Yesterday I compiled a massive round-up featuring new songs and/or videos by seven bands. But that still didn’t exhaust what I had found in the preceding days. And, metal being such an explosively metastasizing tumor, I’ve found still more things to get excited about since I wrote yesterday’s compilation. So, what the hell, I’ve decided to throw caution to the winds and prepare another even more jam-packed post, with good things from eight bands. Once again, I’m choking back my tendency to shower many words over the music… I’ll just scatter a few droplets instead.
I’m going to start by telling you about a full-album stream that came rushing up like a freight train at night with the lights off. Which is a way of saying that although we here at NCS are enormous fans of Vreid, we received no advance copy of their new album Sólverv, and just learned that all the songs have now been officially uploaded to YouTube for streaming.
(Comrade Aleks presents this in-depth interview with Tommy Eriksson of the Swedish band Saturnalia Temple. Music is included, of course)
Swedish bloody dark and heavy doom outfit Saturnalia Temple produced their second full-length album in 2015; it’s name is To The Other. If you think that you know something about the occult because you previously heard a few songs about goats, rituals, and naked chicks, then just forget it. I wouldn’t like to continue this game of associations and assumptions, because Saturnalia Temple’s high priest Tommie tells it better.
Hail Tommie! First of all, thanks for the time you found for this interview! What’s Saturnalia Temple status at the current moment?
We are entering the dark part of the year, especially here in Sweden, and we have done some great festivals during the summer, the Sonnenwende in Abtenau, Navajo Calling in Parma, Metal Magic, Geggan, and Chaos Descends. We played London some weeks ago with Cult of Fire and Skan, which was also amazing. We are not booking any more gigs this autumn really, except possibly one very special night in Sweden with some brothers, check our pages for news about that.
In this post I’ve collected some songs I discovered recently that don’t fit our usual mold around here. As most people know by now, we no longer adhere strictly to the rule expressed in the site’s name — though I’m more faithful than some of our other writers. But the songs in this post are exceptions in more ways than simply the use of clean vocals; some of them aren’t even metal. But despite these departures from what I usually enjoy, all the songs have wormed their way into my head, and I thought you might enjoy them, too.
By the way, I spend very little time exploring music outside the boundaries of extreme metal, so these choices are hardly the result of some comprehensive survey. I came across all of them quite by accident.
Untold are based in Bern, Switzerland. Their most recent album (their fourth full-length) is named Towering and it was released in January of this year. The song that’s gotten its hooks in me is a track called “Voice Within”.
Although I never managed to write a complete review of Vulture Industries’ fantastic 2013 album The Tower, I did write about every one of the three songs that premiered before the album’s release and chose the title track for our site’s list of 2013’s “Most Infectious” Songs, so that counts for something. The album is a strange and wondrous creation that sounds like nothing else I heard the year of its release — or since then either — and so I’m delighted that we have the chance to help premiere a new video for yet another song from the album: “Blood On the Trail“.
Apart from the fact that the song kicks large quantities of ass, the video was made by one of our favorite visual creators, Costin Chioreanu (who leads a damned good band himself [Bloodway]). Here’s what Vulture Industries had to say about the high-energy video:
(DGR steps up for round-up duty, and he prepared a really big round-up, so big that your humble editor decided to divide it into two parts. Part One is here.)
In case you missed it, Friday was a kind of slow date for the site. We’ve had times like this before, where various outside influences conspire to make sure that we post with the speed at which animals are able to escape the La Brea Tar Pits. That doesn’t mean we weren’t up here in space, lookin’ down on you and keeping track of various rumblings going throughout the web.
I’ve gathered together eight fairly recent developments in the heavy metal world for you all to enjoy. As usual, I’ve tried to catch stuff that has flown under the radar and mix it in with a few things that have likely made a big splash across the web already. This collection of stories covers a pretty good swath of the globe in terms of distance but has a foot heavily planted in the death metal and doom metal realms, making a few labored grasps to the outside genre world.
We turn next to Norway’s blackjazz entourage Shining. The group have been building up to the release of their new disc International Blackjazz Society, and recently the song “Last Day” found its way to the web.
One good thing sometimes leads to another good thing. About two weeks ago I was excited to discover a music video for a track from a forthcoming album (Zeng) by the Hungarian band Perihelion. I wrote about the song (“Égrengető”) here, and now we find ourselves in the happy position of being able to bring you the premiere of another song from the same album, a track named “Vég se hozza el” (Hungarian for “Even the end will not bring relief”).
While “Égrengető” has its heavy moments, particularly as it builds toward the climax, much of its magic lies in the ethereal guitar melody and the experience of listening to Gyula Vasvári send his voice arcing into the sky. “Vég se hozza el” combines similar ingredients, but in different proportions. It starts in a blaze, takes a breath, and then pours out its intensity and passion in a stream of gleaming black water.
