(Guest writer, deluded NY Giants fan, and hard man to please KevinP rejoins us with the first installment of what may become a series.)
2013 was a high water mark for metal releases. Seemingly it would be hard for 2014 to match up. But we are already off to a damn good start. Here’s a few things that have ‘wet my whistle’ so far.
MORBUS CHRON – SWEVEN
After carving out their own identity as more than just a “Sweden meets Autopsy” via their A Saunter in the Shroud EP, I was pretty excited for their follow-up sophomore full-length. Much to my surprise, they’ve taken a left turn and kinda gone the route that Tribulation did with The Formulas of Death. A brave move by a young band that’s willing to take chances, stick its neck out, and not just be “another old school death metal band”.
Sweven is out now in Europe and will be released in North America on March 4 by Century Media.
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR – OI MAGOI
Already a contender for Album of the Year, I’d be shocked if this didn’t stay within my Top 5 by the end of the year. Eclipsing their debut, Pneuma, in just about every way, this is one of those albums where the sum is far greater than its parts. Music this different and original that works so well is quite magical and not something you’ll hear too often. Pyschedlic blackprog is just the tip of the Acropolis.
KAUNIS KUOLEMATON – KYLMÄ KAUNIS MAAILMA
You remember the clean vocals on Black Sun Aeon’s Routa and RoutaSielu’s Pimeys? Those were courtesy of Mikko Heikkila, who is featured here on guitar and clean vocals (naturally). Basically a doomy version of melodic Finnish metal, all sung in Finnish. But this goes a few steps beyond what you would expect, thanks to the utterly cavernous vocals of Olli Saakeli Suvanto (End of Aeon). Olli goes between deep and standard death metal, while Mikko interjects from time to time. I’m not normally a fan of standard Finnish melodeath, so I’m glad they added some gravitas to the mix here.
Kylmä Kaunis Maailma will be released on April 25 by Violent Journey Records.
HATRIOT – DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION
It’s always cool when a new Exodus album is released 😉 I’ve always been a Zetro fan, always will be. And since Exodus died for me when he left (compounded further since Dukes is beyond awful), it’s nice to hear him singing to familiar sounding thrash metal. This album isn’t going to light the world on fire, but it’s a decent progression from the debut, Heroes of Origin. I dislike at least 90% of the thrash revival stuff that’s come out in the last few years, so it’s always nice to have something new and thrashy to enjoy.
Dawn of the New Centurion was released earlier this month by Massacre Records.
COPROLITH – DEATH MARCH
Another Finnish band on Violent Journey Records (along with Kaunis Kuolematon). Their 2010 debut, Cold Grief Relief was an overlooked slab of fine black/death. The new album (if you can tell by this teaser, sorry I couldn’t find an album stream yet), follows much in the same vein, with a dash of Satryicon’s black-n-roll underpinning.
Death March will be released March 7 by Violent Journey.
What’s tickled you in that special spot this year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Honestly, while there is some really good stuff out, Ive found 2014 to be off to a much slower start than last year. So far, the stuff Ive been digging would be:
Corpsessed – Abysmal Thresholds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z80lLN6zKhg
Barbarian – Faith Extinguisher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHrqGIJrjfo
Hermóðr – Vinter (atmospheric black) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd3rgvjL3DI
Nasheim – Solens vemod (black) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IijuX50iVdI
Larvae – Grave Descent (black/death/doom) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ltUll4tU4s
Lvcifyre – Svn Eater (black/death) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HUQLRliJZw
I’ve only heard the first two — which are killers. Apparently, I have some serious catching up to do.
Same with me. Reviewed the first, and got my promo from the band for the second yesterday.
Actually, I did stream that Lucifyre album right after Corpsessed, but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea, for whatever reason.
Im pretty sure Ive covered Larvae here at least once, but heres their Bandcamp page http://larvae.bandcamp.com/..album is pay what you want.
I’d really recommend the Nasheim album to people on this website as its more of an atmospheric style that will probably appeal to a good chunk of readers…Bandcamp page is here http://nasheim.bandcamp.com/
Hermóðr needs some attention as its an impressive album that has a very limited release. Would love to see him get in a position to put it into wider circulation..heers his facebook page…https://www.facebook.com/HermodrOfficial
I have both Lvcifyre and Lie in Ruins, but I have to give them more time.
Corpsessed (besides the eye rolling band name) I found overly typical to the point of boring.
I previously liked Larvae’s FB page but haven’t seen an update in ages, so it wasn’t on my radar. Thanks 🙂
Yes! That Lucifyre album is crushing!
However, the best album released so far this year (and possibly the greatest album of all time in the history of the universe) is the new one by Hexis: “Abalam.” I’d elaborate, but I can’t form words that will do it justice.
I’ve also been listening to Buffalo, NY’s Enthauptung and their EP “Paths Forgotten.” I think it was originally released in 2013, but I’ve been listening to the “remastered” version which was released a couple of weeks ago. My kind of black metal. Good stuff.
Haven’t heard the Corpsessed, but am looking forward to it. There 2012 EP is great.
Barbarian is fantastic, and the only thing holding me back from listening to it more is a lack of free time.
Corpsessed, on the other hand, didn’t really do a lot for me. It’s not bad, really, it just doesn’t really stand out from a lot of the other death metal bands out there.
For me so far, it’s all about the new Dephosphorus.
