Yeah, I know I did two of these round-ups yesterday, but I’m drowning in new music — but it’s the good kind of drowning, where you see the bright white light at the end of the tunnel and will never figure out in your moment of euphoria before the void takes you that it was just some dude with a flashlight trying to find your corpse in the pond you fell into while wasted.
Where was I? Oh yeah, I’m drowning in good new metal. However, I’m running out of time before I have to tend to my fucking day job, so I’m just going to pick quickly, one each from Columns A, B, C, and D from the genre menu, and cut back on the usual verbosity. Expect another round-up tomorrow.
Here’s a video that appeared today for “Fixated On Devastation”, a track from the new Dying Fetus album, Wrong One To Fuck With. It was filmed by Mitch Massie live at the Voltage Lounge in Philadelphia, PA, on March 17th.
No sooner had I finished last week’s 4-part new-music round-up on Saturday than I began exploring other things, and of course found other things I’d like to recommend. But I’ll be smart this week and not forecast further installments. I’ll do this one, and we’ll see how the rest of the week plays out.
I chose the following music (and a new video) in an effort to cross through a few different metal territories, stylistically speaking. Someone said variety is the spice of life, and so it is.
I found this new EP through a link on Facebook by Black Bow Records. Spellcaster is the debut release of a crushing UK sludge/doom trio named Witchapter. It’s available digitally now, and it seems that a physical release via Black Bow will happen on July 4th.
If you recall yesterday’s “Seen and Heard” round-up, I explained that I had fallen so far behind that I had a list of 30 new tracks from over the last week that I thought were worth exploring. And sure enough, the list has only grown, because so many other good new things popped up in the last 24 hours. So I’m starting with the four newest items and concluding with four from last week.
Yesterday brought details about the next Katatonia album, as well as a very brief teaser video. This will be their tenth studio full-length, with the title of The Fall of Hearts. It’s set for a May 20 release by Peaceville Records. Here’s the artwork (by Travis Smith, of course):
Collected in this post are a handful of tours that I decided were worth mentioning, even though only the first one is within my grasp. I’m trying to be less self-centered. This is like trying to levitate, but I should get points for the effort, don’t you think?
BEHOLD…THE ARCTOPUS / BOTANIST / LESBIAN
Earlier today we posted Old Man Windbreaker’s review of the entire discography of Botanist. And only now I come to find out that Botanist will be here in The Emerald City at Highline along with two other stellar bands in little more than a month (October 13). One is the brain scrambling Behold… the Arcoptus (featuring Colin Marston on Warr Guitar, Mike Lerner on Guitar Guitar, and Weasel Walter on drums), and the other is Seattle’s own Lesbian, who are riding a big wave of entirely justified attention drawn by their latest album Forestelevision.
But this turns out to be just one stop on a brief West Coast tour by BtA. On October 12, Behold…the Arctopus and Botanist will be playing together with Agalloch and Eight Bells at Day 3 of the Fall Into Darkness festival in Portland (OR). And on October 11 BtA and Botanist will be playing Oakland along with a Bay Area band named Burmese.
(Our roving reporter Andy Synn was fortunate enough to take in the 2013 edition of the Summer Breeze open air festival in Germany last month and has prepared a multi-part review accompanied by videos that he shot during the festival. Today we bring you Part 1 of his write-up.)
Apologies to anyone who might have been waiting for my SB review this year. The trip to Seattle took up 99% of my time since, so I didn’t really have much chance to write things up before now!
Let me tell you though, leaving your house at 1am and driving to Dinkelsbuhl (where the festival is located), arriving at around half 7 in the evening, is a LONG drive. I did the first stretch in one relatively unbroken 10 hour stint, but after that it was a case of frequent stops to rest every time I started feeling my eyes getting heavy. Urgh.
As it was, though, I made it to the festival in time to see Vader… well, some of Vader. Because one minor issue with having the opening night festivities situated in the 3rd stage tent is that you end up trying to pack an entire festival’s worth of people into a venue that, while large in itself, was definitely not designed for that purpose! Thus my Vader viewing experience became a curious mix of long-range appreciation and video-screen voyeurism.
UPDATE: This tour has now been confirmed. After the jump you’ll find the official flyer and all the dates.
I guess you could call this gun-jumping, since I’m posting it in advance of any official announcement. Not long ago I noticed a series of coincidences: Dying Fetus, Devourment, Exhumed, and Abiotic — four ass-kicking bands I follow on Facebook — all posted similar statuses. For example, Dying Fetus posted: “major tour announcement 4pm EST today”. And Abiotic posted: “Check back here at 4pm EST for a HUGE announcement! \m/”
Being the impatient sort, I googled those four bands’ names plus the word “tour”. And lo and behold, what I discovered were three widely separated venues in the US and Canada offering tickets for a show involving those four bands. Using the superior deductive skills for which I’m widely known, I deduced: NORTH AMERICAN SKULL-FUCKING TOUR!
