Islander

May 292015

 

Here are a couple of new things (one new song and one new video) that I thought I’d recommend before the work week comes to an end. They’re both instrumental pieces, but that’s about where the similarity ends.

TEMPEL

A couple of days ago Arizona’s Tempel premiered another new song (“Descending Into the Labyrinth”) from their forthcoming album The Moon Lit Our Path — which will be released by Prosthetic Records on June 16. I meant to write about it sooner than now, but my fucking day job derailed my plans. Better late than never, I hope.

May 292015

 

Last month we featured an advance track named “Horns ov Gaia” from GTRD, the second album by Germany’s Thornesbreed and their first in 12 years. Now we bring you the premiere of another track, “Dividua Anima Pt I“.

“Horns ov Gaia” was a very intense, gripping, dark piece of music, with slower, harrowing segments pulling you in, and then rapacious blasting segments proceeding to tear you apart. “Dividua Anima Pt I” makes use of similar weapons. Its beginning is slow, pitch black, and dissonant, the constant vibration of the riffs and the explosive drumbeats accompanying what sounds like the enraged howls of a demonic bestiary to create a supernatural aura of doom and derangement.

May 292015

I’m getting a late start on the blog this morning. I spent hours on the phone with world leaders attempting to answer their urgent questions about an array of socio-economic and security crises. After a while I got tired of it and just started repeating a convenient mantra, “FUCK THE FACTS”.

AHAB

That album art up there is fucking fantastic. I have very high hopes for the album, too, which is the first one from German’s Ahab in four years. The title is The Boats of The Glen Carrig and it’s a musical interpretation of a 1907 horror novel of the same name written by William Hope Hodgson (more info about the book can be found here).

May 282015

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Disarmonia Mundi.)

It’s likely that this horse has been beaten to death so much that the goo on the ground is hardly recognizable as a biomass — but it remains true that a six-year gap is a long time to wait between discs. The situation is more common than people think, and some bands will make you wait far, far longer — although by a certain point it’s pretty clear that a group is on “hiatus”. Disarmonia Mundi has provided one of the few times when I’ve personally gotten to be part of the esteemed club of fans desperate for any word.

The two-piece that is the core of Disarmonia Mundi have certainly kept busy, with a whole array of projects that cover the whole spectrum of metal — production work and otherwise, including the Princess Ghibli project and The Stranded. However, even though The Stranded veered far closer to Disarmonia Mundi’s brand of melodeath than likely even its members intended, it’s still not Disarmonia Mundi proper, still not the band that gave us one of my personal favorite melodeath albums of the last decade with 2009′s ugly-artwork-bearing hook-machine that was The Isolation Game.

Cold Inferno, the group’s soon-to-be-released new album, has a lot to live up to and already marks a bit of a shift from the previous disc with a track list slimmed down to ten. Cold Inferno’s appearance may have seemed sudden but this is a disc that has been cooking for a while. Was the time worth it though? Can Disarmonia Mundi prove themselves to still be a melodeath powerhouse already halfway through another decade? Have I jokingly made light of the fact that I’ve been waiting six years for this album?

May 282015

 

Fourteen years is a long time between albums, and that’s the span of years that has passed since Sweden’s Diabolicum released their last full-length. Now they are returning with a new work entitled Ia Pazuzu (The Abyss of the Shadows), with none other than Shining’s inimitable Niklas Kvarforth as vocalist, as well as a new lead guitarist (Likstrand) joining founding members Sasrof and Gorgorium.

It would be natural to wonder what changes 14 years have wrought in the sounds of Diabolicum, and we will now provide a glimpse into what the album holds in store as we premiere a track named “Salvation Through Vengeance“.

May 282015


photo by Veleda Thorsson

 

(For the 58th edition of The Synn Report, Andy Synn reviews the discography of Vindensång.)

Recommended for fans of: Agalloch, Ulver, Altar of Plagues

I’m going to throw a bit of a curve-ball your way with this edition of The Synn Report, as we tack smoothly away from the brutal and the bombastic towards calmer, more atmospheric waters. And, yes, I know that’s a mixed metaphor. Just go with it.

Hailing from the dark and forbidding depths of… Pennsylvania (cue thunder and lightning), the Ambient/Post-Black/Neo-Folk triptych who operate under the moniker of Vindensång have so far produced two albums and one EP to their name, with last year’s phenomenal Alpha providing (in my humble opinion) one of the most compelling and captivating listening experiences of the year, exploring the depths of negative space and droning Post-Metal dynamics  in a truly unique and unforgettable manner.

Though large swathes of the band’s sound seems distinctly un-Metal, there remains something… something in the emotions they evoke and the sonic textures they create… that still feels intimately familiar, hinting at a strain of blackened marrow in the band’s soul, one which colours and shades every rippling acoustic passage and ambient bloom with a morose and desolate grace.

May 272015

 

When I ended yesterday’s installment of my poorly organized reflections on Maryland Deathfest XIII, I had made it through the last performance of the festival at Edison Lot, the killer show by Amorphis. I will soon be moving backward in time to fill in a few gaps from my impromptu posts about the earlier days of the festival, but first a few words and photos about what happened after Amorphis said goodnight.

My friends and I shambled out of the Edison Lot along with hundreds of other people and found cabs that would take us to Ram’s Head (which was not difficult). Yes, we could have walked, but after three-and-a-half long days and nights of standing on hard surfaces, my feet had swollen up like rotten fruit — plus, every minute lost was one less minute of music to hear on the final night of MDF. When we arrived at Ram’s Head, that photo up there shows you what greeted my eyes.

May 272015

 

(DGR wrote this round-up of new music while I was away at MDF, and I rewarded his helpfulness by posting it days later after I got back home. You’re welcome, Dave.)

While most of the goofballs who inhabit this site are off fucking around somewhere in Maryland, one of us has to pick up the slack and bring you yesterday’s news tomorrow, otherwise we wouldn’t be fulfilling our mission statement of always being just behind the curve — but with more words to make up for the delay.

This edition is going to be a little heavily biased toward my tastes, which means we’re probably going to be on the lighter fare of the metal scale, but there was still some damn good music to happen within recent weeks, and most of the bands you folks will be familiar with. There were a couple of interesting discoveries on that front, as a couple of different artists decided to release new songs out to the world, and then in the other two cases, they’ve been out for a bit but we’re doing our best to keep them from flying under the radar.

May 272015

 

The video we’re about to premiere from Sweden’s Shining, for the song “Vilja & Dröm” (“Will and Dream”) off their new album IX – Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends, comes with a NSFW warning. Unlike most metal videos branded with that warning, this one doesn’t include salacious scenes of nudity. Instead, it depicts images of true obscenity — actual film footage and photographs of extreme violence inflicted upon the human body.

The video, beautifully filmed and edited by long-time Shining collaborator Martin Strandberg, also includes the band kicking the hell out of this electrifying song in a boiler room. It begins with the burning of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948 — and consistently honored in its breach by the savagery of humankind ever since then.

May 272015

 

This is a collection of music I discovered over the last few days, most of it recently released. Most of it also wells up from the ichor-filled aquifers of black metal, though as usual for this Shades of Black series, no two of the bands sound alike.

ERRAUNT

Most of the new music included in this collection consists of complete EPs or albums that deserve full reviews, but I’m afraid I may never find the time to write them. Rather than risk saying nothing at all, I at least want to offer some brief descriptions and strong recommendations. This debut by the one-man Chicago band Erraunt falls into that category.

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