We’re huge fans of doom metal as is evidenced by our recent releases in the style of bands such as Jupiterian, Drug Honkey, Mindkult, Illimitable Dolor, Altar of Betelgeuze and Warcrab, and we’re proud to work with a fantastic band in Et Moriemur who create captivating music with an epic atmosphere and even borrow influences from other genres to break the mould. Their third full length album will be up for pre-orders late this year.
Label owner Kunal Choksi comments, “As soon as I heard Et Moriemur‘s latest album ‘Epigrammata’, I knew I had something very special to work with. It’s a rare blend of atmospheric, orchestral, death, black and doom metal music. It’s absolutely captivating from start to finish and I believe the genre needs more albums like these. It’s my first time working with a band from Czech Republic and I hope there’s more to come. The album will be unleashed in early 2018, right after Towards Atlantis Lights‘ much awaited release.”
Et Moriemur add, “We are really excited to work with Kunal. We heard lots of praise regarding Transcending Obscurity Records and we are sure our cooperation will benefit both sides. The release of our third album will mark the beginning of a new and thrilling phase for Et Moriemur – and the strong support of a respectable label is just what we need right now”
Teasers for the new album will be revealed shortly. The track listing of ‘Epigrammata’ is as follows –
2. Requiem Aeternam
3. Agnus Dei
4. Dies Irae
7. Libera Me
8. Absolve Domine
10. In Paradisum
Band lineup –
Zdeněk Nevělík – Vocals, Piano
Aleš Vilingr – Guitar
Pavel Janouškovec – Guitar
Karel Kovařík – Bass
Michal „Datel“ Rak – Drums
There is a host of special guests on the ambitious album that include Kostas Panagiotou of Pantheist, Towards Atlantis Lights, Clouds, composer Vangelis Mertzanis (author of the intro and outro) and his wife Labrini Karousou,and the third is Nikos Vlachakis, the singer of death/doom act Shattered Hope. In addition to these three, there are even more musicians that are employed to fulfill the vision of the record who are –
Choir – Jaroslav Klvaňa, Karel Russ, Lukáš Pavlovský
Cello – Andrea Michálková
Violin – Zuzana Králová
Trombone – Jindřich Bešťák
Acoustic guitar – Honza Kapák
Subscribe to the official Transcending Obscurity Records channel HERE to not miss out on the upcoming teaser.
It’s been my quest this year to bear witness to as many live underground metal shows as possible. I’ve seen so many I’d forgotten what it was like to go to an actual music venue instead of an endearingly homely dive bar. San Diego’s Brick by Brick is the real deal — a regal layout of bar, merch/waiting area, and a monstrous stage and show floor. Posters of upcoming entertainment cover the walls; I could pick out a handful of shows I’d be returning to the Brick by Brick to see in the months to come.
Much to my puzzlement, tonight was a free show with a killer lineup — I bought a vodka and Redbull to make up for it and assumed a spot on the floor near the stage. It was the day before a national holiday, so less than a handful of patrons occupied various parts of the bar area — band members or roadies, I couldn’t really tell. All I knew is I was there for one thing: my patriotism to metal.
Burnin’ for the Witches
I was feeling properly liquored up for Witches of God (Los Angeles — or so they say), a doom-heavy rock quartet sporting ‘70s and ’80s flair. With their tight dual-guitar instrumentation and occult/overtly Satanic lyrics, they reminded me of Blue Öyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, and other good stuff of that era. But they were that much and more — their punker bass player (clad in bandana, sunglasses, and sleeveless tee emblazoned with a yellow radioactive symbol) proved they accepted more influences than their first few songs hinted at. A couple punk-fueled cuts warmed me up to the Witches considerably, and that, in addition to their unified presentation, made for a worthy opener.
Worming Their Way In
A handful of people had crawled in since I’d last turned around, but oh, yeah — holiday, Monday. The anathema to crowds. I knew not everyone shared the same dedication I had, but I sincerely wish they had because up next was a band I’d been looking forward to seeing for months.
