Due to the demands of my fucking day job, I haven’t had much time to go exploring for new music and news items over the last 24 hours, but on a very quick excursion through the interhole and my NCS in-box I did spy the following three items for your edification and enjoyment.
The last time I mentioned the name Warpstone on NCS was in April 2012, in the context of a feature on the painted art of that great Italian madman, Paolo Girardi. One of the pieces I used in that feature was Girardi’s cover for a then-forthcoming album by Warpstone entitled Daemonic Warpfire. At that time, I could find no music from the band available for streaming and I failed to follow up and check out the album when it was released.
This morning I noticed the painting by Paolo Girardi for Warpstone’s forthcoming second album, Into the Phantasmancer Celestial Castle, and it’s simply stunning. To see a larger view of the cover, click the image above. Fantastic.
Warpstone have also put three songs from the new album on Bandcamp for streaming, and I’m including the player for them below, as well as a YouTube clip for one of the new songs. They are genuinely impressive.
The music falls somewhere along a continuum between Atheist-style death metal and the more progressive black-metal excursions of Enslaved. The songs are generally fast-paced but the band frequently shift gears as the intricate and often layered guitar performances twist, turn, flicker, and swarm. The head-spinning instrumental performances are topped off by incandescent clean guitar solos, usually flashing white-hot over the thunder of a double-bass kick. And the vocals are almost as much fun as the instrumental acrobatics, varying from vitriolic roars to ugly gargling to clean harmonies. Fans of progressive death or black metal really owe it to themselves to check this out.
Warpstone have begun a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for making CD versions of the album. To contribute, go here. People who pledge 5 Euro or more will receive a download code for a digital copy of the album upon successful completion of the funding campaign in about 45 days.
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
The most recent music released by Wolves In the Throne Room (Aaron and Nathan Weaver) came last fall via S0uthern Lord — a two-track live album recorded at the BBC. Yesterday, I got a press release announcing that the band will follow that with a new 2014 album to be entitled Celestite. Rather than attempt to summarize or paraphrase the description of the album in the press release, which I’m probably incapable of doing, I’ll just quote it:
“Taking a different approach than their previous LPs, Celestite is a completely newly envisioned, parallel-universe version of Celestial Lineage, the beautifully blackened fourth studio full-length epic WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM released via Southern Lord in 2011. Celestite arises with a whole new, ethereal approach. There are no drums and no vocals. Rather, deep, heavy crystalline synthesizer journeying, Eno-inspired analog processing and arcane acoustic instrumentation expand upon dimensions folded within the universe of Celestial Lineage.
“The Weavers tell us: ‘To make Celestite, we delved into the subterranean sonics that are buried in the mix of Celestial Lineage. We isolated them, processed them and took this unearthed soundscape as our starting point. Upon this base we recorded an entirely new album. Some melodies from Celestial Lineage are recognizable, but these familiar sounds appear as ghosts, barely tethered to the original compositions. This new album is an unorthodox foray; a fully instrumental, experimental companion record to Celestial Lineage. We left some work undone with Celestial Lineage. The recording of that album in the Winter of 2011 was a monumental project for us personally, and the creative fire from those recording sessions was still burning. This recording process was an opportunity to journey into our own inner universe to complete that which needed to be completed.’
“Paired once again with producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Master Musicians Of Bukkake), Celestite came to fruition at Avast Studios and WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM’s own Olympia-based studio Owl Lodge. While cloistered during the recording sessions they made use of a mammoth arsenal of crumbling vintage equipment including a Serge Modular System, Korg Poly6, Korg MS20, Korg Mono/Poly, Roland Juno 106, Roland Jupiter 6, Roland Super jx10, Jomox Airbase 99, Access Virus and more. The album also features a guest wind ensemble including friends Josiah Boothby on French Horn, Steve Moore (Earth, Sunn O))), Stebmo) on Trombone, and both Mara Winter and Veronica Dye on flute.”
The press release goes on to explain that WITTR have founded their own label — Diadem Records — to release this new album and others as well.
I doubt that anyone who has followed the band’s musical progression will be terribly surprised at the direction they’re taking with Celestite. Honestly, I suspect I’ll be happier when they return to the guitars, drums, and fat stacks of amplifiers and give vent to a little more vehemence and aggression, but at the same time I’m intrigued and curious to hear what Celestite sounds like, because there’s no doubt the Weaver brothers are two very talented dudes.
METAL ALBUMS WITH GOOGLY EYES
This last item spread like wildfire across the interhole this morning. For all I know, it has been going on for some time, but today many people sent me links to it and many others posted links on their FB pages. It’s goofy as hell, but it’s also a truly inspired idea and I think it will make you smile.
In a nutshell (and a nutshell is really all you need for this idea), some demented soul has added googly eyes to lots of classic metal album covers. One is above and a few more are below, and still more can be seen via this link; enjoy: