I enjoy hosting premieres of music here, but when those commitments accumulate in large numbers as they did over the last three days, they tend to restrict my ability to assemble round-ups of music appearing elsewhere. And so once again I find myself awash in new discoveries with not enough time to roll them all out for you. Hard choices must be made, and I’ve made them.
I confess that my decisions may have been influenced by the bleak feelings of dismay that I’ve been experiencing over the results of a certain referendum across the Atlantic coupled with the celebratory gasbaggery of a certain apricot-faced hellbeast hoping to capitalize on similarly ignorant, bigoted, and self-destructive impulses among the electorate on this side of the ocean. But I’ve also attempted to express my foul emotional state in a musically diverse way.
(Neill Jameson (Krieg) returns to our site with some remembrances about under-appreciated albums from a formative period.)
Recently I did a piece for Invisible Oranges about discovering Alice in Chains and Nirvana as a young boy stuck in the shitty Pittsburgh suburbs in the late 1980s, and that got me to thinking about that period of time for music and how there’s some really great records that almost never get mentioned because people’s tastes generally stick to what they hear about, akin to how so much great early ’90s black metal is missed because of a lack of a controversial narrative to them.
So I figured I’d share a few records that never really got their due from that era in my continuing mission to be on your newsfeed as often as possible without it being for exposing myself at a playground. And we’re off!
This is another day in which we have felt compelled to throw more new music at your head than any normal person has time to hear. Many abnormal people (other than us) won’t have time to listen to all of it either. I tell myself this is why I should continue writing some words about the streams we recommend, as a way of helping listeners choose what to play and what not to play, given their own tastes. Obviously, I’m choosing to ignore the likelihood that no normal person has time to read all the words either.
On the distant future day of September 16, 2016, Dark Descent Records will release the debut album of a Greek black metal collective known as Nox Formulae. The album’s title is The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy. Yesterday I received a Bandcamp e-mail alert that one song from the album had been set up for streaming, a two-part piece named “Hidden Clan NXN – Pt a. Eleven Rays of Sorat, Pt b. Black Magic Assault”, and that’s the first item in this round-up.
I had an amazing listening experience last night. I compiled a list of new music I thought might be worth hearing, drawing upon messages that had arrived at the NCS compound via our intrepid pigeon aeronauts and links I had spotted in my Facebook news feed. And then I plowed through them — and found one gem after another, with nary a single meh reaction from start to finish. Perhaps equally remarkable, I had never heard of any of the bands before (I was interested in a journey of exploration, which is why I assembled the list as I did).
Not wishing to leave behind any of the songs I heard, I’ve divided these recommendations into two parts, which have become Parts 2 and 3 of today’s Seen and Heard feature, following DGR’s post earlier today.
This first song is an exception to our Rule — there are no harsh vocals in it at all, and I thought the clean vocals were quite appealing. They remind me of someone I’ve heard before, but I’ve had trouble placing the resemblance. Yet what really hooked me about the song is the guitar performance; it’s essentially one long, terrifically good guitar solo anchored by a couple of compelling central riffs.
(DGR had so much fun stepping up for round-up duty last week that he’s already back with more new songs to recommend. And later today you’re humble editor will throw in Parts 2 and 3 of today’s round-up.)
Just as we managed to post our last series of huge collections of music, even more delicious goodies came to our attention span over the past week whilst we lay on rocks under the sun attempting to capture flies. This time around, music that leaked out within the past few weeks is what we’re hoping to cover — with one notable exception that is a bit more of an anthropology act waiting at the bottom.
Last week saw a handful of huge premieres — including one day at our very site that saw seven pretty huge ones — and we’re hoping to help spread the news. This installment is, again, pretty death-metal-heavy but moreso stuff that has been on the fringes of the genre than stuff that is straightforward blasts and sewage growls. We’re going to cover the tech realm, the thrashier side, the melodic side, and then into one band who covered a vast amount of ground before they went into hibernation. There should also be some pretty hefty names for you all to recognize as well, which made last week fairly exciting to say the least.
