MISCELLANY is probably the most irregular of the regular features at NCS. Though I’ve found that it’s a good way to discover new music, I often let weeks or months go by before revisiting the series. But this week there will be an unusual burst of activity. I have the 65th edition today, and both the 66th and 67th editions are in various stages of completion. With luck, I will post them over the next two days — three in a row!
Here’s how the game works: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard, usually focusing on under-the-radar groups whose names I’ve never heard before either. The selection process is random; for these three editions of the series, I tended to focus on bands who’ve written us recently. I try to limit my listening to a song or two and then write my impressions, while streaming what I heard so you can form your own opinions. I don’t know in advance whether I’ll like the music, so there’s an element of surprise involved (good or bad). For this listening session I investigated the music of three bands.
Nihilo are from Switzerland. They’ve released three EPs, as well as a previous full-length (2010′s Concordia Perpetua). In March of this year they released a new album entitled Dum Spiro Spero, which features cover art by Paolo “Madman” Girardi, and was a promising sign, all by itself.
(In this post DGR takes us on a globe-hopping tour of recent releases that fall within the varied realms of doom.)
It’s hard to believe that it is already March. Of course, I say that every year because February feels like a bullshit month with its short amount of days, but still. Sacramento has decided to park its hot ass right at about eighty degrees for the next week or so, yet I still find myself feeling bleak and down. Maybe it was the promise of grey skies and rain, but I found myself surfing the web seeking out doom in all its various forms and today I’d like to share with you some of the discoveries that I made.
A couple were found by just wading through circles on Facebook and by the random band button on Metal-Archives, which is always an interesting experiment in its own right. You could probably do a whole feature on that some day with the right amount of time and investment. As I wrote this over the past week or so, I kept adding more and more bands that I was coming across and wanted to talk about, so I apologize if this gets a little too verbose, but I figured it might be worth it to concentrate a bunch of smaller reviews into a post than spread out a bunch of giant tomes on a group of really good EPs.
Plus, maybe we’ll expose people to multiple groups in this one post. On top of that, I’m going to add in a little mini-review of an artist we’ve covered before in one of our ‘free music’ updates — as they released a new album earlier this year and it’ll be a good change of pace from all the roiling waters and restless seas you’re about to get dragged through. If anything, the tempo change will probably be appreciated.
I’m still away from home doing job-related stuff that has left almost no time for searching out new metal, listening to music, or blogging. I will be going home tomorrow, with hopes that NCS life will return to normal after that. I’m about to dive back into another day-long bout of job-related stuff, but before doing that I thought I’d throw a few things your way.
CVLT NATION FREEBIES
CVLT Nation has recently unveiled a series of free compilations that are well worth exploring. The first, which was released two days ago, is a compilation of Black Sabbath covers: Seven different bands perform the eight songs on Sabbath’s 1971 classic, Master of Reality. The bands are:
Cult of Occult
Graves At Sea
Well, for reasons previously explained, I thought we would only manage two posts for today, but this news item is quick to describe and easy to recommend: The French label Kaotoxin Records has just released a “pay what you want” sampler of music from the label’s artists entitled Weapons of Self-Dectruction, Volume 2 – and it’s a hell of a compilation. Check out the line-up of the 17 bands whose songs appear on the sampler:
Department of Correction
Eye Of Solitude
I know for many of you Discharge require no introduction. For others, allow me to provide this synopsis from The Font of All Human Knowledge:
Discharge are a British hardcore punk band formed in 1977 by Terence “Tezz” Roberts and Royston “Rainy” Wainwright. They are often considered among one of the very first bands to play hardcore punk…. The band’s 1982 debut album, Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, went to number two on the UK Indie Charts and number 40 in the UK Album Chart…. Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing paved the way for thrash metal, black metal, crust punk, grindcore and various extreme metal subgenres. The musical genre of d-beat is named after Discharge and their distinctive drumbeat…. Many bands that followed Discharge’s stylistic approach, primarily in Sweden, began using the “Dis-” prefix and “-charge” suffix in their names….
With that preamble, here’s the point of this post: CVLT Nation has assembled a free compilation of the Discharge songs on Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, as covered by a hellacious (and diverse) line-up of bands that include the likes of Unru, Plagues, Absvrdist, Dephosphorus, and Occultist, just to name the ones I already know about and like. The full line-up is after the jump, along with a link where you can find out how to download this beast.
