Feb 222019
 

 

Here are six songs and videos that stood out from the pack in my seeing-and-hearing session last night and this morning. Some other items also stood out, and perhaps I’ll get to those tomorrow (perhaps along with other things I’ll find today). Everything below is new, except for the second song and video, which is newly discovered.

DEVIN TOWNSEND

This first video is actually a last-minute addition. I had this round-up nearly ready to go when I noticed a message from my comrade DGR that read as follows: “New Devin Townsend video out in the wild. Does a good job highlighting how batshit the songwriting is. Still has its ‘Space Enya’ moments”. Continue reading »

Feb 212019
 

 

After finishing this morning’s previous posts, I just barely had enough time to grab a few new songs for this round-up before having to surrender to my fucking day job. Based on what’s on the slate tomorrow, I think I’ll have time for a few more then.

BLACK ANVIL

Following up on their latest album, 2017’s very good As Was, New York’s Black Anvil have a new EP named Miles headed our way, a release that was written, performed, and recorded as a tribute to late The Devil’s Blood guitarist/vocalist Selim Lemouchi. DECIBEL mag, which premiered the EP’s opening track earlier this week, describes Miles as retaining “the barely-restrained insanity of Black Anvil’s previous releases while also embracing more melody and vulnerable emotion”, and that description is borne out my the song they premiered, “Iron Sharpens Iron“. Continue reading »

Feb 202019
 

 

I probably should have dug deeper into my ever-expanding list of recent music to check out, but instead spent my latest listening time focused only on what I added to that list over the last 48 hours. With so much new stuff coming out every day, sometimes music that’s even a week old becomes a casualty, rudely shoved aside by newer interlopers. That’s what happened here.

Unfortunately, because I happen to be hurrying at the moment, I won’t have quite as much to say as I usually do about what you’ll be hearing — but you really should listen to all these tracks anyway, even without detailed impressions from me!

WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA

If you haven’t heard of Waste of Space Orchestra, perhaps you’ve heard of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising. If you haven’t heard of them either, checking out their music should be on you to-do list just above “see a doctor about that gangrenous toe”. Continue reading »

Feb 162019
 

 

(Andy Synn is the author of the following opinion piece, which we will not attempt to summarize here and risk spoilers… so please read on….)

I’m not sure if you’ve all noticed, but a LOT of people have been VERY angry online over the last few weeks.

Whether it’s furore over the upcoming release of the (frankly rather terrible looking) Lords of Chaos movie, the apoplexy inspired by a certain festival headliner announcement, or the excessive sniping, ignorant sexism, and self-congratulatory back-patting inspired by the purposefully click-baity title of a recent (and otherwise extremely well-written) article, there’s been a ridiculous level of rage on display across the interweb recently, something that only seems to have further fostered and widened the inherent divisions within our disparate community.

And while I don’t have time to dive into all of these issues, there’s one in particular I’d like to share a few thoughts and feelings about. Continue reading »

Feb 142019
 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a bouquet of black roses for you. Careful with the thorns.

I had originally planned to post this round-up yesterday but ran out of time, so most of the songs and videos I’ve selected have been out in the wild for a couple of days. But you still might have missed them, so I’m forging ahead anyway.

The number of items in this collection is also large enough that normally I would have divided it into a two-part post, but I was so pleased with the stylistic variety represented in what I’d chosen that I decided to keep it all together in one place. Just take a deep breath (or maybe hyperventilate), and try to get through all of it — I bet you’ll find at least one new song you’ll really enjoy.

INTER ARMA

In not much more than three months from now, NCS will present the third annual edition of Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle. We announced the full three-day line-up on New Year’s Day, but of course, as always seems to happen, since then we’ve had a few bands drop out due to circumstances beyond our own control. One of those was scheduled to headline a night at one of the two main stages, but we got lucky and were able to secure a great replacement — Virginia’s Inter Arma, who happen to have a new album coming our way this spring. Continue reading »

Feb 072019
 

 

As explained in Part 1 of today’s round-up, I feel particularly inundated by new metal this week, far too much for me to cover comprehensively (and I’ve still got a lot of catching-up to do with music that came out before this week). I’m not sure there’s much rhyme or reason to what I chose to write about in this two-part installment. The choices were pretty damned impulsive.

For example, I could have written about the new songs and videos by Allegaeon, Continuum, Kartikeya, Katechon, Latitudes, Nightrage, and Sectioned (to name just a few), but I haven’t — though you can click those hyperlinks and check them out anyway. Here’s what I am writing about:

ROTTING CHRIST

Yesterday the Russian site Satanath (home to Satanath Records) premiered another new song off the new album (The Heretics) by Rotting Christ, which will be released by Season of Mist on February 15th. The name of the song, “Vetry zlye (Ветры злые)“, explains the choice of Satanath for the premiere. But although the song title and some of the lyrics are in Russian, it’s not Sakis Tolis who “fights his way through a maze of Russian phonetics” in the chorus, but guest singer Irina Zybina (vocalist in the Russian folk metal band Грай [Grai]). Continue reading »

Feb 052019
 

 

Yesterday I learned of the postponement of an album premiere I had expected to write for today. If I had a less obsessive personality, I would have used that unexpected free time to go for a walk through the uncommon snow that turned the forested area where I live into a wonderland (because most workplaces, including mine, were closed down yesterday — because a little snow works like a paralytic agent on the City of Seattle). Instead, I spun my way through a couple dozen new songs… while occasionally staring out the window at the brilliance of that uncommon snow.

As you can already tell, since this is Part 1 of something I worked up, I liked quite a lot of what I heard, and thought you might too. I’m confident there will be a second Part… but not sure about a third… it depends on whether the snow melts and the paralysis loosens.

GODS FORSAKEN

What a very nice coincidence. Almost exactly one year ago we were anointing a song from this Swedish band’s debut album (In A Pitch Black Grave) as one of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and a year and a day after that event they released the first single from their second album. And damned if it isn’t already a contender for the 2019 edition of that list. Continue reading »

Jan 272019
 

 

If you came here this Sunday expecting the usual SHADES OF BLACK column, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The post you’re about to read is one I intended to publish yesterday before turning to the next SOB column, but I didn’t get it finished in time before turning to certain long-planned weekend activities. Those same activities prevented me from giving much thought to SHADES OF BLACK yesterday, and will probably make it tough to get that column done today either. Only time will tell.

I checked out all the following new videos and songs on Friday, and then revisited them this morning. It was one of those listening sessions where the stars seemed to align. Though the genres represented here are different, the music flowed in such a good, atmospherically dark way, in part because (as I hear them) they all incorporate ingredients of doom, without any of them really being what most people would call doom metal.

THE MOTH GATHERER

To open this collection I chose “Motionless in Oceania“, the first “single” from the new album by the Swedish band The Moth Gatherers, whose line-uo has changed a bit since their last record. Esoteric Oppression is the group’s third album, and it will be released by Agonia Records on February 22nd. It’s so immensely powerful that I felt flattened and stenciled by the sounds, like a thin sheet of tin beneath an industrial-strength die stamp. Continue reading »

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 »