We wish all of you a glorious Samhain. It is the most metal of festival nights, the ancient day marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, a day for the remembrance of the dead, a day when the veil between this world and the realm of death is as thin as tissue, and for many the first day of a spiritual new year.
In our den of thieves there was some loose talk about compiling a Halloween play list for the site, but this talk came to naught. It matters not, because we have something better. We have a stream of the new album by HelCarpathian Kroda, just released via Bandcamp on this blessed day — and like nothing you’ve heard from Kroda before.
I’m only human. When I have intensely strong feelings for the past creations of an artist, I tend to be predisposed to admire whatever comes next, to the point of overlooking flaws and focusing on the gifts when necessary. But most of the music on this new Kroda album, Navij Skhron, turned my expectations upside down, as if someone erased almost everything familiar on the chalkboard and began writing a new verse.
I returned home late last night from my whirlwind 48-trip to the other side of the continent for my fucking day job. While on the seemingly endless wi-fi-enabled plane ride home, I spent some time seeing what I missed since Tuesday. Not surprisingly, I found a lot of new music worth throwing at you, and this morning brought even more. Though my ass is still dragging from that trip, I thought I’d collect some of what I liked today and leave the rest ’til sometime this weekend.
This first song is one that appeared this morning. The name is “Waiting For the Screams”, and it comes from the new album Skull Grinder by the almighty Autopsy (who I had the pleasure of seeing at California Deathfest not long ago). I’m still slobbering over Wes Benscoter’s cover art for this thing, which is one of the best in a long run of gruesome Autopsy covers.
As the dark chill of winter looms ahead of us, W.T.C. Productions prepares for the release of Catechesis, the debut album by Germany’s Kvltist — an album that is the final realization of a vision in the making for a decade. Today we spread before you the premiere of the album’s opening track: “The Devil’s Catechumen”.
Through this song, Kvltist throw open obsidian gates revealing sounds that seem to emanate from a different plane of existence. It’s a Luciferian black metal devotional that’s intricate, multifaceted, and constantly changing. With dissonant riffs and arcane melodies that writhe and spiral like phosphorescent lights beneath the surface of a black surging sea, the song spawns imaginings of a great and ominous power rising to the surface in triumph, illuminated with flickering tendrils of unholy fire.
Today is the official release date for Aeon, the second album by Germany’s Invoker, which will be brought to discerning metal lovers by Non Serviam Records. It is adorned by a wonderful album cover created by Misanthropic Art. It’s likely that you have seen this artwork at our site previously, because it has been our pleasure to bring you the premiere of three songs from the album. And now we bring you the premiere of a full album stream.
The music on the album encompasses a variety of moods, but it’s consistently intense, powerful, and dark. Produced in a way that provides both clarity and massive force, and featuring individual performances that really shine, Aeon’s greatest strength is nevertheless revealed in the songwriting. The song’s have individual character, each one marked by distinctive melodies that get their hooks in your head right away, and there is renewed pleasure when you come back to them. It’s the kind of album that can stay in your playlist a long time, without losing its interest.
(If you read your humble editor’s earlier post today, you’ll know that I wasn’t expect to post anything by any of our other writers today… and then Andy Synn stepped up with this installment of favorite things that come in fives.)
Here he comes to save the day…
Ahem. Anyway, after Our Great And Most Glorious Leader’s post earlier today about having nothing to hand for the site for once, I took it upon myself to quickly bash something together in order to help uphold our nigh-unimpeachable record of journalistic quality and integrity.
Or, something like that.
Either way, it’s a good enough excuse to jam out some fat and filthy blackened riffs whilst picking and choosing five of my favourite songs by everyone’s favourite cloven-hoofed courtesans of Satan.
Artwork by Anton Semenov
I mentioned yesterday that I’ve had to fly across the country from Seattle for my fucking day job. It’s a quick trip, because I’ll be getting home again late tonight, but what I’m having to do is leaving me with no time for NCS.
So far, I’ve had no time to listen to music, much less to write about it. And I doubt that’s going to change before I get back on an airplane this afternoon to head home.
(In this post TheMadIsraeli does some catching up, with three reviews of 2015 death metal albums.)
About my absence from NCS: I promise you all, it’s not that I haven’t been listening to music; life has just been rather chaotic. I’ve got a triple review here — one established band you already know are going to be good, and two under-the-surface death metal records I’ve been listening to on and off for a couple of months that I think are definitely worth your time. All three of these albums also have distinctly different sounds.
Bone Gnawer – Cannibal Crematorium
Bone Gnawer has some weight behind its name. With only two full-lengths since 2009, one back then and the one I’m going to talk about now, and mostly EPs to their name, I think these guys deserve to be looked at. I’ve not visited any of the band’s previous material (which included Rogga Johansson in the lineup), I’m only familiar with Cannibal Crematorium, but it’s pretty fucking good.
(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the month that’s about to end.)
It’s been 10 months now that I’ve worked on this column and I always wondered how others kept track of what was released each month. I simply take a notebook, write down a month on each page, and then when I get a promo, I download it and hand-write it in the release month. That’s as low-tech as you can be (and sometimes semi-dangerous if the baby gets her hands on it and goes to town). So does anyone have any better suggestions? What do you do?
Anyways, we are fast approaching the end of the year and October has been quite the eclectic month, probably the most so far, as you’ll see from my selections. Let us know what else wet your whistle in the comments below.
A musician acquaintance of mine who recently started following our putrid site was pleasantly surprised at how many bands he had found here that he’d never heard of before, and he asked me how we find the music we write about. I can only speak for myself (because everyone here makes their own choices and writes what they want to write about).
In my case I do discover a lot of the music via press releases from labels, bands, and PR reps, but I would guess that more than half of what I choose to feature and review comes through tips from our readers and from messages or posts by Facebook friends. And that’s what I’m doing here — picking new music I’ve enjoyed from among recommendations I received yesterday via Facebook friends one from a reader e-mail.
Though you know I like to provide my own descriptions and reactions to what I hear, I can’t do that this time. I’ve got to leave town early this morning for my fucking day job, and until I get back home late tomorrow night I won’t have much blog time. But trust me — everything you’re about to hear is really good.
Fatum are from Moscow, Russia. Their new album is called Life Dungeons. It’s hell-on-wheels thrashing crust that will get your blood pumping. (Many thanks to Craig for posting about them on FB.)
(Here we have another doomy interview from our Russian friend Comrade Aleks, speaking this time with Nicola “Cynar” Rossi, vocalist for Italy’s Doomraiser.)
Sometimes I think: “Stop! Never again! That was my last interview with an Italian doom band. There are a lot of good bands in other countries!” I go to bed with this thought, but everything changes when I wake up in the morning and see the horse’s head next to my pillow.
Doomraiser is one of the most heavy, most straight-out, most active and prolific doom clans from the Apennine Peninsula. They released their fourth album Reverse (Passaggio inverso) in 2015 and they are already busy preparing new songs. Somehow their frontman Nicola “Cynar” Rossi found a few minutes to answer my questions.