Last night I was talking with my NCS comrade DGR about the fact that we never just copy and paste PR announcements, and about how uninteresting we find most announcements about new music that don’t include actual music. But of course there are exceptions, such as the two featured in this post, where the artwork alone is enough to catch my interest. Also, I’m more inclined to make exceptions when I’ve been out carousing late the night before and have awakened with a hammering hangover and all of today’s posts in various stages of incompletion. Hypothetically speaking, of course. I’m not saying I did that last night. But would you please speak very, very softly for the next few hours?
I have no new music from Revocation to share with you, unless you count the few song fragments that appear in the studio videos I’m going to stick in this post. What I do have is the artwork (above) for their fourth album, which I really like. It’s by Orion Landau, who has created album covers for the likes of Dying Fetus, Obscura, and Nile.
I also have a release date: August 6 (via Relapse). I have the track list, but I don’t know who really cares about song titles. There are ten of them. I also have the album title: its name is Revocation.
And then I have those two studio videos that have been released so far, plus I have tour dates. Most of these dates are for the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour. Come to think of it, I don’t think we’ve yet posted the SUMMER SLAUGHTER schedule, so that might be interesting to some of you. Mainly I’m writing about Revocation because I’m a big fan. Also, could you please try whispering?
I came across some news today involving three bands I like. Unfortunately, the news involves releases that we can’t yet hear, but at least the news brings album art that’s pleasing to mine eyes. And then I came across one other piece of eye-catching new artwork that introduced me to a new band and a new song that I’m pretty sure fractured my skull . . . as if I needed any more skull fractures. Here’s what I found:
As we previously reported, this Swedish black metal band have a new album named The Wild Hunt coming on August 19 in Europe and August 20 in the US via Century Media Records. Today I learned that they will first be releasing a two-song single, both digitally and in a variety of physical formats, in late June. One song will be an original album track named “All That May Bleed”, and the B-side will be a cover of “Play With the Devil”, originally recorded by the Swedish black/heavy metal band Taiwaz in 1988; Gottfrid Åhman from In Solitude has contributed a guitar solo to that cover track.
Above, you can see the just-disclosed artwork for the single, which is quite cool and was created by the amazing Zbigniew Bielak II, whose work for Ghost we featured at length here. As for the original song, here’s what Watain had to say about “All That May Bleed”:
“‘All that May Bleed’ shows but one facet of a quite diverse album, but we chose this song as a first glimpse into ‘The Wild Hunt’ because of its bombastic lunacy and white-eyed malevolence which could be said to constitute a main foundation for the album. The lyric is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry and human sacrifice. The salt of Satan in the wounds of Christ!”
Well then, if this is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry, and human sacrifice, I accept!
If you’re a regular NCS stalker, you’ve seen this cover before. Twice before, actually, because I keep looking for new excuses to stick it on the site. It’s the hellaciously eye-catching gatefold artwork for Bloodlines, the new Relapse Records album by Rhode Island’s Howl — which is also hellaciously good, by the way. To see an even larger image of the artwork, click the pic above.
The artist who created the cover is Ryan Begley, and this is his third record cover for Howl (the other two are also killer). Today we have the pleasure of giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how the Bloodlines artwork came into existence, including the rough and final pencil sketches that evolved into the finished inked-and-colored piece you’re looking at. As Ryan explains:
All the visuals were inspired by lyrical content and both the band and I wanted to have an image with a lot of elements that would take time for the viewer to soak in. I tried to have all the characters and elements interacting and overlapping as much as possible. The blood was one of the more difficult but fun elements to draw for the cover. Figuring out how it would flow and move throughout the frame and around the characters took a while to sketch out.
The band wanted a bright and vibrant cover and I thought it would translate best if we kept the colors in the same family. Once I settled on a specific red for the blood the rest of the palette was pulled from that.
I’m getting a late start on the day and didn’t write a post last night that would be ready to start things off this morning. I stopped at my favorite watering hole at the end of the work day and lions got me. I shouldn’t call my friends lions, but once I used the term “watering hole”, images of prey animals being mauled in the savannah immediately came to mind. I felt well and truly mauled by the time I fell into bed late last night.
While I recover from too much drink and smoke, I thought I’d give you something to gaze upon. This is a collection of recent artwork completed by various artists for forthcoming metal albums or merch. We’ve featured the work of most of these artists before, and I follow what they’re up to, because they kick ass, figuratively speaking of course. There will be new music accompanying some of the art, too.
The first piece, above, is by Japanese master Toshihiro Egawa. It’s something he did for a Russian band I’m pretty high on, 7 H.Target. They’ve now finished a second album, Psy Slam Damage, which is coming out May 16 via Coyote Records. But Egawa’s artwork isn’t for that album. It’s an illustration for the next album . . . 0.00 Apocalypse . . . which will feature vocals by Mirus (ex-Katalepsy) and will be released by Sevared Records sometime later this year. Mark Cooper has also created artwork for the album, and this post will include something by him, too.
Here are a few things I’ve been listening to recently. They’ve been bouncing around my head, insisting that I say something about them, and so I am. They have no connection to each other and one of them isn’t even metal at all. But for different reasons all three songs have sunk their claws into the mushy gray matter and won’t let go. Let me know what you think.
