Islander

Jul 022015

 

(Austin Weber reviews the new EP by Indiana-based Kossuth.)

The last time I wrote about Kossuth here at NCS, it was when I helped premiere “Plains Of The Soaring Dagger” before the release of the full EP on which it resides. Now that Mictlan has been released, it’s high time that you check it out, and find out why it’s important that you do so. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit presumptuous of me to say, but it’s hard not to get hyperbolic when we’re talking about technical death metal as good as this.

For those who missed my prior post, the band has several current/former members of Dawn Of Dementia in their ranks, which is reason alone to check it out. While a sonic comparison to the technical-meets-melodic stylings of Dawn Of Dementia can easily be made, beyond the current/former members’ connection, Kossuth have more of a progressive mindset to their songwriting on Mictlan than the first Dawn Of Dementia EP had.

Jul 022015

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We’re about to premiere a song by a Philadelphia band named Alustrium from their new album A Tunnel To Eden. I have a sneaking suspicion they knew what they’d accomplished when they picked “Slackjaw” as the name for the song. I think they also knew what they were doing when they released an instrumental play-through video for the song about one week ago — you know, as proof that they didn’t record the song at the speed of normal humans and then run it through CERN’s large hadron particle accelerator outside of Geneva.

If you haven’t picked up on the clues yet, this thing is faster than an SR-71 and it did indeed leave me slack-jawed. I think I popped a few blood vessels in my right eye while listening to it, and there was a lot of drool left on my shirt, too.

Now, I realize that there are people out there who are unimpressed by pyrotechnical displays of physical dexterity in metal. They demand something more from a song. I confess that I’m one of those people who get off on the pyrotechnics, even when the song is just a chaotic mass of notes and beats. Maybe it’s because, as a child, I was in a car that was picked up by a tornado (true story). On the other hand, when that’s all there is, even I don’t tend to listen to a song more than once. But “Slackjaw” isn’t in that category.

Jul 022015

 

Fin’amor are a New York City band founded in 2008, and their debut album Forbidding Mourning is set for release on July 7. In this post you will find the premiere of a full stream of Forbidding Mourning along with an interesting interview of the band’s guitarist Julian Chuzhik that sheds light on the band’s history as well as the musical and lyrical ideas reflected in this new album.

Fin’amor’s members come from a variety of musical backgrounds, and the seven songs on Forbidding Mourning reveal a rich tapestry of interwoven styles. As Julian Chuzhik explains in the accompanying interview:

“I think it would be fair to say that we play doom-influenced death, just as much as it’s fair to say that we play doom-influenced ’90s pop or goth or classical; I think all the opinions could be valid. We don’t want to tell someone that you can’t like our music because we only cater to doomers or the death metal crowd or whoever. We all have very different musical backgrounds, but find common ground in the music that we make. In the end, I guess all that matters for us is that we write mostly down-tempo riffs.”

Jul 022015

 

Mercy Brown is a new name to our site, but only because I’m late to the party — about three months late, in fact: The band’s self-titled debut album was released in mid-March of this year. It took the video we’re premiering today to turn me on to some music I’m damned glad I finally discovered. And sometimes that’s the best reason for post-release videos — to expose laggards like me to something they might otherwise miss completely. Another reason happens to be validated by this video, too: It’s as much fun to watch as it is to hear.

For those like me who are discovering the band for the first time, don’t be fooled by their name. It might make you think you’re in for some retro soul or funk music, but you’ll make a better guess if you happen to know about the bizarre “Mercy Brown vampire incident“, in which a young woman’s supposedly undead corpse was exhumed in Exeter, Rhode Island, in 1892 in order to remove her heart and burn it.

As far as I know, the four people in Mercy Brown are not vampires, and their fellow citizens in Spokane, Washington, haven’t yet come for them in the dead of night with pitchforks and torches. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Jul 022015

 

I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…

SKEPTICISM

Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.

And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film.

Jul 022015

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Author & Punisher.)

If you’ve been reading the site for a bit you’ll have noted the name Author & Punisher coming up from time to time, usually by way of my loud mouth. I’m a relatively recent convert to the Author & Punisher school, yet in that time the releases out of this project have quickly rocketed up the charts into ones that I look forward to the most — in large part buoyed by the fact that I find this project absolutely fascinating.

