Yes, of course, it’s just an arbitrary date, one that has no intrinsic meaning. The arrow of time moves inexorably forward, the segmentation of its path into old years and new ones solely our own creation, one more effort to impose some kind of communal order on chaos. The effort fails, but as an occasion for remembering good times and bad, and perhaps kindling hope for a better tomorrow, the clicking of the clock past midnight tonight serves a laudable purpose. Even as simply an excuse for a cathartic blowout, it’s a good thing, if that’s your thing.
The calendar will flip over, but I’ll just keep writing as if nothing is about to change. Why the hell not? I have a lot of new songs and videos I’ve discovered over the last 48 hours. I’ve collected a few of them — the result of hard choices — and will make some of them the subject of this last NCS post of 2016, and the rest the subject of our first post of 2017 tomorrow.
Happy Fucking New Year to all of you from all of us. My resolution, over which I have no control, is to be here with you one year from today, saying the same damned thing.
(Andy Synn has finally reached his limit. And it was The Monolith Deathcult who pushed him to the brink.)
That’s it. I’m done. I’ve had all I can stands, and I can’t stands no more!
As a writer/review/self-important member of the liberal media conspiracy, I’ve come across a lot in my time writing for this site and for the various other publications which I occasionally do some work for.
But never before has a band so blatantly tried to buy my favour. And it’s just unacceptable.
You see, this is about more than just my honour and integrity, more than just my (now suspiciously full) bank balance. It’s about Ethics in Death Metal Journalism, dammit!
We’ve made no secret of our fondness for The Monolith Deathcult. It may go too far to say that everything they touch turns to gold — it would be more accurate to say that everything they touch turns to rubble and bone splinters. But when it comes to metal, destruction IS gold, isn’t it?
Given the quality and success of the band’s last album, 2013’s Tetragrammaton, we thought maybe they had retired to the Riviera, rolling in cash, bathing in champagne, and passing their days in the endless consumption of fine cigars and premium caviar. But it turns out they have actually torn themselves away from the delights of the flesh and recorded some music, of which we have the privilege of bringing you a first taste.
On March 24, Season of Mist will release a new TMDC EP entitled Bloodcults, and a few paragraphs from now you’ll be able to hear one of the songs on the EP, a hellish track named “Reign of Hell”.
I’ve fallen behind in completing some reviews (one in particular) that I had planned to post on Monday of this week. Partly, this is the result of how many new music premieres and press releases of interest I’ve found this week. The last 24 hours have been no different. What follows is a sextet of such things.
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT
One of this site’s favorite bands made this statement yesterday:
“We have some exciting news! To bridge the gap between TETRAGRAMMATON and our forthcoming album we decided to record some tunes from our first album The Apotheosis. This because The Apotheosis is sold out and we simply aren’t in for an ordinary repressing. We will release it as an EP+ some cool rare recordings we collected through the years. The title of the EP will be BLOODCVLTS & DEATHCVLTS.
At the moment we have no idea how and who will release this EP. Maybe it will be on vinyl, maybe on CD or maybe only on Itunes and Spotify. Stay tuned!”
(Gemma Alexander is a Seattle-based writer and NCS fan who visited Iceland in the fall of 2012 during the Iceland Airwaves festival and was generous enough to send us interviews with such bands as Angist, Beneath, Kontinuum, Sólstafir, Gone Postal, and Skálmöld. In July of this year she returned to Iceland for the Eistnaflug metal and rock festival (“Eistnaflug” being Icelandic for “flying testicles”), and we are once again the beneficiary of her writing. Today we present Part 2 of a three-part report on the festival, illustrated with Gemma’s own photos. Visit her own excellent blog here and check out more of her reporting on the festival at KEXP’s web site. Part 1 of her report for us is here and Part 2 is here.)
For the few of us who bothered with the hours before – or even slightly after – noon on Saturday, the desperate drunkenness of Friday night had given way to a comfortable morning buzz. Fewer than two dozen made it to the first show of the day at 1 p.m., AMFJ.
Which was too bad. Aðalstein Motherfucking Jörundsson is one barefoot guy at a little table in the middle of the floor. There wasn’t much to see, but there was a lot to hear. The set started out doomy and moved into a rave-worthy beat supporting vocals distorted beyond recognition. It was some killer industrial noise.
(Andy Synn provides this report on the recently completed UK tour by The Monolith Deathcult, Talanas, and Andy’s band Beyond Grace.)
