Aug 142014

I intended to finish this collection and post it yesterday, making it Part 3 of a big Wednesday round-up of news and new music, but the old fucking day job interfered, and so I’m beginning our Thursday with it. This collection is a bit different from the usual “Seen and Heard” because it includes a couple of items at the end that aren’t new — I’ve just been really drag-ass in bringing them to your attention.


I first came across Hetroertzen last May when I impulsively decided to explore (and write about) some of the releases by an underground Swedish label named Lamech Records. The band are originally from Puerto Varas, Chile, but are now located in Sweden. They have completed recording a fifth full-length album, entitled Ain Soph Aur. It’s currently projected for release on December 6, 2014, in a variety of formats by Lamech Records, Terratur Possessions, and Amor Fati Productions.

In recent days, two songs from the album have been made available for streaming — “Blood Royale” and “The Rose and the Cross”. Both are long pieces, in the seven-and-a-half minute range, and both are very good.

The music is mainly a rampaging storm of dissonant tremolo riffs, rippling bass notes, and maniacal, off-the-hook drumming. There is an unholy, unhinged atmosphere to the songs, magnified by strange lead guitar scales and dervish-like soloing, channel-shifting guitar shrieking, and the throaty, impassioned, ritualistic proclamations of the vocalist. The music exerts an otherworldly magnetism that’s powerful, even when it collapses into a hopeless stagger at the end of “The Rose and the Cross”.








I first encountered this Lithuanian/Dutch melodic death metal band in May 2013 through a piece Andy Synn wrote that included one of their songs, and then encountered them again when Andy’s band Beyond Grace supported them on a UK tour last fall. They now have a new album on the way by the name of Into the Light, and two days ago they began streaming one of the new tracks, “Void Silence”.

“Void Silence” is a pile-driving, head-bouncing, megawatt romp that’s as catchy and riff-rich as it is vicious. Sitting still while this band pulls out the stops is impossible.

Into the Light is projected for release in January 2015. We’ll probably remind you of that later on.







I’ve been meaning to write something about the following song for many weeks, but just haven’t found the right time or place for it. It’s not new, but it has really gotten stuck in my head.

The song is “Tajemstvy noczy” and it’s by a Belarusian black metal band named Vietah (which means “old moon”). The song is the title track from the band’s most recent album (their third), which was released earlier this year; the album is available on Bandcamp, along with all of the band’s other releases.

The overarching atmosphere of the song is grim and gloomy, but it’s filled with compulsive riffs that will get your head moving and melodies that are hard to forget. It’s also a dynamic piece. It rocks, ripples, and ravages — and it paces with stately grace, like a funeral dirge drenched in tears.

Listen to “Tajemstvy noczy” via the YouTube clip below; after that you’ll also find a Bandcamp stream of the whole album, which is worth hearing in its entirety.







Last but not least, I close with something else I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, and it falls under the categories of Free Shit and Exceptions to our Rule.

CVLT Nation has been organizing compilations of cover songs, with each compilation devoted to covering the songs on a single album, and they’ve been making them available for free download. In late July they released the fourth one in this series, and the latest is a cover of all the tracks on Unknown Pleasures, the landmark 1979 debut album by the British post-punk band Joy Division.

It caught my eye not only because I have fond memories of that album but also because of the bands who recorded covers of the songs on Unknown Pleasures:

Arctic Flowers
Pinkish Black
Old Witch
Crimson Scarlet
Sun Splitter

I wasn’t familiar with all of these bands before listening to this comp, but I knew enough of them to be intrigued about what they would do with Joy Division’s originals. And man, there are some real gems in this collection (as well as some highly unpredictable and creative twists on the originals). My personal favorite: Pinkish Black’s powerful version of “New Dawn Fades”, with “Day of the Lords” by AnnexCrimson Scarlet’s cover of “Interzone”, and “Insight” by Old Witch close on its heels. But really, this is an album that provides a fascinating listening experience from start to finish. Kudos to CVLT Nation and all the bands for this accomplished labor of love.

Visit the following page for instructions about how to obtain a free download:

You can stream the album there as well, or right here:




  1. I’m digging Hertroertzen and Vietah. Looks like it’s time to go couch digging for some music money.

  2. How is it possible that every* band I discover on Bandcamp or wherever has already been mentioned here? Pretty sure you all sold your souls to the devil! 😉

    I just found the new album of Vietah a few days ago through Bandcamp’s new discover feature. Never heard about this band before, I guess I should read NCS more thoroughly. You should really try this one, it’s totally amazing:

    * There is ONE exception to this observation so far. Did the devil break his contract? Is it Islander’s fault? Nobody knows for sure. Instead of trying to find an answer, listen to this atmospheric black metal from Finland:

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