Dec 202014

 

Here is a collection of recommended items from the blacker end of the metal spectrum that I spotted and heard yesterday; I have some others that I’ll feature tomorrow. I wrote most of this last night, just before the alcohol-soaked holiday party hosted by the place where I work. The parts that don’t make any sense were written this morning as I began the long road to recovery.

LEVIATHAN

Yesterday brought additional details from Profound Lore about the next album by Leviathan: As previously disclosed, the album’s title is Scar Sighted; it will be released March 3 digitally and on CD; it was produced, engineered, and mixed by Billy Anderson; and it includes nine tracks. There was also this info about the album’s packaging, with a reference to the artwork I’ve included at the top of this post:

“Scar Sighted” will be packaged as a boxed CD edition (the only version of the CD this will be available as) which will come with eleven two-sided inserts featuring exclusive paintings by Jef Whitehead himself (one of them being the one pictured, LEVIATHAN logo watermarked specifically for online purposes, there is no actual front cover for “Scar Sighted”). The vinyl edition, to be released a month or so after the CD/digital version will also be specially packaged and will be released via the artists’ own Devout Records imprint (in which we will directly update you on its progress in due time).

This is an album I’m eager to hear, in part because I have a feeling it will include some surprises (see this interview of Wrest for reasons why I think that). This is the track list:

Dec 182014

 

Five days have passed since I compiled the last round-up of news and new music. I’ve seen and heard many things I would have preferred to write about as they were appearing, but I’ve been otherwise occupied with year-end lists — not writing them myself, of course, but doing the much more important work of embedding album art and song streams and currecting typoz. This takes time, and after doing it for more than a hundred different albums over the space of five days, my brain now has the consistency of porridge.

So, to give my brain a chance to gel again, I’ve taken a break from my immensely important editorial duties and collected the following items for your entertainment (and mine). Though these notices are not all timely, I believe they are all worthy of attention.

KEEP OF KALESSIN

What you see above is the gatefold album art for Epistemology, the new album by Norway’s Keep of Kalessin, which will be released on February 16 by Indie Recordings. The artwork was chosen by the band based on a contest in which more than a hundred artists submitted designs.

Dec 132014

 

Happy hangover day, aka Saturday. I myself do not have a hangover, though not for lack of trying to sew the seeds for one last night. I can’t really explain the good fortune, but I’ll take it. Having a relatively clear head this morning, I did a bit of catching up on metal news and song premieres and randomly selected the following items for your entertainment and edification. Most of these items include eye-catching artwork, too.

CALIFORNIA DEATHFEST

This first piece of news sure caught me by surprise yesterday. It appears that the organizers of the Maryland Deathfest have decided to franchise their operation. They’ve announced a three-day event named California Deathfest that will take place from October 9-11, 2015, at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland, California. The show on Friday, October 9, will feature grind, punk, and hardcore bands, and the shows on October 10 and 11 will feature death, black, and doom metal bands.

Unlike MDF, there will only be one stage, in a club setting, though if this first California Deathfest proves to be a success I’m guessing it will grow — and given the stellar line-up for this debut event, it will surely succeed.

Dec 122014

 

I’m getting kind of a slow start on today’s blog posts. I had a long, glorious night at the Mortals/Sólstafir/Pallbearer show in Seattle (about which I’ll have some garbled words and blurry photos to share later on), followed by four hours of sleep, to be followed by a grind at the old fuckin’ day job, so yeah — I’m moving pretty slowly.

But rather than have nothing new at the top of the page for the next couple of hours I thought I’d post the first piece of music I saw upon switching on the computer and scanning my e-mails. It’s a lyric video for “March of the Poozers” from Devin Townsend’s Z2 album (which can be acquired here). The press release also included a statement by DT that I’ll reproduce after the video.

And now, Bow To Your Alien Ambassadors!

Dec 112014

 

I’m really backlogged in listening to new music, and the list of things worth checking out grows on a daily basis. Last night I did manage to sift through part of my collection of enticing links and found this quintet of tracks that I thought were worth throwing your way. Diversity is again the organizing principle.

ETHEREAL

The UK’s Ethereal, about whom we’ve written frequently in the past, have been signed by Candlelight Records, and the first release for their new label will be an album entitled Opus Aethereum (due in February 2015). The very cool cover art for the album is above and was rendered by Tripple Seis Design.

