In this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK I’ve collected advance tracks from four albums plus two full recent releases, all of which I hope you’ll find are worth your time.
FALLS OF RAUROS
I’ve been immensely enjoying the new Falls of Rauros album, Vigilance Perennial, though berating myself for not yet collecting my thoughts in a review. With luck, I’ll get that done in the coming week. For now I’ll just offer a few words about the first advance track from the album, “White Granite“, which premiered at DECIBEL on Friday.
We usually begin Sundays here on our metallic island with a REARVIEW MIRROR post, but I decided this week I’d rather use the time to spread around some more new music — even though I did a shitload of that yesterday.
I was also motivated by the fact that the music of the following four bands — three of whom I discovered in the last 48 hours — seemed like it would all go together pretty well, because they’ve all got varying degrees of punk or hardcore in their DNA (though they’re all metal as hell, too). By the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll be smiling through broken teeth.
First up is Expander. They’re ensconced in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. I paused in my musical explorations to check out some music from their new album Endless Computer when I spotted the very recognizable artwork of Luca Carey on the cover. The fact that the album is being released (on May 16th) by Nuclear War Now! was an added inducement, and another nail in the coffin came when I saw that the album was engineered by Kurt Ballou and mastered by Joel Grind.
This is the last part of a three-part round-up for this Saturday. Unlike Part 1 and Part 2, this installment is devoted to new music and videos released last week from groups whose names have a pretty high profile, and I would guess that all of the following songs have already made the rounds through much of metaldom without me needing to say much about them.
So, I’m going to just present the songs and videos without commentary, preceded only by some basic info about the releases. But, as always, you should certainly feel free to share your own thoughts in the Comment section.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: February 24
Saturday may seem like an odd day to open the flood gates on new music at our site. Page views usually drop precipitously, which I guess proves that lots of people are visiting our site at work or school rather than at home. Or maybe lots of people are just too hungover to put heavy music in their heads. Anyway, I do this as much for myself as for anyone else, so on we go….
I paired the two bands featured in Part 1 for obvious reasons, and in Part 3 I’ve collected new stuff from bands who have no trouble getting attention but I’d like to mention anyway. In this middle part I’ve picked more underground names, with a lot of variety in the sounds (though I’ve siphoned off the black metal for tomorrow’s Shades of Black post).
Actually, I don’t yet have any full songs to share from this first band, only a teaser, but I have high hopes based on the people behind the project.
I’ve accumulated a big list of songs and videos to recommend since the last round-up earlier in the week, too many to cram into a single post. It seemed like an obvious call to chisel these two bands off the assembled monolith of music, even at the risk of deepening the confusion between them that probably already exists.
The thing is, the music of each band is materially different from that of the other, though there are a few points of intersection in the elements of black metal that they each draw upon. And both of them are very, very good. Maybe the confusion will turn out to help, as people searching for one band will discover the attractions of the other.
I flipped a coin and am starting with the band whose name is two words and no “s” on the end.
A couple of nights ago NCS contributor Grant Skelton asked if I knew of any “psychedelic death metal”. He said he’d been hunting for that and was finding the search to be a difficult one. One song in particular leaped to my mind immediately, but I decided to do some further thinking and word-searching through previous posts at NCS. And by coincidence, I also came across an announcement about a new band that seemed relevant.
What I’ve compiled below is the playlist of songs I sent Grant later that night. I’m probably stretching the boundaries of the term “psychedelic death metal”, though it’s not exactly a recognized genre label. But I had fun putting this together and thought I’d share it. But I’d also like to ask you to chime in with ideas of your own in the Comment section.
So I thought I’d start with that announcement about a new band (pictured above), the name of which is John Frum. The announcement caught my eye both because of who’s in the band and because of the source of the band’s name, which is quite interesting. Here’s the explanation:
Wilt is the name of Mordbrand’s new album, and today we’re hosting a full stream of the album one week from its February 24 release by Carnal Records.
Among all the current purveyors of Swedish death metal, Mordbrand have consistently been among the best. They not only deliver the fundamentals of this venerable style of music like the veterans they are, they also have a flair for infusing it with fresh vitality. That’s been the biggest challenge for bands whose music is rooted in this tradition.
Even if you’re a slavish fan of the sound (as I am), you may think to yourself as you listen to many of the newer releases that have been spawned by the Swedish death metal revival, “I’ve heard this before”, even if you like what you’re hearing. The trick that few bands pull off as well as Mordbrand is to maintain the music’s connection to its roots while bringing it forward at the same time. Wilt demonstrates that talent at every turn.
We’ve been following the evolution of the Shadow Woods Metal Fest since before its inaugural appearance in 2015, and have published lively reviews and photos from the first two fests (here and here), thanks to our contributor Kaptain Carbon, who has had a hell of a great time at both of them. The next edition of Shadow Woods Metal Fest shows all signs of being another fantastic event.
With an announcement yesterday, 20 bands (out of nearly 40 that are expected) have now been confirmed for Shadow Woods 3, which will again take place at White Hall, Maryland on September 14-17, 2017 — and we’ve learned that early bird ticket sales are now scheduled to go live on February 17 — tomorrow — at noon Eastern Time. First, take a look at the line-up of performers announced so far:
On March 1, the Spanish black/death band Aversio Humanitatis will release a new EP through BlackSeed Productions entitled Longing For the Untold, and today we have for you one of the new EP’s four tracks, “Advent of the Inescapable“.
Aversio Humanitatis made their debut appearance through a 2011 full-length named Abandonment Ritual and followed that with split releases in 2013 (with Selbst and Nihil) and 2015 (with Primigenium), with themes that draw upon conceptions of nihilism and death.
Nuclear Oath come our way from Medicine Hat in Alberta, Canada, with their new single “Razor Blade Regrets“, which will appear on their debut album Toxic Playground this coming summer and is available today via Bandcamp.
This is the band’s fourth release overall, following a debut single in 2015 (“There Goes the Neighborhood“), a 2016 EP (Ashes of the Unborn), and another single from the forthcoming album that appeared last year (“Ambushed“).