Jul 092020
 

 

Despite my new-found strategy of limiting the volume of these round-ups in order to do more of them each week, I found enough time to include new music from five bands in this one. The new stuff I picked for today’s collection based on an early-morning listening session begins with two excellent Jakub Moth videos for a couple of dramatically impassioned songs, and the mood stays serious and intense for the two tracks after that. And then I decided to wrap things up with some good old death metal via Antwerp that’s just plain evil fun.

ALEYNMORD

The first song I picked is a track off the debut album of the wilderness-worshiping Oregonian duo Aleynmord. The album’s name is The Blinding Light, and it’s packaged with cover art by Jef Whitehead. As noted above, Chariot of the Black Moth created the beautifully haunting video for the track. Continue reading »

Jul 072020
 

 

Those of us who form the core staff at NCS have recently been reconsidering lots of the things we do here and how we do them. To be more precise, much of the discussion has involved what I do here and how I do them. A lot of the discussion boils down to being more selective in what we publish, and more willing to publish fewer posts every day if that’s necessary to make greater scrutiny possible.

One likely outcome of those discussions is that I will accept fewer premieres. For a while now I’ve been writing two or more premieres every day. I only agree to premiere music that I like and that I think fits the musical focus of the site, but that still leads to lots of premieres. I admit that I have a hard time saying no. One consequence of so many premieres is that I have much less time to write about music that I find on my own, including round-ups of new music and stand-alone reviews of records that we’re not premiering.

Because I’ve put myself in the position of not being able to write round-ups as often as I’d like, the backlogs grow to gargantuan proportions. I resort to gigantic Overflowing Streams collections in an effort to work through the backlogs, but even that format (in which I cut back on my own verbiage) takes time to put together, and so I wind up not even publishing those kinds of collections more than once a week (if I can even manage that).

This process of discussion and self-reflection has led me to realize another problem I’ve created for myself. Continue reading »

Jul 032020
 


Ars Magna Umbrae

 

This is a great day for metal fans to support bands with their money. It’s a harrowing day for metal bloggers like myself.

It’s a great day because Bandcamp is again waiving its share of revenues from sales on its site, which means more money generated from purchases and donations goes directly to bands and labels, some of whom are in turn donating proceeds to charitable causes.

It’s a harrowing day because bands and labels have been releasing a HUMONGOUS AMOUNT OF MUSIC to take advantage of the occasion. Beginning yesterday and continuing today, my in-box has exploded with Bandcamp alerts and press releases, and that’s on top of the usual flood of other new music appearing earlier in the week. There’s no way I can sample all of it. But I’ve sampled some of it, and you see the results in this post — or at least some of them.

What I’ve done here is to collect individual songs and videos for new releases (and a few older ones), arranged in alphabetical order by band name. Many of those releases, but not all, can be purchased or pre-ordered on Bandcamp to take advantage of the revenue-share waiver. In Part 2 I’ll quickly throw out recommendations for complete new releases that would also be good candidates for your Bandcamp purchases. Continue reading »

Jul 022020
 

 

July 3rd will be another day when Bandcamp waives its share of revenue from sales of music on the site. On that day 30 bands from across the world of extreme music will release a digital-only compilation designed to add their voices to the struggle against systemic racism and police brutality and to raise money in support of those causes, with all proceeds donated to racial justice organizations, including Black Lives Matter and Life After Hate.

The compilation is named Overgrow To Overthrow, and it will be released tomorrow through the Bandcamp page of Bindrune Recordings. It features artists as varied as Doom, Panopticon, Obsequiae, Agathocles, Thou, Chaos Moon, Outlaw Order, Deviated Instinct, Dawn Ray’d, and many others, who have provided a collection of brand new tracks, cover songs, remixes, live cuts, and re-recorded tracks.

It provides an opportunity for metal and punk fans not only to add a lot of great music to their collections, but to do it in a way that provides money to worthy causes at a time when the contributions can be maximized by taking advantage of Bandcamp’s waiver day. We’re supporting this effort by helping to spread the word about it. Below you’ll find statements about the comp from the people behind Overgrow To Overthrow along with more details about the music and how to get it. Continue reading »

Jun 272020
 

 

This is a follow-on to another gigantic round-up I posted yesterday, and almost all of the songs and videos below were released during the last five days.

I may have mentioned that although my day-job (which still hasn’t reopened) is in Seattle, I live on an island in Puget Sound. Living here has lots of pluses and a few minuses, one of which is that whenever one of the weather gods so much as sneezes the power and the internet go out, which is what happened this morning.

So, I’ve been using my phone as a hot spot. That has slowed me down, and has made doing this tedious enough that I’ve not only cut back on my words but also largely left these items without the usual purchase links, Facebook pages, and other info about the records. I’ll try to go back and fill all that in when doing it is a less annoying process.

