Aug 022014

 

To pick up where my last post left off, the aircraft that I boarded yesterday in Seattle did in fact land in Denver, where I and my personal security detail spent the evening drinking beer, eating pizza, and air-guitaring at the Black Sky Brewery in preparation for the sonic holocaust that will begin today (otherwise know as the Denver Black Sky fest).

Because time is short (or more accurately, the time not spent drinking, eating, jawing, and sleeping), this little round-up will be less fulsome than I would like — but still worthwhile, I hope.

ELEMENTAL NIGHTMARES — I

We’ve been writing about the Elemental Nightmares project since early days, and it is now a reality. Today Elemental Nightmares released the first of seven 10″ vinyl splits for digital download; the physical copies will start shipping on August 7 or 8.

The first split includes songs by Wildernessking (South Africa), Oak Pantheon (Minnesota), Kess’khtak (Switzerland) Liber Necris (UK), and it features that stunning artwork you see at the top of this post (all of the individual pieces of art for the seven splits, when placed next to each other, will eventually flow together to form one large piece of art). The work was created by Düsseldorf artist Alexander Leybovich (whose web site is here).

Aug 272013

(All of the regular NCS staffers have been together in Seattle since last week and collectively took in the performances by Wintersun, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Arsis at Studio Seven on August 23. In this post Andy Synn reviews the show and shares with us some video clips that he filmed that night.)

So… we may have missed Starkill. Apologies all. We were busy having drinks across town at The Oak (very cool place by the way) and ended up staying a bit later than we’d anticipated.

No worries though, because we made it to the venue just in time for Arsis who were, for me, at least, the most anticipated band of the night.

ARSIS

I’ve never seen James Malone and his melodeath marauders before, but I’ve been a fan of the band ever since they released A Celebration of Guilt, so this was a big moment for me, and the band did not disappoint at all.

Malone himself is both a fantastic guitarist and a vicious vocalist, shredding and riffing away flawlessly while barking his venomous, diseased lyrics.

Aug 242013

This is a photo by Jun Tiangja of rice terraces in the Philippines. It has nothing to do with anything else in this post. I just think it’s beautiful.

I forewarned you that there would be a drop in NCS content for about one week beginning yesterday because I planned to confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards here in the Emerald City. And if you’re now laughing at the notion of yours truly and my fellow NCS scribes being characterized as wizards, you’re welcome.

All of us have indeed congregated in Seattle, with BadWolf arriving yesterday afternoon and TheMadIsraeli, Andy Synn, and DGR swooping in at various times on Thursday. And though I expected our collective blog time would dwindle drastically, I didn’t foresee that we wouldn’t post a goddamn thing yesterday, not even a notice saying we wouldn’t be posting a goddamned thing yesterday.

We’ve fallen down on the job because I think we’ve been enjoying each other’s company. I say “I think” because I’m not a mind-reader and am mainly speaking for myself, and speaking for myself, I am happy to learn that people who seemed like cool dudes over the internet have turned out to be cool dudes in person, too.

Jun 042013

Well, North American Wintersun fans may have to wait until early 2014 for Time II, but we won’t have to wait that long to see the band in the flesh. Following up on a short run of 2012 dates in support of Time I, MetalSucks have just announced their sponsorship of a much more extensive Wintersun tour beginning this August. That alone would be hot news, but look who else will be along for that ride:

Fleshgod Apocalypse
Arsis
Starkill

Damn, this is going to be sweet. And maybe extra-sweet, because Wintersun are already hinting at surprises in their set list. Music from Time II maybe?

Check out the tour schedule next . . . .

Dec 042012

There’s nothing that will get you excited for a metal show quite like arriving at a Seattle venue in December twenty minutes after the doors are supposed to open, only to find that the doors haven’t opened and and that you get to stand in a cold, drizzling rain for 20 more minutes near the end of a motionless line of water-logged metalheads that snakes around the block.

I’m here to tell you: That will make you really eager to get inside. The poor motherfuckers who’d been standing near the front of the line for an hour must have really been stoked.

I wish I could say this is the first time such a thing has happened to me, but there seems to be an unwritten rule (at least at Seattle venues) that doors will not open until at least half an hour after the doors are supposed to open. I could understand this if the venues had their employees walking the lines selling hot dogs with cream cheese and grilled onions, but all El Corazon had for us on the night of December 2 was a dude with a megaphone repeatedly broadcasting to everyone that if you didn’t have everything removed from your pockets by the time you reached the door for the pat-down, you would be sent to the end of the line. This did not taste as good as a hot dog.

It did feel good to get inside, though I was already plenty excited to see Varg, Wintersun, and Eluveitie even before the bonus of a twenty-minute wait in the rain. Once inside, my friends and I made a bee-line to the bar, thinking that a shot of rye and a PBR would help un-freeze our guts. In the bar we came across members of two local bands (Blood and Thunder and The Devils of Loudon) and proceeded to drink and talk our way straight through most of Varg’s opening set. So I have no review of Varg’s show. I blame the rain. And the rye.

Oct 152012

The very long-awaited new album from Finland’s WintersunTime I — is only days away from official release. In the run-up to the official unveiling, Wintersun have begun posting video of their entire sold-out performance on October 13 at the Nosturi venue in Helsinki.

Each day they plan to upload two videos for each song in the set. One video will be a drum-cam clip, showcasing the considerable talents of Wintersun’s hitter Kai Hahto, and the second video is shot from the audience’s perspective, facing the stage.

To inaugurate this series of videos, the band today uploaded the dual clips for “Winter Madness”, a song from their 2004 debut album. The song and the performance combine many of the qualities that made the album such a hit with so many people — the hell-for-leather speed and intensity of melodic death metal, melodies that borrow from both power metal and epic folk/viking metal, and the shred explosions of ex-Ensiferum frontman Jari Mäenpää.

Catch both videos for “Winter Madness” after the jump.

Sep 052012

Here’s some breaking news that will be of serious interest to fans of Wintersun (and Eluveitie):  The two bands will be joining forces for a 21-date North American tour in late November and December. The tour will begin on November 28 in Tempe, Arizona, and end on December 21 in Boston, and almost half the shows will be in Canada.

This will be Wintersun’s first North American tour, and it will come on the heels of the band’s Time I album. Wintersun’s Jari  Mäenpää says, “We’ve had lots of requests from the fans before, but finally we are able to come there and kick some ass with new material from the Time I album and of course play the old stuff too! Hope to see you guys there. Let´s make it special!”

The tour will also include the German pagan metal band Varg.

I won’t make special mention that the tour is stopping in Seattle, because that would be self-centered and boorish. The full schedule is after the jump.

Aug 222012

Wintersun’s new album Time I has been six years coming, and now that it has been completed and a firm release date (October 12) has been announced, you can almost hear the sound of massed panting by the band’s global network of fanatical fans. Yet their eagerness is perhaps matched by their curiosity. What will the new music sound like? Will it be in the vein of the band’s smashing debut or will the passage of six years have changed  the sound into something new and unexpected?

Well, we now have the first concrete impressions of the music because two days ago Wintersun threw a listening party in Helsinki, Finland, to which certain metal journalists were invited. One of those present for the first chance to hear the album from start to finish was Arto Mäenpää, editor of the Finnish KAAOSzine web site. He wasted no time putting his impressions on-line, with a track-by-track description of the music, calling it “a pure masterpiece and the best Finnish metal album to come out it 2012!” He also called it “a musical version of Lord Of The Rings.”

Of course, Arto’s original text was in Finnish. This, however, proved no problem for the intrepid staff at NO CLEAN SINGING. We just converted all of those strange words into English through Google Translate, which, as regular readers of this site well know, always reveals hidden meanings in the native tongue of arguably the most metal country on Earth, per capita. Fucking good pancake.

So, after the jump, feast your eyes on a vivid track-by-track description of Wintersun’s new album, as rendered by Google Translate, with a few notes by yours truly in brackets.

Aug 172012

Man oh man, I encountered a flood-tide of post-worthy shit in my morning ramblings through the interhole. So, I’m breaking it up into two posts, this one being the first.

WINTERSUN

Uh huh, the massive PR ramp-up to this Finnish band’s loooooooong-awaited duo of new albums is beginning. As previously reported, the first of those albms — Time I — is due for release by Nuclear Blast on October 19. Today brought us the unveiling of the cover art for that album, which you can see above. It was created by Cameron Gray, who also created the cover for the Born of Osiris album The Discovery, among others.

EVOCATION

I saw that Century Media started streaming the first new track from the next album by Sweden’s Evocation, Illusions of Grandeur. About a week ago, I created a feature about the band that was occasioned by the unveiling of the awesome Xaay cover art for the album (here). I didn’t have any new music to share at that time, so I loaded up the post with videos for previous Evocation songs. But now we’ve got the new album’s title track. It makes me very happy.

Jul 052012

We previously reported that after 8 long years, Finland’s Wintersun will soon be returning with, not one, but two new albums: Time I and Time II, with each album containing approximately 40 minutes of music — 80 minutes of new Wintersun altogether. Based on an earlier press release, the mixing and mastering of Time I is scheduled for completion this month. Today, we learned that Nuclear Blast has finally set a release date for that album: October 19, 2012.

And that’s not all. Yesterday, Nuclear Blast posted a short video trailer on YouTube showing Jari Mäenpää playing orchestration effects for a part of the song “Sons of Winter and Stars”.

Man, am I looking forward to this album. It will be difficult to resist posting every future teaser and trailer that leads up to the album’s release. Maybe I won’t resist. This first video trailer is after the jump.

Yesterday also brought new music from another wintry band — Winterus, who we first featured way back in October 2010 through a MISCELLANY post. This Michigan-based USBM outfit is at work on a new album to be titled Dark Womb, and yesterday they released the cover art and a first demo track from the album, “Hell Form”. A rumbling current of drums flows beneath, tremolo’d guitars rise and fall above, a clean lead guitar weaves an enchanting melody, acid vocals slice through the middle, and an acoustic interlude provides a change of mood. It’s a promising teaser for the album.

The cover art for Dark Womb and a stream of “Hell Form” are after the jump, too — but first, that Wintersun trailer . . .

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