Mar 142015

 

(Having heard of my job-related inability to assemble round-ups of new music for the last week (and the one that’s coming), Austin Weber has once again graciously stepped up to fill the void. This is Part 2 of a round-up of new music, which began here.)

Dawn Of Dementia

Both Islander and I have written about Lafayette, Indiana-based technical death metal act Dawn Of Dementia before. The band traffic in a highly melodic form of technical death metal, and their newly dropped track, “A Subterranean Exposure”, shows them executing at an even higher level than on their previously released (and amazing) EP, Residuum.

I had the honor of getting to see Dawn Of Dementia play live in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, last fall, and these guys are the real deal. Their forthcoming album, Immolation Of  Avernis, is shaping up to be quite an impressive debut.

Jan 212015


Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

 

I’ve commented before about the enormous flood of stream premieres, new album announcements, label signings, and other metal news that has been unleashed since the beginning of the year. But yesterday may have reached new heights of ridiculousness in terms of the number of noteworthy things I saw in a single day.

In fact, yesterday brought so damned much cool stuff that I’d either have to write a half-dozen posts or do what I’m doing here instead — just funneling streams, links, artwork, and news blurbs your way with a minimum of commentary. The bands are presented in alphabetical order — all 18 of them. In most cases, you can enlarge the cover art and photos by clicking on the images in this post.

Jan 102015

Welcome to the somewhat delayed Part 15 in the continuing rollout of our 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.

Because of interference by my day job, I missed adding an installment of this series yesterday, but we’re rolling onward with it today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both of the songs in this edition, and I’m pairing them here because both songs are also inextricably linked in my head with the videos that were released for them.

MASTODON

I still think Once More Round the Sun sports one of the best album covers of 2014, by Oakland-based artist Skinner. The album as a whole reflects the band’s continued crossover movement, which began with The Hunter, into the realm of hard rock — albeit with both prog-y and sludgy ingredients still quite evident in the mix. I don’t begrudge them the decisions that led to these two albums, though I don’t consider either one of them unqualified successes either.

Despite those misgivings, Mastodon remain a phenomenal live band, I still get quite a kick out of the vocal tag-team among the band’s three vocalists, and they still turn out some highly infectious songs that are still heavy enough to get their hooks in my head. Which brings me to the next addition to this list.

Sep 302014

 

(Leperkahn’s first two round-up posts today were more in the “metal news” category. In this one, he delivers actual streams of recommended new songs and videos.)

Herein lies the latest of my attempts to fill Islander’s shoes in collecting new music and videos. There was only gonna be a few things, but then I found a bunch more. So there’s a lot in here. Sorry, but I’m also not very sorry, since it’s all good stuff.

FROZEN DAWN

I was entirely unfamiliar with Madrid’s Frozen Dawn before Islander emailed me a link to a new video they released a couple days ago. The video is for “Banished, The Everlasting Confinement”, off their second album Those of the Cursed Light, which is out now via Xtreem Music. Broadly, it’s melodic black metal, but it has dug some serious hooks into my brain. Check it out below, and order the record if you like it via the Bandcamp page below.

https://frozendawn.bandcamp.com/album/those-of-the-cursed-light
https://www.facebook.com/truefrozendawn
http://www.frozendawn.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/truefrozendawn

Aug 112014

 

(Guest writer Ty Lowery has assembled a personal list of favorite metal album covers for 2014 to date, divided into two parts. Please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments.)

Sometime last year, I had planned to showcase some of my favorite album covers. However, as you might imagine, that didn’t happen. So, a bit over halfway through 2014 already, I’ve decided to give it a go again so I don’t have to worry with trying to find everything last minute and become overwhelmed at year-end. I’ve been looking back at some of my favorite album covers, as well as looking at random covers here and there, and I must say, I’ve found a lot more than I expected- so many that I think it’s be best to break this up into a couple of posts.

I’ve actually happened upon some really cool bands this way, too, which isn’t out of the ordinary but worth noting nonetheless. Had it not been for their album art, I might never have found some of the following bands, one of which I simply can’t get enough of. However, to be clear, I’ve done this exercise for the sole purpose of rounding up the nicest looking album art, according to my own tastes. There are a couple of bands in here whose music I can’t stand, and a couple more I’d never heard of before. So to avoid any confusion, I am not necessarily recommending all of the albums featured below. They all just chose wisely for their album art.

Since I began working on this article, I noticed something peculiar: A good number of the album covers correlated in one sense or another with the music on the album. To make sure that I wasn’t just imagining this, I asked my wife (who’s not very big on metal music as a whole) and a friend of mine (who is) to look at the album art and give me their impressions. Some of them were spot-on, others not so much. Here’s what we came up with for the first nine. (Another note, these are in no particular order. They are just listed as I came upon them.)

