Oct 302017

 

(DGR reviews the new album by California’s The Kennedy Veil, which is out now via Unique Leader Records.)

Three years after the release of their 2014 album Trinity Of Falsehood, Sacramento, California’s The Kennedy Veil return to the stage a somewhat different beast than what they presented on that disc.

In that gap of time, the group have been joined by vocalist Monte Barnard, who has been in a handful of groups around Sacramento (among them the short-lived Soma Ras, and a stint in fellow Unique Leader labelmates Alterbeast) as well has having been live vocalist for groups like Fallujah and Thy Art Is Murder.

Added to this, the group have made a shift in their writing style — as evidenced on their newly released album Imperium — which sees them favoring longer and more densely layered songs, still maintaining the high-speed tempo and blast-heavy brand that the band have made their foundation, but amplified by a very light symphonic element and a heftier focus on letting the rhythm section thud their way through more of the songwriting.

Sep 072017

 

This will be a very busy day at our site. We’ve posted one review already, we have another one coming, and we have four (!) very good premieres lined up. But thanks to DGR, we also have a brief round-up of new songs and videos that have recently appeared elsewhere — to which I’ve added one news item at the front end, one wisely suggested by my comrade Mr. Synn. So, you’ll have to tolerate a bit of my verbiage for the first item, and then I’ll turn you over to the words and selections of DGR.

COMMUNIC

This has been a banner year for metal album covers, and Berlin-based Eliran Kantor has been responsible for many of the best ones, including the one above, which accompanies a new album by the Norwegian progressive metal band Communic. And the fact that we will have a new Communic album this year is itself very welcome news.

The name of the album is Where Echoes Gather, and it will be released on October 27 by the band’s new label, AFM Records, following four previous albums released by Nuclear Blast.

Aug 282017

 

(DGR prepared the following round-up, featuring three items of news and new music that surfaced last week.)

Last week was a densely packed week for metal, with a lot of huge names like Arch Enemy, Ghost, and Mastodon all releasing music videos, and that wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg in metal news. There was so much that seemed to land backloaded onto Friday that it seemed like metal had just decided to spin up into one of its whirling torrents of destruction modes. Thus I once again step in to write about some of the things that caught my interest within the tornado of heavy metal that thrashed about over the week.

This time around we’re going to do a little traveling again, with two musical releases from Sacramento’s The Kennedy Veil, and Austria’s Belphegor, and then we’re going to take a look at the crowdfunding campaign from Lansing, Michigan’s own Dagon and their latest quest to write more ocean-themed death metal.

THE KENNEDY VEIL

It’s been some time since we last heard from Sacramento’s hyperspeed death metal group The Kennedy Veil. In the time since 2014’s Trinity Of Falsehood, The Kennedy Veil have seen the addition of a new vocalist, Monte Barnard, whose resume includes a ton of live vocalist work for groups like Alterbeast, Fallujah, and Thy Art Is Murder, in addition to having been the vocalist for The Antioch Synopsis and the short-lived Soma Ras. Last week the band were finally able to release details about their new disc, Imperium — which is due out October 20th — as well as release a new song, which premiered at Decibel.

Aug 182014

 

(Guest writer Ty Lowery has assembled a personal list of favorite metal album covers for 2014 to date, divided into two parts. Part 1 appeared here. Once again, Ty asked his wife Heather (who he says isn’t very big on metal music as a whole) and his friend Adam (who is) to look at the album art and provide guesses about the music. Once again, please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments.)

Alright, so the first round went pretty well for my two assistants. Where we left off, they were neck-and-neck in our little guessing game. So, time to finish this thing up and see if the trend continues. Lets get right to it, shall we?

SchammaschContradiction

There’s just something about the color red with me, for some reason. I really like how while the majority of this artwork is solid red, yet there’s enough variation that you can divine the angel, the demon, the symbols, and the serpents. With that knowledge, Heather was able to correctly suggest that this album was steeped in religious undertones, probably in the vein of black metal, as did Adam. He suggested that it might have something to do with atheism, but changed his mind after seeing the symbols along the bottom.

