Feb 242017

 

One look at the title of this post will tell you that I’m drowning in new music that I want to recommend — seven bands are named, and this is already Part 2 of a SEEN AND HEARD collection for this Friday, and I’m already working on a third part, which I probably won’t finish and post until tomorrow. But, you know, it’s a good kind of drowning.

There’s always a risk of sensory overload when I let these collections get out of hand, or at least a risk of people running out of time before they’re able to sample everything (much less read all these damned words). But rather than retreat, I’ll just borrow the words of Shakespeare as expressed through King Henry V to his soldiers: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more….”

EVOCATION

I do my best to unearth good music from bands I’ve never heard of, but I also answer the bell like Pavlov’s dog when something new comes out from a band I’ve liked for a long time. Evocation are one of those bands, a group whose music I’ve been addicted to ever since ever since their resurrection in 2007 with Tales From the Tomb. Which is why I’m kind of embarrassed by not learning of these first two songs sooner than I have.

Aug 082013

You may have noticed that new music round-ups have been scarce this week. We’ve been going overboard on the reviews instead. However, I have been maintaining a constant vigil and collecting worthwhile new things as I’ve seen them. Only problem is that the list has grown so damned long, even after just a few days of watching and not writing, that the list has become unwieldy. So I’ve done some fairly random paring down and split this catch-up round-up into two parts, this being the first.

BROKEN HOPE

Do you sometimes wish that revered old bands who have fallen apart would just stay down, so you can be left with your fond memories instead of having them tarnished with a mediocre comeback? Unfortunately, it seems that comebacks tend to be mediocre a lot more often than awesome. But judging from the first new song in this round-up, that probably won’t be the case with Chicago’s Broken Hope.

They recorded five albums between 1991 and 1999 and then split up, but they’re coming back with a new album named Omen of Disease that’s due on October 20. The song that premiered yesterday is “Flesh Mechanic”. It’s a grisly riff monster, fresh guts dripping from its teeth, and trench-level roars bellowing from its throat. The solo in the song is white hot, and the whole thing is brimming with feral energy. If only all comebacks sounded this putrid.

Jan 312013

Welcome to the 22nd — and final — part of our my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been 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 six I’m announcing today, click here. And in the near future I’ll compile all the songs in a single post.

That’s right — six songs, because 666. Have you figured out yet that I’m really terrible at making choices among things I really like? Do you begin to understand why I don’t compile my own year-list of the best albums? I mean, shit, this thing has grown to 22 installments and the only reason I’m finally stopping is because the month of January is over today and even I realize that it’s getting out of hand.

But we’re going out in a blaze of glory — a blaze of death metal glory, with six songs representing six different flavors of the genre, beginning with who else but . . .

CANNIBAL CORPSE

TheMadIsraeli reviewed this legendary band’s latest offering for us (here) and included this summing up: “Torture is the latest crusade in Cannibal Corpse’s tyrannical campaign to rule over everyone and everything with audio carnage so visceral that simply listening creates a serious risk of blood-vomiting convulsions.  But Torture?  Torture is officially the best album of the Corpsegrinder era yet.”

Nov 262012

Happy Fucking Monday.  What else is there to say about a Monday?  On this Monday, I actually do have a few more things to say.  Specifically, I want to tell you about three new sharp shards of metal I heard (and saw) this morning: new videos from Evocation (Sweden) and Koldbrann (Norway) and a new song from Sons of Aeon (Finland).

EVOCATION

Evocation’s new album Illusions of Grandeur is out now on Century Media. I’m a big fan of this band, and have really enjoyed the new album. This morning DECIBEL premiered an official video for the song “Divide and Conquer”. It was filmed by German director Carlo Oppermann in an abandoned hospital in Offenbach, Germany, with interspersed scenes from World War II and Evocation performing the song.

As you listen to this awesome song, you will be forgiven for thinking you’ve heard the second coming of Amon Amarth. 

