Uncertain times bring emotional bloodletting from Feminazgûl, chaotic force from Slaves BC

How’s everything with you? You OK? Kind of hiding out and waiting for this whole thing to blow over? Yeah, we’re going to be waiting a while, and in our realm, it’s been tough getting to new music because real life has overtaken everything that’s going on. But we got to hear two brand new things we’d like to tell you about, both stellar, both worth your time.

We start off with “No Dawn for Men,” the ripping debut full-length from Feminazgûl that dropped in our lap by surprise this week at a pay-what-you-want offering on Bandcamp (the suggested price is $6.66, naturally, but they also make it clear they know people are suffering financially and want to make their art available). They could have sat on this music and did the normal promotional cycle, but instead, they revealed what they created to celebrate the art rather than a product. The trio of lead vocalist Laura Beach, multi-instrumentalist Margaret Killjoy (we just visited her new Vulgarite album), and violinist/theremin player/vocalist Meredith Yayanos packs savagery, sorrow, and ridiculous amounts of melody into their ashy black metal, and there’s something about their music that feels both apocalyptic, vulnerable, and outright vengeful. I can’t recommend this enough. By the way, artwork by the great Trez Laforge (one member of fiery duo Mares of Thrace).

“Illa, Mother of Death” starts the record calmly with bird chirps and accordion moving through before hammering guitars begin raining down, and Beach’s howls echoing in the night, as sinister intent is in the air. “I Pity the Immortal” has guitars crashing and drums devastating while melody twists through with ferocity and power; “The Rot in the Field Is Holy” is full of angelic calls and atmospheric playing that haunts and later overwhelms when the chaos is allowed to reign. Hell storms the earth and the final battle of humanity feels like it rages before us, ending in a bed of strings as all bodies expired. “Bury the Antler With the Stag” starts with keys dripping and strings aching as Leach howls the song’s title, and from there a dramatic and deadly sweep takes place, punishing and stomping out into the night. “Forgiver, I Am Not Yours” opens with an emotional pall, a sheet of noise, and keys raining as gut-wrenching pain is delivered later. Bleeding punishment ruptures as the stratosphere bursts and Breach calls, “I was not made to be gracious, I will carry this hatred, I will carry this hatred to my grave.” “Look Not to Erebor” is an instrumental that crashes through whirring space, peaking the emotion before crumbling away. The final two cuts are “No Dawn” versions of tracks from their “The Age of Men Is Over” EP in the form of “To the Throat” and “In the Shadow of Dead Ghosts” that put the perfect exclamation point on this tremendous record that makes these dark times even thicker with dread.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/FeminazgulBand/

To buy the album, go here: https://feminazgul.bandcamp.com/album/no-dawn-for-men

Pittsburgh-based Slaves BC are good people, and they’re no strangers to trying to make the world a better place and lift up those who need it. Their 2019 EP “300 Dead Rapist Priests Floating at the Bottom of the Ocean” was a benefit for those hurt by the Catholic church, with money donated to RAINN. Now, the band is reaching out to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who need help right now. “Third Temple” is a single track whose proceeds will be donated to people close to them who are struggling, and as expected, the track is a monster. Over 4:51, the band shapeshifts constantly, starting off gloomy and doomy before trippy riffs lead to thrash destruction, and Josh Thieler’s vocals wreak absolute havoc. The track shreds sanity as fiery hell builds up behind them, doomy muck finds its way into the waterways, and total insanity echoes out, leaving your mind destroyed. This violent display is one hell of a great way to help those who are in a bad situation as uncertainty faces us. Let us battle together.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/SlavesBC/

To buy the music, go here: https://slavesbc.bandcamp.com/track/third-temple

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