Niklas Göransson is a Swedish writer whose impulses and talents have led him to create something very special for serious fans of metal whose interests go beyond the pleasures and enlightenment of the sounds themselves. He named his creation Bardo Methodology.
According to Göransson‘s own explanation of how Bardo Methodology came to be born, he had been intermittently contributing articles to Sweden Rock Magazine, and in late 2015 began the exercise of translating some of his writings into English and publishing them online. In early 2016 he conducted an interview of Deströyer 666, with only two pages allotted to the discussion in Sweden Rock Magazine. And so he “ended up with the vengeful boil in every writer’s posterior; excess material too good to discard.” And as a result, Bardo Methodology was born, as an online vehicle for presenting that interview in full, and one thing led to another.
The site was launched in March 2016 with a collection of translated, stockpiled interviews appearing on the first day. By June, something new was appearing on a weekly basis, and that weekly publication schedule has been followed ever since, like clockwork — here.
Now, Niklas Göransson has taken a further step and has begun publishing a print edition that’s so distinctive I felt compelled to help spread the word about it.
This marks the fourth time we’ve written abut the music of Seattle’s Vermin Lord. The first time was a review of the project’s excellent 2016 album Anguish, and then we wrote about a single that was released in January of this year, followed in March by our review and premiere of a two-song EP (Visions Of A Cursed Warlock). And now we’re spreading the word about Vermin Lord’s new album Mourning, which is being released today.
Part of what makes Vermin Lord’s music so intriguing (and this is certainly true of the new album) is its unpredictable blending of disparate musical influences. This album in particular brings to mind the term “baroque”, which in one of the word’s dictionary meanings refers to a style of artistic expression “marked generally by use of complex forms, bold ornamentation, and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement, and tension”.
(Austin Weber brings us the full streaming premiere of the new EP by Blurring, along with an introductory review.)
After the breakup of Brutal Truth, the band’s members have continued on in multiple outfits, one of the finest of which is Rochester, New York-based technical grindcore act Blurring.
Blurring is a new vehicle for legendary bassist Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, former founding member of Anthrax, countless others) and multi-instrumentalist Erik Burke (Sulaco, ex-Kalibas, ex-Lethargy, countless others) on drums, combining their immense talents with other like-minded top-notch musicians to form one of the absolute best grindcore bands currently active.
While the band had some demos and other releases preceding their 2015 self-titled album, it was that release that really got me hooked on their complex and disturbing brand of grindcore. Some of you might have caught my review for it here at NCS; if not, now’s your chance to check out Blurring — don’t fuck up. The band is set to release Cloud Burner on April 28th, a fantastic five-song EP that we’re streaming early in full today.
This completes the two-part post I started yesterday, collecting music in a blackened vein that I sifted from my discoveries over the last week. Beginning yesterday and continuing today, the music is organized in alphabetical order by band name.
Delusion is the eighth full-length by the Portuguese black metal band Corpus Christii. It will be released on April 28 by Folter Records. In another one of these SHADES OF BLACK editions, I wrote about the album’s powerful first single, “The Curse Within Time”, and now a second one has appeared, which is yet another sign of this album’s excellence.
(Reverend B., a metal musician from Siberian Russia, introduces our premiere of the new Solitude Productions album by his compatriots in Evoke Thy Lords, whose previous works we’ve also enthusiastically covered at this site)
Evoke Thy Lords are a name, as one would say, widely recognized in narrow circles. They are one of the oldest doom bands in Siberia, and they started off as followers of the doom/death wave that was still strong in Russia in those days, but with a twist — they used a flute very prominently in the music. Since those days, one could argue only that flute remained, as they had a very drastic change of sound they’ve been following for several releases now — stoner doom with a focus on the psychedelic aspects of the genre. First Drunken Tales, then Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!, and today, the plainly-named Lifestories reaches us.
I whittled the great limb of blackened music I found over the last week down to a spear, but it was a spear with 10 barbs. I organized the music alphabetically by band name and decided, as I stared at what I’d done, that music from 10 bands was too much for a single post. So, I’ve divided it into two parts, while maintaining the alphabetical ordering. I haven’t finished writing Part 2, so not sure if it will come later today or tomorrow (but probably tomorrow).
Of Forsworn Vows is the debut EP of a two-man project named ÆRA (the creator of all the music seems to be from Chile, the vocalist from Missouri). It was digitally released in February, but it’s now available on tape through Desolated Woods Records, and it appears that Aeternitas Tenebrarum plans to make a CD release (the Bandcamp download has been updated so that the tracks now consist of the CD masters).
I’m slow out of the blogging gate today, partly because I overindulged during the usual Friday night blow-out with my co-workers and partly because I had trouble deciding what to write about for this round-up. The problem, as usual, wasn’t too few ideas but too many.
Before moving on to the music I ultimately selected, I’ll mention a handful of news items:
First, you might remember that last August we premiered the full stream for a hell of a good debut album by Portland’s Bewitcher, accompanied by these words (among others): “Bewitcher seem to have discovered a hidden vault filled with pure riff gold. Every song on the album is packed with electrifying guitar work, blending thrash, speed metal, Motörhead-style rock, first-wave black metal, and even elements of the classic NWOBHM in a way that’s as infectious as a rampaging new plague virus without a cure.”
The news is that Graven Earth Records, a small cassette-based label out of Colorado, is releasing a limited-run (200 copies) cassette of Bewitcher’s debut on April 28th. Go here to check that out (the rest of their catalogue looks pretty cool as well).
For many weeks, today was the date set for Unique Leader’s release of a new single and an accompanying video by the long-running and tremendously influential New York death metal band Internal Bleeding. The name of the single, which is a preview of the band’s new album Corrupting Influence, is “Final Justice“. And then, on the eve of this release, a tragedy happened.
Even long-time fans of Internal Bleeding may not have known that their drummer over the band’s entire decades-long existence, Bill Tolley, was a 14-year veteran of the New York Fire Department. Yesterday, April 20th, Bill Tolley lost his life after falling five stories from a rooftop while battling a two-alarm apartment fire in Queens, New York. He leaves behind his wife Marie and an 8-year-old daughter, Isabella.
(Andy Synn returns with another trio of reviews for new albums by German bands, this time focusing on releases by Fäulnis, Hexer, and Maat.)
I’m in a bit of a rush, so today’s preamble is going to be short, sweet, and snappy.
Go buy these albums.
FÄULNIS – ANTIKULT
No matter how you like your Black Metal – sullen and groovy, panzerblasty, totally hi-tech or utterly low-fi – there’s always going to be something new out there for you to discover. Whether it’s a fresh face or an established underground underdog, the sheer wealth of talent and torment on offer in the scene today is unsurpassed.
A long time ago, and for many years, I used to regularly write a feature called EYE-CATCHERS in which I tested the hypothesis that cool album art tends to correlate with cool music. There’s no sense in that proposition, if you think about it, yet the experiments I conducted proved the proposition more often than they disproved it.
Like many other older features here, that one fell by the wayside, for reasons I can’t explain. And I’m not really reviving it on a regular basis today. But it came back to me when I listened to the following songs for the first time last night and this morning.
This first song isn’t really entirely in keeping with the original concept behind EYE-CATCHERS, which was to explore music by bands I knew nothing about based solely on the artwork. In the case of Disbelief‘s new song, I had a recommendation from fellow NCS scribbler Grant Skelton, and so I would have checked it out regardless — but as soon as I saw the artwork by Eliran Kantor, that sealed the deal.
The original piece is above, and even in the final cover with the band’s name and album title visible, it’s still largely un-obscured, which proves that someone had their wits about them: