Apr 242015

 

I know, I said that after two more round-ups today, following three yesterday, that I’d take a break and do something else. But man, I just continue to see an hear things that I feel compelled to foist upon you. So, one more collection… but without the “Seen and Heard” title, because that’s been worked to death over the last 24 hours.

KING GIANT

I’ve really been eagerly awaiting the new album by Virginia’s King Giant. We’re all big fans of the band around here and we’ve made no secret of that over the years. And although I haven’t yet heard all of the new album (Black Ocean Waves), the song they just premiered via a lyric video is strong evidence that they’re about to deliver another winner.

Apr 232015

 

I wasn’t planning to post anything else today, but then I read something that I enjoyed and thought was worth recommending to you. It’s a long article by Ryan Wasoba in Riverfront Times of St. Louis about the city’s metal scene, with a focus on three metal bands in particular: Fister, The Lion’s Daughter, and Black Fast. I’m a fan of all three bands, and that has something to do with why I enjoyed it, but there’s more.

The article is built on interesting stories about each band’s music and their experiences getting to where they are now – Fister’s new album IV (which consists of a single 44-minute song) is due for release in a matter of days, and The Lion’s Daughter and Black Fast have signed to prominent labels (Season of Mist, and eOne) for the release of their next albums. Those stories include anecdotes from Black Fast’s recording sessions with Erik Rutan that are kind of amazing as well as amusing. But all the stories are interesting.

Apr 212015

 

Just a couple of quick notes before I sign off for today:

BELL WITCH

I’ve already said my piece (here) about Four Phantoms, the new album by Seattle’s Bell Witch. In a nutshell:

Four Phantoms will dismantle your defenses, reduce your bulwarks against the bad days to a pool of molten slag, leave your vulnerabilities exposed, and touch those raw places you try to hide. How it can do this and yet leave you feeling transcendent is a wondrous mystery.

Apr 102015

(I welcome an old friend but a first-time contributor to NCS. His name is Oily. He enjoys long walks on the beach… AT AN OCEAN OF BLOOD! In this post he interviews Paul Nicholls, frontman of a Portland thrash band long thought dead but now resurrected — Arachnid.)

All great monuments fade. Some treasures wither away, unknown and unappreciated. Seemingly lost, enveloped by the engulfing mists of time, a rare prize resurfaces — a sparkling blood-red gem of thrash metal has been wrenched away from the jaws of oblivion.

Some time back, searching through Stormspell Records’ catalogue, I came across a self-titled release from a Portland-area band called ARACHNID. Curiosity piqued, I had a listen and was blown away; this was without a doubt some of the best thrash I’d heard in a long while.

Apr 092015

 

We received an e-mail yesterday about a new U.S. metal festival that really peaked my interest, initially because of the stellar array of bands in the line-up and then for other reasons as well. Somehow it managed to elude my all-seeing eyes, which I suppose just proves that I’m often asleep at the switch. The name of the event is The Shadow Woods Metal Festival. and it will take place on September 25-27, 2015.

You can see what I mean about the line-up from the flyer above (click the image to enlarge it). It includes lots of bands we’ve praised at this site, including Midnight, Falls of Rauros, Occultation, Menace Ruine, Velnias, Anagnorisis, The Flight of Sleipnir, HivelordsDendritic Arbor, Anicon, Fin, Unsacred, The Black Moriah, and ZUD, plus 20 more bands. I’m including details about the entire line-up at the end of this post.

(Sadly, one of the bands, Wormreich, was devastated by a fatal van accident on Monday of this week, though their place in the festival line-up has been preserved.)

Apr 072015

 

I spied a couple of festival-related things this morning that I thought were worth sharing. Big metal festivals are a dime-a-dozen for people in Europe, but for metalheads in the U.S. (and seemingly everywhere else in the world) they’re like gold bars discovered in your sock drawer. Okay, maybe not quite that rare an occurrence, but you know what I mean. Also, I’m trying to deflect my own jealousy over Andy Synn’s recent escapades at the Inferno Festival by attempting to make him jealous.