Actually, I don’t know for sure that it will be called the SKULL FUCKING TOUR, but that really should be the name. Here are the dates and places I’ve found so far:
(Here’s another in Andy Synn’s irregular series of things that come in five’s.)
That’s right, with this edition of the column I’m going to try and convince you that your opinions are wrong, and break the Pavlovian conditioning that has led you all to unfairly loathe some genuinely fine albums.
But… this is the internet… so none of that’s probably going to happen.
A little context first off though. A couple of days back I was listening to the new Cryptopsy album (still stunning btw) and suddenly thought to myself, “You know what, I haven’t listened to The Unspoken King in forever… surely it’s not as bad as I remember?”.
And you know what… it is. Ok, so it has a couple of solid songs, and a few that would be pretty good if they weren’t Cryptopsy songs, but overall… wow… it really is bad.
But it did get me thinking about albums towards which the general public consensus is largely negative (often influenced strongly by prevailing media portrayals, and sometimes out and out misrepresentations) but which I think deserve a renaissance, now that the initial furore has died down.
So here I present five of my picks for albums which have been castigated and criticised by the metal community at large, sometimes seemingly without even listening to the actual music, but which I think are actually pretty brilliant, once you get past all the politics and preconceptions. In fact, having spoken to several people about some of these albums, it seems a lot of folks “remember” the albums as being bad, but can’t tell you much about when, or even if, they’ve actually listened to them. So here I intend to rectify that.
Welcome to the lucky 13th part of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (almost) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.
We’re getting deeper into death metal territory today. There will be plentiful bludgeoning. Internal organs may be damaged. Massive head trauma may result. But cretinous smiles will be left at the end. Or maybe I should just speak for myself.
If you were looking for pure, unadulterated, unforgiving, horrific death metal in 2012, you couldn’t go wrong with this multinational band’s album, Macabre Kingdom. This second full-length collaboration between Dave Rotten of Avulsed and Rogga Johansson of Sweden was, for me, the 2012 counterpart to the previous year’s debut by Disma, Towards the Megalith: an unstoppable battle tank of metal that was both catastrophic in its atmospherics and also strangely addictive.
I wrote a notice about the album last April after seeing Juanjo Castellano’s stunning cover art, but I failed to review the album. I was too scared.
Yours truly is on the road again, and by “road” I mean in airports and on airplanes and therefore spending hours of tedium separated from the internet. As a result, the postings between now and Monday are going to be scattered and probably fewer than normal. I did have time last night and this morning to survey what’s been happening over the last 24 hours and found the following nuggets of interest.
ITEM ONE: DYING FETUS, ET AL – “THE BLOOD OF POWER TOUR”
I started posting about this tour when there was no official announcement and just a few dates had surfaced, because I was so fuckin’ excited about it. Yesterday it became official. I saw on Metal Sucks (which is co-sponsoring the tour) that Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Cerebral Bore will indeed be touring the U.S. in November and December.
But this official announcement has revealed something I didn’t know: Malignancy will be taking the place of Cattle Decapitation during the last week of the tour. The two bands are very different, of course, but they’re both just excellent at what they do. If you want a taste of Malignancy’s forthcoming album (which is amazing), check out this post. Tour dates are right after the jump.
A week ago we reported the early hints that Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Scotland’s Cerebral Bore would be embarking on a U.S. tour later this fall. We still haven’t seen an official press release, but a more complete schedule of dates has surfaced on the PRP, and most of these dates also now appear on the Tour page of the Dying Fetus Facebook site.
Looking at these dates, I see a gap at the end of the tour between the Dec 13 date in Boise and the Dec 22 date in Baltimore which suggests that the schedule might not be complete, and that could explain why we don’t have an official announcement yet. Swinging through cities in the northern tier of the country would make sense since the bands have to get from Idaho to Maryland and they’ll be crossing the southern tier on the front part of the tour.
My heart also rose when I saw that the tour would include a Seattle appearance, and then it fell when I saw the date: 12-12-12. That happens to be my wife’s birthday, in addition to being the day the world ends. So, for either reason, I’ll be missing this show. However, some people think that according to the Mayan calendars the 13th Baktun will end on Dec 21, 2012 instead of Dec 12, so if you make this show, you might still have time to let me know how skull-fuckingly great it was before everything goes kablooie.
The schedule is after the jump.