CIRKELN (Sweden)

An epic musical narrative, both gloom shrouded and frenzied, melancholy and murderous, haunting and majestic. Seemingly a Tolkein-esque tale told by an orc bred in the subterranean halls of Utumno and raging against his enslavement, the dramatic song blends numerous heavy metal styles to very good effect. Continue reading »

Jun 202020
 

 

In many weeks the title of this round-up hasn’t been entirely accurate, because although I post them on Saturdays, sometimes I’ve listened to the songs before Saturday has arrived. Not this time.

This time I let the entire week go by without listening to much new music other than what I had agreed to premiere. My day job has been unusually annoying this week, and I continue to be distracted by the unnerving daily news of what’s happening in the world around us. This time, after gulping a couple of cups of coffee, I started the day by trying to catch up, and these selections survived that Saturday morning sifting process.

Needless to say, I didn’t make much headway in my giant list of things I wanted to check out from the past week (and the weeks before), but I had really good luck with what I did decide to check out.

PRIMITIVE MAN

I contend that there’s no better “intro” to a Primitive Man song than the gashing of ears with feedback, because what usually happens next is an ugly and unnerving experience. Why sugarcoat it? Continue reading »

Jun 192020
 


The just-discovered original handwritten “Juneteenth” military order informing thousands of people held in bondage in Texas that they were free

 

Today is Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. To help celebrate the day, Bandcamp has announced that “from midnight to midnight PDT, and every Juneteenth hereafter, for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.”

To be clear, this isn’t the same as what Bandcamp did on June 5th (and will do again on July 3rd), when it waived its share of sales of digital music and merch on the site. Today it will still collect its share, but it is promising to donate that share to a cause that aligns with the Juneteenth celebration. And that provides an added reason to consider purchases on Bandcamp today.

It also provides a reason for me to do what I’ve been meaning to do for a couple of weeks — to spread the word about some recently released compilations of underground music on Bandcamp. I know that I probably overlooked some, but these are the ones I made note of when I saw them. If you know of others, please leave a Comment. (Some of these are name-your-own-price downloads, but if yoiu kick in some money for those, Bandcamp’s pledge will still apply.) Continue reading »

Jun 082020
 

 

If you’re seeing this before seeing the first two Parts of the round-up, I hope you’ll check out Part 1 and Part 2. After a lot of singing in Part 2, we’re moving back into music that’s more in line with the site’s name.

BLACK CROWN INITIATE (U.S.)

The kaleidoscopic opening track in this collection moves from mystical and mesmerizing sounds into the embrace of humming low tones and head-hooking beats (and singing), and from there into a grim, ravaging, bullet-spitting attack, augmented by doses of vocal ferocity (as well as flaring melody and soaring song). Skittering, darting, and delirious fretwork and blaring chords propel the song to fiery heights, and the singing becomes spine-tingling. A welcome return from these talented dudes…. Continue reading »

Jun 072020
 

 

I’m not as prone as some writers around here to make exceptions to our rule about singing (I’m looking at you Mr. Synn), but I fell prone before all the singing voices in this selection of songs, and the music that accompanies them. But don’t worry… in the next installment of this post I’m sure I’ll revert to the usual nastiness.

OCEANS OF SLUMBER (U.S.)

I guess most people know by now that Cammie Gilbert has a stunning voice. If you don’t know, you’ll find out through this first song and video. You’ll also find out she has some very talented people behind her, including drummer Dobber Beverly, who plays in a lot more extreme bands than this one and delivers a beautifully nuanced performance. Continue reading »

Jun 072020
 

 

I’m way behind in putting together compilations of new music and videos that I want to recommend. Yesterday, after hours of listening, I assembled more than two dozen of them that I discovered just over the last week. I had the fantasy of presenting all of them in alphabetical order in this Overflowing Streams format (short on words and visual art but long on music).

This morning I realized that would be a herculean task, and I’m no Hercules. So I abandoned the alphabetical idea and have arranged the collection with different ideas in mind and divided the post into Parts — because I’m not sure how far I’ll get. There should be at least one or two more installments today.

By the way, I decided to do this instead of the usual SHADES OF BLACK post today, though I’ve made sure to include new black metal in the collection, beginning with…

AKVAN (Iran)

The Persian tar (a type of four-stringed lute) is the star of this first song, along with the mesmerizing, melancholy melody that it voices. It provides the beating heart of the song even after the music rises into a tumultuous storm of thundering drums, scathing riffs, and scorching vocals. Fascinating, fierce, otherworldly, and glorious, the song is a tremendous thrill to hear. Continue reading »