Oct 042013
 

After almost four years of hit-or-miss experimentation, we’ve arrived at the glorious 60th edition of MISCELLANY. I wish I could tell you that I have something red-hot and extra-special lined up to celebrate the occasion, but that’s not the way MISCELLANY works. The way it works is that I randomly pick bands I’ve never heard, I listen to a song or two, I write my impressions, and I stream what I heard so you can make up your own minds.

All of which means that when I picked the following bands I didn’t know what they would sound like or whether they would be worth a damn: Omnihility (U.S.), Dejadeath (Spain), The Slow Death (Australia), and Elision of Animus (Portugal).

OMNIHILITY

I know I’ve heard this band’s name before, but I’m also pretty sure I never listened to their music until deciding to make them my first stop on this MISCELLANY tour after receiving a message from the band. They’re from Eugene, Oregon, which I confess warmed my heart, since I know they’re going to be enduring the same dank Pacific Northwest winter that I am, or something very close to it. Continue reading »

Sep 242013
 

This latest installment of the MISCELLANY series is really a carry-over from the immediately preceding installment. I originally picked four bands to explore for that installment, but by the time I began writing about the fourth one I decided the post was already so long that people might lose patience before reaching the end — particularly when they discovered the length of the last song. So I carved out the last band, and they’re the subject of this post.

And as a reminder about the way MISCELLANY works: I randomly pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music so you can judge for yourselves.

THACLTHI

This pick was truly a random choice. After reviewing the new album by Progenie Terrestre Pura earlier this month, I made a mental note to explore the web site of the long-running label that released the album, Avantgarde Music. I finally did that yesterday. I found lots of bands whose music I’d never heard before. Being short on time, I picked one to explore, and I honestly have no explanation for the selection I made.

The band’s name is THACLTHI, which means “in silence” in the ancient Etruscan language, and they appear to reside in the town of Volterra (or “Velathri” as the Etruscans called it) in the Tuscany region of Italy. They have a new album named …Erat Ante Oculos that was released on tape last month by Unholy Domain Records and will be released by Avantgarde on November 13, 2013. Continue reading »

Sep 242013
 

For newcomers to this series, here’s how the MISCELLANY game works:  I impulsively pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music so you can judge for yourselves. In this installment I explored the music of Dominia (Russia), God Eat God (UK/Russia), and Sensory Amusia (Australia).

DOMINIA

Over the weekend I posted a teaser clip for the forthcoming third album by UK-based Eye of Solitude, an album I’m eager to hear. I mentioned that the album will include guest contributions by violinist Casper and vocalist Anton Rosa from the Russian band Dominia. I wasn’t familiar with Dominia, but yesterday I received a message from an NCS supporter who I’ll call JcDA encouraging me to check them out. So I went exploring.

Dominia’s last album was Judgement of Tormented Souls, released in 2008, but they’ve recorded a new one entitled Theophania. Last month they released a two-song single that includes one track destined for the new album (“Death Only”) and a live recording of another song recorded earlier in the band’s career (“Cellar Door”). The single can be acquired on Bandcamp via this link. I listened to both songs.

Continue reading »

Sep 092013
 

Every time I write one of these MISCELLANY posts, I swear to myself that I’m going to do it more regularly. But the promises you make to yourself are the easiest ones to break. My last one of these posts was on July 30, long enough ago that a refresher about the self-imposed rules of this game might be worthwhile:

I randomly pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music so you can judge for yourselves. The bands I picked for this edition of the game, all from the U.S., are Black Snake (Oregon), Prosanctus Inferi (Ohio), and Seker (Washington).

BLACK SNAKE

I found out about this band because they wrote us. I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t listen to every band who writes us, and I can’t really explain why I made time for this one, but I did.

Last week they self-released a four-song collection on Bandcamp named Black Snake EP – Vol. 2. I picked the first song, “Red Eyes” for this MISCELLANY experiment, and wound up listening to the other three. The rules you set for yourself are the easiest ones to break, too. Continue reading »

Jul 302013
 

Many of you already know how this unfortunately infrequent MISCELLANY game works, but for everyone else, here’s what it’s about: I randomly pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music for you so you can judge for yourselves.

Every other musical feature on this site, other than this one, involves metal that I or the other writers have heard in advance and want to recommend. MISCELLANY, on the other hand, is a shot in the dark. I don’t know what these selections will sound like. We’ll both find out together. Today’s bands are a trio from the U.S. —House of Atreus, Zud, and Sloths — plus one from The Netherlands (Control Human Delete). They all turned out to be winners.

HOUSE OF ATREUS

I learned about this Minneapolis band via an e-mail from ex-TNOTB writer Tr00 Nate. That makes this selection less random than usual, since I’ve learned through experience to trust his recommendations. And this one turns out to be no exception. Continue reading »

May 262013
 

Many of you already know how this MISCELLANY game works, but for everyone else, here’s what it’s about: Using no rhyme or reason whatsoever, I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands whose names I’ve never heard either), I listen to one recent track from each of them (though sometimes I cheat and listen to more than one), I write my impressions, and I stream the music for you so you can judge for yourselves.

