May 182018
 

 

Yesterday I exercised rare restraint and didn’t attend the annual Syttende Mai parade in Ballard, Washington, reportedly the largest celebration of Norway’s Constitution Day in the U.S. So, instead of doing what I’ve done in past years, i.e., getting pleasantly wasted in the company of hordes of actual and pretend descendants of Norwegian immigrants to the Pacific Northwest, I did what I try to do most nights: I crawled through the slag heap of the NCS in-box and scrolled the endless stream of my FB news feed looking for new music that might be worth sharing.

I added links to more than 20 new songs and videos to my ever-expanding list, most of those from albums or EPs that haven’t yet been released. That’s a sign of how much new metal is revealed every day, and that’s not counting stuff I omitted because I suspected it wouldn’t do anything for me. Then I started listening. Some nights that goes faster than you might think; if something doesn’t grab me pretty fast, I skip past it and move on.

Last night the first six songs I listened to are the first six songs you’ll find in this round-up, heard (and seen) in exactly this order (most of them are presented through music videos). And the last item here is an EP I heard right after those six. I never made it to the rest of the list. Obviously, all of this new music grabbed me — though in very different ways. Because it’s such a broad scattering of genre styles, I’ll be surprised if anyone else likes all of it as much as I do. But you might find at least one thing you like.

SEAR BLISS

I really, really, really like how this Hungarian band have evolved over a career that’s now roughly 25 years old. On the occasion of their last album, 2012’s Eternal Recurrence, Natalie Zed’s review at Angry Metal Guy included some lines that I thought were astute in capturing the band’s accomplishments on that album: Continue reading »

May 152018
 

 

This round-up is more musically diverse than what I typically select, ranging further afield from my usual extreme-metal stamping grounds. It’s also less littered with words. I got a late start on the posting day and am hurrying toward a couple of EP premieres on the schedule, but wanted to share these five tracks before getting there… because they made for quite an eclectic and enjoyable morning here at my metallic island home.

KHÔRADA

Finally, we have the first single from the debut album by Khôrada. It’s been a long and anxious wait since the news emerged last year that former Agalloch members Don Anderson (guitar), Jason Walton (bass), and Aesop Dekker (drums) would be forging ahead in this new group, alongside ex-Giant Squid guitarist/vocalist Aaron John Gregory. Continue reading »

May 142018
 

 

Well, it seems I had a little free time I didn’t expect to have this morning after completing the writing and editing of posts planned for this Monday, so I thought I’d compile this small round-up of new discoveries, two of which appeared today and one of which arrived last week. Brighten (or darken) your fiendish hearts with these three tracks:

CRAFT

White Noise and Black Metal is the name of the new album by the long-running Swedish black metal cult Craft, their first one in seven years. The release date, through Season of Mist, is June 22nd. In April the label released the album’s first single, “The Cosmic Sphere Falls“, and today brought us another one, and it represents something of a switch from the first. Continue reading »

May 132018
 

 

There’s a mountain of black music in today’s column — five full releases, the shortest of which is more than 20 minutes long. Moreover, one of those releases is a single song that itself tops 20 minutes in length. I don’t expect everyone to make their way through all of this; tastes do vary, as does the amount of time people are prepared to set aside for the exploration of new music. Recognizing that, I’ve provided previews of the music (at least as I hear it), and in the case of the releases other than the two that consist of long-form monoliths, I’ve selected specific songs that I think provide a good test for whether you’ll like the rest of what’s there.

PLAGUESTORM

Eternal Throne is the debut EP by a Swedish black metal band (from Malmö) named Plaguestorm. According to the two labels who are releasing it (Helter Skelter and Blood Harvest), it was recorded in 2015 but is only now being released for the first time due to unspecified “hardships and delays”. Their description of the music peaked my interest:

Eternal Throne, they wrote, “features four tracks in 21 minutes, where all possible aspects of black metal is being mixed into one, big gruesome bowl where everything from the classic guitar leads of Mercyful Fate, and the chaotic mayhem of Katharsis has its righteous place”. Continue reading »

May 122018
 

 

One of my friend Andy’s objectives in launching our Saturday Waxing Lyrical series (the new edition of which is here) was to make it possible for me not to worry about coming up with something to post on Saturdays. I get to party on Friday nights, sleep in on Saturday mornings, and loll around like a walrus in penguin shit for hours after waking.

