Apr 302017

 

If you scroll down the posts at our site that have appeared since Friday morning, it will be obvious that I’ve lost what was left of my mind. No sane person would test the patience of even the most devoted listener by throwing so many musical recommendations into the void in such a short space of days. I suppose I ought to give you at least a short break for recovery, and so instead of packing this Sunday’s edition of SHADES OF BLACK with everything I intended to recommend, I’m saving half of it for Monday.

The music in this post consists entirely of music that appeared over the last week, beginning with a new album that deserves a full review — which you’ll have to find elsewhere. What you’ll find here is a stream of the album and some pathetically brief but heartfelt praise. It comes from…

HAVUKRUUNU

With their first album, Havulinnaan, Havukruunu proved very quickly that they were something special. Two years later, they have produced Kelle surut soi, which was released by Naturmacht Productions on April 29th (yesterday). Anyone who might have worried about a sophomore slump can perish those thoughts — they’ve managed to surmount a debut that was itself spectacular.

Apr 302017

 

This catching-up effort which began on Friday may have gotten out of control. I have music from 7 bands in this “final” installment, including three full releases as well as a quartet of individual tracks. And I put “final” in quotes because I still have a bunch of new black metal for a SHADES OF BLACK feature. I almost always post those on Sundays, but this time I may have to post it tomorrow. Depends on how long I can go without food, bathroom breaks, sociable interaction with my wife, rational thought, other distractions from our glorious mission….

TEMPLE OF VOID

“Huge, enormous, vast, immense, large, big, mighty, great, colossal, tremendous, prodigious, gigantic, gargantuan, mammoth, monstrous, monumental, giant, towering, elephantine, mountainous, titanic”. These are all synonyms for the word “massive”. By listing them, I’ve gotten a head start on the task of describing the first single from Temple of Void’s new album.

Ooops! I forgot “humongous” and “hulking”.

Apr 302017

 

The three songs I’ve collected here are off our usual beaten paths. I would consider all of them metal, but they are all twists on convention, and for that matter they’re all kind of twisted in other ways. Obviously, I found myself liking all three quite a lot or they wouldn’t be here. And because I thought they would make an interesting feature grouped in this way, I’ve separated them from a bunch of other new songs that are included in Part 3 of the SEEN AND HEARD post that’s coming later today.

THOUGHTS OF IONESCO

There’s a big article at The Font of All Human Knowledge devoted to Detroit-based Thoughts of Ionesco. As I write this, however, it’s missing one important fact, though the hive mind responsible for The Font’s content will undoubtedly update it soon. The missing fact is that Thoughts of Ionesco have reunited and will be releasing their first new material since 2001. In fact, they’ve already released something new.

Apr 292017


Schammasch – photo by Andrea Stoppa

 

Happy Saturday. I’m continuing an effort to catch up on things I spotted over the last week but didn’t have time to write about. For this Part 2, I decided to include mostly news items, and leave a lot of the remaining new music I’d like to recommend for Part 3. Not sure when I’ll get Part 3 done, maybe in time to post later today but most likely for tomorrow.

The first three items here are announcements of new albums, with artwork. The last three are new tape and CD releases that provide reminders about very good releases that originally appeared last year or early this year. And sandwiched in the middle is a bit of recommended new music.

SCHAMMASCH

Here at NCS we’re big fans of the Swiss band Schammasch. And so it was exciting to see the band’s announcement this morning that they plan to release a new trilogy of records as the follow-up to last year’s Triangle trilogy. The new series will be entitled The Maldoror Chants, and the first album — The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite — will be released on the 9th of June. Here’s the cover art, along with the band’s description of the new trilogy:

Apr 292017

 

I suppose you could sum up the sound of Dead Season’s new album, Prophecies, as melodic death metal with abundant prog metal flourishes and a mix of harsh growls and soaring clean vocals with a power-metal vibrato. I prefer to think of the last scene in Thelma and Louise, when Louise punches the accelerator on that ’66 Thunderbird and they go rocketing off the cliff in a cloud of dust… but only if you could then imagine the car turning some acrobatic somersaults above that vast canyon and then zooming off into the clouds.

Along with some European sites, we’re helping to premiere three tracks from Prophecies today, three tracks out of the 12 that make up this hour-long album. And we’re also throwing in a video for a fourth track that debuted yesterday. All four of them make for a hell of an exhilarating ride.

