Oct 222017

 

Welcome to Part 2 of this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, which I divided into two parts because of its considerable length (Part 1 can be found here). In this second installment you’ll find a mix of advance tracks from forthcoming albums as well as full releases.

SUMMONING

I’ve already written two posts since August about Summoning’s new album and I didn’t even have any music to share, which I suppose is a sign of how hyped I’ve been about the prospect of something new from these Viennese wizards. I guess the third time is the charm, because now there finally is a song I can share. But first, allow me to excerpt a quote from the press announcement by Napalm Records — who will be releasing the album on January 5, 2018:

Oct 222017

 

I took a break from NCS yesterday… sort of. Instead of writing something to post on Saturday, I used the time to get a head-start on a two-part SHADES OF BLACK for today. Both parts are long ones, and could have been even longer. But the first four items in this Part 1 mainly consist of album announcements and artwork rather than any new music. And yes, we’re now getting into announcements of new albums that will be released in 2018.

HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY

In the first week of this month the German label Art of Propaganda announced that it would be releasing a new album by Harakiri For the Sky early next year, and then on Thursday of last week it revealed further details, including the cover art (by Striga) that you can see above.

Oct 202017

 

(Andy Synn prepared this review of the new album by the Finnish band Hallatar.)

Perhaps more than most, it’s important to understand a little bit about this album’s background and the context surrounding its creation.

In April 2016, several months before the eventual release of their debut album, Trees of Eternity vocalist Aleah Stanbridge (also a frequent collaborator with Swallow the Sun and Amorphis) sadly passed away.

Earlier this year her long-time partner Juha Raivio (also of Swallow the Sun) took some personal time away from his main band in order to immerse himself in the writing process for what would, eventually, become No Stars Upon the Bridge and, over the course of a single week, composed the majority of the material which you’ll find here as both a form of much-needed catharsis and as a eulogy to his lost love, whose lyrics and poems provided the basis for much of the album’s lyrical content.

Oct 202017

 

If you don’t have access to a supplemental oxygen canister, you might want to hyperventilate before listening to this demo we’re about to serve up. Having eye-drops nearby would also be a good idea, so your orbits don’t dry out when they pop open and stay that way. A bib might be advisable, too, unless you don’t mind drooling on your shirt. I’m just trying to be helpful. You might thank me later.

The name of the demo is Astral Necrosis, and it’s the first release by the stunning Italian band Devoid of Thought, whose name could also describe the mental state of listeners exposed to the demo’s three tracks. If any coherent thoughts remain after listening, they’re likely to be along the lines of, “Holy shit, what did I just hear?!?

Astral Necrosis will be released by Caligari Records on October 21, and we’re damned fortunate to introduce you to a full stream of the music right now.

Oct 202017

 

As you can see, I decided to give the “SEEN AND HEARD” title a rest for today. After I picked these new songs and videos for an end-of-week round-up, it became clear they all had something in common. Even though the music is all very different, it all sounds… evil.

NOCTURNE

This Austrian melodic black metal band’s self-titled debut album (briefly reviewed here) proved their ability to create powerful, dramatic music that displayed considerable diversity. Now they’re returning with a new album named The Burning Silence (the cover art is above), which will be released by Talheim Records on December 16th. From that album, they’ve recently released “Hubris Virtue” as a digital single and a lyric video.

Oct 202017

 

(We continue the rollout of Austin Weber’s series devoted to reviews of 2017 releases we haven’t previously covered. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here, and Part 6 here.)

Jute GyteOviri

Jute Gyte is an intriguing project in the black metal world, one I’ve been covering here at NCS for several years now, even going as far as interviewing its mysterious architect Adam Kalmbach here at NCS in 2014. The dude is beyond prolific; there hasn’t been a year since the project started that a new Jute Gyte of some sort hasn’t come out. Most years end with multiple releases.

This year the new recording is Oviri, an album-length work, a weighty experience that sets before us another exercise in extreme discomfort, massive sprawling compositions, and unreal ferocity.

Oct 192017

 

(We continue the rollout of Austin Weber’s ongoing series devoted to reviews of 2017 releases we haven’t previously covered. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here.)

In spite of what the naysayers will tell you, I’m of the opinion that there’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of good metal releases coming out all the time, many of them coming from new groups or independent groups that we’re just now catching onto for the first time.

This lengthy round-up has been in the works for awhile, but I kept adding more and more to the list of what I wanted to cover. Hopefully you will find something new you enjoy in each installment.

ComityA Long Eternal Fall

Comity are a long-running Parisian group who have always defied easy categorization and neat, simple explanations as to what they do. They’re a band I’ve been following since 2005. At that time, I was a bit late to the party when I first heard their 2002 debut The Deus Ex-Machina As A Forgotten Genius, but that ended up being a good time to get into them since they dropped a killer follow-up the next year, in 2006, called As Everything Is A Tragedy.

Oct 192017

 

The Wisconsin melodic black metal band Uhtcearu self-released their second album, For Darkness To Subside, in late July of this year. As a DIY release with nothing more than word of mouth behind it, the album nevertheless garnered heaps of praise across a range of metal-devoted sites, both large and small, including our own, and it has justly elevated Uhtcearu’s profile as a band worth watching very closely. Sometimes quality alone is enough to carry the day, even in an age when it’s harder than ever for bands to be noticed in the absence of label backing or the persistent push of a PR apparatus.

But there are undoubtedly many listeners out there who still haven’t yet discovered For Darkness To Subside, and who would embrace the album if only it could be put before them. And that’s where this new video enters the frame as a vehicle for spreading the word further.

Oct 192017

 

(We present Part 4 of a series of reviews by our Russian connoisseur of all things doom, Comrade Aleks, and today he shares impressions of, and music from, three more 2017 releases. Go here to check out Part 1, here for Part 2, and here for Part 3.)

Some say that Black Sabbath or Pentagram are the only real doom bands, some add that you shouldn’t forget Candlemass and Cathedral, then another one reminds us about My Dying Bride or Esoteric. Doom takes many forms.

It takes the form of Kafkian surrealistic mind journeys as Odradek Room show it. It may reveal itself through straight primordial riffs decorated with psycho or prog influences, as Vokonis preach. And it may appear in the melancholic tunes of Old Night. You never know… So choose your own doom. Here you will find three new aspects of the Doom Cult.

Oct 182017

 

(We continue the rollout of Austin Weber’s ongoing series devoted to reviews of 2017 releases we haven’t previously covered. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.)

In spite of what the naysayers will tell you, I’m of the opinion that there’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of good metal releases coming out all the time, many of them coming from new groups or independent groups that we’re just now catching onto for the first time.

This lengthy round-up has been in the works for awhile, but I kept adding more and more to the list of what I wanted to cover. Hopefully you will find something new you enjoy in each installment.

KLEXOSDEMO 2017

Now we return yet again to dark and eerie death metal with the 2017 demo from a new project based out of Lexington, Kentucky known as Klexos. The group plays within the murky and dissonant death metal style on their 2017 demo, but does so with more of a groove and doomy feeling to it that gives the two songs on this release their own vibe.

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