That is a fantastic album, which I’ve been meaning to say something about here.
I liked the first one, thought the 2nd was pretty decent, but not feeling this new one at all. It sounds waay more punk-ish this time around, which is a huge NO NO for me.
Im really enjoying the new Aenaon.
I haven’t heard much new stuff this year yet, but Behemoth’s new album is quite good.
So far, this year’s winner is definitely Inferi – The Path of Apotheosis.
The runners-up are Lorelei – Lore of Lies and Hannes Grossmann – The Radial Covenant.
And yes, all three were featured on NCS — that’s because, due to lack of time and the excellent work done here, 95% of my metal discoveries come from this site. I also figure it’ll be pretty clear from these three what part of the multidimensional spectrum of metal ticks the most of my boxes… 🙂
100% agree on the Hail Spirit Noir album. It’s my AOtY so far. Awesome. I’ll keep an eye out for those other releases when they come out in NA. So far I’ve also been enjoying:
Lie in Ruins – Towards Divine Death
Shroud of Despondency – Tied to a Dying Animal
Nightfell – The Living Ever Mourn
Aenaon – Extance
Agree about the Nightfell…good stuff. The new Innsmouth is pretty killer as well
I could only find http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcQE3UcYU5w , damn good stuff..
Anyone find an album stream? I want to hear it all before buying it (pet peeve of mine)
Pretty sure it’s on Bandcamp. Not sure what the url is exactly, but Islander posted about it a while back, so if you search the NCS archives it should show up.
yeah, the bandcamp page is not allowing you to play any songs, only option is to purchase.
Hm. Worked when I streamed it. I dunno then :/
can anyone get this to stream?
I take it we’re meaning this?: http://nightfell.bandcamp.com/track/the-last-disease
Not working for me, page loads but there’s no player or option to stream, nor with individual tracks.
When I first wrote about Nightfell I embedded the stream from Bandcamp. Since then, for reasons I don’t know, the stream has been disabled.
So far thes bands have gotten my approval:
(In no particular order, well… except from the alphabetic order)
Symptoms Of Sickness
Throes Of Ire
With regards to 2014, this is the venom I approved of thus far:
Kuolemanlaakso (seriously NCS, if you haven’t gotten to this yet do yourself a favor and do so. This has finnish awesomeness written all over it).
Hail Spirit Noir
Junius (new Days of the Fallen Sun EP)
The Isolation Process (a december release but what the hell)
Personally I’m really looking forward to kaunis kuolematon ! The three tracks released thus far have really crept under my skin..
Guess where you will get to hear another new KAUNIS KUOLEMATON song next week? 🙂
Can’t fucking wait!
I’ve been rocking out mostly to the new Kampfar and Tengger Cavalry (I believe I discovered them on this site, so thanks for that).
Fuck you Zero sucks. Exodus has become the all time best thrash band ever because of Dukes and Holt.
I’m broke so haven’t heard much new stuff so far this year, but on high rotation I’ve had:
Catching up on good 2013 releases:
Shade Empire – Omega Arcane. I only heard about this via Arjan on this post: https://www.nocleansinging.com/2013/11/28/listmania-2013-an-invitation-for-your-lists/, so thank you Arjan! Fucking hell this is good. Up there with Septic Flesh’s ‘The Great Mass’ orchestra with metal kind of good. I shall be delving into their back catalogue.
After The Burial – Wolves Within. Releasing an album on Dec 17th? who would do that! You’ll never make end of year lists 😉 It seems there’s a lot of hate for this band, so go ahead and hate me 🙂
Mechina – Xenon. Hasn’t stuck with me quite as much as Empyrean, but a good album. Nothing really sounds like Mechina.
The Down Troddence – How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You. Mmmm, eastern vibes, plus a surprising amount of mellow interludes in the album. A fine debut.
Lorelei – Lore Of Lies. Such a great musical accompaniment to the horror lore that inspired it.
Jazz Against The Machine. Not a 2014 release either, but jazz covers of metal/alternative songs. Gimmicky? Maybe, but I’ll take it.
Stam1na’s ‘SLK’ has proven to be an album worthy of top 2014. Possibly even one of their best.
just checked out Panzerfust, I liked it. Will try and check out the whole album. These guys have been around for ages, first I’m hearing of them 🙂
That’s because you don’t read what I write at NCS.
Damn, lots of stuff I’ve never heard that I’ll be checking out 🙂
the new Morbus Chron sounds pretty killer, i really loved “Sleepers in the Rift”.
The new Hatriot doesn’t sound half bad, either!
but i have to disagree about Exodus. i’ve been a big fan since “Bonded by Blood”. Exodus, Slayer and Venom were my “Big Three” as a teenager. and the last three Exodus albums have been my favorites from their entire catalog. I’m really looking forward to their next album as well as seeing them open for Slayer in May. I hope there’s many, many more albums to come with Dukes on board. i love what he’s brought to the band!
Persuader – The Fiction Maze (Exception to the Rule warning)
Sunn O)))/Ulver – Terrestrials
Tengger Cavalry – Ancient Call
We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning
Corpsessed – Abysmall Thresholds
Culted – Oblique To All Paths
Woods of Desolation – As The Stars
Good to see a Culted mention, that record is beautiful and harsh in equal measures. Also…..I think its way better then the new Indian, just saying!