Jul 252011

Two new works of album art caught my eye today, and I thought I’d pass them around. Also, a bit earlier  this afternoon a song began streaming from a band about which I’ve been very curious, because it includes ex-In Flames guitarist and band co-founder Jesper Strömblad, plus veterans of many other bands. So we’ll finish off this post by listening to that song from The Resistance. Evil corporate overlords have forced the removal of that Mastodon song we posted earlier today, so we have to replace it with something, right?


The first piece of album art disclosed today is the cover for Celestial Lineage, the fourth album from Washington’s own Wolves in the Throne Room. The album by these American black metal heavyweights will be released on September 13 by Southern Lord Records. The artwork was created by photographic artist Alison Scarpulla. In concept, it joins the album with its two predecessors, Two Hunters and Black Cascade.

Don’t let the natural setting of the cover image fool you, though. Although WITTR’s music is inspired by mystical thought and by the unique natural setting of the Pacific Northwest, I think it’s safe to assume this won’t be the kind of music embraced by your average plaid-shirted tree-hugger. Expect a flood-tide of eviscerating power.

After the jump, we’ve got the track listing as well as tour dates for WITTR, plus a striking Travis Smith album cover for the latest offering from a band called Redemption — plus that song.

First, here’s the track listing for the next WITTR album:

Celestial Lineage Track Listing:

1. Thuja Magus Imperium
2. Permanent Changes in Consciousness
3. Subterranean Initiation
4. Rainbow Illness
5. Woodland Cathedral
6. Astral Blood
7. Prayer of Transformation

In support of the new album, the Wolves have released the early stages of a tour schedule, though it’s their habit to leave specific locations for some shows until just days before showtime an to include some off-the-beaten-path venues as well.  This is what we have so far:

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Confirmed North American Tour Dates:

8/28/2011 Olympia, WA [check wittr.com for location]
8/31/2011 The Medusa – Minneapolis, MN
9/01/2011 Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, IL
9/02/2011 Rudyard Kippling – Louisville, KY
9/03/2011 The Mockbee – Cincinnati, OH
9/05/2011 Jamestowne Hall – Saginaw, MI
9/06/2011 Soybomb HQ – Toronto, ON
9/08/2011 Death Church – Montreal, QC
9/10/2011 The Kave – Bucksport, ME
9/11/2011 Providence, RI [check wittr.com for location]
9/12/2011 The Bell House – Brooklyn, NY
9/14/2011 Washington, DC [check wittr.com for location]
9/15/2011 Broad Street Ministries – Philadelphia, PA
9/16/2011 TBA – Bethlehem, PA
9/17/2011 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
9/18/2011 Legitimate Business – Greensboro NC
9/20/2011 JD’s – Sheffield, AL
9/21/2011 The Little Hamilton – Nashville, TN
9/22/2011 Magnetic Theater – Atlanta, GA
9/23/2011 The Chop Shop – St Petersburg, FL
9/24/2011 The Farside Collective – Tallahassee, FL
9/25/2011 New Orleans, LA [check wittr.com for location]
9/27/2011 Austin, TX [check wittr.com for location]


Now, here’s today’s second eye-catching album cover:

Redemption is a band I’m not familiar with. They proclaim their genre as progressive metal, and their membership includes guitarist/songwriter Nick van Dyk and ex-Fates Warning vocalist Ray Alder. Their fifth studio album, This Mortal Coil, is due on September 26 in Europe and October 11 in NorthAm via InsideOut Music.

As noted, the CD’s cover artwork was created by Travis Smith, whose work we last featured at NCS in connection with the release of cover art for Opeth’s next release (here). I really like this artwork. It will make me remember to give the album a listen when the time comes. If you know this band’s previous music, please leave us a comment with your thoughts about them.


And now we come to the music. Jesper Strömblad, of course, left In Flames to deal with a serious alcohol problem, but he’s now back with a new band and new music. Here’s the band’s complete lineup and lineage:

Marco Aro (FACE DOWN, ex-THE HAUNTED) – Vocals
Jesper Strömblad (ex-IN FLAMES, DIMENSION ZERO) – Guitar
Glenn Ljungström (ex-IN FLAMES, DIMENSION ZERO) – Guitar
Alex Losbäck Holstad (ex-DESPITE, DECAMERON, CARDINAL SIN) – Bass
Chris Barkensjö (CARNAL FORGE, GODSIC, ex-GRAVE) – Drums

Today the band released a song called “An Eye For An Eye”. It will appear on a sampler CD distributed with the August edition of a Swedish magazine called Close-Up. The CD will also include music from other bands who are scheduled to perform on the Close-Up Båten cruise, a two-day excursion that departs Stockholm on September 8.

I tend to agree with my NCS collaborator Andy Synn that the song sounds like what you might expect, if you were expecting One Kill Wonder-era Haunted mixed with He Who Shall Not Bleed-era Dimension Zero. This, however, is not a bad combination by any stretch. No, the song isn’t breaking new ground, but I still can’t help but like the melodeath chugfest and Marco Aro’s throat-scraping vocals, too.


  6 Responses to “ART, AND A SONG”

  1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You posted the WitTR cover before I emailed you about it! I got a thing about it in my news feed from Arkhum. Oh well.

    Is Jesper Stomblad the guy just to left of the middle man, the one with the awesome beard? I ask cuz he has a REALLY awesome beard.

    Also, that Travis Smith art is killer.

  2. I listened to some Redemption online because the cover art above intrigued me. It is some really good music. I liked it but it isn’t something I’d expect to see on NCS, mostly because it is reminiscent of post rock and prog and includes all clean singing. It doesn’t sound metal at all.

    • I’ll have to second this comment about Redemption; they’re probably not the kind of progressive metal that would fit your tastes. Good stuff, though.

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