Jun 212017

 

(DGR once again takes over round-up duty, compiling a selection of nine items for your listening and viewing pleasure, culled from the last week.)

 

Clearly nobody got the email that we sent out announcing that we would be incredibly busy late last week Northwest Terror Festing, and therefore decided that it would be a good time to flood the heavy metal world with news. You wouldn’t know that by visiting NCS, because we slowed to a crawl, with writers Gorger and Andy Synn coming through as the heroes keeping the fortress guarded whilst the rest of us rotated between drunk and exhausted.

Now, though, DGR has come to collect his dues, so I have compiled a round-up with every single thing that I kept notes on from Thursday of last week ’til now, and I guarantee you that I’ve still missed a handful of things. Still, though, this collection of music videos, lyric videos, and live performance(s) is gigantic in its own right and it is certified NCS “Fresh”, which means it should only mildly smell like rotting beef carcasses.

Abhorrent Decimation – Conspire

When I first saw the artwork by Karmazid for the upcoming Abhorrent Decimation album The Pardoner, I declared that if the music on that disc could be half as cool as the artwork it bore or the concept behind it, then I would be a happy camper. Well, with “Conspire“, Abhorrent Decimation have shown that they are in good standing on that front — releasing a monstrous six-minute brutalizer.

Jun 082017

 

Not for the first time, I had a discussion with a few of my NCS comrades at Maryland Deathfest about how much stuff I post most days. I think their feeling was that 4 posts a day at NCS should be considered adequate, and that more tends to result in reader/listener overload. While I think this is good advice for my exercise of editorial discretion, and undoubtedly would help relieve the frenzied stress levels of my daily existence, the sad fact is that I… just… can’t… fucking… help myself! I see or hear something that gets me excited, and I feel an apparently irresistible compulsion to share it.

And so, while today I’ve already posted an album review and plan to post three premieres (one of which is a full album, accompanied by a review), I also decided to compile this round-up. On the bright side, two of the following 10 items(!) only consist of artwork and news — and I could have made this soooo much longer, but I’m saving some new discoveries for this weekend.

INCANTATION

I was gob-smacked the first time I saw Eliran Kantor’s artwork for the cover of Incantation’s new album. Even now, seeing the piece with the band’s name and the album title on it, my gob is still smacked. The first single from the album has also proven to be a gob-smacker. But before we get to that, here’s Eliran Kantor’s explanation about the inspiration for his painting on the cover of Profane Existence:

Apr 292017


Schammasch – photo by Andrea Stoppa

 

Happy Saturday. I’m continuing an effort to catch up on things I spotted over the last week but didn’t have time to write about. For this Part 2, I decided to include mostly news items, and leave a lot of the remaining new music I’d like to recommend for Part 3. Not sure when I’ll get Part 3 done, maybe in time to post later today but most likely for tomorrow.

The first three items here are announcements of new albums, with artwork. The last three are new tape and CD releases that provide reminders about very good releases that originally appeared last year or early this year. And sandwiched in the middle is a bit of recommended new music.

SCHAMMASCH

Here at NCS we’re big fans of the Swiss band Schammasch. And so it was exciting to see the band’s announcement this morning that they plan to release a new trilogy of records as the follow-up to last year’s Triangle trilogy. The new series will be entitled The Maldoror Chants, and the first album — The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite — will be released on the 9th of June. Here’s the cover art, along with the band’s description of the new trilogy:

Oct 232016

Schammasch

 

This Sunday’s edition of Shades of Black is quite large, but I nevertheless decided not to divide it into two parts for fear that I’d get diverted by something and never finish Part 2.

The first two items are new videos for songs from previously released albums. The next three are new songs from forthcoming albums. And the last three items are all songs from releases that have been out for a while but that I only discovered recently.

SCHAMMASCH

Andy Synn wrote a special three-part review (collected here) for Triangle, the new album by Schammasch, calling it “a true triumph of ambition and creativity”: “[A]ny listener who embraces the experience of Triangle on its own terms, with their eyes, their ears, and their mind open to the spiritual signals it transmits, will find their decision rewarded ten-fold.”

Apr 292016

Schammasch-Triangle

 

(We present the third part of a three-part review by Andy Synn of the new triple album by the Swiss phenomenon Schammasch, which is being released today. Part One is here; Part Two is here.)

The third and final part of Triangle is bound to be the most divisive and most hotly debated segment of the album, showing a very different third face of the band which (almost) entirely eschews the metallic menace of Part I and instead finds the band taking the esoteric progressivity of Part II to its logical conclusion, delving deep into a metaphysical void of moody, ambient minimalism, one which is punctuated here and there by exotic instrumental passages and hypnotic drumming rhythms.