It’s been great seeing the Author & Punisher profile increase over the years, even in the limited time I’ve been following it since my review of Women And Children (having heard stuff before, but never fully exploring until that disc). More people seem to be discovering this odd bit of machination turned into music — but lo and behold, who would’ve predicted that the next Author & Punisher album was going to be produced by Phil Anselmo of Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual fame?

For those who are still wondering what it is the hell I am rambling about, Author & Punisher is a San Diego-based musical project belonging to artist and engineer Tristan Shone. Over the past few years, he’s been making a sort of slow-moving, suffocating, industrial, and heavy form of doom that is already pretty left-field to begin with, likely to be much discussed in dark, smoky rooms by people who probably finish half their sentences with, “You might not have heard them”.

Jul 012015

 

(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

Half the year has come and gone.  Yeah, it’s beyond cliche to say “that was fast”, so I won’t.  But what got me thinking was how people like to compare different years and judge which ones were better for metal releases.  Since 2012 I’ve been doing Best Of lists here at NCS and I’ve been very happy each year with the plethora of releases I’ve been fortunate to hear.  I can’t really say any one year has been “off” or “poor” for metal.   Nor can I say one year was better than the next.  So on that token, here’s 5 more great albums of 2015.

Jul 012015

 

If you’ve been dropping by our site on even a semi-regular basis, then you’ve probably seen one or more of our three song premieres since May from Terror From the Air, the new album by Italy’s Airlines of Terror. If so, then it will probably come as no shock that today we’re delivering a full stream of the entire album. And if by some cruel twist of fate you haven’t yet heard what these dudes have accomplished, then you’re in for a treat.

Actually, you’re in for a treat even if you’ve heard all three of those previous song premieres, because one of the album’s strong selling points is that Airlines of Terror aren’t a one-note band. All of the songs on this album do have certain things in common — eye-popping percussion, addictive grooves, galvanizing riffs, and strong melodies (not to mention a lot of rapid-fire, carnivorous vocal extremity to go along with the technical flash) — but each song has its own distinctive twists and turns, and that makes the album a kick to hear from start to finish. The phrase “all killer, no filler” applies here.

Jul 012015

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with guitarist and songwriter Richard Nossar of the great Peruvian doom band Matus, who we’ve featured on our site before and who have a new album ready for listening.)

It’s time to relax and let your mind flow with a current of old ’n’ good psychedelic stoner rock. Matus (ex-Don Juan Matus) is a Peruvian band, and we’ll talk about it with Richard Nossar (guitars) as an exception to NCS’s strict rules. Matus celebrate their tenth anniversary this year and they almost have a fifth full-length Claroscuro in their hands, so why not?

“Más allá de este sueño al que el hombre llama vida

Hay un lugar donde el tiempo no es real!”

If you get me right… Anyway, let’s try.

Jun 302015

 

We’ve known there was something special about Amiensus ever since my co-writer Andy Synn brought the band to our attention through his vivid review of their 2013 debut album Restoration. In the years since then, the band have released a small number of individual songs that proved to be equally impressive, but I still don’t think even that track record of excellent releases could have fully prepared us for the band’s new album Ascension – which will be released tomorrow. In a word, it’s astonishing.

Attempting to capture the tremendously multi-hued character of the music in mere words is probably a fruitless goal. It’s true of most music, but undeniable in the case of this album, that there is no substitute for experiencing it yourself. It’s ambitious, it takes risks, it lays bare the emotional intensity of the musicians and vocalists, and it vividly reflects the creativity of their songwriting ideas. They should all be immensely proud of what they’ve accomplished.

Ascension is a folk-tinged, genre-crossing amalgam of black metal, melodic death metal, and progressive rock. It’s sweepingly atmospheric and it’s warlike. It’s massively heavy and as fragile as snowflakes. It’s doomed and it’s defiant. It’s drenched in sorrow, it’s explosive in its ferocity, it’s panoramic in its epic reach, and it’s often sublimely mystical. And frequently, it’s all of those things within the space of a single song.

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