Jan 252016

Villainy II


This is the second part of a large Monday round-up of new music that I discovered at various times over the last week, and this two-parter follows yet another round-up I put together on Saturday. Because this is Robert Burns’ birthday, I thought I’d throw in some Scottish music (both metal and not-metal) as the last two entries in this collection.


The new album by the Dutch band Villainy — entitled Villainy II: Dim — was released last Friday via Bandcamp by Listenable Records. It includes cover art by Manuel Tinnemans (Comaworx).

I’ve been sitting on our advance copy of the album since mid-December and am embarrassed to say that I still haven’t heard all of it. But since I’m this far behind already, I thought I should use the proximity of the Bandcamp release at least to mention the album here — because what I’ve heard of it so far is excellent.




The thing is, the press info we’ve received about the album explains that it’s divided into three chapters, each of them having a different conceptual twist, with differing musical styles. So the first three songs that I’ve heard probably do not represent the album as a whole; hell, even those songs are also very different from each other. Nevertheless, those first few songs really justify exploring the album in depth.

A Familiar Wind” begins as a lilting, sometimes jazz-like guitar instrumental, something like a carnival dance, that transforms into a heavy romp. That song transitions into “Nebulous Chasm“, the playful quality of the opener dispelled by a weighty pall of slow-moving gloom, spiked by dissonant guitar notes. The song eventually catches fire in a torrent of blasting drums and raking tremolo riffs, and then begins to thrash and lash (with some punk rhythms in the mix, too).

Dwaalspoor“, the last of the songs I’ve heard so far, is a 12-minute saga. Not surprisingly based on just the first two tracks, it’s full of twists and turns — at first a kind of lumbering gothic processional, then a high-powered thrash-based charge of electricity, followed by a long wind-swept passage of slow crackling guitar chords freighted with a haunted atmosphere of crushing grief.

Good luck trying to come up with a genre description for this music. It’s ambitious, fascinating stuff… and I’m anxious to hear what comes next.








Struggle With God-Letarg


I learned of this next release from my Serbian friend “M“. It’s an EP named Letarg (released on January 16) by a band from Słupsk, Poland, who call themselves Struggle With God. Apart from the colorful cover, two things have really attracted me to the music.

First, it’s often wild, savage, and on the verge of flying apart at the seams; the drumming and the vocals in particular are insane. Second, when you least expect it, the crazed mayhem resolves into passages of entrancing, flowing melody, the drift of keyboard ambience, ghostly organ chords, or the sludgy crawl of hallucinatory doom.

Yeah, good luck slapping a genre label on this thing, too. The Bandcamp page is tagged with black metal, d-beat, and doom — and that doesn’t exhaust the ingredients in this EP. Fascinating and constantly surprising, this is the kind of release you really need to listen to all the way through from beginning to end to fully appreciate the breadth of its creativity.








Slabdragger-Rise of the Dawncrusher


Slabdragger come from London, and their new album Rise of the Dawncrusher is due for release on February 26. In recent days I heard one of the new songs on Bandcamp, a blazing and unpredictable romp called “Evacuate!“.

This thing is part steamrolling destruction, part demented guitar freakout, part hardcore fury — and there’s a great little passage in here that sounds very much like an excerpt from King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”. The tempo doesn’t stay rooted in place for very long — and yes, this is the third musical installment in a row in this post that’s very difficult to classify in genre terms (which is part of why it’s so damned good).








Mussorgski album cover


This next piece of music, which appeared two days ago in the form of a music video, is a strange and rare beast. The name of the song is “Paradisum” and it’s taken from Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae, a forthcoming album by a one-man Polish band named Mussorgski. The song is accompanied by some fascinating imagery in the video, which proves to be as unsettling as the song (credit to Sebastian “Semen” Turkowski for filming, producing, and editing the video).

The music is a mix of discordant guitar, majestic church organ, entrancing ambient melody, skull-cleaving beats, pulsating electronica, and utterly anguished vocal extremity (with somber spoken words that become increasingly distorted). I’m really taken with the song (or taken by it).

Creatio Cosmicam Bestiae will be released in February by Godz Ov War and Third Eye Temple. Should you have any trouble making out the downcast lyrics, I’ve included them below the video.





Paradise …
You should kill yourself
Paradise around – our katharsis
You should kill your children
Paradise around – our katharsis
Absolute destruction of your world
Is one and only solution
Paradise around – our katharsis
Your children are on the path
to destroy your mighty masterpiece.
Paradise around – our katharsis
This planet needs your violence
To become better and purer
This world needs our sacrifice
To become the worst – the worst
Paradise …
Paradise …
Six billion years is enogh
Six billion years is enogh for such paradise
It’s our katharsis
Paradise destroyed – our katharsis
The end …









I’ve been following Scotland’s Sectioned since 2012 and have written about them many times, though not since June 2014 when they released a split with Shudder. Earlier today, NCS contributor Austin Weber premiered a new Sectioned song over at Metal Injection. The new track (performed by a new line-up) is a single called “Toothgrinder”, and it’s available now at Bandcamp.

Man, it’s a pulverizing blast of vicious but instrumentally acrobatic grind, with explosive vocals that leave no blood in the veins and the kind of bludgeoning low end that splinters bone. Thoroughly electrifying, thoroughly lethal, really interesting.








Moscow District Pipe Band


As mentioned at the outset, today is the 257th anniversary of the birth of The Bard of Scotland, Robert Burns. I’m not of Scottish descent, but have admired Burns‘ poetry and songs for a very long time, and I’m a big fan of bagpipe music as well, so I thought I ought to close this round-up with some pipe music in addition to that Sectioned song.

It just so happens that this morning I spied a pipe-and-drum video on Facebook that rocks. Unexpectedly, the band are Russian — they call themselves The Moscow District Pipe Band, and they bill themselves as “the first professional pipe band in Russia”. The video is a part of their performance at the XVI “Saint Patrick’s Day” festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in March 2015.




  1. ’till now this been a stressful day
    my grouchy mood was cheerless n’ grey
    ‘ was a visit worth while
    it brought me a smile
    when NCS threw bagpipes my way

  2. Was checking out that Moscow District Pipe Band, when I saw a familiar face. Checked the roster, and yes, turns out it’s my high school classmate.

    I’m only half-surprised, though – he played a mean pipe 13 years ago already.

  3. Digging that Slabdragger track, and that Struggle With God EP.

    • That’s good to hear. I’m very excited about finding both bands, as well as everything else in this post. It was kind of a strange and obscure assortment, all the way down to the Russian bagpipers.

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