I intended to prepare a round-up much earlier this week than I have, but commitments to write premieres plus interferences from my fucking day job screwed those plans. So, I’m behind once again. Catching up isn’t realistic, but I’m going to make a stab at it anyway by doing a two-part Seen and Heard.
In this first installment I’m giving a tip of the hat to two widely popular bands — and no, Metallica isn’t one of them, though if you want to talk about the new Metallica track in the Comments, feel free. Then we’ll dive deeper into the underground with the final two bands in this group (with help from our contributor Grant Skelton).
The second installment, at least as I’ve planned it (because it’s not written yet), will be devoted to perhaps even more obscure and ferocious new music. But I do also have a couple of premieres to prepare for today, plus my day job isn’t leaving me alone… so there’s a chance Part 2 will slip.
Earlier this week Century Media announced a new Dark Tranquillity album, their 11th. Named Atoma, and again featuring cover art by the band’s guitarist Niklas Sundin, it will be released on November 4, 2016. Coincident with that announcement, DT released the video that’s the first item in this round-up, for an Atoma track called “The Pitiless”. The video was filmed during the band’s appearance at the Turock Open Air Festival 2016 in Essen, Germany, by director Dirk Behlau.
No, this post isn’t about the new Mithras album, though it has been on my mind lately. It’s about a listening experience I had late last night (after possibly drinking too much), when the music fell into place as if it had been ordained by some ingenious higher power. I feel compelled to share it, not only because of how good each piece in the chain is, standing alone, but also because of the interesting ways in which each piece flows into the next and eventually comes back around to join together, the end resonating with the beginning in an unexpected way.
I’ll tell the story of how I came to move from each of these four recordings to the next precisely in the order set out below, because at least to me it makes this playlist even more strange and wondrous. And to be clear, the connections between the recordings aren’t predictable — it’s more like an evolution, progression, and transformation that’s occurring instead of a collection of like-sounding songs — with things becoming increasingly heavy and extreme. By the end, I had bought all four of the releases on Bandcamp.
This experience began last night when I happened upon a Facebook post by metal writer and musician JR (I haven’t told the people involved in this story that I’m writing about them, so I’ll be using initials instead of full names). In it, he linked to a just-released new album by Kinit Her, calling it “magic”.
Here are a select group of new and varied songs I discovered over the last 24 hours that I think are well worth your time.
Almost four years have passed since the release of Sunyata, the second album by the Greek black metal band Acrimonious. That album was my own introduction to the band, and also one of my favorite releases of 2012. And so it was a very welcome surprise to find out yesterday that Acrimonious will be releasing a new album, the name of which is Eleven Dragons. As you can see, it features striking cover art by Vamperess Imperium.
Where I live, the season is changing rapidly. The daylight hours are diminishing, the darkness constricting like a noose. A chill is in the air. The fall is coming.
Last night a strange and serendipitous thing happened as I was making my usual way through a list of new songs I had discovered yesterday. I happened to listen to everything I’ve now collected in this post, one after the other, right in a row. I was struck by how perfectly they suited the mood of the change in seasons. I’ve re-ordered them slightly in this post, as compared to the order in which I originally heard them, to include two songs that are exceptions to our “rule” in the middle of this chilling playlist.
I discovered Lost Hours through an e-mail they sent us yesterday. They’re from Atlanta and a few days ago they released their third album (III) through Bandcamp. It consists of two songs, “Gently Before She Dies” and “Your Vice is a Locked Room”.
Maybe I should have divided this round-up of mostly new music into multiple parts in an effort to reduce the sensory-overload risk. But I was so happy with the range of diversity in this collection that I decided to leave it alone. Hope you find some things to like in here.
Haeresis is the name of the new album by one of our site’s favorite bands, the Iberian horde known as Noctem. They’ve been dribbling out tracks from the album since August, with “Through the Black Temples of Disaster” and “The Submission Discipline” having been previously released, and yesterday I discovered a third single, “Pactum With The Indomitable Darkness“.
