Feb 182020
 

 

I’m scurrying this morning, so I’ll dispense with introductory comments and get right to the music I’ve chosen for this round-up — but did you see Mitchell Nolte‘s fantabulous artwork on the cover of Aborted’s new three-track EP? Of course you did — how could you miss it? The EP is called La Grande Mascarade [sic], with a release date of April 17th.

MEDICO PESTE

I’ve previously spilled some demented words here about the truly demented first song and video (“God Knows Why“) presented in advance of the release of Medico Peste‘s new album, ב :The Black Bile. Now I can’t resist crowing again about this Polish black metal band because another song from the album has escaped out into the world. Continue reading »

Feb 152020
 

 

Six songs and videos yesterday, tracks from six more bands today. If I can manage six more tomorrow, we’ll have a sequence that marks that bestial number so near and dear to the hearts of metal fans. It’s good to have goals.

BENEATH THE MASSACRE

My, my, has it really been eight years since the last Beneath the Massacre album? Such a lot has happened in the world at large and in the narrower world of extreme metal in all those years. What has this Montréal band been up to in the meantime, and more importantly, what has happened to their musical proclivities? We are learning the answers now, as the clock ticks down to the release of their new album Fearmonger on February 28th, almost exactly eight years after Incongruous. Continue reading »

Feb 142020
 

 

On Valentine’s Day 2011 (here) I provided a 600-word history of the holiday going back to the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, interspersed with efforts to explain why Valentine’s Day is metal. Re-reading it this morning, I nearly passed out from the tedium.

On Valentine’s Day 2012 (here) I posted an NCS “lonely hearts” column in which I answered a variety of e-mails from women offering to video-chat with me (soapy and fresh out of the shower), people trying to sell me products that would give me “robust bone-ons”, others who wanted to have my children (I proposed to send ampules of love juice and suggested names for the kiddos), and a few broken-hearted people looking for help (I told them to just go ahead and kill themselves). The Comments were funnier than what I wrote. I’m more grown-up than that now (yeah, right).

As far as I can tell, I haven’t made an effort since then to organize any kind of holiday-related theme for the music I’ve posted on Valentine’s Day, though I’ve usually make some kind of (usually snarky) comment about the day, typically related to how commercialized the holiday is. In case you were wondering, this year the National Retail Federation reports that those celebrating Valentine’s Day in the U.S. plan to spend a record average of $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s previous record of $161.96, and that total spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record of $20.7 billion.

Isn’t that heart-warming? Continue reading »

Feb 122020
 

 

One week has passed since I posted the last of these round-ups, and dozens of new songs have emerged since then that I’d happily throw your way, in addition to the many dozens I haven’t foisted upon you from preceding weeks. However, it turns out that I had overlooked new tracks from some of my favorite bands, discovering those only two days ago. I can’t resist including them here, along with a few newer discoveries.

HEAVEN SHALL BURN

We seem to have fallen off the radar screen of Century Media, because we haven’t received a single press release about the new album by Heaven Shall Burn, whose many previous releases we’ve covered with religious fervor. Even worse, none of my NCS compatriots breathed a word to me about the fact that three songs from the new album have debuted for public consumption. I had to find out about them yesterday via a YouTube side-bar. What is the world coming to? Well, I know it’s going to shit, I just didn’t know it was this shitty. Continue reading »

Feb 112020
 

 

(Comrade Aleks has brought us not quite a premiere, but close to it, a sharing of a re-recorded track by the founder of diSEMBOWELMENT, which he introduces as follows.)

Being formed in 1989, Melbourne, Australia’s diSEMBOWELMENT turned out to be one of death-doom metal’s obscure pioneers with their own original sound. The band was active for just four years, but they managed to get a deal from Relapse, and their one and only full-length album Transcendence Into The Peripheral remains one of those innovative albums which is usually mentioned as a “must hear” release.

In 2019, Renato Gallina, the founder behind diSEMBOWELMENT, felt a powerful urge to re-visit the track, “Nightside of Eden“, which was featured on this one and only album. Gallina (as he has stated) was always “incredibly dissatisfied with this version” and has told us that it “was the weakest and most regretful moment on the album”. Almost three decades later, the track, as he stated, “has been re-contextualised and is finally true to how it was originally meant to sound”. Continue reading »

Feb 042020
 

 

I see that the last time I posted one of these new-music round-ups was on January 18th. After that the series became a casualty of my work on our Most Infectious Song list and our daily schedule of premieres, plus some other distractions. Now that I’ve finished the rollout of that song list I’m hoping to get back to a more regular featuring of newly revealed songs and videos, beginning with this post.

