This is kind of an odd Saturday. Here in the U.S., it’s the middle of a long holiday weekend, two days after Thanksgiving, a day after Black Friday, and two days before what snake oil peddlers have annointed “Cyber Monday”, when people get back to their high-speed internet connections at work and are encouraged to buy shit online that they don’t need, with money they don’t have. Hail Satan!
Anyway, I’m not sure if anyone will be visiting us today, but I’ve stitched together some (mostly) new music anyway, because instead of leaving my house to spend money yesterday I hunkered down and doused myself with a few hours of new metal. Much more satisfying and much less costly.
I decided to start this round-up with a healthy heaping serving of high energy, beginning with a blast of speed metal from the Greek band Endless Recovery. The band’s new album (their second full-length) is named Revel In Demise, and it’s set for release by Witches Brew on December 24.
I guess it has become a cliche to feature black metal on Black Friday, even though the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other beyond a shared word. But we have no discounts to offer on the subscription to our site, no merch to sell at half off, and I’m overdue posting a Shades of Black feature anyway. So, black metal it shall be (mostly).
I’ve collected in this post streams of three new songs from forthcoming albums and two new EPs, plus my own garbled words.
Okay, so Sweden’s Degial aren’t exactly a black metal band, but they’re necro to the core. The name of their new, second album is Savage Mutiny and it’s coming out via Sepulchral Voice Records on December 25 (in order to foul the holiday with their blasphemous stench, of course). The title track from the album was delivered unto our greedy ears yesterday, and you shall hear it next.
As I mentioned in my last post yesterday (here), I had more than the usual amount of time on Monday and Tuesday to explore new music and found a lot that I enjoyed. In addition to the six videos collected in that last post, I’ve selected recent songs from six more bands here. And at the risk of overwhelming you with metal, we’ll soon be following this round-up today with a second one assembled by Grant Skelton.
Hostium are rooted in Vancouver British Columbia. Their debut album The Bloodwine of Satan is projected for a vinyl release by Germany’s Iron Bonehead Productions in February of the new year, and a CD version will be released around the same time by NecroShrine Records. In recent days Iron Bonehead deployed a track named “Bloodwine Chalice” to Soundcloud.
Everything about Extreme Cold Winter’s debut EP is massive, frigid, and pitiless. Compared to what I’ve heard from the music of founder AJ van Drench’s previous death/doom band Beyond Belief, Paradise Ends Here is slower, more desolate and forbidding, and more brutally staggering in the force of its impact. The word DOOM belongs before “death” this time, and it deserves all the capital letters.
In keeping with the band’s name, the song titles and the apocalyptic lyrical themes are devoted to the extinction of heat, joy, and life. The music and the words — which can be heard clearly in the well-rounded and monstrous growls of vocalist Pim Blankenstein (Officium Triste, The 11th Hour) — conjure feelings of desperation and dread. When Blankenstein roars, “We came from far, from raging worlds to kill again the sun and moon!”, you can easily imagine that he’s talking about the band, even though he’s not.
As you can see, I decided to give the “Seen and Heard” title a rest for today, but that’s still what this post really is — another selection of music I’ve come across in recent days that I thought you might enjoy as much as I have. Most of what’s in here is new, some of it only newly discovered by yours truly. As is usually the case, the featured music is stylistically diverse. And because this is a birthday weekend at NCS, I decided to really load up this post with a lot of listening.
We’ll start this collection of music with the debut EP from Norway’s Nachash, a four-track offering entitled Conjuring the Red Death Eclipse. Though it was released in February of this year (through Unborn Productions), I only discovered it recently, and what a discovery it has been.
The four long songs on the EP are rich and multifaceted. The final track “A Necromancer’s Lament”, which is set to play first on Bandcamp, is like a melding of stoner doom and black metal; the riffs are so goddamn delicious that I got pulled headfirst into the rest of the EP as if I’d been sucked into a whirlpool.
Last weekend I came across an EP named Laws of Power that was digitally released in July by a band named Expander from Austin, Texas. It seized me by the throat so fast and so firmly that I spilled some words about it on Monday of this week (here), while noting that it would be released on tape by Caligari Records. Little did I know at the time that I would be ending the week as I began it — with more music from Expander.
