Sep 252017

 

I realize this is the third day in a row when I’ve compiled a round-up of new music. Some of you who don’t check in with us over the weekends are going to find a truckload of new tracks that have appeared since the end of the day Friday. Moderation, however, has never been our thing. I guess you could say we’re extreme in more ways than the music we tend to prefer.

It also gives me ghoulish pleasure to say that we’re not pausing after this: Three track premieres will be following this round-up today. And  there will be another round-up tomorrow (which will be my effort to complete the SHADES OF BLACK collection that I began yesterday but couldn’t finish due to a vicious hangover).

CRYPTIC FOG

To begin, I have a nearly 12-minute song from the debut album of Cryptic Fog, which at the time of this recording was a two-man operation consisting of guitarist/bassist Dave Bennett and drummer/vocalist Dan Klein. The name of the album is Staring Through the Veil, and the Swedish label Blood Harvest will release it on October 27.

Sep 232017

 

I wrestled with myself over how to arrange the songs I’ve chosen for this Saturday round-up, trying to figure out the best flow from one track or video to another. No two of them are in the exact same genre space (although three of them do incorporate elements of industrial metal), and that complicated the endeavor. Eventually I gave up and arranged them in alphabetical order by band name.

This is one of those times when every band whose music is represented here was a new name to me when I checked out the songs. But it’s all good shit.

CALQUES

Our president was in Huntsville, Alabama last night, congratulating himself and riling up a crowd of people who don’t seem to realize he’s done nothing for them, calling black NFL protesters sons of bitches, basking in the glow of “lock her up” chants, continuing to brand Russian election interference a “hoax”, and promising to “handle” the “Little Rocket Man” in North Korea (the master plan apparently consists of name-calling). The crowd ate it up.

The two members of Calques live about three hours away in Montgomery, Alabama, but I’m guessing they didn’t make the drive for that rally. “All you get from Calques,” according to the Sentient Ruin label, “is the misery and oppression, the shortcomings, the failures, the ugliness, and the unappealing blight of the southern reality vomited on you through a swarm of shattered glass, mangled nerves, and razor wire.”

Sep 222017


Cover art for Aosoth by Benjamin A. Vierling

 

Greetings and Happy Fall Equinox, one of two days in the year when every place on earth gets the exact same amount of daylight (almost exactly 12 hours today) and four days since my last round-up. I’m awash in good new music again (always). The fact that I chose songs from five bands whose names all begin with “A” should tell you something: Just imagine how many other new songs fill out the rest of the alphabet.

It may be the end of the working week for many of you (and I hope that’s so), but for us this isn’t really work, though it requires effort, and so we’ll just ramble on through the weekend as usual. For today, until you get to the last band in this post, you’ll hear nothing but new stuff from forthcoming releases. The last one I’ve been meaning to say something about for a while, and the time now seems right… since Atavisma begins with “A”.

AOSOTH

Like many others, I’ve had great expectations for the new album by Aosoth, which has been named V: The Inside Scriptures. The first single from that album validates all the eagerness with which it has been anticipated.

Sep 202017

 

(With his first appearance at NCS, Apokatastasis brings us this review of the 2017 four-way split by four black metal visionaries:  Abigor, Nightbringer, Thy Darkened Shade, and Mortuus.)

Knee-deep in the year’s third quarter, it may seem a waste to dredge up an album released in February, especially a split. Yet this album, despite its ironclad pedigree, has almost entirely evaded detection. Typical of trve kvlt black metal stalwarts, its purveyors willingly eschewed publicity and allowed 2017’s ceaseless deluge of quality releases to subsume their monumental collaboration. Together, the four bands have achieved a level of inter-artist cohesion nearly unheard of in split releases, and they’ve also just made a damn good record. In the name of promulgating greatness, let’s drag these occultists back to the forefront and bask anew in their obsidian light.

Sep 182017

 

I had a busier than usual weekend that left me little time for NCS, and so I wasn’t able to compile a SHADES OF BLACK post yesterday. I did spend some time here and there exploring new music, and it occurred to me that the collection you’re about to hear would make for an interesting playlist to start the week.

I don’t know whether you will find this as interesting as I did, but I chose these songs and the order in which you’ll hear them in order to juxtapose very different sounds, alternating between extremely heavy, harrowing music and music whose emotional effect is more sublime, or more uplifting. (Thanks to Miloš for links that led to most of these discoveries.)

SAND WITCH

I chose to lead off with the Vancouver sludge/funeral-doom band Sand Witch, because the first song from their new demo (“The Cushion of Roosevelt’s Wheelchair“) itself provides a dramatic contrast that kind of encapsulates what I tried to do in arranging everything in this post. It moves from a slow, reverberating, elegiac guitar instrumental that’s beautiful and mesmerizing… to a shockingly heavy and abrasive apocalypse of sound, also slow, but soul-shuddering in its brute intensity.

Sep 152017

 

It’s another Friday, and what are people feeling? No one answer, I’m sure. Some people are looking forward to a blow-out Friday night or just a soft weekend to clear the head. Others have jobs that will just keep on surging through the weekend, so no relief in sight (but maybe better-than-average tip hauls). And others, out of work, are just experiencing another day of hard-scrabbling and gloom.

