Dec 272012

And here we go again . . . a round-up of things I saw and heard by sifting through the effluent of the internet and my e-mail in-box in search of shiny nuggets.

TAAKE

I learned this: It turns out that 2013 will mark the 20th anniversary of metal musicianship for Hoest, the main man behind Norwegian black metal veterans Taake. The fact that Hoest is still alive and making music of any kind is worth celebrating all by itself. The fact that Taake continue to deliver superb metal is icing on the birthday cake.

Here’s one of the things that’s being done to celebrate the anniversary: On March 1 in Norway and March 4 everywhere else, Dark Essence Records will be releasing a 20-song, 2-CD collection of Taake music entitled Gravkamre, Kroner og Troner (“Burial Chambers, Crowns and Thrones”). The contents are primarily rare and previously unreleased songs, as well as alternative versions and recordings that have previously been available only on vinyl — but the album will also include exclusive new tracks.

Today I saw that Taake have begun streaming one of the tracks from this anniversary album named “Et Pust av Oeyne”. It’s a riff-heavy mosh-trigger of a song, marked by Hoest’s scathing vocal attack and some old-school, hard-rocking rhythms. It also includes a dose of blasting and thrashing, as well as a lengthy, spiraling melodic breakdown.

I’m really digging the variations in the song and hope you will, too.

Aug 152012

We were a bit light on content yesterday, but we’ll be making up for that today — and this post wasn’t even part of the planned line-up. In one of those happy confluences of events, the morning brought three new videos that I’m really digging. Two of them are from young bands who’ve already become favorites, and the third is a bright new discovery: Wildernessking (South Africa), Pray For Locust (Sweden), and Moth (U.S.).

WILDERNESSKING

I suppose there might be a few things I haven’t yet done to promote this band’s music. I haven’t tried sky-writing or a flashing billboard in Times Square. I suppose I could put their faces on milk cartons, except they’re far from lost. To the contrary, in a relatively short time they’ve turned out some amazingly mature, completely enthralling music. First came their 2012 debut album, The Writing of Gods In the Sand (featuring the killer album art you see above by Reuben Sawyer). To steal words from my review, it lashed together styles from a variety of genres (including black metal, post-metal, and Enslaved-style prog) to create “a uniquely effective expression of power and emotion, a blending of light and dark, soft and hard, beauty and voraciousness.”

Then came a follow-on EP, …And the Night Swept Us Away (reviewed here), which I perceived as one long, panoramic song divided into three parts, not because it was written that way but because it worked that way as a musical journey.

Today the band provided me with yet another excuse to pimp them by releasing an official music video for “Rubicon”, one of the tracks from the album, which marks a turning point in the conceptual journey that the album portrays. It’s a live performance (interspersed with related clips) filmed at their record release show at the Kimberly Hotel on April 20. Have a look and a listen right after the jump . . . after which I’ve got some more news about the band’s activities.

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