Nov 152018
 

 

This is the second part of a death-metal-oriented round-up of new music that I began earlier today (here); the ones here are more melodic than those in Part 1.

I’m still not quite finished with this death-leaning collection, and will try to deliver the final installment tomorrow. As mentioned in Part 1, I also have some new songs to recommend from other genres that I’ve discovered recently. Some of those will find their way into Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, and I might mention a few others on Saturday.

NAILED TO OBSCURITY

Black Frost is the new album by the German band Nailed To Obscurity (who traffic in doom-influenced melodic death metal), and their first on the Nuclear Blast label. To begin paving the way to its January 11th release, the band recently released a beautifully made video (credit to director/producer by Dirk Behlau) depicting the band’s performance of the title track. Continue reading »

Nov 152018
 

 

As usual, I have a long list of new songs to recommend. As sometimes happens, I found that a great many of them were different variants of death metal, and so I’ve resorted to the “Death Rituals” moniker for today’s round-up rather than “Seen and Heard” and will leave the songs of other genres to another day. I’ve also divided the group into multiple parts to make it easier for me to squeeze them into the slate of other posts we’ve planned for today. Not sure how many other parts there will be — because I haven’t written them yet!

FESTERDAY

The Finnish Festerday (named after a Carcass song) released three demos and a split from 1991 to 1992, then fell silent for 25 years (at least under that name) until finding their roar again in 2017 through the release of a split with Total Vomit Experience. Since then additional short releases have followed, and now the band’s first album, lihtallan, is set for discharge by Season of Mist on January 4th. Continue reading »

Nov 132018
 

 

(The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which occurred on Sunday, inspired these thoughts by Andy Synn.)

Like the rest of you I’ve spent much of the last few days thinking about war, its causes and its costs, and its central role in human history, as Sunday marked the centenary of the end of WWI, one of the most devastating conflicts which humankind has ever endured.

To think that so many young men, many of them barely even men at all in truth, signed up to go off and fight in what was meant to be “the war to end all wars” is simply heartbreaking. To think that so many men and women lost their lives, and continue to do so even today, as part of a conflict which so many felt was truly all for “the greater good” is truly tragic.

Because the simple truth is that war is always a tragedy. And, thankfully, this is one thing which Remembrance Day here in the UK doesn’t forget. For while there are those who always seek to politicise the day’s events into a display of faux-patriotism to serve their own agendas, for the rest of us it remains a reminder to remember both the fallen and the survivors, and to acknowledge what they went through, and why it should never be allowed to happen again. Continue reading »

Nov 072018
 

 

According to our traffic statistics, roughly half of our visitors regularly come here from countries outside the U.S. I suspect that many of those people still paid a bit of attention to the elections conducted here yesterday, but probably not to the same extent, or with the same degree of emotional turmoil, as most of us in the States. Though I thought about staying away from the TV and the internet in an effort to reduce my anxiety, I failed. So, it was a late night of watching returns and a morning consumed by reading about what happened and what to make of it.

Nevertheless, I did manage to squeeze a bit of new metal into my ears last night and this morning, and chose the following advance tracks from four new records to share with you at this point — with more to come tomorrow.

ADAESTUO

Though I only managed to write about one track from Adaestuo’s 2016 debut EP, Tacent Semitae, I thought it was fantastic. I’ve been quite interested to hear what this multinational trio (instrumentalists VJS and P.E.Packain, and vocalist Hekte Zarenwould) would do next, and now we’re about to find out. Continue reading »

Nov 062018
 

 

I know there was a ton of new music released yesterday. I can tell just from rapidly scrolling through the 130 e-mails that hit our in-box between 12:55 a.m. and 10:35 p.m. yesterday (yes, I counted them). But (with two exceptions) I had already decided what I wanted to put in this round-up before any of those e-mails arrived, and I decided to just go with these and defer figuring out what Monday might have brought until another day.

The first of the two exceptions is one of the five recommendations I received yesterday from my Norwegian friend eiterorm. I suspect at least a few of the other four will also find their way into another round-up later this week. And that one exception led to a second. Most of the the rest of what I’ve collected below came out late last week or I discovered them last week.

