Mar 312016

Verment-Deaths Domain

 

Verment are a four-man death metal machine from the greater Cincinnati area, and tomorrow they will be releasing a new EP entitled Death’s Domain. To help spread the word about the release, we’re bringing you the premiere of a full stream right now.

Verment interweave a variety of strands of extreme music into their generally up-tempo blasts, including thrash, melodic death metal, and bursts of buzzing black metal riffs. The songs are also anchored by head-hammering grooves, along with drumming that sounds very much like a heavy-caliber automatic weapon going off right inside your ears.

Mar 312016

This Gift Is A Curse video

 

Sweden’s This Gift Is A Curse gave us (with help from Season of Mist) one of the last year’s most stupefyingly heavy, implacably savage, and frighteningly eerie albums. On All Hail the Swinelord, they made music that will take you apart and send what’s left of your mind into a very dark place. And today we’re helping bring you the premiere of a video for one of the album’s terrifying tracks, “XI: For I Am the Fire“.

The video was written and directed by Ivan K. Maras (Deathless Pictures). Filmed in black and white, it makes the natural woodland setting seem ominous and threatening, and the barren trees and vacant fields bear cold witness to a ritual that visually captures the atmosphere of unavoidable catastrophe created by the music.

Mar 312016

Universe 217-Change

 

(Here’s the third of our friend KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released during March.)

Truth be told, I’ve been knee deep into “comic book research” for the past few months, but especially in March, so my attention has been split between music and yet another hobby to spend way too much money on.  And by research, I mean investigating what new books and series recently came out and what’s on the horizon so I can generate a valid “pull list”.  I was toying with the idea of doing a semi-regular column on comic books.  What do you think of that prospect?  I’m rarely, if ever, gonna discuss a book about men (or chicks) in spandex, it will be all the indie and creator-owned ones (yes, I’m an elitist snob in my other hobbies as well).  Anyways, on with this month’s best of……

Mar 312016

Syberia-Resiliency

 

April 22nd is the day set by Debemur Morti Productions for the release of the second album by Syberia from Barcelona, Spain. Entitled Resiliency, it features eye-catching cover art by Msgdssny and 11 fascinating instrumental tracks, one of which we’re premiering for your listening pleasure today.

This new song is named “Aram Chaos“. It has the kind of pounding bass and drum rhythm that vibrates your spine and produces reflexive head-nodding. That compelling rhythm section provides a heavy foundation for a swirl of riffs and guitar arpeggios that chime, shimmer, and glide. And just as you feel you’re leaving solid ground, carried aloft by the pulse-quickening brightness of those sounds, the song comes to an end. If you’re like me, you’ll feel the end comes too soon. But that’s only the disappointment that comes from listening to a single track — and fortunately there is much more ahead of you on this album.

Mar 312016

Gojira 2016-photo by Travis Shinn
photo credit: Travis Shinn

When names as big as Gojira and Katatonia both release new music on the same day, if you wait more than a few hours to write about it, the odds are that almost everyone who cares about those bands has already been clued in by someone else. But I’m writing about these developments anyway because “Half-Assed” is my middle name and I feel compelled to live up to it. And I’ll throw in a few other new developments that have been somewhat less pervasively recognized across the web.

GOJIRA

As I read Rolling Stone’s interview/listening-session (here) with the Duplantier brothers that appeared yesterday, I became increasingly uneasy. Reading Kory Grow’s descriptions of some of the songs from Gojira’s forthcoming new album that he heard while talking with the brothers in their New York City studio made me fear that Gojira have become a French variant of Mastodon, making a big sweeping turn into radio-friendly rock. Will their first video for the album include twerking?

Mar 302016

Krigsgrav-Waves of Degradation

 

I had not really explored Krigsgrav’s music until Panopticon’s Austin Lunn included The Carrion Fields on his 2014 year-end list at our site, praising it as “a fantastic release” with “the unique sound that American folk/Black metal has become known for, but with some Brave Murder Day thrown in there for good measure”. Now, almost two years on from that well-received third album, this Texas-based band have signed with Bindrune Recordings, which will soon be releasing their new album Waves of Degradation. In advance of its April 1 release date, we bring you a full stream of the new album.

Krigsgrav’s partnership with Bindrune is a natural one. The label has released excellent albums by such bands as Panopticon, Alda, and Falls of Rauros, and Waves of Degradation will undoubtedly appeal to fans of those bands. Though Krigsgrav’s early works embraced a raw, vicious form of orthodox black metal, they have now well and truly left those days behind. Although the band still amplify the intensity of their sound by integrating the vibration of tremolo chords, blast-beat flurries, and high, agonizing shrieks (along with arid roars), the strength of their music (and its emotional power) now lies in the somber yet sublime atmospheric quality of their folk-influenced melodies.

