(NCS supporter KevinP came up with an idea. Unlike his idea that the NY GIants will return to the Super Bowl in this decade, it’s a good one, so we’re going with it. Read on…)
If you are like me (shudder at that thought for a moment) then you get overwhelmed with all the new music that comes out over the course of the year. Call it professional curiousity (I guess I feel special today calling myself a “pro”), but I’m always on the hunt for new bands and music (even from older bands). I feel some type of moral obligation to myself to hear as much as I possibly can. But there’s simply not enough hours in the day and we all miss a plethora of releases. Then at the end of the year I comb through endless “Best Of” lists trying to see what I missed and what I should check out.
So instead of waiting until the end of the year and trying to pack it all in at once (which inevitably causes even the best of us to overlook something by not giving it enough time), I propose after each quarter of the year (that’s every 3 months for those of you who failed math), we all list 5 releases that each of us recommends everyone check out (in the Comments section below if that wasn’t painfully obvious).
Some ground rules though:
1 – You have to provide a link to music for people to check out. Even if the album/EP/demo isn’t officially out yet, as long as the band/label has released a track to hear, that qualifies.
2 – You can’t repeat what I or others have already posted. The whole point is to expose all of us to new stuff. You may be jazzed for the same album that I or someone else has posted about, so simply leave it out and pick something else. (Yes, you have to read the comments to make sure someone hasn’t “beat you to the punch” on your recommendation.)
3 – You may not have 5 recommendations. No problem, just post what you like so far. You may have more than 5 recommendations per quarter. Well, too bad, pick your 5 best that haven’t been posted yet. I’m going with a limit of 5 to prevent somefrom from listing 20 albums and spiraling this out of control. I feel 5 is the ‘sweet spot’.
I’m not going to repeat the albums I posted about last month, so here’s 5 new ones for ya — and then it’s your turn:
Not available for streaming at the moment (but they could be any day), so here’s one until that time:
Here’s one track:
BLUT AUS NORD
LEGION OF THE DAMNED
EDITOR’S NOTE: We know the first quarter of 2014 hasn’t quite ended, but it’s close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades. And this post.
Nightfall – The Living Ever Mourn
Corpsessed – Abysmal Thresholds
Teitanblood – Death
There is a ton of stuff that I haven’t checked out yet, pretty sure this list will grow… But for now, those are my favorites.
You already beat me to the punch on Aenaon 🙁
There are actually alot of good releases already, and many more i am loking forward to. Im gonna make my picks based on what i really like, and what others might not have heard yet. the whole point is to share and inform, right?
Noneuclid – Metatheosis
An awesome and proggy mix between Thrash, Death and Black metal. Out on Blood Music later this year.
Arsafes – Ratocracy
You should all be familiar with Arsafes from Kartikeya!
Fist single “dog eat dog” out TODAY!
Shores Of Null – Quiescence – Out today!
Karkaos – Empire. out now.
Female fronted Melodic Death
For my last pick, i have 4-5 options, but i think NCS have already written about all of them, som im just gonna pick WE ALL DIE(laughing) – Thoughtscanning. Cos it is awesome, epic, and you need to devote 33minutes of your lifes to this. And i mean just this: sit down and actively listen.
Covered that new Arsafes song in the very next post after this one. 🙂
Sun Worship – Elder Giants (3/8/2014)
Unru / Paramnesia – Split (2/10/2014)
Miroist – Curve (3/13/2014)
Ethereal Riffian – Aeonian (1/20/2014)
Mendel – Shaking Hands With The Devil | Subliminal Colors (1/29/2014)
Misantropic – Split EP (release date: any day now)
Dread sovereign – All hell’s martyrs (out now)
Laibach – Spectre (out now)
An exception to the norm here, but this album is damn fine and with some dry wit to rival The monolith deathcult.
Local awesomness Skaur completely slipped my mind!
I would like to replace all previous mentions with Skaurs upcoming release “Gravoel”
The Wakedead Gathering – The Gate and the Key (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo6_dx618Nk)
Nasheim – Solens Vemod (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IijuX50iVdI)
Fuoco Fatuo – The Viper Slithers in the Ashes of What Remains (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrKS_g0_zGc)
Monumentomb – Ritual Exhumation EP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdaWSn7xz-w)
Sorcier Des Glaces – Ritual Of The End (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_1a85yZApA)
For the record, so people know what theyre getting into:
The Wakedead Gathering – Death Metal
Nasheim – Black Metal
Fuoco Fatuo – Doom/Death
Monumentomb – Death
Sorcier Des Glaces – Black
AS of thus far – though, these lists are sure to stir some things up – it’s been all about that
Coffinworm – IV.I.VII: http://www.stereogum.com/1669072/stream-coffinworm-iv-i-viii/mp3s/
Germ – Grief: http://records.eisenton.de/album/grief
Grey Widow – Grey Widow: http://greywidow.bandcamp.com/
Thou – Heathen: https://www.nocleansinging.com/2014/02/21/thou-heathen/
Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise: http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2014/03/premiere-thantifaxath-where-i-end-the-hemlock-begins/
Darn it, Alain! I was making my list when you posted yours. Now we have two mentions of Heathen. How are we going to stop the universe from collapsing in on itself now?!
Rules were meant to be broken, especially by metal heads. KevinP will no doubt try to hurt me for saying that, but fortunately he’s in Florida.
Well in that case, allow me to add five more bands to my list
Make that three.
Thou – Heathen – doom/sludge/drone: http://www.npr.org/2014/03/16/288676098/first-listen-thou-heathen
Diocletian – Gesundrian – blackened death metal: http://diocletian.bandcamp.com/
Spectral Lore – III – experimental black metal: https://soundcloud.com/i-voidhanger-records/spectral-lore-a-rider-in-the ALSO https://soundcloud.com/i-voidhanger-records/spectral-lore-the-spiral
Lantlos – Melting Sun – post-black metal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFJSM3kvBQ4
Nadja – Queller – post-metal/doom: http://nadja.bandcamp.com/album/queller
Phyllomedusa – Puddle Dependency – gorenoise: https://www.nocleansinging.com/2014/03/23/phyllomedusa-puddle-dependency/
Jute Gyte – Vast Chains – blackened weirdness: http://jutegyte.bandcamp.com/
I’d also like to remind everyone that Demilich had a pretty cool re-issue come out this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT76I8R9RBw. Death also has a Leprosy reissue coming out in April (I think it’s April): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_duhhVa-dk8&list=PLq6NULtuhFummy6wxzJNsMvuc7U_JFC_w.
Ah crap. Not all of these came out in the first quarter. Well, might as well start on second quarter and later!
You went over the band limit…
…Utmu is disqualified from playing next quarter
I missed that part. I need to learn to do more than glance over something.
I will commit hara-kiri as the sun sets.
That will take care of disqualifying you from the next quarter… and the next… and the next…
SKOGEN – I Döden (Official single 2014) black metal Sweden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r15r5gDxDp8
I too have the sick urge to listen to as many bands (especially new releases) as humanly possible. This year I’m trying to cut back on the number of new albums I check out and spend more time with the ones I do hear. Here are 5 good ones so far:
1. Howls of Ebb – Vigils of the 3rd Eye : Weird black/death metal http://i-voidhangerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/vigils-of-the-3rd-eye
2. Doom’s Day – The Devil’s Eyes : Heavy/Doom that manages to separate itself from similarly retro-minded acts. Reminds me of Ghost in the way that their hooks have burrowed into my brain. http://prcmusic.bandcamp.com/album/dooms-day-the-devils-eyes
3. Entartung – Peccata Mortalia : Black metal in the sweet spot between aggression and atmosphere. http://www.bandmine.com/news/128/streaming_entartung_peccata_mortalia/817530
4. Whispered – Shogunate Macabre : Pretty sure I’ve seen this mentioned around NCS already but it’s earned more mention. Melodeath + Japanese folk that probably couldn’t be done any better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf9xf4FY3Fg
5. Murmur – Murmur : Atonal, experimental black-ish metal. http://seasonofmist.bandcamp.com/album/murmur
I haven’t heard many albums in full this year so I’ll refrain from posting about records I’ve only heard a song or two from. In no particular order and without thinking about it too hard:
1. Psalm Zero – The Drain
This album may not be for everyone but I’m a huge fan. The most obvious comparison is Godflesh based on the guitar-bass-drum machine setup, but riffwise it reminds me of Voivod or maybe even Cynic in places, while Charlie Looker’s voice remains totally unique.
2. Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation
With a name like that they could easily have been some garbage space-themed tech-death band, but Artificial Brain manage to stay grounded in earthy brutal death metal while still managing to bring in just enough progged-out riffage and cosmic ambience to rocket them ahead of the pack. They remind me most of a heavier, more stripped-down Wormed, with vocalist Will Smith’s ridiculous range of harsh vocal techniques a particular highlight.
3. Navicon Torture Technologies – 50lb Stare
Killer noise/doom on the ever-improving Annihilus. I think this is the point where I’ll begin to lose a lot of readers…
4. Theologian – When He Has Nothing Better to Do, The Devil Rapes His Own Children
Theologian Prime, the high monarch of power electronics, does it again with a new album also out on Annihilus. Somehow Theologian manages to constantly expand and refine his sound while always keeping to a distinct personal style.
5. En Nihil/Compactor – Void
Like the last two albums, most people probably won’t be able to get into this but if you can, you’re better off for it. If you like this you should definitely check out Compactor’s Waste Product from 2012.
I know we’re only supposed to do five, so consider these honorable mentions…
Horseback – Piedmont Apocrypha
Jenks Miller once again gives us a breathtaking new collection of music in styles ranging from noise to drone to doom to a combination so unique to his compositional technique it can only be referred to as Horseback.
Ilia Belorukov – I Did What Was Possible to Quiet Us
Spectropol Records has had a great year so far (see further down) and it looks to only get better. 2013 was a time of great growth for the label and their path seems to be one that travels on for quite a while. On this album, Belorukov manages to seamlessly blend free improvisation with acousmatic electroacoustic backing to create a hybrid beast of processed saxophone and granular synthesis loops.
North – Metanoia
2012’s The Great Silence was an expansive, sprawling epic of atmospheric sludge. Metanoia sees the band reduced in membership to a trio, which, while sacrificing some atmospheric touches, allows them to expand musically in other ways, pushing the confines of their stripped-down lineup and giving them a whole new ferocity.
Bruce Bennett/Vance Galloway – desolation
Another incredible electroacoustic record on Spectropol, Bennett and Galloway blend their instantly-identifiable personal styles into a unique whole that still feels modern (or maybe postmodern?) in spite of being 15 years old.
Paul Rubenstein – Soundtrack to Travels with H
One more from Spectropol to close out the list: Rubenstein here manages to effortlessly combine traditional Persian music with electronic effects and a hypermodern compositional sense in fitting accompaniment to Raeshma Razvi’s tales of Hafiz’s effect on modern life. Watch the films here: http://vimeo.com/channels/hafiz
Cool that you took time to provide write-ups on the music. Thanks.
Yeah, well I figure if people went in blind to a lot of this stuff they wouldn’t get much out of it, so hopefully a little bit of preparation/warning will help them digest some of the more esoteric stuff.
Shoot, I meant to throw Cynic on there as well. Consider that part of this too.
The comments above have already listed many of my favorites released so far this year, but I’ll add these, with sample songs:
Domains – Sinister Ceremonies
Behemoth – The Satanist
Enthroned – Sovereigns
Kaunis Kuolematon – Kylmä Kaunis Maailma
Nuklear Frost – Subjugation
thanks for the tip on Nuklear Frost, they sound awesome!! 🙂
Dammit, my entire list is getting coopted. The Satanist is up there for AOTY for me.
It’s been a slow year, even slower than last year for me in terms of heavy music.
But I enjoyed the following tons:
Goddamit. Why didn’t I think of all these when I tried to make my own list? Of course, it would have just paralyzed me in trying to make a decision. I also realize I left off Hail Spirit Noir, and I should be horse-whipped for that.
