When our writer Andy Synn recently reviewed Abigail Williams’ new album The Accuser, he described the further evolution of the band’s sound from their last album Becoming as “inverting the moody introspection of its predecessor into a dark and brooding nihilism, creating in the process a distorted reflection and a dark inversion of their former sound that still shares many of the same traits and elements, but twists them into harsher, more dissonant shapes.”
Today we have the privilege of premiering for you another song from The Accuser. Andy described this new one, “Lost Communion“, as music “with a rolling swagger to it, shot through with a series of esoteric, piercing lead melodies that thread their way in and out of the blasting, grooving, melee, climaxing in the unexpectedly massive hooks of the song’s mid-section, with some frankly huge vocals and booming riffs offering a big payoff to the song’s rapid-fire build-up.”
Once again I find myself awash in new songs that I’ve discovered since the end of last week, but without enough time to write about all of them. To avoid a paralyzing indecisiveness about which ones to select for this round-up, I taped a list of them to the wall, threw my head against the edge of a table to cause a bleeding scalp wound, spun around in circles like a dervish, and then checked the list to see which names had been hit with blood spray. I’m probably going to work on a different selection method in the future.
Two days ago we got a preview of the new album by Vastum courtesy of a premiere at DECIBEL. This is the band’s third album, bearing the title Hole Below, and I’m very, very eager to hear all of it — especially after listening to “Sodomitic Malevolence”.
Holy mother of calamities, is this song creepy and crushing — it sounds like a torture chamber engulfed in an earthquake. During a hurricane. While an eclipse is blotting out the sun. And when the song eventually begins to really roll, the riffs will snap your neck — and there’s a guitar solo that will sear the skin off your face.
(Andy Synn presents a trio of album reviews.)
Now I’m sure you all know by now just how much I love Black Metal, in all its many and varied forms. Whether it’s the grime-soaked grooves of Horned Almighty… the blast-furnace assault of 1349… the harrowing sonic rituals of Enthroned… the grim grandeur of Secrets of the Moon… the riff-packed assault of Nidingr… the mesmerising madness of Dødsengel… the ambient anguish of Leviathan… whether it’s “Old School”, “Second Wave”, “Progressive”, “Post”… to me the very essence of the style is its simple refusal to be restricted or limited by the expectations and pressures of others, and the insistence of those who perform under the black banner on doing things their own way, no matter the consequences.
Of course there are stylistic elements that these bands all share– for all its growth and constant opposition between progressive and regressive forces, Black Metal IS still a distinct (though wide-ranging) genre – and yet there are still bands who seem, on the surface of things, to utilise most of the right sonic elements, but whom I still struggle to really think of as “Black Metal” all the same.
(This is Part II of a multi-part article prepared by our Russian friend Comrade Aleks. Part I is here.)
This is the second part of an article describing events that took place on the Eastern Front of World War II through the eyes of few extreme metal bands. This part is written with the musical help of Heaven Shall Burn, Marduk, Jucifer, Hell’s Domain, Vergeltung, and Tank; also here you will find exclusive comments from Darknation, Tales of Darknord, and Caducity… and some historical explanations from Wikipedia, of course, as such huge text would be pretty difficult for me to write and it could eat much more time.
(We bring you a message from Grant Skelton….)
After our recent Litany Of Literary Lunacy roundup, Dan Foytik of The Wicked Library podcast reached out to us. Foytik is looking to work with musicians who want to create original compositions for inclusion in future episodes of The Wicked Library.
In his own words, Fotyik said:
Wicked Library exists primarily as a promotion tool and community for writers, artists (and hopefully) musicians to find new fans and get their work heard.We currently have just over 22,000 monthly listeners worldwide, so if you know any musicians that might be interested in some pretty easy scoring work (which they retain the rights to by the way), I’d be happy to talk to them.
The first minute of the new song we’re premiering today by Sacrificium Carmen reaches out and seizes the listener by the neck immediately. Its huge, rolling riffs, massive drum strikes, and grim melody (both doleful and ominous) — capped by a protracted lycanthropic howl — compel attention and will get your head moving, too. And the song does nothing but tighten its iron grip as it continues to unfold.
The name of the song is “Verialkemia” and it’s the sixth track on this Finnish black metal band’s debut album Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa, which is set for international release by Saturnal Records on October 30th.
(Grant Skelton reviews the new EP by Kentucky’s Cryptic Hymn.)
Paducah, Kentucky’s Cryptic Hymn formed in 2014. In January, they released a demo for the song “Revel In Disgust.” That song now appears on Gateways, the band’s first official release.
Earlier this year (here), I wrote that the strength of an EP is that a band has no room for mediocrity. Since EPs offer a brief taste of what a band has to offer, every song needs to be memorable. Cryptic Hymn’s Gateways delivers five tracks of superior blackened death ‘n’ roll (or black ‘n’ roll if you prefer). The tracks vary enough to show that Cryptic Hymn are certainly capable of experimenting with progressive melodies. Notwithstanding, the tracks do not diverge from the soul of the band’s sound to the point of being unfamiliar.
(Andy Synn brings us a trio of reviews.)
I must admit, 2015 is the first year since I’ve been writing for the site where I’ve truly felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of music out there. I know of so many bands and albums that have slipped through the cracks over the last nine months or so, simply because there’s not enough time in the day/week to cover everything we want to.
As you undoubtedly know already, the ethos here at NCS is to cover and offer exposure to as many bands as we can, informed by a slight preference towards writing about less well-exposed bands over some of the more famous names.
This isn’t down to any form of “elitism”, and we’re not the sort of people who declare that a band has “sold-out” just because they’ve finally managed to make a name for themselves outside of the toilet circuit. It’s simply that, when it comes right down to it, the bigger bands are going to sell their albums regardless of whether we cover them or not… whereas the smaller bands will probably benefit far more from us writing about them. As such we’d rather target our limited support towards where it can do the most good!
Well, some days around here (like last Friday), it’s a drought. But when it rains, it pours. Already today we’ve posted a two-part round-up of new music and videos by DGR (here and here), along with KevinP’s list of top albums released this month, including still more music streams (here). And I’ve found time this morning before leaving town again for my fucking day job to compile this additional collection of new streams (along with one doomy news item contributed by Grant Skelton).
I do worry that on days like this we’re subjecting readers to absolute sensory overload. But I obviously don’t worry too much about it… so here we go:
I’ve been singing the praises of the Wombbath’s new album Downfall Rising since hearing the first teaser from it, and now the entire album is out and available for streaming — so I’m posting the album stream as the first item in this round-up.
On October 16, Hellstorm Recordz will release the third album by Montreal’s Evertrapped. Entitled Under the Deep, the album “is an exploration of the deepest reaches of human madness” — not clinical madness, “but simply the darkest regions of the soul and the blackest part of the human heart from a mind found to be socially functional, but is really way too far gone”. Today we bring you the premiere of a track from the album named “Arise From the Ashes“. As vocalist James Brookes explains:
“‘Arise From The Ashes’ is a depiction of someone who has actually reached the bottom, so their rise from there so to speak. Like the king of their own universe broken by all clawing it’s back, but fueled by an ever-consuming hatred.”
The music certainly fits the thematic content — it’s a raging, jolting, hammering piece of savagery that explodes from the gates immediately. But while the music is ferocious as hell (the ferocity enhanced by the extremity of the vocals), and never really pauses to give you a breath, there’s more going on than sonic decimation.