The cover art is by Valnoir of Metastazis Studio in Paris. NCS reviewed the album here.
http://www.graphic-noise.com/valnoir

Nov 252013

Are you like me? Do you think packing for a long trip is much more fun if you wait until the last minute and then scurry around like a rat with rabies, thereby increasing the odds that you’ll forget a bunch of things and then feel like a dumbass when you get where you’re going? Yeah, I thought so. Everyone loves to do that. Which is why I’m sitting here banging out this round-up of diverse new items I saw and heard over the last 24 hours instead of packing for my vacation trip, which begins . . . (shit!) . . . in a few hours.

AVICHI

I saw that Profound Lore’s first release of 2014 will be the much-delayed third album by Chicago-based Avichi, Catharsis Absolute, which was recorded by Andrew Ragin (The Atlas Moth) and mixed by Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Twilight). The official release date is January 21. This album will be entirely the solo work of Andrew “Aamonael” Markuszewski (also in Lord Mantis). PL has also begun streaming one of the album’s new songs, “Lightweaver”.

“Lightweaver” is a study in winding the coil and then letting it go. Avichi builds the tension, ratcheting it upward with storming, tremolo-picked scales . . . and then lets the storm break in a rocking beat with a bounding bass line . . . and then proceeds to tighten the spring again. And so it goes, back and forth. And through it all, Aamonael howls like a winter wolf while weaving a trilling (and thrilling) guitar melody, chaining together chaos and something approaching beauty. Listen next:

Nov 132013

Sales of music CDs in the US are in a state of “terminal decline”, and are projected to continue dropping by an average annual rate of 13% from now through 2017 and will probably never see “any kind of sales increase again”. Ironically, as some believe, they could be saved from complete extinction only by consumers who come to see them as a “nostalgia niche product”.

Maybe a day will come, far off in the future, when history will repeat itself and CDs will experience the resurgence that vinyl sales have been experiencing recently. But even with vinyl sales growing, the total physical market for music in the US is already dwarfed by digital sales, and the disparity is only going to get worse. The same trends are happening globally as well.

As physical sales of music have dropped, some observers have worried that album art would also become less and less significant, both as an art form and as a draw for consumers. I used to be one of those people. But I’ve changed my mind. I don’t base my optimism on any hard data, just my own observations, and so maybe I’m guilty of wishful thinking. But at least in the world of metal, it sure seems that fans still care about quality album art, and that striking album art draws fans into music they would otherwise never discover — even if they’re only buying digital downloads.

Sep 232012

Our Sacramento-based contributor DGR hit me with a flurry of e-mails this morning, bringing to light a multitude of musical developments for your entertainment. I’ve now packaged them in this Sunday edition of the “Seen and Heard” post.

THE NEOLOGIST

DGR began covering the work of this East Coast duo during the days of the sadly departed The Number of the Blog, and he introduced their work to NCS beginning last January. In addition to creating their own original songs, The Neologist have also been recording cover songs as tributes to their influences. They’ve made an entire In Flames cover album titled In Flames We Trust: Volume I, and they’ve also been releasing tracks from a work in progress by the name of Working the Soil, which will eventually become a complete album of Soilwork covers. And everything they’re doing is . . . free (or available on Bandcamp with a “name your price” option).

Today’s news is that The Neologist have just released their sophomore album of original music, The Promise of Eternal Separation.  This new album comes with a variety of “extras”, including a cover version of “Red Clouds” by Disarmonia Mundi, a dub-step remix of “A Call To Harms” by Jester Strikes, and two bonus tracks from the band’s Kazakhstan release and Vatican City release (both of which are due in October 2012).

DGR promises a review of The Promise of Eternal Separation, but the music is already streaming and available for download on Bandcamp (here), so go check that out. But that’s not all we have from The Neologist camp.

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