(In this post our man in the UK, Andy Synn, reviews a live September 4 performance in Islington by the collaboration between Devin Townsend and Ché Aimee Dorval known as Casualties of Cool.)
Last Thursday I was lucky enough to see Casualties of Cool, the world’s finest proponents of Ambient Canadian Space-Country, perform a gorgeous, mesmerising set at The Union Chapel in Islington. And it’s taken me a while (I have been somewhat busy/ill in the intervening time) but I’ve finally got round to penning some thoughts about the experience.
To start with, for those of you who don’t know, the venue itself is pretty magical, a beautifully apportioned and enclosed chapel with rows of pews on ground level before the stage (and pulpit) and several more on balconies up above. The stained glass windows and hanging wrought-iron chandeliers add a touch of weight and worth to the surroundings, while the candles flickering in alcoves in each overhang only enhance the warmth and beauty of the place.
When it came to the show itself… well, there’s a reason this was sold under the title Casualties of Cool, and not under Devin’s own name. Because for once this really wasn’t a Devin Townsend show.
I’ve fallen behind in completing some reviews (one in particular) that I had planned to post on Monday of this week. Partly, this is the result of how many new music premieres and press releases of interest I’ve found this week. The last 24 hours have been no different. What follows is a sextet of such things.
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT
One of this site’s favorite bands made this statement yesterday:
“We have some exciting news! To bridge the gap between TETRAGRAMMATON and our forthcoming album we decided to record some tunes from our first album The Apotheosis. This because The Apotheosis is sold out and we simply aren’t in for an ordinary repressing. We will release it as an EP+ some cool rare recordings we collected through the years. The title of the EP will be BLOODCVLTS & DEATHCVLTS.
At the moment we have no idea how and who will release this EP. Maybe it will be on vinyl, maybe on CD or maybe only on Itunes and Spotify. Stay tuned!”
In this round-up to begin our new week here at NCS, I’ve brought you a trio of recommended videos I spied yesterday plus news of a free music sampler from Napalm Records that’s worth checking out.
I discovered this first video via a link sent by our friend “deckard cain“. It’s for a song named “Ocean”, which appears on the debut album (The Artifact) by a band from Gothenburg, Sweden, named Deceptic. deckard wrote that the music reminded him of Textures, Scar Symmetry, and Soilwork, and after I heard the jolting song I thought that was a good summing up of stylistic references.
But the video as a whole is really what landed it at the top of this post. It was made by Igor Omodei, and it is truly a feast for the eyes, with both excellent camera work and editing of the band footage and superb animation and visual effects. I had a smile on my face all the way through, and then my eyes really popped wide in the final 30 seconds. Kudos to Mr. Omodei.
Next month Grimoire Records will release a split entitled Crawling Mountain Apogee, with new songs from two talented bands — Myopic from Maryland and Torrid Husk from West Virginia. Invisible Oranges recently premiered the Myopic tracks, and today we’re bringing you the two long songs by Torrid Husk that appear on the split.
This isn’t the first time we’ve had the pleasure of premiering a Torrid Husk creation. Last May we premiered an excellent music video for “Cut With Rain”, a song from the band’s last EP, Caesious. Caesious was my first exposure to the band’s music, and as impressive as it was, these two new songs prove that it was no fluke. They mark a further step ahead for a band who are proving themselves to be an emerging bright star in the firmament of melodic black metal from the U.S.
The music is dramatic and dynamic. It storms in a torrent of cascading riffs and blasting drums. It rings with shining guitar melodies and howls in its discordance. It drifts moodily and crashes like a river in flood. The instrumental work is tremendously impressive at every station, and the songs are filled with great vocal variety as well, from clawing shrieks to deep roars to impassioned yells to soaring clean vocals.
Autumn’s Dawn is a new two-man band from Australia whose debut album Gone is being released today by Eisenwald. And today we bring you the premiere of a full-album stream — though when you hear the album you may think a site with a name like ours is a peculiar place for a premiere of an album such as this. But read on…
Autumn’s Dawn may be a relatively new project, its only previous release being a self-titled EP, but its two members are not newcomers: Tim Yatras (who uses the name “Sorrow” in this project) has made a name for himself in such bands as Germ, Austere, Woods of Desolation, and Grey Waters, while Matthew Bell (“Anguish”) is a member of Rise of Avernus and Troldhaugen. Following our album stream, we’ll bring you an interview with Tim Yatras about the origins of Autumn’s Dawn and the new album.
