Oathbreaker - “Needles In Your Skin
I have definitely written about Oathbreaker before, but their new album is coming out at the end of next month and the previews from it are crazy good. This will be their 3rd full-length album and the experience and experimentation that made the last album so great have definitely settled into a great blend of calm, damning moments and intense blasts of aggression. “Needles In Your Skin” starts off with a cathartic minute of reversed strings and clean - although pained - vocals that quickly devolve into the signature intensity that Oathbreaker brings to their albums. The song structures - notably the moments of calm resignations that are allowed to go just long enough to forget about the chaotic times - and the production value are some of the qualities that really set this album apart from 2013’s Eros|Anteros.
Oathrbeaker is a hardcore band from Belgium and their third album, Rheia, will be out September 30th on the Oathbreaker Bandcamp and directly from Deathwish Inc.
FVNERALS - “Shiver”
FVNERALS is a doom / shoegaze / ambient metal band from Glasgow that was suggested to me when I was telling someone about the new Muscle & Marrow. The instrumentation in this track is carefully slow, which is something that I think is actually hard to pull off in a way that makes the track interesting and charged with the right amount of emotion. The guitars and the vocals contrast in a very signature way. As I went back through 2015’s The Path and 2014’s The Light, I picked up a few very distinct things about FVNERALS: The tone of their songs overall is very solemn and morbid; even when the vocals are operatic and beautiful. The tracks have a weight to them. The air feels heavy in the recordings and I love it.
FVNERALS has a new album coming out on October 14th called Wounds on The Native Sound Records.
Hante. - “Living in a French Movie”
I absolutely have not been able to stop listening to this track since Michael wrote about it. There is so much to love in the construction of this song - the way it starts, with those banging toms and soft pads, the way it builds with those plucking synths and reverbing snares, every moment of this song feels so intentional and so emotional.
Right away, you can feel the melancholy of the track. This is a song that doesn’t feel like it has hope left - the narrator is calling out, wanting without hope for things to be different. Love has, without reason, been snatched away, leaving only pain. Mirroring the feeling of the song as a whole, the track is abrupt; like the narrator's love, the track is snatched away with little to no warning. It’s a beautiful song, and the way the composition ties to the content is something I don’t feel like I hear enough. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
Hante. is the solo project of Hélène de Thoury. Her latest release, No Hard Feelings, is available for pre-order on Bandcamp.
Essaie Pas - “Depassée par le fantasme”
I realized it’d been a bit since I checked in with Essaie Pas, and I have really been missing out on this release this year. Taking leads from synthwave, techno, and darkwave, Essaie Pas have a fairly unique sound. It while there are the hits of darkness in the bass progressions, and the vocals are drenched in reverb, it doesn’t exactly hew to any particular goth sort of label; instead, Essaie Pas, using string synths and tom fills familiar to any synthwave fan, build their own sound apart. This track in particular pulls nicely from a kind of minimal techno sort of feel. It builds slowly, morphing gently over the course of the song with just touches of vocals. The subtlety of the changes doesn’t mean this won’t get you moving though. It builds to a real drive by the middle of the songs, and that drive holds on for most of the track (with a bit of a breakdown to give it breathing room).
Essaie Pas are a minimal synth duo from Montréal, Québec. Their latest release, Demain est une autre nuit, is available on Bandcamp through DFA Records.