(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)
August was been absolutely stacked with quality releases, which caused me to make a few hard choices (i.e., cuts). A few albums worth your time that didn’t make the list were from: Krisiun, Ogotay, and Sources of I. Also, I went back and forth on the ranking between numbers 2-5, and really, depending on my mood, I could change them up, that’s how much I enjoyed all of them. This month’s numero uno though was head and shoulders above the rest, and released by a perennial NCS favorite.
5. Creeping – Revenant
This is the third full-length by this New Zealand trio and the first one I’ve heard by them. Why exactly are these kiwis not more well known? That kinda baffles me. Black doom with a healthy dose of death metal goodness thrown into the mixture. It’s grimy, it’s dark, and it’s just a visciously good album.
4. Ahab – The Boats of The Glen Carrig
I really liked their first two albums of crushing funeral doom, but 2012’s The Giant just didn’t resonate with me. I found it was a bit too “hippy dippy” and post-metal for my liking. The amount of those elements injected into their sound was quite jarring and wholly unexpected. But this new album sorta hits the sweet spot between the band of old and the prior record. Could it be I’m just used to those elements now after two releases? Maybe. Yet there seems to be fewer of those moments this time around. I do plan on going back to revisit the prior record for comparison’s sake. Anyways, strap in and enjoy this almost 90-minute epic.
3. Scythian – Hubris In Excelsis
It’s impossible not to prejudge (at least as little). It’s just a fact of life. So when I see a release coming from Hells Headbangers, frankly, I’m expecting raw, primitive, and total old-school madness. So when I gave this album a spin, I had to double-check and make sure I had my facts correct. Death/thrash with a rock-solid production that just rips and keeps on ripping. It has enough character of its own to sound current, while also combining an old-school feel and simultaneously avoiding the tag of a “retrofest”. Co-founding member S. Vrath you may know from fellow UK stalwarts Craven Idol and Crom Dubh.
2. Dalkhu – Descend…Into Nothingness
I’m gonna show my age here. You remember the old Inspector Gadget cartoon from the 1980s? If so, I’m sure you remember the villain, Dr. Claw. Well, vocalist Primoz sounds exactly like him. You think I’m kidding? Check out the link below. Anyways, I mean this as nothing but a compliment since he sounds evil as all fuck.
Metal Archives lists the band as Black Metal, which is incorrect, as this is death metal through and through. Heck, I’ll say there’s maybe some black/death stuff going on there. Overall this is thick/chunky death metal and not completely what you might think (by listening to the beginning of the initial track). There’s almost, dare I say (for lack of a better term) a “groovy” element added in (here and there). Normally when you hear this vocal style you’d expect 100% complete brutality, maybe even primitiveness. But this just works.
1. Majestic Downfall – …When Dead
If NCS had a “house band”, I’m fairly certain Majestic Downfall would be it (or at least a finalist). 2015 marked the band’s foray into the live arena, which you can learn a bit more about here—> https://www.nocleansinging.com/2015/08/28/get-to-the-point-jacobo-cordova-majestic-downfall/
If you want to see me wax poetic about the album, feel free to check out my full-blown review over at Metal Bandcamp here—> http://metalbandcamp.com/2015/08/majestic-downfall-when-dead.html