(Having heard of my job-related inability to assemble round-ups of new music for the last week (and the next one), Austin Weber has graciously stepped up to fill the void… and then I didn’t even have time to post his first installment in a timely manner. The delay is my fault, but even late, it’s still very much worth reading. There’s a lot of good music in here.)
Our esteemed leader, and general in our revolt against metal mediocrity, Islander, has slipped into the shadows once again. Sometimes when his job flogs him too much he doesn’t have any spare time to flog his ears and spread that beating around to the fine folks who read our daily crazed musings here at NCS. So, once again, I’ve decided to cautiously fill in and ensure that killer new music from across the metal spectrum graces your ears. All death threats, grumblings, or perceptive complaints can be sent to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lots to cover so let’s dive right in.
Vermörd are a Maryland-based blackened death metal band who are new to me, and one Islander had meant to write about before his current work debacle denied him the chance to do so. As such, I figured I’d include them in this post, and also because he told me to check them out under the theory that I might like music. And right he was.
This is a ripping black feast, unfolding like apocalyptic sirens and a maniacal race towards death. “Derodidymus” is the first track released from the band’s forthcoming album, entitled Dawn of the Black Harvest. It’s a stupendously ravenous anthem from start to finish, one that is quite funeral-inducing in its vacillating methods of aural hatred and its overall complex, spiralling execution. Definitely the kind of song that leaves an immediate first impression and makes me want to hear the whole album. Dawn of the Black Harvest will drop on April 14th through Grimoire Records.
Perennial NCS faves, Virginia-based groove thrashers Byzantine, recently dropped another new track, “The Agonies”, from their upcoming album, To Release Is To Resolve, which will be coming out on April 7th. First off, check out that sick cover art. At this point, Byzantine have proven themselves to be one of a very few thrash mechanics continuing to churn out quality headbanging tunes this far into their career that still rip with plenty of fresh energy and ideas while showing a band that continues to progress musically with each release. The song premiered at Decibel, and can be heard below. Let us know what you think of it!
Sigh have a long-running reputation for consistently churning out incredible black metal records, but mainly their reputation stems from them crafting weird-as-hell albums that draw from sources far outside of metal, and never do so in the same way twice. The band just announced they have a new album coming out called Graveward and they just unveiled the awesome cover art for it posted above.
Sigh never really disappoint, so I don’t even have to hope that Graveward is good. I know it will be — though probably in a fucked-up way, the sheer oddness of which my mind can’t begin to fathom ahead of time. The band have stated that a release date for it will be announced soon (and a vinyl edition will be coming via Finland’s Blood Music). Get hyped for what’s sure to be one of the most surreal and brilliant metal records of 2015.
For those wanting a bit more information the band had this to say on their Facebook account regarding the album:
“Cinematic Horror Metal” should be the best phrase to describe this most layered grandiose album in Sigh’s history.
Inspired by a little chat with Fabio Frizzi, well-known for his legendary works for Lucio Fulci’s movies like “The Gates of Hell” and “The Beyond”, Graveward was composed as a homage to Italian zombie flick classics, Hammer Horror Films, and King Diamond.
Of course the musical influence is as wide as ever including aforementioned horror soundtrack composers (Fabio Frizzi, Goblin, James Bernard, Jerry Gold Smith, and John Carpenter), and their roots (Schoenberg, Webern, Stravinsky, Bartok, and Charles Ives), left-of-center rock / metal artists (Celtic Frost, King Diamond, The Beach Boys, Magma and Frank Zappa), Free Jazz (Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, and Peter Brotzmann) and some Central Asian traditional music.
Graveward welcomes various guest musicians including Matthew Heafy from Trivium, Fred Leclercq from DragonForce, Niklas Kvarforth from Shining (Sweden) Sakis Tolis from Rotting Christ, Metatron from The Meads of Asphodel and so on. The cover artwork was done by Costin Chioreanu, who worked with Ihsahn, At the Gates, Deicide and Ulver.”
After guitarist Chase Fraser left Son Of Aurelius, he moved his talents and songwriting skills toward a new project called Continuum. They are a tech-death super-group of sorts, with people from all over the California metal scene making up their line-up. The band recently released the first music from their upcoming Unique Leader Records debut, The Hypothesis, in the form of a lyric video for a song called “A Surreal Descent”.
Although “A Surreal Descent” is often Deeds of Flesh-y type technical death metal, the lead guitar playing and phenomenal riffing make the song, and the band, stand out from the pack. I’ve been waiting for this record since last year when it was supposed to drop. No matter the delay, this is an album to look forward to. That is, if you enjoy the idea of listening to an album that grates at your very flesh with a perverse pleasure and rips at your soul without mercy. It’s due for release on April 21.
Last but not least, we have some updates and music to share from Pittsburgh-based blasphemous black metal act Dendritic Arbor. This isn’t the first time Dendritic Arbor has shown up here at NCS; Islander has written about this sickening, rotten act here before, and his inspired prose and glowing praise of their music certainly caused me to check them out, and that made me a fan as well.
Dendritic Arbor just dropped a new song, “Murmuration End”, as an unhinged, life-emptying preview for their forthcoming album, Romantic Love, which will be released in May by Grimoire Records according to the band.
“Murmuration End” throttles with a poison-tipped harshness and buzzing sickness; it might just make you want to vomit. Its one ugly sum’ bitch of a track, stabbing at you with noxious plumes of dissonance, cursed screams, savage drumming, and boatloads of eerie, fucked-up riffs that pulse with an oddly psychedelic layer in some of the repeated parts. If “Murmuration End” is any indication of the new ideas the band is tapping into on Romantic Love, then when the record drops in May we are in for a really fucked-up ride.