Jan 222018


Necrophobic

 

(DGR has stepped into the round-up void left by our editor this past week and has produced a three-part collection of recent songs and videos. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here.)

 

Three weeks into January, and judging by the handful of massive Seen and Heard and Overflowing Streams posts we’ve had to put up, you could say that we’ve managed to the get ourselves into gear as our beloved musical genre has already offloaded numerous news bits upon us in the new year.

I, your ever-faithful servant, have also been doing my best to go along with my ragged fish net and catch everything that might’ve slipped by us — which in the case of this post dates back to last week and then some.

Nov 262015

Swallow the Sun-Songs From the North

 

(Here are some ideas from Andy Synn….)

Recently my good friend DGR and I were having a discussion about the merits of Songs From the North, the new Swallow The Sun triple album, focussing mainly on which of the three CDs we considered the strongest overall, which we thought were the best songs across all three albums, and just generally shooting the shit about the reasoning behind releasing such a mammoth endeavour in one fell-swoop.

As expected, we eventually digressed into a wider discussion of the band’s discography, but came to loggerheads over how we viewed the band’s 2012 release Emerald Forest and the Blackbird. DGR thinks that, though it’s not the band’s best album, there’s still some solid songs on there. I disagree.

Why?

Because it doesn’t pass “The Setlist Test”.

Sep 222014

 

“Supergroups” are hit or miss affairs. The combination of musicians drawn from well-known and very talented bands sometimes turns out to be less than the sum of its parts. That may turn out to be true of Necromancing the Stone (though I’m betting it won’t), but at least they’ve scored a win with the selection of their band name.

Necromancing the Stone is a new band whose line-up includes these musicians:

James Malone (Arsis) (guitars)
Ryan ‘Bart’ Williams (ex-The Black Dahlia Murder) (bass)
Jeramie Kling (The Absence) (drums)
Justin Wood (Brimstone Coven) (guitars)
John Williams (Brimstone Coven) (vocals)

As for the music, the band have recorded a three-song EP named Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead that will be released tomorrow. It will be available on Bandcamp, and shirts are already available at this location. The EP was mixed by Peter Tagtgren at Studio Abyss, with additional mixing by Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios. The EP’s cover art, which you cane see next, was created by Mark Riddick:

Sep 262013

So many bands are trying to raise money through crowd-funding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Some of them deserve a helping hand. I’ll tell you about two that I think deserve your help, because I like both bands and really hope your money will enable them to get their new music in a form suitable to send to me so that I can have it. In fact, I can think of few betters uses for your money, unless of course you’d prefer to just send it directly to me. If that sounds good, hit me up.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, two bands I hope you will help finance, for me.

CORMORANT

Contrary to early speculation, the departure of vocalist/bassist Arthur von Nagel did not put an end to Cormorant. In fact, they just finished tracking their third album to analog tape with engineer/producer Justin Weis (Slough Feg, Agalloch, Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra), having first supplemented their remaining line-up through the addition of Marcus Luscombe, who has become the new bassist and lead vocalist.

Luscombe is an Australian-born San Francisco Bay Area native who has been lead guitarist, songwriter, and backing vocalist for for a band named Vengince and lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist for another band named Cloakwheel. According to Cormorant, “His unique stylings and weird, proggy bass lines have added new elements to the Cormorant sound, and we can’t wait for you to hear how he sounds on the album!”

Jun 092013

I’ve been waiting anxiously for “Oceans” ever since Tampa’s The Absence first announced back in early May that it would be coming — and then I completely overlooked its debut last week, finally hearing it only yesterday. I was anxious to hear it because in my humble opinion The Absence are one of the finest melodic death metal bands the U.S. has yet produced. To this day, their 2007 album Riders of the Plague remains high on my personal list of “most-played” releases ever.

What set The Absence apart from so many other U.S. bands who piled on to the Gothenburg bandwagon was a combination of vibrantly vicious vocals, intensely memorable melodic riffs, and brilliant guitar leads and solos by the duo of Patrick Pintavalle and Peter Joseph. And of course the music was also heavy as hell. But almost three years have passed since the band’s last album (Enemy Unbound), and they’ve had a bit of a rocky road since then, including a split from Metal Blade (who released all three of their full-lengths) and the departure of Peter Joseph, which was announced this past January.

But it definitely seems like The Absence have turned the corner. First, they enlisted the awesome Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry) as Joseph’s replacement. And second, “Oceans” is great.

May 062013

What do you do when you get flooded with tantalizing news and new music over the span of 24 hours, and it’s all too much to cover in your usual long-winded style of prose (I don’t mean your long-winded style, I mean mine)? You swallow all those words and you do this . . . really short blurbs about many items . . . from Howl, The Resistance, Strychnia, The Absence, Darkane, Mordbrand, and After the Burial. Whew!

HOWL

Today, Rhode Island’s Howl premiered a new official music video for “Demonic”, a song off their new album Bloodlines, which is out now and which features some incredibly eye-catching cover art. “Demonic” is a cross between scorching and crushing. Scorshing? It’s catchy, too. The video comes next . . .