So I’m sort of defeating the purpose of Andy’s generous gesture by doing this post… but only sort of. I couldn’t resist throwing these brand-new hell-blazing tracks and videos at you because I had so much fun listening to and watching them yesterday and this morning, but I’m not going to take the time to explain what happens in the songs or why I like them so much. I’ll just give some basic info and let you have at it.

There’s some good geographic dispersion in this collection, as well as a lot of enviable talent on display. Also, if you happen to have some asbestos underoos, you might want to pull those on to protect your nether regions. Continue reading »

May 092018
 

 

(We present DGR’s review of the new album by some Swedish upstarts whose name will eventually be well-known if they keep doing stuff like this. It will be released on May 18th by Century Media.)

You’d be forgiven if, like your dear author here, the shock of At The Gates being an active band still hasn’t worn off yet. It’s been four years since the release of 2014’s At War With Reality, the group play shows and tour regularly, and yet every moment they’re around feels precious.

Recording an album that has transcended into a metal cultural landmark and leaving a near-twenty-year gap until the next one will do that to you, one guesses. Yet, here we are on the cusp of a second release from the group after that long hiatus in the form of their sixth album, To Drink From The Night Itself, and the first to feature new guitarist Jonas Stålhammar (whose own resume is pretty stacked and most recently played alongside vocalist Tomas Lindberg in their more old-school-focused The Lurking Fear).

In the lead-up to At War With Reality we all had a lot of fun pontificating on the many thought exercises of “What will a new At The Gates album sound like after the band has been gone for so long”, as the band had essentially watched and been part of a whole genre-explosion while its various members were involved in a slate of other projects. When the album was released, the answer was a pretty solid “it sounds like At The Gates” — which has to be one of the most frustratingly difficult things to pin down. Continue reading »

May 082018
 

 

I had enough time last night to turn myself into a musical glutton. Just kept stuffing myself to the point of swelling up like a dirigible, hoping I’d come across something that wasn’t tasty before I exploded. That didn’t happen, so I had to summon the last vestiges of willpower and make myself stop.

So here’s a whole bunch of music, and only pithy impressions from me.

WAYFARER

Wayfarer’s third album, their first for the Profound Lore label, is described as “a reflection of the Rocky Mountains and high plains of their native Colorado”, “drawing influence as much from the dusty, dark Americana of the ‘Denver Sound’ and the scores of epic westerns as they do the fury and melody of black metal….” Continue reading »

May 032018
 


Lago

You know the drill: From the frothing torrents of new music that continuously rush through the stinking catacombs of the metal underground I sift out a handful of nuggets that appeal to me, and present them in these posts in the hope that they will appeal to you as well.

Today I’m beginning with a couple of bands in whom I have perhaps a more personal interest than most because the front-men are such good dudes… though I’ll quickly add that I was a big fan of their music before I got to know them.

LAGO

I go back a ways with the music of the Arizona death metal band Lago, back to the discovery of their very impressive Tyranny demo in January 2013. They released an even more impressive debut album of the same name in 2014, from which we had the pleasure of premiering the first advance track. They followed that at the end of 2016 with a tremendously good split release with Poland’s Calm Hatchery, from which we also premiered a secret bonus track by Lago.

Since then Lago have completed work on a new album named Sea of Duress and signed with Unique Leader Records for its release, which will happen on June 8. And yesterday Metal Sucks premiered a video for one of the new album tracks, “Soiled Is the Crown“, which was directed by Matti Way (From the North Films). Continue reading »

May 012018
 

 

We have a couple of premieres coming later today (what a shock), but I found myself with a little extra time on my hands before we get to those, so I thought I’d package up a few new things that I heard yesterday. The first two come from established bands who are always dependably good. The second two come from new names that should become better known once the songs below get spread around.

ROTTING CHRIST

First up is a pro-shot live video of Rotting Christ performing the title track from their 2013 album Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού. It was filmed on June 30, 2017, during the band’s headlining anniversary concert in Athens. From the looks of this (and of course the sounds), I really wish I’d been able to astrally project myself into that venue. And I think that’s all the introduction this video needs. Enjoy: Continue reading »