I’ve come across quite the array of music in the past few weeks! First up, we have German rockers Glanville with their debut EP First Blood. There are times when as a music reviewer, I’m impatient — a song has to catch my attention within about five seconds or the email goes right in the ol’ trash bin. Glanville accomplished that in spades; the band comes flying out of the gate with “God is Dead,” as mighty drum breaks grab listeners by the collars of their battlevests. Glanville rocks some serious cowbell in “Dancing on Fire,” and then includes some surprise instrumentation in closer “Time to Go” that I won’t spoil for you. I’ve got a fever — and the only prescription is more Glanville! My one suggestion to these guys is that they include a really dramatic power ballad on their next release. Visit their FB page for info on getting your own digital or physical copy of First Blood.
Next we’ve got New Jersey death metal outfit Apocrophex. These guys have a name that I don’t know what the hell it means or how to say it, so that’s one strike. Then the name of their album has the weird stuck-together A and E in it, so that’s a second strike. Æternalis, however, has a lot to offer. Fans of Xenosis will enjoy this dissonant journey into a place where “temples are older than trees.” The band’s sophomore release, Æternalis shows growth from their previous material and benefits noticeably from the work of session drummer Kevin Paradis.
Taking a musical lefthand turn, I recently came across the song “Totentanz” from German neofolk outfit Hekate. I will have to give their upcoming album a closer listen, but this song is dope. As PureGrain Audio puts it, the song “showcases Hekate’s use of dynamics and rhythm to create a ritualistic, otherworldly experience for the listener.” It definitely makes me picture some kind of ancient ritual sacrifice. Pre-order Totentanz (the album) here.
And finally, we’ll close with Connecticut folk band The Proud Flesh. These guys have been around for years, but I just saw them for the first time last month. Since then, I’ve played Tiny Picture Frames in my car about fifty times. The Proud Flesh deftly combines old-time music with modern lyrics and manages not to sound pretentious singing about “mounted cavalry” alongside “IEDs and heavy artillery.” Plus, the arrangement of Carter Family-style vocal harmonies and a variety of strings and brass makes Tiny Picture Frames the kind of music that makes you want to write music. (Speaking of the Carter Family, check out The Proud Flesh’s cover of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” here.) These guys need to be touring with the Avett Brothers yesterday.