Apr 092020
 

 

Here we go again. I decided not to alphabetize the bands today, but focused instead on structuring this a bit like a playlist of new music, with some ebb and flow and movement among genres as you go through it. I also threw in a curveball, as you’ll see.

BLACK CURSE (U.S.)

Chaotic, violent black/death with mutilating levels of distortion and explosive skull-busting rhythms, coupled with an amalgam of malevolent roars, grotesque growls, unhinged shrieks, and freaked-out, ear-shredding leads. The music also devolves into massive doom stomps saturated by musical misery and accented by gouts of splintering pain. Continue reading »

Apr 012020
 

 

I was gearing up to do another one of those gigantic Overflowing Streams posts for today, but then something unexpected and serendipitous happened. I had an enormous list of possibilities to check out, assembled  from an hour and a half spent crawling through our e-mail and other sources. And as I began checking out that stuff it happened that I listened to music from five bands right in a row that just seemed to fit together really well — mainly because all the music struck me as exotic, albeit in different ways (and some are justifiable exceptions to our rule about singing).

I thought the unusual effect of listening to them together would be lost if I scattered them among a dozen (or more) other music streams, and so I decided to just stop and put them together here, and leave a larger round-up for another day (hopefully tomorrow).

Al-NAMROOD

Al-Namrood is an anti-religious Saudi Arabian black metal band, which no doubt continues to be a dangerous way for its understandably anonymous members to spend their time in that Kingdom. Their music, insofar as I’m familiar with it (and I’m mainly familiar with their more recent releases), has always been remarkably distinctive, and remarkably good. In the past I have been moved, in fact, to call their music “pitch-black magnificence”. And therefore I felt a thrill when I saw that Shaytan Productions will be releasing their 8th album on June 22nd. Continue reading »

Mar 262020
 

 

If you’re okay with this, I’m just going to continue pulling together big batches of new songs, with only brief introductions. Not that I would know one way or the other what you think. But please trust me — I’m not having to bend over backwards to find so many songs and videos to recommend. As it always is, even when I’m including more rather than less, you’re still seeing only a fraction of the new music that fires me up.

I did make one exception to my usual rule of not publishing news if it’s not accompanied by music, because Enslaved is always in a special category. After that, the bands are listed in alphabetical order. There are a couple of exceptions to another rule in here too.

ENSLAVED (Norway)

The news is that Enslaved have completed a new album named Utgard, but that they and their label Nuclear Blast have decided to postpone the release until the coming fall. The first single, and an accompanying video (filmed in Iceland), will be released on May 22nd. Continue reading »

Mar 222020
 

 

I’m still working my way through that list of 80 potentially interesting new songs and full releases that I mentioned in Part 1 of this big round-up. Of course, not all of those 80 are going to pass my smell test, and I couldn’t write about all of them even if they did. But there’s still a lot I want to recommend, and so with the exception of the first item below, I’ll just be offering brief impressions along with the streams.

If all goes as planned, there will be a Part 3 tomorrow. A SHADES OF BLACK column will follow this one today, whenever I finish writing it.

GÖDEN (U.S.)

From 1989 to 1994 Winter released only one demo tape (Hour of Doom), one album (Into Darkness), and one EP (Eternal Frost), and nothing since then. But those recordings were enough to cement their place in the history of extreme metal and to become the jumping-off point for countless other bands in the doom and sludge genres for the last 30 years. And thus when Svart Records announced weeks ago that it would be releasing an album by a band it characterized as “a long-awaited continuation of what Winter would have been”, I sat up and paid attention. Continue reading »

Mar 212020
 

 

After I finished today’s first post I spent almost two hours just going back through e-mails we’ve received over the last three days pushing new music upon us, and recent messages from some friends with their own recommendations, and then creating a list of links to everything that looked interesting. Some of these were new songs or videos and some were complete new releases.

When I counted up the number of links in that list, I found that there were 80 of them. Eighty of them, from just three days of new releases! I’m sure the Bandcamp thing on Friday (where they didn’t take their cut of sales) spurred a lot of this output, but even considering that it’s still insane.