MARYLAND DEATHFEST XIII

This morning the organizers of MDF XIII unveiled the official festival poster for this year’s edition of North America’s best metal festival. Gaze upon it above (and click the image to enlarge it). It features the artwork of Lucas Ruggiero. 250 copies will be printed and will soon be available for pre-order at the MDF web site. That line-up still makes me drool (correction: it makes me drool more than usual).

Apr 072015

Wormreich

 

Early yesterday morning there was a fatal van accident on I-85 in northeastern Georgia. The 15-passenger van was carrying members of two black metal bands — Wormreich and Khaotika — who were touring with a third band, Kult ov Azazel. They had played a show on Sunday night in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and were driving to Atlanta, where they were scheduled to play another show last night. Reports indicate that the driver (a member of Khaotika) apparently fell asleep and the van veered off the highway, striking a tree on the passenger side. Three of the occupants were thrown from the vehicle.

Three men died in the accident: Wormreich guitarist Ian Andrew McKinney (Nazgul Vathran), Wormreich bassist Paul Truesdell, and Khaotika drummer Nicholas Crisostomo. Eight other passengers were injured, and three were listed in critical condition as of yesterday, including  Wormreich drummer Christopher P. Pezzano (Profana).

In a twist of fate, we premiered a music video last Friday for the Canadian band Idolatry that was created by Ian McKinney; we were among the first to see it, and had uploaded it to our YouTube channel for the purpose of sharing his work publicly. In addition to performing in Wormreich, he was a visual artist operating under the name NVS Productions. He had created videos not only for Idolatry but also for WormreichHades (Norway), and Borgne (Switzerland), as well as logos, album covers, flyers, and other graphic works. Though we did not know Ian, the coincidence of that video premiere made this terrible accident only three days later seem even more poignant.

Apr 062015

Nocternity album cover

Happy fucking Monday. This is a collection of five new songs and one older one that I came across at scattered times over the last week. All of them take fully formed human bodies (aka “listeners”) and reduce them to their unpleasant component parts. In some cases, the remains are chunky and suitable for stewing. In others, you get finely minced hamburger-grade mounds that are perfect for sausage-making. Enjoy.

NOCTERNITY

The Greek black metal band Nocternity are preparing for the release of their third album and their 12th recording overall. The new full-length is entitled Harps of the Ancient Temples and it follows the last one by 12 years. It is my first exposure to the music of Nocternity, and from what I’ve read, it differs in significant ways from the last album, Onyx.

In January I briefly wrote about the album’s title track, as it appeared on a two-song 7″ release from 2007, which Hells Headbangers had just then posted to Soundcloud. Last week CVLT Nation premiered the album version of the song, which is somewhat different from the previous stream and so damned good that I’m seizing the opportunity to write about it again.

Mar 312015

 

This year’s edition of the METAL ALLIANCE TOUR features an eye-catching line-up: Deicide, Entombed A.D., Hate Eternal, Black Crown Initiate, and Svart Crown. And earlier today Deicide leaked the initial round of dates on their Facebook page (and thank you Vonlughlio for tipping us to this news). As Deicide wrote when they posted the schedule, “it’s still being booked so don’t get your freak on cause ya don’t see your town, more to come!”

I’ll pretend I’m interested in what other cities will be visited, though the truth is that since Seattle is already on the list I can now tune out any further announcements.

Here’s the first round of dates and places on the schedule:

Mar 302015

 

With a weekend of listening behind me, I’ve got a stack of new songs I want to recommend that rivals the height of a mighty redwood. Unfortunately, my brain is only the size of a mighty walnut, and I didn’t get enough of a head-start to pull them all together for a round-up today. So, here are three, and more will come tomorrow.

ENTRAILS

As regular readers know, I have a debilitating weakness for old-school Swedish death metal. If I don’t get my fix on a regular basis, I start to get the shakes and have even more trouble formulating complete sentences. Fortunately, one of the best of the current purveyors of obliterating Swe-death has a new album coming our way via Metal Blade, and this past weekend I caught up with the first single. The band is Entrails, the album is Obliteration (of course it is), and the song is “Beyond the Flesh”.

The roots of Entrails in this style of music go deep, the band having achieved their first incarnation in 1990. And despite moldering in the grave for a full decade, they’ve turned in one winner after another following their reanimation with 2010′s Tales From the Morgue. If “Beyond the Flesh” is a good indicator, the new album will be another one.

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