(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”?
One of these days I’ll learn that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers shouldn’t make promises about what they’re going to do. Yesterday I wrote that I would post two round-up’s of new music in an effort to partially catch up on all the new songs that had emerged since the last one I compiled five days earlier, but that obviously didn’t happen.
However, thanks to Austin Weber, we do have two today, with this being the second one. One silver lining to the cloud of my tardiness is that since yesterday I discovered one more item worth recommending to you — and it’s the first one in this post.
For those who haven’t religiously followed my scribbling over the last few years, I will confess that I’m a slavish fan of Sweden’s Mordbrand. It’s not that they have any compromising photos of me, it’s because they’ve been so consistently good at what they do. Out of all the outstanding songs they’ve released, perhaps my favorite track is “That Which Crawls” from their 2014 album Imago — and today they released a video for that very song.
The new EP by Philadelphia’s Fight Amp(utation) is a whirlwind roller-coaster ride — or it would be if a roller-coaster were capable of leaping off the rails with a mind of its own in addition to veering up, down, and sideways. It’s only six songs with a total run-time of about 18 1/2 minutes, but Fight Amp pack a lot of head-spinning diversity into that span of time. It’s the kind of music that keeps you pinned in place, gleefully wondering what the hell is coming next.
Precisely for that reason, it’s also the kind of release that justifies a track-by-track commentary from the band — and that’s exactly what we have for you here. But you need to listen to the songs either before or while you’re reading — or ideally, do both. A stream of Constantly Off is at the bottom of this post, along with a Bandcamp link where you can pick it up if you like what it does to you. And to get an LP edition of the album, Brutal Panda has got that HERE.
(In this post DGR reviews the new release by Chicago’s Mechina.)
Mechina are a band whom I’ve learned to stop trying to figure out. They’ve somehow evolved into superhuman musicians who can seemingy do no wrong when it comes to putting out quality music. They’ve consistently kept to a yearly release schedule, and recently have even added a single release mid-way through the year — and those have become huge efforts in their own right. I keep waiting for them to slip, but it seems that somehow the people behind Mechina are absolutely tireless as well as immensely talented.
The Mechina singles are some of the longest songs the band have written and are the musican’s equivelent of a short story — which is odd to say when it comes to music, but given that the band have created their own universe and continually add to it, it isn’t hard to see the band’s brand of symphonic/industrial/groove/death metal starting to become like sitting down with a storyteller and letting them entrance you with another tale.
(In this post, Latvian music journalist Evita Hofmane presents her interview with vocalist JP Jakonen of the Finnish band Abbot, whose debut album Between Our Past and Future Lives was released in October 2014 by the Italian label Bloodrock Records and can be heard at the end of this interview.)
Abbot? What is Abbot?
Abbot is classic heavy rock n’ roll band from Pori, Finland.
We had a pretty long and nice virtual interview with their vocalist JP Jakonen.
And btw, Abbot have a US West Coast Tour in the works for the summer of 2016.
Wanna know more? Go ahead!
Before I saw the video by the Wagakki Band that you’re about to see, I was at work on a big round-up of new music for later today. And then our Tokyo-based pal Phro messaged me about the video, and I watched it — and felt compelled to get it up on our site without delay.
I counted, and this makes the sixth time we’ve posted about the Wagakki Band at NCS, and they deserve all that attention because they are awesome. This most recent video is for a new song named “Akatsukino Ito”, which will appear on a forthcoming album entitled Yasou-emaki. I want to quote an excerpt from Phro’s post about it at RocketNews24:
“The music features the band’s trademark mixture of rock and traditional instruments, with thundering drums and furious strings that compel the soaring vocals ever higher. The song is almost like a battle cry, which manifests in the video as the members draw swords to face off against a dragon flying through the sky.”
(Wil Cifer presents some thoughts about the new album by Chelsea Wolfe — Abyss.)
It is no secret that Chelsea Wolfe has managed to gather a fan base in the metal community without actually playing metal, aside from a Burzum cover. Rumors have been abounding that Abyss was going to be her metal album. Considering some of the stylistic shifts she has made with each album, going in a heavier direction would make sense — but how do the rumors line up against the actual album?
Well, this is a spoiler alert as to just how metal Abyss is.
I’m devoting almost all of my posts today to a series of five short releases I discovered since last week, and this is the second of those.
Acero Letal (“lethal steel”) are from Chile, which seems to be a hotbed of speed metal and thrash — and I do mean hot. The band released a demo in 2008, and in February of this year the most excellent Witches Brew released a two-song single from the band on black vinyl, with a download available on Bandcamp. The two tracks on the single are “Veloz Invencible” and “Duro Metal“.
Fairly late in my metal life, I’ve discovered a lust for old-school speed metal — maybe because I wasn’t listening to it when it had its genesis in the ’80s — and these two songs feed that hunger quite nicely, while bringing in other elements of “classic heavy metal”.
(Our friend Leperkahn has been slaving away at college for, like, forever. But he has surfaced again with some musical recommendations.)
Hey friends. I truly can’t remember the last time I wrote something here. I feel a bit of shame about this, but you know what, there’s no time like the present, and now I’m breaking my silence. I’m gonna string together some short pieces on stuff you might want to check out based on my most recent download history. A good deal of it breaks our Golden Rule here at NCS, but frankly we’ve broken that rule so frequently in the past couple years that it’s really only become a guideline at best. We’ll start with a band I found just tonight.
I had absolutely no idea these dudes existed prior to listening to a promo of their new EP Solitude Martyr (out August 14th according to their Bandcamp page) that Clawhammer PR sent over to me. I tend to look at a good deal of the promos that brush through my email inbox (*hint hint*), though obviously I haven’t done a great job of translating that to writing about them (looking to change that sense of lethargy that’s become such a comfortable crutch).
Two young Baltimore bands, Naked and Mother Moon, have joined together on a new split recording — Naked // Moon — that will be released by Feeble Mind Records on July 30, and today we bring you a full stream of the split.
Naked is the solo project of 20 year old Carl Smith, and Naked // Moon marks his third split release. The two songs from Naked, “Die // Slow” and “Weep”, were performed with only guitar and voice.
“Die // Slow” is a dreamlike mirage of reverberating guitar and deep looping chords that pulsate and warble as Smith’s voice rises and falls like a moonlit tide. The shimmering, atmospheric song succeeds in casting a spell that’s both sorrowful and sublime.