Aug 082017

 

This is, obviously, a humongous round-up of things I’ve recently discovered. I’ve organized it in this way:

First up there are two news items that feature imagery and info about eagerly anticipated new releases but no music. Then I’ve got new videos and music streams by (or related to) a quartet of venerable and revered bands, followed by new advance tracks from two younger favorites who are returning with new releases this year. And then I’ll close this out with music from two bands whom I’ve just discovered.

BELL WITCH

On most days I post a piece of usually dark or surreal artwork on our Facebook page. I keep an archive of what I’ve posted over the years, as a way of trying to avoid repeating myself. In that archive I’ve counted 22 paintings by the Polish artist Mariusz Lewandowski that I’ve posted over the years since I began doing that, which I think is proof of how strongly I like his creations. But as far as I can recall, he has never created artwork for the cover of a metal album… until now. And his cover for the new Bell Witch album will surely stand as one of the best album covers of the year, if not THE best.

Jul 172017

 

(DGR takes over round-up duties again, with this collection of new songs and videos from eight bands.)

The end-of-the-week news flood was insane, as we have settled well into summer now and a lot of bands are either gearing up to hit the road or are already out making numerous loops on the festival circuit. Of course, this also means that there are a lot of albums in the hopper, getting ready to come out within weeks, or you’ll start seeing a lot of press for albums set to hit when the first leaves of fall drop.

That’s how you wind up with posts like this SEEN AND HEARD that helped kick off the weekend — not even counting our own fuel that we added to the fire, and the one that you’re reading now, which is basically just a gigantic dragnet for bands that had premieres elsewhere throughout the tail end of last week, or just blasted that thing right out to the world to see.

This episode of SEEN AND HEARD is eight (!) bands deep and skews death-metal heavy, so prepare yourselves for a lot of gigantic grooves, growled vocals, enough blasts to reach gunfire status, and enough chainsaw guitar destruction to fuel the planet.

Jun 082017

 

Not for the first time, I had a discussion with a few of my NCS comrades at Maryland Deathfest about how much stuff I post most days. I think their feeling was that 4 posts a day at NCS should be considered adequate, and that more tends to result in reader/listener overload. While I think this is good advice for my exercise of editorial discretion, and undoubtedly would help relieve the frenzied stress levels of my daily existence, the sad fact is that I… just… can’t… fucking… help myself! I see or hear something that gets me excited, and I feel an apparently irresistible compulsion to share it.

And so, while today I’ve already posted an album review and plan to post three premieres (one of which is a full album, accompanied by a review), I also decided to compile this round-up. On the bright side, two of the following 10 items(!) only consist of artwork and news — and I could have made this soooo much longer, but I’m saving some new discoveries for this weekend.

INCANTATION

I was gob-smacked the first time I saw Eliran Kantor’s artwork for the cover of Incantation’s new album. Even now, seeing the piece with the band’s name and the album title on it, my gob is still smacked. The first single from the album has also proven to be a gob-smacker. But before we get to that, here’s Eliran Kantor’s explanation about the inspiration for his painting on the cover of Profane Existence:

Apr 112016

Shadow Woods Metal Festival 2016

 

As we begin the new week, I have some unfortunate news (at least it’s unfortunate for me). Beginning today and continuing through Thursday morning, I have to bury myself in my fucking day job for one of those day-and-night projects that periodically descends upon me. I’ll make time to post what other writers have sent me, as well as a few premieres I’ve agreed to do, but aside from this round-up and one “Short But Sweet” review I wrote over the weekend, I will be missing in action until sometime Thursday.

Before saying good-bye, I’ve collected a few items that I wanted to share — including, at the end of this post, streams of ten recent videos without commentary (because I’ve run out of time for commentary).

SHADOW WOODS METAL FESTIVAL

I’m late sharing this news, but the news is so exciting that I’m following the “better late than never” mantra. Last year’s Shadow Woods Metal Festival was a marvelous event by all accounts — including this account by our guest Captain Karbon. As I reported in February, organizer Mary Spiro and her team (who are joined by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records as co-producers this year) have been planning the second installment of this open-air camping metal party, which will run for three days in central Maryland: from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland. They’ve been announcing performers since January, and now the complete line-up has been revealed — and it’s an eye-popper:

Jan 102015

 

Whenever I let a day or two go by without checking the web or my NCS e-mails to see what’s new, I always miss a lot, because the ocean of metal is always at high tide. Because of my day job, I couldn’t pay much attention to metal happenings over the last two days. But I had a 6-hour flight back to Seattle from the east coast last night and a decent internet connection, so I tried to catch up. And goddamn….

The great and powerful Engine of Metal has awakened after dormancy during the holiday season and it’s now running in the red zone. (Yeah, I just mixed my metaphors, so sue me.) I found more than 20 new songs and videos during that plane flight that I thought were worth exploring.

