Islander

Jun 192021
 

 

As America’s reopening progresses, yesterday my work place re-started the in-office, in-person Friday afternoon happy hour event that had been a weekly mainstay for decades… even though our workplace is still officially closed to the public and employees are not required to be there, but permitted to be there if they’re fully vaccinated. Some people have taken advantage of that permission, for various reasons. But even people who haven’t chosen to do that showed up for the happy hour party late yesterday. We miss each other, and we have missed this alcohol-fueled tradition.

I wasted no time in getting hammered, and didn’t make it back home until close to 11 p.m. I don’t feel terrible this morning, just a bit groggier than usual, but I did sleep in. So I’m late in getting to this roundup, with almost no time to do the usual searching around for new music to recommend. Fortunately, my NCS co-conspirator DGR did that for me. He recommended everything I’ve collected here, except for the first item, which I knew I wanted to feature anyway, and he knew I was already aware of it.

Because I’m so late getting this thing together, I’m again (mostly) dispensing with my usual commentary, links, and artwork. In a couple of instances I’ve included what DGR wrote in recommending the thing, and I did identify for you the record that’s the source of each song, plus the release info. As it happens, all of these selections arrived with videos. Continue reading »

Jun 182021
 

 

The NYC-based duo Stress Angel began carving their musical path with an eponymous death-thrashing debut demo last year, but it’s now evident just how determined they are to make their own way, because their debut album reveals a turn in the path they began to blaze with that 2020 release.

The music on Bursting Church is an exercise in blackened thrash — and as previewed by the accompanying press materials, it is indeed characterized by “contorted riffery, pitiless battery, shrill screams, and frantic execution”. But by contrast to other participants in the genre, for Stress Angel it’s not all about how viciously we can rip and how fast we can slash and burn. The music also reveals an almost idiosyncratic approach to riff-craft that gives the songs a changing emotional resonance and an overarching atmosphere that’s supernatural and unmistakably sinister — as you’ll discover through “Final Doom“, the song we’re premiering today in advance of the album’s co-release on July 2nd by Dying Victims Productions and Stygian Black Hand. Continue reading »

Jun 182021
 

 

In the midst of all the metallic extremity that usually froths, blisters, and batters us around here, we have found NONE. It is musical extremity of a different kind, one in which neofolk and ambient ingredients play a more prominent role (along with many other elements, including influences from black metal and industrial), but no less arresting than the more ear-ruining assaults that are our usual bread and butter.

The mastermind behind NONE is the California-based artist Nicholas Mendiola, and on his new album Interdimensional War Poetry (released on June 4) he becomes the host and the voice for the entity that his project is named for — “the deity of his creation and the eternal version of himself”. The lyrics of the songs are evocative but mysterious. Sometimes they seem like a personal journal, tracing a quest through time and space, and often seeming to raise more questions than answers.

The music on the album itself sounds like a quest. It twists and turns in unpredictable directions, and its altering moods and changing sounds make it an easy one to get lost in, even though it’s also the kind of often-frightening experience that will trouble your dreams. We have a very good example of that effect in the song that’s the subject of the video we’re premiering today — “Never Know“. Continue reading »

Jun 172021
 

 

(Nathan Ferreira prepared the following introduction to our premiere of another song off the forthcoming debut album by the Turkish death metal band Diabolizer, due for release in early July by Everlasting Spew Records.)

I’m going to drop a name for you: Mustafa Gürcalioğlu.

If mentioning that name made the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you’ve probably already pre-ordered Khalkedonian Death and don’t need to read much more of this article. Good on you for knowing where to find the primo shit.

If that name inspired more confusion and curiosity than it did excitement, you’re exactly the person I wrote this for. To put it boldly, with the possible exception of Phil Tougas, there isn’t anyone else in the game right now who is as versatile and prolific while also maintaining a high quality standard for their music. Any new album from the four major projects he is involved in should be auto-buys (and the stuff he released with Burial Invocation is badass too!), and to make an even bolder claim, Diabolizer may be the best band of the bunch. Continue reading »

Jun 172021
 

 

The inception of the Ukrainian technical death metal band Brilliant Coldness traces back to 1998, although their debut album Beyond Eternity didn’t emerge until 2003. Dead Center Productions released that first full-length, a long 18 years ago. Three years later, the band independently released a second full-length, Poisoned Reality, which was then released by the Dutch label Apollon Records in 2009. But after that second album a long period of silence ensued. Now that silence is being broken.

Dead Center Productions and Brilliant Coldness have re-united for the band’s third album, The Ultimate Dream. Plan B: Disposal Of Humanity, which is set for release on July 30th. Not surprisingly, the line-up that recorded it featured some new members, but still includes founding bassist Mor and founding  guitarist Angel.

