I intended to post this round-up of recommended new things yesterday, and even then the news and new music included herein was a bit dated. But life got in the way and I wasn’t able to finish it until now. In the meantime, even more new things hit my fractured radar screen. And so, if life will just stay out of the way, I’ll have another round-up for you later today.
According to a press release I received, Alfahanne are a Swedish band formed in 2010 with members who have been in the black metal scene since the early 90’s in bands such as Vinterland and Maze of Torment — Pehr Skioldhammer (vox and guitar), Fredrik Sööberg (guitars), Niklas Åström (drums), and Jimmy Wiberg (bass). They released a split named Grym with Sweden’s Shining last year, which I haven’t heard. They’ve now recorded a debut album, Alfapokalyps, which is due for release via Dark Essence on February 10 in both CD and vinyl formats (orderable here).
In addition to featuring eye-catching cover art (above), the album includes guest vocal contributions from Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), V’gandr (Helheim), and Hoest (Taake). Recently, the band started streaming an advance track named “Såld På Mörkret”, which includes Hoest’s contribution as a vocalist. It’s a helluva song.
Magnetic, repeating riffs drive the song, and drive it hard. The rocking rhythm burrows in, the ominous melody infiltrates like a cadre of coal-blackened guerillas, Hoest’s voice rakes like talons, dismal chants ring from the distance… prepare to bang your fuckin’ head:
My NCS comrade BadWolf alerted me to this next item. It concerns a seminal hardcore band from the 90s named Integrity. After two decades of inactivity, the line-up that produced such albums as Systems Overload have reunited to perform at the A389 Recordings’ tenth-anniversary celebration on January 18 in Baltimore (details here), and they’ve also recorded a new song named “7th Revelation: Beyond The Realm Of The VVitch”, which will be distributed as a 7″ at the A389 X Bash. It can also be pre-ordered at A389.
Decibel premiered the song earlier this week, and it’s now streaming on Bandcamp. You know what I like about it? I’m glad you asked. I like the corrosive/chiming intro, I like the howling-wolf vocals, I like the fuzz-shrouded riffs, I like the surprising psychedelic guitar leads that weave through the blunt black power blasts of the song as a whole. Check it out below.
This UK band’s 2012 album And So It Came To Pass, about which I have written frequently, is an excellent album. Some of you may have somehow eluded my efforts to celebrate its accomplishments, but the band have now provided an occasion for me to talk it up again: They have recently released an official music video for one of its tracks, “In the Face of Armageddon”.
These gents may be more clean-cut than your average death metal band, but they are nonetheless bestial and they have a real talent for cooking up tasty riff stew with which to stew your brains — no fancy frills, no gimmicks, just solid, heavy-grooved, thoroughly satisfying, blast-furnace intensity. Like the music, the video is straight-forward but well-done, with an appealing use of light and shadow. Watch and listen below.
Cool artwork, eh? Click upon it to make it bigger. What it is, I will describe in due course.
We never got around to reviewing Morbus Chron’s 2011 debut album, Sleepers In the Rift, but I sure as hell did enjoy it. It was a real throw-back, as in throwing all the way back to Autopsy’s first couple of albums. It had a genuine air of authenticity, and the songs were really varied and just a whole head-blast of fun to hear.
Last March Century Media announced they had signed Morbus Chron, with plans to release a second full-length in 2013. That didn’t happen, but Morbus Chron did release a three-song EP — A Saunter Through the Shroud — and we featured a song from it entitled “Channeling the Numinous”, which began with an attention-grabbing drum roll and a blast of chainsaw grinding and then fell off a cliff into a pit of slowly boiling gore, spiced with death-prog guitar leads, ghastly mid-range vocals, and a head-whipping solo. It was (and is) an awesome song.
And with that prelude, what I spied two days ago (thanks to a tip from Utmu) was this post on Morbus Chron’s Facebook: “On January 13: After a long silence, we’re proud to announce the release of our sophomore album Sweven. Sweven will be released on February 24th in Europe and on March 4th in North America via Century Media Records. Recorded once again with Fred Estby, and illustrated once again by Raul Gonzalez, we’re more than eager to show you what we’ve been working on.”
And so it comes, and so you see above the gatefold artwork for the album. I am more than ready for it.