Abyssal’s last two offerings (Denouement and Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius, respectively) were excellent, and if the rest of this next album is as good as “I Am The Alpha And The Omega” leads on, Antikatastaseis will surpass them both. Grant passage into your earholes the dark wash of almost-riffs, angular trem-picking, and hypnotic drumwork. For fans of Mitochondrion, a less muddled Antediluvian, black subterranean vomit volcanoes.

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Luca Turilli left Rhapsody of Fire (previously just Rhapsody) and formed his own band (also called Rhapsody) to nurse his immortal hard-on for what he insistently refers to as “cinematic metal”. While it’s really just a way over-the-top spin on the already way over-the-top genre of symphonic power metal (dragonfucking, jajaja), I’ll let him call it whatever he wants, because Ascending to Infinity was awesome and the first single from his new album Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus pretty much slays, too. It’s cheesier than actual fucking cheese, but if you can stomach that sort of thing, it’s one hell of a good time. Randall Thor likes the chorus’s throwback to old school Rhapsody. I fully agree, and it has me stupidly excited for the new album.

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Serpent Noir is about to put out their second full-length, entitled Erotomysticism (April 30, Daemon Worship Productions). “Erotic” and “mystic” are two of my favorite words (second and third only to “ensorcelled”), and I really liked 2012’s Seeing Through the Shadow Consciousness (Open Up the Shells), so this one is pretty much a no-brainer for me. The album’s first single “Al Runa” is very good, and very Greek (yes, this means lots of ritual chanting). It’s undulatory movement from brooding to blasting and back again keeps the 7-minute song from wearing out its welcome. Also of interest – drums in this band are handled by Mika Hakola of Ofermod, and the lyrics were penned by Thomas Karlsson of Therion. Check it out.

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Estonian folk metal band Metsatöll falls into the highly-crowded category of “bands that I know nothing about but I think I might possibly remember some of you talking fondly about them.” They’re releasing a new EP called Pummelung (May 15, Spinefarm Records), and just debuted the title track. About it, they say:

“Let’s take life as it is, without any enhancements, without putting our heads under pillows, with backs up straight. Just as the track lyrics say – the twilight will reveal which one of us is a true Estonian!”

The degree to which I know what that means is zero, but this here sounds like a drinking song to me.

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Wait, don’t go! Just because they’re called Ironsword and their album cover depicts a shirtless man cutting down his undead foes with brawn and steel doesn’t mean they’re power metal, you big dummy. Ironsword has been churning out quality epic heavy metal since 1995. Think something along the lines of oldschoolers Manilla Road or Brocas HelmNone But the Brave (May 19, Shadow Kingdom Records) is one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and I’ve finally tracked down two new songs to endlessly jam, full of battle-ready riffage and barbarian vocals. Holy shit these tracks are good. Listen to “Army of Darkness” at Beatroute, and “Forging the Sword” below.

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