The net connection wasn’t good enough to stream anything on the flight, so I just made a list, and now I’m going through it. There’s sooo much worth writing about that I’m breaking this round-up into multiple parts that I’ll spit out in pieces today and tomorrow. (I missed an installment of the Most Infectious Song list yesterday, but I’ll get back on track with that today, too.)

Dec 032014

 

You may not be familiar with the name Shed the Skin, but chances are you’ll recognize the names of some of its members.  This Ohio-based band is new, but the line-up includes drummer Kyle Severn (Incantation), guitarist Matt Sorg (Ringworm), vocalist/guitarist Ash Thomas (Vladimirs, Faithxtractor), bassist Ed Stephens (Ringworm), and Brian Boston (ex-From the Depths) on keyboards. Hells Headbangers will soon be releasing their debut two-song EP and today we’re bringing you a stream of the first track:  “The Skaphe of Christ / Rebirth Through Brimstone”.

Shed the Skin took shape when Sorg and Severn played together in a tribute to Cleveland’s Blood of Christ at a memorial show for their friend Tom Rojack (Blood of Christ’s 1993 promo EP included the song “Shed the Skin”), and then decided to forge ahead by recruiting the rest of the band’s impressive line-up.

May 202014

As a result of unusually pressing personal and job-related commitments, and making sure I have enough clean underwear for my MDF trip tomorrow, I haven’t had time for proper write-ups on all the good new songs I came across yesterday. But I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll be happy just listening anyway. So here goes — a big load of music streams (or links) in alphabetical order and damn few words from me.

DEAD CONGREGATION

Promulgation of the Fall, the new album I’ve written about before by the excellent Greek band Dead Congregation, is now streaming in full and available for acquisition on Bandcamp. Part of me thinks this moots the point of a review. Part of me wants to lavish my praise in print anyway. We’ll see — but you should damn sure listen below:

Apr 302014

Your humble editor has fallen down on the job. Due to a variety of personal and work-related interferences I haven’t been as diligent as I would like in spotting and writing about new developments in the wide world of metal over the last couple of days. With luck, I can do some catching up today, beginning with this collection of items that I thought were worth your attention.

INCANTATION

How many times have you seen Incantation’s name as a reference point for releases by new death metal bands? Dozens of times? Hundreds? I know I’ve used them many times myself in attempting to capture a certain kind of sound in writing about the music of more recent groups. And now we have new music from Incantation themselves.

But before getting to that, is that album artwork cool or what? It’s by the phenomenally talented Eliran Kantor, whose work we’ve praised frequently at this site. We’ve obtained a hi-res version of the cover, which you can see in all its glory by clicking on the image above.

The album’s name is Dirges of Elysium and it’s due for North American release by Listenable Records on June 24. The song that premiered yesterday is named “Carrion Prophecy”, and man, it’s a monster — monstrous pounding riffs that ooze radioactive sickness, monstrous abyssal growls, and an atmosphere of monstrous menace. When the song begins to gallop and race, heads will bang hard, and when it descends again into a pit of decay and depravity, you may feel tumors begin to thicken your organs.

Feb 142013

The last 24 hours brought three new music videos that I thought were worth throwing your way — three quite different forms of metal and three quite different uses of visual accompaniment, but all worth seeing and hearing. The bands are Incantation (U.S.), Hanging Garden (Finland), and Byzantine (U.S.).

INCANTATION

This seminal NYDM band’s new album Vanquish in Vengeance, their first in half a decade, was released last fall by Listenable Records.  It has been very well-received, and rightly so. It bears the hallmarks of Incantation’s well-defined morbid, crushing style, but with a crisper, more modernized sound, and it’s packed with varied, well-written songs. The album opener “Invoked Infinity” sets the tone for the album, summoning up atmospherics of the occult and the doomed while also ripping flesh with a storm of razor-edged guitar work.

This morning the band premiered a video for the song that captures the mortuary air of the track — because it was filmed in an actual, decaying, turn-of-the-century funeral home. Here you go:

Nov 192012

 

This is just a quick note to let you know that four albums are now streaming in full at various locations around the interhole. All four of them are definitely worth checking out.

INCANTATION

Incantation’s ninth album, Vanquish in Vengeance, will be released on November 27 by Listenable Records. It’s their first album since Primordial Domination was released in 2006. It was mixed and mastered Dan Swanö at Unisound. It sounds vicious. It’s streaming exclusively at DECIBEL’s online site, which you can find via this link.

HELL MILITIA

We featured these French marauders not long ago. Their new album, Jacob’s Ladder, is due for release on November 20 via Season of Mist. Today, Brooklyn Vegan began streaming the album in full.  It can be ordered here now. It’s really good. The SoundCloud player at Brooklyn vegan is also embeddable, and so you can check it out here right after the jump.

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