Dec 052016

wolfheart-boneyard

 

Happy Monday. Through the miracles of modern technology, I’m writing this at roughly 38,000 feet above the earth, somewhere across the deserts of northern Utah, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and the barren panhandle of Texas. Under duress from my fucking day job, I’m bound for Houston for the next couple of days.

Actually, it’s not exactly a miracle, not something like turning water into wine, more like turning water into weak tea — because although I can get online, the service isn’t good enough to stream music or videos. So some of the items I’m including in this round-up are things I can see but can’t hear.

WOLFHEART

I’m beginning with an item that I could have heard over the weekend if I had known it was out there. Unfortunately, I discovered it only today after boarding this jet I’m on. It’s a video for a new song by Finland’s Wolfheart named “Boneyard“.

Dec 052016

decibel-tour-2017

 

A bit earlier today DECIBEL magazine announced its sixth annual North American tour, which will run from mid-March to mid-April of 2017. As you can see from the flyer up there, these are the touring bands:

Kreator
Obituary
Midnight
Horrendous

Nov 202016

murg-gudatall

 

As I originally wrote this post, it included music from 10 bands. As I explained yesterday, I’m feverishly trying to spread the word about late-breaking new releases before being swallowed up by our year-end LISTMANIA orgy. In order to do that, I throttled my usual wordiness in what I wrote, atypically allowing the music to speak (mainly) for itself. But I still thought that 10 bands might be too much for a single post, so I’ve divided it into two parts. I’ll let Part 2 simmer in the pot for an hour or two and then spring that one on you today as well.

As usual for this series, all the music is charred black to differing degrees. I’m starting with some arguably better-known names and then, especially in Part 2, diving a bit deeper into the well of obscurity.

MURG

Song: “Mästarens resa i mörkret”
Album: Gudatall
Release date: December 16
Country: Sweden
Order link: https://murg.bandcamp.com/album/gudatall

Nov 182016

zhrine-tour-diary-iii-1

 

On November 2, the Shrines of Paralysis North American Tour launched in Los Angeles, headlined by New Zealand’s Ulcerate and also including the Icelandic band Zhrine, and Phobocosm from Montreal.

Zhrine was one of the biggest and brightest surprises at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest (as we discussed here and here, with photos), and now large numbers of other metal fans are getting the chance to discover what makes Zhrine so special. And so we count ourselves very fortunate to bring you a series of tour reports from the road, beautifully written by Zhrine’s manager Bogi Bjarnason (accompanied by his photos). For the earlier episodes, go here and here.

This outlander’s perspective on the crossing of our vast continent pulls no punches; flag wavers and Bible-thumpers would be outraged. But for the rest of us, these occasionally caustic and always amusing diary entries are fascinating. I wonder if we could convince Zhrine to turn West again after they reach New York and do it all again?

Nov 152016

wedrujacy-wiatr-art

 

As I mentioned earlier this morning, we’re rapidly approaching the brink of our year-end LISTMANIA orgy. In fact, on Friday I’ll be soliciting reader suggestions for our annual Most Infectious Song list, and about a week after that I’ll be asking our readers to give us their lists of the year’s best releases — so please start thinking about both of those subjects. Of course, we’ll once again be re-posting year-end lists from select print zines and “big platform” music sites as they appear, as well as publishing “best of” lists by our staff and invited guests, both band members and fans.

In the meantime, we’ll also continue trying to recommend new releases, and there are still some big ones due for arrival before January 1. There have also been some notable ones released quite recently that I fear we’ll never get around to reviewing, and so I’m forced to resort to posts like this one in which I’ll just share the music and sacrifice the words of praise (though in many cases we’ve already written about individual songs). However, we do welcome your own thoughts about these releases in the Comments. Here we go — I hope you’ll give each of these albums at least a sample test.