It turns out that this past summer the editors at Metal Sucks selected Expander to be one of 10 unsigned bands who would be given the chance to record new music at Converse Rubber Tracks — Converse’s free recording studio — in either Brooklyn, NY, with producer Will Putney (The Acacia Strain, Suicide Silence, Exhumed), or in Boston, MA, with producer Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Torche). Expander did their thing with Kurt Ballou, and while Metal Sucks earlier premiered one of the two songs they recorded with him, the band have just today released both tracks via Bandcamp.
I came across a ton of new music yesterday that lit me up, too much to cram into a single post. So I made some hard choices, and selected this grouping from six artists with an eye toward creating a diverse listening experience. The last item, of course, isn’t metal — except it kind of is. You’ll see. If I have time I might be able stitch together some more new songs for later today, and if not, tomorrow (because tomorrow is the glorious sixth anniversary of our site’s birth).
January 15 is the date set by Relapse Records for the release of the new album Chasm by Oakland’s Lycus. As you can see, it features cover art by Paolo Girardi. The band’s last album, 2013’s Tempest, was fantastic, and I’ve been curious to see what Lycus would do next.
The new record consists of four long songs, and one of them, “Solar Chamber”, debuted yesterday. Drummer Trevor DeSchryver described its concept this way:
In this post I’m reviewing two very different EPs that I discovered only in the last few days but have enjoyed immensely — and by sheer coincidence both bands happen to be based in the place of my birth, Austin, Texas.
Hinayana is the solo project of an Austin musician named Casey Hurd, and Endless is the name of the band’s first demo (released in August 2014). It doesn’t sound like a first stab at creativity, but more like the confident and well-crafted output of a mature band hitting its stride.
The music is a doom-influenced outpouring of melodic death metal, with iron at its core and streamers of beautiful melody swirling around it like phosphorescent creatures in a black, heaving sea. The melodies are moving and memorable, and as the EP progresses, Hurd pitches the intensity in a cycle that ebbs and flows like tides. Big groaning riffs are balanced by rippling lead guitar motifs that really shine. Staggering guitar and bass jabs trade places with the soft pulse of isolated notes. Astral keyboard waves glimmer above dismantling doom chords. The melancholy music sinks like weighted corpses in the deep, yet rises up like a blazing sunrise — the agony and the ecstasy. Through it all, Hurd’s cavernous roars deepen the songs’ wrenching pall of magnificent gloom.
If you skip ahead and take a look at the photo of Surtur that accompanies this post, you will see that these Bangladeshi thrashers are some young dudes. I didn’t see the photo until their debut EP Descendant of Time had already reduced my head to a smoking (and smiling) pile of wreckage. I’m still scratching what’s left of my head, wondering how in the world they pulled off what they’ve accomplished on this marauding new release. And then I remembered how old Hetfield, Hammett, Burton, and Ulrich were when they recorded Kill ‘Em All.
Descendant of Time is a molten eruption of killer riffs and scintillating solos, the kind of metal that’s guaranteed to get heads (and feet and arms) moving. It’s fleet and furious, but laced with so many writhing twists and turns that it won’t wear out its welcome after the first listen. And the band’s propulsive rhythm section does a fine job keeping the songs firing on all cylinders while guitarist and principal songwriter Shadman Omee struts his stuff (and he really does have the right stuff).
(DGR prepared this collection of violent music, reviewing releases by five groups of geographically dispersed sonic assassins.)
It has been some time since I have properly thrown myself around the internet with the reckless abandon of someone on a nuclear cocktail of mind-altering substances. It’s usually how I discover music, bouncing around the web like one of those corner store rubber balls that you spike on the ground and send into orbit. I like to imagine during these adventures that I’m a sort of musical Indiana Jones or Nicholas Cage, but in reality performance of said act probably resembles something closer to a Mr. Bean movie.
It’s been so long since I have attempted to archive my discoveries, though, that I now have a notepad file on my desktop with a whopping 20(!) finalists for my usual digging-through-Bandcamp feature. No longer am I strictly sifting through Bandcamp looking for the cream of the crop. Now? I am properly drowning, overwhelmed with a whole bevy of new music by bands who have either flown under our radar completely or we just happened to be two ships in the night.
So, I find myself kicking this feature off with five bands, all of them united by a somewhat core theme — this time we are brought to you by the words spastic, loud, and violent.
Between these five bands I would argue that maybe one has any sense of groove and the others are all violent expulsions of energy, gamma ray bursts that have been raring to go since their stars collapsed. Now we’re beaming them across the net from around the planet and right into your earholes, and just like the aforementioned bursts, some of these bands can be absolutely lethal.