For me, I’m looking ahead at a wedding of one of my wife’s nieces on our property, with the bride wearing a sword, and Samoan blessings before and after the ceremony, and great volumes of Mexican food and tequila, and people playing Magic after the vows have been exchanged. It’s going to be different, but I have a feeling it will be a blast.

Beyond that, I’m feeling like playing you some metal, just skimming the surface of what I’ve collected over the last 48 hours, and maybe continuing the round-up tomorrow if I get going before all the visiting family members crawl out of bed.

KARTIKEYA

On October 19th, 10 years to the day after the release of their debut album, the Russian band Kartikeya will deliver unto us a new album named Samudra via Apathia Records. We are told that the release date is also “27 Ashvina 5119 of Kali Yuga, the holy day of Diwali, on the day of the Victory of Good over Evil, by the fire of the divine light”. And we are further told that it signifies “the decimal foundation of the Hindu universe and the symbolism of Trimurti – the three highest creator-gods, the ternary power of creation, preservation and destruction”.

Sep 132017

We’ve arrived at the middle of the work week and I find myself in the mood to round up and share with you a couple of news items and six new songs, two of which are accompanied by videos that are well above average. I’ll cut this introduction short and just dive right in…

AT THE GATES

Three years ago At the Gates returned with their first new studio album in 19 years. The reception seems to have stoked the fires even further, because they’ve written 11 new songs that they plan to begin recording soon. And according to their announcement from earlier this week, they are feeling “more inspired than perhaps ever before”. They also allege that the new record will be “by far the most comprehensive album of the band to date, and will span all the way across the different elements of the band’s sound”.

Sep 112017

 

Up to a point, you may detect a pattern in the arrangement of the music I’ve selected for this eight-band Monday round-up.

The new Spectral Voice song put me in a certain frame of mind, and that influenced the next three selections after it (my ever-burgeoning list of good new things to write about is so mammoth that I look wherever I can for inspiration to overcome the agony of having to make choices). And then I made a radical change of course for the fifth item, and it in turn inclined me toward the sixth one.

And then we have a video for a song that’s off on a different tangent that was inspired by the writing of our own Grant Skelton, followed by a finisher that’s off on another tangent again (but has a connection to something that precedes it in this collection).

SPECTRAL VOICE

The debut album by this Colorado band (with the same line-up as Blood Incantation, apart from the drummer) is entitled Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing. Based on their previous releases (a sequence of demos and splits) and the staggering live performance I witnessed at California Deathfest in 2016, this album has been on my personal list of most eagerly anticipated 2017 releases for a long time. It’s now set for release by Dark Descent on October 13.

Sep 072017

 

This will be a very busy day at our site. We’ve posted one review already, we have another one coming, and we have four (!) very good premieres lined up. But thanks to DGR, we also have a brief round-up of new songs and videos that have recently appeared elsewhere — to which I’ve added one news item at the front end, one wisely suggested by my comrade Mr. Synn. So, you’ll have to tolerate a bit of my verbiage for the first item, and then I’ll turn you over to the words and selections of DGR.

COMMUNIC

This has been a banner year for metal album covers, and Berlin-based Eliran Kantor has been responsible for many of the best ones, including the one above, which accompanies a new album by the Norwegian progressive metal band Communic. And the fact that we will have a new Communic album this year is itself very welcome news.

The name of the album is Where Echoes Gather, and it will be released on October 27 by the band’s new label, AFM Records, following four previous albums released by Nuclear Blast.

Sep 062017

 

From day to day, we have very few plans here at the NCS HQ, or at least very few that I know of. As the editor I rely mainly on my reflexes, which are like coils of rusted springs, ready to creak into action on a moment’s notice. Our other writers may have plans, but I usually learn of them only when our intrepid pigeon aeronauts arrive with stained scrolls of text wrapped around their legs. I do my creaky best to get their writings ready to go by the next day… or the same day… and quite often those surprises unexpectedly fill up our site with content when only the day before I might have wondered what the hell I would have for you beyond my own frenzied scribbling. Beyond that, the rest of my life occasionally intrudes with other reflex tests.

And so it was that I promised Part 2 of my latest SHADES OF BLACK column would be posted on Monday, and then got surprised… and then was surprised again on Monday… and today will also be full of surprises (at last count, we’ll have six posts today). Anyway, no SHADES OF BLACK today either, but I am going with this selection of new music from five bands, most of which I originally intended to include in that missing Part 2 and a couple that I came across since starting on it. I’m calling this “Hellraisers” because… well… you’ll find out why soon enough.

MIDNIGHT

This is one of the items I discovered most recently — last night, in fact. It’s a new release by Ohio’s Midnight, a cover of “I Don’t Need Society” by D.R.I. It’s a Bandcamp, download-only release, and all profits will be donated to the Red Cross in their efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Various other Midnight CDs, LPs, tapes, patches, and t-shirts are available in bundles along with the new download, and profits from those sales will also be donated to the Red Cross.

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