(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the month just ended.)
Here we go for round two of Essential Entries. You guessed it – we’re covering February this time. Yeah, yeah, suspense isn’t this guy’s strong point.
January gave us genius like Desolate Shrine and Agos, which is just what was needed to start things off right. How does February measure up? To quote one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, “Great Scott!” If you don’t get that, I bestow upon you great shame. But yeah, February did bring the noise (no Public Enemy included). Here’s the proof, in no particular order.
A Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See
Self-described as a secret society from Victorian-era 1895, A Forest of Stars compose music that’s as intricate and unique as their theming. Black metal with a lot of psychedelic elements is the most basic description, but really, their music is so much more. It’s a continuing story, and their latest chapter is awe-inspiring. Invest the time, as there’s a lot of layers, with the payoff being oh so worth it.
I’ve included in this post reviews of two new short releases that I strongly recommend to lovers of infernal music.
This five-person German black metal band whose members don’t publicize their identities released a 2009 demo (With Burning Tongues), an EP (Fire and Faith) in 2010, and then a full-length album (Consolamentum) later the same year. After the passage of nearly four years, they have now returned with a two-song release named Deathless Light that the World Terror Committee will release on Samhain (October 31).
Of the two songs on this release, both of which are long, the title track will appear on a forthcoming full-length album, while the second — “Garden of Stone” — was recorded exclusively to this release. Both songs are tremendously effective in creating atmospheres that are staggeringly heavy, grim, and often sorrowful — yet they are both charged with energy and passion, and the mainly clear production only magnifies their black power.
Between last night and this morning, I finally found a little time to resume my usual spelunking through the interhole in search of metal nuggets of interest worth sharing. And here are a few of the items I found.
I found that Finland’s Finntroll have been rolling out versions of the cover art for their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled 2013 album. The artist is Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa (whose FB page is here). They began with a pencil sketch of the cover and today they added the fully inked version that you see above. Presumably, we will eventually get the color version (the images are appearing on Finntroll’s FB page). Fuckin’ cool, no? To see a larger version of the art, click the image above.
I first discovered (and wrote about) this French duo a year ago when I saw they had been based solely on two demos (in 2009 and 2010) and a four-song EP in 2011 — Putrefactive Infestation, which I reviewed in that first post. Later, I also reviewed a two-song 7″ named Now You’re In Hell. I’ve been looking forward to their debut album, Putrid Death Sorcery, scheduled for release in North America on February 5 (order here). I previously featured the eye-catching album art by Montenegran artist Milovan Novakovic (which you can see again next).
Metal does not honor your putrid rules.
Okay, I’m not talking about YOUR rules, especially if they include visiting this site like your life depends on it. I’m talking about the rules of all those other people, like the rule that says Mondays must suck. Because metal hath brought these gems to your Monday.
MORS PRINCIPIUM EST
I think this is my fourth post about the new album from Finland’s Mors Principium Est (pictured above) since I found out about it in July. Entitled …And Death Said Live, it has already been released in Japan, it’s due for release in Europe and Australia on December 14, and North Americans will be able to get it on January 15.
As you can tell, this is an album I’ve been eagerly anticipating. Over the weekend I discovered that it’s now streaming in full at the Finnish Inferno web site. At that same location, you will find a track-by-track commentary by the band’s vocalist Ville Viljanen, and that of course will give you English-only speakers the always-hilarious opportunity to let Google Translate work its magic on the Finnish language.
Sakis Tolis, laying down a soothing lullaby.
Once again, your intrepid editor has sifted through the ever flowing stream of metal news and new music to find those gleaming nuggets that will enrich your daily lives. Actually, I don’t know if you’ll give a shit about any of this, but I do, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it? No need to answer, that was a rhetorical question.
