Feb 132017

 

The Swedish black metal band Obitus have done something remarkable: They’ve made a 45-minute album consisting of a single song that’s on the attack relentlessly, and yet it’s a harrowing thrill-ride straight through to the end.

Now you can either skip straight to the end of this post and start listening to our stream premiere, or you can continue reading, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to do both at the same time — or trying to do anything else while listening to this onslaught. For those who might be interested in more of a preview before you throw yourself into the tornado, I shall continue.

Jan 082017

 

I was again torn between writing a “That’s Metal!” post, which I foolishly promised to do on the first Sunday of each month and still haven’t done for December — or January — and compiling another collection of recent music in a blackened vein. You can see how that internal struggle ended.

KJELD and WEDERGANGER

This split by these two distinctive Dutch bands was released on December 16 by Ván Records and is now available on Bandcamp. It includes three tracks by Kjeld and two by Wederganger. I had intended to write about it prior to release, but failed. It’s very good, and deserves more extensive discussion than I’m able to give it now. But with a full stream now available, it can speak quite well for itself.

Dec 302016

johan-huldtgren-2016

 

(For the sixth year in a row, I invited my friend Johan Huldtgren of the Swedish black metal band Obitus — whose new album Slaves of the Vast Machine will be released in early 2017 by Black Plague Records and Hypnotic Dirge Records — to share with us his year-end list. Once again, he agreed. This list previously appeared on Johan’s own blog.)

As Listmania season is upon us I can only once again conclude that there are many, many albums that I’ve missed. However, this is why series such as these are helpful; without all the other lists I’d never have known what I’d missed. Luckily I didn’t see too many of my picks in the other main lists, so hopefully this list will give you something new to check out.

Dec 302015

Johan Huldtgren

 

(For the fifth year in a row, I invited my friend Johan Huldtgren of the Swedish black metal band Obitus — whose latest release appears on one of 2014’s Elemental Nightmares splits (here) — to share with us his year-end list. Once again, he agreed. This list previously appeared on Johan’s blog.)

The year is once again coming to a close, and as tradition would dictate I find myself scrambling to get this list together. When looking out at all the other lists published so far, I realize how little new music I’ve managed to listen to over the past year. I find myself with the same excuses as in years past — the fucking day job, travel, and other obligations. I did however manage to scrounge up ten releases I thought worthy of inclusion in an end of year list.

Dec 302014

 

(Continuing with this year’s edition of LISTMANIA, I again invited Johan Huldtgren of the Swedish black metal band Obitus — whose latest release appears on one of the Elemental Nightmares splits (here) — to share with us his year-end list. Once again, he agreed. An expanded version of this list appears on Johan’s blog.)

As in 2013 I’ve had a very busy year outside of listening to music; life and work have kept me on the road a lot, and as a result I know I’ve missed a lot of releases this year. That said, I think this year’s list is quite strong, but I’m fairly certain that in a few months I’ll find a few albums that had I heard them earlier, would have made this year’s list. Alas there is little to be done about that, these lists are after all a snapshot in time. So here is the list of my favourite releases from 2014:

Oct 242014

 

Today the Elemental Nightmares project released the fourth of the seven vinyl splits in the series, with a fourth segment (above) of what will eventually become one massive piece of artwork for the series as a whole — and as of today it’s also now available for download on Bandcamp.

I’ve been especially looking forward to this split because it features two old favorites of this site — Canopy and Obitus — as well as two new ones, Harasai and Kall.

Last summer we had the pleasure of premiering the tracks by Canopy and Harasai, and I’m going to include the accompanying write-up below, along with thoughts about the Obitus and Kall tracks. In a nutshell, this is a great quartet of pleasingly diverse songs.

Dec 302013

(Continuing with this year’s edition of Listmania, I again invited Johan Huldtgren of the killer black metal band Obitus to share with us his year-end list, because I’ve consistently found his musical tastes to be solid and interesting. Once again, he agreed. An expanded version of this list appears on Johan’s blog.)

