Jun 292016

Conjuror-I

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Conjurer, which will be released on July 1 by Holy Roar Records.)

We all know by now that hype can be a double-edged sword.

Certainly it can serve to drum up some necessary excitement and anticipation where it’s needed, there’s no denying that. But equally, it can set up unrealistic expectations that act like the proverbial albatross around a band’s collective neck, particularly in cases where certain blogs and magazines (and even the band’s own PR) keep throwing out sweeping comparisons and wild exaggerations as part of a veritable onslaught of hyperbole.

It can honestly leave you wondering whether to believe what you’re reading, or if it’s simply another example of puffed-up propaganda from the media group mind.

Birmingham-based quartet Conjurer (whose name you may have seen mentioned here at NCS once or twice before) have built up something of a buzz for themselves in the few short years they’ve been together, based almost entirely on the strength of their live performances.

And, as such, their debut EP, the ungooglable I, has a lot riding on it. Not only is it the band’s first chance to solidify their own sonic identity on record, but it’s also their first opportunity to prove whether or not all that hype and hyperbole floating around in the digital aether is actually justified.

So… do they deliver the goods? Or are they all mouth, and no trousers?

Jun 292016

Black Funeral-Ankou and the Death Fire

 

Well, I’m two days late with this post. My original plan was to follow Part 1, which appeared on Sunday, with this Part 2 on Monday. But I got busy posting other things both Monday and Tuesday, and so here we are. Having delayed too long already, let’s just get right to the music….

BLACK FUNERAL

The Texas band Black Funeral was born from the mind of Michael W. Ford (aka Akhtya Nachttoter) in the mid-’90s, and although other members of the line-up have changed over time, Ford has persevered, releasing 8 albums that began with 1995’s Vampyr – Throne of the Beast. And this year, roughly six years after the last Black Funeral full-length, another one will be upon us in September via Iron Bonehead Productions and Dark Adversary.

Jun 282016

Goodthink-Grief

 

In this post we bring you a premiere that’s near and dear to our cold black hearts, because it includes vocals by one of our own contributors, Austin Weber. It has a lot of other things to recommend it, too, which I shall attempt to describe in a moment.

The music on this song — “dont throw that at me!” (with lack of capitalization and apostrophe fully intended) — is the creation of Maya Chun, operating under the moniker Goodthink, and it will appear on Goodthink’s new album Guilt. To be more precise, Maya wrote and performed all the music and mixed and mastered it as well. She contributes vocals on some of the album tracks, with additional vocals not only from Austin Weber on two songs but also through other guest appearances (including one by John Dickinson of Youth Novel).

And now, my attempt to describe what happens on “dont throw that at me!“:

Jun 282016

Centinex-Doomsday Rituals

 

(DGR takes over round-up duties today, with a selection of new songs and videos that caught his attention over the last week or two.)

The torrent of music that has hit within the past month or so has been absolutely insane. It’s the summer festival season over in Europe, so I imagine that might have a large bit to do with it, but we’ve also hit the halfway point of the year and now it feels like everyone is dumping out as much as they can in order to get into the news before the year is out.

In the past two weeks or so, I’ve been completely derailed on reviews/various other forms of procrastination in an effort to try and catch as much as possible. I was only joking about being a news trash barge in my last two round-ups, but wow, this time around I’m serious. I’m actually making an effort to split these round-ups into two parts, because between them I have about twelve different news items — song streams, album streams, music videos, lyric videos, album discoveries, and the like — to share. Strap in folks, these next two are going to get real silly.

Centinex – Generation of Flies

One of my hidden joys of being able to attend Maryland Deathfest this year was actually being able to see Centinex — who play a very simple form of death metal. It’s incredibly traditionalist and about as steak-and-potatoes as they come, but somehow the guys in Centinex have locked into how to make a damned good song out of some often overused ingredients.

Jun 282016

Black Pyramid - band

 

(Comrade Aleks has spoken with Andy Beresky of Black Pyramid, and in this post he summarizes what he learned about the past, the present, and the future of the band.)

The original lineup of that famous Massachusetts-based stoner doom band is Eric Beaudry (bass), Clay Neely (drums), and Andy Beresky (guitars, vocals). Eric managed to record the EP Black Pyramid in 2008 with the guys and then quit the band. However, one of those two songs recorded with him (“Visions of Gehenna”) was included in Black Pyramid’s self-titled debut LP in 2009 where Dave Gein took bass-guitarist duties.

This nine-track-long album pulled a lot of attention with slow, classic doom stoner chords, distorted riffs, and Andy’s raw and clean vocals. Despite the very traditional material the band wrote for this album, the feedback was warm and enthusiastic, and that’s easy to explain because the songs deliver catchiness, energy, and a sincere approach. You’ll find on the album fast tracks performed at nearly attacking speed (“No Life King”), mid-paced stoner songs (like “Twilight Grave”), a short melancholic acoustic composition (“Celephais”) ,and just tons of proper killer riffs.

Jun 282016

Almyrkvi-Pupil of the Searing Maelstrom

 

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Iceland’s Almyrkvi, now available on Bandcamp.)

Black Metal has a long history of dealing with darkness in all its many forms… so it’s not surprising that so many of its adherents eventually turn their eyes towards the vast, vacant heavens and seek inspiration in the bleak emptiness of the void.

And so it is with Iceland’s Almyrkvi, the brainchild of Sinmara guitarist Garðar S. Jónsson, whose debut EP Pupil of the Searing Maelstrom seeks to capture the fearsome cold and endless nothngness of the celestial abyss in five impressively atmospheric and morbidly mesmerising tracks.

Jun 282016

In the Woods-Pure

 

What a long and winding road it has been. Twenty-one years after their debut album HEart of the Ages and 17 years after their last one (Strange In Stereo), the Norwegian alchemists In the Woods… are returning with a new record named Pure, to be released in September by Debemur Morti Productions. After a wait of 17 years, remaining patient until September seems like a small thing to ask. Yet three months is still three months, and so we bring you something to sate the curiosity, at least temporarily.

And yes, we do expect more than a little curiosity, given the visionary nature of this band’s first three albums and the long stretch of years that has passed since their release. For those who may be new to the band, perhaps because you weren’t yet out of diapers when HEart of Ages made its first mark, a bit of history may be worthwhile before listening to “Cult of Shining Stars“.

Jun 272016

Profanatica-The Curling Flame of Blasphemy

 

New York’s Profanatica have deep roots in the underground, with a string of short releases beginning in 1990. The band dissolved in about 1992 before releasing an album, but re-formed in 2001, though the first album still wouldn’t appear until 2007. Their fourth album, The Curling Flame of Blasphemy, is now set for release on July 22 by Hells Headbangers, the music prepared by the band’s two core members, drummer/vocalist Paul Ledney and bassist/guitarist John Gelso.

Last month I raved about the album’s first advance track, “Ordained In Bile”, and I’m about to start raving again, because we’re bringing you the premiere of a second song from this staggering new album: “Magic & Muhr“.

Jun 272016

Ulcerate-Zhrine-Phobocosm tour

 

I don’t do a very good job posting about new tour announcements, even when I’m really excited about them. But I’m REALLY excited about this one, and happened to have a few free minutes to help spread the word.

The name of the tour is Shrines of Paralysis, and that’s a well-chosen name because the tour is headlined by New Zealand’s Ulcerate and will also include Iceland’s Zhrine and Montreal’s Phobocosm. And that is one hell of a line-up.

Several of my NCS comrades and I had the pleasure of seeing both Zhrine and Phobocosm at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest, and both were among the true highlights of the festival (as discussed here and here, with photos). In addition, the most recent releases of both bands are outstanding (see our review of Phobocosm’s Bringer of Drought here and our premiere of one of the new Zhrine songs here).

Jun 272016

Au Champ Des Morts cover

 

In April we were privileged to bring you the premiere of the title track to Le Jour Se Lève, the debut EP of a precocious French band named Au Champ Des Morts, and today we share with you a stream of the entire EP, which has now been released by Debemur Morti Productions.

ACDM was founded in 2014 by Stefan Bayle (Anorexia Nervosa) and Migreich (VULV), and this EP is a precursor to the band’s debut album, which will also be released by Debemur Morti. The EP consists of two songs, both of which quickly establish this band as one to watch closely.

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