I’ve been distracted by a combination of personal obligations and the demands of my fucking day job. As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t post anything on Sunday, which was only the seventh calendar day in five and a half years when that has happened, and we had only two posts yesterday. So great is the daily flood of metal that even a few days of distraction means that we get very far behind in our attempts to keep up with all the new music. Catching up would be a herculean task, but in this post I’ve made a modest effort to round up some (and only some) of the good new music and video streams that have surfaced since the end of last week.
This collection is incomplete, but it’s still a long playlist of recommendations — presented in alphabetical order by band name, with a rare paucity of words from me about the music. Your thoughts about these sights and sounds will be welcome, as always.
Roughly two years after the release of their last album, Veneration, Kansas City’s Ares Kingdom are about to drop a new one. The name is The Unburiable Dead, and the CD release is projected for early September on Nuclear War Now!, with LPs to follow. The album cover, which I think is wonderful, is based on a piece by the German artist George Grosz (1893 – 1959) called “The Pit“. When a friend of the band told me about the cover, he included this quote by the artist, who led a fascinating and tumultuous life:
I’m spending the weekend at a 2-day picnic for the people I work with at my fucking day job. It’s going to be fun, because the weather’s going to be great, there will be mountains of food and rivers of drink, and the people know how to have a good time. I’m so obsessive about not letting a day go by without new music on this site that I’ll probably still figure out some way to put up a post tomorrow. But I at least have highly recommended new songs from four bands to share with you on this Saturday.
The last time I covered Grift was more than two years ago, when I wrote (here) about their debut EP Fyra elegier. I was very excited to learn recently that this now-one-man Swedish band has recorded a full album named Syner that Nordvis plans to release on September 18. Yesterday, Nordvis debuted a video for one of the new songs, “Svältorna”, and it’s captivating in both sight and sound.
I have for you a big selection of new and newly discovered songs and videos that I’d like to recommend. As you can tell, I got tired of using the “Seen and Heard” title for these round-ups, at least for today. Also, the riffs really are the kings and queens of most of these songs (but not all). I’m presenting all this stuff in alphabetical order by band name. Genre-wise, the music is all over the place….
Ape Cave are from Portland, Oregon. At the end of May they released what I think is their debut EP, named Primordium (with the eye-catching cover art above). I found out about it through a link posted by a Facebook friend.
When you press “play” on the Bandcamp stream below, you’ll hear the EP’s final track first. It hooked me hard, and the other two songs are just as good. Ape Cave blend thick, heavy riffs and gut-rumbling percussion with psychedelic lead guitar machinations and raw, wretched vocal vituperation, creating a bleak and often disorienting atmosphere while punching hard enough to rattle your bones.
Before I saw the video by the Wagakki Band that you’re about to see, I was at work on a big round-up of new music for later today. And then our Tokyo-based pal Phro messaged me about the video, and I watched it — and felt compelled to get it up on our site without delay.
I counted, and this makes the sixth time we’ve posted about the Wagakki Band at NCS, and they deserve all that attention because they are awesome. This most recent video is for a new song named “Akatsukino Ito”, which will appear on a forthcoming album entitled Yasou-emaki. I want to quote an excerpt from Phro’s post about it at RocketNews24:
“The music features the band’s trademark mixture of rock and traditional instruments, with thundering drums and furious strings that compel the soaring vocals ever higher. The song is almost like a battle cry, which manifests in the video as the members draw swords to face off against a dragon flying through the sky.”
Yes, I guess I’m still on a black metal kick, with this collection of new music being the third Shades of Black post in the last five days. I actually have listened to some new songs since the weekend that aren’t in the vein of black metal, and at some point soon I’ll throw that good stuff your way, too. But for now, moisten your lips with this poison….
Lots of friends who know of my liking for New York’s Krallice shot messages my way this morning to make sure I knew that the band had just released a new album — which did in fact catch me by surprise. This new six-song offering is entitled Ygg huur, a name “stolen from Scelsi” (in the band’s words). That explanation didn’t immediately make sense to me, but after a bit of googling I now know that Ygghur is both a Sanskrit word for “catharsis” and the name chosen by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988) for a piece he wrote for solo cello. I found a description of Scelsi’s composition that included these words:
I think free (and nearly free) music compilations by metal labels are a great idea. Of course, I say that as a fan and not someone who has ever attempted to operate a label, so I don’t know if they actually help sell music. But from my perspective it sure seems like a good way to expose people to bands they’ve never heard before, especially when the comps include some bands you have heard before and like — at least in my case, that tends to function as a good enticement for listening to the new names.
