Sep 022017

 

(Andy Synn is now lobbying the Oxford English Dictionary for recognition of a new word.)

In case you didn’t know, yesterday saw release of the brand new album by Symphonic Death Metal titans Septic Flesh (yes, I’m still spelling it as two words).

Now while I’m not planning on reviewing it here (that honour will, in all likelihood, fall to DGR), I will say that Codex Omega feels like a big step up from The Great Mass and Titan, the latter of which in particular suffered (in this author’s opinion at least) from a noticeable lack of balance between the “Symphonic” and the “Death Metal” aspects of the band’s sound, with the lion’s share of the effort put into the orchestration, while the drums and riffs (or lack thereof) were treated very much as an afterthought.

And as Codex Omega is such a big improvement on its predecessors in this regard, I felt it might be high time we all got together to discuss the costs/benefits inherent in “symphonisizing” (a word I’ve just invented) your sound.

Feb 022016

Fleshgod APocalypse video

 

I’ve been gorging myself in newly released (or newly discovered) songs and a few EPs over the last 24 hours. If music were food, I’d be this guy by now — just one more bit of song and I’d explode. To make matters worse (i.e., better), I liked a large percentage of what I saw and heard. So that I can begin getting some of the music up on the site, I’ve divided the collection into multiple parts. More might come today, but definitely tomorrow.

By the way, if you’d like to hear full-album streams of the new Urgehal and Obscura albums, go here and here, respectively.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE

Fleshgod Apocalypse have been teasing about a new video, and we’ve been speculating internally about which song from their new album (King, reviewed here) would provide the subject matter. Now we know, because today FA premiered their new video for “Cold As Perfection”. Before you watch it, here’s a statement about the video by drummer Francesco Paoli, who also directed the clip along with  filmmaker and photographer Salvatore Perrone. The video, by the way, is NSFW.

Jan 232016

Ragnarok-Psychopathology

 

I’m still catching up on the flood of new music and videos that appeared this week, in part because I spent so much time on the flood of new tracks we ourselves premiered since Monday. Because I’m short on time this Saturday, I’m mainly going to let the music speak for itself. Unless I damage myself too badly tonight at a big party I’m attending, I’ll have another collection of recommended new streams tomorrow. But before we get to the music, I have one news item.

RAGNAROK

In mid-December I posted the news that Norway’s Ragnarok would at long last be releasing a new album named Psychopathology. This week, further details were disclosed, as well as the cover art (above) by Marcelo Vasco (Slayer, Machine Head, Dimmu Borgir). The album will include 11 tracks and will be released by Agonia Records on March 25 in a variety of formats, including a limited-edition CD box set that will include a bonus compilation CD entitled Chaos and Insanity between 1994-2004, which features all of the band’s early demos and EP’s (the compilation will also separately be released on vinyl).

No music to share with you yet, but you can be sure we will as soon as something becomes available for streaming.

Jan 182016

Fleshgod Apocalypse-King

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse.)

It starts with classical music. It always does.

Any time someone tries to trace the roots of heavy metal, we inevitably wind up at the same branching paths. We hit the ’70s and the Black Sabbath era, and that leads us to the blues and from there things get far more nebulous, but through some sort of inherited wisdom over the years we always come back to classical music. Composers like Bach and Wagner are name-dropped left and right, and we always point to the huge, bombastic symphonies and the low, bass-heavy instruments, because these are the deepest roots of our heavy metal lineage.

The tendency to make things ‘heavier’ isn’t a new one, its just the one that musicians have often seen fit to push beyond the most extreme boundaries imaginable. So, the idea of Symphonics being a part of heavy metal was an almost foregone conclusion. It’s slowly worked its way even into death metal – itself a container of the hidden flair for the dramatic – and the two have produced multiple pairings and fantastic bands.

Fleshgod Apocalypse are the natural evolution of that tendency, a group who over the course of four main releases (counting our current subject as well) and an EP have become completely intertwined with symphonic music, writing a pyrotechnic and operatic style of death metal that can’t really be matched.

