EDITOR’S NOTE: The recently completed Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington, jointly organized by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media, was filled with memorable highlights, but perhaps the greatest of all was the first live performance by Panopticon, which closed the fest’s second night.
In a 90-minute set that cut across a broad swath of Panopticon’s albums, Austin Lunn was joined on-stage by drummer Ray Capizzo (Falls of Rauros), bassist Andy Klokow (who also performed live with Obsequiae), and guitarist Jake Quittschreiber (Circadian Ritual). The time seemed to fly by, and left an enthusiastic audience roaring their appreciation and their thanks. (We have five videos from that set, along with a more extensive review, here.)
And now we want to share another expression of gratitude, this time a thank-you letter from Austin Lunn himself to everyone who became a part of Migration Fest — and in this letter he discloses plans for the next Panopticon album as well as future live performances:
I’ve returned from Olympia where I spent three days and four nights immersed in the wonders of Migration Fest. While I still need to write a recap of the festival’s final day to accompany two previously posted recaps, I’ve also started exploring developments in the world of metal that I missed while I was out and about in Olympia. Unsurprisingly, I missed a lot. I’ve selected a mere quintet of items to recommend in this round-up — four of them from old favorites of our site and one by a very striking newcomer.
To say that we’ve been eagerly anticipating the new album from Norway’s Khonsu would be an understatement. Earlier this year, our man Andy Synn named it as one of his five most anticipated albums of this year, largely on the strength of the band’s 2012 debut album Anomalia, which he called “without doubt one of the strongest and most creative debut albums in living metal memory”. And now, finally, we have more details about the album along with a video trailer for it.
As you know, we don’t try to keep you abreast of the many breaking news stories in metal every day, but this announcement from an hour ago on Darkthrone’s Facebook page elevated my pulse rate in a way that usually happens only when I discover a hole in the electrified fence at the loris compound and all the knives have disappeared:
“Hi folks, it’s time to talk a bit about our new album – and as I don’t like to talk or write about music much I can say that it is more serious and primitive than usual. Vocals are only done by Ted as I thought this would create a more solemn/introvert atmosphere. The album is called ARCTIC THUNDER because it is my fave bandname (old mega-obscure Norwegian band from the 80s that I asked the permission from to use as an album title).
During the month of October and continuing into the first week of November, three bands with tremendous firepower at their disposal will threaten the structural integrity of venues up and down western North America, from Tijuana, Mexico, in the south to Vancouver, BC, in the north. The bands are Wake, Theories, and Vermin Womb, and we’re helping spread the word about this tour, basically because we enjoy the spectacle of large-scale demolition jobs — and because this is a completely DIY tour booked by the bands that deserves our support.
If you get out a map and trace the precise route of this tour, it comes uncomfortably close to tracking some major fault lines that run down the West Coast. Theories play two shows in Nevada and then join Wake and Vermin Womb for performances at the Southwest Terror Fest in Tuscon (headlined by Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed). After that the tour heads to Tijuana for the bands’ first-ever appearance there and then turns north and rampages right up the coast, through California, Oregon, Washington, and then on across the border into British Columbia.
Today marks a milestone worth recognizing: Norway’s Indie Recordings has become the 200th metal label to set up shop on Bandcamp. We learned this through a post by our friends at Metal Bandcamp, who have been keeping track of such things since 2011. As a measure of how much things have changed, in November 2011 the founder of Metal Bandcamp, MaxR, wrote a guest post for our site (here) identifying the 10 metal labels who had established Bandcamp pages as of that time — only 10 in 2011, but now 200.
Things really have changed dramatically in the distribution of music since Bandcamp first launched. Our first post about the phenomenon of Bandcamp was this one back in March 2010. After outlining the features then offered by Bandcamp in detail, I concluded with this thought:
(DGR volunteered for round-up duty to start our week, and brings us new music from seven bands plus new-album news from an eighth.)
We have been trying our damndest to keep up with the flow of music that has been spilling forth from the gaping maw of heavy metal recently, but it has become clear that this is a war that must be fought on multiple fronts. Thus, I find myself once again deploying to the Seen and Heard front lines with a veritable smorgasbord of new music, videos, and album announcements for you to all enjoy.
I had a lot of fun figuring out where to position each band this time, as I have a very symmetrical idea of how things in this Seen and Heard should be approached — resulting in tremendously heavy music spilling into some infectiously light stuff and then returning right back to the abyss from which it came. You may need to settle in for this one; there’s a lot of fantastic stuff packed within this round-up, and it just goes to show that 2016 is proving to be a hell of a year for metal.
I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been distracted during nights this week by a televised political convention (because I am a political junkie with low willpower), and I also had to make a quick out-of-town trip. Metal didn’t wait for me while I was diverted, and so I have an immense list of new things from the last few days that I want to recommend. I’ve cut the list down to a mere 10 items, which I’ve collected here. Seriously, I’m aware that 10 is a lot, so I’ve choked back my usual desire to spill a lot of words.
I’m starting with two news items and then following those with 8 new songs or videos, presented in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.
I no longer subscribe to Revolver magazine. If I still had the subscription, I might have seen the full-page ad at the top of this post, which so far seems to be the only disclosure that Meshuggah’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason will be released by Nuclear Blast on October 7. Here’s another fan pic of the ad:
Relapse Records launched their first podcast way back in February 2010, showcasing both brand new and classic tracks from Relapse artists, as well as exclusive interviews, and it’s still going strong more than six years later. All of the podcasts since that first one are collected at the Relapse Records Podcast site (here), but beginning last month the podcast will now be hosted by a changing array of other platforms. Our friends at Invisible Oranges hosted Edition No. 43 in June, and this month NCS has the pleasure of providing a platform for No. 44 — and it’s especially pleasurable for us because this podcast features an interview with one of our favorite heavy bands, Virginia’s Inter Arma.
This edition of the podcast — which you can stream below and also download for listening at a later time — includes a big group of diverse new songs, including tracks by Red Fang, True Widow, Ringworm, Myrkur, The Album Leaf, Horseback, and Nothing, as well as songs by recent Relapse signees Survive, Integrity, Brain Tentacles, and Sumerlands. It also includes some older songs from the likes of Disembowelment and Human Remains, as well as classic tracks by Don Caballero and Revocation.
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.