Over the weekend I discovered three new compilations by small metal labels that I thought would be worth exploring for that very reason, i.e., they include music from some very good bands I already know about, but are dominated by names that are new to me. I haven’t listened to everything in every comp yet, but what I’ve heard so far makes these downloads worthwhile.
I’m also including another excellent compilation from CVLT Nation (also free) that has been out for a couple of weeks, but I only tumbled to it recently.
Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions: Sampler MMXV
This French label recently released a new compilation on Bandcamp. The new compilation includes 11 tracks, and among those are songs by Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Moonreich, Maieutiste, and Mare Cognitum, all of whom are bands whose music I’ve enjoyed. The remaining tracks are by Déluge, Suhnopfer, Darkenhold, Aezh Morvarc’h, In Cauda Venenum, Lifestream, and Profundae Libidines.
Once again, I decided to compile a group of new songs I discovered over the last 24 hours and liked a lot. As it happens, the ones I liked the best turned out to be in the poisoned vein of black metal — and so, we have another edition of Shades of Black.
It is true, as stated in the press release I received today, that Horna are a “Finnish black metal institution”. Their ninth album is named Hengen Tulet, and it’s now scheduled for release by W.T.C. Productions on September 22. I’m amazed by the cover art, which was prepared by Pahapasi.
The press release also states that the new album “carries forward a similar songwriting aesthetic” to the band’s last album Askel lähempänä Saatanaa, “but reinvigorates a foul, fetid primitivism”. Of course, I immediately searched to see if any music from the album was available for me to share with you, and discovered that, yes, there is — and that I somehow missed the song when it debuted in June.
The name of this new piece is “Amadriada“, and it’s the album’s opening track.
What a welcome piece of news! Not long ago, Listenable Records announced that Gorod’s new album is named A Maze of Recycled Creeds, and they revealed the cover art (which, as you can see, is awesome) — and for people who live in countries where something called “Deezer” is available, they premiered a Gorod song named “Celestial Nature”.
Now, I have a bone to pick with the choice of this “Deezer” place as the location for an exclusive Gorod premiere. The bone I have to pick is that YOU CAN’T FUCKING LISTEN TO IT IN THE UNITED STATES. I’m so annoyed I’m almost tempted not to provide the link. And what kind of focus groups decided that “Deezer” was a good name for… anything? Made me cringe even before I realized that only some other people can use it.
However, I realize that the song will surely surface someplace where the miserable residents of my great land will be able to hear this new Gorod offering and become overjoyed by its undoubted awesomenessness. I also concede that a guitar play-through video of the song was released in January, so it’s not such an enormous loss that some of us can’t now hear the song as it was mixed for the album.
Anyway, I’ll be mature and give you the damned link for the stream:
I’m kind of rushed, so I’ll skip the usual preamble and save the words for these things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that maybe you’ll get as excited about as I have.
I’m beginning to think the day will come when Paolo Girardi will have created at least one painted album cover for every metal band in the world — though that assumes all metal bands have good taste, and of course they don’t. But Seattle’s Black Breath and Southern Lord do, because as I discovered today, they engaged Mr. Girardi to create the cover for Black Breath’s new third album Slaves Beyond Death.
Interestingly, although I did receive a press release with details about the album and a related Black Breath tour, it didn’t include the artwork. I saw that instead for the first time at the Metal-Archives listing for the album, which a friend linked on Facebook today. Very exciting, because in addition to being an obvious fan of Girardi’s artwork, I’m a big fan of this band, too, and am anxious to hear this new album.
Ten months have passed since the otherworldly entity known as Ævangelist released their third album, Writhes In the Murk, but they have not been resting quietly in the aftermath of that visionary emanation. Some of their activities since then have been made public, others have been the subject of hints and rumors, and still others we are pleased to announce today for the first time — including the release of a nightmarish new work entitled Dream An Evil Dream. Read on, as we collect what we have learned — and prepare yourselves for a stream of these new sounds from the Abysscape, following this news:
As for what has been made public, Ævangelist is preparing for live incursions at two eye-popping U.S. metal festivals later this year. We’ve mentioned these festivals before, and this gives us a reason to remind you about them. The first is Hells Headbash-Part 2, a festival organized by the Hells Headbangers label to celebrate their 15th anniversary. The event will take place in Cleveland on Labor Day weekend, September 4-6, 2015. For fans of extreme metal, the line-up is a stunner. Here’s the flyer: