Nov 252022
 


Host

When you combine a Black Friday with a Bandcamp Friday the result is a goddamned typhoon of new music and videos, with bands and labels not only launching sales but trying to take further advantage of the situation with new releases, some of them out today and some now up for pre-order.

I can’t say I’ve waded through all of it to make your shopping experience easier (I’m only one bedraggled human and speed-cloning is a generation or two away), but I did make my way through some of it, and have these recommendations for you.

I also did try to provide some genre scatter in the choices, knowing that not everyone loves everything, and to provide a range of radar elevations among the bands. As vivid proof of that, I’m leading off with… Continue reading »

Nov 192022
 


Enslaved

It’s lamentable how little music I’ve written about today. Last night I engaged in an old tradition I’ve rarely observed since covid began marauding in March 2020, i.e., drinking in person with co-workers I usually see only on computer screens. I’m out of practice, and so forgot where the off-switch was, leading to… too damned much drinking.

On my ferry ride home I was thinking about how I would begin today’s column, knowing that I had about three-dozen links to new songs and videos I’d selected out of what I noticed over the last week, and knowing I’d never make it through all that. Fueled by whisky, I wrote this:

Imagine yourself seated across a table from a wizard, or rather what seems like a wavering mirage of a table, alternately expansive and as narrow as a rat’s tail. He buries his hands in a bowl of spiky glittering baubles and throws them at your face. Pleased with your wide eyes and the rivulets of blood coursing down your face, he chortles and beams. The pain and the exhilaration, now you feel alive!, he proclaims. And then black tentacles begin to sprout from his robes and writhe in your direction.

Reading that this morning through eyes almost pasted shut by the goo of sleep, I wonder how the hell that metaphor sprung to mind. The spiky baubles represented all the new songs and videos, I know that much, but the rest of it? The ways of whisky can be mysterious….

Anyway, I don’t feel so great this morning, and the day is rapidly flying by, so what follows is all I’ve been able to accomplish. Maybe these songs will leave you wide-eyed and bloodied. One can only hope. Continue reading »

Nov 122022
 

I devoted Friday’s round-up to new songs and videos from some of the bigger names in metal. As promised, today we’re digging deeper underground (tunneling is our preferred activity around here). But man, there were so many possible choices it may have made me cross-eyed.

To get un-crossed I fell back on four old favorites. I usually skimp a bit on the black metal in these Saturday collections because I’ve got tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column reserved for that, but the fate of this Sunday’s column is a bit uncertain because a certain local NFL team is playing in Germany with a start time of 6:30 a.m. where I live. So I’ve made adjustments.

AENAON (Greece)

I would have checked out Aenaon‘s noirish new video even if the video’s thumbnail hadn’t shown a gorgeous pair of legs and some fetching high heels, but that sure didn’t hurt. There’s also the fact that I’ve shamefully neglected writing anything about the band’s recently released album Mnemosyne, and it’s time to make modest amends for that. Continue reading »

Nov 112022
 

At this site we spend much more of our time trying to unearth underground gems and to push rising stars whose music deserves a push than we do acclaiming bands who are already household names, with big labels and robust PR machineries behind them. That’s not “virtue signaling”, it’s just a fact.

Does this mean we’re elitists who turn up our noses at the music of “big names”? Not at all. Though we pride ourselves on not fawning over those names even when they trip and release music that’s more likely to provoke yawns than excitement, we’re not immune to their allure — after all, most of them got big for a reason, and some are capable of reminding us why, at least until the well of inspiration runs dry.

It so happens that this week produced new songs and videos from a lot of big names, some of whom are returning after long absences. I’ve collected five of them in this round-up. It kind of clears the way for me to spend tomorrow focusing exclusively on names more obscure. Be forewarned: there’s lots of singing here today.

OBITUARY (U.S.)

Six years after the release of their last (self-titled) album Obituary will be releasing a new one in January named Dying of Everything. Founders John and Donald Tardy and Trevor Peres are still in harness, and bassist Terry Butler and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews are back for another round too. Continue reading »

Nov 052022
 

 

As you know if you’ve been here routinely, I make lists, lots of lists, of new music I want to check out. Last night when I began making my way through the latest one (an extremely long one), it happened that the first five selections were so good and fit together so beautifully that I decided to go no further, for fear of breaking a powerful pattern that had serendipitously taken shape. When I listened to them again this morning, it still made sense.

