Here are some things I saw yesterday that opened my eyes wide and increased my flow of drool, requiring an early change-out of the trademarked NCS bib I wear at all times. You may increase the size of some of these images by clicking on them.
Item One appears at the top of this post. It’s a shirt design created by Manuel Tinnemans (Comaworx) for Switzerland’s Bölzer, based on the song “Steppes”. I guess it’s not enough that Bölzer are making lots of people jealous with their music. Now they get shirts like this made for them. Stunning. Here’s the artwork on a black background:
Item Two comes from another one of my favorite bands, Sweden’s death metal dreadnoughts, Mordbrand. This fall To the Death Records will be releasing their next work, a two-song 7″ release entitled Vastation. I have no doubt it will be vast, and vastly heavy.
Yesterday they released the cover art for Vastation, and it’s wondrous, and wondrously malignant. It was created by Necromaniac. Gaze upon it:
I think it’s time for some music in addition to artwork. First, the artwork — which is another jaw-dropper:
This work was created by Portland’s Adam Burke (Nightjar Illustration) and it appears on the cover of the new album by Occultation (a NY band that includes EMM of Negative Plane), which Profound Lore will release on October 14. The album’s title is Silence in the Ancestral House.
Yesterday, Noisey premiered a new song from the album named “Laughter In the Halls of Madness”, and you may listen to it below. There is indeed an air of madness in the darting, warping, reverberating riffs and the hopping bass line, and Viveca Butler’s ghostly wails are downright psychoactive. Sounds like Occultation have another occult lysergic acid triumph on their hands.
Our next item also includes brand new music, this time by Katechon from Trondheim, Norway. Their wonderful 2013 debut album, Man, God, Giant, featured ultra-cool cover by Mari Oselund, and now they have a new release coming via Nuclear War Now! Productions entitled Coronation, and the artwork for its first single caught my eye. Not as colorful as the last two featured in this post, but still intriguing. And it turns out that it’s a medieval piece depicting “the hand of glory” — artist unknown.
Coronation will include entirely new Katechon songs recorded in NordStern Studio during the winter/spring of 2014, including the one you’re about to hear, and the album cover will be done by Mari Oseland again. In addition, the band have assembled a compilation album that includes their 2012 four-song demo, five rehearsal tracks, and one demo track from 2014. The compilation is being released as a picture disc by Nuclear War Now! and will be available at the Nuclear War Now! Fest 2014.
Now, onward to the new song from Coronation, which began streaming yesterday on both Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I’ve included both players below, as well as a teaser video I found. The song is called “Days of Delirium” — which is an apt title for the sonic delirium it contains. The vocals sound as if they come straight from an asylum, and the constantly shape-shifting music is as unbalancing as it is fascinating. But I expected nothing less from Katechon.
The last item is not an album cover. It’s a video, but man, what a video it is.
It was directed by Patric Ullaeus, who has a list of impressive music video credits as long as anyone’s, and his latest creation is for a new song named “King of Errors” by Sweden’s Evergrey. The song appears on the band’s new album Hymns For the Broken, which will be released on September 26 in Europe and September 30 in the U.S. by AFM Records (it can be ordered here).
Evergrey’s brand of pop metal is not usually my kind of thing, but I must confess that “King of Errors” is damned catchy; I found myself singing the chorus to myself even before the song ended. But although I’m kind of digging this song, the main reason Evergrey appears in this post is because of the video. It’s in black and white, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.