For many reasons 2013 was a musically poor year for me. I was very busy with work, I then changed jobs, I bought a new home, sold an old one, and then moved somewhere else. Hence I’ve not been out there searching for new music or even keeping up with my favourite blogs. As such, when it came time to make my yearly pontifications I realized I had barely heard ten albums, much less liked ten albums this year, so I relaxed the verbiage a bit and settled on “releases”, as this would let me include: EPs, demos, splits, and so on. In the end, most of the selections are albums, but some are not. So without further ado, here is the 2013 list of my favourite releases:

10: VallenduskBlack Clouds Gathering

An album I accidentally stumbled over, and have not been able to let go. Slow melodic black metal, nothing unique but generally well done.

http://pestproductions.bandcamp.com/album/black-clouds-gathering

Nov 292013

I may have mentioned that I’m on vacation through December 8. In addition to not writing much for NCS, I’ve also largely abandoned my daily routine of reading press releases and roaming the web looking for metal news and video or song premieres to feature on the site. However, today some of my NCS comrades gave me a slew of links that together make a tidy package of extremely diverse new things worth writing about.

KAMPFAR

First, Andy Synn wrote me as follows: “New Kampfar. Put that in your pipe and smoke it”. I tried to smoke it, but the song smoked me instead. It’s name is “Mylder”, and it will appear on this excellent Norwegian band’s new album Djevelmakt, due for release on January 21 via Indie Recordings.

If I could shriek “Helvete!” like Kampfar’s vocalist, I would, because that’s what I want to do when I listen to “Mylder”. It’s an electrifying, dynamic song — with plenty of reaping, roaring, stomping, and jabbing, but also infiltrated with an ethereal flute melody (among other unexpected elements). It’s a great combination of black metal savagery and memorable songwriting. Djevelmakt can’t come soon enough.

Dec 312012

(Continuing with this year’s edition of Listmania, I again invited Johan Huldtgren of the killer black metal band Obitus to share with us his year-end list, because I’ve consistently found his musical tastes to be solid and interesting. Once again, he agreed. An expanded version of this list appears on Johan’s blog.)

I suspect few will be surprised by my choices this year. The list sees the return of many previous candidates, however a few newcomers have managed to make the cut this year, some fairly high up. Samples have been included to give you a taste, so you can either realize how correct I am or question your sanity for even reading this list. Now take it away in the comments.

10: BlodhemnHolmengraa

This sounds and feels just like the early to mid 90’s. There is nothing new here, but for someone who enjoyed the music of that era this certainly brings it back to life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlhGs9o_67A

Nov 232011

As I write this, it’s very early on a Wednesday morning. I just finished watching Abigail Williams, Hate, Keep of Kalessin, and Mayhem at El Corazon in Seattle. All four bands were excellent. The highlights of the evening were new songs from Abigail Williams (quite different from anything I’ve heard from the band before, and I think the best work they’ve yet done) and an absolutely mind-boggling performance by Hellhammer, the drummer of Mayhem.

The third highlight of the evening was getting to spend time with Fredrik Huldtgren and his girlfriend. Fredrik is the vocalist of a Swedish band called Canopy, which has been a favorite at NCS for a long time, and he happens to be in town visiting, just in time for some truly ass-sucking Seattle weather — somewhat offset by a very badass night of metal.

Spending time with Fredrik put me in mind of three bands, all of whom I like a lot. There’s a connection between them, but rather than explain it, I’d rather let you guess, or simply wonder. The three bands are Canopy, Obitus, and Lifelover. If you don’t know the music of these bands, then there are some worthwhile discoveries for you after the jump.

With luck, I’ll wake up in a few hours and think of something more to bring your way on an NCS Wednesday. And if the site just appears to be frozen for the rest of the day, you’ll know it’s because my bed has swallowed me whole, like a python chowing down on a wayward dog.

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