Islander

Jul 242017

 

The Minerva Conduct combines the very impressive instrumental talents of three musicians who have helped put other Indian bands on the map of metal — composer/guitarist Prateek Rajagopal (Gutslit, Reptilian Death), lead guitarist Nishith Hegde (Demonic Resurrection, ex-Albatross), and bassist Ashwin Shriyan (ex-Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death). And to help give their multifaceted music the kind of jolting rhythmic drive that the compositions required, they’ve also enlisted the aid of drummer extraordinaire Navene Koperweis (ex-Animals As Leaders, Entheos).

The Minerva Conduct’s self-titled debut album will be released by Transcending Obscurity India on September 15th, and today we’ve got the premiere of an electrifying track called “Metanoia“.

Jul 242017

 

The 16th edition of Maryland Deathfest will take place in Baltimore on May 24-27, 2018. In June, MDFannounced the first round of confirmed bands for the festival. A few hours ago the organizers announced a further list of 19 bands to join that first group of 25:

Cognizant
Cripple Bastards (Italy)
Defeated Sanity (Germany)
Dusk
Gateway to Hell
Gonkulator
Helmet

Jul 242017

 

The new song by the Colombian band Eshtadur that we’re premiering today is a case study in song-writing dynamics. It’s also an example of a band who are adept at creating melodic death metal that hasn’t been neutered and prettied-up for mass appeal; this isn’t a lapdog that will cuddle with you, it’s a wolf that wants your throat in its jaws.

Belong To Nowhere” is one of ten tracks that will appear on Eshtadur’s new album Mother Gray, which is set for release on August 8 by Bleeding Music. We’re sharing it today in the form of an official video that mixes slow-motion footage of Eshtadur throwing themselves into a live performance with dramatic vistas of the natural world.

Jul 242017

 

(Our friend from New Zealand Craig Hayes (Six Noises) brings us this alert about the first excerpt of sound from the new album by NZ’s Bridge Burner.)

Crusty New Zealand death metal band Bridge Burner features members who’ve played in groups like Graves, Diocletian, Ulcerate, Punished, Heresiarch, Witchrist, In Dread Response, and The Mark of Man. That’s an intimidating roll call of bands, but I’d draw your attention to the first name on that list, because the death of turbo-speed Auckland punk/metal band Graves resulted in the birth of Bridge Burner.

Graves released a couple of thoroughly neck-wrecking and nihilistic albums before calling it quits in 2015. And the band’s guitarist, Josh Hughes, went on to compose all the pulverizing music on Bridge Burner’s first EP, Mantras of Self Loathing. That release featured a crushing mix of brute-force punk and death metal, and vocalist/lyricist Ben Read howled with unhinged rage over the vitriolic barrages within. Mantras of Self Loathing’s marriage of intensity to belligerence promised great things, and Bridge Burner have recently stoked the fires of anticipation even more by releasing the preliminary mix of a storming track entitled “Illness & Loathing” from their upcoming full-length debut.

Jul 242017

 

(Wil Cifer wrote this review of the new album by Atriarch from Portland, Oregon, coming in August via Relapse Records.)

The Portland band returns with a new full-length that finds the newest incarnation of the band exploring yet another path to heavy.

The gloom is more visceral in the ritualistic pulse of “Inferno”, which opens the album. Singer Lenny Smith shouts out commanding declarations of his spiraling emotional state. Right from the first song they waste no time using an array of vocal colors, from a death rock croon to a black metal howl.

More often than not they creep along at more of a doom pace, yet the darkness they paint these songs with would appeal to fans of black metal. When they do choose to pick up the pace, they do so without using blast beats as an easy way out.

Jul 232017

 

Another Sunday, another edition of SHADES OF BLACK, and this time I’ve chosen advance tracks by six bands from forthcoming releases. Two of those releases are reissues of earlier works, but the bands were new to me despite the existence of those earlier efforts, and perhaps they’ll be new to you as well.

