Jul 232017

 

Listeners who have closely followed Iceland’s burgeoning black metal scene over the last decade know that there has been considerable cross-pollinization among bands in the vanguard of that surging movement. Sinmara is perhaps the best example, with a line-up that includes members of such other groups as Svartidauði, Slidhr, Wormlust, and Almyrkvi. Their 2014 debut album Aphotic Womb (which we had the privilege of premiering) was a gripping display of what such a creative collaboration could produce. Since then, Sinmara have released only one other song, “Ivory Stone”, which appeared on their split with Misþyrming early this year (reviewed here). But Sinmara now return with a new EP, and once again we’re fortunate to host its premiere.

The new EP, consisting of three interconnected songs, is named Within the Weaves of Infinity. It will be released on August 24th by Terratur Possessions on vinyl and CD and by Oration on cassette tape. However, as of today it’s available digitally via Bandcamp. We have the full stream below, along with some impressions of the music and news of a forthcoming Sinmara tour.

Jul 162017

 

(In April the French band Gorod released an EP that they had prepared for distribution on a European tour. DGR finally caught up with that EP, and now turns in this detailed review.)

Heavy metal is often at its most fun when it feels like the artists behind it have lost their minds. There’s something about a musical genre oft-described as an explosion of catharsis having a creative explosion of its own and going nuts.

It’s not easy to stay reserved when you know that a band has set out to try something that is completely out of the norm for them, and such is the case with France’s frenetic tech-death titans Gorod and their recent thrash experiment EP, Kiss The Freak, which the band wrote and recorded in a very short window before going out on a European tour that saw them hitting the road with the likes of Havok, Warbringer, and Exmortus. Gorod themselves described it this way:

Jul 122017

 

I’m showing rare restraint in this round-up. Rather than try to stuff 8-10 new things into one bulging post, which my gluttonous self has a habit of doing, this time I’ve just picked four new things. Following this new, but probably short-lived, format, my plan is to scatter more of these shorter round-ups over the remaining days of this week, too.

GODHUNTER

Back in May we had the pleasure of premiering an unusual song named “Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams” off the band’s new EP, Codex Narco, which has now been released. The whole EP is as hard to pin down as the song we premiered, and that’s one of its many attractions — the creative and unexpected splicing together of disparate musical elements, along with the strong emotional force of the songs, is a big part of what makes Codex Narco stand out.

One of the tracks on the EP is a cover song, Godhunter’s take on “Walking With A Ghost“, which was originally recorded by Tegan & Sara. I also mentioned that the song would eventually become the subject of a music video made by Mitch Wells from Thou, and that video was finally released yesterday. It’s the first item in this collection.

Jul 112017

 

We all have our metal comfort food, the genres we go to even when the performers aren’t doing anything too different from what’s been done for decades. And to be sure, a band doesn’t have to break any molds, or even chip them, to be worth hearing. Yet to varying degrees, we all have our antenna up for something that does break molds, but doesn’t simply leave you with a pile of shards, as if to proclaim nothing more than, “You see? We can break things!”

The demo you’re about to hear is indeed something that sounds very different from anything you’re probably accustomed to, and its ambitions go beyond the music itself. The explanation will take a few paragraphs, but I encourage you not to skip past them, because it’s a story that will explain and deepen the appreciation for what you’re about to hear.

And what you’re about to hear is 1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking by the Dutch “post-black metal” band Grey Aura, along with the spoken recital of the first chapters of a book, in advance of its Bandcamp release tomorrow (July 12).

Jul 052017

 

Never underestimate the power of cover art to attract listeners. Though not a musician myself, that’s one piece of advice I would place high on a list of recommendations for metal bands if anyone were to ask me (though I’m not holding my breath waiting for the requests to pour in). For example, I was eager to hear the debut EP of the Italian death metal band Mistigma based on one look at the cover created by View From The Coffin — and now here I am helping to introduce Omega Mortis to you.

In its actual physical format, the EP looks very good as well:

Jul 052017

 

(DGR reviews the new EP by those Belgian barbarians (and old favorites of our site), Aborted.)

 

Of all of the bands nowadays who hardly seem to stop for a breath, Aborted are one who in recent years have steadily increased their output like few others. Most bands in the decade-plus eras of their careers tend to slow down; Aborted record music like the world is ending tomorrow — in terms of both aural quality and quantity.

In recent years, Aborted have also become master chameleons with their sound, re-energizing every album with just enough tweaks that although the band have clearly found a happy home in a hyperfast death-grind sound, each of the group’s releases since Global Flatline have felt different from one another. Those releases are still fairly recognizably as Aborted albums, and honestly, putting on shuffle the triptych of Global Flatline, Necrotic Manifesto, and Retrogore, along with the smattering of EPs and single releases with all their bonus rarities that happened in between those discs, pretty much guarantees a very consistent and frighteningly heavy through-line.

May 312017

 

To be drawn slowly to your death in a viscous pool of quicksand beneath a pitch-black sky, with no one to hear your screams, must be a terrifying experience. If an earthquake were happening at the same time, with an upheaval of stone smashing your sinking limbs beneath the surface while demons howl in your mind, that combination of experiences might resemble the sensations of this split.

The two violent sludge/doom bands who have joined forces in this outpouring of affliction come from opposite sides of the U.S., yet based on the music, they seem to be kindreds in spirit, bound together in a joint mission to reap the souls of their listeners. The bands are Black Urn and Shrine of the Serpent, and their split will be released on tape by Caligari Records on June 2nd.

May 232017

 

We have a double-premiere for you in this post, both of which have stirred excitement here at the NCS metallic island. The first of these is the stream of a powerful new two-song EP by the Norwegian melodic black metal band Vinterbris, set for release on June 6th, the title of which is Ad Absurdum. And the second, which was inspired by the first, is a time-lapse video of the wonderful Norwegian artist Kim Holm that depicts his creation of the EP’s evocative wrap-around cover art.

In 2014 we wrote repeatedly about Vinterbris‘ superb second album Solace. What first drew our attention to the album even before hearing the music was the artwork that Kim Holm created for that album. In addition to a cover piece, Holm created separate illustrations for each song on the album (which we collected in one place here). Having been lured into the album by this artwork, we found the music to be a treasure as well. We even included a song from Solace on our list of 2014’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

And now we will face the challenge of deciding which of these two new songs to pick for the 2017 edition of that list — because both songs surge with infectious energy, both of them immediately appealing at the first listen, and both of them persistently boiling in the listener’s mind long after they end.

May 172017

 

(Andy Synn once again focuses on recent or forthcoming releases by bands from his native land, this time selecting releases by Belial, Drekavac, and Monolithian.)

Breaking with convention ever so slightly, this edition of “The Best of British” is focussed on EPs, rather than albums, providing you with a hand-picked triptych of short, but oh-so-sweet, metallic morsels to devour at your leisure.

BELIALNIHIL EST

Punishing Deathcore with a pronounced Technical edge, the sophomore EP by these Swindon-based savages is a crushing conglomeration of coiled riffs, convulsive rhythms, and cascading electronics — plus the occasional bone-shattering breakdown – that should appeal to anyone who considers themselves a fan of All Shall Perish, Fit For An Autopsy, and their ilk.

May 152017

 

(Andy Synn reviews the debut EP by the Polish band Loathfinder, released near the end of April by Godz Ov War Productions.)

Never underestimate the power of some eye-catching artwork… I mean, just look at that cover art… the rotten, roughly-sketched lines, the gritty, granular colour-scheme, the subtle suggestion of oozing, necrotic motion… how can you not want to find out more when confronted with an image like that?

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