Sep 052020
 

 

For me, this past work-week was much like the one before (and the one before that, and the one before that), i.e., I had to devote so much time to the fucking day job that I couldn’t keep up with the usual flood of new metal, much less pull together any new-music round-ups. This morning I spent some time trying to catch up, at least a little, and from that exercise I picked the following nine new songs and videos.

I arranged things in a particular way — beginning with something that’s rousing, then going down into sadness (verging on despair) with a block of songs that happen to include clean singing, then beginning to pull out of that mood with reminders that not not everything is horrible (and with music that’s more extreme), and then concluding with something that ought to perk you up again.

GAVRANOVI (Serbia)

Six months ago my Serbian friend Miloš pointed me to “Pjevanija prva” (“Cry of Yore”), the fantastic first song released by the Serbian band Gavranovi (a word that means “ravens”). I still know very little about the band, though now I know a bit more than I did then.

Gavranovi’s frontman is Nefas, who was the vocalist for the great black metal band The Stone for almost 20 years. A second member, Janković, who seems to be the principal instrumentalist, plays the gusle, a traditional horsehair-string instrument that dates back to the 9th century. And there are three more members, all of whom also perform vocals — Matković (who’s also credited as a guitarist), Sokolović, and Rančić. Continue reading »

Aug 292020
 


Fates Warning

 

(Because your humble NCS editor has done a shit job compiling new-music round-ups in recent weeks, our contributor Gonzo stepped up and offered to begin doing that himself on Fridays, and this is the first edition. It actually would have been posted yesterday, on Friday, except your humble editor fucked that up too.)

Suffice to say, it’s been a fucking weird year.

Weirder, perhaps, is the fact that so much new music keeps rolling out from all corners of the earth; weirder still is that most of it is quality material instead of half-assed live albums, comps, EPs, singles and cover albums.

Most of it.

(I’m looking at you, In Flames.)

Before I start spiraling into a tirade about my odious thoughts on the Clayman reboot, allow me to get right to it: Yesterday, August 28, marked another Friday in this endlessly bizarre, dystopian and occasionally terrifying timeline we all just call “2020,” and it marked another day of new metal coming to assault our eardrums.

This one’s a glorious mix of old and new, and some stuff I’ve been anxiously awaiting for a while. Continue reading »

Jul 292020
 

 

Happy hump-day. To help get you over the hump I compiled this short collection of new songs and videos from among others I checked out last night and this morning. Apart from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed all of these, they give you a lot of variety. Surely you will enjoy at least one, if not all of them. If you don’t, we’re not offering refunds.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX

The opening drum pattern in this first song and video reminded me of Kate Bush‘s hit from the mid-’80s, “Running Up That Hill”. Even if I hadn’t already been a fan of Crippled Black Phoenix and curious to see what they’d be doing on their new album, that alone would have rooted me in place for the rest of this ride — and what a wonderful ride it is. Continue reading »

Jul 232020
 

 

(On July 24th — tomorrow — Nuclear Blast will release Metal Commando, the new 13th album by the German power metal band Primal Fear, and in anticipation of the release DJ Jet interviewed the band’s co-founder and frontman Ralf Scheepers — which we now present.)

 

Hi Ralf this is Jet of No Clean Singing how are you doing today?

-I’m good, thanks how are you? Thanks for having me here.

 

So Ralf you started Primal Fear back in 1997 — what were the early days like for the band?

-Feeling very fresh haha. So the early days were somehow like being very excited about doing something new, and as we came from different bands, like Sinner existed of course and I came from Gamma Ray, so for me it was just an initial start point to somehow continue my career with a new band. That was just amazing for me. So yeah it felt really good to write music again, to write heavy metal again the way we love it, it’s just great. Continue reading »

Jul 112020
 

 

If you’re a fan of Enslaved, Pallbearer, Kataklysm, Black Crown Initiate, Oceans of Slumber, surely you know about the new singles they released over the last few days from their next albums (most with videos), and if you didn’t know, now you do (just follow those hyperlinks to listen and watch). You probably also saw the announcement of a new Napalm Death album and Decibel’s “Get Behind the Mask” feature with photos of 140 masked-up artists.

But rather than provide commentary about those widely touted events I decided to turn my piggish snout toward the sniffing out of truffles your own snouts might not have detected yet, which is mainly how we use our olfactory organs at NCS.

