Aug 092013

Here’s a collection of recommended things that caught my eyes and ears over the last 24 hours.


My introduction to Chicago’s Russian Circles came at a live show in Seattle a few years ago, and I was sold, fast. Their fifth album, Memorial, is due on October 29 via Sargent House. Long way off, but based on a track that premiered yesterday at Pitchfork it’s a date worth remembering.

For anyone who still thinks instrumental “post rock” doesn’t pack enough visceral kick to shake your skeleton from skull to tarsus, listen to “Deficit”. Man, it’s a heavy beast. It sets a doomy tone with a moving wall of guitar noise and a hypnotic drumbeat at the outset. The intensity builds from there, and beginning at the 3:00 mark it’s fuckin’ headbang city all the way forward (accompanied by a memorable chiming melody). Listen to “Deficit” below all these links.



Seems like every year brings bright new discoveries for me, and one of this year’s bright ones has been Black Table and their Sentinel EP. Okay, Sentinel was released late last year, but I didn’t find it until early 2013 (and wrote about it here). Better late than never.

Yesterday I caught a quality video of the band performing Sentinel’s epic title track at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on August 6. Good sound, good picture quality, great song, and definitely worth hearing and seeing. In short order, Black Table have vaulted into the ranks of American post-black-metal bands to watch closely. (Actually, forget I used that “post black metal” label — the genre-bending music on Sentinel isn’t easily classifiable, but whatever you want to call it, it’s awfully good). Watch and listen below.



Back in June I was delighted to report that The Haunted’s founder Patrik Jensen had succeeded in breathing new life into the band by convincing two former members — vocalist Marco Aro (The ResistanceFace Down) and drummer extraordinaire Adrian Erlandsson (At the GatesParadise Lost) to come back to the fold, and by recruiting young guitar wizard Ola Englund (FearedSix Feet Under) to join the  line-up.

Yesterday, thanks to a tip from my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli, I learned about the video of Jensen and Englund you’re about to see and hear. This is the description given to the clip by Ola Englund:

“So we took a short break from writing songs for the new The Haunted album. This was a first take play through of the song we recorded so there are some mistakes, and the ending is completely f-ed up. Anyway hope you enjoy!”

All I can say is he’s way too modest. This sounds (and looks) amazing to me, and because it’s a first-take playthrough, it’s even more whizz-bang.


  1. Sentinel is one of the best debuts I’ve ever heard. It was in my station’s top ten for last year.

  2. New Russian Circles make me feel all funny in the pants.

    Also I would like to say their live show is one of the most art-rock, pretentious things I’ve seen but it was so fucking enthralling I don’t even care. Hoping this comes with a North American tour.

  3. I may be going to see Black Table with Downfall of Gaia when they play Ithaca on 9/15. If I do, maybe I’ll do a write up.

  4. The Haunted playthrough made my day, awesome!!! 🙂

    • One thing about genuine playthroughs, you’re putting it out there, no safety net. And when it clicks, like this one did, it’s even more impressive than a final post-production track. That’s the hilarious thing to me about Ola’s caveats: I can’t hear anything wrong with it.

  5. That The Haunted video sounded damn promising. I was ready to write them off when Dolving, Jensen and Björler no 1 quit. Also, not to be a dick; but it’s Patrik Jensen.

    • Not sure how I got his first name wrong — my brain knew it was Patrik but my fingers seem to have a mind of their own. It’s not being a dick to suggest that I call someone by their actual name. 🙂

      • Glad to hear it, don’t want to come off as nitpicking. 🙂 I was kinda hoping Jensen would leave Haunted and concentrate on Witchery. Their last album was tits, much thanks to Legions singing.

        Black table, while sounding interesting, are hard for me to not associate with James Hetfield a.k.a. Papa Table.

      • Since I stopped paying attention to The Haunted years ago, wasn’t even aware Adrian left. I was hopefully with Marco coming back that would somehow change them musically away from what they’ve been doing the past few albums (since the albums he’s on are the only ones I like), but this playthrough sounds fairly familiar though, right?

        Either way I’ll be at least interested to hear what the new material sounds like.

  6. That Russian Circles track is great! I got Black Table’s EP a few months back and I’ve been enjoying it, but I wish the singer sounded a little less, how to say this without sounding like a jerk, squeaky I guess.

  7. Wow, enjoying the new Russian Circles quite a bit

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