I latched on to this Minneapolis band because of the artwork you see above. It’s a Mark Riddick creation for the vinyl LP version of the band’s 2010 album Via Negativa (which was their fourth full-length), and it fuckin’ kills — one of my favorite pieces he’s ever done. The vinyl will be released at some point later this year by Behold Barbarity Records, and the album is available for streaming at the Teratism Bandcamp page. Unfortunately, you can’t download it there but CDs are available here.
But the song that’s been wrecking my head recently isn’t from that album (though the album is massively good). Instead, it’s one I found after the Riddick art drew me to the Teratism FB page. It’s called “Shadows Flee the Burning Sons of Light” and it will be included on a forthcoming vinyl 12″ EP named La Bas, which consists of four previously unreleased Teratism tracks (recorded in 2009) and a cover of “Come To the Sabbat” by Black Widow. And that EP also features this vicious Mark Riddick cover art:
Here’s another installment of things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours while merrily rambling along the by-ways of the interhole. The theme of this installment is METAL ART RULES!
This Greek band’s debut release The Sea of See Through Skins was one of my favorite albums of 2009. One version of the album apparently included a bonus track named “Crawling Through the Mud”, though I don’t think it was on the copy of the CD I bought; at least I don’t see it on my iPod, which is where I transferred the music from the disc before eventually storing the CD away with a gazillion others that my spouse made me remove from our cluttered house.
And that’s all I can say about the wonderful artwork above that mysteriously appeared on Tardive Dyskinesia’s Facebook page yesterday. I don’t know who created it, and I don’t know what music it will eventually accompany. Maybe the band is about to release that bonus track as a single?
Anyway, the band’s 2012 album Static Apathy In Fast Forward ain’t too shabby either. Here’s TD’s cool official video, released earlier this month, for “Time Turns Planets” from that album. Prepare for a spine-jolting, head-scrambling experience.
Here are a few of the things I saw and heard yesterday and today that I thought were worth spotlighting. There will be a few more such things tomorrow.
ELIRAN KANTOR (and SATAN)
If there is a better metal artist working today than Eliran Kantor, I don’t know who it is — which explains why, every time I see one of his new creations, I’m prone to stick it up on this site post haste.
His latest work is the cover of an album by a UK band named Satan that Listenable Records plans to release on April 29 in Europe and sometime in May in the U.S. I didn’t know much about this band before seeing the stunning, metal-as-fuck album cover, though I surmised that they must have started eons ago to nail down “Satan” as a band name. And so they did: The new album, Life Sentence, is appearing on the 30th anniversary of their first album, Court in the Act.
If the music is half as good as the cover art, the new album will be worth hearing.
Between last night and this morning, I finally found a little time to resume my usual spelunking through the interhole in search of metal nuggets of interest worth sharing. And here are a few of the items I found.
I found that Finland’s Finntroll have been rolling out versions of the cover art for their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled 2013 album. The artist is Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa (whose FB page is here). They began with a pencil sketch of the cover and today they added the fully inked version that you see above. Presumably, we will eventually get the color version (the images are appearing on Finntroll’s FB page). Fuckin’ cool, no? To see a larger version of the art, click the image above.
I first discovered (and wrote about) this French duo a year ago when I saw they had been based solely on two demos (in 2009 and 2010) and a four-song EP in 2011 — Putrefactive Infestation, which I reviewed in that first post. Later, I also reviewed a two-song 7″ named Now You’re In Hell. I’ve been looking forward to their debut album, Putrid Death Sorcery, scheduled for release in North America on February 5 (order here). I previously featured the eye-catching album art by Montenegran artist Milovan Novakovic (which you can see again next).
About a year ago I came across a Spanish death metal band named Graveyard via their just-released EP, The Altar of Sculpted Skulls. One of the initial attractions was the eye-catching, dread-inspiring, black-and-white artwork by Matt ‘Putrid’ Carr (Autopsy, Impetigo, Coffins, Hooded Menace, etc). The EP turned out to be just as spine-cracking, skull-bleaching, and deliciously morbid as the artwork (the review is here).
I am so happy to report that Matt Carr and Graveyard are back. Today the band announced that their new full-length album (their second) will be released on March 8 via War-Anthem Records. Its title is The Sea Grave, and Matt Carr has again created a great cover, with a Lovecraftian theme. Cthulhu! Tentacles!
Graveyard also released an edited version of a brand new track for streaming. The song is “The Visitations of the Great Old Ones”, and I’m really digging it. It alternately romps, stomps, and crawls, and it’s thoroughly saturated with the black ichor of occult horror. Have a listen after the jump.
One of our first album reviews of 2013 was Andy Synn’s recent complimentary write-up on the new work by Enshadowed, Magic Chaos Psychedelia. With Enshadowed on my mind, I discovered by coincidence that they appeared on a recent split with another Greek band, Burial Hordes (whose discography is listed here). The split was released last October as a vinyl 7″ and on tape by a Greek label named Razorbleed Productions, though they’ve apparently sold out of the tape. Copies of the tapes still seem to be available through NoiseGoat Productions and versions of the 7″ can still be found here.
What caught my attention is that today Razorbleed uploaded both tracks from the split to YouTube. After listening to them, I tracked down the artwork for the split, and my eyes got really big when I found it. As you can see above, the cover kills.
The music kills, too. I wish that the tracks could be made available digitally. Maybe if we all whine and beg loudly it will happen.