Islander

Mar 192019
 

 

Something unsettling is happening in this video, but it’s not clear what. Something mysterious and perhaps unnatural, off in the dense woods across the expanse of a long gray lake. People seem to be watching this on a screen, made frantic by what they see, or what they think they see. Maybe something else is looking back at them.

Meanwhile, as we’re drawn into these perplexities on our own screens, the band Warforged, blinking in and out of view like fireflies at midnight, throw themselves into a song called “Voice“, which is even more mystifying and destabilizing than whatever is going on in the woods. There is no way to predict what happens in the music, or the shocking and sometimes violent ways in which the music changes. Paradoxically, it becomes absolutely transfixing. Continue reading »

Mar 192019
 

 

In the month of June, 2018, Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, gave birth to a monster. Inspired by the horrific atmosphere and cadaverous sound of especially gruesome strains of death metal from the ’90s, guitarist Roberto Trejo, guitarist/vocalist Pablo Aceves, bassist Néstor Márquez, and drummer Saúl Anzaldo joined forces to spawn this ghastly entity known as Rotting Grave.

Rotting Grave wasn’t the first fruits of their labors within the fetid spawning grounds of extreme metal. Those four had sharpened their skills in such other bands as Morbid Messiah, Ictiosis, Worthless, Condemnation, Portrait of Ruin, and Human Trash. But with Rotting Grave they’ve clearly created something that puts their talents to very good use — as you’re about to discover.

Rotting Grave’s first EP, Horrid Pestilence of Death, will be released on April 29th in a CD edition by Death In Pieces Records, and what we have for you today is one of its six tracks, one that shares the band’s name, one that’s hideous and thrilling, repellent and addictive. Continue reading »

Mar 192019
 

 

(DGR catches up to the debut EP by Tribe of Pazuzu, which was released in February this year.)

It’s not hard to imagine why the announcement of Tribe Of Pazuzu and their debut EP release Heretical Uprising turned some heads on first notice: It’s not often you get a group that unites musicians with credits to their name like Cryptopsy, Incantation, Soulstorm, and Pestilence. Yet that’s what this hybrid Canadian/American death metal band does, combining the forces of bassist/vocalist Nick Sagias, guitarists Randy Harris and John McEntee, and drummer Flo Mounier. Together they’ve recorded five songs and just over fourteen minutes of high speed death metal that is surprisingly straightforward, bludgeoning, and clear-sounding from a collective of musicians whose previous groups have alternated between sounding like cavernous whirlwind maws of death metal and sheer technical chaos.

Tribe Of Pazuzu‘s somewhat thrashier offering moves quickly, with a take-no-prisoners approach, and is so surgical about it that after its fourteen minutes wrap up, you’ll likely be a couple of spins into Heretical Uprising before you can even sort your thoughts from the first run-through. Continue reading »

Mar 182019
 

 

(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the horrifying new EP by San Francisco’s Body Void, which was released on March 15th by Seeing Red Records, Dry Cough Records, and Crown and Throne Ltd.)

I’m not sure if any of you have noticed, or if it’s bothered you at all, but the majority of my writing over the last several weeks has focussed on covering a variety of big names, famous faces, and iconoclastic figures… plus the occasional up-and-coming contender… which has left surprisingly little space for the more underground or esoteric bands which NCS has generally been more famous for covering.

Does this mean I’m… whisper it… on the verge of selling out?

Hell no. It just means that I happened to have listened to a fair few artists/albums who (deservedly) have also been receiving a lot of coverage elsewhere recently, and that I felt like writing about them.

But for those of you who might have been a little concerned, fear not, as it looks like this week is going to be all about the underappreciated and the underground, kicking off with this quick smash ‘n’ grab review of the new EP from Body Void. Continue reading »

Mar 182019
 

 

On Friday, April 19th,  the Connecticut-based melodic death metal band Archaic Decapitator will release a new five-song EP entitled The Apothecary. It follows their well-received 2016 EP, Light of a Different Sun, which featured performances by session drummer extraordinaire Kevin Talley. But while Kevin Talley isn’t featured on this new EP, Archaic Decapitator have enlisted another tremendously talented skins-man in Gary Marotta from Xenosis, and new rhythm guitarist Chris Ridley has also joined the band as a permanent member.

Those two round out a group that also includes vocalist Kyle Quintin (Fires in the Distance, ex-Formless), lead guitarist Yegor Savonin (Fires in the Distance), and bassist/backing-vocalist Craig Breitsprecher (Fires in the Distance, ex-Formless).