In today’s Shades of Black installment I’ve collected reviews and streams of three EPs, a new album, a new song, and a new video that I’ve been enjoying lately. As usual, all of the music is in a blackened vein, though all of the bands are distinctively different from each other in their musical approach. I hope you’ll find that one or more of them suits your tastes.
Astrophobos is a Swedish black metal trio from Stockholm who released a debut EP in 2010 named Arcane Secrets and a debut album in 2014 bearing the title Remnants of Forgotten Horrors. I really enjoyed that debut full-length, although I only managed to write about a video for one of the songs. Now they have a new EP (Enthroned in Flesh) due for release in August, and this past week DECIBEL premiered an excellent new song from it called “Blood Libation”, which is now up on Bandcamp.
(DGR takes over round-up duties today, featuring commentary and a wide array of recent song, video, and album streams. This would have been posted much earlier in the week if our editor weren’t so lame.)
If you’ve been reading the site recently you’ve no doubt noticed that quite a few of us shirked work and decided instead to go out to Maryland for the Maryland Deathfest shindig that the internet likes to talk so much about. However, the internet doesn’t take time off like we do and quite a bit of stuff came out during that period that despite our best efforts slipped right by us.
On top of that, since we’ve been playing catch-up for the last two weeks, a veritable pile of new music landed on top of us as well. And so I find myself opening my great maw wide in order to capture as much of it as possible — as well as using this as an opportunity to share some stuff that flew right past us long before we had MDF as an excuse for being terrible people.
Contained in this here news roundup is a veritable smorgasboard of new music, some of which came to us by the bands themselves and other times was discovered whilst I was spinning in circles on the internet. Either way, there’s a ton of stuff what floated down the river here — only to be captured by my net/boat/if only there was some sort of metaphor or object I could compare my news capturing ability to… ah well, maybe next time. Let’s get on with it.
This is Part 2 of a round-up of newly discovered things that I began earlier today (here). As expected, between posting Part 1 and getting ready to post Part 2, I spied more developments that happened this morning and have added them (the first two items are in that category, as is the last).
I nearly didn’t add the first two news items because I thought that, by now, everyone who had any interest in the bands — Opeth and Insomnium — would have learned about the news already. Those names are so big that there was probably even a news flash in The Wall Street Journal. And then I thought that adding the announcements might help ease the day for those people who are afraid that metal will run out of things to argue about before the year ends. To them I say, don’t worry, Opeth and Insomnium are releasing new albums.
Yes, Opeth will be releasing a new album late this year (named Sorceress) on a new label, Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Actually, it seems to be a partnership between Nuclear Blast and Opeth’s own imprint, Moderbolaget Records, which I believe is Swedish for “your arguing sounds like a motorboat”.
The press release we received characterized Opeth as “always an unstoppable force for uniqueness amid a sea of generic swill”. Beyond that, it provided no real clues about the musical direction of the new album or how it will distinguish itself from all the generic swill with which the rest of us are forced to feed ourselves in between Opeth releases.
Last night I decided it was time to pull together another round-up of new music and videos that I’ve been enjoying. By the time I had finished sifting through a lot of stuff in an effort to provide both quality and variety, I had a collection that seemed too long for a single post, so I’ve divided this one into two parts. The way things go, I’ll probably come across more new things this morning that will be worth adding to Part 2 before I post it. To begin….
“Bludwolves” is the tenth track on this Vancouver band’s 2015 debut album Hyperthrash. It happens to be a song that we premiered last fall. It also might be my favorite song on a very strong album — and so I was stoked to see that it had become the subject of a new Nylithia music video. And when I saw the video, I got even more excited.
I scattered three posts over three days during the last week recommending music in a blackened vein from a lot of premieres and releases I had accumulated on various lists that I keep — and I still didn’t exhaust everything I wanted to recommend. So yes, I’m throwing still more at you today, while resuming my habit of publishing these Shades of Black posts on Sundays.
I have an array of advance tracks from forthcoming releases (including one new video) and a new single, by a total of six interesting and diverse bands.
In 2014, Denver’s Wayfarer released an excellent debut album (via Prosthetic) in Children of the Iron Age, and now Prosthetic has scheduled June 17 as the release date for the band’s second full-length, Old Souls. So far, three songs from the album can be heard on Bandcamp, and they are well worth your time.