Mar 302016

Gorguts European tour flyer

 

(Andy Synn reports on a show he witnessed earlier this week in Manchester, England, with performances by Gorguts, Psycroptic, Dysrhythmia, and Nero Di Marte. And Andy also shares with us some videos he shot during the show.)

When it comes to running gigs (and I speak from experience not only of booking shows, but running them, and playing them… sometimes all three in the same evening) there’s a wide variety of things that can go wrong. Some of them can be fixed with only a minimum of hassle. Others… cause larger problems. For example, and this is just off the top of my head here, a six-hour ferry delay…

Yes, that’s what happened on Monday, meaning that I arrived at the venue for 6 o’clock (when my ticket stated doors were set) only to find that they’d now been pushed back until 7. Fortunately, I eventually bumped into a couple of mates (Hi Jon! Hi Chris!), which certainly made the whole experience a lot more palatable. UN-fortunately the stated door time came and went, with nary a whisper of anyone being let into the building. Something strange was afoot.

It was gone half 7 when, out of nowhere, the tour bus and trailer suddenly pulled round the corner, unleashing a flurry of activity as band and crew members scrambled to unload the necessary gear and merch and rush it into the venue to set up, with only a quick mention in passing that – with a little luck – the first band was going to be onstage within the hour.

At this point Chris and I retired to a nearby pub to join his Spires bandmates in playing the waiting game in slightly more comfortable surroundings, crossing our fingers that at least some of the lost time would be made up and that none of the bands were going to be dropped from the bill…

Mar 302016

Phobocosm - Bringer of Drought

 

With their 2014 debut album Deprived, Montréal’s Phobocosm demonstrated a dawning talent for generating a poisonous, pitch-black atmosphere of dread, pain, and imminent destruction. With their new album, Bringer of Doubt, they have honed that talent, creating music that if anything is even more thoroughly and oppressively saturated with darkness and doom, yet is also even more memorable.

As before, the band have created death metal that’s leavened with elements of doom and dissonant black metal, and the resulting music is unerringly and unceasingly bleak and predatory. The opening track, “Engulfing Dust”, exemplifies the new album’s more prominent use of horrifying doom. It’s a staggering funereal lament that’s cold, desolate, and crushing. The song begins and ends with the sound of wind, rain, and finally distant thunder, and the melody first heard in the slow, sad chords at the start becomes a paean to pain.

Mar 302016

Nominon-Chaos In the Flesh Live

 

In early February I stumbled across a couple of live tracks by Sweden’s Nominon that were part of a limited-edition tape capturing the band’s performance at the Death Kills Festival in Stockholm in February 2015. After praising those two songs here as “electrifying, thrashing, skull-cleaving, ferocious stuff” with “great sound quality”, I noted that there “might be other editions of the album released in the future for those who aren’t tapeheads”. Well, that day is coming soon.

Morbid Skull Records and Deathgasm Records will be releasing a CD version of Chaos In the Flesh… Live! on May 13, and we’re bringing you the premiere of yet another track from this turbocharged live performance: “Submit To Evil“.

Mar 292016

Wormed-Krighsu

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Spain’s Wormed.)

If there is one overriding theme in a bunch of my reviews here at NCS, it has been a want to describe much of the death metal genre’s method of musical devastation on a cosmic scale. In lieu of the gore-splattered viscera that often seems perfect for describing the various collections of intestines that death metal often romps around in, I’ve found that planetary annihilation, destruction of universes, and universal phenomena have time and time again been perfect for drawing allegories when writing around the differing arsenals of blast beats and guitar-fire trench-runs that many death metal bands get up to.

I have been recently trying to change this up a bit. I know that constantly seeing the same descriptors over and over again can make it seem like authors have copy+paste notebooks next to them when writing reviews. But there is one band for whom I feel I must make an exception, and that is Spain’s sci-fi brutal death metal architects Wormed — because Wormed are death metal on a cosmic scale, and nothing would be more fitting as a descriptor of the gamma rays of a dying star destroying a nearby galaxy than an album by Wormed; that could be what has happened within even one of their songs.

Plus, up until 2013’s Exodromos, it’s not as if we could pretend this was an opportunity that would present itself frequently. But coming in hot three years later is Krighsu, Wormed’s late-March followup to Exodromos, and it promises a return to the maddening sci-fi machinations of a band who occupy their own realm of hammering death metal, with a helping of growls so low they could rumble the Earth.

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