Sep 022011

(TheMadIsraeli delivers the next installment of his Melodeath Week series.)

Now we get into the real meat and potatoes. This is the shit I LOVE out of this list. So without further ado…

The Absence is pretty easy to sum up. Mix At The Gates with early In Flames and you have this band in a nutshell. From Your Grave, for a debut, was vicious, sharp, and aiming for the throat. This band was obviously out for blood at the time, having the problem to overcome of being an American melodeath band.

From Your Grave is fast, technical, and memorable in all the right ways. Somehow The Absence found a way to take the brutality and dark riffing of At The Gates and counterbalance it with In Flames sense of guitar harmonies and emotive melodies. As the album’s intro plays, with that somber sole riff in the distance and the harmony coming into it, you’re being lured you into the assault of the official opener “A Breath Beneath”.

This album is full of riffs. Chock-fucking-full. You’ll remember every single one of them and want to hear them on repeat. Guitar duo Patrick Pintavalle and Peter Joseph perform with each other as if they’re one entity. It’s rare to hear two guitarists who write dual guitar parts THIS seamless. Picking the harmonies at the right time is a huge thing for me on this album.  In fact, everything occurs at the right place, at the right time.

Most of you will already know this band, but if you don’t, learning about them now might serve you well. These guys BLEED melodic death metal. Listen after the jump . . .

Apr 292011

(I swear this was a coincidence. I wrote a post that went up earlier today on metal covers based on a single by Anachronaeon we received yesterday, and then our UK contributor Andy Synn delivered this special edition of THE SYNN REPORT about . . . covers. This is the kind of occurrence that sends me back to the dictionary once again to figure out the difference between synchronicity and serenditpity. Or maybe it’s both.)

Covers are a strange breed of song – they’re the equivalent of a parallel universe, an alternate history, a What If? Comic, an adaptation of your favourite book starring an unexpected actor, a Shakespeare play set in an average American high school…

Seriously though, they have a huge amount of potential, both to be intriguingly inventive and woefully horrendous. Their success (or lack thereof) depends on many factors, but mainly on the song-choice itself – is it a natural fit for the band? Do they have the intelligence to re-work it in a distinctive manner? Or is it simply enough to tear through it in their own inimitable style, making few changes, but relying on sheer power to see them through?

I have chosen 15 artists who have produced some of my own personal favourite covers, showcasing a variety of approaches, some fully traditional takes on the original, others totally reworked variations. If there’s one thing that these covers show however, it is the subtle threads that inter-link all different sub-genres of rock and metal, which allow bands to re-work them organically. (more after the jump . . .)

Sep 242010

Well, fuck it. This is clearly new-video Friday. Seems like about every hour of the day so far a new video has popped up on our radar screen. And there’s really no reason why we should stop with those Animals As Leaders videos we put up earlier today. We’ll just continue putting up videos for as long as we see new ones to put up. How ’bout that?

Just tell your boss or your teachers or whoever is attempting to control your lives today to just fuck right off, get yourself a big ol’ fucking bag of popcorn, and just veg out and watch metal videos all day. Because at this rate, we’ll find a dozen more new ones before we call it quits today.

So, here’s what we’ve got so far: A brand new video for the title track from the new album by The Absence (“Enemy Unbound”); a brand new performance video from August Burns Red off their forthcoming live CD/DVD (the song is “Barn Burner”); and a new video from a California black-metal band called Valdur (the song is called “Vicious Existence”). Get the popcorn and go see ’em after the jump . . . (and don’t get faked out by our screen capture up at the top — clicking on that arrow won’t start the video, which is after the jump).

Sep 212010

A few days ago we published a post about a Chicago band called Demolisher that unexpectedly led to a wide-ranging discussion in the comments that was far more thoughtful and interesting than the post itself. As often seems to happen at this site, the discussion in the comments veered off in directions that couldn’t have been predicted from the subject of the post. We started off talking about breakdowns and bass drops, and by the end we were talking about banjo music — specifically, metal songs that include the banjo.

One reader (byrd36) referred to the banjo intro in a song by Virginia’s King Giant, which is the subject of a brand new video that we included in one of our MISCELLANY posts two days later. Another reader (Andy Synn) thought of a second metal band that had included the banjo in one of its songs.

That was about all it took to send our impulsive selves off in search of more banjo-infused metal, and today we’re sharing the results of our search. Even though my posts usually tend to run on and on (since “wordy” is one of my middle names), this post will require even more of your time than usual, because we’re including five songs. But we hope you’ll hang with us, because there’s some good shit in here, and it just reaffirms what a few of us thought in that earlier comment discussion: Metal needs more banjo!

After the jump, we’ll repeat that King Giant video (cuz that’s where this all started) and follow it with music from The Absence, an early Zakk Wylde project called Pride and Glory, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.

Okay, we cheated there at the end — Béla Fleck’s music isn’t metal, but do keep an open mind, because the music is still stunning. In fact, it may be the most interesting and instrumentally impressive of all the songs we’re featuring today.

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