Every other musical feature on this site, other than this one, involves metal that I or the other writers have heard in advance and want to recommend. MISCELLANY, on the other hand, is a shot in the dark. I don’t know what these selections will sound like. We’ll both find out together. Today’s bands are from all over: Serpent Omega (Sweden), Crematoria (Denmark), Purefilth (Ukraine), and Asphodel (Greece).

SERPENT OMEGA

I found out about this relatively new Swedish band via a Facebook recommendation from another band whose doings I follow. They’ve recently released a self-titled debut album via the Mordgrimm label, and it turns out that they have a female frontperson (Pia Högberg). I decided to check out their music in part because of that recommendation but mainly because I thought the new album’s cover art was cool. Continue reading »

May 022013
 

I am so far behind in so many ways, perhaps most far behind in completing album reviews. So what am I doing? Listening to music from bands I’ve never heard of. I suppose this could be a form of procrastination, but instead I think it’s just my hunger for new things, which appears to be insatiable and uncontrollable.

So much time has passed since my last MISCELLANY experiment, that I ought to provide a reminder about my self-imposed rules: I pick bands at random whose music I’ve never heard; I listen to one song (sometimes I cheat and listen to more); I write my impressions; and I stream what I heard so you can judge for yourselves. The bands selected for this test are Hebosagil (Finland), Suffix (Sweden), and Belgrado (Spain).

HEBOSAGIL

As noted, these dudes are from Finland, so I already knew there was a better than even chance they would be good. I found out about them via a press release announcing that they have a new album named Lähtö that’s due for release by Ektro Records on May 17. The seventh track on that album is “Valmis mihin vaan” (yes, Hebosagil’s songs are in Finnish), and it happens to be streaming on Soundcloud, so that’s what I picked for purposes of this experiment. Continue reading »

Mar 102013
 

Today is Day 14 of me being away from home for my job. Since last night was a Saturday night, I got a break from the usual day-and-night grind. Carousing with my co-workers, I ate too much, had a few drinks, and then lost an hour of sleep because of daylight savings time beginning here in the U.S. But before collapsing into bed I did play the MISCELLANY game for the first time since last December.

For those people who are new to the site or have forgotten, here’s how this works: I randomly pick an assortment of bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands with new releases who are relatively unknown). I listen to one or two songs, not knowing what the music will be like, and I write my impressions. And then I stream for you what I’ve heard so you can make up your own mind.

For this session, there really was no rhyme or reason to what I picked. The music is from Darkening (U.S.), Monte Penumbra (Portugal), and Bovine (UK). Continue reading »

Dec 252012
 

This Christmas Day installment of MISCELLANY is a blockbuster, in two senses:  First, instead of the usual line-up of three musical discoveries, I picked five for this excursion. And second, what I found busted my block with the power and quality of the music. I’ve usually had good luck with these explorations, but today’s collection is especially good.

For those people who are new to the site or just forgetful, here’s how the MISCELLANY game works: I randomly pick an assortment of bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually bands with new releases). I listen to one or two songs (though I broke that rule in this post, as I have in the past). I write my first-listen impressions. And then I stream for you what I heard so you can form your own impressions.

The subjects for today’s post, several of whom have made their releases available for free download, are: Witch Ripper (U.S.), Cage (U.K.), Inconstani Dei (Russia), Cortez (Switzerland), and Vulgaari (U.S.). And I’ll tell you this much more in advance: All of the music goes off in different tangents from the majority of the metal we usually cover on this site. They were great discoveries for me, and I hope they will be for you, too.

WITCH RIPPER

I learned about this band via an e-mail from its sole member, Curt Parker. I decided to check out the band’s self-titled debut EP for three reasons: (1) Curt Parker was a member of the now-defunct Iron Thrones, and I enjoyed their music; (2) Curt Parker recently moved from Minneapolis to our current home base of Seattle; and (3) I thought the cover of the band’s EP (created by Tim Bradley) was awfully damned cool. And as an added bonus, I later discovered that Witch Ripper has made separate videos for each of the EP’s Continue reading »

Dec 022012
 

From the inception of NCS, one of our goals has been to put the spotlight not only on bands whose names are well known but also on lesser known creators of extreme music. This MISCELLANY series has always been one way of doing that, but over the last year I’ve let lots of time go by in between MISCELLANY installments.

So I’m making a new resolution: I’ll start running a new MISCELLANY post once a week going forward. I hope that one works out better than the one I made about not spitting in other people’s beer.

Remember the MISCELLANY rules: I pick bands whose names are unknown to me, using a very impulsive and usually random selection process; I listen to one or two songs (though sometimes I cheat on the number); I write my impressions of the music; and I stream what I heard so you can judge for yourselves. These posts are obviously less than full reviews, but they’re better than no reviews at all — and unfortunately we just don’t have time to review everything that comes our way.

And also remember this: Though I’ve had uncannily good luck with most of the MISCELLANY selections, I don’t know in advance what the music is going to sound like or whether it’s something I’d normally recommend. By definition, this series is all about surprises.

So, here we go: Today’s picks are Among Gods (Norway), Dead Warrior (Argentina), and Bury the Crown (U.S. – Houston). Continue reading »