Jan 132017

 

We have arrived at Part 10 of our growing list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. After the three songs I’m adding to the list today, we’ll be up to a total of 27, with about two and a half weeks left to go before my self-imposed deadline for finishing this thing. To check out the songs preceding these three, click this link.

I probably have some kind of twisted reason for grouping these three songs together, but if I do, it has eluded my conscious mind, and at the moment I don’t have time to plumb the murky depths of my subconscious to determine what it is.

IN MOURNING

On the 20th of last May, In Mourning released the fourth album of their career with Afterglow. My NCS comrade DGR wrote one of his typically lengthy reviews (here), which included a discussion of how the album fits within the band’s evolving discography. I’m going to excerpt his words about the song from Afterglow that I’m adding to our list — “Below Rise To Above“:

Mar 212016

The Wretched End-In These Woods, From These Mountains

 

Yesterday I had collected a handful of excellent new songs for a “Seen and Heard” post today. And then today began, and our in-box rapidly filled up with notices of still more song premieres from bands I like (along with one that invited me to “Have Fun Tonight With Asian-Grils”). I’ve decided to save my earlier collection for tomorrow — though there’s an equal chance that tomorrow will bring still more new stuff — and devote this post to music that’s a bit more “hot off the presses”.

THE WRETCHED END

As all connoisseurs of fine metal should know, The Wretched End is the collaboration between former Emperor and Zyklon guitarist Samoth, Mindgrinder/Windir vocalist/guitarist Cosmo, and Dark Funeral drummer Nils “Dominator” Fjellström. They have a new album coming out on April 22 via Indie Recordings named In These Woods, From These Mountains.

Mar 192016

Ashcloud-Children of the Chainsaw

 

Last week was another one in which I noticed lots of new songs and videos but didn’t have time to round them up, in part because I was writing about a flood of new songs that we were premiering ourselves. So now I’m doing what I failed to do earlier — but because I waited, the round-up has become jumbo-sized. Consequently, I’ve kept my introductions to the music brief and haven’t taken the time to consistently add album art or links as I usually do. When I did something like this last weekend (except with even fewer words), I said I didn’t intend to make a habit of it. I still don’t.

For those who pay attention to such things, I also failed to post Part 3 of the Shades of Black series I began at the start of the week. But I will do that tomorrow. Now, presented in alphabetical order, here are new songs and videos from 17 bands.

ASHCLOUD

On May 1, Xtreem Music will release the new album by Sweden’s Ashcloud. The album’s title tells you a lot of what you need to know about the music: Children of the Chainsaw. Here’s the title track — smoking, tree-felling, crusty Swedish death metal that’s awfully damned sweet.

Mar 012016

Moonsorrow-Jumalten Aika

 

(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Finland’s Moonsorrow.)

It’s been five years since the Finnish overlords of pagan metal left us with Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa. The new album, Jumalten Aika (“The Age of Gods”), opens with folk instruments, creating a ritualistic aura. After a minute and a half of this they storm into the larger-than-life metal you have come to expect from them.

The black metal side of what they do is toned down on this album, as this one dives into folk metal on an epic scale. Holding true to their mission statement, the album does have a commanding Viking feel, without inspiring you to go into a jig with your drinking horn.

Jan 212016

Moonsorrow-Jumalten Aika

 

I’ve had a crazy week, much of the craziness resulting from the demands of my fucking day job, coupled with hours spent yesterday morning anxiously working with our web host’s tech support to figure out how to get into the WordPress software for our site so I could write and post things — because it had spontaneously decided to lock me out.

Anyway, the net result of all this is that I’ve fallen way behind in both listening to and writing about new music — other than the enormous number of premieres we agreed to post this week. I’ve also been unable to write new installments of our 2015 Most Infectious Songs list. With luck, I can get that going again tomorrow.

Intermittently since the craziness began, I have managed to discover the interesting new things I’ve collected in this post, though I still have lots of catching up to do. I’ll begin with two news items and then move into actual music.

MOONSORROW

Yesterday brought the very welcome announcement that Finland’s Moonsorrow will release their seventh studio album on April 1 (via Century Media). The title is Jumalten Aika, which means ‘The Age Of Gods’ in English.

Mar 152015

 

(Our Norwegian friend eiterorm has stepped up to assist with a round-up of recommended new music.)

While Islander is away on duties, I promised to do a quick round-up of some of the news I find. Due to my music-to-words converter running at low capacity at the moment, I’ll leave it to you to find descriptive words for the music. So if you find that adjectives and metaphors are lacking, feel free to add your own in the comment field below. Despite the scarcity of words in this post, however, all the music below is highly recommended. Don’t just take my word for it; stream it all and hear for yourself.

Macabre Omen

Macabre Omen was founded in 1994 on the island of Rhodes in Greece. For the next decade, they recorded a variety of demos and splits until their debut album, entitled The Ancient Returns, was released in 2005. Now, another decade later, the Hellenes have unleashed their sophomore album upon us. The new opus, entitled Gods of War – At War, is an hour-long collection of epic hymns to Hellenic warfare, in the musical vein of Bathory. The entire album can be streamed below for your auditory pleasure.

