Mordbrand – photo by Łukasz Jaszak
It’s been a busy week here at NCS, one in which I’ve spent many (many!) hours readying year-end lists for posting, as well as starting the roll-out of our (i.e., my own) list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ve also had some premieres and interviews and other things. And on top of all that, I got slugged yesterday by a nasty cold. The combined effect of all this has been to prevent me from preparing our usual round-ups of new music.
I’ve still been watching the appearance of new songs and videos and adding them to a list. It’s a long list. I picked a few items off of it for this post. Since the weekends at NCS are essentially all my own, I might prepare some more round-ups for Saturday and Sunday. It’s also possible this cold will cause me to curl up in a ball on the floor and whimper in misery until Monday.
By the way, it looks like we’ll finish LISTMANIA next week. I still have a few excellent lists in hand to post on Monday and Tuesday, and a few more might arrive, but I think we’ll be done soon. The Most Infectious Song series will of course continue until I pick some arbitrary stopping point, which will probably be January 31.
That’s it for an update. Onward to new music….
Man, that’s a hell of an album cover, isn’t it? The artist is Nathalie Ziegler, and the album is Wilt by Sweden’s Mordbrand. The album will be released on February 24 by Carnal Records, initially on CD and later on vinyl. Below, I recommend you check out a lyric video for one of the new album tracks, “Delivering the Gods”.
Mordbrand, as any regular reader of the site well knows, is one of my favorite Swedish death metal bands, and they’re a favorite because their releases have been so consistently excellent. This appears to be no exception, nor would I expect it to be.
If you imagine a rampaging steamroller of death, which belches a toxic, psychoactive exhaust that pulls the minds of its victims into a dank crypt filled with decaying corpses at the same time as it runs them down and then drags their broken bodies along for the rest of the rushing juggernaut ride… well, that might bring you close to “Delivering the Gods”.
Loosen up your neck muscles for this one, because it’s a real headbanger (and there’s a high, pulsing little guitar melody in here (which sounds like a keyboard) that might get stuck in your head too).
Those of you who follow us on Facebook have already seen this extravagant piece of artwork by Adam Burke (Nightjar Illustration), which is a portion of only one that he created for the new album by Tchornobog (others are visible at the Tchornobog Facebook page, linked below). I’m unsure of the exact release date for the album, but it will be a joint release in different formats by Invictus Productions, Dark Descent Records, and Fallen Empire Records.
Tchornobog is the project of Markov Soroka, accompanied on this album by drummer Magnús Skúlason of Iceland’s Svartidauði. Guests on the album include Greg Chandler (Esoteric) (additional vocals on two tracks) as well as Sofia Hedman (saxophone), Hannar Gretarson (trumpet and cello), Lillian Liu (piano), and Elizabeth Barreca (additional vocals). Stephen Lockhart at Studio Emissary in Reykjavik recorded, mixed, and mastered the album.
Markov Soroka, as you may know, is the man behind Aureole, whose 2016 album Aurora Borealis has been making frequent appearances on year-end lists over the past month. We have a taste of what he has done on Tchornobog through the release of a track from the album earlier this week named “II: Hallucinatory Black Breath of Possession (Mountain-Eye Amalgamation)”.
The song is a long one, combining dissonant, distorted storms of terroristic black/death barbarism propelled by jet-speed drumming with the slow drift of thick, blood-congealing miasmas of sound. It’s both electrifying and nightmarishly hallucinogenic. (The drumming really is riveting, as are the wild vocals, and the demented piano notes are a nice, disorienting touch, in keeping with the berserker aura of the song as a whole.)
LIGHT OF THE MORNING STAR
The name of the next song in this collection is “Nocta” and it’s the title track from the debut album by a mysterious one-man band named Light of the Morning Star, which is set for release by Iron Bonehead Productions on March 3 (CD and LP).
The last time I wrote about Light of the Morning Star was in praising a track last spring from this project’s debut EP Cemetery Glow. At that time I compared the music to that of New Zealand’s House of Capricorn, which was intended as a high compliment.
I still know nothing about the man behind the project, other than his use of the name O-A, but the music continues to be excellent. This new song is haunting, esoteric, necromantic, and very beguiling. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this album.
Two days ago the powerful Brazilian band Jupiterian released a new two-track EP named Urn. It’s embellished by the wonderful cover art of Cauê Piloto, it was mixed by Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues, and it was mastered by James Plotkin.
The EP consists of two cover songs, both of which are given Jupiterian’s own special treatment. So, to be clear, these aren’t the kind of covers that are utterly faithful to the sound of the originals. I much prefer covers in which bands have put new and different spins on the original recordings, and Jupiterian have definitely done that here.
The first track is a cover of Anathema’s “Mine Is Yours To Drown In (Ours Is the New Tribe)” off that band’s 1995 album Pentecost III. The second is a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Behind the Wall of Sleep”, which of course appeared on that band’s 1970 debut album.
I already wrote about the Anathema cover when it first appeared last June: “If you’re new to Jupiterian, I’ll warn you that this song fully displays their ability to club a listener senseless. Their take on this song renders it in stark, desolate, and devastating tones, with deep, gruesome gutturals adding to the music’s savagely hopeless aura. The intensity climbs, and your head will start moving as it does, but it ends in a soul-sucking collapse, like a sinkhole opening in slow motion beneath your feet.”
Jupiterian’s Sabbath cover is just pure evil — cask-strength and undiluted. The vocals alone are enough to give any normal person a shivering case of the night terrors.
I wouldn’t blame you if you need something to settle your mind after listening to that Jupiterian EP, and I have just the thing. This is a classical guitar performance by our friend Justin C., who writes for Metal Bandcamp and has been known to attend the occasional metal festival despite the risk of seeing me at them.
The name of this piece is “Cape Byron Lights“, written by Marek Pasieczny. The photo used as the art accompaniment for the piece is “Four Views of the Cape Byron Lighthouse, II” by thaths.
I’m not sufficiently well-schooled in classical guitar to offer any kind of educated opinion about this music, other than to say that I found it beautiful. And I thought it would be an interesting and peaceful way to end this collection, which otherwise brings no peace.