MALOKARPATAN

In the fall of 2015 the Slovakian band Malokarpatan released their debut album Stridžie dni (“the witching days”), which turned out to be one of the biggest and best surprises of that year, even though I didn’t tumble to it until early 2016. With lyrics written in a local dialect, the album was based on the grotesque myths and folklore of Western Slovakia, based on “rural witchcraft, drunkenness and also national pride.” As I wrote then:

Jul 232017

 

Listeners who have closely followed Iceland’s burgeoning black metal scene over the last decade know that there has been considerable cross-pollinization among bands in the vanguard of that surging movement. Sinmara is perhaps the best example, with a line-up that includes members of such other groups as Svartidauði, Slidhr, Wormlust, and Almyrkvi. Their 2014 debut album Aphotic Womb (which we had the privilege of premiering) was a gripping display of what such a creative collaboration could produce. Since then, Sinmara have released only one other song, “Ivory Stone”, which appeared on their split with Misþyrming early this year (reviewed here). But Sinmara now return with a new EP, and once again we’re fortunate to host its premiere.

The new EP, consisting of three interconnected songs, is named Within the Weaves of Infinity. It will be released on August 24th by Terratur Possessions on vinyl and CD and by Oration on cassette tape. However, as of today it’s available digitally via Bandcamp. We have the full stream below, along with some impressions of the music and news of a forthcoming Sinmara tour.

Jul 222017

 

I started working on this post a month ago, but kept shoving it off to the side due to more urgent commitments. As time passed, I found a few more tracks to include. But still, I haven’t had time to write what I intended to write about each of the releases included here, and I’m not sure when that time would come. So I’ve decided to let the music mainly speak for itself, and I’ve picked out only one song from each release for this playlist, though in most cases you’ll be able to hear the full release if you’re interested.

All of the releases in this compilation are crushers — doom crushers, to be precise. But they’re not all cut from the same cloth. Some are apocalyptic, some are narcotic, some have harsh vocals, some have clean singing, and one has no singing at all. So get ready to travel in the low and slow lane, and if you have an eggshell skull it might be better to strap on a protective helmet.

MORBID EVILS

The first track I’ve chosen comes from the second album by Morbid Evils, a Finnish band that includes vocalist Keijo Niinimaa of Rotten Sound. Entitled Deceases, it examines the subject of death from various perspectives, blending elements of sludge, doom, drone, and black metal. The album will be released on August 25 by Svart Records.

Jul 212017

 

Do you groan when you see these big round-up posts? Especially when they come three in a row, day after day? Is it too much to process? Do you feel overwhelmed by the volume?

These are what are known as rhetorical questions, i.e., a figure of speech in the form of a question that isn’t intended to elicit an answer, e.g., “Can’t you do anything right?” Right or wrong, too much or too little, on we go… this time with new or newly discovered metal from seven bands.

HATE MOON

Fólkvangr Records tells us that “Hate Moon is a Norse-Gael symphonic black metal band hailing from Pennsylvania”, formed by “two Irish American descendants of Norse Vikings” (Tuathail and Tohmar) who have created music that “romanticizes the ancient Celtic world through a soundscape of historical fantasy”. Their debut album is The Imprisoning War, and the first item in today’s round-up is an album track named “Mountain of Death“.

Jul 212017

 

(In the fifth and final part of a week-long series of interviews by Andy Synn, he talks with Scott Mellinger of the Pittsburgh band Zao, whose late-2016 album The Well-Intentioned Virus was reviewed by Andy here.)

Last, but by no means least, in my retrospective on some of 2016’s unsung heroes we have a band who are probably the most well-known out of all five, though still nowhere near enough in my estimation!

After a seven year break Zao returned in 2016 with The Well-Intentioned Virus, their tenth/eleventh full-length album (depending on whether or not you count the 2003 re-recording of All Else Failed), which proved to be one of the finest slabs of music the band had ever produced.

Now, a little over half a year later, I wanted to catch up with the band and welcome them back to the land of the living, as well as grill them on their time away, and what it took to produce an album which may well go down as their magnum opus.

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