(Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Conjurer, which will be released on July 1 by Holy Roar Records.)
We all know by now that hype can be a double-edged sword.
Certainly it can serve to drum up some necessary excitement and anticipation where it’s needed, there’s no denying that. But equally, it can set up unrealistic expectations that act like the proverbial albatross around a band’s collective neck, particularly in cases where certain blogs and magazines (and even the band’s own PR) keep throwing out sweeping comparisons and wild exaggerations as part of a veritable onslaught of hyperbole.
It can honestly leave you wondering whether to believe what you’re reading, or if it’s simply another example of puffed-up propaganda from the media group mind.
Birmingham-based quartet Conjurer (whose name you may have seen mentioned here at NCS once or twice before) have built up something of a buzz for themselves in the few short years they’ve been together, based almost entirely on the strength of their live performances.
And, as such, their debut EP, the ungooglable I, has a lot riding on it. Not only is it the band’s first chance to solidify their own sonic identity on record, but it’s also their first opportunity to prove whether or not all that hype and hyperbole floating around in the digital aether is actually justified.
So… do they deliver the goods? Or are they all mouth, and no trousers?
Well, I’m two days late with this post. My original plan was to follow Part 1, which appeared on Sunday, with this Part 2 on Monday. But I got busy posting other things both Monday and Tuesday, and so here we are. Having delayed too long already, let’s just get right to the music….
The Texas band Black Funeral was born from the mind of Michael W. Ford (aka Akhtya Nachttoter) in the mid-’90s, and although other members of the line-up have changed over time, Ford has persevered, releasing 8 albums that began with 1995’s Vampyr – Throne of the Beast. And this year, roughly six years after the last Black Funeral full-length, another one will be upon us in September via Iron Bonehead Productions and Dark Adversary.
(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Iceland’s Almyrkvi, now available on Bandcamp.)
Black Metal has a long history of dealing with darkness in all its many forms… so it’s not surprising that so many of its adherents eventually turn their eyes towards the vast, vacant heavens and seek inspiration in the bleak emptiness of the void.
And so it is with Iceland’s Almyrkvi, the brainchild of Sinmara guitarist Garðar S. Jónsson, whose debut EP Pupil of the Searing Maelstrom seeks to capture the fearsome cold and endless nothngness of the celestial abyss in five impressively atmospheric and morbidly mesmerising tracks.
In April we were privileged to bring you the premiere of the title track to Le Jour Se Lève, the debut EP of a precocious French band named Au Champ Des Morts, and today we share with you a stream of the entire EP, which has now been released by Debemur Morti Productions.
ACDM was founded in 2014 by Stefan Bayle (Anorexia Nervosa) and Migreich (VULV), and this EP is a precursor to the band’s debut album, which will also be released by Debemur Morti. The EP consists of two songs, both of which quickly establish this band as one to watch closely.
The Swedish death metal war machine Just Before Dawn has already given the world two excellent albums (Precis innan gryningen (2013) and The Aftermath (2014)), and the first installment in a trilogy of EPs (2015’s The Dead and Those About To Die), and now JBD mastermind Anders Biazzi and a formidable battalion of allies are on the verge of launching their latest offensive — a new EP named The Ghosts of the Eastern Front. — and below you will find some thoughts about the EP as well as a teaser video with audio samples from the songs.
Like the first EP in the trilogy, this new one will be released on cassette tape by Till You Fukkin Bleed Records, and the songs on the cassette will also later be included on a new full-length release planned for later this year.
One week ago we premiered the title track from Obliteration of the Self, the debut EP by an insurgent death metal duo who call themselves Inert, and today we deliver a full stream of the entire EP, which the band are making available as a free download for a limited time.
For those who missed our earlier premiere, I’ll repeat the band’s origin story: Both members (guitarist Xavier Aguilar and vocalist/drummer Gustavo Garcia) knew each other for many years from the metal scene in Barcelona, Spain, but didn’t join forces in Inert until Xavi moved to Stockholm, Sweden. Perhaps something in the Swedish water infiltrated Xavi’s creative juices, but whatever caused this duo to join forces only after considerable distance separated them, we should be thankful for it.
(We welcome you to the glorious 14th part of our Norwegian comrade Gorger’s highlighting of releases we haven’t previously reviewed. To find more of his discoveries, visit Gorger’s Metal.)
I’ve got a few shorter releases to share with you today. I’m calling it an EP special, but for good measure, I’m tossing in a split and a graphic novel(!) too. I’ve also shortened down my ramblings to leave you sore-eared rather than sore-eyed. Enjoy.
Two striking black metal bands separated by the Pacific have joined forces in a new split release coming out tomorrow on 7″ vinyl from Iron Bonehead Productions. The split’s title, Pestilential Hierophanies, is a conjunction of the two track names on the album, with Australia’s Ill Omen contributing “Whited, Pestilent Sepulchre…” and Chile’s Slaughtbbath providing “Inverted Hierophany”.
You can — and should — listen to both tracks below. I have a brief review first, and in a nutshell, this is one of the best splits I’ve come across this year.
The lone artist behind Ill Omen (“IV”) has quite a resume of participation in other groups, including his membership in Temple Nightside and previous work in Austere. Under the Ill Omen banner he has produced many short releases as well as three albums, including this year’s Æ.Thy.Rift.
(In this post Grant Skelton reviews the new EP by Finland’s The Lone Madman — an exception to our “rule”.)
“…Finland has perhaps the most heavy metal bands in the world, per capita…” If President Obama himself is aware of Finland’s contributions to heavy metal, then it would certainly behoove us at No Clean Singing to follow suit (and obviously not for the first time). Children Of Bodom, Ensiferum, Shape Of Despair, Amorphis, Omnium Gatherum, Swallow The Sun, Skepticism, Insomnium. And those are only a scant few!
I must give credit to the stellar blog The Shrieks From Below for my discovery of Helsinki’s The Lone Madman. In recent years, I’ve become quite a doom hoarder. You know what they say. “Listening to doom all day keeps the reaper at bay.” If you’ve enjoyed the recent resurgence in heavy, traditional, and/or epic doom from Crypt Sermon, Below, and Pilgrim, then The Lone Madman are the cushion for your proverbial casket.
(Allen Griffin reviews the new self-titled 7″ EP by Hissing.)
Seattle trio Hissing is one of the latest additions to Southern Lord’s formidable roster and they are poised to release their self-titled 7″ in early June. Consisting of two crushing tracks, a little over eleven minutes of music, their sound can be described as an amalgamation of abyss-trawling blast beats, thick gutter sludge, and oppressive, mysterious atmosphere.
While drawing from a range of influences, Deathspell Omega, Portal, and Autopsy are the most obvious touchstones, and while these are not uncommon influences in the current scene, Hissing succeed where others often fail. There is a certain x-factor bands of this ilk rarely possess, but Hissing seem to have in spades. The material here, inspired by the human psyche trying to survive in hostile urban environments, is utterly convincing in both composition and execution.