Jun 222017

 

The song you’re about to hear doesn’t follow the path you probably think it’s going to follow from the way it begins, and the variations in its course are one reason it’s so appealing (but not the only reason).

The name of the song is “Almas Vendidas” and it comes from the new fourth album by the Argentinian band Granada. Entitled Sincronizado, it will be released on June 23rd by Satanath Records‘ sub-label Symbol of Domination.

Jun 132017

 

This is the third and final installment of a SHADES OF BLACK feature that I began two days ago. You’ll be shocked to learn that as long as this post has been, I added music from two more bands on top of what I originally planned for this Part 3 yesterday. If I hadn’t been placed in restraints by orderlies here at the asylum, I would have added more.

EREB ALTOR

The wonderful Swedish band Ereb Altor, who have taken their main cues (but not their only ones) from the mythic Viking metal of Bathory as established in Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods, have a new album named Ulfven that will arrive on July 21 via Hammerheart Records. Earlier today they revealed a song from the album that’s simply magnificent.

Jun 052017

 

(Andy Synn reviews the first new album by Eighteen Visions since 2006.)

So here’s the thing… although I count myself among that rare breed of people who has faithfully (if not always happily) followed OC ‘core crew Eighteen Visions through all the ups and downs of their career, even I’m willing to admit that the band’s dissolution in 2007 – at the height of their perceived commercial viability and creative bankruptcy – was probably for the best.

For a band who had, up until that point, been famous as much for their devil-may-care attitude as they were for delivering bone-crushing breakdowns, their increasingly desperate attempts to break into the mainstream (and steady decline towards toothless, alt-rock senility), were a clear sign of a group increasingly unsure of their direction or place in the world and undergoing a painful (and ultimately fatal) mid-life crisis.

But it seems as though the group – whose line-up has been reduced to a three-piece following the sad demise of bassist Mick Morris in 2013, and the inability of guitarist (and founding member) Ken Floyd to participate due to other commitments – must have felt they had unfinished business left to attend to, as now they’re back with a new album, XVIII, which many (quite possibly including the band themselves) must be hoping will retcon their previous, self-titled, album out of existence.

So what’s the verdict?

Jun 022017

 

(This is Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Novembers Doom, released in April.)

 

This past weekend in Baltimore I was… well, “harangued” might be too strong a word… by DGR for failing to produce a review of this album, something which I’d apparently promised to do several times over the last couple of months.

So, suitably admonished and abashed, here’s my attempt to fulfil my obligation, starting with a little bit of historical context for those of you who enjoy that sort of thing.

May 222017

 

Originally formed circa 1972, the California heavy metal band Cirith Ungol released four albums between 1980 and 1991 before disbanding, and in the process amassed an ardent world-wide fan following. The band reunited in 2015 for the Frost and Fire festival, and are continuing to forge ahead with festival appearances — and writing new music as well.

Greek writer John Sleepwalker of Avopolis.gr returns to NCS with this interview of Tim Baker, Greg Lindstrom, Jimmy Barraza, and Rob Garven leading up to Cirith Ungol’s performance at the Up the Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece, on May 27, 2017.

******

First of all, what made a Cirith Ungol reunion possible after all these years? I think there was quite some interest from Greece too, for quite some time, but the band was very negative until now…

Rob: Jarvis Leatherby from Night Demon lives in our home town and he told me that when they traveled to Europe on tour they would see many fans wearing “Cirith Ungol” shirts, and patches, and many there knew of our band and music. I had sworn a blood oath that I would never play drums again, so I had always told him very politely that I was not interested. Everything changed at the “Frost & Fire” festival in 2015. Oliver Weinsheimer from the very famous and exclusive “Keep It True Festival” had come over for the show. Jarvis and Oliver asked to speak to the band alone.

May 192017

 

L.A.-based Dylan Furr began making music as a solo artist, releasing two instrumental albums under his own name. For the third album (Juxtaposition) he added his own vocals, but then re-recorded it with new vocalist Elijah Arnold. Because the band is now no longer a completely solo effort, the project has taken on a new name — DFB.

On July 7, Famined Records will release a new DFB EP named Perspective, and what we have for you today is a lyric video for a song from Perspective named “Domino“.

May 172017

 

Stardust is the debut album of the Romanian band The Thirteenth Sun, released last week by Aural Music. In multiple ways, the album represents a journey of exploration, using an escape from the confines of earth and a venturing into the limitless night sky as a metaphor for an exploration of one’s self, free of the constraints of routine and any settled expectations about the possibilities of what may lie ahead. The name the band chose for themselves and the title they picked for the album manifest the concept, as does the striking and memorable cover art by Costin Chioreanu. But of course the concept is reflected most strongly in the music itself.

The music on Stardust is not all the same, although there are unifying ingredients that pass through the album. The album’s own journey begins with a track named “Universus“, and it’s the subject of an animated video created by Costin Chioreanu that provides a fascinating visual companion to the music, and we’re delighted to premiere it below.

May 092017

 

Imperator was the third album of Norway’s Dødsengel, but it is the album that will set all expectations for their new record Interequinox. Those who were undaunted by its length and who immersed themselves fully in the wonders of those two and a half hours of music discovered a band who were driven by belief, who honored traditions, but who were also rebels — nonconformists in their art who carved their own magical path in an often rigidly defined domain.

Imperator may unavoidably set the expectations for Interequinox, but if you made the twisting journey through Imperator, then it should come as no surprise to learn that Dødsengel’s sensual left-hand path has led them to altered states of musical expression, though crafted with as much care and spiritual devotion as the esoteric opus that preceded it.

May 032017

 

I’ve done this before, I’m sure I’ll do it again. Sometimes I listen to new music by bands whose music I haven’t heard before, and by complete coincidence it lines up. That’s what happened here — though this particular listening experience also included a revisiting of an EP I’d heard before.

By chance, I listened to all the music in this post back-to-back a couple of nights ago, and it was not only very good from beginning to end, it also seemed to flow in an interesting and connected way despite the dramatic differences in the music of each band. The wind blew with a chill… and that’s the best way I’ve come up with to capture the sensation of the experience.

APOCALYPSE ORCHESTRA

I love a lot of things about this first song, and the video that accompanies it, but the bagpipess are a huge reason. And now that I’ve mentioned that instrument, I’m sure that some of you will want to run from the song like wolves are on your heels, which I suppose is one reason why some cultures have used them as war instruments. Everyone else, please read on… and listen.

Apr 302017

 

The three songs I’ve collected here are off our usual beaten paths. I would consider all of them metal, but they are all twists on convention, and for that matter they’re all kind of twisted in other ways. Obviously, I found myself liking all three quite a lot or they wouldn’t be here. And because I thought they would make an interesting feature grouped in this way, I’ve separated them from a bunch of other new songs that are included in Part 3 of the SEEN AND HEARD post that’s coming later today.

THOUGHTS OF IONESCO

There’s a big article at The Font of All Human Knowledge devoted to Detroit-based Thoughts of Ionesco. As I write this, however, it’s missing one important fact, though the hive mind responsible for The Font’s content will undoubtedly update it soon. The missing fact is that Thoughts of Ionesco have reunited and will be releasing their first new material since 2001. In fact, they’ve already released something new.

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