Mordbrand – photo by Łukasz Jaszak
It’s been a busy week here at NCS, one in which I’ve spent many (many!) hours readying year-end lists for posting, as well as starting the roll-out of our (i.e., my own) list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ve also had some premieres and interviews and other things. And on top of all that, I got slugged yesterday by a nasty cold. The combined effect of all this has been to prevent me from preparing our usual round-ups of new music.
I’ve still been watching the appearance of new songs and videos and adding them to a list. It’s a long list. I picked a few items off of it for this post. Since the weekends at NCS are essentially all my own, I might prepare some more round-ups for Saturday and Sunday. It’s also possible this cold will cause me to curl up in a ball on the floor and whimper in misery until Monday.
By the way, it looks like we’ll finish LISTMANIA next week. I still have a few excellent lists in hand to post on Monday and Tuesday, and a few more might arrive, but I think we’ll be done soon. The Most Infectious Song series will of course continue until I pick some arbitrary stopping point, which will probably be January 31.
That’s it for an update. Onward to new music….
I spent the last three days doing some catch-up work on recent premieres and releases from the realms of black metal, and today it’s time to shift gears and begin a series of round-ups of new music from other corners of the underground. My NCS comrade DGR is working on a round-up of his own, but even between the two of us we still won’t succeed in covering everything good that we’ve found over the last two weeks (when our round-ups were scarce).
Having said that, we may still threaten to overwhelm our readers with the volume of what we’re recommending. To give you a chance to catch your breath, I’m dividing my collection of recommendations into at least two parts, with the second one to come tomorrow (Saturday). I’ve also attempted to mix up the styles of music within each of these two parts in the hope of appealing to a broad array of tastes (and keeping you off-balance, of course).
ZEAL AND ARDOR
Zeal and Ardor is the name of a music project based in New York City. I’m calling it a “project”, because I have no idea who is behind it, or whether it’s the work of one person or more than one; I’ve searched and can find no background information at all. This mysterious project released a self-titled album in June 2014 that I did not know existed, and in mid-April of this year they released a second one named Devil Is Fine — which is unlike anything I’ve heard before.
This is a collection of new music I heard yesterday that I hope you will explore. It’s all over the map, both musically and geographically (in terms of the bands’ locations).
Usually, the music I include in these “Seen and Heard” round-ups consists of individual new songs or videos, released in advance of the albums or EPs on which they will appear. But this first song is from an album that you can now hear in its entirety because I was too slow to jump on it — but believe me, that’s not a bad thing.
The band is Mare Infinitum and they’re based in Moscow (Russia, not Idaho). Their debut album Sea of Infinity came out in 2011, and their second one, Alien Monolith God, was released by Solitude Productions one week ago. It consists of five long tracks, totaling almost one hour of music. So exploring even one song is going to take more than a little of your time.
I’ve had a busy day today — but for better or worse I haven’t been busy blogging. Truth be told, I’m on vacation — and doing some day-job work by long distance, which I guess is some kind of karmic retribution for vacationing on the job before I ever left.
Anyway, the upshot is that I don’t have many posts to contribute to the site today. One can only hope that I’ve made up for the lack of quantity with some metal quality — including these four new songs I happily discovered while roaming the interhole and the NCS email today.
We start this round-up with a band named Ur Draugr from Perth in Western Australia whose ranks include past or present members of Impiety, Wardaemonic, DeathFuckingCunt, and Morphica. They’ve recorded a debut album entitled Augur Unboden that’s projected for release in December, and today they began streaming one of the new songs — “Unseen Golgotha”.
I was drawn to the song by the superb painted cover art of Jeff Christensen that you see above, and by two additional Christensen pieces for the album that come next: