May 312012

Here on the last day of May, I decided to christen the month Iceland Metal Month at NCS (see today’s first post).  Since we’ve wrtten about 8 Icelandic metal bands so far, it seemed like the logical thing to do. And having gone that far, I decided we ought to go further and bring the total to an even dozen. So, here we go . . . four more bands worth getting to know from a country that’s starting to seem close to Finland in the ratio of killer metal bands per capita of population.

BENEATH

I found out about this Reykjavík band while doing a little research on Ophidian I, who I included in that earlier post about Icelandic metal today: It seems that guitarist Unnar Sigurðsson is a member of both bands. It further appears that drummer Ragnar Sverrisson is also a member of another awesome Icelandic band, Atrum (who we’ve written about more than once in the past).

Beneath’s line-up solidified in late 2008, and in 2009 they won the Wacken Metal Battle contest in Iceland, thereby becoming the first Icelandic band to perform at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2009. They released a debut EP titled Hollow Empty Void on Mordbrann Musikk in 2010 (it’s available on iTunes), and they’ve finished recording a debut full-length, Enslaved By Fear. That album will be released on July 17 by the dependable Unique Leader label. The eye-catching album cover was done by Raymond Swanland.

Now, about their music . . .

May 312012

Last week we reported on the premiere of the first song from Nile’s new album, At the Gates of Sethu, which will be released via Nuclear Blast Records on June 29 (Europe) and July 3 (North America). The song is called “The Fiends Who Come To Steal the Magick of the Deceased”. At that point, it was exclusively streaming at Noisecreep.

But now, you don’t have to stream it any more, because Nuclear Blast is making the song available as a free download, in return for your e-mail address.  GO HERE to get the track for your very own. And in case you haven’t yet heard the song — which may not be exactly what you’re expecting from Nile, check it out on the player below:
 

May 312012

I saw this album cover. It’s for the next album by DysrhythmiaTest of Submission, which Profound Lore says they will be releasing on August 28. No test is needed . . . I am ready to submit.

I also saw that Be’lakor has just put HD versions of all the songs from their terrific new album Of Breath and Bone up on YouTube. Find those tracks here. Read Andy Synn’s review of the album here. (And thanks to NCS reader Daniel for the tip on this news.)

I also saw that Doris Yeh from Chthonic is on the cover of a fashion magazine called FHM.  I no longer have to wonder what she looks like naked.

May 312012

I should probably just go ahead and designate May as Iceland Metal Month at NO CLEAN SINGING. So far this month we’ve featured music from Severed Crotch (here), Svartidauði and Vansköpun (here), Azoic (here), and Dynfari (here). Since today is the last day of the month, I thought I’d close it out with three more Icelandic metal bands.

GONE POSTAL

This band from Kópavogur was formed in 2007. They released a debut full-length titled In the Depths of Despair in 2008 through Iceland’s own Molestin Records as well as three subsequent releases, of which Promo II (2011) is the latest.  In March of this year, they won the Wacken Metal Battle contest in Iceland, which will give them the right to perform at Wacken Open Air this summer.

I gather from a few things I’ve read that the band’s style of music through the early releases was a kind of experimental death metal. What I’ve heard are the three songs on Promo II, and those songs instead reflect a pronounced black metal influence. The music is shot through with ripping/roaring tremolo guitars, vicious rhythms, and an air of bleak dissonance. The vocal style flexes between harsh growls and eviscerating shrieks. The production is as raw as a fresh wound. Yet as cacophonous as the music often is, strange melodies ring out through the tidal wash of bile, lending the music a kind of sick fascination.

May 302012

Phro has obviously been spending way too much fucking time on his own blog or I would have found out about this movie from him instead of having to read about it on Skeletonwitch’s FB page.

Just when you think zombie filmography has become so saturated that there’s nothing new to say about zombies, we get Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. Leave it to the Japanese to take a tired old cinematic trope and breathe new life into the shit. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I like a crap zombie movie as much as the next dude, but they get kinda boring after a while — even when real life starts imitating art. But there’s a difference between a crap zombie movie and a craptastic movie with shit zombies and hot, gun-toting Japanese chicks wearing schoolgirl uniforms, which seems to be required dress for all hot Japanese chicks.

Zombie Ass, which premiered at a film festival in Austin, Texas (?!?) last fall and had its Japanese premiere in February 2012, was made by renowned Japanese director and legendary ass-fetishist Noboru Iguchi. It seems to involve poop-covered zombies crawling from outhouses, mutant intestinal parasites, and a lot of potent farting. Sounds awesome, no?

The odds of me seeing this movie are zero, but the “international” trailer for the film — complete with garbled English voiceover and titles — is fucking hysterical.  Okay, to be more precise, it’s hysterical if you have a really juvenile, scatalogical sense of humor like I do, and I’m pretty sure you DO have that kind of sense of humor, or why else would you be wasting your time at this site?

