Jan 012015

 

(We once again invited “B” from the Siberian band Station Dysthymia — whose music is available on Bandcamp here — to share with us his list of favorite 2014 releases, and once again he graciously agreed.)

 

Hello, NCS readers, I’m B, vox and bass of the Siberian funeral doom band Station Dysthymia. This is the second time I get the honor to be invited to participate in this Listmania extravaganza, and I’m not shifting the concept one bit — this is not a list of the “best” albums of the year, because I don’t believe such a thing is even possible to compile — so many albums, so little time. This is a list of releases that moved me personally on an emotional level: albums, demos, debuts… who cares, right? So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Jan 072014

(Our Russian correspondent Comrade Aleks put 3 year-end questions to 14 bands, many of whom may be new names to NCS readers. In this 3-part post, he shares their answers and their music. Today, the featured bands are HalterMontezuma’s Revenge, Psilocybe LarvaeStation Dysthymia, and Stoned Jesus. Find Part 1 here.)

This publication is the last thing I could do before I fell into drunken slumber after horrible celebration of the New Year then coming, and now here. Men from a few euphonious bands of Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia were asked three similar questions, and soon, answers were given. What did I ask them to share with our readers in these gloomy winter days? Oh, I guess here they are…

1. What is the band’s latest news? And what are your plans for 2014?

2. For what events do you remember 2013? Events from the world of music, political stuff, personal stuff, or even that bad weather – that damned winter without snow?

3. And the last one – what would you like to wish for our readers and your listeners?

Here we go again, to spread the Word of Doom, Death, and Damnation (as well as Goodness and Virtue). Happy New Year!

Dec 202013

(One of my favorite albums of 2013 came without fanfare from an unusual band in Siberian Russia named Station Dyshthymia (reviewed here). So I asked one of the band’s members, who happens to be a good writer and a good source of under-the-radar metal recommendations, if he would give us his year-end list. And he did!)

Hello, NCS readers, I’m B, vox and bass of the Siberian funeral doom band Station Dysthymia. One thing that pisses me off about many of those year-end lists I’ve been reading on them interblags is that they’re very… generic. Too many are trying to approach the albums from an unbiased perspective.

So in the true spirit of my ongoing love-hate relationship with objective reality, I’m doing a list of albums released in 2013 that affected me personally; albums on which I can comment on an emotional level. Assuming this, I’m also not ranking albums, but arranging them to fit a narrative. So, not so much a list as a rant with 16 bullet points – a nice, round number. Anyway, here goes!

“Man, God, Giant” by Katechon

Whoever did the cover art for this album is a goddamn genius! I clicked through to Bandcamp just because of it. And I’m so glad the art was not wasted on a mediocre release, as the music turned out to be a great example of how a black/death hybrid should sound: dirty, furious, intense, trading blast-beats for d-beats back and forth all over the place. The album’s very tightly packed, there’s absolutely no room to catch your breath, which in my opinion is a sign of excellence in the faster sub-genres of extreme metal.

Jul 012013

If someone were to tell you that one of the best, most original doom albums of 2013 would be coming your way as a debut release from a band in Siberian Russia, you might be understandably skeptical. But that’s what I’m telling you, in no uncertain terms. Both massively crushing and cosmically ethereal, the first album by Station Dysthymia is a multifaceted gem that no self-respecting fan of doom should miss.

The album’s name is a mouthful, but one that should resonate with fans of classic science fiction: Overhead, Without Any Fuss, The Stars Were Going Out. That’s the last line of The Nine Billion Names of God, by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, one of the most honored and widely read short stories in the genre. It wasn’t chosen as the album’s title arbitrarily. Both in the way the album sounds and in the concepts that inspired the music, Overhead can be thought of as funeral-doom-goes-into-space, which is part of what makes it such a surprising and satisfying discovery.

The music can easily be appreciated without knowing the back story, but there is an undeniable connection between the underlying concepts and what you will hear. Inspired by the writing of not only Clarke but also such luminaries as Isaac Asimov and Stanislaw Lem, the band have tried to capture in their music a tale of humanity’s gradual (and perhaps inevitable) self-destruction, smothering itself in the cradle of limitless petty consumerism in the here and now, while turning away from a future life among the planets and ultimately the stars. That heartbreaking dichotomy between the dead-end road we’re on and the path not taken is at the core of the album’s atmospherics.

Grand concepts and big ideas indeed, but the music is huge, too.

Jun 262013

For various reasons, mainly a long trip to the East Coast and back over the last weekend and catching-up to do at my job, I’ve fallen behind in listening to new metal. I’ve made a halting effort to catch up, and though I’ve not made much of a dent, I did select a few of the songs (quite diverse from each other) that I’ve heard since late last week to share with you in this post.

SOCKWEB

I don’t consider myself a cynic. In fact, I think I’m one of the least cynical people I know over the age of 12, more of a glass-is-half-full, give-everyone-the-benefit-of-the-doubt kind of guy. Yet I confess that I keep caged within me a black-eyed little cynic-monster, and the scaly bastard broke free when I first started reading about the duo from Richmond, Indiana, who call themselves Sockweb. Surely, that little monster screamed, this is pure gimmickry, one of those viral internet thingies that thrives solely on novelty (mixed with cuteness) rather than substance or merit.

Because after all, how could a father and his seven-year-old daughter really make grindcore that’s worth a damn, especially when it’s the little tyke who’s the vocalist?

And then I saw an announcement that first appeared late last week which caused me to reconsider: Not only have The Sockweb duo recorded a debut album (Werewolf), it’s being mastered by none other than Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed) and it will include guest appearances by Kat Katz (Agoraphobic Nosebleed), Joe Torchia (Flux Conspiracy), Erik Ebsen (Spiralmountain), and Jonathan Chun (Azure Noise, Ozoru Hammer). And so I relented, I shoved the monster back in his cage, and I listened for the first time to the four songs that are now out. And I was glad I did.

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