(Austin Weber reviews the new album by Baring Teeth.)
The time has finally come for renowned quirky Texas death metallers Baring Teeth to show the world another plane of terrifying sounds and squalor. As if their first album, 2011’s Atrophy, in all its demented brilliance, was not enough of a jaw-dropping testament to their skill and uniqueness, they set their aims at a higher and different place on Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins, giving us is a wide range of dynamics within each song — like a massive fight for control between frenetic, entrancing splinters and the colossal depths of quicksand, whose power ultimately derives from its slow, suffering burn.
Not only have they moved further from the realms of their Obscura-influenced debut, they’ve managed to expand their sound. It would have been easy and standard for a metal band like this one to keep the same blazing tempo and stylistic formula the second time around. Yet this time Baring Teeth offer more cesspools and sinkholes to drop into, sucking up more of the music like a slow-draining black hole, while also offering full-scale onslaught the likes of which will make your face melt just a bit too much to recover from in one sitting.
On November 19, 2014, Jucifer, Ohlm, and New Bravado put on a show at the Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. Photographer Nik Vechery, whose work has accompanied show reviews at NCS on many past occasions, witnessed the destruction and documented what he saw in the photos you’re about to see.
We didn’t have any writers at this event, so the only written description we can provide is the message Nik sent along with the photos: ”It was a killer show. So damn loud I couldn’t hear the drums sometimes, hah.” As someone who has seen Jucifer before, I have a keen sense of what he means: Jucifer play with gut-liquifying levels of volume — and they do it really well. If you’ve never seen the rituals of this nomadic sludge metal death drone amplifier cult, you need to.
(DGR provides this review of the latest album by NOLA’s Goatwhore.)
Stupid late, and we know it, but as the end of the year approaches one of our worst habits is to panic – or more correctly, I panic, because most of the guys on the site are pretty relaxed — about the massive number of albums that came out during the year that we didn’t get around to reviewing. Not only that, but there’s always two or three un-reviewed albums where it feels right to provide a forum for our users to discuss the disc alongside our own feelings on the album. Goatwhore’s Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is one such disc.
It was an album that, as far as I know, was suddenly just “Out”, and the only review we were able to stammer out for it at the time was one of Andy’s haiku reviews. While those are great and a fun exercise, and I do recognize the difficulty in trying to hammer a disc down to just three lines where I prefer to go the opposite route and provide massive walls of text, sometimes there’s an album in there that I generally regret not being able to give the full “review tome” treatment.
Vyrju began as the one-man project of Norwegian musician Jan F. Lindsø, but Vyrju’s debut EP Black also features session drums and clean vocals by Tim Yatras (Germ, Austere, ex-Nazxul, ex-Woods of Desolation). I’m a fan of Tim Yatras, and it was his participation in the recording that originally attracted me to it — well, that and the three big skulls on the EP’s cover, of course.
In a word, Black is captivating. The melodies in each of the four songs, with the exception of the short instrumental piece “Gone”, have a sombre and even depressive air, but they’re memorable and often beautiful in their own grim, ravaged way.
(DGR reviews the debut EP by Kunstzone.)
There are a couple of names that I expect to see whenever an industrial metal project slides across ye old NCS promo desk. If it comes from one of those names, then I immediately start looking for the other batch — because if the name Alex Rise seems familiar to you and you’ve been following NCS then you know of his Tyrant Of Death project, and there’s a circle of musicians around him that seem determined to crossbreed into as many different projects as there are available combinations, most of which tend to be heavy on the electronic noise and programmed drums.
One of the more commonly observed names is an enigmatic entity named Candy — who has gone to tremendous lengths to hide its identity — responsible partly for President Streetwalker (which to this day remains the earliest I have ever gotten in on the ground floor for a band), the noisy as all hell Khaozone, and a myriad of other works including contributions to T.o.D vocalist Lucem Fero (Omar)’s own solo releases.
(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new third album by the Israeli band Prey For Nothing.)
