Many of you already know how this MISCELLANY game works, but for everyone else, here’s what it’s about: Using no rhyme or reason whatsoever, I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music for you so you can judge for yourselves.
Every other musical feature on this site, other than this one, involves metal that I or the other writers have heard in advance and want to recommend. MISCELLANY, on the other hand, is a shot in the dark. I don’t know what these selections will sound like. We’ll both find out together. Today’s bands are from all over: Serpent Omega (Sweden), Crematoria (Denmark), Purefilth (Ukraine), and Asphodel (Greece).
I found out about this relatively new Swedish band via a Facebook recommendation from another band whose doings I follow. They’ve recently released a self-titled debut album via the Mordgrimm label, and it turns out that they have a female frontperson (Pia Högberg). I decided to check out their music in part because of that recommendation but mainly because I thought the new album’s cover art was cool.
I am so far behind in so many ways, perhaps most far behind in completing album reviews. So what am I doing? Listening to music from bands I’ve never heard of. I suppose this could be a form of procrastination, but instead I think it’s just my hunger for new things, which appears to be insatiable and uncontrollable.
So much time has passed since my last MISCELLANY experiment, that I ought to provide a reminder about my self-imposed rules: I pick bands at random whose music I’ve never heard; I listen to one song (sometimes I cheat and listen to more); I write my impressions; and I stream what I heard so you can judge for yourselves. The bands selected for this test are Hebosagil (Finland), Suffix (Sweden), and Belgrado (Spain).
As noted, these dudes are from Finland, so I already knew there was a better than even chance they would be good. I found out about them via a press release announcing that they have a new album named Lähtö that’s due for release by Ektro Records on May 17. The seventh track on that album is ”Valmis mihin vaan” (yes, Hebosagil’s songs are in Finnish), and it happens to be streaming on Soundcloud, so that’s what I picked for purposes of this experiment.
Today is Day 14 of me being away from home for my job. Since last night was a Saturday night, I got a break from the usual day-and-night grind. Carousing with my co-workers, I ate too much, had a few drinks, and then lost an hour of sleep because of daylight savings time beginning here in the U.S. But before collapsing into bed I did play the MISCELLANY game for the first time since last December.
For those people who are new to the site or have forgotten, here’s how this works: I randomly pick an assortment of bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands with new releases who are relatively unknown). I listen to one or two songs, not knowing what the music will be like, and I write my impressions. And then I stream for you what I’ve heard so you can make up your own mind.
For this session, there really was no rhyme or reason to what I picked. The music is from Darkening (U.S.), Monte Penumbra (Portugal), and Bovine (UK).
This Christmas Day installment of MISCELLANY is a blockbuster, in two senses: First, instead of the usual line-up of three musical discoveries, I picked five for this excursion. And second, what I found busted my block with the power and quality of the music. I’ve usually had good luck with these explorations, but today’s collection is especially good.
For those people who are new to the site or just forgetful, here’s how the MISCELLANY game works: I randomly pick an assortment of bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands with new releases). I listen to one or two songs (though I broke that rule in this post, as I have in the past). I write my first-listen impressions. And then I stream for you what I heard so you can form your own impressions.
The subjects for today’s post, several of whom have made their releases available for free download, are: Witch Ripper (U.S.), Cage (U.K.), Inconstani Dei (Russia), Cortez (Switzerland), and Vulgaari (U.S.). And I’ll tell you this much more in advance: All of the music goes off in different tangents from the majority of the metal we usually cover on this site. They were great discoveries for me, and I hope they will be for you, too.
I learned about this band via an e-mail from its sole member, Curt Parker. I decided to check out the band’s self-titled debut EP for three reasons: (1) Curt Parker was a member of the now-defunct Iron Thrones, and I enjoyed their music; (2) Curt Parker recently moved from Minneapolis to our current home base of Seattle; and (3) I thought the cover of the band’s EP (created by Tim Bradley) was awfully damned cool. And as an added bonus, I later discovered that Witch Ripper has made separate videos for each of the EP’s
From the inception of NCS, one of our goals has been to put the spotlight not only on bands whose names are well known but also on lesser known creators of extreme music. This MISCELLANY series has always been one way of doing that, but over the last year I’ve let lots of time go by in between MISCELLANY installments.
So I’m making a new resolution: I’ll start running a new MISCELLANY post once a week going forward. I hope that one works out better than the one I made about not spitting in other people’s beer.
Remember the MISCELLANY rules: I pick bands whose names are unknown to me, using a very impulsive and usually random selection process; I listen to one or two songs (though sometimes I cheat on the number); I write my impressions of the music; and I stream what I heard so you can judge for yourselves. These posts are obviously less than full reviews, but they’re better than no reviews at all — and unfortunately we just don’t have time to review everything that comes our way.
And also remember this: Though I’ve had uncannily good luck with most of the MISCELLANY selections, I don’t know in advance what the music is going to sound like or whether it’s something I’d normally recommend. By definition, this series is all about surprises.
So, here we go: Today’s picks are Among Gods (Norway), Dead Warrior (Argentina), and Bury the Crown (U.S. – Houston).
A milestone has been reached! Our 50th installment of the not-so-regular MISCELLANY series! And here are the self-made rules of this self-made game:
I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard using a methodology akin to throwing darts at the wall; I listen to a song or two from each band; I write some brief impressions; I embed the music so you can listen, too. It’s an experiment, because I usually have no idea what the music is going to sound like, and it’s a way to make new discoveries.
