Happy Monday. Through the miracles of modern technology, I’m writing this at roughly 38,000 feet above the earth, somewhere across the deserts of northern Utah, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and the barren panhandle of Texas. Under duress from my fucking day job, I’m bound for Houston for the next couple of days.
Actually, it’s not exactly a miracle, not something like turning water into wine, more like turning water into weak tea — because although I can get online, the service isn’t good enough to stream music or videos. So some of the items I’m including in this round-up are things I can see but can’t hear.
I’m beginning with an item that I could have heard over the weekend if I had known it was out there. Unfortunately, I discovered it only today after boarding this jet I’m on. It’s a video for a new song by Finland’s Wolfheart named “Boneyard“.
For those of you who were expecting a “THAT’S METAL!” post today (because I did say I would put one together on the first Sunday of each month), I have to disappoint you. I didn’t have time to compile a Shades of Black post either. I shouldn’t even be writing this post. My fucking day job, which usually leaves me alone on the weekends, has come close to taking over this one.
Although I should be working this very minute, I couldn’t resist the urge to quickly share some death metal with you before I go back to the project that has rudely descended on me like an anvil.
The first item is a three-track EP named Liturgy released on November 18 by Sweden’s Uncanny. Since the band’s last EP four years ago, there have been some line-up departures. For this new one, original members Fredrik Norrman (Katatonia, October Tide) and Kennet Englund (Dellamorte, Interment, Centinex) are joined by new vocalist Mikael Hanni (Disrupted). The EP also includes guest solos on two tracks by Jonas Kjellgren (ex-Carnal Forge, Scar Symmetry, Centinex).
Lots of people are starting to make year-end lists, and we’re continuing to gear up for our own LISTMANIA extravaganza (we invited our readers to begin sharing their lists here earlier today), but time hasn’t stood still for all that: New songs and new albums continue to roll out, and I continue to make lists of what I come across.
Here are new songs from seven bands among the many that grabbed me over the last week. I decided to use a different title for this collection than the usual “Seen and Heard” heading, for reasons that will become evident as you listen.
Aksaya are a French band whose new album Kepler will be co-released by Satanath Records (Russia), More Hate Productions (Russia), and The Ritual Productions (The Netherlands) on December 15. Two songs are now available for listening, the first of which is a free download at Bandcamp: “Anomalie, Prélude À La Découverte” and “Non Morietur”.
(We welcome back our guest writer Lonegoat, the Texas-based necroclassical pianist behind Goatcraft, whose latest album Yersinia Pestis was released earlier this year by I, Voidhanger.)
I’ve decided to feature one of my favorite symphonies for my second entry for No Clean Singing. It is metal as far as spirit is concerned, which I will attempt to delineate here. My next entry will be about an actual metal release, so you won’t have to worry about me spamming classical music at everybody here all of the time. I will first talk about Bruckner-the-man before Bruckner-the-composer.
Of Bruckner’s numerous quirks, what struck most people as odd was his obsession with death. He kept a photo of his mother’s corpse, and when Beethoven and Schubert’s graves were exhumed for their remains to be relocated, Bruckner was there to fondle their skulls. Nobody’s quite sure why he was infatuated with death so much, but his music might shed an insight on it, as it often goes from heavenly beauty to demonic predation. Other than this macabre quirk, he would also propose to teenage girls/young women, even while he was elderly. Most men are attracted to younger women so this isn’t that bizarre.
If you aren’t already dreading the holidays ahead, we can help fill them with dread, disorientation, and anxiety. At the very least, we can divert your mind and shunt it off along dark tangents where your imagination may flourish in interesting ways.
Actually, we won’t do any of that ourselves. We’re merely conduits to the people who will — the solo artists behind Never Presence Forever and Gridfailure, who have joined forces for a split that’s projected for both a digital and a tape release on December 23. We have a full stream of the split below — with a preface, of course, produced by a mind that has already been spellbound and then fragmented by these sounds.
