Jul 292014

So far today we’ve written about Canadian post-hardcore, Japanese rock performed with traditional instruments, Phoenician death metal, German chthonic cervical exhalations, and whatever it is that Junius play.

Still, it’s possible we haven’t yet succeeded in confusing everyone, so here’s a new video of Felix Martin covering a song composed by neoclassical metal guitarist Jason Becker in the late 80s, followed by something that will tear off a few dermal layers from your face without so much as a topical anesthetic, followed by… well, you’ll see.

FELIX MARTIN

During the video, you can read what Felix Martin wrote about the techniques used in his performance. It’s Greek to me, but the performance left me awe-struck and slack-jawed. I mean, more than usual.

Jul 292014

I haven’t managed to compile a round-up of noteworthy new things in a few days, so this one is largish, though still not large enough. I’ll try to keep my own verbiage to a minimum so you don’t lose interest and drift away like hyperactive children, or like me when I hear a firetruck going by. I’ll begin with a trio of news items and then move into the music.

MACHINE HEAD / CHILDREN OF BODOM / EPICA / BATTLECROSS

Yesterday came an announcement that Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica, and Battlecross will tour North America together beginning on October 4 in Denver and ending on November 1 in Hollywood. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Machine Head’s new album on Nuclear Blast should be out around the time of this tour. I can’t honestly say that I’m very lathered up about this tour, but if you are, please send photos of yourself. Here are the dates (continued after the jump):

10/04/2014 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
10/05/2014 Aftershock – Merriam, KS
10/06/2014 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
10/07/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
10/09/2014 Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
10/10/2014 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

Jul 262014

Happy goddamned Saturday to one and all. I’m in the middle of a mini-vacation with family and friends, which means I’ve spent more time over the last 24 hours making lists of new music to check out than actually listening or writing. But I hate to let a day go by without posting something at NCS (that’s happened on a grand total of 3 days since we started this site in November 2009), so here are a few quick things I’d like to recommend. With luck, I’ll have a few more to bring your way tomorrow.

BLOOD OF KINGU

As previously reported here, the Ukrainian black metal band Blood of Kingu (started by Roman Sayenko of Drudkh) will be releasing their third album via Season of Mist on September 2 in North America (and August 29 everywhere else). The title is Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon. Last month Terrorizer premiered the first advance track from the album — “Enshrined in the Nethermost Lairs Beneath the Oceans” — and a few days ago Metal Underground premiered a second track.

Jul 242014

 

Yesterday’s round-up was a big one. So is this one — and it’s still not big enough to cover everything worth mentioning that I saw and heard yesterday. But it will have to do. Here we go…

ALBEZ DUZ

Albez Duz are a two-man German band whose name apparently consists of two words in a Germanic language used 800 years ago, with “Albez” meaning “swan” and “Duz” meaning “noisiness”, or “rush”. It is the side project of Impurus (aka Eugen H.), the drummer of the long-running German band Dies Ater.

At the time of their 2009 self-titled debut album, which drew comparisons to the early work of Paradise Lost, Tiamat, and My Dying Bride, the band’s vocalist was Lars Kaeding. Kaeding died in 2011, and was replaced early this year by Alfonso Brito Lopez (aka “Grifonso“). With this new line-up, Albez Duz have recorded a new album, The Coming of Mictlan, which will be released by Germany’s Iron Bonehead label later this year. Its fascinating cover is above.

Yesterday Iron Bonehead began streaming a song from the new album named “Mictlan”, and it’s very impressive.

Jul 232014

Here’s a typically random and diverse collection of recommended new music and metal news that I came across over the last 24 hours. It ranges from highly anticipated black metal to a metal banjo cover, with all sorts of different musical trajectories in between.

NIGHTBRINGER

The fourth album by Colorado’s Nightbringer is entitled Ego Dominus Tuus (I Am Your Lord), and it’s due for release by Season of Mist on September 20 in NorthAm (September 26 elsewhere). Yesterday, SoM revealed the cover art by David Herrerias (above), which is wonderful. At the same time, the first advance track from the album began streaming at various sites around the globe. Its name is “Et Nox Illuminatio Mea In Deliciis Meis”, which refers to a line from Psalm 139. According to the band:

“The lyrics draw heavily upon this psalm, which we feel, via a perhaps more heretical approach, elucidates symbols relevant to the ‘midnight sun’ and the ‘night of light’. Furthermore we touch upon the Greek melancholia and the sovereignty of Saturn over those of us who are born with his mark and our relation to the former concepts as well as the significance of the ‘black light’ of our Lord. It speaks much of the ecstatic furor one may enter in which wisdom is imparted both from above, below and within, via a state of ‘divine madness’. “

Should you be interested in reading the 139th Psalm, you can do so here (the song’s title refers to the phrase “and night shall be my light in my pleasures”). Whether you do or don’t peruse the psalm, I strongly recommend listening to the song (it’s streaming at Stereogum here).

