Mar 262020
 

 

If you’re okay with this, I’m just going to continue pulling together big batches of new songs, with only brief introductions. Not that I would know one way or the other what you think. But please trust me — I’m not having to bend over backwards to find so many songs and videos to recommend. As it always is, even when I’m including more rather than less, you’re still seeing only a fraction of the new music that fires me up.

I did make one exception to my usual rule of not publishing news if it’s not accompanied by music, because Enslaved is always in a special category. After that, the bands are listed in alphabetical order. There are a couple of exceptions to another rule in here too.

ENSLAVED (Norway)

The news is that Enslaved have completed a new album named Utgard, but that they and their label Nuclear Blast have decided to postpone the release until the coming fall. The first single, and an accompanying video (filmed in Iceland), will be released on May 22nd. Continue reading »

Mar 242020
 

 

For reasons I can’t identify, these days I feel compelled to throw as much music your way as I can. I’ve noticed that, contrary to my expectations, this unnerving shut-in phase that most of us are going through has led to a significant increase in daily visits to our site. Maybe people need music more than usual to get through these dark days. Maybe that’s the source of my greater-than-usual compulsion.

Whatever the reason, it seems like you’ll be seeing more and more of these big compilations (with brevity of words) rather than the more typical SEEN AND HEARD posts. I hope I can do another one tomorrow, because I still have a lot I want to recommend.

AEONIAN SORROW (Finland/Greece)

A beautifully contrasting experience from this multinational funeral doom band, the song juxtaposes graceful and ethereal sounds of mist and mysticism and episodes of ravaging heaviness and splintering sorrow, combining the most harrowing roars and haunting feminine singing, creating moods of stately bereavement and wrenching frenzy. A really beautifully executed new video, too. Continue reading »

Mar 222020
 

 

I’m still working my way through that list of 80 potentially interesting new songs and full releases that I mentioned in Part 1 of this big round-up. Of course, not all of those 80 are going to pass my smell test, and I couldn’t write about all of them even if they did. But there’s still a lot I want to recommend, and so with the exception of the first item below, I’ll just be offering brief impressions along with the streams.

If all goes as planned, there will be a Part 3 tomorrow. A SHADES OF BLACK column will follow this one today, whenever I finish writing it.

GÖDEN (U.S.)

From 1989 to 1994 Winter released only one demo tape (Hour of Doom), one album (Into Darkness), and one EP (Eternal Frost), and nothing since then. But those recordings were enough to cement their place in the history of extreme metal and to become the jumping-off point for countless other bands in the doom and sludge genres for the last 30 years. And thus when Svart Records announced weeks ago that it would be releasing an album by a band it characterized as “a long-awaited continuation of what Winter would have been”, I sat up and paid attention. Continue reading »

Mar 212020
 

 

After I finished today’s first post I spent almost two hours just going back through e-mails we’ve received over the last three days pushing new music upon us, and recent messages from some friends with their own recommendations, and then creating a list of links to everything that looked interesting. Some of these were new songs or videos and some were complete new releases.

When I counted up the number of links in that list, I found that there were 80 of them. Eighty of them, from just three days of new releases! I’m sure the Bandcamp thing on Friday (where they didn’t take their cut of sales) spurred a lot of this output, but even considering that it’s still insane.

Needless to say, I’m going to be resorting to the OVERFLOWING STREAMS format, in which I pare my own verbiage back to the bone (though I did include artwork this time). Also perhaps needless to say, I’ve barely made a dent in listening to those 80 items. But I’d like to get going with what I’ve found so far that I think is worth recommending, so here’s some of it now, and more will come in the next few days. (By the way, a ton of that new stuff was black metal, so I’ll have my hands full trying to figure out what to put in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column).

KATATONIA

Who would not want a new Katatonia album in these dark, isolated times? The timing is indeed fortuitous, because a new Katatonia full-length will be released by Peaceville on April 24th. The title is also fortuitous: City Burials. Continue reading »

Mar 192020
 

 

The world seems to be going to hell in a hand-basket, with thoughts drawn inexorably to the demands of mere survival, all eyes cast down toward emptying streets and shelves, more aware of spatial distances and less aware of time passing, and no clear view of the future. At times such as these, something could be said for music that boldly and triumphantly unfurls into the cosmos — while also expressing the harrowing potentials that may lie ahead.

And that brings us to Xenoglyph, an anonymous futuristic black metal duo with a taste for the avant-garde and a talent for creating music that’s both transportive and unsettling, both mind-bending and “physically” ravaging. Their debut album Mytharc will be released by Oregon-based Glossolalia Records on April 17th, and today we present its stunning title track. Continue reading »

Mar 182020
 

 

(We’re grateful to Neill Jameson (Krieg, Poison Blood), and hopefully you will be too, for sharing the following list of musical suggestions to help us get through the current “end of the world” times.)

