🌶️ To The Teeth: Bell Witch putting the fun in Funeral Doom
Plus: Predatory Void, Terzij de Horde x Ggu:ll, Smoulder, Century, Grave Pleasures, Sarmat, Portrayal of Guilt, Julie Christmas, Birdflesh & more!
Welcome to the To The Teeth newsletter! Your weekly update of new heavy music. You can listen to almost everything in the playlist on Spotify. If you like what you read and want help keep this in the air: Patreon or Bandcamp (patches!). Peppers are hot 🌶️!
It’s Roadburn time! 🚴♀️🔥
🌶️🚴♀️🔥 Bell witch (funeral doom from the USA. FFO: Mournful Congregation, Ahab, Evoken)
Yeah that was a surprise wasn’t it? I was kinda in on it, because I’ve had an interview with Dylan Desmond about it a few weeks ago. Such a nice, thoughtful guy! He did the Zoom at an incredible 3 AM and was fresh as a daisy, witty and kind. We talked about recording such an epic project, about playing it all live (which they’ll do today at Roadburn!), and about what works so well for him in funeral doom: “The implied delay in some parts of the riffs, where you hold back, just a little bit, and then it goes again. I love that.” I met him (and Jesse) again in the flesh yesterday at a less bat-like hour, and he was just as cool. (read the article, in Dutch)
The song/album is fantastic. I can’t believe this is just part one of three. It sounds like they’re building a mountain from the ground up and we can’t yet see how high it will be (or how low it will inevitably fall). The scope of this project almost eclipses the music itself, but it doesn’t because this first part is absolutely beautiful. The size of a planet, the pace of a glacier and just as much emotional weight. We already got an album of the year contender last week with DHG, here’s another one.
🌶️🚴♀️🔥 Terzij de Horde x Ggu:ll (black & drone/doom from The Netherlands. FFO: Ultha, Predatory Void, Mizmor)
Two of the most exciting heavy bands in lowlands combining their strenghts to destroy the space-time continuum. It’s not just a split: they used drum patterns from eachothers tracks to build something entirely new. An approach I have never heard of and I think not many bands will dare to try. Especially after they’ve heard this: it’s a high bar. And it’s on fire. (This comes out saturday 22/4)
🌶️🚴♀️🔥 Predatory Void (blackened sludge/doom from Belgium. FFO: Oathbreaker, Amenra, Ggu:ll)
Members of Oathbreaker, Amenra, Carnation and Cross Bringer. Yeah you better believe this one is hyped. When the first single came out I wasn’t blown away, but the album as a whole does do justice to that hype. Very intense but dynamic. The slow and heavy parts are really slow and fucking heavy, and then they pick up speed and it gets really fast and fucking heavy. I saw them play the album yesterday at Roadburn: really good, fucking heavy. (No Bandcamp, link)
🌶️🚴♀️🔥 Portrayal of Guilt (blackened post-hardcore from the USA. FFO:
It’s incredible how unpredictable this band has proven to be. There are patches of fiery black metal here, rhythmic hardcore, intense screamo and then in the second half (which is a reimagining of the first half) you’ll hear orchestral strings and bells. Underneath it all is boiling pure, unadulterated anger. If I wasn’t on the PoG-train yet, I am now.
🌶️ Sarmat (prog/jazz/death from the USA. FFO: Neptunian Maximalism, Ex Eye)
This is not “jazzy” in the way that some bands hire a sax player to do a few toots on a death metal record and suddenly it’s deathjazz. This is improvised music, free and wild and is as much true jazz as it is extreme metal. And yes, of course it’s fucking weird. Notable: musicians from Imperial Triumphant and Artificial Brain have joined this circus.
🌶️ Smoulder (epic/heavy doom from Canada/Finland. FFO: Gatekeeper, Sumerlands, Crypt Sermon)
Keeping their sound just inboard while moving full blast, fist pumping and bellowing the law of heavy metal. Great vocals! (Note: this was on Spotify last week, so it’s already on the playlist but lower)
🌶️ Century (heavy from Sweden. FFO: Tower, Ghost, Eternal Champion)
As if one bitching slab of heavy metal wasn’t enough, there’s more (do check out Blood Star and Tanith below!). Century is less on the epic doom side compared to Smoulder, and more on the total fucking riff-fest side. I double dare you to keep your head still while blasting ‘Master of Hell’.
🌶️ Wild Beyond (black/thrash from the USA. FFO: Aura Noir, Sarcoptes, Daeva)
I missed this last week and I’m making up for it: scorching black/thrash that takes no prisoners. Wild Beyond is the former drummer of Woe and Woods of Ypres, the guitarist from Morgul Blade and singer from Daeva. That’s wild and beyond, if you’ll let me have that dad joke.
There’s more: a split from Nerver & Chat Pile (🌶️🚴♀️🔥 noise/sludge from the USA - missed this one last week, too), Dozer (stoner from the USA), Grave Pleasures (post-punk/gothic from Finland), Vorna (folk/pagan/black from Finland), Dawn of Ouroboros (prog post-black/death from the USA - w/ members of Botanist, Cailleach Calling), Caustic Vomit (doom/death from Russia), Bonjour Tristesse (post-black from Germany - w/ member of King Apathy/Heretoir), Birdflesh (grind from Sweden), Welkin (🌶️ black from Singapore), Iron Jinn (psych/prog from The Netherlands), Blodtår (black from Sweden), Blood Star (heavy from the USA), Jethro Tull (prog from the UK), Bonginator (death from the USA), Decipher (black/death from Greece), Pestifer (tech death from Belgium), a split from Contaminated & Fistula (death from Australia & sludge/doom from the UA) and Tanith (hardrock/heavy from the USA).
I saw Julie Christmas live, too, yesterday and it was absolutely amazing. I understood that this was hir first solo show in 13 years, apart from a small venue try-out in New York a few weeks ago. It felt like all the energy built up during those years came out on stage at Roadburn, not in the least thanks to Johannes Persson (Cult of Luna) on guitar and his signature brutal vocals. Loved every second of it, can’t wait for her album.
There are new songs out from: Julie Christmas (🌶️🚴♀️🔥 post/noise/sludge from the USA), Immortal (black from Norway), The Ocean (atmospheric post/sludge from Germany), Botanist (post-black from the USA), Mob Rules (🌶️ melodic power from Germany), KEN Mode (🚴♀️🔥 noise rock from Canada), Saturnus (melodic doom/death from Denmark), Thy Catafalque (avant-garde from Hungary), Tsjuder (🌶️ black from Norway), Ascended Dead (death from the USA), Chrome Waves (post-black from the USA), Phlebotomized (death/doom from The Netherlands), Thulcandra (melodic black/death from Germany), Pa Vesh En (raw black from Belarus), Supersonic Revolution (hardrock from The Netherlands - Arjen Lucassen’s new project), Ashbringer (atmoblack from the USA - w/ member of Wishfield) and Shredded (death from the USA - w/ members of Artificial Brain, Revocation, Xoth). The rest is in the playlist!
Non-heavy & next week
Non-heavy album of the week: Dorthia Cottrell (dark folk from the USA)
I’m looking forward to next week because of: Runemagick, Chrome Waves, Enforced, & Ignea.
What was your favourite? What did I miss? Let me know!
Raygun Busch op de cover van NRC! Het moet niet gekker worden 😆 Prachtig stuk heb je geschreven. Leuk je weer even te spreken!