I’m interrupting the work I’m supposed to be doing for my fucking day job because this seemed like important news: Black Sabbath have announced that their farewell North American tour, The End, will begin in January in Omaha and end in February at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The band will do a leg in Australia and New Zealand in April and will be announcing more shows next month.
The lineup will consist of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler — but not drummer Bill Ward, of course. Here’s the schedule announced today:
I find myself in Alaska this morning, preparing for a day of toil for my fucking day job. This means that posts on our putrid site will be scarce today. I’m also behind (again) in putting together round-ups of news and new music. Before I have to immerse myself in what I’m paid to do, I thought I would at least compile a selection of things I spotted over the last couple of days — and this selection is based principally on the attractiveness of the album art.
As announced yesterday, the almighty Autopsy have two new things headed our way. First, on November 13 Peaceville Records will release a jumbo set entitled After the Cutting that includes four discs “full of classics, new tracks and previously unheard rarities from deep within the band’s own archive”. This special release will also include “an expansive book penned by Dennis Dread recounting the career of the gore legend, featuring unseen photos and exclusive artwork”.
Wes Benscoter again handled the Autopsy artwork for After the Cutting. As you can see, it’s sick.
(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by the Dutch death metal band I Chaos, and we also have a stream of the first single from the new album.)
There’s going to be a bit of setup here, so please humor me.
I wrote a about a Dutch band named Cypher WAY back when I first started writing at NCS in 2011 (relevant pieces here and here) who had an unfortunately short life span. They were melodic death metal prodigies who never got off the ground in the way they deserved and still to this day, unfortunately, continue to be an unknown quantity to most.
Main man Tobias Borra quit music altogether for a few years, and that left bassist Joost and drummer Koen to seek new avenues of musical expression. One of those happened to be a band they both ended up in, named I Chaos.
(DGR reviews the superb second album by Finland’s Wolfheart.)
There exists a temptation when writing reviews to try and come up with a narrative and attach it to each album. It’s been a way of doing things for a long time, and to be honest, I’ve struggled with trying to come up with one for Wolfheart’s newly released album Shadow World and the two-year gap between it and its predecessor.
The temptation lay in trying to paint the two albums as fraternal twins, discs that share a lot of DNA but actually are opposing and contrasting with each other in a lot of their elements. If you were to glance at the cover art for Shadow World and the cover art for Wolfheart’s 2013 debut Winterborn, you’d almost immediately notice the red-and-orange, warmer aesthetic of Shadow World pulling a first-lesson-of-art-class contrast with the prominent blue and cold themes of Winterborn. However, the music within doesn’t bear out the difference, and actually shares some similarities in terms of number of songs and track times with its older sibling.
So, I suggest we try to take a different tack and explain what Shadow World is.
In its original incarnation, Manes was one of the primordial Norwegian black metal bands, a two-man group consisting of instrumentalist Cernunnus and vocalist Sargatanas who released their first three demos in 1993-1995, followed by their 1999 debut album Under Ein Blodraud Maane. As the years passed, Sargatanas parted company with the band and Manes transformed into a very different musical entity, as manifested on 2003’s Vilosophe, 2007’s How the World Came To An End, and last year’s Be All End All.
Yet while Manes followed its own course into avant garde and electronica territory, Sargatanas and Cernunnus reunited to form the band Manni, which released their debut album Kolaps in 2013. Manni have been at work on a second full-length that’s projected for release in a few months, but in the meantime Debemur Morti Productions has just released (yesterday) a new Manii EP entitled Skuggeheimen — and it is a return to Manes’ black metal roots in more ways than one.
(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a song from the new album by the multinational band Serocs.)
Ever since Serocs released their sophomore record, The Next, in 2013, I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the follow-up that the band has long been teasing. While it would seem some shifting line-up issues from a vocalist standpoint were a large part of this delay, their new record, And When The Sky Was Opened, is finally going to drop before year-end through Comatose Music. I’ve been informed that the release date and pre-release info should be coming shortly in the days following today’s premiere of “Itami”. It’s a fantastic track that should pique your interest in this quite talented multinational act if by some chance you missed the boat on The Next or their previous works.
In the course of the wait for this record, the band made it clear that this would be a big step up for them, with a special emphasis on diversifying and growing their technical deathgrind sound while expanding the scope of their songwriting into bolder territory. While such statements didn’t make me think the Serocs I had grown to love would be no more, I was curious as to how big a shift in their sound And When The Sky Was Opened would be. Well, the proof is indeed in the pudding, and “Itami” is a damn fine introduction to what will surely be a standout record of 2015.
The Russian animators at Red Medusa Studio (aka Arhybes) have returned after a little more than one year with a new Batmetal video, this one set to Children of Batman’s cover of Dethklok’s “Murmaider”.
I’m leaving this here because, as I go to sleep the night before this thing will actually appear, I have nothing else ready to post on our site — and because it reminds me how much Dethklok kills, and because Batman is the best of all comic heroes, even when put to these kinds of demented purposes. Dementia also rules.
Watch next, and please don’t leave me dangling here in the wind… comments please! Also…
(TheMadIsraeli wrote this review of the latest album by Sweden’s Feared.)
I am shamefully late on reviewing this, although for good reasons, both pertinent to the music itself and not. I’ve been pretty high on the Feared train since the band released Furor Incarnatus, and Synder is really no exception to the consistent roll they’ve been on. My problem has been both that my life has become a whirlwind of chaos (which has made finding the time for blogging pretty difficult lately), and that this album is very hard to detail and describe beyond saying that it’s really good.
But I feel like now I can write a review that sums up my thoughts — and oddly enough it was sparked by a negative review of this album. Brenocide of That’s Not Metal, a website that’s in our own sidebar of other blogs, did a post that was a carpet-bomb of mini-reviews of various releases back in May (here). He wrote this about Synder:
After more than five years of work, the French band Maïeutiste have completed recording of an ambitious self-titled debut album that will be released on September 18 by Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions. Two of the album’s 11 tracks have previously been shared with listeners, and today we bring you a third — “Lifeless Visions” — presented in the form of a video that combines the music with imagery from F.W. Murnau’s landmark 1926 film Faust.
At nearly 10 minutes in length, the song is more like a tour of some imagined haunting landscape than a walk around the block outside your home — and the song would leave an unsettling impression even without the visual accompaniment from Faust (though the video is indeed a very fitting combination of sight and sound).
(In this post our Russian friend Comrade Aleks interviews Nick “Necroskull” Ruskell, vocalist/guitarist of the UK band Witchsorrow, whose third album No Light, Only Fire, is being released on September 18 by Candlelight Records.)
It’s hard times for doom cult followers. There are so many bands that you can stray within the labyrinth of names and faces and get into the trap of another copycat band. But here we are — to spread a Word of Doom, to bring the knowledge and tunes so heavy and crushing that skies are shaking! Well, heavy and crushing are Witchsorrow, the band from London, where people disappear in fog-covered streets and are swallowed by the routine of life in a hive-city…
Witchsorrow is a headstrong band, and they’ve recorded their third work No Light, Only Fire and are releasing it through Candlelight Records. The new songs sound harsh, sinister, and straightforward, yet in a traditional doom way, and I was wondering how the band could reach such a result?
It was necessary to know, so I’ve contacted Nick “Necroskull” Ruskell, the singing guitarist of Witchsorrow.