Sep 032017

 

After being prevented by my day job from listening to much new music during the last half of last week, I binged on new song streams yesterday. The furnace of metal continues to pour out molten steel at a breathtaking rate. I found enough new sounds solely from the black realms to warrant a 4-part SHADES OF BLACK column, but I’ll probably throttle myself and limit it to two parts, with Part 1 coming later today. But in the meantime I couldn’t resist putting together this collection, which at a minimum will wake you up better than a flash-bang grenade and at a maximum may blow your minds to smithereens.

The first three selections are advance tracks from forthcoming albums. The last one is a complete full-length release. Different styles of metal, but all of them both highly infectious and explosively good. Let the slaughtering begin….

HAMMR

There’s enough electrifying energy in “Satanic Raid” to power a large metropolis and enough speed to lap the pack at a NASCAR race, not to mention more than enough feral barbarism to put smiles on the faces of those of you who live to slash and burn (at least through your music). There’s also some kind of immediately addictive poison coursing through the veins of this beast, which is transmitted directly into the listener’s bloodstream.

Sep 022017

 

(Andy Synn is now lobbying the Oxford English Dictionary for recognition of a new word.)

In case you didn’t know, yesterday saw release of the brand new album by Symphonic Death Metal titans Septic Flesh (yes, I’m still spelling it as two words).

Now while I’m not planning on reviewing it here (that honour will, in all likelihood, fall to DGR), I will say that Codex Omega feels like a big step up from The Great Mass and Titan, the latter of which in particular suffered (in this author’s opinion at least) from a noticeable lack of balance between the “Symphonic” and the “Death Metal” aspects of the band’s sound, with the lion’s share of the effort put into the orchestration, while the drums and riffs (or lack thereof) were treated very much as an afterthought.

And as Codex Omega is such a big improvement on its predecessors in this regard, I felt it might be high time we all got together to discuss the costs/benefits inherent in “symphonisizing” (a word I’ve just invented) your sound.

Sep 012017

 

I finished my work on the U.S. east coast last night, and for reasons I won’t bore you with, it turned into a sucky day. A few stiff drams of the amber bead improved my mood, which improved further as I listened to the music collected here. This was one of those interesting listening sessions where the things I picked to stream just kind of fit together (at least in my addled brain), as if someone had chosen them for a playlist.

I’m going the airport now for the trip home. There’s a premiere coming your way a bit later this morning, but otherwise this will be another short day for posts at our site. Things will get back to (ab)normal around here this weekend and next week.

ALL PIGS MUST DIE

I discovered All Pigs Must Die for the first time watching them kick the holy bejesus out of an audience at a Seattle club back in August 2011. They were taking part in Southern Lord’s The Power of the Riff tour. The next month they released their debut album, God Is War, which was a hard-to-define amalgam of punk, hardcore, crust, black metal, and death metal that was downright beastly.

Aug 312017


Jupiterian

 

I’m in the same situation I was in yesterday, with my fucking day job squeezing the life out of my NCS time, except now I’m being squeezed on the east coast of the U.S. instead of the west coast. As a result, this post, plus one forthcoming premiere, will be the only ones you’ll see at our site today.

Before entering the Land of Nod late last night I spent about an hour listening to new music selected at random, and heard one more stunner this morning over coffee. And because time is short I’ve picked only three of those to write about.

JUPITERIAN

I’ve written about this Brazilian band frequently in the past. The last time, when the subject was a new EP of cover songs, I referred to the band’s ability “to club a listener senseless” and to channel “pure evil — cask-strength and undiluted”, the “stark, desolate, and devastating” sensations of their music, and the capacity of the vocals alone “to give any normal person a shivering case of the night terrors”.

Little wonder that I nearly spilled my morning coffee when I saw a bunch of exciting news this morning about their new album Terraforming — including the revealing of a new song.

Aug 302017

 

It’s been a long time since my fucking day job has severely impinged on my blog life, but it’s happening again. The interference began on Monday and the situation has gotten increasingly worse since then.

I’ve fallen far behind in searching out new music and barely had time to listen to anything yesterday. This morning I have to get on an airplane and fly across the country, and when I get where I’m going I’ll be buried in work until turning around and flying back on Friday. So the volume of stuff at our site will dwindle over the remaining days of this week.

My brief listening session last night did lead to the discovery of excellent music by the two bands I’m writing about now. And so, without further ado, let’s get to them.

CONVOCATION

Convocation is a relatively new Finnish project consisting of L. Laaksonen, who writes the music and performs all the instruments, and M. Neuman, who handles the lyrics and vocals. Laaksonen is also the musician behind Desolate Shrine, and Neuman is also the vocalist for Dark Buddha Rising.

