(Mortifera. Image borrowed from this location.)
(We present today the second part of a year-end list prepared by one of our Norwegian readers, whose pseudonym is eiterorm, and who has been a valuable source of musical recommendations to our site. His list focuses on releases we’ve not written about on this site before.)
This is a continuation of the list of previously unfeatured releases of 2014 that began with Part I (here).
Grand Magus – Triumph and Power
This is another exception to the rule of “no clean singing”, and among the milder types of metal that’s been mentioned on NCS, so I won’t say too much about it. Grand Magus released a new album in 2014, entitled Triumph and Power. It’s a good heavy metal album, and a big step up from their previous one, which, at least to me, was a big disappointment. If you enjoy heavy metal and can appreciate clean vocals (did someone shout “blasphemy”?), you should check out the following couple of songs from the album. And if you don’t know the band from before, make sure you don’t miss their first two albums.
Mortifera – IV: Sanctii tristhess
October 10th saw the release of Mortifera’s fourth album, entitled IV: Sanctii tristhess, and as you have probably guessed by now, the album wasn’t featured on NCS. In fact, it would seem Mortifera hasn’t been featured on NCS before at all, so it’s about time this band got its well-deserved share of attention.
Mortifera is a French black metal band founded by Noktu, who runs Drakkar Productions. The band started out with Noktu, who founded the band, and Neige (known from Alcest and a variety of other bands). After their first album, Vastiia Tenebrd Mortifera, was released in 2006, Neige left the band because he and Noktu wanted to go different ways music-wise. After being on hold for a short while, Noktu released Mortifera’s second album, Maledictiih, in 2010. This album had a very different style from the debut album, and thus sparked a few inevitable, biliary comments. Between the second and the third album, Bleüu de Morte (released in 2013), the the band got a new and stable line-up, allowing them to play live. And now, as mentioned introductorily, album number four is now upon us.
IV: Sanctii tristhess is sharp, yet balanced. Varied, yet catchy. Melancholic, yet intense. Inscrutable, yet infectious. All the while, it has the distinctive Mortifera sound. There is no reason why you shouldn’t give this album a listen. And if you haven’t heard their previous albums either, do yourself a favor: head over to Apparitia Recordings’ Bandcamp page and listen to all their albums. Mortifera deserves it. YOU deserve it. Go.
Pestifere – Liminal
From Mortifera to Pestifere. This next band on the list may have a somewhat similar name, but they’re different in both location and music style. (How’s that for a segue?) Pestifere is a black/death metal band from Minnesota, formed in 2012. November 22nd this year, they released their debut, entitled Liminal. The release is considered to be a “full-length” album, but the total running time is just under 33.5 minutes. To be fair, however, that’s substantially more than Blizzard Beasts by Immortal, which doesn’t even last for 29 minutes. If Immortal’s Blizzard Beasts is considered to be a “full-length”, so must Pestifere’s Liminal.
Even though Pestifere’s debut is a tad short for an album, the band should most certainly not be written off — the music is tangible evidence of that. The tunes are fercious, diverse, and infectious. In fact, why should I waste your time further describing the music with words when you can listen to it yourself? Click the triangle below and let your own ears relish in the euphony.
Behemoth – Xiądz / Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
Ok, I’m cheating a little bit with this one. Not too many days ago, Behemoth released a compilation CD of the “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” single and the Xiądz EP, both of which were previously only released on vinyl. Although the compilation itself hasn’t been mentioned on NCS, both Xiądz and “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” have been mentioned as separate vinyl releases. However, the music on these releases has received little attention, and this is my attempt at changing that.
The Satanist (that’s Behemoth’s album of 2014, if you’re new to this) appears to be on mostly every best album list of 2014, so it seems only appropriate that the Xiądz / Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel compilation gets a mention as well. The contents on this compilation should not pass unnoticed. A personal favorite of mine is the song “If I Were Cain” from the “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” single. I can’t decide whether I prefer The Satanist or this compilation—then again, I don’t have to decide, because I can listen to them both.
The track list of the compilation is as follows:
1. Nieboga Czarny Xiądz
2. Moonspell Rites (Re-recorded*)
3. Towards the Dying Sun We March
*The song was originally released on the album And the Forests Dream Eternally from 1995
Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
4. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel (same song as on “The Satanist”)
5. If I Were Cain
6. Ludzie Wschodu (Siekiera cover)
If you haven’t heard the music already, I suggest you listen to the two YouTube playlists below. The compilation is limited to 2000 copies, but there may still be copies left at the Behemoth webstore. If you want one, you should act quickly.