Dec 142018
 

 

Our focus on LISTMANIA at this time of the year tends to diminish the frequency of round-up posts such as this one; even when I’m not doing the writing myself, the behind-the-scenes work that I do to get year-end features ready for publication (such as Andy Synn‘s impressive week-long series of lists, and DGR’s week-long series of catch-up reviews, both of which concluded today) takes some time. My ability to listen to new music and select songs and videos to recommend has been further restricted by the two-week vacation I took, which ended last weekend, and by way too much holiday-season partying this week.

Our 2018 LISTMANIA orgy isn’t nearly finished, by the way. Next week we’ll begin rolling our year-end lists from other NCS writers and guests, and at some point I’ll start revealing my own contribution to LISTMANIA — a list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. But I still do hope to throw in a new-music round-up every now and then.

The three new songs you’ll find below, all of which come with music videos, barely make a dent in my backlog, but I hope to do a bit more catching up with another SEEN AND HEARD post tomorrow and the usual SHADES OF BLACK column on Sunday. Continue reading »

Dec 012018
 

 

The effect of my vacation on this Saturday round-up is a good-news/bad-news story. The bad news is that I haven’t had time to sift through as many new songs and videos as I usually do before making my selections. The good news is that I found a lot to like anyway.

SAHON

In May of this year we had the great pleasure of premiering a song called “Faith of Savagery” from the hell-raising fourth album by the South Korean thrash band Sahon. The album was subsequently released by Transcending Obscurity Records on July 15th, and now Sahon have just released a music video — and it happens to be for the same great song we premiered.

If you’re feeling sluggish, sullen, spiteful, or have an itch in your brain that you haven’t figured out how to scratch, this video is what the doctor ordered. Continue reading »

Nov 292018
 

 

Last Sunday when I wrote about my imminent two-week vacation I though it was unlikely that I would be able to assemble any new-music round-ups. But for my traveling companions, yesterday was an especially lazy day, and so I found a bit of guilt-free time to explore new music.

Not a lot of time, mind you, and so I didn’t cast a very wide net over everything of interest that had surfaced since the last of these round-ups, nor was I able to choose as many songs as I usually do. But these three struck a strong chord, and I’m happy with the choices.

ROTTING CHRIST

Season of Mist uses the term “anthemic” to describe the new Rotting Christ song it released yesterday, and so it is — in a way that’s distinctively Rotting Christ. If you’re familiar with their music, you would know it’s them even if no one told you. Continue reading »

Nov 252018
 

 

Over the next two weeks you’re probably going to notice a diminution in the number of posts at NCS, compared to what you’ve become accustomed to. Rest assured that it’s not a sign of some awful catastrophe that has befallen us, or an indication that we’re getting tired of what we do. To banish any such concerns, I’m writing now to explain that I (Islander) will just be on vacation.

Of course, it’s likely that the rest of the NCS staff and contributors will continue to send reviews and interviews to me for publication at their usual pace, but because I tend to write most of the daily posts, things will probably slow down a bit. Continue reading »

Nov 242018
 

 

I didn’t really listen to these songs for the first time today. It was actually last night, though I did listen to them again on this Saturday morning, just to make sure that the vodka in my system on the previous evening hadn’t warped my judgment. I concluded it hadn’t, even if it might have super-heated an already warm reaction.

I like the way this playlist of new music and videos flows, even without the vodka lubricant, though it won’t put you in a single headspace and let you linger there for very long. It starts in ravaging and ravishing fashion, shifts into much more bewildering and cerebral gears, and then just rocks out.

DEATH KARMA

Thanks to a tip from my Norwegian fiend friend eitororm, I learned that the Czech band Death Karma, who share a couple of members (Vladimír Pavelka and Tom Coroner) with Cult of Fire, will be releasing a new album, The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part 2, TODAY on CD (and digitally on November 26th). Continue reading »

Nov 222018
 

A few other countries besides the United States have a Thanksgiving holiday, but not many, and none of them except the U.S. celebrates it today. So I guess in the vast majority of the world it’s just another day — and so it is at NCS. We do take a certain amount of pride in refusing to take time off for holidays. I mean, we mention them, and some of us partake of them in our non-blog lives, but at NCS they’re all just days, like all the other days, that give us a chance to give thanks for metal.

The following seven new songs flowed together very well in my head last night. Together they make one head-wrecking playlist of slaughtering sound. And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

BLOOD RED THRONE

The Norwegian wrecking crew Blood Red Throne, whose latest album (Union of Flesh and Machine) our Andy Synn called “yet another top-tier terminator of crushing, grooving, blasting belligerence and cold, calculated aggression”, recently discharged a lyric video for a new song from their next album, Fit To Kill, and that’s how we’ll begin today’s blood-letting. Continue reading »

Nov 192018
 

 

As recounted by The Washington Post, “As night fell on April 4, 1968, newly declared presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy stepped in front of a microphone atop a flatbed truck in a poor, predominantly black neighborhood in Indianapolis. Looking out onto the crowd, Kennedy turned and quietly asked a city official, ‘Do they know about Martin Luther King?’”

King had been assassinated just a few hours earlier, as Kennedy had boarded a flight for Indianapolis. In response to Kennedy’s question the official told him, “We’ve left it up to you”.

What Kennedy then said to the waiting crowd over the next six minutes was what many historians have called one of the most compelling speeches in U.S. political history — the brother of an assassinated president announcing another traumatic assassination just two months before he would also be killed. Understanding the impulse for revenge, in which violence would beget more violence, Kennedy instead called for love, wisdom, and compassion. Continue reading »

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 »