I have a confession to make: I’m a political junkie. For the good of my mental and emotional health, I wish I could cut back (there’s no point in trying to quit), but right now I probably couldn’t get clean if my life depended on it. I’ve been glued to the Democratic Party convention coverage the last two nights, which explains why we haven’t had the usual volume of posts since the weekend. Things aren’t likely to get back to normal until after this particular circus comes to an end.
I did manage to pull this round-up together this morning, as well as a hell of a premiere earlier today — and a bit later we will have another Neill Jameson post about black metal. I’ll start with two citing news items and then move to some new song streams.
I still remember when I first heard the music of Khemmis at the Denver Black Sky festival in the summer of 2014. It was a real eye-opening experience. Even someone as half-witted as me could tell they were something special. Lots of other people figured that out last year when they heard the band’s debut album, Absolution. And now we have a second album to look forward to, as revealed in an announcement late yesterday.
Yesterday I loaded up a Seen and Heard round-up with music from 9 bands I had discovered in a single morning, most of them of the more obscure variety. Today I’ve again decided to focus exclusively on things I discovered through a whirlwind tour of our in-box and Facebook this morning, but this time the bands have a higher profile than yesterday’s group. Of course, these things are relative; the odds are that none of the people you encounter today who aren’t already your friends will have heard of any of these bands. And of course that is their loss.
40 WATT SUN
This first item him me like a bolt from the blue. Although I haven’t been regularly searching for news about 40 Watt Sun, I think in the recesses of my mind I just assumed we would never have another album by this particular project of Patrick Walker (ex-Warning) — but indeed we will, in less than three months’ time.
I had a few ideas for a Monday round-up that percolated over the weekend. And then this morning, when I crawled through what had arrived in the NCS in-box since I went to sleep last night, all those ideas were shoved aside and put on the shelf for later retrieval. I do have poor impulse control, and therefore decided I would devote this post to nothing but what I discovered this morning.
Mind you, not everything I found in our in-box was worth spreading around (e.g., news about a new device for preventing snoring), but an unusually high percentage was. And what I especially liked about what I found was the serendipitous fact that the songs were quite varied in their styles of heaviness.
Now there’s quite a lot of music here, and so I’m going to do my best to keep my verbiage to a minimum. I’ve arranged the tracks in alphabetical order by band name, except for the last one… because I think it’s best experienced as a conclusion to this playlist.
Until seeing the wonderful cover art that I put at the top of this post I had forgotten that Dark Tranquillity’s Niklas Sundin was a visual artist as well as a musical one. This creation adorns a new album named Memento Mori by the band Aephanemer from Toulouse, France. It will be released on September 16, but the band have already made one song from the album available for streaming and free download at Bandcamp. Its name is “Unstoppable”.
Creeping through the NCS e-mail in-box this morning while trying to wake up I spied an item that achieved that objective better than coffee: an announcement by Season of Mist that the phenomenal Gorguts will be mounting a North American tour this fall, with support from Intronaut and Brain Tentacles. Called The Pleiades Dust Tour, it begins on October 3 in Brighton, MA, and travels through assorted other U.S. and Canadian locations for the rest of the month, ending in New York City on the 30th.
As usual in perusing such announcements, I had eyes for only one thing: Would there be a stop in Seattle? Having found that, yes, there will be, I ignored all other info in the flyer — until a Texas-based friend expressed sadness that the tour would be stopping in Austin, Arizona, rather than Austin, Texas.
Getting a very slow start on this Saturday. Went to sleep very late last night without having begun writing the post you are now reading, and then slept for 9 hours — and still didn’t want to get out of bed. I can’t remember the last time I slept for 9 hours, or anything close to that. I felt groggy as shit for a couple of hours after waking up. Pretty sure that was sleep grogginess rather than the after-effects of all the wine I consumed last night with my spouse and some friends. Pretty sure.
Either way, I now feel more alert and invigorated, having listened to the music collected in this post. This collection doesn’t really make much of a dent in the long list of new tracks and videos I came across since the last round-up I assembled. As usual, there’s not much rhyme or reason to why I picked these selections rather than others. Austin Weber also contributed one of these items, as you’ll see below.
On July 20, Singapore’s Wormrot announced that they will be releasing a new album named Voices on October 14, and they revealed the great cover art you see above by Zahir Sanosi (aka Kilas). Voices comes five long years since their last album, Dirge. Wormrot made a video to announce the new album, and it includes a new song from the album called “Fallen Into Disuse”.
It’s not a well-kept secret that we here at NCS are ardent fans of Minnesota’s Amiensus. We’ve been closely following all of their releases ever since Andy Synn reviewed their debut album Restoration for us back in January 2013. Their latest album, Ascension, appeared last year (and we reviewed it here), and we premiered a new track named “Reflections” last April.
Since then, Amiensus have signed on with Apathia Records for the release of a new EP in the spring of 2017 and have laid the groundwork for the Dust of the Earth tour with Wisconsin’s Pangaea during September — which we’re now helping to announce. For details about that, plus music from both bands, plus more news updates about both Amiensus and Pangaea, please continue reading….
In yesterday’s Part 1 of this large round-up, I said I would post Part 2 later the same day. Someday I will learn that part-time metal bloggers who have actual paying jobs and/or families who occasionally need their attention should not make forecasts of what they plan to do on the blog. Not even what they think they will accomplish later the same day, or even in the next hour. That’s just laying the groundwork for stepping on your own crank, so to speak.
Anyway, here’s Part 2, which unlike yesterday focuses on new or newish music that I wanted to recommend rather than simply announcements. One silver lining to the delay is that it enabled me to add the first item in this collection, which appeared late yesterday.
HEAVEN SHALL BURN
Our small band of beleaguered writers at NCS includes some ardent (perhaps even slavish) fans of Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn. I count my own self on the slavish end of the spectrum. And so yesterday was a banner day, because…
Ten days have passed since the last time I put together a round-up of news and recommended new music, which is an unusually long gap. Perhaps needless to say, trying to catch up is out of the question. What I’m going to do instead is just pull together some big news announcements from the last 24 hours in this post (plus one related recent song), and then collect a few more recent music streams in a second part that I’ll post a bit later today.
MARYLAND DEATHFEST ANNOUNCES SECOND ROUND OF CONFIRMED BANDS FOR 2017
On June 30, as we dutifully reported, the organizers of Maryland Deathfest announced the first round of confirmed bands for the XVth edition of the festival, scheduled to take place on May 25-28, 2017, in Baltimore. Just minutes ago, MDF announced a second round of confirmed bands — plus some surprising news about where the festival will, and won’t, take place next year. Here are the new confirmed names:
If you’re reading this, it means you survived another week. Congratulations. That seems like good cause for celebration, since about 155,000 people die every day on average.
To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of new music I sifted from the never-ending torrent of new metal over the last 48 hours, presented in alphabetical order by band name.
The Italian death metal band ADE, whom we last mentioned in these pages almost four years ago, have a new album headed our way on July 15 via Spain’s Xtreem Music. Like its predecessors, Carthago Delenda Est again draws upon themes from ancient Roman history, and the title suggests that its focus is on Rome’s efforts to destroy the North African city-state of Carthage in the Punic Wars. The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us:
I meant to post this yesterday, but my job continues to mess with me. What I did here was to collect some new singles and a couple of new EPs that I found two nights ago while using the internet to crawl through the underground. I like all this stuff and thought you might also find something in here that strikes the right chord.
In this globe-trotting expedition the music consists mainly of various shades and phases of death metal (much of it “blackened”) by five bands, hence the title of this post.
Verbum are based in Chile, and their debut EP Processio Flagellates was originally released on tape by the Chilean label Penitenziagite Records, although it’s now also available as a download at Bandcamp.