I admit that I went berserk posting about new music this past weekend. Pretty sure that I set a weekend record for our site in the number of releases I included in those five posts between Saturday and Sunday. You’d think I would have exhausted what I found last week that got me excited — but no, not even close.
I really like all three of the songs I’ve collected here, and I also think they complement each other when heard one after the other, even though the genre styles are different.
“There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery”.
Those words, written by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy almost 700 years ago, begin the video that you’re about to see. Powerful words, and profoundly true. There’s also tremendous power in this video, and in the song for which it was so beautifully made.
We usually begin Sundays here on our metallic island with a REARVIEW MIRROR post, but I decided this week I’d rather use the time to spread around some more new music — even though I did a shitload of that yesterday.
I was also motivated by the fact that the music of the following four bands — three of whom I discovered in the last 48 hours — seemed like it would all go together pretty well, because they’ve all got varying degrees of punk or hardcore in their DNA (though they’re all metal as hell, too). By the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll be smiling through broken teeth.
First up is Expander. They’re ensconced in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. I paused in my musical explorations to check out some music from their new album Endless Computer when I spotted the very recognizable artwork of Luca Carey on the cover. The fact that the album is being released (on May 16th) by Nuclear War Now! was an added inducement, and another nail in the coffin came when I saw that the album was engineered by Kurt Ballou and mastered by Joel Grind.
This is the last part of a three-part round-up for this Saturday. Unlike Part 1 and Part 2, this installment is devoted to new music and videos released last week from groups whose names have a pretty high profile, and I would guess that all of the following songs have already made the rounds through much of metaldom without me needing to say much about them.
So, I’m going to just present the songs and videos without commentary, preceded only by some basic info about the releases. But, as always, you should certainly feel free to share your own thoughts in the Comment section.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: February 24
Saturday may seem like an odd day to open the flood gates on new music at our site. Page views usually drop precipitously, which I guess proves that lots of people are visiting our site at work or school rather than at home. Or maybe lots of people are just too hungover to put heavy music in their heads. Anyway, I do this as much for myself as for anyone else, so on we go….
I paired the two bands featured in Part 1 for obvious reasons, and in Part 3 I’ve collected new stuff from bands who have no trouble getting attention but I’d like to mention anyway. In this middle part I’ve picked more underground names, with a lot of variety in the sounds (though I’ve siphoned off the black metal for tomorrow’s Shades of Black post).
Actually, I don’t yet have any full songs to share from this first band, only a teaser, but I have high hopes based on the people behind the project.
I’ve accumulated a big list of songs and videos to recommend since the last round-up earlier in the week, too many to cram into a single post. It seemed like an obvious call to chisel these two bands off the assembled monolith of music, even at the risk of deepening the confusion between them that probably already exists.
The thing is, the music of each band is materially different from that of the other, though there are a few points of intersection in the elements of black metal that they each draw upon. And both of them are very, very good. Maybe the confusion will turn out to help, as people searching for one band will discover the attractions of the other.
I flipped a coin and am starting with the band whose name is two words and no “s” on the end.
A couple of nights ago NCS contributor Grant Skelton asked if I knew of any “psychedelic death metal”. He said he’d been hunting for that and was finding the search to be a difficult one. One song in particular leaped to my mind immediately, but I decided to do some further thinking and word-searching through previous posts at NCS. And by coincidence, I also came across an announcement about a new band that seemed relevant.
What I’ve compiled below is the playlist of songs I sent Grant later that night. I’m probably stretching the boundaries of the term “psychedelic death metal”, though it’s not exactly a recognized genre label. But I had fun putting this together and thought I’d share it. But I’d also like to ask you to chime in with ideas of your own in the Comment section.
So I thought I’d start with that announcement about a new band (pictured above), the name of which is John Frum. The announcement caught my eye both because of who’s in the band and because of the source of the band’s name, which is quite interesting. Here’s the explanation:
On New Year’s Day of this year I posted a large round-up of new music that included brief teasers of music from a vinyl split release by Finland’s Hooded Menace and the Canadian band AlgomA. At that point, release of the split by Doomentia Records had been delayed past its originally scheduled November 2016 release date, but it finally became available at the end of January (and the limited-edition splattered-color version of the vinyl is already sold out), and full streams of both songs are now up on Bandcamp.
The artwork for the split was painted by the Italian maestro Paolo Girardi. My own admiration for his work probably appears slavish to regular readers here, but man, what he did for this split really makes me drool. I’ve ordered the split on vinyl just to be able to hold it in my hands, though I didn’t find out about the vinyl release until too late to grab one of these:
Yeah, I know I did one of these round-ups yesterday, but I found myself with some extra time and some worthy new discoveries, so here we go again.
I’ve organized the following items in a back-and-forth, alternating sequence, between more melodic tracks and more savage ones. Hope you find a few things to like.
Do you ever get talked into going to a tear-jerker movie knowing that your emotions are going to be cunningly manipulated, and being conscious of it as it happens, and getting weepy anyway? That’s kind of how I feel about Shade Empire’s new song and video that premiered at DECIBEL last Friday.
I was tempted to name this post “Eye-Catchers“, especially since I haven’t written a post in that series for years, but since I was already quite familiar with most of the bands whose new artwork caught my eye, they didn’t really fit the theme of that series. But the new artwork is damned appealing, and so is the promise of new music from these groups.
And that’s how this post begins — with eye-catching new artwork for four forthcoming albums. Following that, I want to recommend advance tracks from four other forthcoming releases, which themselves also include eye-catching cover art.
The first piece of attention-grabbing artwork I’ve collected here (above) was created by the Chilean artist Nekronikon for the new album by Italy’s Antropofagus. Entitled M.O.R.T.E. – Methods Of Resurrection Through Evisceration, it will be released May 12 on CD via Comatose Music and on vinyl via Everlasting Spew Records.
Happy Saturday to one and all, and if you’re not feeling particularly happy, maybe the recommended new music collected herein will improve your mood.
This is another Seen and Heard post, but with a title that’s more specific to the music I chose for this collection. Most of it could be considered shades and phases of death metal or, in the case of the first item, death-themed.
The Spell snuck up on me. I learned about it yesterday through an e-mail from Nuclear Blast Records that included a link to the lyric video you’re about to see. Like virtually everything else I’ve heard from Mantar, it exploded my brain.