PICK OF THE WEEK: Vinyl reissue gives Predatory Light’s debut demo ‘MMXIV’ massive new life

Predatory LightWe’re taking a bit of a different path today, the day when we present the record from the week that got most play and created personal enjoyment in my brain the past seven days. Almost always that’s a newly released full-length album that gets the feature, but there’s no hard and fast rule it has to be that way.

So this week’s pick actually is something that was released last year but is being reintroduced via the magic of vinyl. If you missed out on Predatory Light’s debut demo “MMXIV,” released a little more than a year ago, then you’re in luck. That initial independent issue was on cassette, but now it gets a bigger, more fitting presentation on its new version made especially for your turntable. The band’s mixture of noise-buried doom and roughed-up black metal should appeal to fans of band such as Ash Borer (who also claim a member of this band), Fell Voices, Weakling, and Dispirit, and the two tracks included here will make you feel like you’re miles deep in the mine, with soot coating your lungs and making every breath a struggle. It’s a really awesome birth into the world for this New Mexico-based band (it was followed by a second demo “Death Essence” months later), and their future is infernal and promising.

Predatory Light coerAs for the band itself, they’re made up of players who hide behind a modicum of mystery, with LS, KM (of Ash Borer) and TW making up the band for this particular recording. They’re a thunderous bunch, aiming to bury your the weight of their sound and not paying particularly close attention to making things palatable for the unwashed or clean and glimmering for anyone. It’s ugly, punishing, and painful, and they will bury you under the weight of an ice-capped mountain.

“Changing Skins” starts off clean, almost as if giving off a cold mist, before it lurches forward and stymies with its mystifying melodies. The vocals are raw and sound pained, with the song erupting around all of this, and the band hitting a new, more violent gear. Some of the sounds are smeary and feel like they’re being splattered all over, with the drums bashed heavily and the guitar work causing the room to spin. The track reaches a patch of calm, but it’s a mere layover as the band hits full speed again and brings the song to a glorious, yet blistering, finish.

“Spiritual Flesh” runs 10:32 and is the longer of the two songs, also opening with some serenity that helps set the stage for the inevitable collapse. When that arrives, strings are scraped, the band hits a doom-infested, slow driving groove designed to haunt more than hurt, and the tempo takes on a calculating pace. At about the halfway mark, the savagery hits, as the band launches full speed ahead, the riffs arrive like lighting and rip you apart, and the vocals hit a deep, guttural level, as if they’re being scraped from the colon. The tone becomes fever dreamy again, with the band seemingly interested in hypnotism, but that later dissolves. The tempo chugs hard, the guitar spew pure blackness, and melodies and violence sweep up everything like a funnel cloud and send them hurling toward the most hellish section of space.

If you have yet to encounter Predatory Light, now is the perfect opportunity for you to change that. This debut demo certainly was exciting a year ago when it first trickled out, and it retains all of the power, fury, and chaos. They merely hint on this piece at the massive intensity welled up inside of them, and it’ll be awesome to watch that come to fruition in the years to come.

For more on the band go here: http://predatorylight.bandcamp.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://pesanta.bigcartel.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.f-consortium.com/