SEEN AND HEARD: KAMPFAR, ADVENT SORROW, THEATRE NOCTURNE
For reasons I won’t bore you with, over the last 24 hours I haven’t been able to devote my usual efforts to scouring the world of metal for new sightings and hearings. However, with a little help via links from friends, I did compile the following brief round-up of items that are very much worth mentioning.
The first item is at the top of this post. It’s the cover, released today, for the next album by Kampfar — Djevelmakt, which appears to mean “devilpower” in Norwegian. This is noteworthy for two reasons: First, because Kampfar chose a painting by the masterful Zdzisław Beksiński for the cover art. And second, because Kampfar is an excellent band, and whatever they do next will be worth hearing.
My comrade Andy Synn named the band’s last full-length Mare as one of 2011′s Great Albums (as well as one of his personal favorites), with these words: “An absolute stormer of an album, this record captures the uplifting, rebellious spirit of Black Metal’s punk roots, expressed through a medium of scalding riffs and refined technicality, all delivered with seamless conviction. One of the five albums of the last decade that best epitomize the potential and quality of post-millennial black metal.”
I also put Mare’s title track on our list of 2011’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Check it out below. Djevelmakt will be released January 27, 2014.
Advent Sorrow are based in Perth, Western Australia. After a 2011 demo, they released their debut EP last year, entitled Before the Dimming Light, as well as a 2012 split (Ravens and Blood) with Numenor. Last month they also released a single — “Like A Moth To The Flame” — with an accompanying video that I watched for the first time this morning, thanks to a tip from Andy Synn.
Perhaps the immediate creepiness of the video had something to do with it, but when Advent Sorrow’s vocalist Rhys King lets out his first (unexpected) howl, I swear that I both jumped in my chair and got goosebumps. I’m going to have to learn to turn the volume down to a less ear-splitting level when I don’t know what’s coming. The video (which is really well done) remains creepy and disturbing all the way through, and King’s vocals remain utterly ravenous and agonizing.
The song is also a powerhouse, something like a symphonic Behemoth — dramatic, savage, imperious, bleakly melodic. Very strong.
Before the Dimming Light is available on Bandcamp. Advent Sorrow’s Facebook page is here. “Like A Moth To The Flame” is the first song to be released from the band’s forthcoming new album, As All Light Leaves Her.
Last July we got the chance to premiere a new music video from Buffalo, New York’s Theatre Nocturne, for the song “Nepenthe and Lavender” from the band’s 2012 debut EP, Anhedonia. We’ve now learned that the band will be returning on January 11 with their second release, a 6-track offering entitled Depictions of Life and Death (the cover art, from an original photo by Austrian artist Krist Mort, can be seen above).
This morning I listened to one of the new album’s tracks, “Immortal Savage Nature”. It has a hell of an introduction, with ripping, racing guitars — followed by a few solitary bass notes. The ripping and racing continues, driven by lethally weaponized drumming, the vocalist’s vehement, howling exhortations, and a load of fleet-fingered fretwork. It’s a no-holds-barred, jet-fueled meat-grinder of black/death fury. Listen below.
Digging Kampfar, and the artwork for their album is lovely.
I’m liking Mare. It reminds me I should always keep an ear out for already-released material. Some of my favourite albums are actually ones I was ‘late to the party’ and discovered years after their release. Time to go spin the whole album.
I love Mare, but I love Heimgang even more. Wall-to-wall insanely catchy riffs.
YouTube album stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CCdb512lRw
Be warned that when “Dodens Vee” starts, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to reach for a frothing horn of strong ale and a sizzling hock of beast meat. When “Skogens Dyp” kicks in a few minutes later, you’ll be calling for your armor and a mighty steed worthy of riding into battle.
Kampfar and Theatre Nocturne both sound awesome!