I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been distracted during nights this week by a televised political convention (because I am a political junkie with low willpower), and I also had to make a quick out-of-town trip. Metal didn’t wait for me while I was diverted, and so I have an immense list of new things from the last few days that I want to recommend. I’ve cut the list down to a mere 10 items, which I’ve collected here. Seriously, I’m aware that 10 is a lot, so I’ve choked back my usual desire to spill a lot of words.
I’m starting with two news items and then following those with 8 new songs or videos, presented in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.
I no longer subscribe to Revolver magazine. If I still had the subscription, I might have seen the full-page ad at the top of this post, which so far seems to be the only disclosure that Meshuggah’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason will be released by Nuclear Blast on October 7. Here’s another fan pic of the ad:
Relapse Records launched their first podcast way back in February 2010, showcasing both brand new and classic tracks from Relapse artists, as well as exclusive interviews, and it’s still going strong more than six years later. All of the podcasts since that first one are collected at the Relapse Records Podcast site (here), but beginning last month the podcast will now be hosted by a changing array of other platforms. Our friends at Invisible Oranges hosted Edition No. 43 in June, and this month NCS has the pleasure of providing a platform for No. 44 — and it’s especially pleasurable for us because this podcast features an interview with one of our favorite heavy bands, Virginia’s Inter Arma.
This edition of the podcast — which you can stream below and also download for listening at a later time — includes a big group of diverse new songs, including tracks by Red Fang, True Widow, Ringworm, Myrkur, The Album Leaf, Horseback, and Nothing, as well as songs by recent Relapse signees Survive, Integrity, Brain Tentacles, and Sumerlands. It also includes some older songs from the likes of Disembowelment and Human Remains, as well as classic tracks by Don Caballero and Revocation.
(We welcome back Neill Jameson (Krieg) with the second installment of a multi-part post devoted to under-the-radar black metal releases worthy of greater attention. You can find Part 1 here.)
As we slog through the bullshit heat and humidity of the summer one could say the best activity to beat the heat is to stay indoors, shun your asshole friends who think hiking on the surface of the sun is enjoyable, grab a drink and bide your time listening to music. It’s a good distraction and perfect excuse not to go outside and get skin cancer in the name of “fun in the sun”.
This is the second part of my blathering about black metal releases you should listen to because I’m under the misguided impression that I have decent taste. This might turn into a three-part series because I keep thinking of random records at inopportune times like when my boss is trying to explain new vital procedures at work.
I have a confession to make: I’m a political junkie. For the good of my mental and emotional health, I wish I could cut back (there’s no point in trying to quit), but right now I probably couldn’t get clean if my life depended on it. I’ve been glued to the Democratic Party convention coverage the last two nights, which explains why we haven’t had the usual volume of posts since the weekend. Things aren’t likely to get back to normal until after this particular circus comes to an end.
I did manage to pull this round-up together this morning, as well as a hell of a premiere earlier today — and a bit later we will have another Neill Jameson post about black metal. I’ll start with two citing news items and then move to some new song streams.
I still remember when I first heard the music of Khemmis at the Denver Black Sky festival in the summer of 2014. It was a real eye-opening experience. Even someone as half-witted as me could tell they were something special. Lots of other people figured that out last year when they heard the band’s debut album, Absolution. And now we have a second album to look forward to, as revealed in an announcement late yesterday.
Yesterday I loaded up a Seen and Heard round-up with music from 9 bands I had discovered in a single morning, most of them of the more obscure variety. Today I’ve again decided to focus exclusively on things I discovered through a whirlwind tour of our in-box and Facebook this morning, but this time the bands have a higher profile than yesterday’s group. Of course, these things are relative; the odds are that none of the people you encounter today who aren’t already your friends will have heard of any of these bands. And of course that is their loss.
40 WATT SUN
This first item him me like a bolt from the blue. Although I haven’t been regularly searching for news about 40 Watt Sun, I think in the recesses of my mind I just assumed we would never have another album by this particular project of Patrick Walker (ex-Warning) — but indeed we will, in less than three months’ time.
I had a few ideas for a Monday round-up that percolated over the weekend. And then this morning, when I crawled through what had arrived in the NCS in-box since I went to sleep last night, all those ideas were shoved aside and put on the shelf for later retrieval. I do have poor impulse control, and therefore decided I would devote this post to nothing but what I discovered this morning.
