Jan 102019
 

 

Here are a few of the songs and videos that brightened and darkened my night. I encountered all of them in a rush of listening at full dark yesterday evening. Most of them appeared within the last 36 hours. If you’re like me, the flow of these songs will take you from a blazing high down into more cold and wretched depths, and then soaring again — and I’ll close with a stream of a new EP that was released by surprise last night.

WINDSWEPT

All three members of the Ukrainian band Windswept, including vocalist/guitarist Roman Sayenko, are also members of Drudkh, Precambrian, and Rattenfänger. Under the Windswept banner they released an excellent debut album in 2017 entitled The Great Cold Steppe (from which we hosted the premiere of a fiery song, “Shrouded In Pale Shining, So Sleeps Infinite Ancient Steppe”). Having been a fan of that album, it took about a nano-second for me to jump on the band’s new EP Visionaire when I discovered its existence last February, and (as explained here) found it to be powerfully moving as well.

Windswept now have a new album for us, which will be released by Season of Mist on February 8th. Its name is The Onlooker, and the first track in today’s collection is one released yesterday with the interesting title “Gustav Meyrink’s Prague“. (If you’d like to learn about Gustav Meyrink and of how his life changed in Prague, check this article.) Continue reading »

Jan 072019
 

 

At the not-inconsiderable risk of overwhelming our visitors with new music, I’m following up yesterday’s two-part round-up of music from the black(ened) realms with another collection of new tracks. One of them is yet another example of black metal, but the songs that follow are much more wide-ranging in their styles — I made a conscious decision to compile a varied playlist that I hope will be appealing, but will at least keep you off-balance. All the songs are from forthcoming albums.

OF WOLVES

Beginning last October, Chicago’s Of Wolves began rolling out three songs that they had originally composed as separate pieces but then, after noticing the interesting flow among them when performed live, decided to combine into a single track on their new album, Balance. The first of those, “Clear Cutting”, premiered at DECIBEL; the second, “Bloodshed”, premiered at our own site in November; and the third, “Heart To Hand”, got its debut at Sludgelord last month.

Now the band have released a combined video for these combined tracks, and as of today have made it available for download on Bandcamp. Continue reading »

Jan 022019
 

 

For the third year in a row, NCS is proud to be involved in the planning and presentation of Northwest Terror Fest, which will take place in Seattle, Washington, on May 30 – June 1, 2019, with a special pre-fest show on May 29th. Yesterday NWTF announced the complete festival line-up and launched on-line ticket sales (following an offering of discounted early-bird passes last fall that sold out fast).

As in the festival’s first two years, the 2019 event will be spread across three venues. Each night performances will rotate back and forth between the main stage at Neumos and the cozier confines of Barboza, which adjoins Neumos. Soon after one band finishes at one venue, the next band will start at the other, so that there are no overlaps or conflicts, and it will be possible for ticket-holders to see every band on the line-up. And then, following the performances at those venues, there will be additional performances at the Highline bar to extend the fun past midnight.

The three main nights of the 2019 edition of the festival will be headlined by Cirith Ungol, Wolfbrigade, and Pig Destroyer at Neumos, and by Dawn Ray’d, Iskra, and Khôrada at Barboza. The “after parties” at Highline over the three nights will include shows by Bongzilla, Indian, Bongripper, and more. In addition, the pre-fest show on May 29th at Highline will feature a “quiet” set by Thou, an acoustic performance by Austin Lunn of Panopticon, and a solo synth set by Slasher Dave of Acid Witch. Continue reading »

Dec 312018
 

 

Man, have I got a red-hot New Year’s Eve planned with my wife. Bring in some kind of dangerous take-out food. Watch some re-runs of Law and Order. Maybe have an egg nog with a shot of whiskey (but only one because I don’t need the calories and I’m cutting back on the booze). Asleep by 10:30 at the latest. I’m so fucking excited that I’m hyperventilating.

You think I’m joking, but I’m really not (except about the hyperventilating). After more than a few decades of severe misbehavior, the idea of a quiet night and a New Year’s Day without a cataclysmic hangover has become very appealing. No more day-after’s wondering “is that blood on my shirt mine?”, “whose room is this?”, and “where did I leave my pants?”

These days I tend to get a lot of my thrills from heavy music, and I spent this morning catching up on some new sounds, some of which I’m recommending to you in this round-up. This actually started as what might have been a second SHADES OF BLACK installment yesterday, but I decided to throw in a few other styles of music and finish it up for today.

JUBAL

I was quite impressed by the first demo (Archaic Discipline) released by the hooded Dutch duo Jubal through Clandestine Faith earlier this year, and said so here: “There is foreboding, catastrophe, and grandeur in the sensations of these savage, dramatic songs, along with a panoply of killer riffs and the kind of vocals that summon visions of demons coming for your throat.” I was thus excited to learn that Jubal have a new release headed our way in 2019. Continue reading »

Dec 252018
 

 

If today is a holiday for you, we hope you’re enjoying it, regardless of whether it has any ecclesiastical meaning to you. If it’s not a holiday for you, we hope it will be a good day for you, too.

