As you may have noticed, we were pretty light on the content yesterday. I even failed to get another installment of our 2013 Most Infectious Song list up on the site. I blame my fucking day job, which has taken me on the road again, with about 36 hours still to go before I can get back to Seattle. I did do some catching up early this morning, and have prepared this round-up of new and notable things, plus that delayed installment for the song list.
I’ve paired these two bands together on purpose, because musically they seem like kindred spirits. Perhaps you’ll soon understand why I think that.
Last September I wrote about a forthcoming album by a Norwegian band named Sarke (who will also be playing at Maryland Deathfest this May). All I knew at the time was who was in the band, but that was enough to inspire intrigue about the music:
SARKE (Khold, Tulus), bass.
NOCTURNO CULTO (Darkthrone, Gift of Gods), vocals.
ASGEIR MICKELSON (Spiral Architect, God Of Atheists), drums.
ANDERS HUNSTAD (El Caco, Autopulver, Morten Abel), keyboard.
STEINAR GUNDERSEN (Satyricon, Spiral Architect, System: Obscure), guitar.
After I wrote that post I discovered the premiere of one song (“Walls of Ru”) and embedded it in the post as an update without commenting on the sounds. The album was eventually released in Europe on September 20. Finally, it’s about to get a US release by Metal Blade (on February 18), and two days ago LastRites premiered a second track, “Jodau Aura” (along with a great write-up about the music by Dan Obstkrieg).
Both songs have been a bit of a surprise, because when I first learned about the album, it came with this description: “Our music is inspired by the great 70′s rock bands, 80′s speed metal bands and 90′s black metal bands. Put this together with the creative mind of the band and your get pure dark rock music sounding is clear, raw and honest.”
I guess I was expecting up-tempo, bouncing music, but “Walls of Ru” is a mid-paced stomper laced with discordant chords, slithery riffs, and a ghostly keyboard layer. The bass and drum rhythms are very cool, and Nocturno Culto sounds vibrantly alive and deliciously disgusting. “Jodau Aura” is even slower, with a sorrowful melody that brings the doom and gloom, and keyboards at the end that sound like a choir of fallen angels. Once again, the instrumental performances are top-notch, and once again Nocturno Culto sounds horrendously agonized.
I’m so far behind in so many things that only today did I discover I’ve had a promo link for this album sitting in my in-box for almost three weeks. You can be damned sure I’ll be catching up with the rest of this album. I’d be perfectly happy with more songs like the two described above — but I suspect there will be speedier romps in the mix, too.
Aruagint can be ordered here. Find Sarke on Facebook via this link. Listen to “Jodau Aura” at this location. “Walls of Ru” is below.
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR
There are few early 2014 releases that I’ve been as excited about as the second album from Hail Spirit Noir — Oi Magoi. Their 2012 debut album Pneuma (reviewed here) was a magnificent oddity — so strange and so different from anything else I heard that year, and yet so magnetically attractive that I probably spun it more times than any other 2012 release.
Someone at our site is going to review Oi Magoi, that’s for damned sure. For now I’ll just tell you that it’s another strange and wondrous gem. I’ll also tell you that a few days ago Terrorizer premiered an official video for the album’s title song.
It’s worth watching for two reasons. First, the drifting, dreamlike, head-nodding, atmospherically occult song (complete with hand drums and theremin-sounding keyboard melody) is awesome. Second, the video (inspired by low-budget 80s horror flicks) is weird and fun to watch.
To hear another song from the album (the magnificent “Satan Is Time”), go here. The “Oi Magoi” video is below.
Both interesting takes on black metal, Hail Spirit Noir in particular.
If Ancient VVIsdom dropped acid and plugged their guitars in, I imagine it would sound like Hail Spirit Noir. The fact that the lyrics are in Greek only enhances the effect. Definitely have to check these guys out.
I love Oi Magoi. It’s so lush and cinematic and fun to listen to. Infestissumam made me think of The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby, whereas this album evokes Dario Argento and other trippy Euro-horror I grew up watching. It’s unhinged in the best possible way for my tastes.
Hail Spirit Noir interview with guitarist/vocalist coming up for ya, SOOOOOOOOOOON 🙂
Oi Magoi is a great song and video, very hypnotic
Hey Islander, how the heck do you keep track of all the bands, releases, talent, etc, and do your day job?
I have a hard enough time keeping track of just my day job, and you’re running the best music blog on the net on the side.
He has no head,and therefore no head to tell him that this is impossible. Or he’s just hiding that he’s a robot with prosthetic arms, and therefore has no need for sleep (that would also explain the 3:30 am posts).
Doug, your comment is much appreciated! And yes, I’m afraid the secret is a combination of little sleep and shirking my day job on a regular basis. (But I’m usually not up quite as early as 3:30 am — those are posts I schedule to appear automatically the night before, because I know we have lots of readers east of the Atlantic.)
The keyboard in Oi Magoi didn’t remind me of theramin, but rather the theme from Midnight Cowboy, or at least the Faith No More cover of that song. Cool stuff.
Midnight Cowboy hadn’t occurred to me, but now that you mention it, I get the connection. However, I fear that we have now both really dated ourselves.
Hail Spirit Noir deserve to be huge!