Mind you, not everything I found in our in-box was worth spreading around (e.g., news about a new device for preventing snoring), but an unusually high percentage was. And what I especially liked about what I found was the serendipitous fact that the songs were quite varied in their styles of heaviness.
Now there’s quite a lot of music here, and so I’m going to do my best to keep my verbiage to a minimum. I’ve arranged the tracks in alphabetical order by band name, except for the last one… because I think it’s best experienced as a conclusion to this playlist.
Until seeing the wonderful cover art that I put at the top of this post I had forgotten that Dark Tranquillity’s Niklas Sundin was a visual artist as well as a musical one. This creation adorns a new album named Memento Mori by the band Aephanemer from Toulouse, France. It will be released on September 16, but the band have already made one song from the album available for streaming and free download at Bandcamp. Its name is “Unstoppable”.
Greetings from Seattle and welcome to another edition of Shades of Black. I wasn’t able to prepare one of these installments last Sunday due to fucking off, so I’ve accumulated an especially large list of recent discoveries that I would like to write about. From that list I’ve selected blackened music from six bands to recommend.
The name Windfaerer will likely be a familiar one to our readers. Last year we premiered two songs from the band’s marvelous second album Tenebrosum and named one of those to our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. What a nice surprise it was to discover that two days ago Windfaerer released more new music.
These new songs (three of them) appear on a three-way split by Windfaerer and two other Northeast bands, WolfCloak, and Dumal. The name of the split is Coniuratio Nigrum Atlantika. So far I’ve only listened to Windfaerer’s tracks, but they are predictably excellent.
Getting a very slow start on this Saturday. Went to sleep very late last night without having begun writing the post you are now reading, and then slept for 9 hours — and still didn’t want to get out of bed. I can’t remember the last time I slept for 9 hours, or anything close to that. I felt groggy as shit for a couple of hours after waking up. Pretty sure that was sleep grogginess rather than the after-effects of all the wine I consumed last night with my spouse and some friends. Pretty sure.
Either way, I now feel more alert and invigorated, having listened to the music collected in this post. This collection doesn’t really make much of a dent in the long list of new tracks and videos I came across since the last round-up I assembled. As usual, there’s not much rhyme or reason to why I picked these selections rather than others. Austin Weber also contributed one of these items, as you’ll see below.
On July 20, Singapore’s Wormrot announced that they will be releasing a new album named Voices on October 14, and they revealed the great cover art you see above by Zahir Sanosi (aka Kilas). Voices comes five long years since their last album, Dirge. Wormrot made a video to announce the new album, and it includes a new song from the album called “Fallen Into Disuse”.
In yesterday’s Part 1 of this large round-up, I said I would post Part 2 later the same day. Someday I will learn that part-time metal bloggers who have actual paying jobs and/or families who occasionally need their attention should not make forecasts of what they plan to do on the blog. Not even what they think they will accomplish later the same day, or even in the next hour. That’s just laying the groundwork for stepping on your own crank, so to speak.
Anyway, here’s Part 2, which unlike yesterday focuses on new or newish music that I wanted to recommend rather than simply announcements. One silver lining to the delay is that it enabled me to add the first item in this collection, which appeared late yesterday.
HEAVEN SHALL BURN
Our small band of beleaguered writers at NCS includes some ardent (perhaps even slavish) fans of Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn. I count my own self on the slavish end of the spectrum. And so yesterday was a banner day, because…
Ten days have passed since the last time I put together a round-up of news and recommended new music, which is an unusually long gap. Perhaps needless to say, trying to catch up is out of the question. What I’m going to do instead is just pull together some big news announcements from the last 24 hours in this post (plus one related recent song), and then collect a few more recent music streams in a second part that I’ll post a bit later today.
MARYLAND DEATHFEST ANNOUNCES SECOND ROUND OF CONFIRMED BANDS FOR 2017
On June 30, as we dutifully reported, the organizers of Maryland Deathfest announced the first round of confirmed bands for the XVth edition of the festival, scheduled to take place on May 25-28, 2017, in Baltimore. Just minutes ago, MDF announced a second round of confirmed bands — plus some surprising news about where the festival will, and won’t, take place next year. Here are the new confirmed names: