Wednesday, October 22, 2014

THE TWILIGHT REVUE: Swallowed, Haunter, Rhuith, Tongues

SWALLOWED "Lunaterial"
Death Metal/Doom

At long last we get a full-length from this Finnish group. In fact, "Lunarterial" is the band's first release in 4 years, but it was worth the protracted timeframe. With a noticeable step-up on the production from 2010's eponymous EP, the band still preserves the grime-crusted depravity of past recordings. SWALLOWED touches on something truly foul; they have a tangible atmosphere of down-and-out filth that makes you want to take a shower after listening to their music. "Lunaterial" sees the band launching their plague-dipped spears in a bombastic shower of dissonance and grime, reminiscent of Spanish occult horde TEITANBLOOD at times. But what really sets SWALLOWED apart is their relentless, uncompromising pursuit of psychic nausea and delirious dread, and with "Lunaterial" they achieve their sickening goal.

Physical formats available from Dark Descent Records.

HAUNTER "He Who Jumps Into the Void Owes No Explanation to Those Who Stand and Watch"
Black Metal/Hardcore
United States

I had some trouble tracking down info on these guys, but they look to be a 3-piece outfit from San Antonio, TX, and this is their second release. HAUNTER plays a great blend of moody, atmospheric black metal laced with some hardcore punk. The vocal duties are shared between two members, and they switch off on harsh screams, occasionally using more of a shouted hardcore vocal style. Some great riffing, dynamic transitions, and a raw but fitting production make this worth checking out.

RHUITH "Darkness Moves"
Black Metal/Dark Pop

RHUITH has quite a few albums and EPs, but "Darkness Moves", released on cassette by Canadian label Tour de Garde, is my favorite. This band's output, the product of sole member XV, is eclectic and defies categorization. At times, you'll hear straight-forward raw black metal; at other times styles like post-punk, goth, and dark pop with layered harpsichords that give the music a romantic, baroque quality. My favorite song on "Darkness Moves" is "12 Hours In Malkuth", a blown out, distorted affair with a driving beat and vocals that alternate between an echoey plea of longing and harsh, overdriven screams. RHUITH is also known for doing uniquely interpretive cover songs, from EMPEROR and SLAYER to DEPECHE MODE and EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL.

Cassette version available here.

TONGUES "Thel├ęsis Ignis"

An exciting debut from this Danish 2-piece, released on I, Voidhanger Records, that has drawn me back for repeat listens. TONGUES certainly covers some of the same alien, insectoid turf as PORTAL, invoking cosmic horrors by ripping open the veil between worlds. But TONGUES offers more than just tentacles and centipedes; they diversify with passages of mournful doom, creating an unsettling atmosphere that alternates between melancholy and delirium. The outro is a 6:39 long drone piece with a deeply-pitched vocal chant reminiscent of the Tibetan throat singers. Truly unique songwriting sets this release apart and makes TONGUES a band to keep an eye on.

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