Today, through a lyric video, we present a second single from the EP, “Cruelty of the Host Star“, a song that vividly reveals the dynamism of The Apothecary as the band accent their bracing rush of melodic death metal with progressive flourishes, elements of black metal and thrash, and even a few symphonic touches. Continue reading »

Mar 182019
 

 

Over the course of nine albums, two splits, and one live recorded album, Evergreen Refuge (the solo instrumental project of Colorado musician Dylan Rupe) has created music of varying styles, ranging from atmospheric black metal with post-rock and acoustic elements to blackened folk. In all these variations, however, Evergreen Refuge has drawn from experiences in the wild and a deep reverence for nature as sources of inspiration for creating music designed to foster self-reflection.

But in the newest album by Evergreen Refuge, which its our pleasure to premiere in full today, Dylan Rupe has turned his attention to the stars, to the vast reach of the cosmos that surrounds our own tiny home. Entitled Skyward, the album is a single 66-minute composition, and it will be released on March 20 by A Moment of Clarity Recordings. Continue reading »

Mar 182019
 

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(The following review of the DECIBEL Magazine Tour‘s stop in Atlanta last week was written by Tør, a self-professed metalhead, data nerd, and ex-academic, who first appeared at our site with a post based on his Ph.D. dissertation on the spread of metal across national  boundaries. All the wonderful photos in this review were also made by Tør.)

The night got off to a good start: I was able to dodge the dreaded Atlanta traffic relatively easily on my way to catch Morbid Angel, Immolation, Necrot, and Blood Incantation on the Decibel Magazine Tour 2019.

I arrived at The Masquerade just in time to witness a solid mid-week crowd greeting Denver’s Blood Incantation with a warm Southern welcome. The band have been praised as one of the most promising acts in modern death metal and it’s easy to see why: They masterfully sailed through a thirty-minute opening slot by taking the crowd on a journey of progressive and cerebral death metal complete with slow enchanted passages and downright hard-hitting choruses. The technical ability and overall performance on display were quite astounding and solidified their place as one of the most innovative newer death metal acts in my mind. Continue reading »

Mar 172019
 

 

As I mentioned in yesterday’s round-up, my NCS time is being dramatically squeezed by my fucking day job, which hasn’t given me a break even over this weekend. I’m repeating that here partly because whining is therapeutic and partly to explain why my writing in this Sunday’s column is more truncated than I wish it were. There’s a tremendous amount of music in what I’ve chosen — including three full albums — but it’s one of those situations where I’m only able to provide brief introductions, and hope they’ll be enough to induce you to investigate more deeply on your own.

In organizing this post I’ve alternated those three albums with three shorter works — three songs from forthcoming releases and a two-track EP.

KAATAYRA

Kaatayra is a one-man black metal band from Brasilia, Brazil, whose music (he says) is motivated by overcoming the shame of being human by communing with the green of the land and the life of rivers, and by dreaming — “sonha-se as vidas de ascendentes”. His debut album, No Ruidar da Mata que Mirra, was released on March 11th. Continue reading »

Mar 172019
 


Photo by Davide Marcesini

 

This song by Carved is a really good one, but it’s the sand artistry of Nadia Ischia that makes this video so especially appealing.

If you came to our site at this point expecting to find the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column, it’s not ready yet. In fact, it’s far from ready. While I continue to hammer away on it, I thought it would be a good idea to have something else to occupy people who had already consumed the sights and sounds in Saturday’s round-up. The video for Carved‘s song “Hagakure” seemed perfect, even though posting about only one song or video around here is as rare as hen’s teeth. Continue reading »

Mar 162019
 

 

I’ve gotten dramatically busier at my fucking day job over the last week (and unfortunately it’s going to get worse in the weeks ahead). I’m way behind in crawling through the hundreds of e-mails we get each day (no telling how many indie pop masterworks and ED treatments I’ve missed), and have had no time to do the other things I usually do in an effort to discover new music that isn’t being plumped by press releases.

Fortunately, a cadre of faithful allies had left messages for me, which collectively gave me the six songs and videos you’re about to see and hear. And so, I’m grateful (in order of their recommendations which appear below) to Rennie (starkweather), DGR, Andy Synn, eiterorm, Miloš, and Rennie again.

POSSESSED

On May 10th Nuclear Blast will release the first album from Possessed in over three decades.They lined up Peter Tägtgren to mix and master it, and enlisted Zbigniew Bielak to create the cover art. And, as Rennie wrote in his message to me, it sounds like they didn’t miss a beat, 33 years after Beyond the Gates. Continue reading »