BelphegorConjuring the Dead

This might be one of the best “photo realistic” album covers I’ve seen so far this year. It’s got the dark, gritty feel washing over it in shoals. The symbolism on the cover speaks of blasphemy, a great deal of death, and more than a smidge of Satanic interplay. When my wife Heather saw it, she immediately guessed that it was death metal, which is a good part of the album, so I’ll give it to her. My friend Adam said the same thing: “This had better be death metal.” Heather also hit the nail on the head about the dark/demonic themes that run throughout many of the songs. That’s a point for the correlation theory, although an easy one.

Jul 072014

Here are two North American tours announced this morning that are worth mentioning.

MASTODON-GOJIRA-KVELERTAK

In our first post this morning I included a report from Metal Hammer based on an interview with Gojira’s frontman Joe Duplantier that the Gojira would be touring with Mastodon this October. There were no further details then, but there are now.

In addition to the pairing of Mastodon and Gojira, the tour will also include Norway’s Kvelertak and it will include dates in both the U.S. and Canada. A pre-sale for tickets and a limited number of VIP packages will become available this Wednesday, July 9, at 10 a.m. local venue time. General sales will begin on July 11.

Here’s the schedule (sadly for me, they’re skipping Seattle this time):

Jun 112014

Collected in this post are two brand new videos that debuted this morning, one from Mastodon (who, of course, need no introduction) and one from a Finnish band named Distress of Ruin.

MASTODON

Mastodon’s new album Once More ‘Round the Sun will be released on June 24 by Reprise. In April, the first advance track from the album — “High Road” — hit the internet. In May, Mastodon announced that they would be filming a video for the song in the L.A. area. They said they were looking for “both eccentric character actors and real-life Live Action Role Playing enthusiasts.” They added:”We are looking for elves, orcs, wizards, rangers, mages, knights! Experience with ‘LARP’ combat a huge plus. Preferably 18+. Come in your own LARPer costumes or MASTODON-themed LARPer costumes!”

Today we got the video. Pitchfork, who premiered it not long ago, describes the video as “Karate Kid-meets-Napoleon Dynamite-meets Game of Thrones”. That about covers it, though the last frame leaves the story hanging…

Jun 062014

As a general rule, when I put together these “Seen and Heard” collections of new music I write about what I like (of course) and I also try to spotlight music from bands who are often overlooked by other metal sites. This particular collection is a departure from the norm. First of all, In Flames, Mastodon, and Opeth are among the biggest names in metal. Over the last week, each of them has premiered a new song from a forthcoming album, and the odds are high that you’ve already heard the music — because every metal site in creation has been spreading the word about them. Second, I have mixed feelings about the music. So what I’m really doing with this collection is trying to satisfy my own curiosity about what our readers think about this new material — which means I want your comments!

IN FLAMES

The new In Flames album Siren Charms will be released on September 15. The first advance track from the album, “Rusted Nail”, is now available to European Spotify users (here), and it has also started appearing illicitly on YouTube. So of course I listened to it. I ought to repeat that this band were one of my gateways into the more extreme genres of heavy music. For that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them. In addition, unlike many hidebound fans who haven’t liked anything In Flames have recorded since Clayman (or even before), I remained enthusiastic all the way through Come Clarity. But even with that said, “Rusted Nail” is failing to make much of a mark.

Apr 182014

Between pulling my hair out two days ago because our site was down and then frantically trying to catch up yesterday with posts we had promised to do on the day the site was down, I haven’t been as on top of new happenings as I’d like. So, to catch up a bit, here are a trio of new-ish things I’d like to share. There will be another round-up later today.

FUCK THE FACTS

My NCS comrade Austin Weber sent me the photo you see above. Hiding behind that absurdly large, absurdly metal mask is Mel Mongeon of Canada’s Fuck the Facts, putting on her metal face for a show in Chicago last night.

If you don’t know, the band have just begin a North American tour. Even without a mask of such epic qualities, Ms. Mongreon,  Topon Das, and their brothers in arms will still shake you to your core. Here’s the tour schedule as it now stands:

Feb 032014

As if winning the Superb Owl weren’t enough of a prize for the City of Seattle, this morning brought news of yet another prize:  Seattle will be the first date in a US tour that for my money will be a must-see event for 2014. Mastodon will be the headliners, with support from Gojira and Kvelertak.

The only problem with this announcement is that while all the press statements note that the tour begins in Seattle, I haven’t yet seen one that says WHERE in Seattle the show will be played, and Seattle is omitted from the usual list of dates and venues that have been appearing — all of which you can see after the jump. If anyone figures out the location, do let me know.

UPDATE (2/10/14): New dates/venues have now been added to the tour schedule, including that Seattle location. I’ve updated the schedule that appears after the post.

Goddamn, I’m excited for this show…

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