I got far enough ahead on readying today’s year-end lists and album premiere for posting that I actually found some time to go surfing through the interhole and the NCS in-box in search of new things. Here are a few of the items I found. I’m saving some others for Christmas Day, because I feel a personal obligation to ruin the holiday as best I can.
Speaking of ruining the holiday, Misantrof ANTIRecords, the (intentionally) non-profit label masterminded by Carpathian Forest’s Daniel Vrangsinn) is once again giving us a hellish present. For the 8th year in a row, the label is releasing the Holy Fucking Antichristmas Compilation. And day by day, they’ve been adding fragments to the cover art for the comp. What you see above is the nearly complete picture as it appears today on Misantrof’s Facebook page (here).
I haven’t yet seen even a hint about what will be on this year’s comp, except it will consist of previously unreleased material. Based on previous years’ editions, I’m guessing it will be worth hearing. I guess we’ll just have to wait to unwrap this present on December 25. Watch this space:
I’ve written about British Columbia’s Nylithia so many times since they began dribbling out individual tracks eventually destined for inclusion on their debut album that if you were to combine all the posts (collected here), you would have an approximation of a detailed album review. But it would only be an approximation, because the album — which is now finally available — includes lots of songs that weren’t released in advance on an individual basis.
The name of the album, which is an accurate description of its contents, is Hyperthrash. I intended to write a full review of it, but now that we’re into year-end LISTMANIA mode at our site, I’m afraid that won’t happen. So let me just say that this thing is a Grade-A, jet-fueled, head-spinning ass-kicker, the kind of thrash made for people who get bored by thrash. And with that synopsis, here’s the album stream (which you can get on Bandcamp):
This next musical offering is an Exception to our Rule (the one about singing). I probably make fewer of those exceptions than other scribblers at our site, which should tell you something about this song.
Its name is “To Higher Climes Where Few Might Stand”, it debuted yesterday, and it comes from this California band’s sophomore album Of Erthe and Axen, which will be co-released by the band’s own label and Blood Music sometime next year. Conceptually, the album is a prequel to the story told in the band’s first album, Blessed He With Boils. And for those familiar with the narrative, this song “tells the story of Ereptor’s long-awaited return from his conquests in Erthe as he and Thanos are reunited after many years apart”.
The singing is in fact one of the song’s strengths (though there are growls in it, too), but far from the only one. The music is a changing kaleidoscope of sounds and moods, from dreamlike to warlike, from mystically beautiful to battering. It’s the kind of music often described as a “journey”, because it has an inherently narrative quality to its progression. Though not nearly as abrasive or extreme as most of the music I favor, I found it captivating.
The song can be downloaded for free by subscribing to Xanthochroid’s mailing list HERE.
THE CLEARING PATH
Yesterday Avantgarde Music released a new two-song EP via Bandcamp by the exceptional Italian one-man band, The Clearing Path. This EP follows conceptually from the band’s first release earlier this year, Watershed Between Earth And Firmament, which I reviewed here in July.
True to form, the new EP is another story of contrasts, uniting beautiful (and beautifully intricate) post- and progressive metal with jarring whirlwinds of blackened explosiveness, accompanied by unnerving vocal shrieks that are as unhinged and anguished as the music is surgically precise and carefully crafted.
Richly textured and multihued, soaring and searing, these two amazing songs are yet further reason to watch The Clearing Path with sharp eyes.
Dauðra Dura is the name of the debut album by the Swedish one-man band Forndom, and it follows an excellent EP released earlier this year entitled Flykt (which I wrote about here). The album is scheduled for release by Nordvis on January 29, 2016, and conceptually it is described as “a musical interpretation of Death and how it was viewed upon in the old north”.
In recent days a song from the album named “Resan” made its appearance, and it’s mesmerizing. I can’t think of a better word for it. There’s a ritual, mystic quality to the music. It’s a repeating loop composed of a solemn drum beat, a flowing ambient wave, a melodic fiddle motif, and beautiful wordless vocals. It’s simplicity proves to be transfixing.
Dauðra Dura is available for pre-order digitally and in a variety of physical formats via the Bandcamp link below.