The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ EPs between now and year-end. Yesterday I reviewed the first two of those EPs to reach the label from the pressing plant (here). In this post I’ve collected thoughts about the next three that are planned for release, which are now at press.
Ascended Dead come our way from San Diego, and include current or former members of Ghoulgotha, whose Blood Harvest EP was one of the two covered in Part 1 of this series. Their release is a four-song collection entitled Arcane Malevolence, which follows the band’s four-song demo released in 2012.
The label pitches the band with references to the likes of Possessed, Necrovore, and the early sounds of Morbid Angel and Sarcofago, and that should give you an idea of what you’re in for. This is thick, murky, grinding death metal, the gears of the monstrous machine choked with grime and spewing noxious fumes as it barrels ahead at a murderous pace.
(DGR wrote this review of the new album by Toronto’s Tyrant of Death.)
One glance at the track lengths of Tyrant Of Death’s new release Ascendancy should tell you everything you need to know about this album. With each song exceeding a ten-minute run time, Ascendancy is an intimidating as hell disc. Tyrant Of Death has released a few longer tracks in its time on this earth, but has never before collected a bunch of them in one location. At first glance without listening, it looks like Tyrant Of Death gone prog.
Ascendancy is the fifteenth (!) Tyrant Of Death release, with a time gap of about a year since last year’s Nuclear Nanosecond, an album that itself emerged after a longer gap of time compared to Tyrant Of Death’s more prolific days when three or four albums a year would hit. It’s not Senmuth numbers, but this project has a lot of material out there, which has meant that with every release the band has had to work insanely hard to differentiate itself from the pack, not only from other musicians but also from its own huge slab of work.
Ascendancy is the grandest attempt at that yet, with its longer track run-times and a bevy of guest musicians from throughout the circle of bands with whom project owner Alex Rise has long associated — meaning that four of the five songs on Ascendancy have vocal tracks as well as a guest guitarist or two. Ascendancy is an ambitious disc — one that moves from the industrialized chaos of Anaal Nathrakh to the oblivion of blasts and science fiction influences that have long worked their way into the Tyrant Of Death formula. And almost all of it moves at a breakneck pace, with almost no room to breathe until the album’s closer, “Biomechanical”.
The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ vinyl EPs between now and year-end. I’ve received advance digital versions of five of them and thought I’d put down a few words about all five, divided into two posts. In this one the subjects are the two EPs that the label announced yesterday it had just received from the pressing plant. The other three are apparently being manufactured now, and I’ll cover those in Part 2 tomorrow.
Ceremonial are a Chilean band with two previous demos to their credit. Their Blood Harvest release is a four-song offering entitled Ars Magicka. The music is a blazing blitzkrieg of black thrash, a rapacious attack of rapid-fire riffs, booming bass, and acrobatic drumwork, with utterly venomous, echoing vocals.
Happy goddamned Saturday to one and all. I’m in the middle of a mini-vacation with family and friends, which means I’ve spent more time over the last 24 hours making lists of new music to check out than actually listening or writing. But I hate to let a day go by without posting something at NCS (that’s happened on a grand total of 3 days since we started this site in November 2009), so here are a few quick things I’d like to recommend. With luck, I’ll have a few more to bring your way tomorrow.
BLOOD OF KINGU
As previously reported here, the Ukrainian black metal band Blood of Kingu (started by Roman Sayenko of Drudkh) will be releasing their third album via Season of Mist on September 2 in North America (and August 29 everywhere else). The title is Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon. Last month Terrorizer premiered the first advance track from the album — “Enshrined in the Nethermost Lairs Beneath the Oceans” — and a few days ago Metal Underground premiered a second track.
The World Terror Committee (aka W.T.C. Productions) is such an aptly named label. They have a knack for unearthing bands whose music is indeed terroristic, and they have done it again with the impending release of a three-song demo by Germany’s Dysangelium. At the risk of causing the derangement of our readers, we are pleased to bring you the premiere of all three songs on Leviaxxis.