Aug 172012

Man oh man, I encountered a flood-tide of post-worthy shit in my morning ramblings through the interhole. So, I’m breaking it up into two posts, this one being the first.

WINTERSUN

Uh huh, the massive PR ramp-up to this Finnish band’s loooooooong-awaited duo of new albums is beginning. As previously reported, the first of those albms — Time I — is due for release by Nuclear Blast on October 19. Today brought us the unveiling of the cover art for that album, which you can see above. It was created by Cameron Gray, who also created the cover for the Born of Osiris album The Discovery, among others.

EVOCATION

I saw that Century Media started streaming the first new track from the next album by Sweden’s Evocation, Illusions of Grandeur. About a week ago, I created a feature about the band that was occasioned by the unveiling of the awesome Xaay cover art for the album (here). I didn’t have any new music to share at that time, so I loaded up the post with videos for previous Evocation songs. But now we’ve got the new album’s title track. It makes me very happy.

Aug 102012

I really can’t get enough of Sweden’s Evocation. They combine old-school death metal with some newer-school learning in a way that just really hits my sweet spot. Their music is raw, it’s heavy, it’s galvanizing, it’s groove-filled, and it’s memorable. Their last album of new material, Apocalyptic, was released in 2010, and after that Century Media signed ’em up. Century then compiled a collection of demo, unreleased, and rehearsal material from the band — whose roots go back to the early 90’s — and unleashed it in June as Evoked From Demonic Depths – The Early Years.

Today, we got the news that Century will release Evocation’s fourth studio album, Illusions Of Grandeur, on September 24 in Europe and October 23 in the US. It will include guest vocals by Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg on a song called “Into Submission”, as well as three studio bonus tracks on a limited-edition digipak. And it features the eye-catching artwork of Michal “Xaay” Loranc — about whom more in a minute.

I wish I had a new song from the new album to play for you (and for myself), but we’ll have to wait a bit longer for that. But I do have a handful of videos as well as a track from the Evoked From Demonic Depths compilation as a reminder of why the new album should be eagerly anticipated. All of that is after the jump (we’ve streamed some of this stuff at various places and times in the past, but some of you might be new to this band).

Xaay is a Polish artist whose work we’ve featured before at NCS. He’s been a professional designer and digital artist since 1999 and has created album covers and/or merch designs for the likes of Nile, Behemoth, Kamelot, Vader, Necrophagist, and Decapitated. He also created the cover art for both Evocation’s Apocalyptic and for the 2012 compilation. Check those out here:

May 192012

Sweden’s Evocation are one of my favorite death metal bands. They are old school. I don’t mean they mimic the old-school sound. I mean they went to the old school when it was new and graduated with honors.

They recorded their first demo (The Ancient Gate) in 1992 and another promo that same year, and then in 1993 the band split up, despite interest being expressed by a number of labels. Evocation returned to life in 2006 with a demo of new material, and then three full-length albums were released between 2007 and 2010, the last of which was the wonderful Apocalyptic (2010).

Since the release of Apocalyptic, Evocation signed with Century Media. On June 26, Century will release Evoked From Demonic Depths – The Early Years, a compilation of demo, unreleased, and rehearsal material.  This isn’t the first comp of old Evocation material; another one was released in 2004 by a label named Breath of Night. But the new comp will include a different collection of songs and performances, as well as a 32-page booklet and three live bootleg videos from 1992.

One of the songs on the forthcoming comp appeared on that four-song  1992 demo, The Ancient Gate. It’s called “Through the Darkened Peril”, and earlier this week DECIBEL began an exclusive stream of the song. It’s a great song — but it’s actually been released before — and that brings me to Swedish Death Metal.

Mar 282011

Monday is still vicious. We’re still not willing to suffer in silence. Now we have one more piece of music to keep us company. If we’d seen this before finishing off our first post of the day, we would have included it there — but actually, it just became available a few hours ago. Good fucking timing.

