Stumbling Upon Blast Head Records via Eternium
A couple of months ago I posted about two bands that initiated contact with me in hopes of reaching new ears, and I ended up loving both. Random encounters like those that turn out successful can be rare, yet it happened again recently, and now I’ve entered a rabbit hole of great bands via Blast Head Records whom I would like to share with you. So check them out; I’m certain some fancies will be tickled!
Late Friday night I was walking home from the neighbor’s house when I passed a couple of young, drunk fellas on the sidewalk joking around and singing. One of the guys noticed my Nile hoodie and said “NILE: they’re so amazing live!” Of course I had to stop and chat, and though the guy didn’t look like a metalhead, he seemed to know his shit. He asked about some of the bands that I enjoy and then proceeded to tell me about a St. Louis band called Eternium, a band for whom his co-worker plays bass. I made him a deal: “check out the Toilet ov Hell if you want to discover some new metal, and I’ll check out your bud’s band.”
Eternium – Repelling a Solar Giant (2013)
My newly discovered neighbor described Eternium as “symphonic black metal, very Swedish”, and while his description made me very skeptical at the time, I was hooked upon hearing the first song. This St. Louis-based group was started as a one man project by Markov Soroka in 2011, later added full members, and recently changed their name to Tchornobog. Eternium incorporates riffs of the melodic death/black metal persuasion that I would compare to bands like Amon Amarth or newer Blut Aus Nord (some fans compare them to Dissection, but I cannot confirm nor deny this as I haven’t heard enough of their output). The music is heavily layered with symphonic elements, but rather than crush the metal like Italian psychos Fleshgod Apocalypse, it has a more restrained Septicflesh-like vibe. Song lengths vary from five minutes to 10, giving each enough time to tell its respective tale without feeling rushed. Repelling a Solar Giant is a concept album that works best heard front-to-back, in one sitting, and is interesting and engaging all the way through. Check out my favorite track “Aura Infernum: The Flight Over Massless Soul”:
Mörbid Vomit – Return to the Crypts (2015)
Return to the Crypts is actually a compilation from the Finland death metallers Mörbid Vomit, which includes their 2012 demo and a 2013 EP, topped with a Ghost B.C. cover. Now before you go crying foul, know that Mörbid Vomit does not try to hide their influences – as evidenced by a Bandcamp description that reads: “old school Swedish sound and a must for fans of Grave, Entombed, Bloodbath and Gorefest“. Of the four previously mentioned bands, I happen to be most familiar with Bloodbath, and many of the songs from the compilation could easily be from Nightmares Made Flesh. I’m not complaining, however, as more is always better. It’s just that it takes several listens before being able to pick out the nuances that separate Mörbid Vomit from their peers.
Listen to the full compilation at Bandcamp; they also released a new LP this year called Doctrine of Violence, which I have yet to hear.
Parasitized – Existence Unveiled EP (2012)
Let’s throw in some reasonably tech-y, slightly br00tal death metal, why don’t we? Parasitized sound like an amalgamation of bands that find the sweet-spot between those two aforementioned genres. There’s a fair amount of weedily-deedily similar to the likes of Origin or Spawn of Posession, and an equal amount of slamming brutality akin to Dying Fetus or Suffocation. Unlike Mörbid Vomit though, I can’t accuse Parasitized of sounding exactly like any of their peers, as the band does a good job of maintaining a unique personality. The songs are long enough to incorporate a few different movements without straying too far into the progressive death metal territory, and the non-linear structures keep them from feeling stale after only a few listens. There are enough riffs contained within this 23-minute EP that any listener should find something which tickles his or her fancy. I really dig the more groove-oriented track “Beyond the Frontiers of Pain”, which I urge you to check out below:
After poking around Blast Heads Records’ roster for only a few minutes, I had already found three great bands worth reporting. I’ll dig around more over time and let you folks know what really sticks out!