Messy, chaotic, raucous, rampant and encrusted with filth. Sounds like my kinda party, and also the kind of party that Iron Bonehead have been hosting for years.
No surprise then that Jordablod from Malmo have come to the gathering with a keg of metal to suit the palette of the grimiest of metal fans. This is their second album following 2017’s “Upon my Cremation Pyre” – which is selling for Euro 6.66 on Bandcamp kids!
What Jordablod do is mix up Black and Death metal – big deal I hear you say, isn’t everyone doing that these days. Well these canny Swedes stir in a hefty portion of spiky crust and even psychedelic feels into their tracks. The album is as ethereal as it is urgent. The fact that the dreamy guitarlines are often delivered at breakneck speed is mystifying and mesmerising at the same time. Opening with the Western but Eastern sounding “A Grand Unveiling” (you’ll see what I mean) the triumphant drums and acoustic sounds give way to blastbeats and chaos and then an oh so groovesome trippy post black section. WTF! The guitars soar and emit a frostbitten air. “The Two Wings Becoming” is pure bestial black metal. Raw vocals that sound like they were recorded in a moss-covered cave as the tide threatens to engulf the singer so urgent are his utterances. Beneath are some gothic blackened riffs that erupt into pure guitar god fireworks covered in pus, shit and black lipstick.
“Hin Ondes Mystar” twists and sways on a massive hook big enough to hook a great white shark. Reminds me a little of Zud and their cosmic transcendental Black metal. Very trippy and doomy with slabs of brutality thrown in. “The Beauty of Every Wound” begins with a gentle piano line before becoming a full-on classic rock monster. Like “Born To Be Wild” covered by Carpathian Forest, this is foot on the monitor stuff. As the track grows and grows it becomes even more raucous and more chaotic as if more and more musicians are joining until, reaching a peak things slow into a mystical post climactic lull. So much drama!
Eastern mysticism and what sounds like a chant bowl infuse “Blood and Rapture” and the drums alternate between jazz patterns and full out necro blasts. This is the music for really angry hippies. Could this be what Extinction Rebellion are looking for? At one point there is even a polka beat. What am I hearing? Why does this work? This band seem to spin the globe whilst looking for musical inspiration and stick a pin in the culture once the sphere ceases to move. It bloody works!
The title track could be laid over the opening credits of an S. Craig Zahler Western. All brooding strings floating over a dusty landscape before zooming into a maelstrom of blood teeth and excrement. The instrumental builds and builds with a post hardcore riff before gently fading back behind the mountains. The seventh and final track is the epic “To Bleed Gold” a more deathly ditty which flits between Viking roars, gentle prog rock riffs and blistering guitar needles.
Jordablod have, in “The Cabinet of Numinous Song” , crafted an album which bewilders and enthrals in equal measure but never fails to get the head banging and hips swinging. What more can we ask in a depressing January?
(8/10 Matt Mason)