May 292015

I’m getting a late start on the blog this morning. I spent hours on the phone with world leaders attempting to answer their urgent questions about an array of socio-economic and security crises. After a while I got tired of it and just started repeating a convenient mantra, “FUCK THE FACTS”.

AHAB

That album art up there is fucking fantastic. I have very high hopes for the album, too, which is the first one from German’s Ahab in four years. The title is The Boats of The Glen Carrig and it’s a musical interpretation of a 1907 horror novel of the same name written by William Hope Hodgson (more info about the book can be found here).

May 272015

 

Did you see what I did there? I actually do have a small round-up of new songs coming a bit later today, but this collection of new discoveries mainly consists of interesting announcements — though there is one new live Soilwork video embedded below.

NILE

Nile are finishing up the mixing work on a new album entitled What Should Not Be Unearthed, which Nuclear Blast plans to release in the late summer of this year. Along with that announcement the label revealed the cover art, which I think is quite good and which was created by Michal “Xaay” Loranc. It includes hieroglyphs taken from The Book of the Dead as well as the protective sign of the winged scarab in the center. The concept seems to posit the existence of an ancient elder civilization that pre-dated and gave rise to the old Egyptian civilization.

Along with the announcement and the artwork came this quote from Karl Sanders, which I found particularly enticing (I bold-faced the words of interest):

May 262015

 

It’s really not fair to all the other bands around the world who have been drenching their arms in the blood pool of black/death. When Deiphago unleash their brand of red dragon chaos, you just have to shake your head. How do you keep up with something like this?

I was lucky to hear this new Deiphago song — “Red Dragon of Chaos” — many weeks ago and I meant to write about it the moment I was free to do so. But when it finally became public I was just beginning my Maryland Deathfest XIII sojourn and missed the news. Better late than never, I hope.

Speaking of MDF, I discovered that Hells Headbangers was selling the new Deiphago album that includes this song at their MDF merch tent, more than two months in advance of its official release. By the time I got my ass in gear and visited the HH installation, only two CD copies were left. And then there were none, though one came home with me to Seattle. And speaking further of MDF, I think enough time has passed since Deiphago’s last appearance there in 2013 that they should be invited to return next year, especially because I didn’t make the trip in 2013.

May 222015

 

Over time I’ve come to enjoy tours that mix and match, that cross genres and by doing so introduce Band Y to fans who come to see Band X. Of course, there’s also a risk in this strategy, especially if what you’re mixing are all well-known bands, and the fans of some wouldn’t be caught dead in the presence of the others. I’m thinking there might be some of that risk in this year’s edition of the SUMMER SLAUGHTER TOUR.

Arch Enemy has been announced as the headliner — and bear in mind, this is Arch Enemy with Jeff Loomis in the line-up. Obscura are on this tour, too, along with Cattle Decapitation and Beyond Creation. And then these bands are also on the line-up:

May 212015

 

(This post was supposed to appear yesterday, following Part 1 (here), but my trip to Baltimore for Maryland Deathfest and the pre-fest show last night derailed those plans.)

I think once upon a time I explained that when I use the title Shades of Black in posting about collections of new songs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that what follows will be black metal (though that’s usually what follows). Sometimes the music has strands of recognizable black metal instrumentation mixed with other motifs. Sometimes it’s a matter of shared spirit. Sometimes, the music is just bleak and crushing.

I’m reminding you of this because I doubt anyone would call all of the following songs “black metal”. But I sure as hell do like all of them, and hope you do, too.

GALVANO

It was almost two years ago when I last wrote about this two-man sludge metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden — July 4, 2013, to be exact. Back then, the subject was a song from their last album, Two Titans. Now they have a new full-length named Trail of the Serpent that’s being released on May 25 by Candlelight Records. (with vinyl coming in July via Pelagic Records). Thanks to an alert from Bandcamp yesterday I learned that a new song named “Stench of Prey” is now available for streaming. It is one hell of a song.

May 162015

 

We post about metal tours in North America on an exceedingly infrequent and random basis. Usually when we do it, it’s an extensive tour that really is nationwide in scope. If we’re not going to be comprehensive in spreading tour news, it seems like when we do, it ought to be about tours that would be of interest to the largest number of people. But I’m making an exception here, for two selfish reasons.

First, the bands are personal favorites of mine. Second, even though both tours involve a small number of dates, Seattle is on both schedules. This makes me happy, and I know that if I’m happy, that necessarily makes you happy, too.

BÖLZER / RITUAL NECROMANCY

I haven’t seen an official announcement about this tour by the Swiss band Bölzer and Ritual Necromancy from PDX. All I’ve seen (thanks to a tip by Facebook friend JCB) is the flyer up above, which appeared on Facebook yesterday.

May 152015

 

We’ve been following Minnesota’s Amiensus very closely, from their excellent 2013 debut album Restoration (reviewed here), to their split that same year with Oak Pantheon, entitled Gathering (reviewed here), to the release of their cover of Forefather’sWolfhead’s Tree” last fall, which we had the privilege of premiering (here). And now we’re delighted to bring you a stream of the first advance track from the band’s new album Ascension — plus we’re announcing an NCS-sponsored Amiensus tour with Wisconsin’s Warseid. First, the music…

AMIENSUS: “WHAT WORDS CREATE”

The new Amiensus song is “What Words Create”, the third track in order on Ascension. It’s a dynamic, multifaceted song — dramatic, atmospheric, sweepingly melodic, and also charged with hard-driving energy. And it gets stuck in your head very quickly.

May 152015

 

From the obituary in The New York Times, May 15, 2015:

B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died Thursday in Las Vegas, The Associated Press reported. He was 89.

His death was reported to The A.P. by his attorney, Brent Bryson.

Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.

May 142015

Hey there. I thought I’d quickly throw a few new things your way that I found earlier today. Then I have to go do something that actually pays my bills. Regrettably, on some days there seems to be a limit to how much unvarnished fucking off I can do at my job.

HIDEOUS DIVINITY

There’s a new play-through video for one of the best songs on Hideous Divinity’s latest album, Cobre Verde. The song is “The Alonest of the Alone”, and though you may be expecting a guitar or drum video, because most people seem to find more sex appeal in those things than a play-through on the humble bass, this is A BASS VIDEO.

May 122015

Lots of news about High On Fire and new HoF music today.

First, we received a reminder that the band’s new album, Luminiferous, will be released on June 16 via eOne Music. It was recorded at Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer Kurt Ballou. You can see the artwork above,

Second, the group premiered a new song from the album named “The Black Plot” via Rolling Stone — and I’ll have a bit more to say about it in a minute.

Third, the band announced a headlining U.S. tour that begins on July 30 in San Diego and finishes in New Orleans on August 23. Along for the ride will be Pallbearer, Lucifer, and Venomous Maximus. Here are the dates:

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