REBEL WIZARD

Rebel Wizard‘s new album Magickal Mystical Indifference was just released yesterday by Prosthetic Records, and to celebrate the occasion they’ve also just released a colorful, metal AF new video (made by Exotic Corpse) for an album track named “raiseth up all those that be bowed down“. Continue reading »

Jul 102020
 

 

Here’s another short round-up of songs and videos as a way of wrapping up our posts for this week. I have in mind another one for Saturday.

THEOTOXIN

This first video has it all — flashing images of swarming maggots, snakes, death in the insect kingdom, human and goat skulls, stone tombs, abundant torches and candles, skies ripped by lightning, and a masked and corpse-painted band ripping through their song in a cavern. It’s missing a human sacrifice, but we shouldn’t be greedy. Continue reading »

Jun 262020
 

 

On Sunday I mentioned that I had a big block of time over the weekend that I was able to spend listening to new music. Almost everything I’ve selected for the following set of recommendations came out of that listening session. I resisted the impulse to replace a lot of those selections with things that came out this week, but I did add three of the tracks that surfaced during this week. Hopefully I’ll get to more of those in tomorrow’s round-up. The music today is presented in alphabetical order by band name.

ANOPHELI (U.S.)

I’m starting with something that’s not entirely new. It’s a debut album by Anopheli from Oakland, California (and other places), that was originally released in 2o15 (and I wrote about it here at that time). But the band had the album re-mastered by the same man who mastered the original release — the veteran producer Jack Shirley at Atomic Garden. He explained the changes: “”Things to listen for. It’s less overloaded and everything is more articulate. The overall low end is deeper, the high end is clearer. The drums snap better and interfere less with the other instruments.” Continue reading »

Jun 232020
 

 

This song doesn’t go where you think it will. How it starts and how it ends are two completely different experiences. The band build a bridge between these two places over the course of the passing minutes, using the sound to carry you across a chasm — though what’s really happening, as you’ll discover, is that their bridge is carrying you into that chasm.

The song we’re presenting is the title track to A/B, the debut album of the Chicago band Dead Sun, which will be released on August 21 by Flesh and Bone Records. Their music is a bit off our usual beaten paths here at NCS — “slowcore/doomgaze” is one genre descriptor you might see, and there’s singing. But the emotional darkness in the music suits our tastes, and the phased transition that happens within this particular track has proved to be persistently enthralling even after many listens. Continue reading »

Jun 152020
 

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Ontario, Canada, metal band Protest the Hero, which will be released on June 18th.)

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. While adversity… adversity is a son of a bitch.

Progressive Tech-Metal punks Protest the Hero are all too familiar with adversity, as the years since the band’s last release, 2016’s piecemeal (but promising) EP Pacific Myth, have been riddled with ups and downs, setbacks and delays, and one extremely worrying period where it looked like singer Rody Walker might have to hang up the microphone for good.

But, wouldn’t you know it, the band’s dedication and bloody-minded perseverance has paid off handsomely, as you’re all about to discover. Continue reading »

Jun 122020
 

 

Romanian quartet Katharos XIII may have started out life as a DSBM band, but their sound has massively changed and evolved over the years, and their third album Palindrome, released last fall by Loud Rage Music, moved them even further into the realms of dark ambience and jazz-inflected doom.

The majority of the record is built around a sombre, shadowy soundscape of moody synths and noirish saxophone, underpinned by some brilliantly subtle and creative drum work and topped off with the hypnotic, dramatic vocals of Manuela Marchi, resulting in a sound and style that’s unusual, and unusually captivating.

There are still occasional touches that call back to the group’s early works, including some suitably nasty harsh vocals here and there, but also entire tracks (such as haunting closer “Xavernah Glory” or the mid-album masterwork that is “Caloian Voices”) which are almost entirely stripped of any metallic elements. Even when the band maneuver toward heavier sounds, it’s more in the vein of latter-day Katatonia or Portuguese Post-Metal maestros Sinistro, using looming, lambent chords and taut, restrained rhythms to cultivate a sense of ominous weight and shivering tension just waiting to be broken.

The mysteriously named “No Sun Swims Thundered” is in that latter category. It becomes an ebbing and flowing tide of intensity, gradually building, receding, and crashing against the shores of sanity and comfort with heavyweight power and mind-bending ingenuity. The movements are enthralling and often dreamlike, but persistently disturbing, and the visual interpretation of the song by director Alexandru Das that we’re presenting today channels all of those same sensations. Continue reading »