Aug 112017

 

Surprise! Hope your kids or your parents or your bosses weren’t looking over your shoulder when you landed on this post. But hey, we have to have our fun where we find it. Just tell ’em that’s a recently discovered Michaelangelo that’s making news throughout the art world.

Midnight also has a new promo photo that you can view after the jump. Your kids/parents/bosses will really love it!

I’ve got a few bits of additional info about Midnight’s new album to start this end-of-week round-up, plus another piece of album art and news about a long-awaited new album, and then some music. I’ve collected so many new song streams that I’ve decided to break up this rond-up into somewhat smaller bites so your mind won’t choke on it. I’ll probably be posting round-ups from now straight through the weekend.

MIDNIGHT

As you can see, the new Midnight album is named Sweet Death and Ecstasy. There’s some more info about the album that I’ll quote below. Unfortunately, Hells Headbangers didn’t tell us who created the scissor-sisters cover art. Might be William Lacey, who’s done work for these sleazy Clevelanders before, but I’m not sure if he’s responsible for this one. Here’s that new promo shot:

Nov 122013


Here are a few things I saw and heard yesterday that I want to recommend to you.

MITOCHONDRION

Vancouver’s Mitochondrion are working on their third album. There’s a chance it may reverse the space-time continuum, or possibly open portals to a nearby dimension in which human beings are food stock for the nourishment of nightmares. Probably won’t happen, but with this band I never rule out such possibilities.

Yesterday they saw fit to release a demo version of one of the new album’s songs, “Writhen Unto Abraxas”. It’s a mauling frenzy of destructive riffing and horrific vocal effusions, caked with grime, splintered with jagged grooves, and writhing with maggot-ridden guitar leads. Galvanizing and merciless, doomed and infectious, the song is yet another triumph of blackened death metal malignance for this frightening collective. Listen next.

Oct 282013

Oh joy! Rapture! Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in ’t!

Okay, I’m just trying to put a good face on another goddamn Monday that blows, like a noxious wind coming off a tire fire. At least we still have beauteous metal, flights of fallen angels to sing us to our rest at nightfall. Here’s a collection of things, in no particular order, seen and heard over the last 24 hours.

MASTODON

I saw that on December 10 Warner Bros. Records will be releasing Mastodon Live At Brixton, a digital-only recording of the band’s live performance at London’s O2 Academy in Brixton on February 11, 2012. That show was part of the band’s world tour in support of their last album The Hunter. I caught another stop on that tour in Seattle, and it was a powerhouse performance.

Interestingly, the digital-only release (which will be sold through Amazon and iTunes) will come in two versions, one that’s audio-only and one that’s a live video version of the 97-minute show. Here’s the set list:

Aug 292012

(photo credit: Nicolas Abraham)

It occurs to me that human beings have never been content to simply feel emotion. We are social creatures, and so we’re driven by the impulse to share our emotions with others, to convey to other people what we’re feeling. I think that impulse drives artists in every field, whether it’s pictorial art or writing or music. And it goes beyond that. Artists not only want to communicate their own emotions through what they create, they also want other people to feel what they (the artists) are feeling.

Music has always been a vehicle for this two-fold drive, a vehicle for expressing what the musician feels and for changing the listeners so that they experience it, too. And one of those experiences is the very human desire to be wild, to let go of responsibilities, to defy order, to throw off the very conventions that make it possible for human beings to co-exist without tearing each other’s throats out, to dive headlong into unbridled passion.

There’s probably some connection between this and orgasms, but I’ll leave that for another day.

Anyway, the appeal of music that makes you want to be wild is one of the reasons I really like high-speed death metal. But that’s a comparatively recent form of music, and definitely not the first kind designed to sweep up the listener and take them on the Wild Hunt. Flamenco music is a much older art form that, at least as I hear it, does the same thing. It lights a fire and then fans it into a wildfire.

And I’m thinking these thoughts today because of Impureza. I think it’s a very safe bet that if you’ve ever heard the music of this French band (pictured above), you haven’t forgotten it. They seamlessly and beautifully combine technically oriented death metal that brings to mind bands such as Nile, Krisiun, Decapitated, and Fleshgod Apocalypse with flamenco music. They combine old and new ways of kicking out the fuckin’ jams.

Dec 032011

I found out about the band featured in this post about a week ago, thanks to two, almost simultaneous messages from NCS reader Utmu and NCS writer TheMadIsraeli, both of whom seem to have an ear for metal that pushes my buttons. Impureza immediately pushed two of them: Their music incorporates both traditional “ethnic” influences and instruments that are rarely found in metal — in this case flamenco — and the cover to their most recent album, La Iglesia Del Odio (“the church of hate”), is a real eye-catcher (it was created by Johann Bodin).

The band are currently based in Orléans, France, and they actually appear to be Frenchmen instead of transplanted Spaniards, as one would expect from the music. Following a series of demos and splits, they released their debut album in April 2010 — the aforementioned La Iglesia Del Odio — on a French label called Snakebite Productions, from which the album can still be acquired in CD form.

Now, despite the abstract attraction (at least to me) of a death metal band who incorporate flamenco music into their sound, and despite the fact that they were deemed worthy of a spot at HELLFEST 2011, I did have to wonder whether this might turn out to be nothing more than a gimmick, a passing curiosity, a novelty without substance, and I also wondered how flamenco and death metal would sound in combination.

The answer: Impureza sounds brilliant, particularly if you’re a fan of technical death metal in the vein of Nile, Krisiun, Decapitated, or Fleshgod Apocalypse, and the distinctive flamenco cadences and melodies are no gimmick: They’re integral to this music, and they give it a fascinating, distinctive flair.

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