Brilliant Coldness characterize the new music as “academic death metal”. They ask you to imagine Niccolò Paganini performing extreme metal, “the music played at the limit of physical abilities”. They say further: “It’s a powerful energetic flow of minds and feelings; a journey to the world of magic and wizardry of the human mind’s endless abilities!” As an illustration of what the band are talking about we have for you  today a premiere stream of one of the new songs, “Technogenic Illusion“. Continue reading »

Jun 162021
 

 

We’re not paid by the word around here (we’re not paid anything around here). But if we were, I wouldn’t make enough from this post to buy a cheap beer. Being short on time today, I’ve resorted to what I seem to be doing with increasing frequency in these round-ups, i.e., just foisting music and videos on you without commentary, artwork, or links.

Rest assured, however, that I’m foisting the following songs and films for a reason — because I think they’re worth your time. Or at least some of them will be worth your time, while others might not be your genre-cup of tea. I don’t expect that everyone out there will be as small-c catholic in their tastes as I am.

I did have enough time to briefly summarize the release info for the records that include the music I’ve chosen — or, regarding the first item, the artwork I’ve chosen, because there’s no music yet from that album. Continue reading »

Jun 162021
 

 

The title of Hexorcist’s debut album — Evil Reaping Death — is a vivid and entirely accurate signpost to what lies within, especially when coupled with the album’s evil and eye-catching cover art. And what lies within is fiendishly slaughtering old school death metal overlaid with the stench of the crypt.

With an attack firmly rooted in decades’ old traditions, these Floridian barbarians (whose line-up includes current or former members of such groups as Gnosis and Devastator) see no need to reinvent the wheel, and clearly have zero interest in following trends. But what they’ve done is so well-conceived and well-executed that the album is still likely to make an explosive impact among those who always hunger for maniacal metal of death.

The new album will get a lavish physical release, with Memento Mori providing the CD version, Unholy Prophecies the vinyl version, and Godz ov War the cassette version. The CD and tape editions will see release on July 26th, while the vinyl version will follow a bit later. And in advance of all that, today we’re premiering an album track that will give you an excellent preview of what to expect. Continue reading »

Jun 152021
 

 

The very strange last year has produced a fair share of musical collaborations that, seemingly out of nowhere, have emerged to reveal strange new visions. In some cases, musicians have used the occasion to branch out from the styles of music they had embraced in earlier times, as if the oppressiveness of the new age had become a well-spring of new freedom, or perhaps had led them to use their music as a “prison break” from the new confinement.

The debut EP by the French band Archaeopteris, which we’re premiering today, certainly seems to fall into that category. The group’s three members hail from various projects such as Croc Noir (black metal), Supertzar (doom/stoner), and Toward (folk), but the two long songs on Visions Chaotiques D´un Songe Halluciné represent something different, a kind of experimentation in sound that led the band into very strange territories. It is as if they had a collective vision, both disturbing and fascinating, and then found a way to represent it in what they executed. Continue reading »

Jun 142021
 

 

Originally launched as the solo project of Bay Area, California multi-instrumentalist Kiera Pietrangelo in 2016, Arcane Existence has blossomed into a full band. And as a full band Arcane Existence are now poised for the August 20 release of their second album Colossus, which traces a fantastical journey through a mythical land and weaves a musical tapestry of the narrative through an intriguing amalgam of symphonic black and death metal.

What we have for you today is the premiere of a song from Colossus named “The Altar“, and it’s accompanied by a video filmed by Benjamin Casias and directed and edited by Eric Tracy-Cohen which well suits the magic and menace that flow through the music. Continue reading »

Jun 142021
 

 

(We present DGR’s review of the second album by the Slovenian progressive death metal band Morost, which was released this past spring.)

Morost are one of a handful of groups I came across during one of the many adventures where I sought groups from corners of the globe you may not normally cross paths with. This prog-death band hail from Slovenia, and their latest release – the mid-March album Forged Entropy – is the group’s second full-length, arriving nearly seven years after their debut record Solace In Solitude. In that time Morost has seen some shifts in its lineup, with three new people occupying different spots than on their debut.

At first glance Forged Entropy is a big album. The eight songs within its confines clock in at a little over fifty-five minutes, and considering that the first ‘song’ is mostly a two-minute intro track, the reality of it is that you’re looking at seven songs where the run time is commonly in the seven-to-nine-minute range. It’s one of those albums where the first impression is one of grand ambition that likely doesn’t hit every single note it’s trying to, but damned if the crew behind it aren’t enthusiastic in their execution, and that may just be enough to carry you through a listen. Continue reading »