Yesterday I should have been doing the work that I actually get paid to do, or at least trying to finish some album reviews, for which I’m paid only by a sense that I may have done a good deed. Instead, I spent time surfing the web for something new that would leave my head a smoldering wreck. At that, at least, I succeeded. I found music from three different bands who are musically quite different from each other, but all of whom inflict some serious head wreckage.
Originally I had included all of this music in one post, but it seemed like a lot to take in, so I’ve broken it up into three parts, one for each band.
Is that album cover up there a thoroughly killing piece of art or what? It halted me in my tracks as soon as I saw it. It turns out to be the front cover created by Comaworx for a forthcoming album by a band named Beyond, which is projected for release by Iron Bonehead in the July/August timeframe this year. The album’s title is Fatal Power of Death.
Having been transfixed by the artwork, I went in search of music. Lo and behold, what did I find but the album’s title track and a second song called “Whirlwinds of Chaotic Carnage”, which Iron Bonehead had just uploaded to SoundCloud. I’m probably lucky that only two songs were uploaded, because they alone came close to caving in my damned skull.
The title song, “Fatal Power of Death”, is an absolute howling storm of distortion, pierced by some blistering solos that race up the scale like liquid fire and the reverberation of crippling, cavernous death metal vocals. In the mid-section, the pace slows and an Oriental-sounding melody surfaces over the subterranean grinding, changing the atmosphere — until the riff monsters and heavy-artillery percussion return for a big finish.
I’ve collected here new music from three bands and older music from a fourth, all of which I came across yesterday. It’s all good, all worth hearing. So read on and listen up . . .
Denmark’s Mercenary has finished work on their seventh album, Through Our Darkest Days, and it’s due for release on July 26 through NoiseArt Records. It follows an album — 2011′s Metamorphosis — that received a decidedly lukewarm reception from critics. Yesterday the band debuted the new album’s title track, which I found out about via a tip from my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli. His first impression? “It sounds like the Mercenary of 11 Dreams is back”.
I never heard that 2004 album, though I’ve certainly seen a lot of praise heaped upon it, so I can’t comment on how the new track compares to 11 Dreams. But I do think this new song is a good one, mixing Scandinavian riff chugs, a very catchy keyboard/guitar melody, and an extended guitar solo that’s quite nice, with vocals that are a mix of harsh howls and raspy cleans. As I listened, I was reminded of late-stage Soilwork. I’m curious what other people who know Mercenary’s previous music better than I do think of this.
You may remember that last August Converge and Napalm Death released a split, both digitally and as a 7″ vinyl record. (If you missed that, it’s still available here.) Converge contributed two songs to the split, a song called “No Light Escapes” and a cover of Entombed’s masterful “Wolverine Blues”. The cover song included a multitude of guest vocals. It turns out that when Converge created the cover track, each of the guest vocalists recorded a full version of the song, which Converge then used to compile the final version included on the split.
Today, Converge released a digital EP entitled Pound For Pound: The Wolverine Blues Sessions, which includes the complete mixes of each guest vocalist’s recording (as well as Jacob Bannon’s and Nate Newton’s), presented as five unique versions of the song, to wit:
1. Wolverine Blues w/ Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom, etc)
2. Wolverine Blues w/ Jacob Bannon (Converge, Wear Your Wounds)
3. Wolverine Blues w/ Kevin Baker (All Pigs Must Die, The Hope Conspiracy, etc)
4. Wolverine Blues w/ Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom, etc)
5. Wolverine Blues w / Tomas Lindberg (Disfear, At The Gates, etc) and Kurt (Converge, etc)
Check out a full stream of this unusual EP right after the jump. You can get it here. Cool cover art, too.
In today’s first post I commented about the fact that we usually don’t post press releases, or much of anything else that doesn’t involve the release of actual music, as opposed to forecasts of music to come. One exception to that general rule, as happened in that first article, occurs when we find disclosures of eye-catching album art. We’re making another exception in this post — because it involves fuckin’ CARCASS!!!
The news is this: After weeks of hinting around, Carcass has revealed that they’ve signed with Nuclear Blast for the release of Surgical Steel, their first album in something like 18 years. We’ll have to wait until an unidentified date this fall to get our mitts on it, but since we’ve been waiting for 18 years, what’s a few more months?
As noted, there’s no music to be heard, yet, but we do have this statement about the new album by Nuclear Blast owner and founder Markus Staiger: “It is a perfect mixture of Heartwork and Necroticism with a massive production to boot. The album is without a doubt just as perfect and lethal as surgical steel itself, and exactly what both old and new fans have waited for eagerly all of these years!”
Be still my beating heart.
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?
Bandcamp has hit a new milestone. Thanks to our blog brother MaxR of Metal Bandcamp, we learned this morning that there are now 80 labels who have established beachheads on Bandcamp, with a total of 3,715 albums featured.