So I’m sure we can agree that it’s been an interesting week or two recently and because of it a lot of you are going to be stuck indoors for a bit. And as much as we like to complain we don’t get enough time to ourselves, when it’s forced upon us it somehow feels more like an inconvenience than an opportunity. And unless you’re one of those assholes running to crowded places to prove that you’re invincible against the powers of the NWO you’re probably going to stay at home like a proper facsimile of a responsible adult. So I figured that even though I’m somehow considered “essential” at my job, I wanted to do something to contribute to easing the cabin fever that’s going to set in for the rest of you; you can build a monument to my altruism later.

I’ve been doing a lot more musical exploring the last month or two. I can’t really explain it since I haven’t been that into seeking out new things in quite awhile, even in those years where my annual list is filled to the brim. And I’ve found a lot of things I’m enjoying, so I wanted to compile them and share them with the class, in case this helps you find something new or at least gives you something to complain about. This is going to span a few genres, the whole “something for everyone” concept, I suppose. If you end up actually digging any of this shit then consider supporting the bands or, in these fun-filled times, see if other bands and labels you enjoy are hurting because of cancellations or unemployment. Anyway, here’s some records: Continue reading »

Mar 182020
 


Abysmal Dawn

 

Here we are again. with so many new songs and videos that I want to recommend that I’m resorting to what I did last weekend — compiling lots of sights and sounds (which are all over the map in genre terms), accompanied by only very brief comments of my own. I also added one news item that excited me, though there’s no music to be heard yet.

I should add that I hope you are all well, and that you’re doing your damnedest to physically stay away from other people to the greatest extent possible.

ABYSMAL DAWN (U.S.)

We begin with a jackhammering, shivering, and slithering piece of death metal menace, complete with thoroughly beastly vocals and twisted melodic accents and grooves that both prove to be ridiculously catchy. I could swear they actually used a heavy-caliber machibe gun instead of drums for parts of this, and that they tortured a poltergeist for the solos. Continue reading »

Mar 142020
 

 

Many of us here in the U.S., as elsewhere, are essentially stuck at home. We’re supposed to stay away from our fellow human beings, and there’s not much to do away from home anyway. Fortunately, the virus hasn’t infected the internet so I can still eject new songs and videos at your head, which I’ve been doing at great volume today — a dozen of them in Part 1 of this post (here), and almost another dozen in this one. I mean, what the hell else do you have to do?

Once again, everything is organized in alphabetical order by band name, picking up from the items in Part 1, and I’ve again truncated my usual commentary.

MASS WORSHIP (Sweden)

Get seduced by the dual-guitar intro, stay for the jackhammering of your neck and the vocal scorching of your face… a bitter and battering experience. Continue reading »

Mar 142020
 

 

Yesterday was crazy. And no, I’m not talking about the latest coronavirus developments (though those were depressingly crazy too). I’m talking about the ridiculous flood of new songs and videos that were discharged into the electronic ether. Nowadays there are always a lot of new releases on Fridays, but yesterday was a Friday the 13th, and that always triggers a rabid Pavlovian response among bands and labels.

Rather than try to winnow down everything I thought was appealing into a five-or-six song SEEN AND HEARD column, which would have over-stressed my feeble brain, I decided to throw up my hands and resort to the Overflowing Streams format — just shove all these new songs and videos at you with only brief commentary by me.

The thing is, there’s SO DAMNED MUCH STUFF HERE, particularly because I also included a few things that surfaced in the few days preceding Friday the 13th, that I decided to cut it into two parts to make it a little more digestible. Everything is arranged in alphabetical order by band name. If I don’t get the second half ready to go today, you’ll find it here tomorrow along with our usual SHADES OF BLACK column.

AVERSIONS CROWN (Australia)

I was inclined to include this first video simply so I would have an excuse to put Eliran Kantor’s cover art at the top of this page, but wound up digging the song too. Continue reading »

Mar 122020
 

 

Welcome to NCS. Watch your spacing — maintain at least 6 feet between you and the cellar-dwellers next to you. If you feel like sneezing, please run for the nearest exit. Sub-vocalize “FUCK! THIS RIPS!” rather than eject spittle into the air at full volume. And as always, pee on your hands as a reminder not to touch your damned face all the time.

I had planned to pack a lot more new music into this feature but my spouse discovered a local pharmacy that’s still selling hand sanitizer, limit two per customer, and insists that I get my ass over there and pick up two more. She wasn’t impressed when I told her to put on a clown nose and dark glasses and go back herself. So, since I have to hurry off, my plan is to prepare another one of these posts tomorrow (by which time I’m expecting to have new tracks by Panzerfaust, Secrets of the Moon, and Black Crown Initiate to consider as add-on’s to what I’ve already got in hand).

AUROCH

On April 24th, 20 Buck Spin will release Stolen Angelic Tongues, a new EP by Vancouver’s Auroch, a band I’ve been devoted to for a very long time. It consists of five tracks that the advance press describes as “drawing upon the magical and spiritual traditions of South America and the Caribbean as their histories, past and present”. As you can see, it also includes tremendous cover art by Lupe Vasconcelos, and it further includes the return of original Auroch vocalist Culain and eerie ambient recordings by Night Profound and Aos Si to bookend the recording. Continue reading »