For most of yesterday and last night, the NCS headquarters was running on generator power and brutally cut off from the internet due to a DSL failure produced by one of our lovely Puget Sound winter storms. At some point while yours truly was sleeping the sleep of the just, the internet connection came back on, and I spent a few hours this morning catching up on what I missed in the world of metal.
Turns out I missed a lot. This is the third of three posts in which I’m collecting the best of what I missed while the NCS HQ was cast into outer darkness yesterday. I’m running through the music in alphabetical order. Featured in this Part 3 are Nightfall, Saille, and Pinkish Black.
Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants, the 2010 album from this long-running Greek band (now with an international cast), was my introduction to their music. It was a hell of an introduction: I became an immediate fan. Nightfall have now recorded the follow-up to that album, with the title Cassiopeia. The new one is due for release by Metal Blade on January 18, 2013, and pre-orders are being taken here. Yesterday brought the premiere of a lyric video for the album’s first single, “Oberon and Titania”.
Patrons of Shakespeare will recognize the names of those two characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the king and queen of the fairies whose hostility toward each other leads to manipulation of the humans attending a woodland wedding within their realm.
The song itself is great — a captivating blast of melodic death metal with a slightly blackened feel and a big finish that features a Kind Diamond-style guitar solo. To read the lyrics in the video, you may have to contort yourself a bit, though I thought the effects were kind of cool. I’m also including a SoundCloud player for the song, which has better sound quality. You can also download the track for free at this place.
Pinkish Black are a duo from Fort Worth, Texas, who use no stringed instruments, relying instead entirely on drums, synthesizers, and recorded loops. They self-released a self-titled debut album in May, and today came the announcement that Century Media has signed them, and that a new album will be recorded by the end of the year.
I was sufficiently intrigued that I watched a video released earlier this year for a song called “Bodies In Tow”. I had literally no clue what the music would sound like. It didn’t sound much like what I usually listen to, but I found myself hypnotized — in part by the music and in part by the very strange video, which displays a girl in costume somewhat self-consciously dancing in slow motion by herself. It looks sort of like something pulled from the 1970s and then subjected to a variety of digital effects. She was probably perfectly straight when the video was originally filmed, but as it appears now, she seems to be moving in a narcotic haze.
The music is kind of like a narcotic haze, too — a hypnotic mix of doomy sludge, psychedelia, and ultimately an ethereal melody with entrancing vocals. I wouldn’t call this stoner metal, but I felt like I’d smoked a couple bowls of hash by the time the song ended. When it ended, I played it again.
Below the video I’m including a Bandcamp player with the rest of the songs from the album. To download it, should you so desire, visit Bandcamp here.
Saille are a Belgian band who’ve also finished recording a new album. Entitled Ritu, it’s set for release by Code666 on January 18, 2013. It features a cool album cover by Polish digital landscape artist Michal Karcz.
Yesterday Saille released a lyric video for the new album’s first single, “Haunter of the Dark”. I would like to quote the first comment I saw beneath the clip on YouTube, because I agree with it 100%: “Even if you don’t like the music you have to give them credit for managing to use “Trapezohedron” in a song. That in itself is seriously bad ass! And the music kicks ass too!”
The music does indeed kick ass — melodic black metal with an aura of symphonic grandeur. It mixes bestial vocals, swirling tremolo guitar, and blasting drums with dramatic orchestral elements to great effect. It also includes a surprising (and contrasting) instrumental interlude. And the video is fun to watch, too. Check it out: