May 032016

Bosch-christs descent into hell

 

(Our old friend from New Zealand and occasional guest writer Booker brings us a collection of new releases discovered through their cover art, along with some very entertaining words.)

“You should never judge a book by its cover”, or so the saying goes. No doubt most of us try and do the same with our approach to metal. Yet somehow, in amongst all the diversity of music out there, the community of metal musicians seems to self-organize; just like some drops of T-1000 liquid metal coming together to form a greater terrifying machine, different minds and souls from across the world end up uniting in their artistic endeavours and adorning their albums with specific, identifiable, cover themes. For the most part, seeing a cover with a certain “typical genre X” album art style can lead you to a fair idea of what aural treasures lie inside, but sometimes they can come out of left field and surprise you. We shouldn’t judge albums by their cover, but let’s be honest: we might say we don’t, but we all do. Like masturbation.

Once upon a time back in NCS history, Islander ran a series called “Eye Catchers” dedicated to albums that hooked you in with their artwork (and other tasty aspects). As I was perusing Bandcamp for delicious new audio treats, I realised that I too was basing my decisions of what to listen to by inadvertently succumbing to the artwork, like a moth to flame. So I figured, the hell with it, let’s see where this folly-filled exercise leads me…. and after a few surprises, and some fails, here’s a few highlights I’d like to share.

May 132015

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.

 

Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length.

Feb 202015

 

What’s that they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men? I had collected a great volume of new songs since Monday and began displaying the ones I wanted to recommend yesterday, in alphabetical order. I made it through “L” and had intended to finish the back half of the alphabet today. But in the meantime I came across still more worthy new song premieres by bands whose names didn’t conveniently fit in the “M” – “Z” category. So much for that idea.

Anyway, here are a few more things I discovered since yesterday and a few (but not all) of the tracks I originally intended to provide today. I guess that means I have more round-ups to prepare for the weekend…

ABYSS

20 Buck Spin is set to release the debut album by a Toronto band named Abyss — the album’s title is Heretical Anatomy — and yesterday DECIBEL premiered a track named “The Atonement”. It’s a searing blast of thrashing, lashing death metal that punctuates its fury with forceful hammer blows and a breakdown that will provoke sore-neck syndrome. Gruesome, morbid vocal vomit, too.

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