Apr 152019
 

 

In just five days Culthe Fest 2019 will begin in Münster, Germany, and for the second year No Clean Singing is delighted to partner with Unaussprechliche Culthe in helping to spread the word.

This is a two-day event, with performances on April 20 and April 21, and it features a remarkable line-up of bands from the realms of black metal, death metal, post-metal, and dark folk, plus an art exhibition (with works by Jeff Grimal, Irrwisch, and Carmen Alba), a panel discussion with Ernie of Krachmucker TV, and nightly after-shows.

The headlining bands are tremendous: Panopticon (performing in Germany for the first time), Sulphur Aeon, and Dornenreich (performing mostly songs from Hexenwind and Her von welken Nächten). But the rest of the line-up is also enormously appealing. Continue reading »

Apr 022019
 

 

I never learn. I have music from 10 bands that got me very excited this past weekend (on top of the 7 I wrote about in SHADES OF BLACK on Sunday). Ten is too many for a single post, which means I’m splitting this up, and the thing I never learn is that my best-laid plans always get dashed on the rocks by other life pressures. In my head, I feel that if I put my back into it, like a shackled oarsman on a Roman galley, I can get the second part done. In my head, I also think the odds are that the vessel will ram some Macedonian pirate vessel and sink like a stone.

The music of these 10 bands is all over the place. I usually have inspirations about how to organize the music in these round-ups so there’s some kind of flow. This time, I came up short. It’s all just so different. So I arranged everything in alphabetical order by band name, for want of a better idea. We have A-M here; maybe we’ll have the rest of the alphabet later. Ramming speed!

ACRITARCH

I got quickly addicted to this new release by Acritarch, before the archaeological ministry of my memory could excavate the recognition of who was behind it. Fortunately, Rennie of starkweather, whose mind is so much more agile than my own, knew who it was immediately, and told me. No wonder the album is so damned good. Continue reading »

Mar 272019
 

 

I wasn’t sure I would have a time for a round-up this week, given the continuing press of my day job, but I did manage to pull this one together based on some late-night listening over the last couple of evenings. If I stay up late enough and wake up early enough, I find that I’m still able to squeeze in something like this, despite having a lot fewer daylight hours to call my own. Here we go:

DEVOID OF THOUGHT

In October 2017 we premiered a demo named Astral Necrosis by the Italian band Devoid of Thought, whose name I thought would also describe the mental state of listeners exposed to the demo’s three tracks. The music was a whipsawing amalgam of death metal and thrash, with the kind of fireball instrumental performances and brain-spinning intricacy that might lead one to slap a “progressive” label on the ingredients as well — except the music seemed too maniacal and vicious for that word. It was insanely good, and also just insane. Continue reading »

Mar 242019
 

 

Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but I did listen to all the selections in this round-up on Saturday. I just didn’t get this post finished in time to launch it yesterday.

I listened to a lot of other things yesterday, too. Some of that will find its way into the usual SHADES OF BLACK column later today. Other songs and videos were also interesting, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Drawing lines gives me a headache, especially because I know that Monday will begin another week filled with new songs and videos on top of those from last week that I failed to get to, and another week when my day job (again) probably won’t leave me enough time for round-ups.

Doom plays a role in all of the following songs, which factored into my line-drawing, but the sounds of suffering play quite different roles from song to song.

OCTOBER TIDE

In their 25th year October Tide are releasing a new album, which founding guitarist Fredrik Norrman describes as “a bit more aggressive, a bit more death metal, and with an overall colder feeling than previous records”. His brother, guitarist Mattias, is still in harness, as is vocalist Alexander Högbom, but since the band’s last album they’ve added a new bassist (Johan Jönsegård) and a new drummer (Jonas Sköld), both of whom are also members of Letters From the Colony (who seem to have a lot of Meshuggah in their DNA, at least based on this live video from last summer). Continue reading »

Mar 222019
 

 

I guess this week has been like every other week: It brought a flood of new metal. Unfortunately, it was a week when the job that pays the bills left me no time for round-ups. It was a mad scramble just to get everything else done around the NCS compound. Confronted with a list of way too many new songs to write about, most of which I haven’t even heard yet, I made completely impulsive choices from among those I have heard, three of which are videos.

