I laughed when I looked up Chicago’s Arriver on Metal-Archives after listening to their new album, curious as to how our esteemed Encyclopaedia Metallum would classify the band in genre terms — and the only word to be found there was: “Various”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before in the site’s genre descriptions, but I can’t say I blame M-A for admitting defeat.
The new album, which is named Emeritus, is indeed stylistically kaleidoscopic and inventive. I doubt that there’s any one song that is truly representative of the album as a whole, but we do have one for you today in advance of the December 2 release date that’s at least a sign of the head-spinning music that lies in wait for you, and its name is “Liquidators“.
Almost exactly one year ago Metal Blade announced the signing of the Greek black metal band Ravencult, and now, roughly five years after their last album, a new one is on the horizon. Bearing the name Force of Profanation, it’s set for release on November 11. We previously praised the album’s first advance track, “Beneath the Relics of Old”, and now we’re fortunate to bring you the premiere of another song from the album, “Tormentor of Flesh“.
“Beneath the Relics of Old” is a truly electrifying riff monster, one ripper after another, heavy on the thrash end of the aggression scale and with an evil aura that grows even more sinister as the song progresses. “Tormentor of Flesh” is, if anything, even more turbocharged and savage.
We are very fortune to be the bearer of wonderful gifts from Greece today — specifically, a stream of all six songs gathered together on the new album Mayhem In Blue by Hail Spirit Noir.
The band’s first two albums, Pneuma and Oi Magoi, were so good and so distinctive that it’s fair to say fan expectations for the new album are high — and they’re not going to be disappointed, because Mayhem In Blue is the band’s best work yet.
(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of the new album by Michigan’s Thoren.)
A number of different factors explain the rising popularity of instrumental metal of all stripes. Some say it’s because not everyone likes “extreme vocals”, others say it’s because groups like Animals As Leaders and Chon (among many others) have helped prove that you can be popular in the metal scene without having vocals. Whatever the reason, I support it as a long-time fan of instrumental metal dating back to the early days of Spastic Ink and other groups.
With that in mind, we’ve got an early stream for you today from the Sterling Heights, Michigan, group Thoren, an instrumental metal act that falls less on the bright and melodic side, and more on the dissonant and chaotic side.
Earlier this month we had the pleasure of premiering a video for a song from Lunaris, the new album by the Polish black metal band Arkona, and today we have the chance to bring you a second song from the album in advance of its November 4 release by Debemur Morti Productions. This one is named “Śmierć i odrodzenie” (death and rebirth).
For those who missed our earlier premiere and may not be familiar with Arkona, they must be considered among the pioneers of Polish black metal, with demos that date back to 1994 and a first album (Imperium) that was released in 1996. Lunaris is the band’s sixth full-length in that long career, and the second one following a span between 2003 and 2014 when the band only participated in a few splits. This is their first album on the Debemur Morti label.
(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Cifuentes brings us this interview with Sina, the man behind From the Vastland, whose new album Chamrosh was released last month by Immortal Frost Productions.)
You are from Iran, but moved to Norway, tell us about how did this happen?
Yeah, true. Well, it is a long story, but to make it short I can say I had another band when I was in Iran, and back in 2007 one of my albums was released on vinyl here in Norway, and then I got an email from the producer of the documentary film Blackhearts and he told me about his project and how he discovered my band by that release, and then everything started from that point when I got the chance to come to Norway and play my show at Inferno Festival. Later in 2014 by help of the Safemuse organization I moved to Norway to continue my music works here.
Way back in May we had the pleasure of premiering a mammoth, intoxicating song called “Wander” from the debut album Forlorn by Sweden’s Seedna. The album was released in July and has racked up a long list of reviews extolling its many virtues, but some folks still may not have explored Forlorn, and so today we provide a further inducement as we premiere a video of the band’s live performance of the song “Frozen“.
While “Frozen” is anchored by enormous, hammering grooves that will get your head moving (as the band do their best to crack it open), the atmosphere of the music is also chaotic and hallucinatory, distraught and deranged.
(Our long-time supporter and occasional contributor Booker returns to NCS with this review of the new album by Norway’s Wardruna.)
Wardruna are an exception to the rule here. On the one hand, because of the singing, which is not only “clean”, but is often chanted, whispered, or spoken-word, as well as being in a language few of us would understand. And the foreign-ness of it means that the significance of the vocals – the message, or meaning — is simply the rhythm and emotion the vocals produce, rather than the what the words signify – arguably, in that respect, perhaps not too far off a lot of the metal we listen to.
But they’re an exception, too, as you won’t find any distorted guitars here, nor any traditional drum kits, blast beats, breakdowns, or sounds belonging to the mosh pit. But what’s on offer will hopefully move and entice you all the same.
We’re about to invade your eyes and ears, and through them your soon-to-be-quivering brain, with a ritualized video that’s as hallucinatory and nightmarish as the music it accompanies. The music is a creation of The Black Scorpio Underground called “She Who Cannot Be Saved“, off T.B.S.U.’s forthcoming album Necrochasm.
Some of you may have heard the track before, since it had a premiere (sans visuals) at CVLT Nation in September. For those who haven’t, and who know nothing about T.B.S.U., there are no riffs in this piece, very few beats, and no melodies you’ll carry around in your head — though you’ll be carrying around something formless, shadowed, and frightful in there after you listen to it.
(New Zealand writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises) returns to NCS with this review of the forthcoming second album by NZ’s Winter Deluge.)
Changes within a band can lead to creative uncertainty or even outright artistic collapse. But that’s clearly not an issue for New Zealand black metal outfit Winter Deluge. Last time we heard from the group was back in 2012, when they released their hate-fuelled full-length debut, As the Earth Fades into Obscurity. Since then, Winter Deluge have cycled through a few bassists, and lost and gained both a guitarist and a vocalist. But none of those changes has dented or derailed Winter Deluge’s malevolent mission in the slightest.