(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Germany’s Secrets of the Moon.)
Change is a funny thing. Particularly in a genre both as Progressive and as Conservative as Metal can be. We so often crave the thrill of the new, whilst clinging to the comfort and security of the familiar. Sometimes simultaneously. And this isn’t just confined to Metal either. It’s something you can see across listeners of all different genres.
I am painting with something of a wide brush there, though, as Metal fans are a diverse lot, when all is said and done. Some of them love to watch bands grow and develop and change. Others prefer them to stay the same (as long as they keep the quality high). Some even prefer bands to practically regress back to what they consider the “Golden Age” of the genre. But I’d conjecture that most of us (at least here at NCS) tend to take things on a band-by-band basis. After all, some bands can get away with hitting that same sweet spot over and over again, when others quickly fall victim to the law of diminishing returns. And, similarly, some bands can change and transform into monsters (in a good way), while others simply grow too big for their boots.
So the important question here is… how do you handle change?… since the issue of whether you’re open, or averse, to change is going to have a big influence on how you receive this album.
Because, make no mistake about it, Sun showcases a wholly different Secrets of the Moon than the one you’re used to.
Earlier this month we had the pleasure of premiering an amazing video for a song called “Yksin” by a six-person band from Tampere, Finland, named Vorna. The song — which is equally amazing — will appear on the band’s second album Ei valo minus seuraa (No Light Follows Me), which will be released on December 4 by Inverse Records. And now today we bring you the U.S. streaming premiere of the entire album, along with track-by-track comments by Vorna’s vocalist Vesa Salovaara.
The track-by-track comments are useful because Vorna’s lyrics are in Finnish, and also because they provide insights into the inspiration for the music. You can read them following our album stream below.
The East Anglian region of the UK is home to Obscene Entity. Tomorrow (November 27) is the day appointed for the release of their debut album Lamentia by Tridoid Records, and today we bring you the premiere of a full stream of the album.
Lamentia follows the band’s 2012 self-titled EP, and it’s described as “a loosely-based concept album of the fragility of the human mind and states of psychosis experienced through both subjection and self-infliction”.
There is indeed a psychotic quality to the music, which combines elements of death metal, black metal, and grind to produce a harrowing flood of ferocity. The band ratchet the tension through an array of needling riffs, punishing drums, and wild, bestial shrieks and howls. When the tension breaks (and it doesn’t break often), it often happens in a catharsis of violence.
I don’t know whether this is true in other countries, but here in the U.S. our holidays have become ritualized celebrations (each with their own distinctive personalities) that have very little to do with what they were originally intended to commemorate. And so it is with Thanksgiving. As for the holiday’s historical antecedents, The Font of All Human Knowledge tell us these things:
In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest….
Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations…. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”….
(Here are some ideas from Andy Synn….)
Recently my good friend DGR and I were having a discussion about the merits of Songs From the North, the new Swallow The Sun triple album, focussing mainly on which of the three CDs we considered the strongest overall, which we thought were the best songs across all three albums, and just generally shooting the shit about the reasoning behind releasing such a mammoth endeavour in one fell-swoop.
As expected, we eventually digressed into a wider discussion of the band’s discography, but came to loggerheads over how we viewed the band’s 2012 release Emerald Forest and the Blackbird. DGR thinks that, though it’s not the band’s best album, there’s still some solid songs on there. I disagree.
Because it doesn’t pass “The Setlist Test”.
(Here we have another interview from our friend Comrade Aleks, and this time he talks with Alan Averill about Dread Sovereign.)
Dread Sovereign is known as a doom band formed by Alan Averill, frontman of legendary Irish band Primordial, Simon O’Laoghaire, who played drums in the Celtic black metal band Geasa (as well as in Primordial), and guitarist Bones, who gained experience in the sludge / crust band De Novissimis.
It’s said that Dread Sovereign was formed in 2013, and after the EP Pray to the Devil in Man was released in the same year, Ván Records put out full-length record All Hell’s Martyrs in 2014, which attracted attention from many listeners, and not only doom heads…
All has been said about this album, and I just needed a reason to get in contact with the band to hook out any plans… I was lucky enough ‘cause Alan found the time to answer my questions. Thanks Alan!
Four days ago I included a review of an excellent debut album named Dor by the Dutch trio Turia in one of our new-music round-ups, and today it’s our pleasure to bring you the premiere of a video for a song from the album called “Zuiverheid“.
For me, Dor was an unexpected encounter, but it has proven to be very seductive. As I wrote in the review, much of the music (which was recorded live) could be characterized as propulsive, atmospheric black metal with teeth, barbed with melodic hooks and relying on sequences of repeating movements that drive the music into your head like railroad spikes.
(Grant Skelton wrote this round-up of recommended new music.)
On top of what’s been an already amazing year for doom releases, 2016 brings with it the release of Witchcraft’s new album Nucleus, which will be available January 15 on Nuclear Blast Records. In advance of the album’s release, the first single “The Outcast” is available for streaming below.
As I mentioned in my last post yesterday (here), I had more than the usual amount of time on Monday and Tuesday to explore new music and found a lot that I enjoyed. In addition to the six videos collected in that last post, I’ve selected recent songs from six more bands here. And at the risk of overwhelming you with metal, we’ll soon be following this round-up today with a second one assembled by Grant Skelton.
Hostium are rooted in Vancouver British Columbia. Their debut album The Bloodwine of Satan is projected for a vinyl release by Germany’s Iron Bonehead Productions in February of the new year, and a CD version will be released around the same time by NecroShrine Records. In recent days Iron Bonehead deployed a track named “Bloodwine Chalice” to Soundcloud.
I had more than the usual amount of time to explore new music yesterday. As usual, I found a lot to like, so much that I’ve divided the discoveries into two posts. In this one, I’ve collected mostly recent videos from six bands.
In September I reviewed Ryšys, the excellent new album by the Lithuanian black metal band Luctus, along with a full stream of the album. Luctus have now released an official live video for their cover of “He’s turning blue”, originally recorded by Carpathian Forest. It’s not the first time Luctus have covered the song — it appeared on their 2011 album Live at Intro (which is available here on Bandcamp).