First, you should go check out my previous article on this band where I gave an overview of their music, as well as band-authorized downloads of their first two albums. I’d like to not waste time on the typical introductory shit today.
Melodic death metal nowadays really does need to be two things if it wants to be relevant and interesting. It needs depth, and it needs songwriting. While we’ve definitely seen this in the doom-driven aspect of the scene, every other approach to it has been more often than not done rather halfheartedly, much to my disappointment. Prey For Nothing definitely have the depth and the songwriting, taking their brand of Schuldiner-drenched melodic death-dealing proficiency to a new level of intricacy.
(Here we have DGR’s review of the highly anticipated new album by Bloodbath.)
There is a knee-jerk reaction provoked by the name Bloodbath, an impulse to instantly want to like what the group are putting forth. At this point, there is a part of me which loves that Bloodbath have as much hype surrounding them as they do, while likewise also recognizing that the group have become something of an institution.
For some people, they were the first real deep introduction to traditional death metal — especially if you were one of those listeners who checked out the band because a bunch of Katatonia and Opeth band members were in the mix. Not only that, but as something of a tribute act, Bloodbath were also stunningly consistent with their sound. They’re experienced professional musicians already, so there’s none of the sense that they have been stumbling into what they’re doing — they know already.
They know how to write it, and because of that, when you’re listening to Bloodbath you’re hearing a group who are really good at throwing us back to the past when death metal was a dark and disgusting monster that people were scared of — the type of music that was a horror movie incarnate.
Musical inspiration comes from a wide array of sources. Taken as a whole, it reflects all life experiences, emotions, and thoughts, from the most mundane to the most mystical. In the case of the Greek black metal band Thy Darkened Shade, the music emanates from a desire to invoke Chaos through the unleashing of Lvciferian energies.
It exists as a spiritual devotional, as a path toward self-realization, as a channeling of dark, liberating powers to listeners enslaved by a materialistic world, with each song — the music and the lyrics — constituting a ritual for the summoning of arcane forces. Thy Darkened Shade is a bringer of Promethean fire, the stunning music a means of achieving transformation.
To be clear, I’m not saying I personally know all of this to be true (though the ritual character of the album, beginning with its brief introductory track, is hard to miss). Instead, I’m trying to summarize what I’ve read in interviews of Semjaza, the man who created all the music on their new album Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet (with others participating in the vocals and the drums) — one interview we published (here) and an even more involved one here. These explanations manifest the inspiration for this music.
As for the music itself, one need not be as serious a student of the occult as Semjaza (and he is quite serious indeed) to appreciate the remarkable achievement of Liber Lvcifer I. You just need ears to hear, an open mind, and a lot of time — because there’s no way you’ll be satisfied listening to this 78-minute opus just once.
(DGR reviews the new album by Italy’s Hideous Divinity, which is out now via Unique Leader.)
The tree of the Italian super-fast death metal scene, as it has currently come into focus, is one that has so many branches that have crossed over with one another that photos of it could be turned into logos for other death metal bands. It is also one that has been intensely vibrant, dropping new seeds and allowing new trees to form underneath it, becoming slight permutations of the initial home from whence they came.
The section that houses bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour Of Penance is one that has seen groups not only founded off of each other, but also exchanging musicians time and time again. People have left and rejoined and likewise gone off to form their own groups. Despite making conscious efforts to be clear of that musical style, some of the offshoot bands can’t seem to help themselves and go back to the super-fast, intensely brutal branch of death metal from which they sprouted.
(Not long ago Andy Synn reviewed all the full-length albums of The Flight of Sleipnir leading up to their new release — and today he reviews that one.)
If there’s one word that comes to mind when listening to V., the fifth album by blackened bards The Flight of Sleipnir, it’s… refined.
The duo have taken the strongest elements of their previous four albums, filtered them, purified them, and distilled their central essence into fluid, musical form.
The seven songs which make up V. are, on average, longer and more intricate than on previous albums, with a greater sense of light and shade than ever before, their hidden depths and subtle secrets concealed beneath waves of gleaming melody and brilliant metallic clarity.