This is a collection of recent music I heard over the last 24 hours that I want to recommend. As the post title suggests, the music is loosely connected by elements of black metal — and I do mean “loosely”, especially in the case of the first song.
I first learned of the Dutch two-man band Urfaust when our long-time supporter Utmu wrote about them in a guest post two years ago, a post I would commend to people who are new to Urfaust. Even today, I’ve still only dabbled in the band’s previous recordings, but enough to recognize that their approach to black metal is highly distinctive.
More than four years have passed since their last album, but Germany’s Ván Records is now poised to release a new 12″ vinyl EP from the band. Entitled Apparitions, it features painted artwork by ThornyThoughts Artwork.
This is the third of three EP reviews I’m posting today. The first band was Australia’s Ur Draugr, the second was New Zealand’s The Skull, and now we leap across seas and continents to visit a band from Italy named…
MINDFUL OF PRIPYAT
Mindful of Pripyat are a new death/grind collective from Milan who released their debut assault — …And Deeper, I Drown In Doom — via Bandcamp last week. I was drawn to explore the music because the band includes Giulia (aka Doomed Warrior) from the fantastic Into Darkness on guitars, bass, and vox. Her bandmates are Tya (lead vocals and noise) and Gio (drums and vocals) — and yes, all three members vocalize.
Taking their inspiration from old-school grindcore in the vein of Napalm Death, Terrorizer, and Dead Infection and with a conceptual focus on dystopian futures and post-apocalyptic scenarios, Mindful of Pripyat have delivered 16 tracks in less than 20 minutes. They make very good use of the time.
This is the second of three EP reviews I’m posting today. I began the day (here) with Ur Daugr from Australia, and now I’m jumping across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and a band named…
The Skull includes ex-members of Demoniac, as well as current members of Bulletbelt, Dying Of The Light, and DBC (Dead Brain Cells). Their debut demo, which surfaced last November, is named Nuclear War. It seems to have been in the works for quite a while; it appears from their Facebook page that recording took place back in March 2013. But hey, having heard the demo, I’ll happily say, “Better late than never!”
Listening to the five songs on Nuclear War — which will race through your earholes in a tight 10-minute blitzkrieg — is to be victimized by auditory slaughter, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s a one-two punch of old school speed metal and venomous death/thrash that will lay you out.
This is the first of three EP reviews that I plan to post today. The EPs are all very different from each other, but they’re all very good.
I have a feeling that metal fans have lost a real gem, but the significant fragment that remains still gleams brightly.
Ur Draugr are from Perth in Western Australia and the band’s ranks include past or present members of Impiety, Wardaemonic, DeathFuckingCunt, and Morphica. When I first wrote about the band last November (here), it was in connection with their release of an impressive new song named “Unseen Golgotha”.
(DGR reviews the debut EP by a Canadian band named Unbeheld.)
And so, a new year dawns. We’re already close to a week into it and honestly things don’t seem that much different, other than the fact that we are still releasing a massive spate of lists as well as beginning to hammer our way through the seemingly never-ending and always growing list of infectious songs, eventually creating a huge playlist that will hopefully help people discover a huge batch of new bands when all is said and done.
Normally, around this time, you find all sorts of garbage floating around about resolutions, promises to be better people, “new year, new you”, like the fact that accidentally writing ’14 on all your dates for the next half month is going to somehow change you at the sub-atomic level and some brand new, fresh being is going to be borne of it.
I can’t make too many promises on that front, and given that I already got my scientifically accurate horoscope this year, I can consider that crossed off the list. What I can promise you is a grand NCS tradition of always poring over underground pages, trying to find new bands, writing reviews that are way too long for their own good, occasionally posting utter blasphemy in the form of clean-sung music on this site because it’s so good that people should be able to look past that, and discovering groups and discs far too late to be relevant to the initial burst that comes from a just-released new EP/album.
