Feb 102017

 

When I first learned last October that the Finnish black metal band Devouring Star planned to discharge a new EP this year, it immediately vaulted into the upper reaches of my personal list of most anticipated 2017 releases. I wrote about the news then, but now I can share with you further details about the new EP — which is named Antihedron — and we also have the privilege of bringing you the premiere of one of its three powerful tracks, a song called “Angel of Null“.

Antihedron will be released by the band’s new label Dark Descent on March 24 and becomes available for pre-order today.

I haven’t been alone in my eagerness for this EP. Devouring Star’s debut album Through Lung and Heart was widely recognized as one of 2015’s highlights, and an especially striking achievement given that it was the band’s first full-length. With Antihedron, they have moved from strength to further strength.

Jun 132016

Phobocosm - Bringer of Drought

 

(In this post Todd Manning provides brief reviews of new releases by Dark Descent and Unspeakable Axe.)

Death might just be the overarching theme of 2016, but the tandem of Dark Descent Records and their sub-imprint Unspeakable Axe are certainly spinning this in their favor by releasing a continuous string of remarkable Death Metal albums. While I have already had the opportunity to talk about new albums from the likes of Ripper, Nucleus, and Hemotoxin, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to gush about a few more albums from the label.

PHOBOCOSM

First up is the new album from Montreal-based Phobocosm. Bringer of Drought is the follow-up to their impressive debut Deprived and is nothing short of astonishing. Despite the label’s reputation as being at the forefront of the New Wave of Old School Death Metal, none of these bands seems to be unoriginal or regressive in such a way that causes them to lack their own identity. This is perhaps best illustrated by Phobocosm, who seem to marry the epic feel of classic Neurosis to the Death Metal/Doom hybrid of Inverloch and Disembowelment.

May 072016

Denouncement Pyre-Black Sun Unbound

 

Some people may have noticed that I failed to compile even one round-up of new music all of this past week (unless you count that little Warriors in Forests thing). I’ve still been spending hours every afternoon or evening in a hospital ICU trying to help support my injured friend and her family.

For those of you who have been following my scattered references to this tragedy, my friend came out of her coma yesterday, though she still drifts in and out of consciousness and is now beset with other medical issues in addition to her injury.  It’s too soon to tell exactly how seriously impaired she will be as a result of the injury to her brain.  She can answer some simple yes or no questions by moving her fingers or foot, but she hasn’t attempted to speak and doesn’t move much. I’m trying to remain hopeful, but this is still heart-breaking.

Though I haven’t had time to do much for NCS this week besides write introductions to premieres, I have been keeping a list of new song and album streams and videos that I’ve noticed. As usual, there’s a shitload of them, far too many to write about in one post. I picked a handful to include in this post (and Austin Weber wrote an introduction to one of them as well). I’m also planning to prepare a Shades of Black post for tomorrow to collect others.

Jan 222015

 

Today’s e-mails brought news of a just-released digital sampler of music by the reliable Dark Descent label that’s available on Bandcamp for “name your own price” — and it includes a killer line-up of bands on the Dark Descent roster and songs from brand new or forthcoming albums. So, when I label this post “free shit”, I certainly don’t mean to discourage financial contributions toward this label’s praise-worthy work.

After the jump you can stream the entire sampler and find a link to the Bandcamp page where you can acquire this gem for yourself. But first, here’s the line-up of bands, most of whom we’ve previously lauded here at NCS:

Sep 092014

(Our old friend and stalwart NCS supporter Vonlughlio is passionate about metal, he happens to like physical copies of the metal he favors, and he lives in The Dominican Republic — which means he mostly has to order what he wants, and that isn’t always easy. In this guest post he singles out the labels that mean the most to him. We encourage you to do the same in the Comments.)

I decided to write about my favorite labels in metal after a discussion with a friend in which he stated the following: “I don’t buy from the labels because they don’t give the money to the artist or treat them with respect”. Sure, there is some truth to that in the case of certain labels, but there are labels out there who represent the opposite of this statement. Plus my friend could usually still buy direct from the band if needed, but that is another discussion for another time.

So to counteract this negativity about labels, I’m going to list my favorite ones. The list doesn’t include the largest labels, since they tend to specialize in different genres from my favorites. This is also my way of rendering tribute to those I’m listing for their hard work.

Sep 022014

Here are a trio of randomly chosen new things I discovered over the weekend.

ILENKUS

Ilenkus are five men from Galway, Ireland, whose second album The Crossing will be released on vinyl on September 15. The album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp along with a stream of one song, which can be downloaded now if you make the pre-order. I wrote about that song — “Over the Fire, Under the Smoke” — back in July. It hits hard right from the beginning, with big Mastodonian riffs, attention-grabbing drum rhythms, and clawing vocals. The high-voltage music flashes with jolting, progressive-minded lead-guitar flurries — and then takes a sharp left turn into something dreamlike and drifting before building again, with a rising sense of urgency, into a high burn and then a cooling-off period. Impressive guitar work and an equally impressive rhythm section make this song stand out.

Late last week Ilenkus released a music video for the song, which has racked up over 22,000 views in short order. In a nutshell, it shows one of the band’s three rotating vocalists, Chris Brennan, walking along a Galway pedestrian thoroughfare on a busy day. The camera stays focused on him, and he stays focused on the camera as the crowd flows around him. He’s singing the song as he walks — and from the looks he gets, I’m pretty sure he was actually shrieking and growling the words at full volume rather than lip-syncing (though we’re hearing the studio track in the video).

Feb 252013

Many of you are already quite familiar with Dark Descent Records. For those who aren’t, it’s a small independent label based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It specializes in death, black, and doom metal — music that’s dark as night and dangerous as a mine field.

I wish I had time to dive deeply into every one of their releases, because the ones I’ve heard have been dependably lethal.

Dark Descent have had a Bandcamp site for some amount of time, but until recently I’m pretty sure they’ve only used the site to stream music, with actual sales limited to physical media. However, NCS supporter Vonlughlio alerted me to the fact that over the weekend Dark Descent began offering some of their releases for download on Bandcamp — and they’ve been adding new albums to their Bandcamp page, with more to come this week.

Last night Dark Descent also announced the creation of a “sub imprint” named Unspeakable Axe, which will focus on “bands influenced by and existing in the same indefinable territory as some of the founders of extreme metal – bands like Possessed, early Sepultura, and Hellhammer – as well as the ones that deliberately blurred the lines after they were already established, like Messiah, Merciless, Deceased…, Varathron, Mortuary Drape, and others.”

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