We gave you And Now The Owls Are Smiling – here’s three more!

To add to your Sunday evening pleasures (come on, everyone loves a good read on a Sunday evening), I have fought through the deluge of new releases that hit the planet on Friday 1st November 2019 (other than the phenomenal new record from And Now The Owls Are Smiling – out on Clobber Records) and can bring you three more of the very finest. This should allow you to sleep soundly, shower safely and head to work – safe in the knowledge that you have a veritable heap of new music to immerse yourselves in. You lucky, lucky bastards.

1. Caina – Gentle Illness (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)

Unsettling records are always a hit with me – and this latest release from UK one man black metal outfit Caina is absolutely no exception. A chaotic, yet beautifully poignant, portrayal of incidental images sprung forth from the depths of a troubled mind, this record isn’t about instability – it is instability. The despair of ‘No Princes in Hell’ mixes in with the grainy cinema of ‘Contactee Cult’ thus assisting in the creation of a phenomenal release that is well and truly summed up by the confusion of the directly named ‘Your Life Was Probably Pointless’. I don’t want to be fed sugar, I want to be fed shit – and this is a very, very good kind of shit. The type that melts in your mouth.

19/20

2. Nile – Vile Nilotic Rites (Nuclear Blast)

Yes, it’s out on the ‘where do we go when there’s nowhere to go label’ and yes, it was always destined to be a banger with their previous history and a drummer like George – but any album with a song titled ‘The Oxford Handbook of Savage Genocidal Warfare’ is fucking winning in my book (for those interested, entitled ‘The Contemplations Of Kan’ (Amazon, 2019) – which makes no direct mention of Nile but I did get them to proof read it and promise to translate the Egyptian edition – should I be asked to do one). Despite the rest of the album being excellent, this one track rots your balls off and would be the perfect accompaniment to standing up at work on a Monday morning, punching yourself in the face really hard eight times and then lying down on the floor and shouting ‘Bed Is The Poor Man’s Opera’. Best served with cheese and pita bread, falafel and a pigeon you found curled up on the A38.

17/20

3. Sarke – Gastwerso (Indie Recordings)

Hailing from Norway, Sarke have always been a bit different. Echoing, in some ways, where Darkthrone ended up, this is riff-growl-riff-growl soup and ducks and dives more fiercely than an angry swan. I am a thrasher by definition so this one works well especially as, for all the chunk and palm mutes, there are many moments of sheer, haunting beauty filled with spoken word and melodious string plucking – ‘The Endless Wait’ being a particularly fine example of this. The record is serious in nature yet would really rather you ripped up your poetry book, took your fucking hairband out and gave yourself a neck injury. All hail the Norwegians – you can do what the shit you like and we’ll lap it up like sun-stricken dogs.

16/20

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