Nov 162017


Convocation photo by Kammio Visuals

 

In August I discovered Convocation, a relatively new Finnish band with an auspicious line-up consisting of L.L., who writes the music and performs all the instruments, and M. Neuman, who handles the lyrics and vocals. L.L. is also the main man behind Desolate Shrine, whose recently released 2017 album Deliverance From the Godless Void (reviewed here) is one of this year’s stand-out records, and Neuman is also the vocalist for the wonderful Dark Buddha Rising.

At the time of that August discovery (but no longer), the Convocation Bandcamp page was populated with unmastered versions of four tracks, all of which had appeared just days before. I was particularly taken with “Ruins of Ourselves“, a staggeringly heavy union of funeral doom and death metal. It was punishingly crushing, with titanic, gloomy chords and gut-punching percussion that together made the earth seem to quiver. Spectral guitar melodies, eerie ambient layers, and Neuman’s own haunting clean tones gave the music a ghostly atmosphere — though most of the time his vocals were terrifyingly craggy. And in addition to being stunningly heavy, the music was mesmerizing.

Just based on that one song, I was quick to write that Convocation would be “a brilliant new entry into the annals of doom/death”.

Now I’m very happy to announce for the first time that Convocation’s debut album, Scars Across, has been mixed and is ready for mastering — and that the Italian label Everlasting Spew Records will be releasing it by the spring of next year. AND we are also premiering a teaser of music from the album, to whet your appetite.

Nov 062017

 

On November 10, Dark Descent Records will release, Deliverance From the Godless Void, the latest album by Finland’s Desolate Shrine. Our man Andy Synn recently reviewed the album (along with the band’s preceding three albums), calling it “another triumph of will and wickedness, and well worth getting hold of if you’ve ever had an urge for a truly masochistic metallic experience.”

With “a production that may be more powerful than ever”, Andy wrote, “the band are still as foul and filthy at heart as they have always been, at times bringing to bear a crippling sense of dissonance and discordance,” meshing together “neck-wrecking grooves”, “gnarly, guttural vocals,” “bulldozing riffs,” “strangling bass lines,” and “foul, demonic atmospherics” to produce a truly electrifying experience.

And now Norway-based metal writer and NCS contributor Karina Noctum brings us this interview with L.L., the main man behind Desolate Shrine just days before the album’s release:

Oct 272017

 

(We present the glorious 90th edition of THE SYNN REPORT, and on this milestone occasion Andy Synn reviews the collected discography of Desolate Shrine, including their brand new album Deliverance From the Godless Void, which will be released by Dark Descent on November 10.)

Recommended for fans of: Incantation, Bloodbath, Enthroned

I’m sure, like me, a lot of you have bands in your collection who you absolutely love… but whom you got into surprisingly late. Desolate Shrine are one of those bands for me.

Heavier than granite, nastier than gangrene, and grimmer than the reaper himself, the Finnish three-piece (mainman L.L. handling all writing and instruments, with vocal duties shared by R.S. and M.T.) were always a band on my radar, but it wasn’t until the release of their third album, The Heart of the Netherworld, that I really took a vested interest in them… and then started kicking myself for waiting so long.

Thankfully I was quick to correct my error, snapping up a copy of both …Netherworld and its predecessor The Sanctum of Human Darkness soon after, and eventually grabbing hold of their debut, Tenebrous Towers, not long after that.

Now, with the band’s fourth album, Deliverance from the Godless Void, set for release on November 10th, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to spread the word about the band’s brutal, black-hearted brand of Blackened Death Metal.

Jul 282017

 

Colorado-based Dark Descent Records must be very, very happy with 2017. (I’m talking about their slate of music releases, of course, because many other things about the year suck harder than a shop vac.) Here we are just past the halfway point, and Dark Descent has already served up new albums by the likes of Heresiarch, Undergang, Father Befouled, Bestia Arcana, Ascended Dead, Phrenelith, Ensnared, GorephiliaCraven Idol, Lantern, Excommunion, Sarcasm, and Diabolical Messiah, and a new EP by Devouring Star (and I might have overlooked something).

But with more than five months left in the year, the label has a lot more nastiness up its sleeve, and today we’re getting a big taste of what’s to come. Today Dark Descent has released via Bandcamp and YouTube a new sampler that consists of a whopping 11 track premieres all at once, and they all happen to be from releases we’ve been very eager to hear, or that come as very intriguing surprises. Many appear headed our way before year-end; some may not arrive until 2018.

Below you’ll find some info about those 11 offerings, plus impressions of the music (aided by a bit of a sneak peak we got in advance), and of course streams of each song. To begin, here’s the track list:

Jun 082017

 

Not for the first time, I had a discussion with a few of my NCS comrades at Maryland Deathfest about how much stuff I post most days. I think their feeling was that 4 posts a day at NCS should be considered adequate, and that more tends to result in reader/listener overload. While I think this is good advice for my exercise of editorial discretion, and undoubtedly would help relieve the frenzied stress levels of my daily existence, the sad fact is that I… just… can’t… fucking… help myself! I see or hear something that gets me excited, and I feel an apparently irresistible compulsion to share it.

And so, while today I’ve already posted an album review and plan to post three premieres (one of which is a full album, accompanied by a review), I also decided to compile this round-up. On the bright side, two of the following 10 items(!) only consist of artwork and news — and I could have made this soooo much longer, but I’m saving some new discoveries for this weekend.

INCANTATION

I was gob-smacked the first time I saw Eliran Kantor’s artwork for the cover of Incantation’s new album. Even now, seeing the piece with the band’s name and the album title on it, my gob is still smacked. The first single from the album has also proven to be a gob-smacker. But before we get to that, here’s Eliran Kantor’s explanation about the inspiration for his painting on the cover of Profane Existence:

Feb 022015

 

(KevinP inaugurates a new feature in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

Welcome to my feature on the best releases of each month.  I’m calling this “Albums of the Month”, but demo’s, EP’s, splits, etc., are also viable candidates, as long as the material is good enough.  Ideally this will be posted during the last week of the month we are discussing, but this time life got in the way for yours truly and our beloved CEO.

Anyways, please feel free to share you comments, thoughts and favorite releases in the comments section below.

5.  Mindful of Pripyat…and Deeper, I Drown in Doom (EP)

For being around such a short period of time (formed in 2014), it’s quite stunning how professional and tight the sound is from this Italian trio.  Think Terrorizer and early Carcass with absolute razor precision backed by a solid production. 

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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