It’s the sort of album designed to either be loved or hated – there’s no middle ground here – and it’s also the sort of album that will potentially take more than a few listens to fully appreciate and come to terms with as well.

Apr 282016

Schammasch-Triangle

 

(We present the second part of a three-part review by Andy Synn of the new triple album by the Swiss phenomenon Schammasch. Part One is here; Part Three arrives tomorrow.)

As it was written, so let it be done… I said I was going to write this review in three parts, echoing the construction of its subject matter, and with the publication of Part I yesterday it seems I’m now committed to this three-part treatise on the esoteric wonders of Triangle.

Now, as much as I foresee a certain amount of wailing and wringing of hands about it, the triple-album format of this release really does give the band a chance to fully indulge their more atmospheric ambitions and progressive proclivities while still retaining a sense of continuity and over-arching identity across each separate segment.

Apropos of this, with Part II you can really feel the doomier, proggier side of the band coming through, although this neither downplays the doomy touches already making themselves known during Part I, nor the blackened bite that many of the songs on Part II still possess. It’s simply an acknowledgement that for Schammasch this is yet another step onwards down a path of their own choice and making.

Apr 272016

Schammasch-Triangle

 

(We present the first of a three-part review by Andy Synn of the new triple album by the Swiss phenomenon Schammasch.)

It’s no secret that Contradiction, the second album by Swiss occultists Schammasch, is one of my all-time favourites. But where does a band go from a massive, potentially life-changing release like that?

Well, apparently you push things even further with a triple-CD release, split up into three distinct movements concerning the process of death, detachment, and transcendence, comprising some of the most ambitious, progressive, and creative compositions you’ve ever put together.

For such a mammoth undertaking it only seemed fitting to address each distinct part of the album separately, so for the next three days, leading up to its physical release on Friday the 29th of April, I’ll be publishing my thoughts on each sequential segment of Triangle, beginning with Part I: The Process of Dying.

Apr 112016

Shadow Woods Metal Festival 2016

 

As we begin the new week, I have some unfortunate news (at least it’s unfortunate for me). Beginning today and continuing through Thursday morning, I have to bury myself in my fucking day job for one of those day-and-night projects that periodically descends upon me. I’ll make time to post what other writers have sent me, as well as a few premieres I’ve agreed to do, but aside from this round-up and one “Short But Sweet” review I wrote over the weekend, I will be missing in action until sometime Thursday.

Before saying good-bye, I’ve collected a few items that I wanted to share — including, at the end of this post, streams of ten recent videos without commentary (because I’ve run out of time for commentary).

SHADOW WOODS METAL FESTIVAL

I’m late sharing this news, but the news is so exciting that I’m following the “better late than never” mantra. Last year’s Shadow Woods Metal Festival was a marvelous event by all accounts — including this account by our guest Captain Karbon. As I reported in February, organizer Mary Spiro and her team (who are joined by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records as co-producers this year) have been planning the second installment of this open-air camping metal party, which will run for three days in central Maryland: from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland. They’ve been announcing performers since January, and now the complete line-up has been revealed — and it’s an eye-popper:

Mar 152016

Schammasch-Triangle

 

You might think that after posting a round-up on Sunday that included recent music from 39 bands, I would be all out of discoveries to write about. Nope, not even close. From Sunday’s flood of music streams I diverted some to which I wanted to dedicate closer attention, and since then I’ve found even more. All of it happens to be in the orbit of black metal, and so I’ve collected the music in a new edition of Shades of Black.

However, the volume of what I want to write about is so great that I’ve divided this edition into three parts. I will post Parts 2 and 3 tomorrow. Five excellent bands are included in this first installment.

SCHAMMASCH

We’ve already written quite a lot about Triangle, the new triple album by the Swiss band Schammasch, and until yesterday we hadn’t yet heard any of the music. But now we all have a song to hear, a long track named “Consensus“. According to the band, this is the first of three tracks that will be revealed prior to the album’s release.

Feb 232016

Schammasch

 

Well, today isn’t going quite the way I planned. To follow my musings earlier today about last weekend’s Famine Fest, I had planned to bring you the premiere of a full album stream for a hot-as-hell new release. However, Soundcloud decided to block all of the song streams under a notification of copyright violation. I’m too stupid to realize this is always a possibility, and therefore I didn’t upload the tracks a few days ago to allow time for that to happen, to file my protests, and to have the blocks cleared. Now I’m sitting around waiting for the tracks to be released from bondage.

In the meantime, I thought I ought to whip something else up to pass the time away. So here are a few things I noticed this morning, beginning with a couple of exciting announcements.

SCHAMMASCH

No secret that we are big fans of this Swiss band. Also no secret that we’ve been very curious about the contours of the band’s next album. Andy Synn tried to pry some details from the band’s main man CSR in this interview last month — and received these cryptic answers:

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