Islander

Jul 272015

Internal SUffering 2014

 

(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of the title track to a forthcoming album by the mighty Internal Suffering.)

It’s been nine grueling years of waiting for a new Internal Suffering record, but finally all the pieces are in place for a fall/winter release of their new full-length, Cyclonic Void Of Power, through Unique Leader Records. Some of you may remember the lyric/song video premiere for “Vanished From Cosmos” that we presented last year here at NCS, which was the first glimpse of this ravenous release and triumphant return by the band. And now we have a second song/lyric video to bring your ears and eyes: “Cyclonic Void Of Power”, the decimating title-track from the new record.

While it’s not the most important thing to say about this band or this new song, it’s worth recognizing that they were so far ahead of their time that even now their unique brand of  brutal, technical death metal as captured well more than a decade ago sounds modern, and just as face-melting in all its twisted glory. As far as hyper-blasting, brutally minded metal bands with a hint of slam go, they are in a sense the grandfather of the current crop of bands playing in these styles. If you’re interested in death metal that’s a full-throttle stampede, and also somehow memorable along the way, then draw near to your speakers and prepare to headbang.

Jul 272015

Moro Moro Land-Through

 

(DGR has been pawing through great piles of new and forthcoming releases and has sifted out five of them especially deserving of praise.)

It has been a little bit since we’ve gotten a chance to do one of these — the chance to send me ping-ponging across the internet in a mad quest for new music, doing the equivelant of drunkenly stumbling into a band’s house after-hours, pulling up a chair, kicking my feet up on their table, and going, “So, tell me about yourself,” like I’m the leading authority on all things metal.

Sometimes, these Sifting articles tend to be built organically. At other times they’re built out of sheer desperation — a sense of “Oh god, I need to talk about this to some people now,” as we come across music. This one is a tad bit different, as it was brought on like most fun things in life, out of me opening my idiot mouth and promptly learning another lesson as to why, if I’m ever tempted to say anything, just to let it slide.

I’ve been part of the working world for ten years now, no longer a young’un by any means, but still stupid enough to occasionally slip up. You’d think by now I’d remember the #1 lesson of any workforce, which is to never, ever, EVER inform your boss of how much work you have left, especially when you’re getting to the downslope of your work pile. I made this mistake recently, gleefully informing my superiors that after I had done a certain number of reviews, I’d be in a holding pattern since most of the stuff that was coming out was spoken for — so really, that at the end of a certain week I’d be done for a bit.

Jul 272015

Rivers of Nihil - Monarchy

 

(Austin Weber reviews the new album by a band we’ve been following since early days — Rivers of Nihil.)

While it’s only been two years since Rivers Of Nihil dropped their fantastic debut, The Conscious Seed Of Light, the band are already about to release their sophomore follow-up, Monarchy, at the end of August. It’s been interesting to see the band’s evolution from their more stripped-down beginnings to the truly top-shelf act they’ve become. After even a single listen to the record, it becomes clear that Monarchy is a big step up for their sound, achieving the potential that in some ways they only hinted at on The Conscious Seed Of Life — and I say that as someone who is a massive fan of their debut.

Their growth from then until now manifests itself in different ways, but arguably the biggest change is that the atmospheric quality present in “Mechanical Trees”, “Rain Eater” and “Airless” from the last record has become the direction the band have pursued throughout Monarchy. They have done this tastefully, overall adding an epic extra sheen to the music that contrasts well with whatever segment it’s paired with. Often it lends moments of pure esoteric beauty, not something you’d normally find in furious, technically-leaning death metal.

Jul 272015

Mgła artwork

 

I spent most of this weekend catching up on new music (and making a few discoveries of older music, too). I compiled one round-up on Saturday, another one devoted to black metal yesterday, and that still wasn’t enough. So I’ve collected more new music or videos from five other bands in this post. Contrary to appearances, I do have a life — but it wasn’t devoted to much else besides metal since Friday.

MGŁA

Yesterday brought a most welcome announcement that I wasn’t expecting: The fantastic Polish black metal band Mgła has completed the recording of a new third full-length album named Exercises In Futility, and it will be released in the late Summer of this year on the Northern Heritage and No Solace labels. It includes six tracks and 42 minutes of music — and yesterday one of those tracks became available for listening.

Jul 262015

Tomoya Matsuura-1

 

Hail and hell to all you lovely readers out there, and profuse apologies for letting a full three months go by without preparing one of these THAT’S METAL! posts. I have felt your pain and frustration through the ether, and the guilt and self-loathing that have accumulated in my head are almost too much to bear. Fortunately, there has been whiskey to comfort me in my time of need, which may also have something to do with why three months have passed without a THAT’S METAL! post. I think that’s what they call a “vicious circle”.