Aug 282017

 

(DGR prepared the following round-up, featuring three items of news and new music that surfaced last week.)

Last week was a densely packed week for metal, with a lot of huge names like Arch Enemy, Ghost, and Mastodon all releasing music videos, and that wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg in metal news. There was so much that seemed to land backloaded onto Friday that it seemed like metal had just decided to spin up into one of its whirling torrents of destruction modes. Thus I once again step in to write about some of the things that caught my interest within the tornado of heavy metal that thrashed about over the week.

This time around we’re going to do a little traveling again, with two musical releases from Sacramento’s The Kennedy Veil, and Austria’s Belphegor, and then we’re going to take a look at the crowdfunding campaign from Lansing, Michigan’s own Dagon and their latest quest to write more ocean-themed death metal.

THE KENNEDY VEIL

It’s been some time since we last heard from Sacramento’s hyperspeed death metal group The Kennedy Veil. In the time since 2014’s Trinity Of Falsehood, The Kennedy Veil have seen the addition of a new vocalist, Monte Barnard, whose resume includes a ton of live vocalist work for groups like Alterbeast, Fallujah, and Thy Art Is Murder, in addition to having been the vocalist for The Antioch Synopsis and the short-lived Soma Ras. Last week the band were finally able to release details about their new disc, Imperium — which is due out October 20th — as well as release a new song, which premiered at Decibel.

Aug 272017

 

I made a swan dive into a lake of tequila last night at a friend’s birthday party. I surfaced this morning but I’m not swimming very well at the moment. Unfortunately, this means there will be no SHADES OF BLACK column today. I hope I’ll get it finished in time to post tomorrow. But in addition to this morning’s trio of reviews (which I wrote yesterday before the swan dive), I wanted to leave something further with you today.

I guess everything is coming in threes on this Sunday. Here are two videos and one-half of a split that I happened upon yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed. Apart from that coincidence there’s no real rhyme or reason for grouping them together in this post.

NATIONAL SPACE AGENCY

National Space Agency is an organization based in Sydney, Australia. The identities of its members are Classified — literally, their names are all “Classified“. They describe their music as “Cinematic Stoner Metal from Outer Space”. Their stated mission is to “regulate alternate timelines and parallel universes to restore the one true reality”. However, their new video fractured my reality. Maybe the pieces are being assembled into some new shape within my head, or what’s left of it. We shall see.

Aug 262017

 

I’ve been in this situation more than once, and maybe you have too: I’m hanging out listening to music with people who don’t have much interest in metal and don’t know much about it (though everyone seems to have heard of Metallica), but they’re trying to be polite, so they ask if you’d like to pick something for everyone to listen to, in between whatever they’re playing.

I was in this situation last weekend, which is why I’m thinking about it. It wasn’t the first time, it won’t be the last. I don’t always come up with the same answers. It’s usually whatever pops into my head first. But either consciously or subconsciously, I’m usually thinking about catchy riffs, infectious rhythms, and melodies that people can latch onto fast. It’s usually tempting to steer clear of harsh vocals, but sometimes I just don’t give a fuck about that. Depends on the company I’m keeping and my own mood.

Aug 242017

 

Suppressing the nagging worry that we’re once again overwhelming you with too much new music, I present Part 2 of today’s two-part round-up. Part 1 included recordings by five bands, and this one has music from four more.

OMEGA

I begin with a song called “Sidera” off the debut album by a band ambitiously named Omega. Entitled Eve, it will be released by Dusktone on Oct0ber 1, and it’s apparently based on the 15th century Voynich manuscript, an illustrated volume written in a language that to this day has never been deciphered (read more here).

The participants in Omega are reportedly members of such other bands as Hanging Garden, Nostalgie, Deadly Carnage, Ashes of Chaos, and they’ve been working on the album for four years, with the aim (according to a description on Bandcamp) of creating “a subconscious experience, an atavistic expression that tends to destroy our deepest convictions, which are always limiting and promising”.

Aug 242017

 

I know I posted a round-up of new music just yesterday, but there are far more discoveries I’d like to share, and these go a bit deeper into the obscure realms of the underground than the ones I picked yesterday.

Lots of interesting stuff here, so much that I’ve divided this post into two parts. You may need to skip a meal and a bathroom break to get through both parts, but you’ll be glad you did, even if you begin gnawing your fingers and wetting yourselves. That ain’t fake news.

REX DEMONUS

The first band here is Rex Venomous, they are a multinational group, and the debut two-song EP you’re about to hear is Tenetur et Relicta. I looked up those two Latin words, and they translate as “bound and abandoned”.

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