I spent time yesterday pawing through a lot of recent releases and advance tracks by black metal bands. After some self-struggle, I picked a group of songs to feature in this post. And then late in the afternoon I got additional recommendations from various sources, and that tossed all my plans up into the air. When the dust settled, I revised my picks to include these:
Convulsing was one of the recommendations that took me by surprise (thank you to starkweather and DaNasher). This is a one-man band from Sydney, Australia, whose new album Errata was released just yesterday. It caught the ears of certain listeners because the man behind Convulsing, Brendan Sloan, is also a member of Dumbsaint, who have a following. And word has been spreading. When you hear the album, I think you’ll be convinced that word will continue to spread, and damned fast and far, too.
Yesterday’s Thanksgiving round-up was so humongous that I decided to restrain myself and only include new music from four bands in this one instead of a dozen. Figuring that at least our readers in the U.S. are still feeling bloated and lethargic from yesterday’s overindulgences, and on top of that are perhaps slightly depressed at being bombarded by Black Friday come-on’s designed to part them from their money, I selected songs for this collection with a particular goal in mind: To put a few megawatts of electricity through your brain and body.
You might also find these songs to be good soundtracks for maiming and killing, if you actually decide to go shopping today.
HOUR OF PENANCE
As previously reported here last month, Italy’s Hour of Penance have recorded a new album named Cast the First Stone, which will be released by Prosthetic Records on January 27, 2017, featuring cover art created by Gyula Havancsak. Conceptually, it’s based on the thesis that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”. You can now listen to the album’s opening track, “XXI Century Imperial Crusade“, via a lyric video.
Here in the good old U.S. of A. it’s Thanksgiving Day today, and so to all of our American readers, I want to wish you a happy fucking Thanksgiving. And if you’re puzzling over what to be thankful for, I have some new metal for you. You’re welcome.
That’s right, while the rest of the miscreants in U.S. metal blogdom are acting like normal, reasonably well-adjusted people and taking the day off, I’m still here like a good samaritan at the soup kitchen, feeding you nourishing metal so you won’t think no one cares about you, at least for today. As usual, I’ll also post something new on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this long “holiday” weekend, not because I’m better than anyone else but because I obviously have an undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Because it’s Thanksgiving, this holiday edition of what we normally call Seen and Heard is overstuffed, which is the condition of most Americans by the end of this day. So get ready to gorge yourself through the earholes with music from a dozen bands.
(We welcome a guest writer known as Lonegoat, a name many of you will recognize as the Texas-based necroclassical pianist behind Goatcraft, whose latest album Yersinia Pestis was released earlier this year by I, Voidhanger.)
Liszt crossed the boundaries of both romanticism and modernism, and it’s futile to cast him into a specific period of classical music because he was driven by his will to impose himself beyond the categorical spheres of the music at the time. His ingenuity in composition was matched only by his virtuosic abilities which gained him much fanfare, much like how the surface aesthetics of something draws the bystander in and wows them, and with subsequent discernment, reveal a world to discover that’s seemingly beautiful and terrifying.
It can be said that Dante’s Inferno was created to scare the beejezus out of people by thrusting their intellects into hellish landscapes, and Liszt did indeed grant it a power to do so even more. The man was his own full symphony on piano, and when he spent his time on his symphonic works, a logogenesis emerged.
I bet you thought we were finished posting for this Tuesday. Nope, I just got waylaid by my day job on the way to finishing this thing, but now having surmounted those obstacles, I give you this round-up.
This collection a bit different from the norm, in that I’m including a couple of items that aren’t hot off the presses. But we’ll begin with two that are, and then conclude with a new Megamix treat from Crypticus that you probably won’t hear anywhere else.
MORS PRINCIPIUM EST
The artwork up there is by one of my favorite metal artists, Berlin-based painter Eliran Kantor. I’ve already posted it on our site’s Facebook page and made it the cover photo on my personal page. How could I not put it here as well? The artist describes it as “an apocalyptic homage to Vermeer’s ‘The Astronomer'” — and here’s what that famous work (completed in 1668 and on display at the Louvre in Paris) looks like: