Nov 182017

 

The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley, and sometimes they’re just naturally daft and glazed, which is a good description of myself this morning.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s round-up, I’m now deep in the heart of Texas for a high school reunion tonight, and spent last night catching up with some old friends over a bottle of whisky. I then slept 11 hours, which I don’t think I’ve done since the year of my high school graduation. And so, this Saturday round-up includes fewer items than I had originally planned.

MIGRATION FEST

The first Migration Fest (organized by Gilead Media and 20 Buck Spin), which took place in Olympia, Washington, in August 2016 was fantastic. The next one is now set for July 27-29, 2018, at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And this morning the festival announced the first round of confirmed bands:

Nov 152017

 

Even if you think you have nothing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, you will on the day after that, because on that day Dark Descent will release the new EP by Thantifaxath, Void Masquerading As Matter. The odds are it’s like nothing you’ve ever heard, unless you’ve heard Sacred White Noise, and even then, this one pushes the envelope even further.

These songs are the children of Dionysus and Hermes, of Ares and Hades, of the Maniae and of Apollo. You could pick a different pantheon, but this is the one that sprang to my mind, because the music is orgiastic and ecstatic, mysterious and arcane, warlike and tortured, grand and funereal, and above all insanely creative — and simply insane. Thoughts of The Wild Hunt and George Gershwin sprang to mind, too.

It might be possible to parse these songs into their manifold musical ingredients, to map them in a blueprint, which no doubt would look labyrinthine, but I lack the musical knowledge and the word-smithing capability to do that adequately. And so, mainly, my thoughts are about the sensations of this sensational music.

Nov 142017

 

Rotting Kingdom is a new band from Lexington, Kentucky, that features current and former members of Tombstalker, whose music we’ve covered several times in the past. They’ve recorded a self-titled EP that is being released today, digitally and on tape, via Morbid Records, and we’re helping spread the word through the premiere of a full music stream.

The EP consists of three songs that entwine melodic doom and death metal to produce staggeringly bleak but seductive results, featuring beautifully bereaved dual-guitar performances, a crushing bass-and-drum tandem, and a vocalist whose growls are lower than ocean trenches.

Nov 102017

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new EP by Vitriol from Portland, Oregon, with a complete Bandcamp stream on the day of its release.)

Ted O’Neill of Oblivion tells me about this guy, Kyle Rasmussen, and his band Vitriol and says I should look into them, tells me he thinks they’re going to be a significant band to pay attention to. I get these recommendations all the time, and of course as a music journo or blogger of any sort your instant thought is to think someone’s just trying to signal-boost their friends. I still check those recommendations out, of course, because I’d be close-minded to take the cynical route. I hit up Kyle for his band’s debut EP and… it did not disappoint.

Vitriol hit a death metal note that’s not really been struck for a while now, that brand of out-of-control, rabid, and schizophrenic tech death some of us associate with the likes of Cryptopsy and Cephalic Carnage — structured delirium, organized chaos, encapsulated insanity.

Nov 092017

 

In the space of a compact, three-song EP of less than 13 minutes, the Singaporean band Funeral Hearse create a dramatic, unearthly, soul-shivering experience — a black metal furnace of fury, terror, and desolating delirium, laced with solemn ecclesiastical chants and choirs that seem to represent the target of the assault.

This new EP, The Fist. The Spit. The Sword., will be released on November 10 (tomorrow!) by Redefining Darkness Records, both digitally and on tape, but you can (and should) listen to it right now, at the end of this post.

Nov 052017

 

To blacken the Sabbath this week I picked a lot of new music to share with you. I again decided to split the collection into two parts, to make it a bit less daunting, and also because I’m not positive I could finish writing a post that included all the choices before having to leave my computer for the rest of the day. For that same reason I’m not sure I’ll finish Part 2 in time to post it today. If I can’t, you’ll see it tomorrow.

HALPHAS

To begin, I have a track named “Through The Forest” from the forthcoming debut album Dawn Of A Crimson Empire by the German black metal band Halphas. It will be released by Folter Records on December 15.

Nov 042017

 

I have a big bulging list of new music I’d like to recommend, but rather than try to stitch them all together, which would probably take all day, I just picked one new EP and two singles. As usual, the selection of these three bands off the list was pretty random. But as usual, I like the music a lot and I wanted to provide some variety, and as you’ll discover, there sure as hell is some variety here.

CRUCIAMENTUM

I wrote no fewer than four posts about Cruciamentum’s 2015 debut album Charnel Passages, including one in which I picked a song from the album called “Piety Carved From Flesh” for my list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Cruciamentum have now returned with a new EP called Paradise Envenomed, which was released digitally via Bandcamp and other platforms (and on 7″ vinyl by Profound Lore) just two days ago.

Nov 022017

 

(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new EP by the Australian black metal band Claret Ash, released yesterday via Bandcamp.)

Do you feel that? That faint, but growing, tingling on the back of your neck? That slowly developing sense of dread?

If you’re a writer/reviewer like me, you’ll recognise it almost immediately. That’s the sensation that time is running out, that the year is almost over, and yet there’s still so much left unsaid and unwritten.

And while I’m slowly starting to put together my usual yearly round-up to be published next month, I’m also still trying my hardest to award some coverage (and criticism) to as many albums and EPs as possible before the inevitable completion of the current solar cycle.

So, without further ado… here’s some rambling thoughts on the new EP by Aussie Black Metallers Claret Ash.

Nov 012017

 

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new EP by Framework from New Jersey and New York.)

Melodic death metal is a genre that’s arguably an endangered species as a stand-alone style. It started as something very distinct and apart from the rest of metal for sure, and some of the greatest metal ever made was recorded by bands operating under that label and with those stylistic leanings. However, I think it can be argued that the style has basically been devoured by the rest of metal.

More extreme bands began incorporating more melody into their music, and the melodic death bands who took notice of this started incorporating more extreme elements into their own music. This musical adaptation that’s happened, especially in the last ten years, make it worth asking if we should even be using the genre descriptor any more.

I reviewed Framework’s excellent record A World Distorted here at NCS previously, an impressive debut that incorporated all the best aspects of ’90‘s/early 2000s heavier melodic death metal in the spirit of At The Gates, Soilwork, Nightrage, etc. Framework have been underground for a good while since then, now three years removed from A World Distorted. And now I understand why, as the band have been busy re-tooling their sound, making that adaptation I spoke of earlier.

Oct 312017

 

(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new EP by Pennsylvania-based Zao, which will be released this coming Friday and is streaming in full as of today.)

Zao’s fantastic comeback album, The Well-Intentioned Virus, was easily one of the best and brightest releases of last year, even if its December release date kept it from appearing on most end of year lists.

Regardless of this, the band are clearly keen on capitalising on the momentum of their return, and are already working on their next full-length… while also set to drop a brand new EP, the five-track Pyrrhic Victory this Friday.

Well, you know what they say about striking while the iron is hot, right?

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