Dec 282015

fleshgod-apocalypse-the-fool

 

We have been waiting, not so patiently, for the first music from King, the fourth studio album by Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse, and now we have it. The name of the song is “Fool“, and it will be individually released as a digital single on January 1.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of this band for years, and am therefore probably predisposed to like whatever they do next. But having made that confession, I’m really digging this new song. It’s fast, furious, and bombastic, with touches of the symphonic keyboards and high, theatrical clean vocals that we’ve come to expect. But the song also punches damned hard, with a clear production quality that lands those punches with palpable death metal force.

Dec 092015

Cannibal Corpse tour

 

Here’s a round-up of news, new album artwork, and a couple of new songs I spotted over the last 24 hours.

CANNIBAL CORPSE

We’ll start with some tourism news: Yesterday it was announced that Cannibal Corpse will be headlining a big North American tour that begins on February 12 and runs through March 20. And the direct support for the tour is pretty eye-popping: Obituary, Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn will be along for the ride.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 11, at local and national ticket outlets. Here’s the schedule, which I copied and pasted from Blabbermouth:

Nov 112015

Abbath-ST cover

 

Greetings again from Anchorage, Alaska, where it’s colder than a well-digger’s ass in the Klondike and where I’ve come down with a raging cold myself. On the plus side, I’ve once again had a few hours to myself this morning before having to dive back into my day-job labors. On the minus side, it’s looking like I may not be able to get back home until Monday, which blows.

In my free time this morning I made a quick scan through the NCS e-mail. Despite the fact that it’s overflowing with stuff that I don’t have time to read, a few things did leap out at me, and I’ve collected those here — presented in alphabetical order by band name.

ABBATH

We’ve previously featured a trio of live videos by Abbath that the band released in the ramp-up to their self-titled debut album (coming from Season of Mist on January 22) and a 7″ single that’s due for release on December 11. Yesterday Abbath debuted the album’s cover art (above) and the first studio recording from the new album, a track called “Winter’s Bane”.

Dec 092014

 

I thought that once I got back to Seattle on Sunday from my two-week sojourn to the East Coast, things would return to normal. That hasn’t happened. The old fuckin’ day job has continued to have its way with me like a lonely shepherd on a tethered goat. Between that kind of raw treatment and getting other people’s year-end lists ready for posting, I’ve had precious little time to write about new music and videos. I do have a very long list of new things to check out, but I’m afraid all I can do at the moment is toss these two excellent videos your way.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE

These Italian maestros of blistering symphonic death metal have just released an official video for the song “Epilogue”, which appears on their latest album, Labyrinyth. The video was directed by Francesco Paoli and Salvatore Perrone and features special guests soprano vocalist Veronica Bordacchini (who was a fine addition to the band’s live show when she accompanied them on their NorthAm tour earlier this year), guitarist Marco Sensi, and cellist Shamatiyenko Kostyantyn.

May 062014

Not long ago I got all slobbery over the announcement that Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance, and Necronomicon would be joining forces for a North American tour this year. Today, the schedule for the tour was announced.

It begins in Virginia on June 22 and ends in Denver on July 12. There are 14 shows in the US, five in Canada and — most importantly — one in Seattle.  Yes, I am a self-centered prick, but I know you’ll forgive me.

The tour is timed to capitalize on the release of Titan on June 24 via Prosthetic Records in North America, Titan being the name of the new Septicflesh album. I eagerly await that record, as well as this tour.

If you can’t make out the dates on that tour poster, here they are (celebrate or moan, depending on your location):

Apr 232014

I was away from the internet for 8 hours yesterday. On the one hand, it was kind of refreshing. On the other hand… I sure as shit missed a lot of metal news. The first item I saw upon returning to the wired world was a post by Andy Synn in our NCS group on Facebook, spreading the word about the Conquerors of the World Tour, with a comment: “Stick Dimmu in as headliners and you’d have ALL the symphonic bluster you could muster.” No shit.

Here’s the announcement that appeared on the Septicflesh Facebook page:

“”We are thrilled to announce that we will be returning to North America/Canada with our blood brothers in Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance and Necronomicon,” comments SEPTICFLESH. “This promises to be a night in darkness to be remembered as we prepare to unleash our colossal new album ‘Titan.'”

No dates yet, but this promises to be one of the year’s can’t-miss outings. As soon as we get the schedule, we’ll slap it up on the site without delay.

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