While SEEN AND HEARD was on hiatus, of course, a ton of new stuff surfaced, and catching up isn’t realistic. I haven’t even been very good about watching what has come out, though I did notice new songs from Vader (here), My Dying Bride (here), and The Black Dahlia Murder (here), among the bigger names out there. Please feel free to share your thoughts about those in the Comments, or about anything else I’ve overlooked, but I’m going to re-start this column with a few bands less-heralded than those.

SOLOTHUS

Last December we published an interview by Comrade Aleks with Kari Kankaanpää, vocalist of the Finnish doom-death band Solothus, that occurred just a few weeks after the band had finished their third album, which follows by four years their tremendous 2016 full-length No King Reigns Eternal. In that interview Kari summed up the essence of the band’s sound as “Candlemass meets Bolt Thrower“, and offered some hints about what the new album would present: “What you loved in No King Reigns Eternal is there, but with an even more refined and heavy sound! There is a lot more variation, but yet we keep the same recipe as always. I am very proud of how our upcoming third album sounds — it will be a blast when you hear it!” Continue reading »

Jan 182020
 

 

This is the second part of a new-music round-up that I started here yesterday.

HECATE

Back in 2018, the first recommendation our supporter Speelie made to me, in a comment, was for Hecate’s Une voix venue d’ailleurs. That turned out to be a valuable recommendation, as I attempted to explain in my too-brief review of that superb album (here). Many other valuable recommendations by Speelie have followed, most recently his message to me about a new song by Hecate that debuted on January 12th, and a new album from them that’s set for release by Mourning Light Records (on CD) in March of this year. Continue reading »

Jan 172020
 

 

As you can see, I have ambitions to recommend quite a lot of new songs, enough to justify splitting up the collection into two parts. I can’t promise that Part 2 will arrive today, because I haven’t written it yet. Might be tomorrow before you see it, but trust me, it’s worth seeing (and mainly worth hearing) even if you have to wait until Saturday.

I confess that I chose to put these particular five songs together not only because I liked them quite a lot but also because I enjoyed the idea of giving you genre-whiplash as you move through them.

EARTH ROT

The first four songs in this collection all come from bands whose previous releases we’ve acclaimed here at the NCS hovel, and all of them now have new full-lengths headed our way in 2020. The first of those is the Australian blackened death metal band Earth Rot, whose new album Black Tides of Obscurity will be released on March 6th by Season of Mist. The first advance track, “Dread Rebirth“, is the album opener, and it arrived along with a video that’s full of interesting visual effects. Continue reading »

Jan 012020
 

 

HNY!

 

I didn’t make it to the point when the clock ticked over into 2020 last night, not even close.  On the other hand, despite going to bed well before midnight I slept like a dead man for 10 hours, which is an extreme rarity. After all that time in the Land of Nod, I also felt extremely fuzzy-headed this morning, though a bout of drinking last night might have had something to do with that, even though it seemed pretty moderate to me at the time.

Anyway, for whatever reason, I got a very late and slow start today… and then had to focus on finishing up some work on today’s first post. All of that explains why this round-up arrives much later than I had planned. Fortunately, I picked all the music yesterday, or the post would be arriving even later. As usual, it’s a fairly random and stylistically quite divergent selection, united only by the fact that I like the hell out of everything here. (All of it is also very new.)

GRIMAH

The first song I’ve picked, “Thus Spake the Stone“, is off a debut album named Intricacies of Bowed Wisdom by the Spanish black metal band Grimah. The album is set for release on January 3rd, on CD via VERTEBRAE and digitally. Continue reading »

Dec 312019
 


Akos Fulop cracks his whip during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Kecskemet, Hungary, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019 when shepherds, horseherds and story-tellers wave farewell to the year 2019 with singing and whipcracking. (photo by Sandor Ujvari/MTI via AP)

 

Ii won’t say this is becoming a tradition because I can’t remember if I did it before last year at this time and I’m too fuckin’ lazy to find out and who knows if I’ll still be alive this time next year? But anyway, for at least the second annum in a row I’ve decided to end the NCS year with a playlist of music and then roll into the New Year with another one tomorrow.

I feel pretty comfortable that I’ll be able to write the one for New Year’s Day in the morning because, once again, I’m planning a quiet new Year’s Eve at home with my wife. After more than a few decades of severe misbehavior, the idea of a quiet night and a New Year’s Day without a cataclysmic hangover has become very appealing. No more January 1 mornings wondering, “Is the blood on my shirt mine?”, “Whose room is this?”, and “Where did I leave my pants?”

For these SEEN AND HEARD round-ups I usually pick from the songs I’ve added most recently to the list of new music to check out (a list I update nearly every day). But this time I decided to do something different. Continue reading »