SLUG SALT LAVA
I first encountered Slug Salt Lava (from Istanbul, Turkey) in the early fall of this year, when their First-Promo rumbled my innards and captivated my mind (I reviewed it here). They’ve now released a new EP entitled Radiated Soundscapes, and these five new songs have only strengthened my affection for what they’re doing.
The music is entirely instrumental in a style that straddles sludge, stoner, and doom. Consistent with the band’s post-apocalyptic thematic concept for the music, the melodies have a dismal atmosphere and the pacing never accelerates past a mid-paced rumble, but guitarist Ersin Taş again shows a talent for concocting fat, fuzzy riffs that have a way of taking up residence in your mind — while getting your head bobbing to their beat.
As another year gasps its last breath I’m once again feeling forlorn about my inability to review more of the fine metal I heard over the last 12 months. There’s no way to catch up now, of course, but I still feel compelled to make one last gasp of my own. With so much to choose from, I’ve chosen somewhat randomly,focusing on two excellent short releases that display just a fraction of metal’s phenomenal diversity. This is the first of these two reviews; the second will follow shortly.
I vividly remember the first time I listened to black metal. It was about 9 years ago, and it was something from one of Rotting Christ’s earlier albums recommended by a friend who felt I needed to broaden my horizons. I remember having a visceral negative reaction. It was so much more harsh than the metal I’d been listening to, and my mind just wasn’t ready for it.
Here is a collection of recommended items from the blacker end of the metal spectrum that I spotted and heard yesterday; I have some others that I’ll feature tomorrow. I wrote most of this last night, just before the alcohol-soaked holiday party hosted by the place where I work. The parts that don’t make any sense were written this morning as I began the long road to recovery.
Yesterday brought additional details from Profound Lore about the next album by Leviathan: As previously disclosed, the album’s title is Scar Sighted; it will be released March 3 digitally and on CD; it was produced, engineered, and mixed by Billy Anderson; and it includes nine tracks. There was also this info about the album’s packaging, with a reference to the artwork I’ve included at the top of this post:
“Scar Sighted” will be packaged as a boxed CD edition (the only version of the CD this will be available as) which will come with eleven two-sided inserts featuring exclusive paintings by Jef Whitehead himself (one of them being the one pictured, LEVIATHAN logo watermarked specifically for online purposes, there is no actual front cover for “Scar Sighted”). The vinyl edition, to be released a month or so after the CD/digital version will also be specially packaged and will be released via the artists’ own Devout Records imprint (in which we will directly update you on its progress in due time).
This is an album I’m eager to hear, in part because I have a feeling it will include some surprises (see this interview of Wrest for reasons why I think that). This is the track list:
(DGR brings us some ugly ass music for the end of an ugly ass week.)
Allow me to be short and succinct with this opener: Work has kicked my ass these past two weeks and the holiday music is really starting to get to me. Long story short: Here’s two recent discoveries of sonic destruction that I’ve been using to sandblast my brain smooth so as to forget all forty thousand versions of Little Drummer Boy that I have to listen to each night while working on these projects/messes. Both albums are currently name your own price and conveniently enough, came out in October of this year.
When it comes to grind releases, for me it’s a tossup as to whether or not I’ll truly enjoy it. Part of the reason is that there are subsections of grind that feel like the ultimate pick-up-and-play genre — just slam around on your instruments for a while and about five minutes later its guaranteed you’re going to have, well, something.
When I first learned that Vault of Dried Bones would be releasing an album-length split by Adversarial and Paroxsihzem, entitled Warpit of Coiling Atrocities, I simultaneously experienced both a thrill and a chilling sensation, like a burst of adrenaline as the blood started freezing in my veins. I haven’t yet heard the complete results of this destructive alliance, but I have heard two of the songs on Warpit, and I got the thrill/chill all over again, big time. Now you’ll get a chance to hear them, too, as we bring you the premiere of one song by each band from the split.
Both of these Toronto bands’ last releases came out in 2012 — Adversarial’s split with Antediluvian (reviewed here) and Paroxsihzem’s self-titled debut album. Both of them were hellholes of violence and depravity, which is to say they were excellent. So are these two songs.