Anyway, in case you’ve forgotten in the mists of time what these posts are about, I collect images, videos, and news items that I think are metal, even though they’re not metal music. I have 10 items for you today.

ITEM ONE

I have my friend MaxR (Metal Bandcamp) to thank for this first item, which consists of a series of photographs taken by Tomoya Matsuura that he has entitled “Withered Plant“. Using a Scanning Electron Microscope, he photographed tiny plants in death, capturing their decay in exquisitely fine detail. One of them is above, and a few others are after the jump.

As I recall Max pointing out, many of these would make fine cover art for black metal or doom albums.  You know, in case Satan is too busy to pose for more portraits.

Jul 262015

Spectral Wound-Terra Nullius

 

Yesterday afternoon, just as I was about to finish writing a “Shades of Black” collection of new and newly discovered black metal that I posted earlier this morning, I took one more glance at our e-mail box and found a message that had just arrived from a label called Media Tree Recordings. It announced the release of Terra Nullius, the debut album by a Montreal band named Spectral Wound (whose ranks include two former members of Ensorcelor).

I impetuously decided to listen to one song, thinking I might add it to that “Shades of Black” post. Without intending to, I listened to the entire album from start to finish — and began writing what you’re reading now before the album had even ended. It deserves a more carefully considered and meticulously crafted review than the one you’re about to read, but given how stretched I am for time and how limited I am in my abilities, I’m afraid the following impulsive words of praise will have to do.

Jul 262015

Confessional

 

(Father Synn has been shirking his ministerial duties lately. We trust he has duly administered chastisement to his flesh. And now he is again ready for your flesh. Share your metal confessions in the comments. This is not a request.)

Forgive me my children, for I have synned… it has been one whole month since our last confessional. Truly it is a poor shepherd who neglects his flock for so long. Woe be upon me if any of you have been led astray in the meantime.

My only excuse, the only caveat I can offer… is that I’ve been off enjoying myself and getting drunk quite a few times… so suck it.

As always, let my sins be the shining light leading you on the path to redemption!

Jul 262015

VI-album art

 

I’m still surrounded by excellent new metal, like a cork bobbing in the ocean. In a post yesterday I collected four recently released songs and videos, and I have more to recommend today. In this post I’ve included three more new songs and one new album stream, followed by music from two releases that are not quite as new but are new to me. The music here falls within the realms of black metal, although as you’ll find out, the tracks are still quite diverse.

This is a long post with a lot of music in it, and perhaps I should have broken it up into pieces. But though it may appear daunting in its length, I hope you’ll stick with it, because there’s a lot of good metal in here from some tremendously talented bands.

VI

This first new song caught my eye because the band — whose name is VI — has a line-up that includes current or former members of Aosoth and Antaeus. The cover art by the talented Alexander L. Brown is a real eye-catcher, too.

The band’s debut album De Praestgiis Angelorum is scheduled for release on September 25 by Agonia Records, in a 6-panel digipack CD and on vinyl. There’s also a shirt that features that cool cover art. Look at all this tasty stuff:

Jul 252015

Ahab-The Boats of the Glen Carrig

 

I didn’t do a very good job this past week posting about new songs that I liked as they were coming out, and as a result I have a big collection of them gazing up at me with sorrowful eyes.  I’ve picked four of them to recommend in this post, with the goal of keeping you off-balance. I’ve collected a few others for a “Shades of Black” post that I’m planning for tomorrow.

AHAB

A couple of days ago Germany’s Ahab premiered a music video for the first complete track off their new album The Boats of Glen Carrig, coming from Napalm Records on August 28. The name of the song is “Like Red Foam (The Great Storm)”, and I’m thoroughly hooked on it. The riffs are enormous, and they drive the song’s bleak, somewhat dissonant melodic refrain into your head like railroad spikes. I’m more a fan of the enraged roars than the clean vocals in the song (what a shock!), but it’s a minor quibble.

Jul 242015

Destruktor-Opprobrium

 

Today is the day, the day when Hells Headbangers opens the cage door and allows Destruktor’s new album Opprobrium to run rampant across the world. It’s the band’s first full-length since Nailed emerged in 2009, and it’s one hell of an album.

The first minute and a half of “Priestiality” might seem at first blush to function as a statement of intent, its slow, dismal chords and funereal drum rhythm casting an aura of gloom right from the start. But slow and dismal isn’t really what Opprobrium is about. It’s about ripping big bleeding holes in your body while giving your head the kind of enthusiastic whipping it deserves.

With the exception of a few astutely placed breaks in the onslaught, Destruktor deliver one furious, fast-paced blast of energy after another, mixing together elements of black metal, thrash, and death metal into music that’s vicious but tremendously infectious (in both senses of the word).

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