In this installment of the series, I checked out the music of Into Darkness (Italy) and Deathcode Society (France).
Why did I pick this band? Well, to be brutally honest, which is the only kind of honest we know how to be at NCS, you’re looking at two of the reasons at the top of this post. That’s right, the one in the middle has cool shades and a cool jacket.
The other reason is that MaxR at Metal Bandcamp strongly recommended them. I guess that’s sort of a cheat on the MISCELLANY rules because even though I hadn’t listened to the music before beginning this excursion, I know Max has good taste. So this wasn’t a complete shot in the dark. Unless of course Max was drinking heavily when he sent me that message.
This installment of MISCELLANY could be sub-titled “The Tr00 Nate edition”, because it was that former writer for The Number of the Blog who recently recommended to me each of the bands discussed in this post.
As a reminder about the rules of this game, I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before (and usually know nothing about — which is certainly true in this case), I listen to a song or two without knowing what they’re going to sound like, I write up my impressions, and I stream the music I heard so you can make up your own minds.
In the past, I’ve had good luck with bands Tr00 Nate has recommended. Though he usually finds them much deeper underground than I usually dig for new music, that’s part of why I’ve enjoyed paying attention to what he thinks . . . because I’m pretty damned sure I’d never come across the bands on my own.
So, for today’s MISCELLANY excursion, I’m checking out Satan’s Satyrs (U.S.), Verdunkeln (Germany), and Asgardsrei (The Phillipines).
It’s been so damned long since I made a MISCELLANY excursion that I had to check the date of the last one: No. 47 was on Sept. 23. Pathetic. Way past time to do it again.
A reminder about the MISCELLANY rules: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before (and usually, as in this edition, bands whose names I’ve never heard before); I listen to one or two songs, not knowing what the music is going to sound like; I write some impressions here; and I include the music I heard so you can check it out for yourselves.
With a big list of bands stretching back months that I could pick from, what did I do? I chose four bands who I heard about for the first time during the past week. In fact, three of them I heard about only yesterday. I obviously have poor impulse control.
I nearly called this installment the “Friends Helping Friends” edition because each band was recommended by a friend, each of whom will be identified in due course. These are the bands, and for a change, all four are from the U.S.: Nightbringer, Cyanic, Lorelei, and Nick Millevoi. And here’s a hint about the outcomes of this experiment: My friends know how to pick winners.
Nightbringer came my way via NCS writer BadWolf — no comments from him, simply a link to this band’s Bandcamp page, where I found a variety of music streaming. The most recent release is an April 2012 singles collection called Fight Like Hell, which includes all the songs from two previous short releases plus a couple of new tracks. It’s available at a “pay what you want” price for a download on Bandcamp, and you can order the CD there as well.
This Nightbringer, by the way, is not the black metal band of the same name from Colorado. This Nightbringer is from fuckin’ Motor City.
Good lord, has it really been two months since the last MISCELLANY post? I knew I had neglected this series, but didn’t realized how pathetically neglectful I’d been. With that much of a lag, I ought to remind everyone of the rules of this game: I randomly pick a few bands whose music I’ve never heard and whose names are new to me. I listen to one recent song by each band (I try to limit myself to just one song, but I sometimes I get carried away). I record my impressions here, and then I stream the song(s) I heard so you can make up your own minds about whether to explore the music further.
I try to limit this game to newer DIY bands as one way for us to help give some visibility and support to underground upstarts. We get so many e-mails and FB messages from bands and fans these days, and so much time has passed since the last time I played this game, that there are dozens and dozens of bands I could pick from. So, how to choose? This time I decided to just pick the last three bands who contacted us on Facebook.
This may lead to even more bands messaging us on Facebook. I wish I had time to give all of them a fair listen and some visibility on our site, but unfortunately I don’t. So I’ll just say in advance: Don’t think I’m a douchecannon for ignoring you. I may be a douchecannon for lots of other reasons, but being unable to expand the number of hours in the day isn’t one of them.
Onward to today’s bands: Limb From Limb (Australia), Inset (Poland), and To Dust (Sweden).
Time for another edition of MISCELLANY, a game I made up for myself in the early days of this blog and still play on an irregular basis. The rules of the game: I randomly pick a few bands whose music I’ve never heard and whose names are new to me. I listen to one recent song by each band (I try to limit myself to just one song, but I sometimes I get carried away). I record my impressions here, and then I stream the song(s) I heard so you can make up your own minds about whether to explore the music further.
Usually, I pick bands to explore from e-mails I’ve received from the bands themselves or from NCS readers, and sometimes from links I see on Facebook. But two of today’s picks I came across in other ways. Today’s test subjects: Janaza (Iraq), Nether Regions (U.S.), Apotheosis (U.S.), and Blacklisters (UK).
Last week The Atlantic magazine published a piece by “Grim Kim” Kelly (one of my favorite metal writers) under the headline “When Black Metal’s Anti-Religious Message Gets Turned On Islam.” I received links to it from several NCS readers and writers and saw more links from bands in my Facebook news feed. To read Kim’s article, go here.
The focus of the article is an example of “art and dissent [intersecting] in a region where dissent can sometimes have deadly consequences,” and specifically on a handful of black metal bands in the Middle East who have re-directed “black metal’s historically anti-Christian ferocity to rail against Islam.” The lead example chosen by Kim was a one-woman Iraqi black-metal band known as Janaza.