Jul 022017


Vacivus 2015

 

As I started pulling together this Sunday’s round-up of new or newly discovered black and black-ish metal I once again found myself with too many recommendations to squeeze into a single post, despite the fact that I posted one of these SHADES OF BLACK features only two days ago. So, even though 7 bands are featured here, there will be a Part 2, which I probably won’t finish and publish until tomorrow because I’ll be visiting a friend’s licensed weed farm this afternoon. Horticulture FTW.

VACIVUS

The first song in this collection was a last-minute addition, and it comes from a band who are more death metal than black metal, but I was so damned excited when I heard this track that I couldn’t wait to foam at the mouth about it. It’s also a damned vicious, pitch-black piece of audio electrification, so I don’t think I’m bending the SHADES OF BLACK format very much by including it.

The song, which first appeared on YouTube this morning, is “Oubliette” and it comes from Temple of the Abyss, the new album by UK-based Vacivus. Profound Lore will release the album on September 22.

Oct 182016

cdf-monday-morning3

Monday morning, Oakland waterfront

This wraps up our coverage of the second installment of CALIFORNIA DEATHFEST, which took place from October 14-16, 2016, in Oakland, California. As was true of my posts on Day One and Day Two, I haven’t written fulsome reviews of the performances I saw on the final day, though this time I have included a few more impressions than in the earlier installments — but I’ve once again included photos and videos I made using my iPhone.

Yes, this is a half-assed way to document a festival compared to what you will probably see from a few of the more well-healed metal publications out there who employed professional photographers and videographers. However, because “Half-Assed” is in fact my middle name, I’m being true to myself.

Jun 092016

Mitochondrion-Auroch-In Chronian Hour

 

Auroch and Mitochondrion are two Vancouver, BC, bands with interlocking parts who have been favorites of this site for a long stretch of years. They have joined forces in a split release called In Cronian Hour that’s finally on the brink of release via Dark Descent and Hellthrasher Productions, and we’re damned fortunate to bring you a stream of the split today.

We’ve been waiting for this release a long time — I first wrote about plans for the split in November 2013. Yet despite the passage of years, this week turns out to be excellent timing for the debut of the music stream: Less than two weeks ago, both bands proved their power once again with staggering sets at Maryland Deathfest 2016 (reviewed here), and less than two weeks from now Auroch will undoubtedly do it again in Vancouver as part of the stacked line-up at this year’s Covenant Festival on June 16-18.

People who have seen the bands perform within the last six months have probably heard both of the songs on this split. They’re striking songs, even heard individually and separated in time, but they’re connected.

Jun 042016

Alewife brunch1
Friday beer/brunch at Alewife with friends.

For those of you just now joining this series about Maryland Deathfest XIV, I’m in the process of highlighting the bands whose performances were the best of the ones I saw and heard in Baltimore beginning on Wednesday of last week.

Rather than doing a day-by-day recap, I’ve organized the bands into four somewhat loosely defined categories. Yesterday’s feature was a “Shades of Black” collection of black metal bands, and before that was one under the heading “Swedish (and Dutch) Death Metal Supremacy”. I’m calling today’s celebration “The Black Death“, not only because that describes the general style of music performed by the following six bands, but also because they all spread a lethal kind of auditory plague.

Presented in the order in which I witnessed the performances over 5 nights and 4 days, and I’ve again included my photos of each band (most of which are gathered at the end of this post).

Mar 122016

Arkhe-Fergeteg Hava

 

It has been a crazy week for new metal. Even if I had posted round-ups every day, I still would have fallen behind — or to be more accurate, more behind. Yet for various reasons, I couldn’t do that. So here I am, sitting on an enormous number of new songs and announcements that I want to throw out there. What I’ve decided to do is collect just four of the most recent ones in this post, and then tomorrow I’m going to surrender and do a link dump for a lot of the rest.

ARKHĒ

When KevinP linked me to this next video, he described the song as “Spacey prog Rock/metal from the bassist/vocalist of Sear Bliss“. The mention of Hungary’s Sear Bliss was more than enough inducement, and now that I’ve heard the song I’d probably add “goth”, “doom”, and “electronica” to Kevin‘s string of adjectives. And lest some of you think the song is too close to pop at the beginning, András Nagy does break out the growls and snarls before the song ends, in addition to his vaulting clean vocal melodies.

Feb 232016

2016-02-21 09.22.51

 

On Saturday I hastily scribbled a few thoughts about the first night of Famine Fest, which took place at Panic Room in Portland, Oregon, on February 19-20. You may remember that I was having so much fun getting fortified for the festival with my old friend Joseph Schafer and my new friend Cat Jones that I missed a rather large section of the fest’s first-night festivities. This didn’t trouble me too much because I’ve learned that, at least for me, half the fun of going to metal fests is enjoying good conversation with good people over good cocktails. Still, I thought I’d make an effort to arrive at the second night of Famine closer to the starting gun.