With names like Sorrow and Anguish, an album entitled Gone, and song titles such as “The Ashes of A Life”, “Until My Heart Corrodes With Rust”, and “Blank Stare, Dead Eyes”, you might think you’re in for a thoroughly depressive listening experience. There is indeed a sorrowful air to much of the music, but it’s also full of life, highly memorable, and often strikingly beautiful — and it also includes scathing elements of black metal and songs that often rock very hard.
Here are a trio of new songs that I heard this morning that I enjoyed. Perhaps you will enjoy them, too. Obviously, I couldn’t resist grouping these three S bands together. Cool album covers for all of them, too.
Scar Symmetry’s sixth album is on the way. The title is Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity). It has a cool album cover, don’t you think? Today the band released a lyric video for a single from the album named “Limits To Infinity”. The announcement came with these quotes from band members:
Per Nilsson: “I thought to myself… am I allowed to fuse death metal with AOR, and go extreme in both directions? I didn’t ask for permission, I just went and did it, and I’m pretty excited to hear what people are gonna think about it.”
Henrik Ohlsson: “‘Limits to Infinity’” unveils the malevolent plan of the elite, the hidden hand, and their discoveries regarding the secrets of the universe. The lyric elaborates on the decision makers’ long-term plan to merge with machines and colonize other planets.”
The music is a high-powered combination of jolting riffs/rhythms and catchy melody, deliciously ugly growls and soaring cleans, tumbling drums and a flickering solo. It hammers and it glides and I don’t think you’ll be able to remain still while it does its thing.
Photo by Guðný Lára Thorarensen and Guðmundur Óli Pálmason
Here’s a quartet of things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth your time. I could have sub-titled this “The Exception to the Rule Round-Up”, because the vocals are almost all of the clean variety.
I’ve written about every advance track that has appeared from Sólstafir’s new album Ótta, which will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. So I guess it stands to reason that I’m going to write about the full-album stream that premiered yesterday at Noisey.
I love the album, but I’m not sure were going to review it. We didn’t get our promo copy of the album from the label until less than 24 hours before the stream went up (and only about 10 days before the European release date), and I do sometimes wonder what the point is of writing a review when everyone can hear the album for themselves, especially when there are so many other albums whose music is less accessible that are also worth praising. There’s always a point to bringing music to the attention of people who might not be aware of it, but anyone who regularly visits our site couldn’t possibly remain unaware Ótta.
Anyway, whether we write more about the album or not, you really should go listen to it. Among the previously unreleased songs, “Non” in particular has been getting repeated spins among our staff. The goddamn riff at the end is just glorious. Go here — you’ll be glad you did:
Here are some things I saw yesterday that opened my eyes wide and increased my flow of drool, requiring an early change-out of the trademarked NCS bib I wear at all times. You may increase the size of some of these images by clicking on them.
Item One appears at the top of this post. It’s a shirt design created by Manuel Tinnemans (Comaworx) for Switzerland’s Bölzer, based on the song “Steppes”. I guess it’s not enough that Bölzer are making lots of people jealous with their music. Now they get shirts like this made for them. Stunning. Here’s the artwork on a black background:
I intended to finish this collection and post it yesterday, making it Part 3 of a big Wednesday round-up of news and new music, but the old fucking day job interfered, and so I’m beginning our Thursday with it. This collection is a bit different from the usual “Seen and Heard” because it includes a couple of items at the end that aren’t new — I’ve just been really drag-ass in bringing them to your attention.
I first came across Hetroertzen last May when I impulsively decided to explore (and write about) some of the releases by an underground Swedish label named Lamech Records. The band are originally from Puerto Varas, Chile, but are now located in Sweden. They have completed recording a fifth full-length album, entitled Ain Soph Aur. It’s currently projected for release on December 6, 2014, in a variety of formats by Lamech Records, Terratur Possessions, and Amor Fati Productions.
In recent days, two songs from the album have been made available for streaming — “Blood Royale” and “The Rose and the Cross”. Both are long pieces, in the seven-and-a-half minute range, and both are very good.
Here’s Part 2 of today’s effort to catch up on news and new music I think are worth your attention. I had planned a third part, but that will have to wait until tomorrow (fucking day job).
I’ve made no bones about my lukewarm reaction to much of what passes for “traditional” thrash — perhaps primarily because of the genre’s vocal style. But the new song (“Final Journey”) that NPR premiered today from Accept’s 14th album Blind Rage has knocked my socks off, not least because it includes a guitar melody lifted from Edvard Grieg’s “Morning Mood” as an unexpected accent near the song’s end.
But that’s only part of the attraction. The riffs and the solo are absolutely galvanizing, the melody is heart-pumping, and I actually like the vocals by Mark Tornillo as well. Check out the new lyric video next. The album can be ordered here from Nuclear Blast.