Apr 282017

 

You really couldn’t ask for a better time (which really means a worse time) for a new Phobia album. There’s a lot to be pissed about these days, and for a lot of us, one of the biggest reasons is squinting off the cover of the band’s new album, Lifeless God. Of course, these Orange County anarchists have always been pissed off, but I bet they’ve got more than the usual amount of fury to discharge at high speed in this sixth full-length.

Lifeless God comes out on June 2nd via Willowtip Records, and includes among its 20 tracks such titles as “Escalate To Madness”, “Human Default = Suck At Life”, “Everythings Vicious”, “Death To Freedom”, and “New 4th Reich” (you get two guesses what that one’s about, and one guess doesn’t count). It also includes a track named “Party In Hell“, which is the one we’ve got for you today.

Apr 282017

 

As I mentioned earlier today, I returned to Seattle very late last night after a 4-day road trip for my day job. While away, I didn’t have time to pull together round-ups of new music that I was noticing, so I have some catching up to do. This is the first installment of that catching-up exercise, which will continue with at least one more part either later today or tomorrow. The music here is organized in alphabetical order by band name, and I’ve tried to provide variety in each of these installments.

ANIMA NOSTRA

I wasn’t familiar with Anima Nostra before hearing this first song, but I’ve learned that it’s a collaboration between Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (Sweden) and Margaux Renaudin (France). The two of them released an album named Anima Nostra last year, and now they’ve taken that as their band name.

Their second album, Atraments, will be released by Malignant Records (digitally and on digipak CD) on June 2nd. I gather from press announcements that the sound now differs from their first collaborative effort, “taking the more intimate ritual ambient aspects of the debut, and incorporating them as part of towering constructs that blur the line between death industrial, doom metal, and neo-classical”.

Apr 282017

 

(DGR turns in this review of the new album by Bavarian grind merchants Genocide Generator.)

This one took a bit to review. Not because there was some conflict or confusion as to how Genocide Generator did things, but mostly because III is an album that does almost exactly what I was hoping the band would do after their debut album I — you’ll note, there’s no II yet — which was to double-down on all of the elements they had used to make their first disc.

I was hoping they would double-down on the speed, on the grind, on the usage of electronics, and on the heaping helping of just outright absurdity that they splattered over the top of everything. And that’s what they did on III. So if you can remember way back to the olden horse-cart days of the internets and our review of I, and if you enjoyed that, then III is perfect for you. What took a while with III, though, is that since the self-described “grindustrial madness” band doubled down on everything, it’s hard to pontificate about much with the disc. And it also raises a few interesting questions.

One question is that since the band have so much fun inserting dumb sound effects and cranking on random electronic noise to go along with the high-speed adrenaline rush that is their music, how does one possibly review grind like that? How does one talk about grind that takes on an almost carnival-like atmosphere with its big-top bombast and the joy of how anarchic some of the songs become? How do you review an album of grind that sounds like it was made for a funhouse?

Apr 282017

 

I left Seattle on Monday for my job and arrived home again near midnight last night. I woke up four hours later because there is very little justice or fairness in the world. Before my eyes would focus properly, I saw messages from friends on Facebook that alerted me to the two new tracks I’ve collected here. I have a fuckton of other new music to sift through since I didn’t have time to assemble a SEEN AND HEARD round-up while I was out of town, but I decided to get these two tracks up on the site without delay, even before the coffee kicks in.

DECAPITATED

Three years after Blood Mantra, Poland’s mighty Decapitated are returning with a new album named Anticult, which will be released by Nuclear Blast on July 7th. Last night the album’s memorable cover art appeared on the web, and this morning, before the sun rose out here on the U.S. west coast, Decapitated detonated a video for a new song named “Never“.

Apr 272017

 

Abkehr is a reclusive duo from northern Germany, a new entity who are rising from the shadow lands of black metal with a debut EP named In Asche. It will be released on May 19th by Sentient Ruin Laboratories. The EP consists of four impressive tracks, one of which premiered at CVLT Nation not long ago, and we now bring you another one.

The tracks are unnamed, identified with Roman numerals, and the one we have for you is the opener. It proves to be an unsettling but charismatic way to begin In Asche.

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