Oct 052016

andy-marshall-saor

 

(Norway-based Karina Noctum returns to NCS with this interview of Andy Marshall, the man behind Scotland’s Saor, whose new album Guardians will be released on November 11. Photos by Land of Light Photography.)

When it comes to composition of both music and lyrics, do you need to have a particular mindset or do you need to be at a particular place to compose?

I don’t need to be in any particular place but I like to take my acoustic guitar with me when I’m visiting my family’s cottage in the Isle of Skye. It’s really remote and the landscape from the garden is stunning. I also get a lot of inspiration from hill walking or when I’ve been out exploring in the wild. Sometimes it just takes a film, book, or soundtrack to trigger my creative side. I usually start out with a guitar riff or melody then start adding other instruments. As for mindset, I definitely have a place in my head I go to when I’m writing Saor material. It’s total escapism.

Sep 082016

saor-guardians

 

As usual, I’ve accumulated a long list of new songs and videos that emerged over the last 48 hours, hoping to throw many of them your way in this Thursday round-up. Alas, I’ve been scrambling to leave on a trip this morning for my day job that will take me away until Sunday night. I figured that I had time (barely) to spew praise on maybe two songs, and I picked these two, because they’ve spiked my brain like none of the others.

SAOR

Andy Marshall ought to be declared a Scottish national treasure. Under the name Saor, he has crafted two wonderful albums in 2013’s Roots and 2014’s Aura. And on November 11, a third one will be released, with the title of Guardians.

Jan 112016

Fuath-I

 

If you know about the Scottish band Saor, then you know the name Andy Marshall. (And if you don’t know about Saor, self-administer some form of harsh penance and then go listen to Aura and Roots without further dawdling.) As he has already proven with Saor, Mr. Marshall is a very talented musician. Like many talented artists, his creativity isn’t fixed within rigid boundaries — as you’re about to discover.

On February 1, Neuropa Records will release the debut album of Fuath, a new black metal project that Andy Marshall created to express other musical interests. The album bears the simple title “I“. As Andy explains:

“I am a massive fan of hypnotic atmospheric black metal, especially early 90’s stuff like Burzum’s Hvis lyset tar oss, early Darkthrone, and also modern bands such as Paysage d’hiver and Vemod.

“I wanted to create a cold, hypnotic and melancholic black metal album which tried to capture the feelings I felt listening to these bands. I always come back to these types of bands when winter comes along and I feel their sounds are perfect for this time of year, almost kind of spiritual in a way.”

Jun 272015

 

In case you missed the announcement last week, I’ve resumed the roll-out of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs — a scant five months (ugh) after the last installment in the series. If perchance you don’t know what this list is about, you can find an explanation here.

Today’s two additions to the list are a bit out of the ordinary, because both songs are long. There’s a lot to be said for long-form music, but I would guess that “infectious” isn’t a word that typically springs to mind. In the case of these two songs, however, I think it fits.

FALLS OF RAUROS

Very tough choice, this one. Not the choice to include something from this band’s album Believe In No Coming Shore — that was a given (though the songs on the band’s 2014 split with Panopticon were also strong contenders) — but which song? That was the hard decision.

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