Mar 102018
 

 

As I woke up this morning and it hit me that the final edition of Oration Festival was over, I experienced a wave of sadness, coupled with regrets over not having made the trek for the first two years of the event. Oration Fest MMXVIII was, by my lights, an extraordinary experience, one formed by the combination of its setting in Reykjavik (a magical place), the wonderful friends, both old and new, with whom I was able to share the experience, and of course the incredible music.

I’ll have some more perhaps excessively emotional things to say about all that at the end of this post, but the first order of business is to provide photos, videos, and accompanying personal reactions concerning the performances last night by these bands, who appeared in this order: Almyrkvi (Iceland), Inferno (Czech Republic), Misþyrming (Iceland), Svartidauði (Iceland), Vemod (Norway), and Rebirth of Nefast (Ireland/Iceland).

Once again, the high-quality photos you’ll find below were made by my Seattle friend Tanner Ellison; I made the rest of them, and the (sadly mediocre) videos, with my phone. Continue reading »

Mar 062017
 

 

In a career that now spans more than 20 years, the Czech black metal band Inferno have been on a journey of exploration and self-realization, a journey that has reached its highest plateau with their new album, Gnosis Kardias (Of Transcension and Involution). It not only represents the zenith of the band’s own understanding and creativity, it’s a also a searing, soaring, transcendent experience for the listener and a more than worthy successor to the band’s last album Omniabsence Filled by His Greatness. That’s not a hyperbolic claim, as we think you’ll agree when you hear the song we’re premiering today: “Ω > 1 (Oscillation in Timelessness)“.

As wondrous as the cover image by Peruvian artist Jose Gabriel Alegría Sabogal is, the music is more wondrous. It has already prompted DECIBEL’s Chris D. to proclaim, in his introduction to DECIBEL’s premiere of the album’s opening track, “There will be no more important release in 2017”. Perhaps those words display precognition, but even if they are merely an ultimate expression of enthusiasm, it’s an enthusiasm that I share. Continue reading »

Sep 252013
 

In this post I’ve collected three new songs from three new albums that caught my ears over the last 24 hours, as well as a full-album stream of another recent release. As you might have guessed from the title of the post, all of the music flies the black metal flag, but the styles are nevertheless significantly different from each other. The bands are Inferno (Czech Republic), Slegest (Norway), Darkmoon Warrior (Germany), and Patrons of the Rotting Gate (Ireland). I might add that all four albums are adorned by some very eye-catching artwork.

INFERNO

Inferno’s current album, their sixth, is entitled Omniabsence Filled By His Greatness and was released on September 24 by Agonia Records. The fantastic cover art that you see above was creatd by Fenomeno Design (Blut Aus Nord, Glorior Belli, Perdition). Yesterday Agonia uploaded one of the new tracks to Soundcloud.

“The Funeral of Existence” rings with chiming guitars and thrums with heavy weight in the low end. It rocks and rolls, its ephemeral melody will reverberate through your skull, and when the blasting and growling begins it will be time to run for cover before the roof comes down. Damned fine piece of progressive black metal, and really well-produced. This may well be a damned fine album, too — I now intend to find out. Continue reading »

Apr 052013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. This is the final installment. Check out the three previous parts here.)

Well here we are, the final day of the festival. With fatigue setting in (wallet-fatigue as well as physical fatigue) this was also – fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you chose to look at it – the day with the fewest bands who I really wanted to check out.

The first band of the evening I was lucky enough to see were underground black metal legends Hades Almighty (pictured above). Though the Norwegian triumvirate describe themselves on their website as “The heaviest black metal three-piece in the world”, after seeing them live I’m far more inclined to agree with the assessment of the immortal Metal-Archives and say that the group are more of a Progressive black metal band than they are a particularly heavy one.

Their distinctly old-school vibe is coloured and individuated by twisty-turny song-structures and liberal applications of atonal, semi-melodic riffs that strangely enough put me firmly in mind of American tech-thrashers Believer. Continue reading »

Apr 042013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out the previous installments here and here.)

Day 2 of the festival had fewer bands I was particularly dying to see, so I decided to check out some different acts I’d never seen before, so as to make better use of my time and to fulfil my journalistic pretensions a bit more.

We decided to have a later start to the day, arriving in time to see Aeternus hit the stage and introduce the crowd (if any introduction was needed) to their twisted take on the darker side of the black/death metal aesthetic. Drawing liberally from all the various spheres of the metallic spectrum, the group performed like a well-drilled musical machine, though their focus on slippery shifts between styles meant that their live stage presence was a little more unassuming than most.

Though the band last played here 11 years ago, there was very little rust to be found on them, as they bled their instruments dry of every hypnotic riff and spiralling, dissonant lead they could wring out of them. Continue reading »

Apr 032013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out his Opening Day report here.)

Kicking off the festival-proper at the early time of 17:30 Horned Almighty were like a veritable boot to the face of the assembled audience. Nasty, brutal, and brimming with feral punk aggression, the group come across as a bad-boy version of the Misfits, raised on black metal nihilism and death metal misanthropy, and kick up a hell of a racket, with a truly demolition-strength guitar tone. Material from across their four albums bulked out the set, with the strongest focus being on Contaminating The Divine and Necro Spirituals.

Frontman S. didn’t let the fact that the band were opening the festival proper intimidate him, spitting necrosadistic venom at the crowd with his spiteful, belligerent snarl, while the aptly-named Carnage on bass was a stalking, twisting revelation of spindly fingers and malevolent contortions. Give these guys a longer set and a bigger stage someone! Continue reading »

Apr 022013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, beginning with this post. More will follow in the days to come.)

So here’s how Inferno Festival works… though the event itself is a three-day affair situated at Rockefeller/John Dee, there’s an opening day on the Wednesday featuring an array of bands performing at a series of different venues around the city.

For the first time this year I was officially accredited as “Press” for the event, meaning I was invited to the Opening Party at the Rockefeller lounge, which kicked things off just before the various bars and clubs started the evening’s festivities. I have to say that I definitely appreciated the free beer (a rather bitter, but ultimately rather nice, Norwegian brown ale called Nøgne Ø) and free food on offer, as well as the opportunity to mingle with other attendees (hello to Liz and Lewis, if you’re reading this) and stalk various band members.

The party itself also had a couple of presentations explaining and extolling the history of Inferno and its connections with the Oslo metal scene and with the Indian metal scene with which it has steadily been building a relationship. Continue reading »

Jan 212010
 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010. This is how the day began over Puget Sound (honest to God — I really saw this and really took this photo):

And this is how it ended at El Corazon in Seattle:

After starting off the New Year of live music last week with an ass-kicking show by DevilDriver, Suffocation, Goatwhore, and Thy Will Be Done (see our review here), your three NCS Authors took in the Evangelia Amerika tour two nights ago in Seattle — and the ass-kicking continued as Behemoth, Septicflesh, Lightning Swords of Death, and Those Who Lie Beneath took the stage at El Corazon.  For our report, and a lot more of our amateurish concert photos like the one above, continue reading after the jump. Continue reading »