I’d been sold on Wormwitch (Canada) after several spins of their first full-length album, “Strike Mortal Soil.” I’m always sniffing around for bands that unleash a death/black deliverance that’s anywhere on a level of Skeletonwitch (and the fact that both bands share a suffix was music to my ears). As for their performance, a fog machine began rolling a hefty amount their way, casting the trio in hazy light. The poor attendance didn’t seem to affect Wormwitch’s delivery — they spent the set amping up the largely absent crowd with effortless playing. Guitarist Colby Hink brought plenty of black-rocking riffs that, surprisingly, I thought came across as more punky than another trio I’d had the pleasure of seeing the night before. Energetic bass player/vocalist Robin Harris spat and roared with unhinged aggression, but I’ve got to give it to drummer Cam Saunders, whose inventiveness was highlighted by the live setting. Seeing his fills performed up close was a real treat. I’d recommend Wormwitch to anyone who like a little rock ‘n’ roll with their grim spiked gauntlets.
Which Witches Were These, Again?
I’d grabbed myself a tallboy PBR (happy holidays, America) and watched, perplexed, as the same gear of the first band, Witches of God, was wheeled back onto the stage. Several of the same members returned as well, although gone was the heavy rock garb (as well as the punker bass player) in favor of more modest duds. The lead singer/guitarist was now on drums, the drummer was on bass, and the mostly-rhythm-now-sole guitarist had taken on vocal duties. Rechristened Sierra (Canada), my first thought as they began their set was if they would get paid twice…
Sierra had been added last minute onto the bill, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. At first they reminded me of Filter, although that was mostly in the low croon of the vocals. Their music became more assuredly doom metal as time went on, which didn’t endear me to the genre any more than usual — but what they were doing was tight (I could see how playing in two bands every night would have that effect on one’s musicianship). The drummer seemed a little stiff — the tubs didn’t seem to be his instrument du jour — but his playing was perfectly acceptable and solid, and the other members seemed natural in their roles. To sum, Sierra wasn’t really my jam, but damned if they didn’t do it well.
Tolkien ’bout Black Metal
It was almost 11 PM — it’d be a relatively early night for me if the headliner, Numenorean (Canada), finished in a reasonable amount of time. Then again, they played a depressive sort of post- black metal, which as you know tends to gravitate toward longer songs (the better to swirl in the sadness, my dear). I’d been listening to their debut album “Home,” which favored songs in the 10-minute range — not a bad thing by any means, but I was curious if they’d fare similar to another recent black metal band I’d seen.
I’ll be frank — Numenorean is a phenomenal live band. Their excellent sound that night (courtesy in part by the Brick by Brick’s commendably affable sound guy) was achieved where each member contributed to colossal, sweeping waves of grief-stricken melodies and painful, pummeling rhythms. Multiple mics appointed to several band members gave voice to the songs they performed, which were all (as far as I could tell) from “Home.” From the cacophonous intro to the cathartic closer, Numenorean’s set was unified by thematic melodic motifs; it felt like a cohesive package rather than the usual disjointed, song a la carte setlists most bands prefer. Overall, a powerful performance and one I’ll be remembering as a gold standard for live black metal.
Laying a Future Foundation
As a (mostly) lifelong San Diegan, my first visit to the lauded Brick by Brick was as stellar as I could have hoped. Four great bands, two of which were right up my dark, morbid alley (get your head out of the gutter), and a chance to support my local music venues — you know, the ones NOT charging $30 bucks for parking. I’ll be visiting the Brick by Brick a lot over the next few months. Witches of God, Wormwitch, Sierra, and Numenorean each are relatively young bands — only having been around for several years each — yet they all performed like seasoned vets. I wish all of them long, healthy careers and can’t wait to catch ’em again.
It turned out to be quite a mix at the month end list this time around. With equal parts big releases (Relapse, Prosthetic, Season of Mist etc) and independent outputs, there’s something here for everyone. Many of the releases highlighted here have a ‘name your price’ offer on their Bandcamps, so make sure to check out the music and buy the release if they please you. ~ Shrivatsan R
It’s not often that you get to work with members of some of the most respected bands in the genre especially when the collective output sounds as good as this. Towards Atlantis Lights is a group with Kostas Panagiotou (Pantheist, Clouds), Ivan Zara (Void of Silence), Riccardo Veronese (Aphonic Threnody, Dea Marica, Arrant Saudade) and Ivan Olivieri. This international supergroup are on the verge of releasing their debut album titled ‘Dust of Aeons’ via Transcending Obscurity Records shortly.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi states, “It’s a dream come true to finally work with Kostas Panagiotou whom I’ve revered for years (ever since I heard the 2003 Pantheist debut ‘O Solitude’ to be precise). After being in touch for years, I’m glad things clicked and I got the opportunity to work with Towards Atlantis Lights in its final stage. The music is breathtaking; it’s atmospheric and poignant in addition to sounding absolutely majestic. I’m sure it’ll go down as one of the most memorable releases in the style this year.”
