Ontario’s Vow of Thorns made their advent in 2013 with an EP named Forest Dweller, and on July 15 they will release their first full-length album, Farewell To the Sun. Today we have the pleasure of bringing you a stream of the album’s closing track, “Doomed Woods“.
When asked to comment about the song, guitarist Dustin Richards explained: “The lyrics to ‘Doomed Woods’ are what sparked the theme for the album. With this track we set out to create a song that conveys the experience of facing death head-on. Accepting your inevitable end and embracing it.”
About 20 minutes ago the organizers of America’s finest metal festival announced the initial slate of bands confirmed to appear at next year’s installment of the festival — Maryland Deathfest XV. And here’s the list, pasted from MDF’s Facebook announcement:
Akercocke (UK) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!
Behexen (Finland) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!
In The Woods… (Norway) – Exclusive U.S. appearance!
I just woke up. Over the last couple of days my fucking day job has interfered with my ability to blog as much as usual (and it will do that again today), plus I’ve had some personal stuff to deal with as well. The net result is that we only had two posts yesterday, and I wasn’t able to write anything last night to schedule as our first post for today.
I do have an idea for a post collecting some excellent new abrasive sounds that rose up from the underground and battered my head over the last 24 hours, and we will have a song premiere today as well. But it will take me some time to get those ready.
In the meantime, I wanted to leave something here to entertain you. And I found just what I needed with my first glance of the day at our exploding e-mail in-box.
(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?
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….
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.
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!“:
(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.
(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.
(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.
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“.