WĘDRUJĄCY WIATR

Album: O turniach, jeziorach i nocnych szlakach
Released: October 31
Approximate Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Country: Poland

Nov 112016

eliran-kantor-the-immortal-wars

 

I haven’t been listening to as much new metal this week as I usually do. Something to do with the seismic impact of our election, I suppose. But I did start digging into new things last night and today. I’ve collected a handful of new songs in this post and will spread more of them before you over the weekend. As usual, no two songs in this group are stylistically alike.

EX DEO

To begin this collection I don’t actually have a full song for you, but whenever the remarkable Eliran Kantor discloses a new album cover, that’s reason enough for me to give the album some space. The one you’re gazing at above is his painting for The Immortal Wars, which is the new album by Ex Deo.

Nov 102016

SINGLE_Black copie

 

(Karina Cifuentes, who usually brings us interviews from her home in Norway, brings us some welcome news this time — and first reactions to the music.)

I’ve been actively looking for bands to interview or write about lately, and it’s getting difficult to find something that isn’t generic, synthetic, lacking feeling, or flawed somewhere. Lots of bands out there are just trying to fit into some pre-existing mold either musically or image-wise, and it may get tiresome and rather boring to go through them while looking for some jewel, but well, I keep doing it because something really awesome always comes to compensate for everything that’s uninspiring.

So today I got to listen to something really awesome that is going to be released on February 10. It’s Nidingr’s new album! if you are a Mayhem fan, you may know of them. It’s Teloch’s side project. Teloch is one of those guitarists who has developed a unique sound. (I wish he had taken more of his own style to Mayhem’s latest album). Teloch’s style is pretty harmonius, elegant, and absolutely representative of the Norwegian sound. So this is what you should expect to find in Nidingr’s new album.

Nov 102016

zhrine-tour-2

 

On November 2, the Shrines of Paralysis North American Tour launched in Los Angeles, headlined by New Zealand’s Ulcerate and also including the Icelandic band Zhrine, and Phobocosm from Montreal.

Zhrine was one of the biggest and brightest surprises at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest (as we discussed here and here, with photos), and now large numbers of other metal fans are getting the chance to discover what makes Zhrine so special. And so we count ourselves very fortunate to bring you a series of tour reports from the road, written by Zhrine’s manager Bogi Bjarnason (accompanied by his photos).

These Icelanders picked a hell of a time to explore America. At least the first Episode of this diary (here) didn’t turn out to be the last after all.

Nov 082016

zhrine-tour-2
Zhrine in Seattle

On November 2, the Shrines of Paralysis North American Tour launched in Los Angeles, headlined by New Zealand’s Ulcerate and also including the Icelandic band Zhrine, and Phobocosm from Montreal.

Zhrine was one of the biggest and brightest surprises at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest (as we discussed here and here, with photos), and now large numbers of other metal fans are getting the chance to discover what makes Zhrine so special. And so we count ourselves very fortunate to bring you the first in what we hope will be a series of tour reports from Zhrine’s manager Bogi Bjarnason (accompanied by his photos) — though as you’ll discover, it may be the last as well as the first.

You’ll also discover that this particular tour diary displays an articulateness and eloquence that’s rare in observations and musings about the highs and lows of metal tours. So read on, and enjoy.

Nov 012016

bearstorm-biophobia

 

We discovered Virginia’s Bearstorm last year, and the immediate impression was so positive that we eagerly premiered the band’s 2015 album Americanus. Today, we’re equally happy to announce that Bearstorm have come storming back with a new EP named Biophobia that Baltimore-based Grimoire Records will release on December 9 — AND we have a deliciously named song from the EP to share with you: “Cryptobiotic Filth Destroyer“.

Bearstorm have already proven that they’re genre manglers, and on this new release the music is no more easily classifiable. The band have used the phrase  “blackened southern deathprog”. Grimoire has described the music as “somehow simultaneously inspired by classical music and southern rock — falling somewhere between Enslaved and Russian Circles“. And if all that tends to knot up your neurons, consider the unusual but evocative lyrics for this new song:

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