(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new song by Pennsylvania’s Veilburner.)
When working on new articles or premieres for bands I’ve already covered in the past, sometimes it helps as a refresher to go back to what we said about the band before, to help put in context the new music being presented to us by such a group. Yet again, this line of thought came to mind in reflecting on our continual coverage of the unique form of industrial and psychedelic-infused take on black-metal-meets-death metal that Pennsylvania duo Veilburner continue to crank out year after year.
Looking back at our NCS archives, we first covered Veilburner here at NCS in 2014 in a multi-band article I posted soon after hearing about their incredible debut, The Three Lightbearers. Since then the band released a follow up full-length last year called Noumenon, from which we helped premiere a song called “Ever Relapsing Fever”. That was followed by the album’s placement on year-end lists here by both Andy Synn and myself.
While I failed to do a full review for either of those first two albums, both of them have continued to be releases I come back to, so I kinda feel like a dick for not doing more to help spread the word about them. I will have a chance to do better this time around, starting with this premiere of a killer new song off their upcoming third full-length, The Obscene Rite, entitled “Eucharist of the Breathing Abyss”.
Happy Monday! I mean that sincerely, despite the usual depressive aspects of the day, because this Monday brought us three exciting new song premieres that I discovered soon after caffeinating myself strongly enough to stun a bull, plus an announcement of an exciting U.S. tour. And here’s what I found:
As our regular readers are well aware, we have become ardent followers of the Greek band Aenaon since discovering the wonders of their 2014 album Extance, which made no fewer than four different year-end lists published at our site, as well as a host of our reader’s lists. It was also the source of a song (“Grau Diva”) that I included in my list of 2014’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. You may then be able to imagine how eagerly we have been awaiting the band’s new album, Hypnosophy.
If you’re feeling sluggish, out-of-sorts, or just generally fed up with the boredom and frustration of your existence, we have a sure-fire remedy, the kind of death metal that’s akin to grabbing a live power line with both hands, while ringing wet, and letting the current jolt your spine and set your head on fire.
The name of the song we’re helping premiere is “Acolytes“, and it’s a new free single by Beyond Grace from Nottingham, England, presented through the medium of a music video. The song features a guest vocal appearance by Abysmal Dawn’s Charles Elliott, in addition to the vocals of Beyond Grace’s regular frontman and visionary member, our own Andy Synn.
(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Seattle’s Lesbian, which is out now on the Translation Loss label and features striking cover art by Dan Seagrave.)
Before reviewing this album I went back and listened to Lesbian’s album Stratospheria Cubensis for a little perspective. Six years ago when that album came out, they were still pretty committed to not neatly fitting within any sub-genre of metal, and now they have continued to defy those boundaries even more.
Former members of The Accüsed formed this band back in 2007 and have now evolved their brand of proggy death metal into something even more darkly bizarre. Their new album finds the vocals becoming even more varied, blending sung vocals and growls. This is done in a very tasteful way that might win over some of you who think this approach is dated. In some ways it makes me think of what might have happened if Acid Bath had collided with Cynic.
With three weeks having passed since the last time I was able to compile a Shades of Black post, I’ve accumulated quite a large collection of songs, EPs, and albums that I’d like to recommend. I’ve ambitiously given this post a “Part 1” moniker, signifying the goal of following this with at least one more collection during the coming week. Of course, this ignores the lesson I’ve tried repeatedly to teach myself, i.e., that part-time metal bloggers should never disclose what they think they are going to do, given the high failure rate. Hope springs eternal, I guess.
I’m starting with music from two Icelandic black metal bands. There seem to be an endless supply of them, and they seem to be never less than good, and often are great. I’m also beginning to suspect that all the line-ups are drawn from the same group of about five people.
Endalok is a new Icelandic band whose debut demo Englaryk will be released on CD by Hellthrasher Productions and on cassette and vinyl by Signal Rex. The identity of the member(s) hasn’t been disclosed, but the quality of the first preview track suggests the presence of a person or people who have some experience, as well as impressive talent.
Apart from a rare mid-week edition of this column contributed by our friend Gorger, three weeks have passed since we had a regularly scheduled Rearview Mirror column on a Sunday, mainly due to my absence from home for three weekends in a row. To resume the feature, I’m focusing on a Norwegian black metal band named Ljå and their lone official full-length, Til avsky for livet (2006).
I learned of the album, as I have other subjects for this column, through a recommendation by Dutch musician Jan K. (thank you again!). The album is now 10 years old, with only a 2012 EP (Klar til strid) and a 2008 compilation of earlier material (Vedderbaug) having been released since then.
Happy Hangover Day to one and all. In this Saturday round-up I’ve included one exciting news item and four songs that I discovered over the last 24 hours, which I’ve also found exciting. The first two are older songs. I tend to focus in these round-ups on brand new material, but I’m including these two not only because they’re very good but also because both bands have new albums in the works. The third and fourth songs are more par for the course — just-released advance tracks from forthcoming releases.
We begin with the exciting news item. Our brother Joseph at Invisible Oranges was quick on the trigger yesterday, spreading the news about Khôrada, which is how I found out about the announcement. For those who don’t patronize IO, Khôrada is the name of a new band whose line-up includes the three refugees of Agalloch, whose visionary founding member set them adrift last May.
I’ve developed a habit through years of experience, much like Pavlov’s dog was trained to salivate at the sound of the bell: When I learn that Sweden’s Mordbrand have released new music, I drop what I’m doing and hungrily scamper over to the music player to listen. This happened yesterday when, without advance warning, a new Mordbrand EP popped up on Bandcamp. The name of it is In Nighted Waters.
This new EP is actually the Mordbrand half of a split LP with California’s Gravehill, which will be released in the U.S. by Doomentia and is now available in Sweden via Carnal Records. It includes four original songs and a cover of “Compost Christ” by Bluuurgh… (rearranged by Mordbrand and including guest vocals by Mike Abominator (Necronizer, ex-Gravehill).
Today is the day when a new Ohio label named Gloom Pit will release a split by Dendritic Arbor (about whom we’ve been writing since 2013) and Infinite Waste (who we will be paying close attention to from this moment on). Earlier this week Noisey premiered a full stream of the split — which includes three audio assaults by Dendritic Arbor (one of which is a bonus noise piece) and two by Infinite Waste — and today we have a dual premiere of videos for a song from the split by each band.
Dendritic Arbor recorded their songs with Kurt Ballou at God City Studios (with mastering for maximum impact by Brad Boatright at Audio Siege), while the Infinite Waste tracks were recorded and mastered by Zach Ohren at Castle Ultimate Studios. At the end of this post (after the videos), we’ll include a stream of the entire split, which can be ordered on vinyl, digipack CD, or tape, here:
(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a song from Man Does Not Give, the debut album of Seputus.)
Ever since Doug Moore of Pyrrhon told me earlier this year that he’d be participating in a new side-project, I’ve been anxiously awaiting it. In the last few months the name of this new group was announced: Seputus. In terms of its roots and definition, “seputus” is a Latin term that means buried, sunk, or immersed. Considering the kind of dark and pummeling music the band Seputus play, this is a very fitting name, which exemplifies the feelings and experience that listening to their music creates.
To back up a little and give you some information on the group’s history, the project first started as a collaboration between multi-instrumentalist (and current Pyrrhon drummer) Stephen Schwegler and Doug Moore way back in 2005. Together, they worked on material that was left unreleased before the project slipped into inactivity around 2009, which was the result of Stephen shipping off into the military.