(Leperkahn compiled this second of at least four round-ups of new music we’ll be presenting today. Part 1 is here.)
In my infinite wisdom, I totally forgot that the Swedish black metal band Mephorash’s new album 1557 – Rites of Nullification had already been released (despite Andy Synn’s glowing review) until I saw that Mephorash posted a stream to a track other than the advance track they had previously presented on their FB page. This “new” track, entitled “Phezur – Dissolving the Sea of Yetzirah” has me strongly regretting that lapse in memory.
The song masterfully conjures a deeply evil, occult, Luciferian atmosphere with its stirring riffs and caustic snarls, and the riff that comes in about a quarter of the way through the song is certainly quite the earworm. It moves through periods of chaos, groove, eerie calm, and infernal majesty, all while maintaining a truly nefarious aura. Make this the soundtrack to your next black mass if you know what’s good for you.
(Austin Weber takes us far off our usual beaten paths with this review of an unusual album by a violin-and-cello duo who call themselves Naked Roots Conducive — with a full-album stream.)
I think one of the most wonderful things about avant-garde and experimental music is how it seems to transport you to a very strange yet intense place where you may have to adapt in order to fully appreciate it. Such is the case with the New York City-based duo called Naked Roots Conducive. The two members are Natalia Steinbach who plays violin and sings, and Valerie Kuehne, who plays cello and and sings as well. The range and scope of the music on their new album Sacred521 is impressive, and I’d say additionally impressive because no other instruments beyond violin, cello, and their two voices appear on the album.
Records such as Sacred521 are difficult to describe, since there aren’t many other people doing anything similar, and the musical lines they straddle coalesce into a sound that doesn’t fit into any established musical style. Naked Roots Conducive craft exquisite and intricate songs that are part classical music, and part nightmarish film score instrumentation, accompanied by heavenly singing courtesy of each member. The end result is not wholly classical music, nor simple singer-songwriter-oriented stuff either. It’s very sweeping and dramatic music, constantly traversing, back and forth, a divide between sour and sublime sounds.
(Leperkahn rejoins us with a round-up of new songs that have struck a chord.)
We cover a lot of stuff here at NCS. Hell, I can barely keep up with it myself. However, even more goes on in the wide world of metal than the busy staff could ever hope to cover (and normally, I’m too lazy to move my arse and actually put fingers to keyboard). Alas, here are a few tracks that I’ve been really hyped up on, though sadly lack of time has prevented us from giving them proper coverage.
Early last year BadWolf published a review of Dutch black metal band Fluisteraars’s debut album Dromers. That review was my introduction to the band, and my, what an introduction it was – three extended tracks of harrowing, melodic lo-fi black metal (and I’ll be damned if “De Doornen” didn’t stick in my head like one of Frankenstein’s bolt things). “De Doornen” ended up earning a spot in the Most Infectious Songs list for 2014, and also ended up on my year-end list.
Luckily for us, Fluisteraars have returned, with a new album entitled Luwte (apparently Dutch for “Lee”, though I’m not sure what that could signify) due out on Eisenton on September 25th. At the Bandcamp page for the album a track is currently streaming, an eleven-and-a-half song entitled “Stille Wateren” (“Still Waters” – three quarters of college-level German prepared me to figure that one out without the services of Google Translate). The track is anything but still in its first half, however, as Fluisteraars have unleashed another torrent of scathing melodic BM riffs, shifting from one to the other seamlessly, all punctuated by some soul-cleaving rasps on the vocal front and drums that are evidently try to stir up a tsunami.
(Wil Cifer reviews what may be the final studio album by a band named Iron Maiden.)
Iron Maiden is right behind Black Sabbath when it comes being one of the most revered classic metal bands of all time. This is for good reason, as they have maintained tons of integrity over the years, even if they did break down and use keyboards and made the poor choice of trying to replace Bruce with Blaze. Line-up changes and tweaks to nuances in their sound aside, in the bigger picture of their legacy, they have never really whored themselves out by appearing on American Idol, which sadly is something Rob Halford cannot say. So for me the bar is held really high when it comes to this band, and if you have any questions as to my devotion, all I need say is that I have The Number of the Beast album cover tattooed on my left forearm… what do you got? So I have been upping the Irons since 1984.
Going into this album, the trepidation I had in regard to how it would uphold their legacy was due to the Dickinson’s much publicized battle with throat cancer and how that would affect his voice. Then there was the cowbell-infected lead single off the album, “Speed of Light”, which might have quelled my fears of “will Bruce still have it” and replaced them with “will this album be filled with cheesy rock n roll”?