Jul 222014

 

(In this post Russian contributor Comrade Aleks delivers an interview of Mikael Monks of Sweden’s Burning Saviours.)

The combination of doom metal and rock from the 70’s has became actual genre nowadays. It feels like a damned lot of people miss the good old days when things looked more or less simpler. Good melodies, a recognizable retro sound, and lyrics on familiar themes are enough to satisfy our needs, and it’s not necessary to be original in that case.

The Swedish band Burning Saviours have been playing doom metal / hard rock since 2004 in the name of almighty Pentagram! A few successful releases have brought Burning Saviours a well-known reputation, and I Hate Records has decided to remind us about the band’s deserts with the release of a compilation named Boken om förbannelsen. I got in contact with Mikael Monks (guitars, vocals) to clarify details of the album.

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Jul 222014

 

So many new things happen every day in the world of metal that if you check out for almost four days, as I just did, catching up is tough. Not that I’m complaining, because I had a blast attending Gilead Fest. I know you’ll want to read all about how much fun I had, in case you haven’t already. But now I’m back in Seattle, and I’m making a small stab at catching up on what I missed while I was neglecting daily metal happenings. Here are three new songs I heard last night that I recommend to your ears.

SÓLSTAFIR

Iceland’s Sólstafir have now shared with the world the third advance track from their next album, Ótta, which will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. The new one is named “Dagmál”. It cruises like a car on an open road, the top down, the wind in your hair, not another soul in sight, magnificent vistas around every turn. And then your car leaves the road… and glides into the air. 

Jul 202014


artwork by Bryan Proteau

Part 1 of this report is here; Part 3 is here.

I thought the first day of the Gilead Fest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a blast, but holy shit, yesterday’s performances were off the charts. By “holy shit” I mean that shit before which you prostrate yourself and utter miserable prayers of thanks. And by “off the charts”, I mean dismembering, skull-splintering, bowel-perforating, synapse-severing, and occasionally entrancing.

The weather here in Oshkosh remains gorgeous.  In between sets, the lure of the outdoors was irresistible (and would have been even if the lure of nicotine and tar hadn’t been part of the equation). Even during the sets, a soft breeze flowed through the windows of The Lady’s Parlor across the hall from the ballroom where the bands were performing, and it wafted through the open doors into that space like a balm from… Gilead.

The sunny disposition of the crowd continues to match that of the weather. It’s a chill group, like a reunion of old friends, even when the old friends had never met each other before. I had almost as much fun talking to people I’d only known over the internet before this weekend (including Adam Bartlett of Gilead Media, who made this whole wonderful thing happen) or had never met before, even over the ether, as I did listening to the music. And the event itself continues to run smoothly, like the well-oiled gears of a vast noise-making machine.

Jul 182014

As I mentioned in today’s only other post, I’m in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, preparing for the onset of Gilead Fest tonight. After a hearty lunch and a few adult beverages, my friend from Oshkosh and I bombed around the town, visiting a record store, stopping for a custard cone, and sticking our heads in the Masonic Lodge where the fest will be held.

We were listening to YOB’s Atma in the car, which put me in a certain mood. Now, back in my hotel room for a couple of hours, I thought I’d indulge that mood with two new songs from two legendary bands.

SLEEP

This afternoon, Lars Gotrich at NPR spotlighted the premiere of the first new song by Sleep in 20 years, and thanks to a tip from Leperkahn, that’s how I found his article. Twenty years after Dopesmoker, the song is “Clarity”, and it appears as part of Adult Swim’s singles series.

Jul 182014

I’m getting a slow blog start today. Yesterday I traveled with a friend to Oshkosh, Wisconsin (my friend actually grew up in Oshkosh), in order to attend the Gilead Fest, which starts tonight and runs through the weekend. We got in late and stayed up later, eating dinner and drinking Wisconsin brews, and I slept in.

When people asked what we were doing in town (as many did), we told them we were here for a metal festival, and they all said, “Oh,  Rock USA”. Turns out that festival began Wednesday and runs through Saturday and it’s here is Oshkosh, too. With Slayer and Rob Zombie and Korn and Five Finger Death Punch and… no, we’re not here for that thing. But it is a weird fuckin’ coincidence and explains why we had some trouble finding a hotel or motel with vacancies.

Anyway, I’m getting a slow start on the blog day. So I’m just going to throw some things at you that I came across as I was waking up. Starting with this highly unexpected piece of music from Darkest Hour: “By the Starlight”.

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