I find myself once again with a long list of new items I think are worth sharing but not enough time to write about all of it. I’m beginning to think this is a perpetual state of existence: TOO MUCH METAL. But rather than be stymied by this predicament, I’ll just have to pick a random assortment of new things — something is better than nothing, right? The first three items in this collection first caught my eye because of the visual art — in each case you can see larger versions of them by clicking the images.
ELIRAN KANTOR AND SATAN
There may be a metal artist whose work I’ve featured on this site more than Eliran Kantor, but I doubt it. And yesterday I spotted his latest work, the cover of a forthcoming live album by the long-running British heavy metal band Satan. The new album is named Trail of Fire: Live In North America, and it will be released by Listenable Records. Kantor created the cover for the band’s previous album Life Sentence, and he explained the concept behind this new one as follows:
“As fire sets the tone of the last album cover, I wanted to focus this one on what you usually get afterwards – ashes left behind. Hence the burnt coal frame. The band came up with the title ‘Trail of Fire’ probably referring to being on the road, and it’s symbolized by the judge’s wig morphing into a trail of burning wooden logs, and the trail of fire actually leads to a trial by fire. I wanted the story told on the band’s covers to move forward too - ‘Court in the Act’ was a trial scene, ‘Life Sentence’ showed the incarceration stage, and now we’re witnessing the execution.”
My ears have feasted upon a big smorgasbord of new and newish metal over the last 24 hours, a big spread of many different styles of delectables. However, in deciding what to assemble for this round-up I was influenced by the Obscure Burials EP I reviewed for today’s first post. Which is to say I was in the mood for more jet-fueled mayhem. Sometimes you just want to have your head torn off, you know what I mean?
Because there’s so much stuff in this post, including two new videos, I’m going to dispense with complete sentences and keep my blather short and sweet. Presenting this alpha music in alphabetical order:
Location: The Netherlands
Song: “Carved To Pieces”
Album: Rites Ov Perversion
Release date: Sept 12 (Europe) and Sept 16 (NorthAm)
Label: Metal Blade
Ravenous, ripping, spine-smashing, skull-cleaving, roof-collapsing, gruesome, atmospheric, sing-along music.
We have three song premieres coming your way on the site today, and I’m busy getting them ready to roll out, but I decided I needed to take a break for this one piece of news (published by Metal Hammer) to which my comrade Andy Synn just alerted me. Because it relates to the new album by Bloodbath.
First, they haven’t yet announced who will be the new vocalist in place of Mikael Åkerfeldt, so don’t bother asking. However, they have announced that the name will be revealed on September 16 via Metal Hammer. I already made my guess back in February (here).
Second, the name of the new album was disclosed today — Grand Morbid Funeral. It sounds like a grand name.
Third, the cover art was revealed — you can glimpse it above.
Fourth, it will be released by Peaceville Records on November 17.
Fifth, the press statement released today includes these titillating comments by guitarist Anders Nystrom:
I’ve fallen behind in completing some reviews (one in particular) that I had planned to post on Monday of this week. Partly, this is the result of how many new music premieres and press releases of interest I’ve found this week. The last 24 hours have been no different. What follows is a sextet of such things.
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT
One of this site’s favorite bands made this statement yesterday:
“We have some exciting news! To bridge the gap between TETRAGRAMMATON and our forthcoming album we decided to record some tunes from our first album The Apotheosis. This because The Apotheosis is sold out and we simply aren’t in for an ordinary repressing. We will release it as an EP+ some cool rare recordings we collected through the years. The title of the EP will be BLOODCVLTS & DEATHCVLTS.
At the moment we have no idea how and who will release this EP. Maybe it will be on vinyl, maybe on CD or maybe only on Itunes and Spotify. Stay tuned!”
I’ve collected a bunch of new things I want to write about since the last round-up, but the old fucking day job isn’t going to let me do that at the moment. So I’m picking this one thing to write about, because I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it.
The news is that Little Rock’s Pallbearer, Iceland’s Sólstafir, and Brooklyn’s Mortals will be touring the U.S. West Coast and certain parts of the country’s midsection together beginning on December 2. (There’s also a Vancouver date on the schedule.)