It’s a new music video from Sweden’s Evocation. Their 2010 album Apocalyptic was one of our hands-down favorites of that year. We included one of the tracks (“Sweet Obsession”) on our list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs (check that here).  The music is a smoking chainsaw of death metal from a band who recorded one of their first demos at Sunlight Studios in 1992, so yeah, they know what the fuck they’re doing.

The songs are varied in their pacing, but usually fast, with a vibrating wash of melody-tinged, ass-grinding riffage; scarred, banshee-style vocals; and some sweet, flickering, weaving guitar solos that will put a big fucking smile on your face. They do a very effective job of immediately triggering the headbang reflex and rattling your skull  . . . viciously.

This new video is for a song called “Psychosis Warfare”, which is pretty much what Mondays are all about, right? It was directed and produced by Iwona Kusion and that most awesome album cover artist Michal “Xaay” Loranc, who also did the cover for Apocalyptic. Go past the jump and watch it. Fuck Mondays.

Jan 232011

I expect people from outside the world of extreme metal are massively confused by the way we talk and write about the music we like. Pretend for a minute that you’re not part of this metallic world we inhabit and think about how you’d react to hearing people describe music as “brutal”, “bludgeoning”, “sick”, “putrid”, “vicious”, “morbid”, “frigid”, “pummeling”, “evil”, or “skull-cleaving”. Or reading a review that describes vocals as “acid-drenched” or “bestial”, or raves about music that “guts you like a fish” or makes you want to “bang your head”.

If you were a square, these adjectives and metaphors would sound like condemnation, when instead they’re meant as high praise. In what other musical genre do fans praise their music with terms like these? The answer is — nowhere else.

Of course, there’s a reason why metalheads rave about extreme metal in terms that (figuratively) signify bodily injury or illness, demonic possession, or mental decimation. In our humble opinion, it’s because those terms are linguistically accurate. The words capture what we feel and what we imagine — and sometimes what we do — when we listen to the music, even when there’s a melodic core to the songs (as there often is, even though many non-metalheads would never be able to hear the melody).

Maybe that answer just begs the question, or suggests a new one: Why do we like music that evokes these kinds of feelings and images? That’s an old subject, one that comes up whenever most of us try to explain to a non-metalhead why we like this music (eg, the kind of music we cover at NCS). But we’re not sure we’ve ever directly invited a discussion about the topic here at NCS. So on this Sunday morning, that’s what we’d like to hear — your thoughts about why we like music that’s best described in the kind of terms quoted above — and we’ve got a newly uploaded video that sets the mood quite nicely while you muster your thoughts. (more after the jump . . .)

Dec 282010

We didn’t prepare our own official NCS list of 2010’s best metal albums. That was too damned much work, and we’re too damned half-assed to do it. Fortunately, we had a lot of other contributors and readers who were willing to do it for us. And to all of them, we offer our heart-felt thanks for all the fascinating lists to which we devoted most of last week’s posts.

Although we didn’t distill our own list of the year’s best albums, we do have a list. It’s our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this.

In a nutshell, we compiled a list, in no particular order, of the catchiest songs from a wide range of extreme metal sub-genres — not necessarily the best metal of the year (though lots of these songs would qualify for that kind of list), but the ones that most effectively got our heads and other parts of our bodies moving, and then continued to ring in our tiny brains even after they ended.

Today we’re rolling out the first two entries. This is NO CLEAN SINGING, and so we’re starting our list with some old-school death metal, or maybe you’d call one of the songs blackened death metal.

Anyone who says death metal isn’t catchy, isn’t infectious, isn’t memorable — well, all you’ve got to do is listen to these two songs and wise up. These songs make us proud to be metalheads. To quote NCS reader Bob MacBobbob — he of the beer can Christmas tree — “We’re as proud as men who have just busted a shit that won’t flush!” Have a listen after the jump . . .

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