Needless to say, I’m going to be resorting to the OVERFLOWING STREAMS format, in which I pare my own verbiage back to the bone (though I did include artwork this time). Also perhaps needless to say, I’ve barely made a dent in listening to those 80 items. But I’d like to get going with what I’ve found so far that I think is worth recommending, so here’s some of it now, and more will come in the next few days. (By the way, a ton of that new stuff was black metal, so I’ll have my hands full trying to figure out what to put in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column).

KATATONIA

Who would not want a new Katatonia album in these dark, isolated times? The timing is indeed fortuitous, because a new Katatonia full-length will be released by Peaceville on April 24th. The title is also fortuitous: City Burials. Continue reading »

Mar 182020
 


Abysmal Dawn

 

Here we are again. with so many new songs and videos that I want to recommend that I’m resorting to what I did last weekend — compiling lots of sights and sounds (which are all over the map in genre terms), accompanied by only very brief comments of my own. I also added one news item that excited me, though there’s no music to be heard yet.

I should add that I hope you are all well, and that you’re doing your damnedest to physically stay away from other people to the greatest extent possible.

ABYSMAL DAWN (U.S.)

We begin with a jackhammering, shivering, and slithering piece of death metal menace, complete with thoroughly beastly vocals and twisted melodic accents and grooves that both prove to be ridiculously catchy. I could swear they actually used a heavy-caliber machibe gun instead of drums for parts of this, and that they tortured a poltergeist for the solos. Continue reading »

Mar 102020
 

 

Hurrying as usual, but managed to have enough time to do some listening over the last 24 hours and to pick out five tracks from forthcoming records to recommend on this Tuesday. Hopefully you’ll agree with me that variety is the spice of life, because there’s quite a bit of that in what follows. Enjoy the spices.

BENIGHTED

I thought the best way to begin today’s collection was with a really disgusting music video about a malformed child taking revenge on his truly awful family (or at least vividly imagining it). Don’t bother watching at work, but hey, in the days of the coronavirus who’s at work? Continue reading »

Mar 032020
 

 

(DGR prepared this review of the new 13th album by My Dying Bride, which will be released on March 6th by Nuclear Blast.)

 

Releasing “Your Broken Shore” in advance of My Dying Bride‘s newest album The Ghost Of Orion may be one of the shrewdest moves in music history. The “holy shit, they’re onto something with this release” comes early on during The Ghost Of Orion — during the first growled chorus of “Your Broken Shore”. While the shifting dynamic from gothic melodrama to the oppressive heaviness that My Dying Bride conjure during that section of the song may be an easy thing to sketch out musically, denying just how hard that section hits is an exercise in futility.

It’s indisputable just how heavy that moment is, and it grabs you as a listener and basically holds you in place for the rest of the song — making a near-eight-minute journey fly by as the My Dying Bride crew really hammer home why they’ve had a career as long as they’ve had and how they’ve maintained the miserable engine that has kept them going.

It’s also something of a revelation, in that “Your Broken Shore” is so strong a song that you almost wouldn’t believe you’ve got another fifty-or-so minutes of music to dive into after it. You could even say that My Dying Bride started The Ghost Of Orion with a show-stopper — if the band hadn’t left other weapons laying around in The Ghost Of Orion‘s track list. Continue reading »

Feb 282020
 

 

(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Demons & Wizards, which unites the talents of Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) and Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and was released by Century Media on February 21st.)

Fifteen years later and this project has returned.

Before we get into the meat of the metal here it should be said that I am pretty picky when it comes to power metal. This might surprise some since I grew up listening to the bands that influenced power metal. Even when Helloween came out with Keeper of the Seven Keys pt 2, I was still on board. The only problem was the bands who took inspiration from that album were too happy for me. Continue reading »

Feb 202020
 

 

Did you enjoy the musical chocolates in Part 1 of today’s round-up? I hope you did, and Ii hope you’ll like what’s next, which continues following the theme of diversity that was evident in the first installment.

WHITE NIGHTS

One look at the cover art (above) for White Nights‘ debut EP, Into the Lap of the Ancient Mother, gave me an inkling that it wasn’t going to be the kind of music I usually expect from Iron Bonehead Productions — and it isn’t. Actually, there are two different covers, one for the CD edition and one for the vinyl edition. Here’s the other one: Continue reading »