New Releases: IRON, Dark Haze, Somber Tears, Explosicum


Going down the dark path for this week’s new releases – metal, ghostly ambient music, and then some – if you’re looking for something cheery – I’d say skip this batch of records. But for all you ragers out there looking for some teeth in your music, check out some of these releases from IRON, Somber Tears, Dark Haze, and Expolsicum.

All I got on IRON (铁拳司命) is that they’re a experimental electronic collective out of Jinan, the capital city of Shandong. That, and they’ve been releasing work under IRONMADE Records since 2011, which mostly veers from meditatively creepy to all out frightening. Their latest The Unsingable Songs is no different – this is some unsettling stuff. Foreboding as hell – as if someone unwillingly opened up a portal into some dark dimension full of unknown terrors (yeah, been watching a lil Hellraiser recently). Check out their catalogue on their xiami page. Crazy stuff.

Metal bands area a dime a dozen here in Beijing making it hard to strive through and find the ones that will give the genre it’s due. And while melodic death metal outfit Dark Haze may not be the answer to our prayers, they’re a band who have been slowly been earning a reputation as one of the metal scene’s more captivating bands. The five piece band has been kicking it for five years and just released their first full length album, Rest of the Flower, and it’s a solid entry into the genre. Flowing hair, guttural screeches, monster guitars riffs pushed up against one another and heavy drums – the staples are all there. I shouldn’t give in so easily, but there’s a focus here that’s undeniable – and for you guitar solo freaks, Dark Haze’s got you covered. Check out the LP over here.

Other than having one of the most ridiculous names ever, Expolsicum are regarded as one of the best trash metal bands in town. The band hails from Nanchang in Jiangxi Province and is if their name isn’t enough of a clue – they’re a ignition of wild, fists flying trash metal that’s relentless in it’s approach. Loaded with punk aesthetics and a eccentric hardcore chemistry, Explosicum is all about the moment – and I’m shocked that it’s a name that I’ve been glancing over for years without second thought. This is the shit live shows are made of folks. Check out their latest release Raging Living here and keep your eyes peeled to Mao Livehouse’s events this month.

Let’s bring it back down folks – how about some atmospheric depressive metal courtesy of Somber Tears – a band off of Cold Woods Production out of Changsha. They’ve got a new EP entitled Through the Misty Haze and the Rain Falls – a gut hitting two tracks that’s chock full of doom and gloom. Leave the juxtaposition between the two tracks – while ‘Through The Misty Haze..’ is all about the melancholy and is quite a somber affair (love that finishing trumpet), part two with ‘…and the Rain Falls’ is all doom with the guitar feeding a rage that’s completely devouring till all that’s left is the feedback. Neato! Give it a listen here.

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