Mar 222016

Thrill Jockey logo

 

(Our old friend Leperkahn finally gets around to doing something he forecast he would do in early February, with a selection of music that includes not-metal as well as metal.)

I mentioned at the end of my overlong 2015 EOTY list about a month ago that there would be an addendum to said list.

Since the end of September of last year, I’ve been an intern at Thrill Jockey Records, assembling and packing all of your beloved records, among other things (if you’re looking to steal my fingerprints so as to implicate me in a crime later in life, now’s probably gonna be your best opportunity). The job has introduced me to a ton of new music, some of it of the metallic variety, some not, though I would contend that the non-metallic stuff that’s appealed to me might appeal to some of you, as open-minded music listeners who come from a primarily metal background, such as myself.

In a move of unprecedented cronyism and self-promotion, I’m going to use this post to take you through a tour of some recent TJ output, some of it metal, some not. Admittedly, this isn’t a perfect addendum to a 2015 best-of list, since some of what’s featured came out in the first few months of this year, and some came out before 2015. But truly, good music need not consider age; so let’s get on with it.

Feb 022016

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(The word “procrastination” is one with which I am intimately familiar — it’s like a close personal friend. And therefore, I could hardly say no to posting this one further year-end list from our friend Leperkahn despite the fact that we wrapped up our 2015 Listmania series in mid-January, and despite his ugly and uncalled-for reminder that I still haven’t finished the 2015 Most Infectious Song list….)

Hey guys. As you might have guessed, that headline is completely satirical, since I meant to write some version of this in early December more or less, and it’s now currently the front-end of February. My only saving grace is that Islander hasn’t finished his rollout of his Most Infectious Songs list either.

I obviously wrote much less here in 2015 than in years past – I blame that partially on school and other time-fillers, but it mostly has to do with my truly award-worthy levels of procrastination, with a pinch of laziness adding a complementary garnish. That said, I still listened to a ton of great music, and lurked with mostly banal comments on probably 70% of NCS’s posts, indicating my continued existence and enjoyment of the fare here.

I’m going to try and focus on some releases that I don’t think got as extensively covered here either throughout the year or during the Listmania blitz, but inevitably that won’t happen. That said, here’s an incomplete list of some of the ones off the top of my head that I wholeheartedly agree with:

Sep 182015

Horrendous-Anareta

 

(Leperkahn reviews the new album by Horrendous.)

Unlike a lot of the metal community, I didn’t come to Anareta as a particularly rabid fan of Horrendous – I had heard plenty of praise for its predecessor, Ecdysis, but I hadn’t gotten around to playing the CD copy I got on sale from 20 Buck Spin earlier this summer. Thus, I came to Anareta with an open mind. And let me say, HOT DIGGITY DAMN, this might be the best thing I’ve heard all year. These guys harken back to the time when death metal was just starting to flex its wings and go in new, progressive, melodic directions, evoking Death’s Human and At the Gates, pre-Slaughter of the Soul.

It starts much as Ecdysis did, with a slow section of doomy guitars that seem very free-form – yet this opening section of “The Nihilist” serves an important purpose, as it’s a welcome palette cleanser, a built-in intro before the band launches into the main riff. That main riff, or rather the sequence of two riffs the band alternate between after the intro, are easily the best opening-song riffs I’ve heard all year – one listen to their one-two punch will convince you that “The Nihilist” was destined to be an opener, and a hell of an opener at that. I can’t help but want to start running around like a methed-out maniac in the middle of my suburban cul-de-sac.

Sep 172015

Intronaut-The Direction of Last Things

 

(We present the third part of Leperkahn’s jumbo-sized Thursday round-up of new songs an videos. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.)

Here we have yet another collection of new premieres. They certainly run the gamut, from arguably-not-metal to the very definition of metal-to-its-core, while also mixing big names with some lesser-known groups. Have an interesting trip below, starting with a new offering from Intronaut.

INTRONAUT

I’ve never really spent much time with these dudes. For whatever reason, nothing I’ve heard from them has really grabbed me (though what I’ve heard isn’t much –- they’re just one of those bands I haven’t really gotten around to). That seems to be changing with their new album for Century Media, their fifth, out on November 13 and entitled The Direction of Last Things.

The first track from it, “Fast Worms”, premiered yesterday via MetalSucks. The track starts out pretty early on with a hell of a heavy verse, reminding of The Ocean, with some proggier vocals in the mix. Some hints of Mastodon are in there, too, as well as a heavier, almost death-metal element that comes in at times. The more ambient middle section goes all kinds of cool places, too. Check it out below, and gear up for November 13th if you dig it.

Sep 172015

Cattle Decapitation vidclip-2

 

(Here’s Part 2 of Leperkahn’s massive round-up of new music and videos for this Thursday. Part 1 cane found here.)

A lot has happened in the metalsphere over the past few days. It’s certainly tough to keep up – some might even say it’s impossible. But here at NCS, we’re nothing if not delusional dreamers, and thus we maintain the resolve to attempt to cover all that we can, even if we still fail miserably to come even somewhat close to covering everything. Come join us in our delusions.

CATTLE DECAPITATION

I’m absolutely adoring these hometown heroes’ new full-length The Anthropocene Extinction – it’s similar to Monolith of Inhumanity, yet feels like it has a dose of Swedish Shining-esque black metal in it, from the extra bite of some icier riffs to vocalist Travis Ryan’s downright psychotic live persona (not to be confused with his face…).

Ahead of two months full of touring, first on a headline run with King Parrot, Black Crown Initiate, and Dark Sermon (rolling through Chicago (!) with Temple of Void (!) as an opener), and then supporting Cannibal Corpse with Soreption, the band have released a playthrough video for the mammoth track “Mammals of Babylon”. It shows off just how insanely talented these dudes are, as Dave McGraw is capable of inhuman speeds behind the kit, and Josh Elmore shows off some mammoth chops, and deceptively complex riffs.

Sep 172015

Tsjuder-Antiliv

 

(Leperkahn is on a roll again, with a multi-part roundup of new music streams. Here’s Part 1.)

The metal world is really good at trying to drown us in new stuff. Here, we take a stand and fight back, trying to cover all that we can. A new wave of defense for NCS starts with this post, in which we cover (briefly) five albums you can now stream in full on the interhole.

TSJUDER

We’ve been covering Antiliv, the new album from these Norwegian black metallers, pretty much since it was first announced, so I’ll cut to the chase and say that this ripper is available for you to stream via Decibel. If you like your black metal staunchly traditional, yet still pretty well-produced, dig in.

Sep 112015

Speedtrap=Straight Shooter

 

(Here’s Part 3 of Leperkahn’s round-up of new music for this Friday. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.)

SPEEDTRAP

Prior to finding a full stream of their new album Straight Shooter on Noisey, I hadn’t heard of Finnish troupe Speedtrap. If you’re in the same boat that I was in, I’ll tell you that these guys sound pretty much exactly like you think they will, in that they love Motörhead, as everyone should. This thing is chock full of blazing riffs and cheesy lyrics sung by an oddly bluesy power-metal-type singer — I’m in love.

http://noisey.vice.com/blog/speedtrap-straight-shooter
https://www.facebook.com/speedtrapmetal
https://speedtrap.bandcamp.com/

Sep 112015

Mephorash-1557 - Rites of Nullification

 

(Leperkahn compiled this second of at least four round-ups of new music we’ll be presenting today. Part 1 is here.)

MEPHORASH

In my infinite wisdom, I totally forgot that the Swedish black metal band Mephorash’s new album 1557 – Rites of Nullification had already been released (despite Andy Synn’s glowing review) until I saw that Mephorash posted a stream to a track other than the advance track they had previously presented on their FB page. This “new” track, entitled “Phezur – Dissolving the Sea of Yetzirah” has me strongly regretting that lapse in memory.

The song masterfully conjures a deeply evil, occult, Luciferian atmosphere with its stirring riffs and caustic snarls, and the riff that comes in about a quarter of the way through the song is certainly quite the earworm. It moves through periods of chaos, groove, eerie calm, and infernal majesty, all while maintaining a truly nefarious aura. Make this the soundtrack to your next black mass if you know what’s good for you.

Sep 112015

Black Breath-Slaves Beyond Death

 

(Leperkahn steps forward to shoulder round-up duty — and there have been so many noteworthy new songs over the last few days that he’s stepping forward with a three-part post, to which Austin Weber and your humble editor will also be adding a fourth and maybe a fifth before we’re done today.)

I’ve been meaning to get an album review out at some point (don’t have anything written currently, though I will say that you should go and preorder Horrendous’s upcoming album Anareta immediately if you know what’s good for you), but in the meantime an ungodly amount of new tidbits turned up on the web in the last couple days.

Considering that Islander is slaving away in Anchorage for however long his reptilian overlords command him to, I figure I’d take another stab at covering a few of them – and by a few, I mean fifteen. For your sanity (and perhaps mine, though that might be a lost cause), I’ve divided it up into three posts. We’ll go alphabetically, since there’s way too much stuff for me to want to find any other type of pattern.

Sep 062015

Fluiteraars-Luwte

 

(Leperkahn rejoins us with a round-up of new songs that have struck a chord.)

We cover a lot of stuff here at NCS. Hell, I can barely keep up with it myself. However, even more goes on in the wide world of metal than the busy staff could ever hope to cover (and normally, I’m too lazy to move my arse and actually put fingers to keyboard). Alas, here are a few tracks that I’ve been really hyped up on, though sadly lack of time has prevented us from giving them proper coverage.

FLUISTERAARS

Early last year BadWolf published a review of Dutch black metal band Fluisteraars’s debut album Dromers. That review was my introduction to the band, and my, what an introduction it was – three extended tracks of harrowing, melodic lo-fi black metal (and I’ll be damned if “De Doornen” didn’t stick in my head like one of Frankenstein’s bolt things). “De Doornen” ended up earning a spot in the Most Infectious Songs list for 2014, and also ended up on my year-end list.

Luckily for us, Fluisteraars have returned, with a new album entitled Luwte (apparently Dutch for “Lee”, though I’m not sure what that could signify) due out on Eisenton on September 25th. At the Bandcamp page for the album a track is currently streaming, an eleven-and-a-half song entitled “Stille Wateren” (“Still Waters” – three quarters of college-level German prepared me to figure that one out without the services of Google Translate). The track is anything but still in its first half, however, as Fluisteraars have unleashed another torrent of scathing melodic BM riffs, shifting from one to the other seamlessly, all punctuated by some soul-cleaving rasps on the vocal front and drums that are evidently try to stir up a tsunami.

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