Feb 172016

Mordbrand-Hymns of the Rotten


Man, the flood of enticing new metal just doesn’t stop. In only the last couple of days I’ve found so many new songs I’ve become excited about that I could write a half-dozen of these round-up posts just for today, and by the time I finished I’d probably be able to find just as many new things for tomorrow. Sadly, my time is not completely my own, and my fucking day job is nagging at me, so this will have to do for now.

But before I get to a few of the new songs that have peaked my interest (two of which are well-earned exceptions to our “Rule”), I’ll start with a new compilation of previously released songs that’s well worth your time.


Mordbrand will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors — because I’ve written about virtually every one of their releases. And I’ve done that because everything they’ve done to date has been so damned good. And now they’ve revealed a new release that provides both an efficient jumping-on point for people new to the band and a welcome collection for existing fans.


Mordbrand-Hymns of the Rotten box set


Hymns of the Rotten, which became available digitally on Bandcamp yesterday, is also on sale as a limited-edition CD box set via Defense Records. As you can see, the package also includes a patch, matches, and “a tube of highly flammable polluted alcohol”. In other words, all the ingredients for self-made disaster.

This 13-track release includes all of the band’s splits and EPs that were previously unavailable on CD, encompassing the Evoke split, the Bombs of Hades split, the Kolumbarium 7″, the Vastation 7″, the track that appeared on the Critical Mass Vol. 2 comp., and the split with Rite. You could read my reviews of most of this stuff via this link — or you could just skip down and press “play”. Links for ordering are below.









Ereb Altor-Blot-Ilt-Taut


As I’ve mentioned before, the mighty Ereb Altor have recorded a tribute album in honor of the almighty Quorthon and Bathory. The album’s name is Blot-Ilt-Taut (Blood–Fire–Death) and it will be released digitally and on LP by Cyclone Empire on March 11. The album includes covers of seven Bathory songs (listed below), and another one of the cover tracks debuted yesterday.

This one is Ereb Altor’s majestic interpretation of “Twilight of the Gods” and it’s accompanied by a video of the band’s performance at the Kilkim Zaibu 2014 festival in Varniai, Lithuania. If this doesn’t get your fists pumping, you better call the paramedics.


Side A:

Side B:

* originally from “Scandinavian Metal Attack”
** originally from “Under the sign of the Black Mark”
*** originally from “Blood Fire Death”
° originally from “Hammerheart”
°° originally from “Twilight of the Gods”










The powerful Italian death/doom band Novembre have a new album named URSA coming on April 1 through Peaceville Records. This is Novembre’s seventh album, and their first since The Blue in 2007. Today they released a lyric video for one of the new songs, “Umana”. The press release we received included these thoughts from founding member and writer Carmelo Orlando:

Umana‘ (Italian for ‘humane’) is quite an old track, maybe eight years old, but it somehow managed to remain fresh. It’s the first step into our new era, where songs got rid of useless frills and soar up above more easily. Also, lyrically, we expanded into new territories, a no man’s land where philosophy, sociology and psychology meet. We let a giant like philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti speak for us.”

And by the way, unless you think “URSA” refers to the bear, it is instead an acronym for “Union des Républiques Socialistes Animales”, which was the title initially chosen for the French translation of George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm.

“Umana” is both entrancingly beautiful and ravaging, a dynamic mix of soft and hard, physically jolting and ephemeral. In the space of less than six minutes, it paints in a rainbow of emotional colors, and leaves behind some powerful musical memories that I suspect are going to be lasting (I’ve already added it to this year’s list of “Most Infectious Song” candidates).

URSA was mixed and mastered at Unisound Studios by Dan Swanö and includes cover art by Travis Smith. It can be pre-ordered here:











Here’s another band who, like Novembre, have been quiet for a long stretch — six years in Draugnim’s case. But now this Finnish trio have readied a new album named Vulturine, which is scheduled for release by Debemur Morti Productions on March 11. Today DMP released a video trailer for the album.

I probably should have slotted this video in right next to that Ereb Altor clip, because the music is reminiscent of the Viking metal glories of Bathory. And although I usually don’t bother writing about mere excerpts of music, I’m doing it here both because the music is so inspiring and because the video is so eye-catching (and fitting).

Vulturine includes cover art by the talented Cold Poison (Acherontas, Nightbringer, etc.), and it can be pre-ordered in a variety of formats via these links:





  1. Hymns of the Rotten is a damn sweet package 🙂

    • It certainly is, though I’m puzzled but curious about the “tube of highly flammable polluted alcohol.”

      • Mordbrand may be a familiar name, but in Scandinavia it also has a familiar meaning: Arson.
        (Directly translated, its murder-fire) So now you can do what Forgotten Tomb suggests: Hurt Yourself And The Ones You Love!

        I loved Draugnim’s 2008 debut Northwind’s Ire, but I missed out on 2010’s sophomore Horizons Low.
        So stoked for Vulturine! I heard it once yesterday, and it sounds mesmerizing so far. Third can still be the charm, even if the two first were no failures, I suppose.

  2. I’m really liking what I’m hearing from that Draugnim teaser! Getting an early Aeternus vibe from it

  3. Woah.

  4. That Novembre is sounding damn cool 🙂

    • Funnily enough I’ve heard the whole thing (I basically got the new Novembre, Obscura, and Cobalt albums on my reviewing slate in the same week) and it IS really good.

      It still does that very Novembre thing where certain songs (or parts of songs, at least) get lost in a pretty, blissful daze for a little too long, but on the whole it really makes you appreciate having the band back finally!

  5. Man it’s great to hear Novembre back! The Blue was such a great album and i’m loving this new (old?) track!

  6. Am i hearing early Primordial in that Draugnim track? Kept expecting to hear Alan crying “Valiant men!”. Sounds promising…

  7. When I was first getting into underground metal, Nobembre was one of the first bands that I came across and got into, so I sort of have a soft spot for them. It was only a few months ago that I saw they hadn’t broken up and had new music coming. Really glad they’re back.

  8. You know in the back of my science geek mind I’d like to do a study where I collate a bunch of metal songs and track how often the same samples are used. I know that Krishnamurti speech in the Novembre track is also used in The Devil, as at least one example. I feel like this sample deja vu keeps popping up, but then again, that could just be deja vu 😉

    • Some speeches, monologues and dialogues do recur seemingly often. Epic speeches and diabolical, pro-Luciferian monologues seems to be sampled more often than others. Than again, hearing the same exact speech on three different albums makes me jump to the term “frequently used” rather fast.
      Charlie Chaplin’s speech from the movie The Great Dictator (1940), for instance, have been implemented at least on these three albums:
      Anarchadia – Let Us All Unite
      Psygnosis – Human Be[ing]
      Varg – Das Ende Aller Lügen
      (Am I a complete geeknerd or what?)

      • Try the classic “I am become Death…” speech.

        I’m always shocked when bands use that one and think they’re the first to do so.

      • Long live geeknerds 😉

        Yes ‘I am become death’ is a classic. The Devil, Xerath III – actually that’s all I can think of from the top of my head.

        It’s funny how sometimes bands hone in on the same sample around the same time. A cynic would say obviously one just copied the other, but sometimes it seems like it has to be serendipity. For example Intervoid start off their album with a sample of ‘The Architect’ talking to Neo from The Matrix, released Dec 2014: https://intervoid.bandcamp.com/album/weaponized
        … and then Stomb have the same sample on the opening track of The Grey, released Jan 2015: https://stomb.bandcamp.com/album/the-grey
        … hmmm. come to think of it, maybe this is a glitch in the matrix, like seeing the same black cat twice 😉

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