But the first song in this collection isn’t from the new album. It’s a cover of Darkthrone’s “Fucked Up and Ready To Die” from 2003′s Hate Them. Ethereal recorded it for a Darkthrone tribute album named One Cold Night In Norway, which will be released as a free download through Speed Slaughter Productions on December 13. Ethereal recently uploaded their cover to YouTube, and it’s excellent — dark, ravenous, brooding in its atmospherics, heavy as granite yet ghostly in its void-faring journey — and ultimately a swarming assault on the senses.

Dec 102014

 

Things have been busy around our metallic island, and I’m afraid I still haven’t been able to catch up on all the new songs and videos I want to hear that have rolled out over the last week. But rather than just throw my hands up in surrender, I at least want to call your attention to two new tracks I heard this morning that brightened my day. And by “brightened”, I mean “blew it to smithereens”.

SICKENING

Man, times flies. More than four years have passed since our last (and only) mention of this band from Firenze, Italy. Four years ago I posted about a song from their then-forthcoming second album (Against the Wall of Pretense), likening it to “the demonic offspring of some unspeakable three-way orgy among SuffocationDying Fetus, and Devourment.” Now, Sickening have finished recording a third full-length entitled The Beyond, which is described as a concept album based on the 1981 horror movie of the same name directed by Lucio Fulci.

Dec 092014

 

I thought that once I got back to Seattle on Sunday from my two-week sojourn to the East Coast, things would return to normal. That hasn’t happened. The old fuckin’ day job has continued to have its way with me like a lonely shepherd on a tethered goat. Between that kind of raw treatment and getting other people’s year-end lists ready for posting, I’ve had precious little time to write about new music and videos. I do have a very long list of new things to check out, but I’m afraid all I can do at the moment is toss these two excellent videos your way.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE

These Italian maestros of blistering symphonic death metal have just released an official video for the song “Epilogue”, which appears on their latest album, Labyrinyth. The video was directed by Francesco Paoli and Salvatore Perrone and features special guests soprano vocalist Veronica Bordacchini (who was a fine addition to the band’s live show when she accompanied them on their NorthAm tour earlier this year), guitarist Marco Sensi, and cellist Shamatiyenko Kostyantyn.

Dec 062014

 

If you’ve been regularly visiting our site over the last week then you’ve seen me bitching and whining about having to work day and night on a project for my fucking day job on the other side of the continent from Seattle. I’ll finally be able to head home tomorrow, where other projects lie in wait like a school of piranha.

Today, after finally getting to sleep like a hibernating bear overnight, I’m not working (much) and I got the chance to check out some songs I’ve been meaning to hear. I’ve packaged some of them together in this post and hope you’ll like them as much as I have.

ASHCLOUD

Ashcloud is the new name of a band once known as Skinbag, whose members are Sweden’s Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath, Syn:drom, Skineater) and UK-based Gareth Nash (Body Harvest). They’ve recently signed with Spain’s Xtreem Music, and spring of 2015 will see the release of their debut album Abandon All Light, which will include remastered versions of songs from an unreleased Skinbag EP plus new Ashcloud tracks. The temporary cover art you see above will be replaced by artwork by Daniel Devilish.

Dec 052014

 

I’m still on the east coast of the US working day and night for the old fucking day job and have had almost no time to search out new new music and write about it — until last night, when I did have enough time to round up this big collection of recommended new videos. Some of these you may have seen already since I wasn’t able to pounce on them with my usual alacrity and grace, but I’m willing to bet big money you haven’t seen all of them.

P.S.  The end is near — I’ll be back in Seattle by Sunday, and things should get a little closer to normal around here after that.  (Thank you, please hold your applause so that others may enjoy the videos.)

BEHEMOTH

You’d think the mighty Behemoth would have done a live video before now, but this new one for “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” off The Satanist turns out to be their first ever. The video, which was filmed by Grupa 13, is really, really well done. Of course, the song is a blasphemous killer.

Nov 282014

 

Here in the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, when people spend money they don’t have buying gifts for other people who don’t need them. It puts retailers in the black and consumers in the red. Ho Ho Ho and Hail Santa! How about some black metal instead?

MARDUK

As previously reported in these pages, Sweden’s Marduk will be releasing Frontschwein, their 13th studio album, via Century Media in January. Yesterday the band revealed the cover art and track listing and began streaming a new song named “Rope of Regret”.

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