May 302012

I like to think we were one of the first metal blogs to pay attention to Bandcamp, with this feature on the service back in March of 2010. Since then, the popularity of Bandcamp as a platform for streaming and distributing metal has exploded — to the point where, in addition to bands, almost every metal label worthy of attention has put big chunks of their catalogs on the site. (Metal Bandcamp has been keeping track of all the metal labels who’ve established a presence on Bandcamp, and you can see their pretty comprehensive list here.)

But yesterday, we saw what must still count as something of a milestone, notwithstanding the now-established popularity of Bandcamp: The venerable Relapse label has now put their entire 20+ year catalog on Bandcamp. The official Relapse page now features over 122 artists including (and these are the names that Relapse called out in their press release) Baroness, Dying Fetus, Pig Destroyer, Red Fang, Necrophagist, Revocation, and of course many more. This will allow fans not only to stream everything in the Relapse catalog, but also to get CD-quality downloads of the music (Bandcamp offers the FLAC format as well as 320k mp3).

But wait, that’s not all!

May 302012

Ihsahn’s fourth solo album, Eremita, is scheduled for release on June 19.  Almost a month ago, I received from Candlelight Records a link that allows me to stream the album, but not download it. I know the label isn’t singling me out or implying that NCS is untrustworthy, but I have a hard time listening to an album when I have to be tethered to my computer to do it. I’m constantly moving between safe houses, and so I need to be able to listen on my music player. Consequently, I still haven’t heard Eremita.

But I’m no less interested in the album, in part because it’s Ihsahn and in part because of the line-up of guest artists: drummer Tobias Ornes Andersen (Leprous), saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby (Shining – Norway), guitarist Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore), and vocalists Devin Townsend, Einar Solberg (Leprous), and Heidi S. Tveitan (Star of Ash).

Yesterday, Guitar World began streaming a song from the album called “Introspection”, which features guest vocals by Devin Townsend. I heard it for the first time through that stream (see above re moving between safe houses). I have mixed feelings about the song.

May 302012

(DemiGodRaven reviews not one, not two, but three albums, with lots of music included. Get your ass in a comfortable place and wade in . . .)

It’s been known for quite a while now that I do have a bit of a soft spot for certain brands of electronica music. It’s never been something that I’ve felt a huge need to dig into too deeply, but the surface-level groups that I have found I’ve enjoyed quite a bit. Of course, this spills over into my enjoyment of some of the more violent genres such as Industrial (and I have been listening to Ministry’s Relapse…which is a hot mess. Hopefully I’ll get something going on…that) and the various aggrotech styles, but occasionally I do enjoy walking on the lighter side of things.

Lately I’ve been constantly spinning three different releases, all of them great in their own different ways, and since Islander has given me somewhat of a pulpit, a megaphone, and enough rope to hang myself with, I figured I’d take the opportunity to just make one gargantuan post here so that the more metal of us can easily gloss over it rather than do three posts and basically have you guys screaming for my execution. As such, this motherfucker is going to be long-winded as all hell, so prepare your anuses gentlemen, shit is about to get real.

CelldwellerLive Upon A Blackstar (CD release)

You guys had to have seen this coming from a mile away. There was literally zero chance that I wasn’t going to talk about something that Celldweller was up to if I was going to take up valuable post space for a bunch of electronica discs. Although the Blu-Ray/DVD release of this specific disc has been consistently delayed to the point of being something of a tragic comedy [it will begin shipping on June 12, 2012], the audio version of this album has been available for a little. A little clarification as to why I feel this live album is important enough to write about first.

May 292012

Yes, you read that correctly. There is a Wintersun album update, and there is more to it than simply stating, “there will be a new Wintersun album someday . . . .”

Specifically, after 8 years since this Finnish band’s impressive debut, there will be two albums: Time I and Time II. Each album will contain approximately 40 minutes of music — 80 minutes of new Wintersun altogether.

Per the press release we received, the mixing and mastering of Time I is scheduled for completion in July, with release planned for the early fall. Time II will be released in 2013. We expect to see videos and teasers over the summer.

There’s also this tour news: Wintersun have been confirmed to headline this year´s edition of the so-called HEIDENFEST tour kicking off in October, with support from Korpiklaani, Varg, Trollfest, and Krampus — and after that, Wintersun plans to tour the world. Well, they plan to tour parts of the world, but I don’t know which parts yet. For more info about HEIDENFEST, go here.

May 292012

What a nice way to start this new day . . . seeing a video of Kartikeya rehearsing a new song called “Vayu”.  No vocals yet, but man, this sounds very fucking nice.  It appears that this will be released as a single on June 22, and will feature guest appearances by Keith Merrow and Aleksandra Radosavljevic. Should be interesting, to say the least.

Check out the video after the jump.  And if, by some remote chance, you don’t know about Kartikeya already, click this link and read one of our 5,000 previous posts about the band.

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