CORPSESSED

More than four years ago, our former contributor Leperkahn introduced his brief comments about Corpsessed’s Abysmal Thresholds with these words: “I’ve been seriously hungering for some absolutely cavernous death metal, the kind of stuff that sounds like it was recorded in a Lovecraftian studio at The Mountains Of Madness”. And he found what he was looking for in this Finnish band’s debut album: “To put it succinctly, these guys play death metal that sounds straight out of the abyss. Since putting it on I’ve had to check a few times to make sure Cthulhu isn’t looming behind my back”. Continue reading »

Nov 032018
 

 

I thought I’d round up a quintet of videos that surfaced over the last couple of days, in the hope of making your Saturday a bit more entertaining. I’m going to (mostly) dispense with the usual commentary this time and leave you to go exploring on your own. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t want your commentary — so please do leave us some!

OPETH

The first one is a live recording of Opeth performing the glorious “Ghost of Perdition” on May 11, 2017. It comes from the band’s new live album, Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which was released on November 2nd by Moderbolaget Records and Nuclear Blast on DVD, Blu-Ray, and vinyl formats. Continue reading »

Nov 012018
 

 

I didn’t go trick-or-treating last night, or dress up for a costume party, or make any ritual sacrifices of kids in the neighborhood, much as I wanted to. No one came to our door asking for handouts either; the human heads impaled on spikes apparently did a good job protecting the perimeter of the NCS headquarters, though the ungodly screams coming out of the loris compound may have also played a role.

I was left to celebrate Halloween by listening to new metal, and man, there was a shitload of it to catch up with. There might be another day of the year when more metal bands and labels release new music than on Halloween, but I doubt it. Releasing cover songs also seems to be a Halloween thing. I picked just a few tracks to share around today… though I’m beginning with one that didn’t come out yesterday, though last night was when I first got around to hearing it.

DIRGE

In March of 2014 we had the privilege of premiering a full stream of the sixth album by the Parisian band Dirge, and I’m mentioning that because I decided to quote myself as a way of introducing their new seventh album. There are few things I enjoy more than quoting myself. Continue reading »

Oct 252018
 

 

“It’s death metal” doesn’t really tell you very much, which is why fans of extreme music long ago began inventing an ever-expanding, increasingly-hyphenated roster of sub-genres. I suppose one of those is “ritualistic death metal”, a kind of phrase that’s difficult to define but you sort of know it when you hear it… sort of. However, my use of the label “Death Rituals” for occasional posts like this one isn’t really intended to describe the style of music, it’s just a short-hand preview of the fact that I’ve decided to devote a round-up of new music to different styles of death metal, and that’s what you’ll find below.

SULPHUR AEON

I’ll go out on a limb and assert that Sulphur Aeon’s Swallowed By the Ocean’s Tide was one of the most explosive death metal debuts of the last 10 years. It didn’t hurt that the cover art by Ola Larsson was equally attention-grabbing. Together, the art and the music vaulted this German band onto the radar screens of fans and critics across the metal-listening parts of the globe in strikingly impressive fashion, and they cemented their reputation with 2015’s Gateway to the Antisphere. Now Sulphur Aeon and Ola Larsson have joined forces again for the band’s third album, The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos. Continue reading »

Oct 222018
 

 

Instrumental metal, perhaps more so than metal with vocals, is a risky endeavor with mixed results. In addition to the risks of mediocrity (which are certainly not unique to solely instrumental performances), there’s the further risk that even when the music is excellent, it can seem to cry out for a voice (at least in the reception of listeners). You can expect to hear the unique dimensions of sound that vocals might add, and be disappointed when they remain absent.

The Detroit-based instrumental death metal band Thoren avoid these risks, not only because the music is so astonishingly good, but also because it’s impossible to imagine what vocals might add, or perhaps more to the point, how anyone could perform vocals over these bewildering sonic creations that would fit in any coherent or satisfying way. As proof, we offer “Daleb Dath“. Continue reading »

Oct 202018
 

The subject of this little Saturday round-up of new videos is… happiness

ACCEPT

Happiness… happiness is being Accept and performing “Symphony No. 40″ before a bazillion people at Wacken Open Air with your own backing orchestra and conductor, stadium-sized video screens, abundant pyrotechnics, a couple dozen cameras filming the event, and a damned good editor splicing all the footage together. It doesn’t hurt that your lead guitarist (Wolf Hoffmann) looks like Bruce Willis. Continue reading »