Not sure how much further catching-up with new music I’ll manage in the posts this weekend, but I’m going to try. We’ll see how that goes…

FULL OF HELL

I had to lead off with this new song from Full of Hell because it’s just such a shrieking, roaring horror. One of those things that makes you sit bolt-upright and prevents you from thinking about anything else, which was a blessing, given my scrambled state of mind when I first heard it. Continue reading »

Mar 202019
 

 

Who doesn’t enjoy an enormous surprise? I don’t mean the surprise of being T-boned at an intersection by a speeding semi-truck, but something like the surprise of stepping through your door and finding that a wild-dreamlike dimension has replaced the mundane comforts of home, with sights and sounds that are thrilling but also dangerous to body and mind. Fauci Tra Fauci, the new album by Laetitia In Holocaust (which will be released by Third I Rex on March 31st), is that kind of surprise.

I literally had no idea what to expect when I began listening to this album, having not heard this Italian black metal band’s preceding two full-lengths or even the single from this new one that premiered at Toilet Ov Hell. For all I know, Fauci Tra Fauci might prove to be a surprise even if I’d been familiar with the band’s preceding works (and for obvious reasons I can’t compare this one to the others). But I’m glad I didn’t know what was coming, because it made this journey of unexpected discovery all the more exciting. Continue reading »

Mar 172019
 


Photo by Davide Marcesini

 

This song by Carved is a really good one, but it’s the sand artistry of Nadia Ischia that makes this video so especially appealing.

If you came to our site at this point expecting to find the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column, it’s not ready yet. In fact, it’s far from ready. While I continue to hammer away on it, I thought it would be a good idea to have something else to occupy people who had already consumed the sights and sounds in Saturday’s round-up. The video for Carved‘s song “Hagakure” seemed perfect, even though posting about only one song or video around here is as rare as hen’s teeth. Continue reading »

Mar 162019
 

 

I’ve gotten dramatically busier at my fucking day job over the last week (and unfortunately it’s going to get worse in the weeks ahead). I’m way behind in crawling through the hundreds of e-mails we get each day (no telling how many indie pop masterworks and ED treatments I’ve missed), and have had no time to do the other things I usually do in an effort to discover new music that isn’t being plumped by press releases.

Fortunately, a cadre of faithful allies had left messages for me, which collectively gave me the six songs and videos you’re about to see and hear. And so, I’m grateful (in order of their recommendations which appear below) to Rennie (starkweather), DGR, Andy Synn, eiterorm, Miloš, and Rennie again.

POSSESSED

On May 10th Nuclear Blast will release the first album from Possessed in over three decades.They lined up Peter Tägtgren to mix and master it, and enlisted Zbigniew Bielak to create the cover art. And, as Rennie wrote in his message to me, it sounds like they didn’t miss a beat, 33 years after Beyond the Gates. Continue reading »

Mar 142019
 

 

Here’s Part 2 of today’s new-music round-up. Hope you dig what I’ve chosen.

SCHATTENFALL

I paid attention to (and wrote about) the 2017 debut album (Schatten in Schwarz) of the multinational band Schattenfall because their line-up included two former members (Vladimir Bauer and Yurii Kononov) of the band White Ward, whose brilliant debut album Futility Report I had the pleasure of premiering earlier that year. The third member at the time of that debut was vocalist/lyricist Ole Heidenblut. Now Schattenfall have finished a second album, Melancholie des Seins, on which Bauer and Kononov are joined by a new vocalist, Stefan Traunmüller (who also contributes additional solo guitar), whose work I’ve admired in Golden Dawn, Rauhnåcht, and Wallachia (among other groups). Continue reading »

Mar 142019
 

 

I have more than enough new songs and videos to recommend to your eyes and ears to justify two installments of this Thursday round-up, and (barely) enough time to introduce them. So let’s get right to it:

KAMPFAR

It’s been a long four years since the arrival of Profan, long enough for the Norwegian black metal band Kampfar to be almost out of sight and out of mind, but not buried so deep in the memory that a new song wouldn’t provoke a sharp burst in the pulse at the mere mention of their name. After all, they’ve been plying their trade for almost a quarter-century so far, and filling that time with seven albums of substantial worth. And now an eighth one has been announced. Continue reading »