ALBUMS ON THE HORIZON: ROTTING CHRIST AND NECROWRETCH
We’ve already reported that Rotting Christ are at work on their 11th studio album, but today I saw a few more tidbits of news: The album will be entitled Do What Thou Wilt, and it will hit the stores on March 1, 2013. We usually don’t write about such happenings unless we have a bit more juice to go along with it, such as album art or a song premiere. But these Greek maestros are the kind of band whose every move interests me. And I’m particularly interested to see if the new album will be a further step down the path of strongly folk/ethnic-influenced metal exhibited on Aealo.
I also saw today that the French band Necrowretch have finished the recording and mastering of their debut album for Century Media. It was recorded in late August at Blackout Multimedia studios in Brussels by Phorgath of Enthroned and its title will be Putrid Death Sorcery. The cover art is being prepared by Milovan Novakovic from Montenegro, who also created the beastly cover for the band’s last EP, Now You’re In Hell (reviewed here). And if you’re wondering why this news matters, check out some Necrowretch music right after the jump.
I first became curious about Necrowretch (from Valence, France) in February 2012 when I saw that they had been signed by Century Media based solely on two demos (in 2009 and 2010) and a four-song EP in 2011 — Putrefactive Infestation. I tracked down and listened to that EP and reviewed it here.
At the time of that review, there were plans for the Belgian label Detest Records to release a 7″ NecroWretch EP titled Now You’re In Hell before the band turned to recording their debut album for Century Media. That release did happen last spring, though I overlooked it until recently.
The 7″ release includes two songs — an original Necrowretch number called “From A Hideous Summoning” and a cover of Death’s “Zombie Ritual” from Scream Bloody Gore (1987), which Necrowretch recorded on the 10th anniversary of Chuck Schuldiner’s death. Yesterday, Necrowretch uploaded the original track to YouTube, with the video providing a detailed survey of the beautifully beastly cover art provided by Montenegrin artist Milovan Novakovic.
For a change, I actually remembered on the second day of the new month that that the preceding month had ended; usually takes longer than that. My creditors would be happy, except I think their bills need to age a while longer. But yes, February is history — and that means its time to post our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. Today’s list is a little more comprehensive than the half-assed job I did at the end of January, which means it’s about three-quarters assed. One of these days it will be fully assed.
Here’s how this round-up usually works: In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, I collect news blurbs and press releases I’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like at NCS (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, I cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.
Remember — THIS ISN’T A CUMULATIVE LIST. If I found out about a new forthcoming album earlier than the last 30 days, I probably wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier.
Having said all that, please feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us (me and your fellow readers) what I missed when I put this list together, because I’m abso-fucking-lutely certain that I missed all sorts of shit. So let us know about albums on the way that you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here!
Can you name the band signed most recently by the venerable Century Media Records? Well, you’re looking at them. They’re from Valence, France, and they go by the name NecroWretch. And here’s where you say, “Necro who?”
In their careers as musicians, they’ve led something of a charmed life. Before being signed by one of the largest and most prestigious of metal labels, they had produced a grand total of two demos (in 2009 and 2010) and a four-song EP in 2011 — Putrefactive Infestation. The signing announcement came yesterday and it included this quote from Jens Prüter, head of A&R at Century Media Europe: “The Putrefactive Infestation 12″ dominated my turntable for some months and I’m sure the upcoming album will be as sick and heavy!”
Yes, of course, there will be a forthcoming album — though it hasn’t been written yet. The label that released the 2011 EP (Detest Records) first plans to release a 7″ NecroWretch EP titled Now You’re In Hell on March 10 at Asphyx’s album release party at the Turock club in Essen, Germany, where NecroWretch will also be performing. That new EP will include an original NecroWretch song and a Death cover.
Of course, I became curious about the Putrefactive Infestation EP — this four-song collection that landed an unheralded French death metal band on Century Media. I tracked it down and spent time listening to it yesterday, and it’s a very promising find — an authentic throw-back shrouded in cemetery stench and Sunlight Studio sonics, flavored with hair-raising blackened vocals and, of all things, hooky (but evil) melodies.