(NCS contributor Grant Skelton returns with a round-up of music from three bands.)
Like each of you, I am disappointed to hear about the demise of Bolt Thrower. The official announcement surely comes as no surprise a year after the passing of drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns. Over the last five years or so, I’ve brushed up on Bolt Thrower’s back catalog, and they remain among my favorite death metal bands. Their discography has impeccable consistency and has aged well with time.
I’m one who prefers my death metal in the slow to mid-paced range. Good death metal is like a good steak — it needs to be fresh, meaty, juicy, and bloody. It’s got to be seasoned and marinated to perfection. It takes finesse, but if you over-complicate it with technicality, it morphs into a science experiment instead of nourishment. In the legacy of Bolt Thrower, I’ve rounded up some vicious vittles of death metal for your consumption.
Bolt Thrower fans can celebrate the fact that vocalist Karl Willetts has started a new band called Memoriam. Within their ranks are folks who’ve been around the death metal morgue on more than one occasion. In addition to Willetts, Memoriam’s lineup includes:
I decided to dispense with the usual Sunday installment of The Rearview Mirror in order to spend the time writing this thing. I spent several hours yesterday listening to new metal (when I wasn’t talking calls from world leaders anxious for help in solving their many problems), and these five songs and videos pounced on me like the vicious head-wrecking predators they are. I found a lot of other things to like in my listening excursions, but it just made sense to my addled mind to package these together so as to inflict maximum trauma on you, our beloved readers.
I’m afraid these won’t be the only audio assaults I intend to facilitate today, since I also have a Shades of Black post in progress. Between that post and this one, it will add up to a lot of listening. Just ignore your friends and/or your families and/or food, water, and bathroom breaks, and you’ll be able to take it all in.
MAN MUST DIE
We have been writing about Scotland’s Man Must Die for many years (beginning in December 2009 when we were only one month old)… but years have passed since MMD released an album (the last one being 2013’s Peace Was Never An Option). Two years ago they did release a single called “Slave To the Animal” (which we dutifully covered here), and last year they released a video for a cover of the song “Milk” by S.O.D. (featured here). And now, finally, they seem close to releasing a new EP named Gagging Order.
The rule stated in explicit terms in the title of this site has been riddled with exceptions beginning even in the early years, and it has become more riddled over time. But on a percentage basis, it’s still mainly THE RULE. Why then does this post exist?
I suppose even I need a short break from the generally bestial and infernal ferocity that’s my daily metal bread and butter. And these songs happen to have struck a chord, despite the fact that the singing is mostly clean and most of the music relies more on syncopated rhythms and a particularly recognizable guitar sound than what I usually listen to.
Perhaps something here will also prove appealing to you. And if not, there will be a Shades of Black Post on Sunday, and you know what that means.
While scrambling to get our second of four premieres ready to post today, I received an alert from my comrade DGR that Meshuggah had revealed a new lyric video for the song “Nostrum” off their new album The Violent Sleep of Reason. And so of course I dropped everything and scurried over to YouTube to give this thing a look and a listen.
It’s a 360-degree video that allows you to admire the artwork created by Keerych Luminokaya. As for the song, holy shit is it a heavy, hammering beast, an absolute crusher, highlighted by every other good thing else we’ve come to expect from this band — jaw-dropping drumwork, brilliant rhythmic interplay, raw, hair-raising vocals, and in this case some truly scintillating and frenzied lead guitar performances, coupled with glimpses of cosmic melody.
This is one of those days at our site when virtually the entire day will be devoted to our own premieres of new songs and full album streams. There will be four of those ahead. But before we dive into those, I have to share this one new song that premiered not long ago at another site (CLRVYNT).
The song is “Abrogation“, and it comes from the very highly anticipated new album by New Zealand’s Ulcerate, the name of which is Shrines of Paralysis. It will be released by Relapse Records on the 28th of October (and can be pre-ordered in physical form here or digitally here).