Dysangelium mount a vicious assault, armed with rapidly racing riffs shrouded in dissonance and distortion and an absolutely galvanizing rhythm section. The charging phalanx of swarming, scything guitars and pummeling drum-and-bass munitions is led by a tyrannical commander whose vocals are absolutely wild — a thoroughly impassioned assortment of unhinged roars, howls, and yells.
About a week ago the organizers of Maryland Deathfest XIII announced the first wave of more than 30 confirmed bands for the 2015 edition of this mighty festival (you can see that initial list here). And just a few minutes ago they revealed a second list of confirmed bands. This list isn’t as lengthy as the first one, but it’s still stunningly impressive (Demilich!!!):
Sodom (Germany) – Exclusive US appearance!
Demilich (Finland) – Exclusive US appearance!
Napalm Death (UK) – Headlining one of the nights at Soundstage.
Anaal Nathrakh (UK) – Exclusive US appearance!
Primordial (Ireland) – Most likely an exclusive US appearance. If not, MDF will be one of only a few US shows.
(Andy Synn delivers the following review of the debut album by England’s Necronautical.)
Let’s keep this one simple, shall we?
Do you like Old Man’s Child?
How about Naglfar?
Or Hour of Penance?
Do you like your metal Deathly, Blackened, and antagonistically heavy, yet brimming with scything melodic hooks?
Then head on over to their Bandcamp page and check out the debut album by misanthropic metal mariners Necronautical right now.
For those of you who want a little more to chew on before making that move, however… read on.
We were really impressed by the 2013 debut EP (The Wither Fields) by Athens, Georgia’s Woccon and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the band’s debut album Solace In Decay, which is now scheduled for release on October 21, 2014, by Deathbound Records. Earlier this year, Decibel premiered the album’s first single (“Giving Up the Ghost”), and today we’re bringing you a second one — “Impermanence”.
Tumbling drums and spiraling guitar notes announce the multifaceted song, which moves between passages that are shimmering and crystalline and moments of jolting, hammering power. Tyrannical, gravel-throated vocals deliver harsh proclamations as the band build an atmosphere steeped in melancholy, with melodies that are both beautiful and bereft. It’s another fine offering of melodic death/doom from an album that promises to be worth the wait.
The people at A389 Recordings may have temporarily lost their minds, but their lost sanity is our gain. First, at the A389 webstore all orders are 25 percent off this week with the following code: A3892014MIXTAPE. Second, all downloads at the label’s Bandcamp site are set to free/pay what you want for the week as well.
And third, A389 has released a free mixtape that includes more than 50 tracks by a host of excellent bands — and many of the tracks are brand new.
I don’t recognize the names of all 50+ bands, but I sure do recognize a lot of them, and it’s a great list — the kind of list that makes you eager to explore the names of the bands you don’t know.
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev returns to NCS with a new installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he poses unpredictable questions to metal writers of all kinds. Here, he interviews our friend Tom Campagna.)
Pokémon and metal. You never thought these two words would appear in the same sentence, eh? The two objects seem like polar opposites, sharing a relationship resembling the one shared between light and darkness, hot and cold, truth and Tyranny of Tradition, God and Satan, etc.
But metal writer Tom Campagna (ex-The Number of the Blog, ex-Metal Injection), who is an ardent fan of the Pokémon role-playing videogames, thinks the two share similarities. As one of those dudes pining to be “the very best like no one ever was,” you really wonder how he still finds the time to teach high school mathematics, write for About.com Heavy Metal, and occasionally contribute articles to some other metal websites.
Why do you like metal?
I love metal because of the excellent release of emotions that one has while listening to it. The history of the genre is also something that really strikes me as important, too. For a kid who was constantly quizzed by my father about “who is this band” and “what song is this,” I kind of developed that into my own world of music.The small size of the scene is also nice because you can certainly talk to members of your favorite band and sense the sheer level of appreciation from these individuals. People who scoff at heavy metal have never given the genre a chance; but if everybody loved heavy metal like I do, the scene would be enormous, and we wouldn’t want that would we?