May 242017


Tau Cross

 

As I begin typing these words I’m on an airplane just entering the air space of Michigan, and if all goes well will be landing in Baltimore in 1 hour and 52 minutes. Maryland Deathfest awaits.

I spent the first part of the flight scrolling through the NCS in-box, adding to my very long list of music to check out. As you know, that’s a ridiculously long list. I don’t expect to get much blogging done while MDF is in progress, so I impulsively decided to write this thing.

Since the wi-fi on this jet isn’t good enough to permit streaming, I haven’t heard most of what I’m putting in this post, nearly all of which I found during that e-mail reconnaissance. I encourage you to leave a comment with reactions, since I have almost none (so far).

May 212017

 

I’m still with family in my old hometown of Austin, Texas, enjoying yet another mini-vacation. Like yesterday, I did have a little time this morning to do some listening, but not enough time to do much writing.

So, as was true of yesterday’s OVERFLOWING STREAMS post, I’m once again recommending the following song streams but including only some basic info about the music. The difference is that almost everything you’ll find below comes from the realms of black metal.

May 202017


Vallenfyre

 

I’m in Austin, Texas, this weekend. I didn’t think I would have time to do any NCS stuff, but did find myself with some time this morning — though not enough time to do much writing. What I’ve done instead is just collect a bunch of new song streams and videos and some basic info about each one.

I might be able to do the same thing tomorrow, but probably not more than that. Hope you find some things to like in the following eclectic collection.

May 192017

 

The brutish compulsions and unforced vices of daily life pour us like hot clay into forms. We move and solidify into shapes, and twist into shadows. Never quite as solid as stones, but at risk of freezing in our steps. The poison of implacable cell death leeches us from our first breaths, but provides a bargain — there is glory to be found in those breaths, if we can only find it before it is too late.

All of this doom, and all of this potential for exultation… art has ever sought to capture the experience. Probably, the intensity of our creeping and bounding on the edge of the precipice can’t really be captured by art, but Dødsengel come very close. Perilously close.

May 182017

 

Part 1 of this late-week round-up can be found here. I’m still not finished throwing recommendations your way, but Part 3 will have to wait until tomorrow. They’re closing the door on my airplane now.

INTEGRITY

Yesterday Integrity released an official video for “I Am The Spell“, a track off their new (12th) album Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume, which is described as “a conceptual foretelling of the final days of Armageddon”. It will be released by Relapse on July 14th. The lyrics tell you a lot about the sound of this new track:

May 182017

 

I don’t know how far I’ll get with this project. I have a lot of music I want to share today, but I’m also boarding a plane for central Texas in a couple of hours. I’ve got two more parts of this round-up partially written, but still want to re-listen to the songs I’ve chosen before spilling out my impressions in print. I either will or won’t finish before I have to board, when streaming the music will become technologically  impossible.

As a last resort, I might just have to throw the remaining streams at you without my own words of wisdom. What a cruel twist of fate that would be. More likely, the series will just spill over into tomorrow.

PYRRHON

What Passes For Survival is the new album by New York’s Pyrrhon. Given this band’s track record, it will be a must-listen release, simply to discover what kind of twisting terrors their imaginations have conceived this time around. But we do now have a clue.

May 172017

 

I’m going to make this short and sweet. West Virginia’s Byzantine have just released a new video for a new song off their new album, The Cicada Tree, which will be released through Metal Blade on July 28th. We’ve been long-time fans of Byzantine at this putrid site, and have had high hopes for this new album. Based on this song, it sounds like those hopes will be fulfilled.

New Ways To Bear Witness” is, among other things, catchy as hell. And those other things include the fact that it’s a primal, high-energy, thundering, grooving, thrashing, ass-kicker of a heavy metal song. Main man Chris “OJ” Ojeda is in fine voice, both when he’s putting the grit into the sound and when he sends his voice soaring, and the song also includes some memorable soloing, plus a dramatic melody that suits the serious-minded lyrics.

May 162017

 

Due in part to yet another mini-vacation this past weekend, an entire week has passed since the last time I was able to compile a round-up of new songs and videos, though my comrade DGR helped fill that gap with a compilation of notable death metal yesterday. As a consequence of so many days passing, I have a massive list of new things I’d like to recommend.

Confronted with such a daunting task, I just gave in to impulse, which is par for the course. And today’s impulse was to focus only on some of new music I heard for the first time today — which means that massive list is no shorter than it was before I started writing this post. With luck, I’ll have time during the balance of this week to do some picking and choosing from it for another edition of SEEN AND HEARD.

SVARTSYN

As previously reported here, the Swedish black metal band Svartsyn have a new album named In Death that’s scheduled for release by Agonia Records on June 9th. The first single, which I wrote about in that earlier post, was a stunner named “Seven Headed Snake“, and this morning brought a second track — “Black Thrones of Death“. It’s left me even more excited about this new album.

May 162017

 

(Today our Russian friend Comrade Aleks isn’t bringing us one of his interviews, but instead some news about the Finnish band Cardinals Folly, including a single from their new album.)

This blasphemous doom cult was started in Helsinki in around 2004, under the name of The Coven. That title fitted the band’s music, but there were just too many bands with the same name, so The Coven was dissolved and renamed Cardinals Folly, after a place in a Dennis Wheatley black magic novel.

The head of this sect is Mikko Kääriäinen and he’s been the only constant member of Cardinals Folly since its beginning: other musicians have come and gone after a number of occult sessions. Probably only drummer Sebastian Lindberg demonstrated real perseverance, as he accompanied Mikko from the first EP Heretic’s Hangover (2008) until the second full-length Our Cult Continues! (2014), but even he left the band a year after that album was released, and the next one, Holocaust of Ecstasy and Freedom, was recorded with a new lineup.

May 152017


Origin

 

(DGR steps in for round-up duty with a collection of deathly advance tracks from forthcoming albums that detonated late last week.)

2017 has been a year that has moved in fits and starts, with huge batches of releases and then a period of calm, then another huge batch and so on. It’s a different feeling from last year’s torrential flood, but it also means that promotional stuff moves in fits and starts as well — which is how we wound up with the back half of last week bringing one big release after another from some fairly recognizable names for those who love their death metal and high speed.

It was a pretty intense flood of death metal washing over the metal community, much of it coming from some fairly big names — a hefty collection of mainstays, old guard, and standard-bearers. We tried to collect some of them into our usual three-to-four part series of bands, but eventually it seemed like everyone wanted to get in on the game, and that’s why you have a SEEN AND HEARD headline with five recognizable names within it, all deploying material virtually at once.

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