Greetings, earthlings. It’s time once again to blacken the sabbath. As you see from the title, I have too many selections to fit into one post. I’ve nearly finished Part 2, but have other nefarious plans ahead of myself today, so I’ll have to polish it off tonight and post it first thing on Monday.
I configured both parts so that each one begins with an announcement and ends with a video from a band that’s somewhat better known than the others, and each one includes a full recent release as well as advance tracks from forthcoming albums or EPs.
I spotted the magnificent artwork by Elijah Gwhedhú Tamu at the top of this post, and quickly pasted it on our Facebook page, a few weeks before I, Voidhanger Records announced that it would adorn a new album by Lo-Ruhamah. But now we know that, and we know a few other things about the release.
I’ve been distracted by a combination of personal obligations and the demands of my fucking day job. As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t post anything on Sunday, which was only the seventh calendar day in five and a half years when that has happened, and we had only two posts yesterday. So great is the daily flood of metal that even a few days of distraction means that we get very far behind in our attempts to keep up with all the new music. Catching up would be a herculean task, but in this post I’ve made a modest effort to round up some (and only some) of the good new music and video streams that have surfaced since the end of last week.
This collection is incomplete, but it’s still a long playlist of recommendations — presented in alphabetical order by band name, with a rare paucity of words from me about the music. Your thoughts about these sights and sounds will be welcome, as always.
Roughly two years after the release of their last album, Veneration, Kansas City’s Ares Kingdom are about to drop a new one. The name is The Unburiable Dead, and the CD release is projected for early September on Nuclear War Now!, with LPs to follow. The album cover, which I think is wonderful, is based on a piece by the German artist George Grosz (1893 – 1959) called “The Pit“. When a friend of the band told me about the cover, he included this quote by the artist, who led a fascinating and tumultuous life:
I’ve had quite a fruitful morning of listening to new music, and among the fruits I tasted were the following three premieres and one teaser, which I’ve grouped together as examples of razor-edged black metal that will jolt you wide awake.
That album art at the top of this post is so damned cool. It grabbed my attention immediately and led me to explore what it signified. And what it signifies is the coming of a new album (the third one) by Norway’s Posthum. Entitled The Black Northern Ritual, it’s scheduled for both CD and vinyl release by Indie Recordings on October 13.
Having been seduced by the album cover, I discovered that Norway’s NRK P3 Pyro (the internet radio station of the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) has begun streaming an advance track from the album named “To the Pit”. It’s loaded with riffs and rhythms that both rip and rock, and at its core is a sombre melody that will get its hooks in you. Beautiful guitar solo in this song, too.
Welcome brethren and sistren to this morning’s round-up of new music and videos that caught my attention over the last 24 hours. Metal makes everything better.
A day without Finnish metal is like a day without sunshine. And since we will have no actual sunshine here in Seattle today, we must brighten it with this new offering by the Helsinki hellions in MyGrain. Their latest album, Planetary Breathing, was released by Spinefarm in September, and today they’ve showered us with sex, beer, and rock ‘n’ roll via a new video for the song “Waking Up the Damned”.
Okay, to be honest, I didn’t see any actual sex in the video, unless you count some nice tongue action on the beer-drenched keyboard. And everyone else was pretty well drenched in beer as far as I can tell. And there sure as hell is some fine rock ‘n’ roll. Nothing grymm or frostbitten in this here music, just a load of groovy, head-nodding, body-moving, mosh-inducing, virally catchy fun — all captured extremely well in the video you’ll see next.
Unlike the usual “Scene and Heard” post, this one collects items of interest that I heard more than 24 hours ago. And the reason is that my blog time has been severely constricted since last Friday by a two-headed boa named Work and Party. The coils have been loosening a bit, so now I’m able to highlight the following new video, new teasers, and new song that I’ve been digging lately.
Andy Synn made this Belgian band’s second album Ritu (released earlier this year by Code666) the subject of one of his reviews in haiku: “Subtly symphonic / A glorious, sweeping sound / All hail the darkness”. For a three-line synopsis, that was pretty spot-on, but the record deserves more extensive praise. It really is a very fine album, multi-faceted and tremendously engrossing.
Lyrically, the songs deal with death rites in ancient cultures, as well as aspects of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. One of the songs, “Blood Libel”, takes as its subject the murder of a boy (William of Norwich) in Norwich, England, in 1144. The Jews of Norwich were falsely accused of killing him in a ritual murder (a “blood libel”). According to The Font of All Human Knowledge, similar accusations were made in other English towns over the next 40 years, leading to massacres of Jewish people in many communities, including the butchery of Norwich Jews in their homes in 1190.
For most of yesterday and last night, the NCS headquarters was running on generator power and brutally cut off from the internet due to a DSL failure produced by one of our lovely Puget Sound winter storms. At some point while yours truly was sleeping the sleep of the just, the internet connection came back on, and I spent a few hours this morning catching up on what I missed in the world of metal.
Turns out I missed a lot. This is the third of three posts in which I’m collecting the best of what I missed while the NCS HQ was cast into outer darkness yesterday. I’m running through the music in alphabetical order. Featured in this Part 3 are Nightfall, Saille, and Pinkish Black.
Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants, the 2010 album from this long-running Greek band (now with an international cast), was my introduction to their music. It was a hell of an introduction: I became an immediate fan. Nightfall have now recorded the follow-up to that album, with the title Cassiopeia. The new one is due for release by Metal Blade on January 18, 2013, and pre-orders are being taken here. Yesterday brought the premiere of a lyric video for the album’s first single, “Oberon and Titania”.