Doom legend Kostas Panagiotou adds, “We are thrilled to announce our signing to Transcending Obscurity Records. Various band members have been in touch with Kunal over a period of time and his passion, dedication and hard work for underground artists to help them transcend their own obscurity are undeniably infectious. Our debut album has been a labour of love for many years now, a period in which we have chosen to dwell in our own obscurity until we were completely sure that we had the best possible material to share with doom metal fanatics across the globe. The time has now come to transcend our own obscurity and we just know we are in safe hands with Kunal and his label, and look forward to a successful collaboration.”
The artwork and 16-page digipak layout is made by the Italian artist Francesco Gemelli (Howls of Ebb, Spectral Lore, Midnight Odyssey). One of the shorter songs from the album can be heard here –
Music to me has always been a gateway away from reality. But these days I come to understand as to how this world’s reality shapes and influences music, while the music itself offers escapism to those that seek it during troubled times. The past few weeks have just added more reasons and examples as to why this world is turning into this terrible place. It’s good that we had some solid metal and punk releases to lean on this month. ~ Shrivatsan R
Amiensus (USA) – All Paths Lead to Death (Black / Death Metal, Apathia Records)
One of the most underrated metal scenes happen to be in Bangladesh, which is burgeoning with all kind of bands and it was only a matter of time till a foray into doom metal was made. We have here a new band called MOONSHINER which comprises of members of PSYCHOTRON and NECROLEPSY. This is a two-song demo that will be a part of their upcoming EP. It’s good enough to get an idea of what the band sounds like and the material over is very promising indeed.
It’s relatively upbeat stoner-infused doom metal with some good riffing that’s matched with able drumming. It’s a tad simplistic but perhaps with more variations and experimentation it’d be even better. The vocals are low and hoarse, muffled, kind of weird given the style but their transmutation into deeper growls could be possible and much preferred. These are two promising tracks and my personal favourite is the second one simply because of the upbeat tone. Whether exploring the stoner or sludge sound or doom metal overall, music that’s going somewhere it always good in my books as opposed to the tunes that wallow in their own misery, unless of course it’s adequately compensated by a suitable atmosphere.
The production is raw but clear and I’d imagine things to sound more powerful and crisp in the EP stage. I love the artwork though – it’s perfect for this kind of material. Well then, don’t take my word for it and give these budding young musicians a chance. Stream the two-song demo in its entirety over here –
Every month when we put together this highlights list, I go through the entries and try to sense a discernible pattern. But so far it has always been the case that our scribes cover a wide range of sounds where no commonality can be traced. April 2017, is perhaps a first in our monthly highlights series, where the entries tend to eschew towards two particular styles — Tech death and Crust. Though we do have a smattering of other styles included, it’s hard to miss how every other entry in this list either has a crust or tech death connection here. A random coincidence? Or some deep conspiracy by the scribes of Transcending Obscurity? One thing is for sure – these are all excellent releases that you should pay attention to! ~ Shrivatsan R.
There have always been few labels peddling in doom metal dedicatedly and UK based Aesthetic Death label are one among them. In my early years, I used to refer to them as being Esoteric’s label (as they released majority of the band’s catalog) and in the last decade, have unearthed some absolute gems such as Eibon, Murkrat, Fatim Elisum, Wreck of the Hesperus and more. It made sense to throw more light on the overlooked but extremely high quality and seemingly passionate label and write about some of their newer, more relevant releases. Thanks to the contribution of the fine Transcending Obscurity webzine staff, we’re able to to put together a worthy feature highlighting this doom metal label. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
If it is possible someday, I would make a clone of myself to just keep writing about the music I listen to, without having to pay heed to any of the real world responsibilities. But since that is not possible at the moment, real life does tend to get in the way of writing. This month I had to focus my attention on other things in the real world causing me to overlook most of the releases that came out in March. But looking at this huge list put together by my colleagues, one thing is clear. I have a lot of catching up to do. ~ Shrivatsan R.