I’ve set out these songs in the order I heard them. I said they created a pattern, but they were also a journey, and one that ended in stunning fashion.

THY CATAFALQUE (Hungary)

Well of course I started with a new video from Thy Catafalque, especially because the video is for a performance of my favorite song from one of my favorite albums of 2011. Yes, more than a decade ago! But until senility encroaches I’ll never forget “Fekete mezők”. Continue reading »

Nov 042022
 

It’s another Bandcamp Friday, and thus a good day to spend money. If you’re going broke, it’s also just a good day to listen to new music, because a lot of new stuff has come out today and in the recent days leading up to it.

I’ve picked a few things to recommend, leading off with some big Finnish names — even though their albums aren’t on Bandcamp! — and then getting more obscure and a lot more extreme.

INSOMNIUM (Finland)

Insomnium decided to make another concept album, which will be their ninth full-length overall. Entitled Anno 1696, and based on a short story by Niilo Sevänen (bass/vocals), it focuses on a time of famine in northern Europe and a period when witch hunts were in full swing all across the continent. The press release says, “Anno 1696 is a tornado of tormented souls, set to a tragedy of Greek proportions”. Sevänen comments: Continue reading »

Nov 032022
 

 

I know I sound like a broken record, but this has been yet another week when the job that pays me (not NCS) has rudely interfered with my ability to recommend new music via round-ups such as this one. Even today it will interfere, and so even though I’ve decided to fill this round-up with full releases rather than advance tracks, I’m unable to say as much about them as I’d like. But fortunately, you can heed the wisdom of your own ears.

SALQIU (Brazil)

To begin, here’s a new album named خماسين الوباء from Nuno Lourenço in his guise as Salqiu. We’ve already learned that although Salqiu is prolific, we’re not going to get the same thing twice from album to album, a conviction reinforced by this new one, which has themes drawn from places far away from Nuno‘s homeland. He explains: Continue reading »

Nov 032022
 

(Andy Synn has four more recommendations of albums and artists you may have overlooked recently)

As we gallop towards the end of another year, the vast pile of albums that I haven’t found time to listen to has now become so threateningly large that I may well end up crushed under the sheer (meta)physical weight of all the music I’ve missed out on.

Still, I’ve tried my best to cover as much of this year’s musical crop as I possibly can, and I think that – come December – you won’t have that much cause to complain, as my current shortlist (actually, that should probably read “shortlist”, since there’s nothing “short” about it) of albums and EPs to include is several hundred long (though the final number will doubtless fluctuate a bit as new releases are added and some are removed because I don’t think I gave them enough time/consideration to form a proper opinion).

And four of those that will definitely be included – some of them pretty prominently, let me tell you now – are included here today.

Continue reading »

Nov 012022
 

(Andy Synn basks in the splendour of the new Disillusion album, out Friday on Prophecy Productions)

How exactly does one follow up an album which not only catapulted you back into the public eye after years of absence, but which was also – according to some people – on a par with the best thing you’ve ever done?

Well, the best course of action – if the upcoming new record from resurgent Prog-Metal powerhouse Disillusion is anything to go by – is that you don’t… or, more specifically, you don’t try to compete with yourselves.

Instead you take your time, follow your creative muse, and calmly (and confidently) continue to produce some of the very best work of your career.

Continue reading »

Nov 012022
 

Because most visitors to our site are English speakers (to one degree or another), we’ve used English translations for the name of the band whose song we’re premiering today, and the song name as well. But the band themselves are steadfast in their use of the Russian language, both in displaying their name and in the rendering of the title of their debut album and all the song names.

And so we present the song “Суицидальное жертвоприношение” (“Suicidal Sacrifice”) from the album Избыточная Смертность (“Excessive Mortality”) by the band Летальный Исход (Lethal Outcome).

In their music, this group from the Urals have devoted their talents to old-school death-thrash, but with other ingredients in the mix, drawing their inspirations from the early works of Protector, Sepultura, Sodom, Obituary, Deicide, Mayhem, and Asphyx. The song we’re presenting today also proves the dynamism of the band’s songcraft. Continue reading »