No one follows metal happenings on Bandcamp like MaxR. In addition to publishing reviews by a growing cadre of writers, he has methodically been assembling a list of all the metal labels who have availed themselves of the platform. Even better, he has compiled all the labels, alphabetically arranged, into a table with links that will take you to each label’s offerings. We’ve reproduced that table after the jump. This is a work in progress, and if you’d like to be notified by e-mail when he updates the listing of labels, go HERE and click the “Subscribe by email” link at the bottom
I suppose every true metal fan knows about Bandcamp by now, but I’ll say again what I’ve said many times before since discovering the existence of Bandcamp when it was in its infancy: Every band and every label needs to be there, at least for the purpose of streaming music, if not for selling it. Doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t have your music available elsewhere — it’s not an exclusive option. But it’s a very good one, and in this day and age, if you’re not giving fans a chance to hear your music before they buy, then you’re going to miss sales (wherever you sell your releases) and you’re inviting piracy even by some people who consider themselves scrupulous.
On December 22, 2011, David Gold died in an automobile collision near Barrie, Ontario, at the age of 31. With his death, so died Woods of Ypres — the doom/black metal band that he co-founded and of which he was the sole consistent member over the course of five albums and assorted other releases. But of course the music of Woods lives on in the lives of the band’s passionate fanbase.
As we reported last July, a woman named Steph LeDrew organized a musical tribute to Gold and Woods, recruiting a large number of bands to record covers of Woods songs. Yesterday, the tribute album — Heart of Gold: A Tribute To Woods of Ypres — was finally released and is now available for purchase on Bandcamp as a digital download for $10. At one point the project was soliciting PayPal donations to that gave donors the option of receiving a 2-CD physical version of the album, though the option to buy a physical format doesn’t currently appear on the Bandcamp page.
The album was mastered by Dan Swanö in Sweden and includes cover songs by 19 different bands or band members, including Novembers Doom, Panzerfaust, Amaranth, and members of Woods, Thrawsunblat, and Into Eternity. The full track list and album stream appear later in this post. But I first want to highlight one song in particular, because it was recorded by a long-time favorite of this site — Sweden’s Canopy.
I’m pretty sure this news came out earlier this week, but I completely missed it. Maybe you did, too.
The news is this: Century Media has compiled a free digital sampler of songs from the label’s artists. There are 40 bands represented on the compilation, with songs that are mostly from the bands’ latest albums. It’s a helluva list of bands, too — this sampler focuses on the more extreme end of the Century spectrum, with almost all the songs coming from bands who play varying flavors of death metal or black metal.
Rather than try to pick out a few representative bands, I’ll just include a screen shot of the entire list after the jump. Be aware that in order to get the free download, you have to give up an e-mail address, which will be used by Century Media and its partners to send you not only download info but also marketing messages (at least until you unsubscribe).
If you’re interested, go HERE to begin the download process.
Last night, Monday, May 13, 2013, at 11:59 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, the indiegogo.com crowd-funding campaign of Misery Signals — which they launched to help pay for the recoding of a new album — officially came to an end. Do you know how much money they raised? I’m not gonna make you guess. They raised $104,295. Let me repeat that: They raised
One Hundred Four Thousand Two Hundred Ninety-Five Dollars!!!
I shit you not.
They started the campaign on April 3, with a goal of $50,000. A pretty ambitious goal, one would think. Yet in less than 24 hours they had received pledges that exceeded half of that amount. On April 9 they met the $50,000 goal. In six fucking days.
But the campaign deadline was May 13, so they just let it keep going. You’d think people would have stopped contributing once the goal was met. Obviously not. Misery SIgnals doubled their money over the last month. Hell, I was watching the money counter at indiegogo last night and people were still contributing thousands of dollars more in the last few hours of the campaign.
How the hell did they pull this off? I’m so fucking glad you asked.
Three Floyds bills itself as “a small Artisanal craft brewery located in Munster, IN just down the road from Chicago, IL”. I found out about them because they’ve brought out an ale named “Permanent Funeral”, after the song of the same name from Pig Destroyer’s Book Burner album. The ale’s description is as follows:
“The wolf inside this pale ale is trying to walk upright. This bright and aromatic beer was brewed with our friends in the band Pig Destroyer.”
It’s too bad Three Floyds is so far away from Seattle and so limited in its distribution, because they’d sell the shit out of this stuff here. I mean, even if it tasted like piss from a diabetic goat, lots of people would pay for the pleasure of ordering “a shot and a Permanent Funeral” at their local watering hole, and then drinking the brew from a bottle with a label like the one above.
Plus, it appears that Permanent Funeral will knock you on your ass.