SEEN AND HEARD (PART 2): SHINING (NOR), PRAETORIA, NAMI, MASTIC SCUM
(DGR steps up for round-up duty, and he prepared a really big round-up, so big that your humble editor decided to divide it into two parts. Part One is here.)
In case you missed it, Friday was a kind of slow date for the site. We’ve had times like this before, where various outside influences conspire to make sure that we post with the speed at which animals are able to escape the La Brea Tar Pits. That doesn’t mean we weren’t up here in space, lookin’ down on you and keeping track of various rumblings going throughout the web.
I’ve gathered together eight fairly recent developments in the heavy metal world for you all to enjoy. As usual, I’ve tried to catch stuff that has flown under the radar and mix it in with a few things that have likely made a big splash across the web already. This collection of stories covers a pretty good swath of the globe in terms of distance but has a foot heavily planted in the death metal and doom metal realms, making a few labored grasps to the outside genre world.
We turn next to Norway’s blackjazz entourage Shining. The group have been building up to the release of their new disc International Blackjazz Society, and recently the song “Last Day” found its way to the web.
“Last Day” joins “The Last Stand” as the two leadoffs for International Blackjazz Society, and it seems like Shining intend to continue their transition away from being a violently spastic and noisy metal band with hefty jazz elements into a more straightforward hard-rocking group. The band still get abrasive on the group’s “Last” pairing of songs, but both go the route of many of the songs on One One One — hard, driving riffs that keep your head nodding and infectious melodies that are bound to get stuck in your head.
This may partially be why I put so much heavy-as-hell death metal throughout this two-part post, because this song is catchy as hell, and I’m sure some folks will likely feel guilty for any finger-snapping and feet-tapping they get up while “Last Day” is blasting its way through your speakers. It feels almost designed to get its hooks in you.
International Blackjazz Society will be released in a little under a month, on October 23rd.
Our next band today is the French group Praetoria, based out of Paris. Praetoria were founded back in 2009, but on October 5th the group will be launching their debut album Mirror of Modernity. On the 21st, Praetoria uploaded their first single from Mirror Of Modernity to the web, a song entitled “This World Immersed”.
Praetoria stand in pretty stark contrast to a lot of what is featured in this roundup, as the band have a hefty -core element to their overall sound, meaning that they line up pretty strongly with today’s modern metal trends, bouncing back and forth between a speed-heavy, thrash-inspired guitar-work-loaded side of the spectrum across to a hammering and rhythmic death metal side. “This World Immersed” contains all of those elements, as well as a few others, including a quick Messhugah-and-Sybreed-caliber rhythmic chug about 3/4ths of the way through the song.
As this is likely the intro to the band for a bunch of people who read our little corner of the web, it’s good that “This World Immersed” seems to be covering pretty much all the ground that the band have available to them in its neatly packed four-and-a-half-minute runtime. Right now, you can grab “This World Immersed” on Bandcamp for name your own price after listening to it in the stream below.
The Andorran band Nami put out a music video for the song “Bless Of Faintness” last week, premiering it on PureGrainAudio in the States. The song is from Eternal Light Of The Unconscious Mind, which came out in 2013. I reviewed the album for NCS and nominated the song “Silent Mouth” (which features Loic from The Ocean absolutely killing it on guest vocals) as one of our “most infectious” of that year.
“Bless Of Faintness” is kind of in the same vein, as the band transitioned from a weird prog/death hybrid into a progressive with heavy post elements about a year before that sound really seemed to explode on Eternal Light. “Hope In Faintness”, the song that follows “Bless of Faintness” is one of Eternal Light’s highlight tracks. As for “Bless…”, the song is entirely clean sung, and it is nice seeing them put visuals to music, even two years out from the disc’s release. I think that marks two music videos and a lyric video for them, which is pretty par for the course for an album cycle.
This final item is a kind of last-minute addition. The long-running Austrian grind band Mastic Scum also recently put out a video for a song from an album that I reviewed for NCS, 2013’s CTRL. It’s a live shot with the occasional interspersed lyrics and symbolic visualization. The song itself still wrecks shit, but that is kind of the general mood for CTRL anyway, and “Dehumanized” is the album’s opener.
Definitely hyped on the new Shining, though I hope they don’t end up on the career path of just repeating One One One ad nauseum, which I’m a little concerned about after hearing these first couple tracks from the new one.
“Dehumanized” is my favorite of this bunch 😀
new Shining reminds me of old NiN. Not a bad thing, but do wish they put some of the old Black Metal elements back in it.