In the opinion of your humble editor, these three bands are collectively responsible for three of the year’s best albums: Foundations of Burden, Ótta, and Cursed To See the Future, respectively. The chance to see them perform together on one show is a chance not to be missed.
This is especially exciting for those of us on the West Coast because I don’t think either Sólstafir or Mortals have previously performed outside the East Coast.
Here are a few random metal items I spotted yesterday and this morning that I thought were worth sharing.
It’s been a fine year for Greek black metal, and it’s about to get finer with the release of Untrodden Corridors of Hades by Varathron.
Varathron have been a force in the Greek underground scene (and in black metal generally) since the late 80s, but their last album came out in 2009 (Stygian Forces of Scorn), and that was at a point when yours truly hadn’t waded deep enough into black metal waters to become aware of them. I do know of them now, and based on what I’ve heard, this is an album that goes on the “highly anticipated” list.
Also, the album’s cover art is a very fine piece of work by the almighty Mark Riddick – and unlike his usual pen-and-ink work, this one is an acrylic painting. This isn’t the first piece of art Riddick has created for Varathron — but the last one was in 1994!
In this round-up to begin our new week here at NCS, I’ve brought you a trio of recommended videos I spied yesterday plus news of a free music sampler from Napalm Records that’s worth checking out.
I discovered this first video via a link sent by our friend “deckard cain“. It’s for a song named “Ocean”, which appears on the debut album (The Artifact) by a band from Gothenburg, Sweden, named Deceptic. deckard wrote that the music reminded him of Textures, Scar Symmetry, and Soilwork, and after I heard the jolting song I thought that was a good summing up of stylistic references.
But the video as a whole is really what landed it at the top of this post. It was made by Igor Omodei, and it is truly a feast for the eyes, with both excellent camera work and editing of the band footage and superb animation and visual effects. I had a smile on my face all the way through, and then my eyes really popped wide in the final 30 seconds. Kudos to Mr. Omodei.
I spent a chunk of yesterday catching up on new music premieres and teasers from last week. I’ve collected four of the best in this post, representing a range of metal styles.
Portland’s genre-bending Atriarch are preparing for the release of their third album, An Unending Pathway, via Relapse Records on October 27. It’s available for pre-order here. Last week one of the new album tracks had its premiere. The title is “Collapse”.
This new song is well-named — it sounds like both a physical and an emotional collapse, the kind from which there won’t be a rebuilding. The rumbling drums and sour guitar melody dominate the song, with the vocal mix of horrific growls and psychedelic wails giving it the air of a ritualistic chant. Before it ends, all hell breaks loose; the drums become spine-shattering, the vocals turn to ghastly shrieks, the bass and guitars become an explosive wall of sound. Doom on…
Here are a few randomly chosen items discovered over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth your time.
This first item caught my attention because of the artwork up there. It was drawn by Misanthropic-Art for a forthcoming EP by a band named Martröð. But having seen the artwork, my eyes popped open even wider when I saw the line-up:
MkM – Vocals (Aosoth, Antaeus)
Esoterica – Guitars (Krieg, Chaos Moon)
H.V Lyngdal – Guitars (Wormlust)
Wrest – Additional Guitars, Ambiance (Leviathan)
Thorns – Drums (Acherontas, Blut Aus Nord)
This is a second round-up for the day, collecting some of the news and new music I discovered yesterday that I thought were worth sharing around. In no particular order:
I first wrote about Sweden’s Gormathon this past July upon setting eyes on Eliran Kantor’s wonderful cover art for their new album, Following the Beast, which will be released by Napalm Records during September in Europe and on October 17 in North America. Back then I didn’t have any music to share, but thanks to a tip from TheMadIsraeli I discovered that a few days ago they released an official music video for one of the new album tracks — “Absence of Trust”.
The best comment on the YouTube clip was this one: “New video from Saruman and his band directly from Isengard!” Visual resemblances aside, there’s something about the music that inspires such thoughts as well. It’s catchy-as-hell melodic death metal that bears resemblances to Amon Amarth, but with flavors of folk and power metal in the mix. Here’s the video: