Jun 072011

At the risk of swamping you in too much music for a single post, I’m collecting four items here that I discovered this past weekend. The unifying theme for this collection is blackness.

Black, as in Black Dahlia Murder covering “This Mortal Coil” by Carcass, with Jeff Walker on guest vocals. Black, as in a good-quality video of Anaal Nathrakh performing “Do Not Speak” at a club in Paris on May 31. Black, as in news about a tribute album to Enslaved, featuring 20 bands (plus the schedule for a fall North American tour by Enslaved along with Ghost and Alcest). Black, as in another quality performance video — of Belphegor vomiting forth satanic spew in Denver on May 16. Without further ado …


For some reason, I continue to receive my copy of DECIBEL magazine way early. I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I’m complaining a little. I’ve had the July issue for a week now — the one with Trey Azagthoth and David Vincent of Morbid Angel on the cover and a big feature inside about their new album Illud Duvinum Insanus — which has already generated an insanus amount of controversy in the web-world (much of it among people who haven’t even heard the album yet).

Because I received the issue early, that means I’ve had a week to stare at the “flexi disc” inside — the recording on a piece of plastic of Black Dahlia Murder covering “This Mortal Coil” by Carcass. I’ve been staring at it because listening isn’t an option — since I don’t own a fucking turntable. I’ve been waiting semi-patiently for someone to transfer the music to digital and put it up on YouTube, which has now finally happened. The digital transfer didn’t happen seamlessly — you can hear some of the imperfections on the flexi-disc — but the BDM cover is a slayer.  (more after the jump . . .)

As you  may know, BDM’s new album, Ritual, will be out on June 21. We will have a review very soon. From what I’ve heard so far, I have little doubt it will be the best work BDM has ever done. “This Mortal Coil” won’t be on that album. More’s the pity, because it’s a great song, in part because of Jeff Walker’s vocal contributions. Hear for yourself:


We published two different reviews of Anaal Nathrakh’s latest album, which was a first at NCS. In our largely futile attempts to stay abreast of new releases, duplicating effort on a single release is a luxury we can ill afford. However, Passion demanded the attention. It’s stupifyingly good.

I’m still hoping that Anaal Nathrakh will come tour North America this year, and stop in the vicinity of Seattle while they’re at it. In the meantime, I have to be content with the video experiences of other people. The one I saw this weekend is the band playing a song called “Do Not Speak” from their album Domine Non Es Dignus (2004) at a club in Paris on May 31. The music doesn’t start for a couple of minutes into the clip while Dave Hunt talks with the crowd, but I actually enjoyed that part, too.


The wonderful piece of art at the top of this post was created by David Thiérrée, working closely with the members of Enslaved to create a cover image for an album to be called Önd – A Tribute — the “official” 20th anniversary tribute to Norway’s Enslaved. It’s projected for release sometime late this year through the French label Pictonian Records . I only discovered this news a few days ago, though it seems to have been drifting along on the undercurrents of the web for several months.

The tribute album will include 20 bands covering 20 Enslaved tracks over the course of their discography, from Yggdrasil to the Vertebrae album. I’ll be very interested to hear this because the line-up of bands includes several I know well and like a bunch, and it will be a good chance to discover a lot of others. Here’s the confirmed line-up:

* DORDEDUH (Romania)
* ODEM ARCARUM (Germany)
* ISLAND (Germany )
* ASMODEE (France)
* ANGANTYR (Denmark)
* REVERENCE (France)
* FOSCOR (Spain)
* STAGNANT WATERS (France/Norway)
* ANGMAR (France)
* RIBOZYME (Norway)
* EL REGN (Norway)
* VREID (Norway)
* JANVS (Italy)
* BELENOS (france)
* KRAKOW (Norway)
* LUX DIVINA (Spain)
* FEN (UK)

While on the subject of Enslaved, I need to include some music. This song is called “Heimvegen”, and it’s the opening track from the absolutely wonderful free EP called The Sleeping Gods that was released by Scion A/V. In its stylistic variety, that EP is a fine showcase for the musical talent of this band. If for some reason you haven’t yet downloaded it, don’t lose any more time. Do it now by visiting this site, where you can also read accurate descriptions of each song.

[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/01_heimvegen.mp3|titles=Enslaved – Heimvegen]

And finally, yesterday there was an announcement of a fall North American tour of Enslaved, Ghost, and Alcest. I’m so fucking excited I can hardly stand it. Here’s the schedule:

9/23 Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
9/24 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
9/25 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
9/26 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East
9/28 Quebec City, QC @ Impérial
9/29 Montreal, QC @ Café Campus
9/30 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
10/1 Columbus, OH @ Outland Live
10/2 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
10/3 St. Paul, MN @ Station 4
10/5 Winnipeg, MB @ WECC
10/6 Regina, SK @ The Exchange
10/7 Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
10/8 Calgary, AB @ Dickens
10/10 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
10/11 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
10/12 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
10/13 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
10/14 Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour


Though I’ve gotten deeper into black metal and developed a more nuanced appreciation for the music over the last couple of years, Austria’s Belphegor is a band whose music I just haven’t found appealing. Granted, I haven’t dived deeply into their discography; I’ve really only scratched the surface, and it scratched me back. From what I’ve heard, it’s full of bile and viciousness, harsh and bleak and drenched in sulphurous acid, but without a sufficient leavening ingredient of melody or groove, at least not enough to satisfy my tastes. (I sense a tongue-lashing from Andy Synn about to erupt.)

Still, I know that Belphegor have fans among our readers, so I thought I should include these two videos. Both are good-quality films of the band performing live in Denver on May 16, courtesy of Superskum. If you haven’t seen or heard what Belphegor have to offer, this will give you a (rancid) taste.

  13 Responses to “IT’S ALL BLACK”

  1. Anaal Nathrakh are touring the USA later in the year. Definitely.

    • Yes! And I just found out that Vreid and Kampfar will be here in September.

      • Do not miss that. Both their new albums are stunning.

        • Sept 6 is circled on my calendar. A very nice coincidence — since reading your review of their show in Nottingham, I’ve been thinking how much I’d like to see these two bands, and then voila! Necronomicon is on this tour, too, and that’s another band I’ve been wanting to see live.

    • I totally forgot that Anaal Nathrakh released an album in May. Now I’m sure which album I’m going to spend money on…

  2. I have only just started listening to the newest couple of albums by Anaal Nathrakh. They are quite different from what i know, but still plenty of good songs on all of them.

    I was lucky enough to see Anaal Nathrakh the the first two times they were here in Norway, First at the Inferno Festival, then at Hole In the Sky. The gig at Inferno had my brain seeping out my ears! It was truly brilliant! The stage was so tiny, the crowd fantastic, and the band great. Dave’s screams and sounds are even more impressive live.

    Gotta love their no bullshit approach. On one of the shows i saw, the sound check was just the band playing through a couple of songs. before the actual gig.

    • “Gotta love their no bullshit approach.” I can see that from the handful of live videos I’ve seen. I am so hoping their US tour plans will materialize and that they’ll come to my town, or at least close to it.

  3. I only know like two of those bands on that list of bands honoring Enslaved. Doreduh and Fen. Oh, wait, I’ve heard of Krakow as well I think. I also forgot that Belphegor released an album this year. Gotta’ add that one to my list. Random question: how is Pestilence’s Doctrine as a whole?

    • Besides those bands you mentioned on the Enslaved tribute, Odem Arcarum and Vreid are the other bands whose music I know, and they’re really good.

      Pestilence: Some other metal blogs I like have crapped on this album, but I liked it quite a bit, even though it’s certainly not a “crowd pleaser”. I’m so backlogged with albums I’d like to say something about, I’m not sure I’ll get to writing a review, but I do think Doctrine has been getting a raw deal in the metal “media”.

  4. I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about Enslaved, but Isa was one of the first metal albums I ever bought. I’m pretty sure it’s not really indicative of their music in general, but it was pretty interesting. I should find it and give it another listen……

  5. Try grabbing Belphegor’s “Lucifer Incestus” it’s not only quite melodic but has a very clear yet beefy sound to it (something I think they lost in the albums after).

    Kampfar won’t make it down here, perhaps an excuse to make it up to NYC.

  6. I get my copy a bit early too. I do have a turntable, but it’s part of a 20+ year old all in one Soundesign system which will not be allowed to touch stylus to any records or the Decibel Flexi series. Nice to hear this version; they (BDM, that is) is a band I’ve never really gotten into (among many others), but it sounds like they did a killer job on the tune, so that gets them some points in my book. Then again, you have to have your shit together to even attempt to cover a band like Carcass.

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