So I’ve been harangued into putting together a short (relatively) report of the happenings and happenstances of our tour last month. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure where to start as I’m writing this now, other than to say that – despite the inevitable stresses that came about – I wish I was still on tour now. Playing a show every night, to new people, in a new place… well, that 30 mins onstage you get makes all the rest of it worthwhile.
DAY 01 – BRIGHTON, STICKY MIKE’S FROG BAR
My first piece of advice for any of you going on tour – try to get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave. Definitely don’t stay up late sending out digital promos and organising the launch of your new EP so that you only have time to get in 3 hours before having to go collect the van, drive it back to load your backline, then drive down to London (and then on to Brighton). Yeah, don’t do that.
We proudly bring you the 16th Part of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.
In different ways, both bands we’re featuring today have their tongues in their cheeks — but their music also has the capability to tear yours out and use it for a bookmark.
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT
I suppose our adoration for TMDC knows no bounds — or so one might think from the volume of words we’ve spilled about their new album, Tetragrammaton. For example, these words by our reviewer Mr. Synn:
“Their music is dark, oppressive, and brutal – but also relentlessly energetic, knowingly pompous, and impressively self-aware…. Right from the start you can tell that this is the sequel to the superfluously awesome Triumvirate. Yet it’s more than just a mere carbon copy or continuation. Everything that album brought to the table is still there – the ostentatious synths, the audacious symphonic pomposity, the back-breaking death metal brutality, the darkly intelligent lyrical themes and vicious vocal hooks – yet twisted and reworked just so to provide a new experience, a newly refined recipe for disaster….
The Monolith Deathcult, with whom all loyal NCS readers are amply familiar because we talk about them so much our lips are chapped, are offering a limited-edition box set that isn’t really a box set because it has no box, but does contain these items: Tetragrammaton (2013) 2-LP in 180 grams clear vinyl in gatefold design; Trivmvirate (2008) 2-LP in 180 grams clear vinyl in gatefold design; Obliteration of the Despised Promo (2002 – sold out!) LP in 180 grams clear vinyl; a heavy duty carrying bag for carrying items that need carrying; and a limited “crest” design T-shirt.
But lest you think we’ve become shills for band mercy, the real reason I’m posting about this isn’t the merch (though I’m sure TMDC would appreciate your buying all this shit here), it’s the TMDC product announcement. It’s good. It’s funny. So I thought I’d share it. Because I can:
Hand-pressed in a sweat shop by forced child labour. Purchasing this item ensures that one community in an emerging economy will live in a pit of toxic sludge and abject poverty for at least 15 years. Made from 100% unrecycled material from unrenewable sources. Only slighly lethal to aquatic mammals. Do not use as a toy. Observe proper safety instructions when handling. Keep out of reach of children. Use only in a well-ventilated area. Exposure to this box-but-hey-it’s-not-a-box-box set may cause joint pain, nausea, head-ache, or shortness of breath. You may also experience muscle aches, rapid heartbeat, and ringing in the cars. If you feel faint, call your doctor.
Hope you had a good weekend. And if you didn’t, hope you have a good week. And if you don’t, I apologize for the feebleness of my hopes. At least your life will be enriched by seeing and hearing these things I saw and heard over the weekend (and yes, I had a good weekend, thank you).
When last we wrote about this Danish band it was during 2012 in a review of their three-way split with As We Draw and Euglena. They’ve now recorded a new album entitled Abalam which is projected for release on January 11, 2014. Over the weekend I saw a music video released earlier this month for one of the new songs — “Tenebris” — which was made by London filmmaker Craig Murray. Murray’s video is an homage to a certain unforgettable scene in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, with a bit of a twist in its finale.
As for the music, it’s a storm of razors, thunder, and vocal lightning, a ravaging assault of fused black metal and hardcore.
If you know of a death metal band other than The Monolith Deathcult who have used the Scottish folk song “Donald, where’s your trousers?” as the intro music for a live set, please speak up. I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. But that’s what TMDC did at the beginning of their performance on June 22, 2013, at the DOKK’EM OPEN AIR festival in The Netherlands.
Of course, they didn’t use the funny, up-tempo version of the song recorded by Andy Stewart. They used the slow, creepy version sung by machine intelligences in an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As expected, the voice of Optimus Prime makes a later appearance as well.
But as interesting (and fitting) as these oddities were, the stars of the show were THE 6TH MOST POPVLAR AND ALMOST AWARD-WINNING SVPREME AVANTGARDE DEATH METAL BAND FROM KAMPEN, THE NETHERLANDS. And man, did they crush. How do I know? Because TMDC have uploaded a quality video of the entire set to YouTube.