I have my own opinions about Christmas and the whole holiday season surrounding it, the kind of opinions that used to provoke an annual rant on this site (such as this one, which still receives new visits at this time of year despite its age). But there will be no rant this year.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t changed my opinions. However, it has dawned on me that spewing vitriol about the holiday is somewhat inconsistent with what we stand for at NCS. Life delivers more than enough frustration, aggravation, hurt feelings, pain, sorrow, loneliness, parking tickets, and bad food without us adding to the negativity. I like to think that what we’re about at NCS is delivering things that make life better, e.g., some daily metal and generally good-humored prose.
Despite its shortcomings, Christmas does make life better for some people (though certainly not all). Some people hold the holiday as a sacred occasion. It gives some people an occasion to enjoy the company of family and friends. For others, it evokes warm memories of years gone by. Some simply enjoy the pretty lights and the chance to stuff themselves with yummy eats. In general, I think it’s wrong to put down activities that make people happy, as long as they’re not hurting themselves or others in the process, even if such activities don’t do much for me. So, this year I won’t be complaining about Christmas.
Not even two months ago, thanks to a Facebook post by our friend Vonlughlio, I learned about a new free compilation made available on Bandcamp by Australia-based Sinister Path Promotions – and yet Sinister Path has already delivered a second comp. As of yesterday, the new collection became available on Bandcamp. Like the first one, this latest offering is massive, with 42 songs by 42 metal bands. Highlights of this new release include the following (and here I’m paraphrasing from Sinister Path, with a final bullet of my own):
* Slasher (Thrash, Brasil) have included a single from their upcoming album Katharsis: “Overcome”
* Internal Bleeding (Slam pioneers from the US) have provided the track “Castigo Corpus Muem”, which is the first new recorded track with the original line up in close to 15 years
* 8 Foot Sativa (NZ metal legends) have contributed a new single, for which a lyric video was just released on YouTube: “The Shadow Masters”
* Mistur – (legends from Norway in the folk/viking/black vein) have provided “The Sight”, a single from a new album they’re working on
As this week draws to a close, I thought I would let you know what we have planned for you in the 11 days left in 2013, and then toss some free music your way. And by the way, are you as weirded out as I am to realize that this year will be over in only 11 days?
2013 has been a fantastic year for metal. I had been thinking that even before we started our LISTMANIA series, but all the lists we’ve been posting have really driven the point home. With every list I’ve been finding fantastic albums that I failed to hear or never even knew existed, on top of all the great albums, EPs, splits, and demo’s that I did manage to check out. And we’re far from finished with LISTMANIA.
At the risk of overloading you with still more discoveries, at the moment I have 11 more year-end list articles in the publication queue and am expecting at least another half-dozen to arrive in the next week. They come from NCS readers, fellow bloggers (including a quasi-reunion of writers from The Number of the Blog), metal musicians, and of course the NCS staff writers. And they are as diverse as the list pieces we’ve already published. I think they’ll be well worth your time.
Collected in this post are a handful of new songs (and three new videos) that I heard and saw last night. There’s a little bit of everything in here, culled from a lot of other things I found in my rambling through the interhole. Two of the new things are exceptions to our rule, and two involve female vocalists. Hope you like all of this diverse music as much as I did.
Nocturnal (pictured above) are a German band who came to life around 2000 “out of the ashes of Bestial Desecration”, dedicated to churning out teutonic thrash in homage to bands such as Destruction and Sodom. Yesterday they released a new video for a song named “Rising Demons”, which will appear on the band’s forthcoming album Storming Evil — their first in almost four years. It will be released by High Roller Records on February 28, 2014.
The song is a hell of a lot of evil-sounding fun — with whirling dervish riffs, a straightforward but nonetheless compulsive drumbeat, and Tyrannizer’s blackened howling vocals, which sound like a wildcat with esophageal cancer. The DIY video is also fun — B-movie clips interspersed with band performance clips, all in B&W of course. So strap on your bullet belt and spiked gauntlets and check out this thrashing unholiness:
(In this post DGR follows up on another of his recent posts with one more collection of recommended new Bandcamp releases that are “pay what you want”.)
THE ANTIOCH SYNOPSIS
The Antioch Synopsis have been around for some time in Sacramento. They were a name I constantly heard and I really enjoyed their music, though I lacked the means to drag my ass out to the various local venues to actually see the guys play live. They were a tech-death-core band before that whole scene really exploded, and unfortunately they went on hiatus just as that ship sailed, and likewise right around the time when I had obtained the means to see them live. Thus, I’ve always had the songs they posted up on Reverbnation on my Ipod and a soft spot for them.
The members would go on to be in other great bands, too. Vocalist/Monster Monte Bernard would join Soma Ras, and if you haven’t guessed by now, I really fucking love Soma Ras. That never meant the band were officially done, of course, as they would constantly joke about how they were hiatus-core and post on Facebook that yes, something was in fact in the works. Then, more silence.