We have mentioned Dehn Sora many times on our site. On all those occasions, it has been because of his visual art, which has graced the covers of albums by such bands as Blut Aus Nord, Ephel Duath, Code, and Otargos. But he is a musician as well, and he has given his newest project the name Throane.
The first Throane full-length bears the title Derrière-Nous, La Lumière, and it will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on the 27th of May. To open the door to this work, we have the premiere of a song named “Un Instant Dans Une Torche“, and the video that accompanies it.
There is movement in the video. If you look away and look back again, you will see it more easily than if you stare unblinking. The symbolism of a slit throat.
When I wrote the last post with the title of “Blog Break”, I was off in a magnificent part of Montana partaking in a boondoggle for my day job. The explanation for this one is a tragedy.
On my last night in Montana I found out that one of my closest friends had been broadsided in her car by a Seattle emergency vehicle flying through a red light at a downtown intersection. She was uninjured — except for head trauma that required emergency brain surgery on Sunday night.
I flew home Monday morning and spent most of yesterday at a hospital ICU, watching her lie there on a respirator and feeding tube in a coma, trying to be supportive of her husband and parents. I felt sick beyond repair inside, and still do. She gave birth to her third child last fall. I guess he’s about eight months old now.
This is the first post I’ve ever written on my phone. I’m doing this because we’re having a wind storm where I live that knocked out the power while I was asleep AND I can’t get my generator to start AND even if I could, there would be no internet access.
SO, I’m on a ferry boat headed for Seattle, where I presume I can find power, and more importantly, coffee. I have three premieres I need to write and I want to finish a round up, but everything is going to be delayed because someone out there displeased Thor. Shame on you, whoever you are.
In the meantime, enjoy that painting (“The Castle”) by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich (that name is a motherfucker to type on a phone).
We missed out on a Rearview Mirror post last Sunday, so I thought I’d double-up for this Sunday’s edition. As usual, we’re looking back at metal from past years, and in this case providing a bit of music from two bands that no longer exist (though one of them still officially seems to be “on hold”). The careers of both bands overlapped, and both were favorites of mine while they lasted.
Himsa were founded in Seattle in 1998, taking as their name a Sanskrit word that means “harm” or “violence”. In June 2008 they announced their demise, and in August 2008 they played their last show. In between the beginning and the end, the band released four albums and two EPs on such labels as Revelation Records, Prosthetic Records, and Century Media.
Although we’re getting deep into our site’s own year-end lists, there are still a few more “big platform” sites whose year-end lists I’ve been waiting for, and this is one of them.
Vice Media, Inc. traces its origins back to a punk magazine called Vice Montreal that was started in 1994. Since then, Vice has grown into a multimedia network that includes not only Vice.com but also nine other digital channels. One of those is Noisey, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on music across a range of genres, including rock, rap, metal, and punk. Noisey proclaims that it “reaches millions and millions of readers and subscribers a month, a must-stop source for new music, investigative journalism, and artist-sourced content.”
This year, Noisey brought metal journalist Kim Kelly on board as a writer and member of its editorial staff, and yesterday the site published her ranked list of “Top 10 (Mostly) Metal Albums of 2015”, followed by an additional un-ranked list of “40 Favorite (And Occasionally Not Metal) Albums of 2015”. Here they are (and to read Kim’s comments about all the albums and listen to music streams, go HERE).
It seems that almost every day brings news of metal bands or other artists associated with metal attempting to raise money for their projects (or their own survival) through crowd-funding campaigns. If we attempted to provide news of such things on a consistent basis, we’d probably never get anything else done around here. But the three items I’ve collected in this post caught my eye for differing reasons, and so I’m making an exception.
VALE OF PNATH
(Austin Weber graciously volunteered to write this first blurb, and these are his words.)
Back in 2011, a little-known band from Colorado called Vale Of Pnath dropped a monster of a debut full-length through Willowtip Records named The Prodigal Empire. With the passage of time, The Prodigal Empire has been rightly lauded as top-tier technical death metal music that fans of the genre hold dear. In the years following its release the band has lost and gained various members, which has unfortunately delayed the release of a follow-up from the group.
(Here are some musings written by Andy Synn.)
Despite what you might have seen and read elsewhere, I still think there’s a certain art to writing reviews. Not Picasso-level art, certainly, or Muhammed Ali-level art… but art all the same.
Of course this proposition isn’t helped by the umpteen badly written, badly researched, and grammatically suspect publications you can find out there in the wilds of the interweb, nor by the plethora of click-bait, troll-magnet reviews seemingly designed just to stoke controversy and discontent… sorry, I’ll get off my soap-box and get back to the point…
Anyway, I for one count myself very lucky to have a voice, however small, in the Metal community at large, that people actually listen to and respect. And it’s not something I take lightly. I don’t think of myself as particularly special or important as a result of it, but I do acknowledge that – as a wise, two-dimensional man once sort-of-said – “with a modicum of power comes a modicum of responsibility”.
Or something along those lines.
(After a two-month break, Father Synn returns to NCS, ready to cleanse you of your manifold metal sins. Prepare to share your putrid failings in the Comments and accept the penance.)
Repent!!! Repent all ye sinners and sodomites!!! Repent and confess, for Father Synn has returned from his long pilgrimage in the vast and godless wilderness, eager to hear your tales of woe and transgression once more.
As always, let mine own flaws and failings be a lantern, leading you along the path of redemption!
I’ve failed. This makes the seventh day in nearly 6 years, weekend and holidays and inclement weather included, when I haven’t been able to post something of substance. I blame California Deathfest, and my inability to spend the hours before the next night preparing something for our putrid blog.
I have photos and lots of thoughts about the bands I saw on Saturday night, but that will have to wait until Monday. All I’ll say for now is that the photo above is a hint about the band whose Saturday set, for my tastes, was the best of the day. But it was a very, very close call, because it was a very strong night of metal, which included these people:
(We welcome back New Zealand-based metal writer and broadcaster Craig Hayes, who brings us this interview with Elise Gregg-Schofield of New Zealand’s Cephalopod, whose new EP was released this summer.)
Losing the primary songwriter from any band often means the demise of said band is sure to follow. However, although New Zealand metal band Cephalopod lost one of its key founding members a few years back, the group has ended up making a giant compositional leap on their new EP, A Bad Case of Unreality. The band’s last release, 2012’s Materialization, featured plenty of high-energy thrash mixed with vocalist Elise Gregg-Schofield’s howls. But when it came time to record A Bad Case of Unreality, Cephalopod clearly had a whole new set of goals.
Not only is A Bad Case of Unreality is more complex and adventurous release than Cephalopod’s previous EP, but Gregg-Schofield’s vocals are far more dynamic, too. Far from sounding like a band recovering from the exit of a key songwriter, A Bad Case of Unreality finds Cephalopod revelling in new energy and renewed enthusiasm. The EP sees Cephalopod inject intense layers of intricacy into ten-tonne pandemonium on “Ape Brain” and “Loose Teeth”.\, while “Blue and Righteous” and “A Bad Case of Unreality” dig into brutal technical mayhem like Cephalopod have never done before.
All up, A Bad Case of Unreality presents a band that’s free to experiment with a wider range of influences and creative inspirations. No Clean Singing recently caught up with Cephalopod vocalist Gregg-Schofield to discuss A Bad Case of Unreality, and those changes in the band’s sound and attitude.