I know all of them from this site, so big thanks!
Like Sui, it’s been a slow year for metal for me so far… a lot of time spent in activities where I can’t simultaneously listen to music, and listening to music while doing something else is pretty much the only time I get to listen. Oh to have the good old days where you could just ‘listen’ and nothing else! Plus: I’ve been broke. A bad combination if ever there was one.
At first I thought ‘oh no, more lists!’ but actually I think this is a really good idea: all those end of year lists get a bit burdensome, so let’s break that shit up. So with that intro:
Siegewyrm – Harvest Begins. I think I found this by perusing some random metal blog that I can’t even remember now. But with only one apparent purchaser on bandcamp I’m glad I did as I think this is nice little hidden gem that’s flown under the radar. A very ‘traditional metal’ sound; it reminds me to some extent of Mencea in the sense of a stripped back simple approach, but done well and with enough variation to capture the attention:
Lorelei – Lore Of Lies: http://lorelei-nc.bandcamp.com/album/lore-of-lies. Do I need an intro for these guys? I hope not…
Mechina – Xenon. http://mechinamusic.bandcamp.com/album/xenon. For me it just doesn’t quite hit the musical G spot quite like Empyrean. Maybe it’s that classic catch 22 situation where a release is so good that following it up creates such high expectations, or maybe it’s that the band have dropped down to 2 members so it just doesn’t capture the same variety, like the drumming on Empyrean. Still, looking around the blogosphere, etc. I seem to be the only one who feels this way. With that dampener aside, it’s still a phenomenal album.
The Down Troddence – How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You. How could you not listen to an album with a WTF album title like that? Throw in some ethnic influence, odd musical instruments and the groove on Nagavalli and I’m sold: http://youtu.be/0MebHbFXY4U
Understood that little time can be exclusively assigned to music…and things will pick up anyway.
Well, I know 3 out of these 4 and they are excellent, which makes me thing I really need to check out Siegewyrm. Cool band name as well.
Exmortus – Slave To The Sword.
Funnest damn record of the year so far.
Nux Vomica – Nux Vomica.
Just got my promo yesterday, but goddamn. Neurosis influence is huge, and a huge plus.
Behemotth and Thou too, but those were mentioned above. So those don’t count towards my five.
Junius – Days Of The Fallen Sun. My dark wave (The Smiths/Morrissey/The Cure/Depeche Mode)-loving mom and I agree that this is awesome.
Avichi – Catharsis Absolute
The Wounded Kings – Consolamentum
Allow me to say Goddamit again, because those are 4 more great choices I forgot about (I’m leaving out Junius because I haven’t heard it yet.)
(Artist – Band)
Mother Brain – Rise and Grind (grindcore)
Black Harvest – Abject (progressive death/black metal)
Deathblow – Prognosis Negative (underground thrash from Salt Lake City, UT)
***Gravecode Nebula – Sempiternal Void (black/doom metal)
***this one was released on the internet late 2013, but the CD was released March 14th, 2014 by Blasphemic Hymns (http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Gravecode_Nebula/Sempiternal_Void/392228)… so let me know if this is disqualified.
Stam1na – SLK
Perhaps something new for all you trve kvrmvdgeons. Song’s name means ‘iron hoof’. Hoof as in a pig’s foot.
Kuolemanlaakso – Tulijoutsen
Quality Finnish sung doom, church bells. What else do you want? Song’s name means ‘my scars’.
I’m getting into a lot of prog metal and fleshing out some bands I already know, so I haven’t been as in touch with this year’s releases. I heard about Warforged through the site, but if you haven’t checked them out already, you need to. Essence of the Land is the bomb, and I can’t wait for a full length.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the upcoming year. Ne Obliviscaris, Fallujah full length, maybe Son of Aurelius, maybe new BTBAM, maybe new Faceless, Black Crown Initiate full length… Gonna be great.
I started salivating when you said Black Crown Initiate. Seriously beyond excited for that, their EP was one of my favorite releases of last year and I still have it on constant repeat.