Well, that didn’t really happen, but for the very same excellent reasons. The three of us, this time joined by yet another great new friend (Invisible Oranges writer Greg Majewski), were again having such a good time that I don’t think any of us felt any crippling anxiety about not showing up punctually.

And speaking of good cocktails, this had something to do with the lack of punctuality on the second night of Famine:

Nov 202013

This is really just another “Seen and Heard” post, but something about this collection of things I noticed over the last 24 hours put the image of “wreckage” in my mind. You’ll see why. And all of the items concern 2014 releases.

MITOCHONDRION AND AUROCH

I saw that Hellthrasher Productions is going to release a 7″ split by two Vancouver wrecking machines who are favorites of this site, Mitochondrion and Auroch. It is described “a conceptual song divided in two halves, with one title and one set of lyrics”, and it’s expected in early 2014. Both of these bands are at work on new full-length albums for Profound Lore, which will be on our highly-anticipated list for next year — and so will this split. Artwork and further details will be forthcoming.

BÖLZER

This next item consists of relatively recent updates that I just noticed concerning the titanic black/death entity from Switzerland known as Bölzer. First, they will have a new three-song EP entitled Soma released by Invictus Productions in 2014 (and yes, that also goes on our highly-anticipated list of 2014 releases). This is expected to be a fitting complement to the band’s stunning 2013 EP, Aura. Second, they will be performing at next year’s Maryland Deathfest. And third, the band’s 2012 demo Roman Acupuncture, which was originally released on hard-to-find tape, is going to be issued on vinyl next year by Iron Bonehead Productions.

Nov 122013


Here are a few things I saw and heard yesterday that I want to recommend to you.

MITOCHONDRION

Vancouver’s Mitochondrion are working on their third album. There’s a chance it may reverse the space-time continuum, or possibly open portals to a nearby dimension in which human beings are food stock for the nourishment of nightmares. Probably won’t happen, but with this band I never rule out such possibilities.

Yesterday they saw fit to release a demo version of one of the new album’s songs, “Writhen Unto Abraxas”. It’s a mauling frenzy of destructive riffing and horrific vocal effusions, caked with grime, splintered with jagged grooves, and writhing with maggot-ridden guitar leads. Galvanizing and merciless, doomed and infectious, the song is yet another triumph of blackened death metal malignance for this frightening collective. Listen next.

Sep 062013

We’re going to be a little light on content today because your humble editor will soon be embarking on a drive with his spouse to Vancouver, BC, where we will then engage in various entertaining activities that do not include blogging. I do have one very unusual premiere to bring you a bit later this morning, one guest review, and this round-up of items that tunneled their way into my head yesterday and left its meager contents in a state of satisfying disarray.

SARTEGOS

The ghastly words sound as if they’re bubbling up through a lava pool in a caldera, the air rendered opaque with the suffocating stench of sulphur. Primitive occult riffs vibrate with unholy energy. The muffled thump of drums roll like an avalanche of skulls hitting a barren plain. A twisted guitar melody echoes like the recital of a satanic liturgy across the vault of a hellish cathedral. And damned if the thing won’t hook you right through the gills. That’s “Meianoite No Jardim De Deus”, a song by Sartegos.

Sartegos are one of the few metal bands I’ve ever heard of who make their home in Galicia, an autonomous community in northwest Spain with its own language. In English, the song I heard means “Midnight in God’s Garden”, and it’s as dark as the name sounds. It appears on a 2013 EP entitled As Fontes Do Negrume (“The Origin Of Darkness”) that was recently released on CD by Bloody Productions and is about to get a vinyl treatment by I, Voidhanger Records

Nov 132012

Here’s a collection of items that came my way over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing — in addition to all of the awesome posts that already graced the site yesterday.  (I can use the words “awesome” and “graced” without tarnishing my well-known reputation for humility because I’m not directly responsible for any of ysterday’s posts, even though this post will also be awesome.)

TOURISM: MESHUGGAH AND ENSLAVED

I saw via Heavy Blog Is Heavy the rumor that Meshuggah will be touring the U.S. along with Animals As Leaders and Intronaut early next year. The rumor is based on a flyer for a date in Minneapolis that you can see above.Yes please.

That same photo up there also provides evidence of another tour that I read about previously. This one is official: Norway’s Enslaved will be returning to the U.S. and Canada in early 2013 for a headlining, 20-show “Winter Rite” tour joined by U.S. doom metallers Pallbearer and occult rockers Ancient VVisdom (and both of those bands are killers).

The tour begins January 30 in Philadelphia and ends February 22 in New York City. The full schedule can be seen after the jump. And in case you missed our earlier post yesterday, Osmose Productions has just uploaded three older Enslaved albums for streaming and download on Bandcamp for the first time.

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