Oct 212020
 

 

In the first minutes of the opening song “Of Being“, the Athenian band Kevel lay before the listener a blueprint of what will become the foundation for the imposing and wondrous edifice of their new album Mutatis Mutandis, which we’re premiering today. In that opening, a riveting drum solo is joined by heavy groaning chords and shrill discordant arpeggios. In one fell swoop, the music hybridizes primal physical punch, dismal and depressive moods, and spine-tingling sensations of flaring madness.

The band’s ability to create teeth-on-edge tension and earth-quaking heaviness comes to the fore again and again over these 50 minutes. The nuanced yet persistently skull-cracking drum performance repeatedly threatens to steal the show, both amplifying the songs’ most intense moments and creating fascinating contrasts within all of the band’s other richly multi-faceted movements. The bass tone possesses the heft of granite but the nimbleness of larks. And the guitarists are highly adept at creating tension and turmoil.

But it turns out that all these riveting contributions really are just the foundation, and what Kevel have created around it is a gnarled, frightening, yet shining tower that reaches into the stars, almost as astonishing and awe-inspiring in its visions as it is shattering in its impact. Continue reading »

Oct 212020
 

 

Those of you who are already familiar with the music of Feed Them Death will have a good idea of the sheer madness that will invade your mind when you listen to FTD’s new EP, For Our Culpable Dead, which is set for release by Brucia Records on November 2nd. Newcomers, however, should prepare for sonic shock and awe, the kind of ingenious yet unsettling experience that amalgamates bone-smashing violence, mind-boggling delirium, more twists and turns than an out-of-control roller-coaster ride, and an extreme disregard for mental or emotional comfort zones.

Feed Them Death‘s avant-garde formulations of death/grind have been boldly revealed through a 2017 EP that was then expanded into the debut album No Solution / Dissolution, released in 2018 by GrimmDistribution and Exalted Woe Records, and a second album released earlier this year by I, Voidhanger Records, Panopticism: Belong / Be Lost. Apparently ever restless, FTD’s soul creator Void could not let this year expire without one more brazen explosion of mind-mutilating inventiveness, and we present a further excerpt from the new EP today. Continue reading »

Oct 202020
 

 

As of today, two songs from the new album by Horncrowned are out in the world, doing their best to burn it to cinders. The one that was released first is the title track to that album, Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer), and the second is the track we’re now premiering — “Die Judicii (Appalling Abomination)“.

Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer) is this Colombian black metal band’s fifth album in a near-20-year career. It will be released by Ketzer Records on November 20th. It will leave you shell-shocked, blistered, and breathless. Continue reading »

Oct 202020
 

 

Three weeks ago we premiered a song named “The Architect’s Temple” from a forthcoming album by the Ukrainian death metal band Hell:On. That album, Scythian Stamm, is Hell:On‘s sixth full-length in a career that began in 2005, and it’s set for release on November 1st. Today we have the pleasure of premiering another song from the album, which is presented through a video that includes the lyrics.

Those lyrics are taken from an English-language translation of a poem named “Заповіт” (Zapovit), which translates to “Testament”. The poem was first published in 1845 and written by Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, and political figure, as well as folklorist and ethnographer. According to this article, “His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language.” The article also reports that he was convicted in 1847 for promoting the independence of Ukraine from Russia and for ridiculing members of the Russian Imperial House. The translation of “Заповіт” used in the video was made by John Weir. Continue reading »

Oct 192020
 


Photo by Michael Alvarez

 

Psychosomatic have been slugging and slashing their way across the heavy metal landscape for more than 30 years, and with their seventh album released in late August of this year by Nefarious Industries they savagely banished any worry that all the years and miles might be slowing them down. With the feral energy of teenagers but the songwriting and performance skills of a band who’ve played over a thousand shows in North America, they put together a ripper of an album under the title of The Invisible Prison.

All the shows and all the recordings have honed the blades of Psychosomatic to an even sharper gleam, but the passing decades haven’t mellowed them in the slightest. And why would they? There are just as many reasons to be pissed-off now as there were in 1988 when these Sacramento thrashers first came together, and probably more. The rage and disgust certainly burn through in the full-tilt riot of “Personality Agenda“, the song that’s the subject of the video we’re premiering today. Continue reading »

Oct 192020
 

 

The pandemic brings physical and emotional misery on a vast scale, but as someone once said, life finds a way — including musical life. Creative people continue to create, perhaps as much to treat their own pandemic wounds as to offer a balm to others. And so, for example, 2020 has given birth to a fascinating musical project named Watashi Dake. Who knows, maybe in a more normal year it wouldn’t have happened.

