(Andy Synn presents a trio of album reviews.)
Now I’m sure you all know by now just how much I love Black Metal, in all its many and varied forms. Whether it’s the grime-soaked grooves of Horned Almighty… the blast-furnace assault of 1349… the harrowing sonic rituals of Enthroned… the grim grandeur of Secrets of the Moon… the riff-packed assault of Nidingr… the mesmerising madness of Dødsengel… the ambient anguish of Leviathan… whether it’s “Old School”, “Second Wave”, “Progressive”, “Post”… to me the very essence of the style is its simple refusal to be restricted or limited by the expectations and pressures of others, and the insistence of those who perform under the black banner on doing things their own way, no matter the consequences.
Of course there are stylistic elements that these bands all share– for all its growth and constant opposition between progressive and regressive forces, Black Metal IS still a distinct (though wide-ranging) genre – and yet there are still bands who seem, on the surface of things, to utilise most of the right sonic elements, but whom I still struggle to really think of as “Black Metal” all the same.
Once again, I decided to compile a group of new songs I discovered over the last 24 hours and liked a lot. As it happens, the ones I liked the best turned out to be in the poisoned vein of black metal — and so, we have another edition of Shades of Black.
It is true, as stated in the press release I received today, that Horna are a “Finnish black metal institution”. Their ninth album is named Hengen Tulet, and it’s now scheduled for release by W.T.C. Productions on September 22. I’m amazed by the cover art, which was prepared by Pahapasi.
The press release also states that the new album “carries forward a similar songwriting aesthetic” to the band’s last album Askel lähempänä Saatanaa, “but reinvigorates a foul, fetid primitivism”. Of course, I immediately searched to see if any music from the album was available for me to share with you, and discovered that, yes, there is — and that I somehow missed the song when it debuted in June.
The name of this new piece is “Amadriada“, and it’s the album’s opening track.
In this post I’m finishing up the round-up of recommended new songs I heard yesterday and this morning. For the first batch of goodies, go here.
I seem to have stumbled across quite a lot of doom-oriented music in the last 24 hours, what with Hamferð and Tombstoned in Part 1 of this post and now Monolithe in this one. But if you listen to all three songs you’ll hear different approaches to musical misery and ruin.
This French band, the creation of one Sylvain Bégot, has released a series of three 50-minute, single-track albums since 2003, along with two free EPs. The fourth album in the series — Monolithe IV — has now been completed and will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on October 18 (it can be pre-ordered here).
I haven’t listened to any of this band’s previous works, and was first attracted to this new one mainly by the striking cover art (by Norwegian artist Robert Høyem — click the image above to see a larger version). And then today I heard a 6-minute excerpt from the new album, which was recently unveiled on Soundcloud.
We’re jumping the gun on this post, since the month doesn’t end until tomorrow. Why? Uh, because this post is ready to go and we don’t have anything else finished for today yet. Work and other shit interfered with our grand plans for a Sunday post. We might still get another one up later today, but for now, feast your eyes on the barrage of metal headed our direction.
What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 27 days) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.
This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming New Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. There’s some awesome shit on the way.
I just took a break from what I usually do during daylight hours to check happenings in the world of metal, and that proved to be quite a long and interesting diversion. It may not be mid-day where you are, but maybe you still need a diversion or two, or three. That’s what we’re here for — to divert you, for better or worse, depending on your alternatives.
Regular NCS visitors know we’ve got a pathological weakness for anything Finnish, so when I saw a come-on for a new video by a Finnish band called Mygrain, of course I had to watch it. Besides, I’ve been meaning to check out this band ever since I read about the release of their self-titled third album on January 12 (via Spineform Records) — especially because it was mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath, Nightingale).
The video is for a song called “Trapped In An Hourglass”. Very cool music — fast-paced, Finnish-style melodic death that’s both catchy and cathartic, with two admirable guitar solo’s (one of which is a jazzy bit of picking at about the 3:00 mark), some clean vocals that even I like, and evidence that Finnish howlers can even shriek underwater. (more after the jump . . .)
What, did you think we would forget about black metal? No way. How could we put together a tribute to extreme metal from Finland and not (fearfully) bow our horned heads in obeisance to the music of the beast? We just needed a little time to summon up the courage before wading out into that smoking, seething, sulfurous pool that is Finnish black metal.
As regular readers know, we wouldn’t call ourselves black-metal experts. As fans of the genre, we’re relative latecomers, and we’re still discovering bands — not only new ones but also historical icons. But from what we’ve learned in our ongoing education, Finland has definitely made its mark. You know the mark we’re talking about (it begins with a 6 and ends in a 6 and, uh, it has a 6 in the middle).
Today, we’re featuring three long-running bands who seem to be among the best known within kvlt circles (Horna, Beherit, and Impaled Nazarene :)) — even we had heard of them before and even knew some of their music — plus another (Sargeist) who may not be quite so well-known but are very capable of impaling your head on a musical spike. And in a last-minute update, we’ve just got to say something about Behexen.
Once again, we’re indebted to our commenters for their suggestions, and particularly to Johan Huldtgren (Obitus) for bringing Sargeist (and Behexen) to our attention. We know Johan is really waiting for the humppa music, but he’s gonna have to wait a bit longer. Patience, bro. For now, dear unclean readers, inscribe a pentagram on your forehead with fetus blood and listen to what we’ve dug out of the maggot-ridden crypt — it’s quite a varied spectrum of what Finnish black metal has to offer, and the music is awesome. (after the jump . . .)