We don’t observe any holidays at NCS, not because we’re against them, but because from our first year the goal was to post something every day of the year, a goal we’ve kept with very rare exceptions. I can’t exactly remember why I set that goal (come on, it was 9 years ago!), but probably because I thought our best chance of getting readers was to be out there on days when there was no competition. Now, we keep doing it out of sheer stubbornness.

Since it is Christmas Day, I thought about exclusively going with metal that has some kind of holiday theme, but with a trio of exceptions at the end of this giant new-music round-up, I tossed that idea out the window, unless you count the introductory music from Rotting Christ. And why wouldn’t you?

ROTTING CHRIST

My NCS colleagues and I seem to be having a disagreement about RC‘s new album The Heretics. One of us, who shall remain unnamed, thinks it’s repetitive and boring, a distillation of the sound of the last three or four albums but lacking in dynamic peaks and troughs. A couple of us (including me) acknowledge that it’s basically Rotting Christ firmly in their established groove, but is nonetheless a whole lot of fun. Continue reading »

Dec 152018
 

 

Having been immersed in year-end LISTMANIA and other diversions since completing a recent vacation, I have a large backlog of newly released music that I’ve only just begin working my way through over the last couple of days. From what I’ve heard so far, I assembled the following collection — almost all of them advance tracks from forthcoming releases, plus one new bonus track that arrived late last month.

KALEIKR

In extreme metal circles these days, when one thinks of Iceland one thinks of black metal. Draugsól was one of many Icelandic black metal bands who proved their worth, with a fine 2017 debut album named Volaða land (we learned more about the band and that album in a 2017 NCS interview of guitarist M.K. and vocalist A.J.). Now, two of Draugsól’s three members (guitarist/bassist/vocalist Maximilian Klimkoare and drummer Kjartan Harðarson) are forging ahead under a new name — Kaleikr — and their new album Heart of Lead will be released on February 15th by Debemur Morti Productions. Continue reading »

Dec 012018
 

 

The effect of my vacation on this Saturday round-up is a good-news/bad-news story. The bad news is that I haven’t had time to sift through as many new songs and videos as I usually do before making my selections. The good news is that I found a lot to like anyway.

SAHON

In May of this year we had the great pleasure of premiering a song called “Faith of Savagery” from the hell-raising fourth album by the South Korean thrash band Sahon. The album was subsequently released by Transcending Obscurity Records on July 15th, and now Sahon have just released a music video — and it happens to be for the same great song we premiered.

If you’re feeling sluggish, sullen, spiteful, or have an itch in your brain that you haven’t figured out how to scratch, this video is what the doctor ordered. Continue reading »

Nov 292018
 

 

Last Sunday when I wrote about my imminent two-week vacation I though it was unlikely that I would be able to assemble any new-music round-ups. But for my traveling companions, yesterday was an especially lazy day, and so I found a bit of guilt-free time to explore new music.

Not a lot of time, mind you, and so I didn’t cast a very wide net over everything of interest that had surfaced since the last of these round-ups, nor was I able to choose as many songs as I usually do. But these three struck a strong chord, and I’m happy with the choices.

ROTTING CHRIST

Season of Mist uses the term “anthemic” to describe the new Rotting Christ song it released yesterday, and so it is — in a way that’s distinctively Rotting Christ. If you’re familiar with their music, you would know it’s them even if no one told you. Continue reading »

Nov 242018
 

 

I didn’t really listen to these songs for the first time today. It was actually last night, though I did listen to them again on this Saturday morning, just to make sure that the vodka in my system on the previous evening hadn’t warped my judgment. I concluded it hadn’t, even if it might have super-heated an already warm reaction.

I like the way this playlist of new music and videos flows, even without the vodka lubricant, though it won’t put you in a single headspace and let you linger there for very long. It starts in ravaging and ravishing fashion, shifts into much more bewildering and cerebral gears, and then just rocks out.

DEATH KARMA

Thanks to a tip from my Norwegian fiend friend eitororm, I learned that the Czech band Death Karma, who share a couple of members (Vladimír Pavelka and Tom Coroner) with Cult of Fire, will be releasing a new album, The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part 2, TODAY on CD (and digitally on November 26th). Continue reading »

Nov 202018
 

 

Antichrist Magazine is a Ukraine-based publication devoted to metal and rock that was founded in 2003 by Oleksandr Maksymov. Originally a print publication it was converted to an on-line-only presence in 2014. On November 21st (tomorrow), Antichrist will officially release a stream-only musical compilation entitled A Tribute To Burzum, and to help spread the word we’re presenting all the music today.

While Burzum’s alter ego Varg Vikernes has become a controversial figure (to say the least), the music of Burzum undeniably has had a major impact on the evolution of black metal, and is thus a worthy subject for a tribute such as this one — for which Antichrist Magazine recruited 16 bands, as well as the Germany-based solo artist Katarina Gubanova, whose performance closes the compilation. Continue reading »