The phrase is Japanese and means “Only Me” or “Just Myself”. But the musical project that took this name is the work of a Romanian artist, R.S., who dwells in Transylvaia rather than Japan. The phrase connects to the lyrical themes and inspirations of the music on the band’s first demo Feral, which speaks of failure, freedom, and struggle. “Feral,” we are told, ” is first and foremost a call to rebellion against the chains that imprison our true nature”. It’s thus not surprising that in addition to two original songs, the demo also includes a cover of Dead Kennedys‘ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”.

Feral was composed and recorded in the summer of 2020, and it will be released on October 25th by Inferna Profundus Records. Today we’re presenting a full stream of its three tracks. Continue reading »

Oct 162020
 

 

The Swedish duo known as Murdryck began musical life in 1999 as a “Blackened Dark Ambient” project, disappeared for a time, and then rejuvenated themselves as a Black Metal band in 2014. Thereafter, they released two excellent albums, 2016’s Antologi MMXV (reviewed here at NCS) and 2019’s Födelsen. And then, to the sorrow of Murdryck’s fans, they disbanded. But it turns out that the two men behind Murdryck weren’t finished after all.

That duo — bassist/vocalist Lars Hansson and guitarist Adam Chapman — came back together early this past summer, inspired to renew their cooperation in pursuit of fresh ideas. Adopting the name Åskog, they ensconced themselves in a decrepit forest house owned by Lars deep in the woods of Värmland and wrote four songs between July and August. As they explain, the themes of the music were spawned by the band’s presence in that old forest house, with its own morbid history and its wilderness setting, during a time when the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world into chaos: “You only have to watch nature documentaries to realize the natural world is truly a horrific place. The great outdoors is romanticized, but the reality is it is brutal with no room for concession or concern.”

But what kind of music was born of this reunion, and Åskog’s focus on the cold and harsh brutality of nature? You are about to find out, because today we’re streaming Varg, Åskog‘s first demo, on the eve of its October 17 release. In its digital edition, it includes two of the four songs written this past summer, and a cassette tape edition will include a third one as a bonus. Continue reading »

Oct 152020
 

 

Barely more than two years ago I was floored by Night Shines Eternal, the debut demo by Peste Umbrarum, a Portland, Oregon black metal band that includes members of Panzergod, Death Fetishist, and Deathsaw, and former members of Daemoniis ad Noctum, Cult of Unholy Shadows, and Hiding. I wrote then, at the end of a lengthy review: “This demo really is a stunner, powerfully expressing a range of moods from debilitating depressiveness to incendiary euphoria. If I had to sum up it up in a single word, it would be this one: Magnificent”.

It was thus with genuine excitement that I learned Peste Umbrarum would be releasing their first full-length. Entitled Night Canticles of the Ancient Ana’themae, it shows every sign of being not just as magnificent as that first demo, but even more spectacular. It’s projected for release in time for Samhain by Astral Nightmare Productions, and it’s our great pleasure today to present the first advance track, an exhilarating experience named “Where Vile Tempests Convoke (I Am Borne)“. Continue reading »

Oct 152020
 

 

Somehow our putrid site has come this far without ever turning our gaze in the direction of Vyrion. Doing so now creates a feeling of dismay at how much we have missed, because this quartet from Brisbane, Australia have already released two albums that are real gems. It’s hard to say they are underrated, because both Vyrion (2011) and Geo (2014) both received glowing reviews from respected writers, but it’s nonetheless true that neither of them seems to have commanded the level of attention they deserve.

Six years on from Geo, Vyrion are returning with a new full-length named Nil that will beindependently released on October 26th, and we can only hope that it will open eyes like ours, which for too long haven’t focused on Vyrion’s talents. Today our aim is to aid that process of discovery by premiering a song from the new album, a track named “Monuments“. Continue reading »

Oct 142020
 

 

King Ov Wyrms is the solo project of Tuscon musician Michael Sanchez, a vehicle that he developed apart from his main band (Pain Patterns) beginning in 2015 as a way of delving more deeply into more extreme forms of sonic aggression, drawing influence from classic death and black metal acts of the late ’80s and early ’90s, including such venerated names as Morbid Angel, Bloodbath, Enthroned, Vader, and Dark Funeral. As he has explained about King Ov Wyrms‘ forthcoming debut album:

Lord Ov Thornes is an album that to me attempts to bridge a gap between the earliest forms of death and black to a more modern approach of metal production, almost like taking Morbid Angel’s Formulas Fatal To The Flesh and mashing it with Sulphur Aeons’ Gateway To The Antisphere. These brutal compositions that have been in the works for several years are finally ready to surface from their grim depths and inspire a new wave of death metallers.”

King Ov Wyrms has already released a first single from the new album (“Threnody“), and today we’re helping spread the word about a second one — “Thorne Bearer“. Continue reading »