Apr 242014

I’m about to leave my computer for the rest of the day, but before I go I thought I’d just paste the following announcement right here — because it’s Slayer.

Last night at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, SLAYER surprised the capacity crowd with an unannounced performance, kicking off the show with a three-song set that included the global premiere of “Implode,” the band’s first new studio recording in five years.

Recorded earlier this month at Henson Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Terry Date with co-producer Greg Fidelman, “Implode” is now available as a free download as a “thank you” to the band’s fans for their continued support. As SLAYER guitarist Kerry King put it, “You’ve done for us, now we want to do for you.” Registered members of SLAYER’s fan club were the first to receive an e-mail to hear the song before it was made public. “Implode” can now be downloaded by all fans at www.SLAYER.net.

Apr 242014

For the second day in a row, I was disconnected from the internet for almost the entirety of Wednesday, with very little time to listen to music or write about it — and the same thing is going to happen today. But I did manage to find a few new things last night and this morning that I wanted to recommend. And here they are…

HOLOCAUSTO CANIBAL

This Portuguese band have been around for 17 years, but this is their first appearance at NCS. They have a new EP entitled Larvas coming our way in May via The Czech Republic’s Bizarre Leprous Productions. It includes 13 tracks and more than 30 minutes of destruction. Four of the songs are new, six of them are live recordings from the band’s performance at the Obscene Extreme Festival in 2013, and the remainder are remixes by other artists of tracks from the band’s last album Gorefilia.

Apr 242014

(Leperkahn brings words of praise for an EP by a San Diego band named Weightlessness, and an interview with the band’s bass player and vocalist “J”.)

For me, the two most distinctive elements in funeral doom (and its cousin death/doom) are a slow pace and morose, somber atmosphere. The former is rather easy to nail down, and is done pretty effectively by pretty much every band who set their sights on the subgenre. The latter quality, however, is far more difficult to master, and tends to be the standard that measures how good a funeral doom album is, and what separates the men from the boys in the genre.

In the past year or so, I’ve been trying to familiarize myself a lot more with doom and funeral doom, going through some of the legends and the newest masters, such as Ataraxie, Thou (I realize they aren’t purely funeral doom, but it’s a large part of their sound), Evoken (still need to dig into them further), Thergothon, Mournful Congregation, Lycus, and more. What all of these bands have in common is that they’ve mastered both of those main tenants of funeral doom, and tied them together beautifully – utilizing glacial pace as a tool to communicate paralyzing grief and despondence.

Out of nowhere (specifically, sunny San Diego, of all bloody places), Weightlessness have aimed to build upon those achievements within the genre, and on their debut EP Of Lachrymose Grief, they’ve done just that, infusing some of the best, most despondent funeral doom I’ve heard all year with some of the best melodies that Orchid- and Morningrise-era Mikael Akerfeldt never wrote.

Apr 232014

This morning one of my Facebook friends linked me to a song from a band named Islander. I wonder why he would do that? They’re a four-man outfit from Greenville, South Carolina, and they’ve recorded an album named Violence & Destruction that Victory Records plans to release on July 8, 2014. Which happens to be my birthday. Why would a band named Islander be releasing an album on my birthday?

I assumed that with an album named Violence & Destruction and a name like Islander and a record being released on my birthday, the music would strip paint from the walls, smother kittens by the sackful, and cause the neighbor kids to have explosive diarrhea. Nope, not even close. Not even a mild case of the runs. No kittens were harmed in the making of this music.

I haven’t voluntarily listened to music like this in 7 or 8 years. But I have to say the melody is kinda catchy, and the booming riff is nice. My friend compared them to Deftones. I’m not well-versed in Deftones. But for obvious reasons, I’m putting the song in here. The name is is “The Sadness of Graves”. This is the band’s Facebook link (“weareislander”?  really?):

Apr 222014

Here are five items I found yesterday that I thought were worth sharing. The first and last items will tear you a new one. In between those you’ll find some tantalizing news and a song that’s an exception to our “rule” but will rock you all night long.

MIASMAL

Miasmal are a Gothenburg death metal band who share members with Agrimonia and Martyrdöd and whose self-titled debut album came out in 2011. Their second album, Cursed Redeemer, is scheduled for a May 13 U.S. release by Century Media (April 28 in the EU). Last month we featured a song from the album named “Until the Last”. Yesterday Noisey/Vice premiered a second track, “Call of the Revenant”. In a word, it’s stupendous (and, as noted, it will tear you a new one).