May 152014

With the album collections that Professor D. Grover the XIIIth and Austin Weber recommended earlier today, we’ve thrown a lot of music your way in a short stretch of time.  But does that mean we will stop? No, of course not. We’re like a hyperactive yappy little dog that will not stop trying to hump your leg. So you might as well just sit back and prepare for a sticky leg.

NADER SADEK

Three years ago the extravagantly talented musical and visual artist Nader Sadek delivered an album named In the Flesh, with the help of an eye-popping line-up of guest musicians. Now, Sadek has re-recorded a song from the album named “Mechanic  Idolatry” and re-titled the new work “Re:Mechanic”. This time the recording artists include Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation), Mike Hrubovcak (Monstrosity), Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), Rune Eriksen (Mayhem, Aura Noir), Orestis Nalmpantis (Greek band Genna Apo Kolo), and Kelly Conlon (Death, Monstrosity).

But that’s not all. Sadek has also directed a new video for the song that debuted today at DECIBEL. Visit that link to learn more about Sadek’s vision for the video. But to see it without delay, just go past the jump.

Apr 302014

Your humble editor has fallen down on the job. Due to a variety of personal and work-related interferences I haven’t been as diligent as I would like in spotting and writing about new developments in the wide world of metal over the last couple of days. With luck, I can do some catching up today, beginning with this collection of items that I thought were worth your attention.

INCANTATION

How many times have you seen Incantation’s name as a reference point for releases by new death metal bands? Dozens of times? Hundreds? I know I’ve used them many times myself in attempting to capture a certain kind of sound in writing about the music of more recent groups. And now we have new music from Incantation themselves.

But before getting to that, is that album artwork cool or what? It’s by the phenomenally talented Eliran Kantor, whose work we’ve praised frequently at this site. We’ve obtained a hi-res version of the cover, which you can see in all its glory by clicking on the image above.

The album’s name is Dirges of Elysium and it’s due for North American release by Listenable Records on June 24. The song that premiered yesterday is named “Carrion Prophecy”, and man, it’s a monster — monstrous pounding riffs that ooze radioactive sickness, monstrous abyssal growls, and an atmosphere of monstrous menace. When the song begins to gallop and race, heads will bang hard, and when it descends again into a pit of decay and depravity, you may feel tumors begin to thicken your organs.

Jan 232014

(Our Denver-based friend and writer Mike Yost, who remains our friend despite that sportzball thingie that’s being played on Feb 2, wrote the following piece, which I should have posted 6 weeks ago. It originally appeared at Mike’s own blog here. Do you listen to music when you write?)

As an author, I listen to a wide variety of music while I write — from metal to electronic ambient  to classical music.  Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) is one of my favorites.  The composition was inspired by one of Saint-Saëns’ own poems where death plays a violin at the stroke of midnight surrounded by skeletons dancing in their shrouds.  Pretty damn metal.

Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club) once said in an interview that he prefers to draft novels in the waiting areas of emergency rooms, feeding off the noise and drama unfolding all around him.  Hemingway is often attributed with the quote: “Write drunk; edit sober,” which I often do in noisy bars downing pint after pint of fermented liquid happiness.  But several authors I work with can only pen the future great American masterpiece in complete silence.

For me, silence stifles my ability to write.  It’s deafening.  In truth, silence is really fucking distracting.  It opens the black iron gates to that cacophony of shrill voices in my mind that come crawling out of the obsidian that is my subconscious—their pointed fangs and claws flashing white in the darkness just before sinking deep into my trembling eyeballs.

And it’s not easy to write with bleeding eyeballs.

Sep 132012

On September 8, 2012, the current North American tour featuring Korpiklaani (Finland), Moonsorrow (Finland), Týr (Faroe Islands), and Metsatöll (Estonia) hit Seattle’s Studio Seven, with local support from Funeral Age and Blood and Thunder, and yours truly was there to bear witness. I again brought my camera, which both thinks for me and defeats my thinking because it speaks a language I don’t understand. I took pics, did the best I could to pretty them up on iPhoto, and have included the most tolerable ones in this post.

We got to the venue in broad daylight, at door-opening time because the guys from Blood and Thunder were starting off the night and we didn’t want to miss them. We headed for the venue’s balcony bar, hoping to grab a couple of the stools up against the balcony’s front railing so I could get an unobstructed view of the stage for pics and so I would have a place to park my lazy ass instead of standing for the next 5-6 hours.

No problem getting to the rail . . . but the stools were nowhere to be seen! I could already feel my ancient back beginning to stiffen up. But I put the anticipation of pain out of my head as soon as Blood and Thunder started to crank it up.

This was the first time I’d seen these dudes since a line-up change that brought on board a new bass player (not sure who he is) and new second guitarist and backing vocalist (Vance Bratcher). I had some question marks about what would happen, particularly because the band’s blackened form of melodic death metal gets intricate and relies in part on dual guitar solo’s and leads. But all was well.

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