I left Seattle on Monday for my job and arrived home again near midnight last night. I woke up four hours later because there is very little justice or fairness in the world. Before my eyes would focus properly, I saw messages from friends on Facebook that alerted me to the two new tracks I’ve collected here. I have a fuckton of other new music to sift through since I didn’t have time to assemble a SEEN AND HEARD round-up while I was out of town, but I decided to get these two tracks up on the site without delay, even before the coffee kicks in.
Three years after Blood Mantra, Poland’s mighty Decapitated are returning with a new album named Anticult, which will be released by Nuclear Blast on July 7th. Last night the album’s memorable cover art appeared on the web, and this morning, before the sun rose out here on the U.S. west coast, Decapitated detonated a video for a new song named “Never“.
As mentioned in the first installment of this mid-week round-up earlier today, I have enough items I want to spread around, and enough time to do it, that I’ve divided the collection into multiple segments. There might even be a Part 3, but we’ll see how the day goes.
Part 1 was a sequence of songs specifically organized as a playlist because of a certain flow and mood in the music, at least as discerned by my twisted head. This Part 2 has no unifying theme, other than my own interest in everything here. There are a couple of news items at the outset, and then some very good music.
JUST BEFORE DAWN
Just Before Dawn will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors, but for any newcomers, it has been the studio project of Swedish musician Anders Biazzi and his drumming ally Brynjar Helgetun, with a changing array of vocalists and guitar soloists. It’s one of my favorite current purveyors of old school Swedish death metal. And now JBD will be moving out of the studio in order to destroy a few stages.
(Jonny Pettersson is a busy man, with leading roles in such groups as Wombbath, Ashcloud, Just Before Dawn, and Ursinne, as well as his excellent new solo project Henry Kane. Fortunately, he found time to graciously accept our invitation to share a year-end list of favorite releases.)
1. Brutally Deceased – Satanic Corpse (Death metal)
This album had me blown away. It’s the perfect mix of buzzsaw death metal and blasting brutality.
This has been a great week for the debut of new metal (and the track you’re about to hear continues the trend), but it has also been a particularly sad one, because on September 14 — the one-year anniversary of the death of Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns — Bolt Thrower announced that the band would be interred with him.
Bolt Thrower’s music will never die, even though the band will not move forward without Kiddie. BT’s influence on heavy metal, and death metal in particular, has been vast, and it will be timeless. As one sign of this, we bring you a very special premiere. For 24 hours only, we will stream a medley of Bolt Thrower songs recorded by the Swedish death metal band Just Before Dawn, who will be very familiar to readers of this site. The medley is an amazing track and a most fitting tribute to an irreplaceable group.
The Swedish death metal war machine Just Before Dawn has already given the world two excellent albums (Precis innan gryningen (2013) and The Aftermath (2014)), and the first installment in a trilogy of EPs (2015’s The Dead and Those About To Die), and now JBD mastermind Anders Biazzi and a formidable battalion of allies are on the verge of launching their latest offensive — a new EP named The Ghosts of the Eastern Front. — and below you will find some thoughts about the EP as well as a teaser video with audio samples from the songs.
Like the first EP in the trilogy, this new one will be released on cassette tape by Till You Fukkin Bleed Records, and the songs on the cassette will also later be included on a new full-length release planned for later this year.
I’m not finished with this list, but I’m making myself stop. It’s the middle of February, and I ought to be using the time I’ve been spending on this focusing on 2016 releases. But I still can’t help but feel bad that I’m stopping without having mentioned all the other 2015 songs I’ve heard that are as deserving as the songs that are on this list.
Tomorrow I’ll have a wrap-up post, with a complete list of all the songs and links for listening to them. Here are the last four, and I’m closing out this list with some good old death metal.
Until last year, Wombbath’s last album was 1993’s classic Internal Caustic Torments. The group that recorded Downfall Rising isn’t the same band from more than 20 years ago — vocalist/bassist Jonny Petterson (Ashcloud, Syn:drom, etc.), guitarists Al Riglin and Taylor Nordberg (Infernaeon), and drummer Jeramie Kling (Infernaeon, The Absence) joined forces with founding guitarist Håkan Stuvemark for this new album — but they upheld the Wombbath name and reputation very well.
(Here’s the first of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during January.)
Writing these little “intros” for the monthly picks are by far my least favorite part of what I have to do. I always try and keep it pithy even on the off chance I have something profound to say. So on that note, here we go……
(We invited Jonny Pettersson — vocalist and riff-maker at Wombbath, Lieutenant General at Just before Dawn, and vocalist/guitarist at Ashcloud (among many other projects) — to let us share with our readers his year-end list for 2015, and we are grateful that he agreed!)
I started this list thinking that this year it would be easy to pick the top 10. Halfway through I realized that, as always, there are too many good releases to make easy choices.
I was outside all day yesterday, untethered from my computer, and astonishingly did not spontaneously combust as do most vampires exposed to the sun. I had some plans for today’s first post that I intended to execute this morning, but those plans did go up in a burst of flames when I awoke to discover three new songs by three favorite bands that premiered over the last 24 hours. Here they are:
JUST BEFORE DAWN
Sweden’s Just Before Dawn, who have been a fixture at our site since the band’s first release, have just delivered a new single named “Graves Without Crosses“. For this new song, JBD mastermind Anders Biazzi (guitars, bass) is joined by vocalist Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud, Skineater, Syn:drom) — who also mixed and mastered the track — and drummer Fredrijk Van Daaten (Ashcloud), with a finishing guitar solo contributed by Håkan Stuvemark (Wombbath, Skineater). As expressed in Jonny Petterson’s lyrics, the song is dedicated to the heroes of war — “not the ones mentioned in the history books”, but
“the forgotten souls that fight side by side in a rain of fire, the ones to defy a hail of bullets, to give their life, not for the cause or the country, but for their brothers in arms!!”
Today we bring you Part 7 of our evolving list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.
I’m really not sure how this happened. Somehow I’ve rolled out the first six installments of this series without including even one piece of vicious, old-school Swedish death metal, even though that’s my main musical comfort food. Well, I’m going to fix that right now by including not two, but three songs in this installment (and I’m going to fix it again before this series reaches the end).
JUST BEFORE DAWN
As I wrote in my review of Just Before Dawn’s The Aftermath, “Anders Biazzi has two things going for him: He can write death metal riffs that are pure gold, and he’s friends with a bunch of monster vocalists and soloing guitar demons.” And to quote myself again (because if I don’t, who will?):
“The Aftermath captures and combines all the qualities that make this kind of old school death metal a primal, undying force while at the same time enriching the canon with songs that are vibrant and memorable. I think you’d have to be very jaded and hide-bound not to feel the spark, no matter how wedded you may be to the classics. And therefore I say, it’s unusually good.”