(We’re happy to provide our guest Grant Skelton with a platform to help spread the word about a new compilation currently being assembled by the fine folks at The Sludgelord blog.)
One of No Clean Singing’s neighboring blogs has an open call for music submissions for a new Bandcamp compilation due in the fall.
The Sludgelord is a metal blog based in the UK. It was created in 2011 by editor Steve Howe. The Sludgelord primarily focuses on doom, stoner, sludge, and post-metal. However, it is not at all uncommon for them to cover black, ambient/experimental, death metal, or grindcore. The Sludgelord is currently accepting submissions from bands (signed and unsigned) for its new compilation.
Previous Sludgelord compilations (see below) have featured Primitive Man, Conan, Bevar Sea, Thorr-Axe (who premiered their album at NCS back in January), and Barabbas (recently interviewed by Comrade Aleks).
The remarkable Wildernessking from Cape Town, South Africa, have today announced that their eagerly awaited second album, Mystical Future, will be released in November 2015 by Germany’s Sick Man Getting Sick Records, whose roster of releases has included works by Alda and Sun Worship, among many others.
Three years have passed since Wildernessking burst upon the global metal scene with their critically praised debut album The Writing of Gods In the Sand. The band have not been idle since then, releasing two well-received EPs – …And the Night Swept Us Away (2012) and The Devil Within (2014) – as well as tracks for split releases in 2014 and early 2015. But based on some advance listening we’ve been lucky to experience, Mystical Future represents their most accomplished and powerful music yet.
More cohesive, more dynamic in its scope, and more personal in its lyrical focus, the album represents a significant step ahead for a band who have already made a big impact in a short space of time.
I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…
Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.
And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film.
Yesterday the organizers of Maryland Deathfest announced the first group of bands for the 2016 edition of North America’s best metal festival. They also released 350 “early bird” passes for on-line sale — which sold out in approximately 15 seconds. Your humble editor wasn’t quick enough on the draw to get one of those. But more tickets will be released for sale after MDF finishes announcing the bands for next year’s event. For now, let’s talk about the first group of 30 bands revealed yesterday.
There’s a lot to talk about.
About three weeks ago, NCS contributor KevinP rolled out his own wishlist for MDF XIV (here), and that led lots of readers to roll out their own lists in the Comments. There were tons of good bands in those lists, and many people got at least some of their wishes granted yesterday. KevinP, for example, is a happy camper because his Number One pick — Hail of Bullets — were included in yesterday’s announcement. On the other hand, none of the rest of his wishlist of 10 bands was included. But of course there’s still time.
We had a busy day at the site yesterday, and I thought I wouldn’t have time to explore new music. But my wife decided to strand me at home last night while she went out and whooped it up with some friends of hers, and so what was I to do? I damn sure wasn’t going to venture into the loris compound by myself; my wife’s good with a knife and she usually has my back, but without her I’m not getting close to those devious fuckers. So instead I decided leave the loris ninjas to their own devices, hunker down at the computer, and drown myself in new metal. Here is a collection of new stuff from four bands that helped me pleasantly pass the time.
Let’s first have a round of applause for Juanjo Castellano, because goddamn, is his cover art for the new EP by Avulsed the absolute shit, or what?
Because I only write about metal that makes me enthusiastic, these round-ups of new music necessarily reflect my own idiosyncrasies. Fortunately, I suppose, I get enthusiastic about lots of different styles of metal (though I vehemently deny the accusation that I like everything I hear). And so it’s true again today that what you’re about to hear ranges far and wide across the metal landscape. Still, to ensure further diversity of viewpoints, you’ll also find a recommendation from Grant Skelton in addition to my own.
Here are some questions for you: Do you enjoy writhing black metal extremity, with riffs that swarm with reptilian menace and hammer powerfully at the gates of doom? Does your pulse quicken at the sound of a drummer who rocks out as well as he blasts with mechanistic precision? Do you relish bestial growls that come straight for your throat with teeth bared? Do you search for black metal songs that get stuck in your head as well as generating an atmosphere of infernal menace, befitting the rising of a vengeful sun that emanates death?
I doubt any band has been so brutally fucked by the disintegration of the Metal Alliance Tour as the French band Svart Crown — and for those who haven’t been following the dismal news, I’ll recap it in a minute. But Svart Crown just don’t fucking quit. They’re now forging ahead on their own, with the appropriately named Cursed In America tour, and they need some support.
I’m hoping this post will in some small way spread the word about the shows they’ve got left and that people will turn out for them, so they don’t return to France with a completely shitty taste in their mouths. But don’t get me wrong — this isn’t an appeal for charity. This is a really excellent band, and you’ll be glad you saw them if you get the chance.
To recap: Svart Crown were booked to tour the U.S. as part of the Metal Alliance Tour headlined by Deicide, along with Entombed A.D., Hate Eternal, Black Crown Initiate, Lorna Shore. On June 8, just a few dates into the tour, Entombed A.D. were removed from the tour, apparently because the promoters didn’t think the tour was making enough money to financially support them. And then two days after that, the entire tour was “cancelled”.
Still in Texas, still working my ass off (but not on NCS), still not able to listen to much metal — but I did have time for a quick swim through the effluent of the interhole, and these things caught my eye (and ears).
Thanks to my NCS comrade Andy Synn, I saw the striking cover art above, by Valnoir Mortasonge, which Finland’s Amorphis posted on their Facebook wall, along with this announcement:
About a week ago I explained that I was leaving Seattle for Texas, where I’d be buried in chores for my fucking day job for the next two weeks. It turned out that the first week wasn’t too bad, and things around the site were pretty much par for the course. But beginning today and continuing through Friday I really am going to have to bear down, day and night, and my blog time is going to be cut to the bone.
For my last hurrah before running the gauntlet, I’ve collected some new and newly discovered music that I hope you’ll check out, plus one new piece of album art and related news.
The mammoth Valdur from Mammoth Lakes, California, have a new album on the way entitled Pathetic Scum. Today the band released a sample from one of the new songs, named “Blessings of the Goat”. It’s a massive, grisly, gruesome death metal monster, with a thoroughly morbid and diseased atmosphere.
The massive earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation of Nepal on April 25 of this year was the worst natural disaster to hit the country in more than 80 years, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring more than 23,000. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, two more major quakes occurred on May 12, killing more than a hundred other people and injuring thousands more.
Those of us like me who live many thousands of miles away may not have personally known anyone affected by this almost unimaginable disaster. One of my few acquaintances in the region is Aabeg Gautam, the co-founder, vocalist, and bass-player of Dying Out Flame, whose 2014 debut album Shiva Rudrastakam I reviewed here (it’s wondrously good, and if you haven’t already discovered it, you should — at this location).