Seriously, there’s something about this song. On the one hand, it sounds utterly familiar — voracious vocal howling, heavy-drilling down-tuned riff grisliness, death/crust grinding and crawling, punk-inflected Swedeath rhythms. On the other hand, it not only captures this old-school radiance terrifically well, it sounds… vibrant and new. The rapacious, marauding energy is explosive and it begs to be played over and over again.

Apr 212014

I don’t have any rhyme or reason why I combined the items in this post. The mind works in mysterious ways, especially after it has been pickled in alcohol.

“WHISKY AND DOOM”

A friend of mine who reads the New York Times every day sent me a link to an article by Charly Wilder in yesterday’s Travel section, because he knows I love metal, even though he doesn’t. I’d like to just copy and paste the whole damn thing, but I’d probably get a take-down notice from some lawyers for copyright violation. So I’ll just paraphrase.

The article is about an event (“Taste the Doom”) that has been happening off and on since 2011 in the back rooms of various Berlin bars (Germany, not North Dakota) in which the organizers pair single-malt whisky and doom metal. Until experiencing them together the writer was not a fan of single malt (“a decent drink but hardly worthy of all the macho lore and rhapsodizing on peat content and cask type”) or doom (“with its sludgy guitars and demon voices, it was hard to imagine it being enjoyed unironically by actual adults — or really anyone not planning a murder-suicide”). But when she tried them together beginning two years ago, “it all made perfect sense”.

Apr 202014

Here are a few new things that have been wrecking my ears over the last 24 hours.

DEATHCULT

Yesterday I posted (here) a new song by the Swiss band Bölzer, and today I begin this round-up with music from another Swiss band. This one is named Deathcult and it happens to include one of the members of Bölzer (guitarist/vocalist KzR, who also now seems to be the vocalist in Witchrist).

Deathcult released a four-song demo in 2012 that I haven’t yet heard, though it’s available on Bandcamp, and earlier this year Me Saco Un Ojo Records released a new vinyl EP entitled Pleading for Death… Choking on Life (copies are still available there and elsewhere).

Apr 192014

This is a collection of recommended new music and videos, all of it except one discovered by your humble editor over the last 24 hours. What they have in common, apart from the fact that they’re really good: you will be bludgeoned, gutted, and left for worms.

BÖLZER

I had a passion for this Swiss band’s 2013 EP, Aura, that bordered on the unhealthy. I listened to it so much that I became convinced an alien entity had taken up residence in my skull (and lord knows there’s enough space in there for a roommate). I also included “Entranced By the Wolfshook” on my list of 2013′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I’ve been tremendously eager to hear what Bölzer would do next. Now I know.

Thanks to a tip from KevinP, I discovered this morning that the band had started streaming a new song named “Steppes” on SoundCloud. It is one of two tracks (totaling about 18 minutes) that will appear on a forthcoming EP named Soma. The artwork will again be prepared by Alexander L Brown, and it will be released by Invictus Productions.

Apr 182014

Between pulling my hair out two days ago because our site was down and then frantically trying to catch up yesterday with posts we had promised to do on the day the site was down, I haven’t been as on top of new happenings as I’d like. So, to catch up a bit, here are a trio of new-ish things I’d like to share. There will be another round-up later today.

FUCK THE FACTS

My NCS comrade Austin Weber sent me the photo you see above. Hiding behind that absurdly large, absurdly metal mask is Mel Mongeon of Canada’s Fuck the Facts, putting on her metal face for a show in Chicago last night.

If you don’t know, the band have just begin a North American tour. Even without a mask of such epic qualities, Ms. Mongreon,  Topon Das, and their brothers in arms will still shake you to your core. Here’s the tour schedule as it now stands:

Apr 162014

Agalloch – photo by Veleda Thorsson

These are things I noticed over the last 24 hours that I thought you might want to notice as well.

AGALLOCH

When I found out that Agalloch was going to play a special show at Highline in Seattle on May 17 with YOB and Wounded Giant, I didn’t crow about it on our site. I can be pretty boorish when I want to be, and even when I’m not trying to be, but even I recognized it would be a dick move to express my joy about something I could see but the vast majority of our readers couldn’t. But now, finally, Agalloch has announced an official tour — Serpens In Culmination.

No doubt, the news will still be painful to fans who aren’t within reach of one of the stops, especially people who are also fans of Obsidian Tongue, Vex, and Jex Thoth, because those bands are also appearing at select stops on this tour. But on balance I feel okay about posting this news. Here’s the first part of the schedule, as announced late yesterday by Agalloch and Profound Lore:

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