Mar 022019
 

 

I wasn’t able to post any SEEN AND HEARD round-ups of new music last week, mainly because of a work-related trip to Texas from Wednesday through Friday that barely left me enough time to post what you saw on our site over those three days. I did continue to make lists of new things I wanted to check out as soon as I had time, and I found that time this morning, due in part to the fact that I woke up at fucking 3:45 a.m. I guess I was still on Texas time, but that can’t be the only reason. Maybe those lists were calling to me in my sleep like sirens.

Anyway, I went on a big metal binge this morning. It turned out that a lot of the new music I liked came packaged with music videos, which themselves ranged from decent to very good. So I decided to prepare a two-part round-up that consists entirely of videos. Part 2 will come tomorrow, in advance of the usual SHADES OF BLACK column (I’ve got a shitload of ideas for that, too).

TRUTH CORRODED

I guess Australia must have its fair share of race-baiting right-wing political assholes, just like the U.S. does. That’s certainly the impression I get from the new video for a song by the Australian death/thrash band Truth Corroded called “Victims Left Lepers“, which includes the faces of certain political figures grotesquely morphing into Nazis and standard-bearers of the KKK. Continue reading »

Feb 232019
 

 

I’m going to regret this. Hell, I already regret it, mainly because the critique I’m about to present will drive more clicks to the article I’m criticizing (whose main purpose was obviously to attract clicks in the first place), but also because the full back-story leading to the points I want to make is only slightly shorter than War and Peace; tedium might be the only victor in this exercise.

So why am I writing this despite those regrets? I’ll come back to the reason in due course. But first, the back story, which I’ve slightly condensed in an effort to combat tedium-induced catatonia. Continue reading »

Feb 222019
 

 

Here are six songs and videos that stood out from the pack in my seeing-and-hearing session last night and this morning. Some other items also stood out, and perhaps I’ll get to those tomorrow (perhaps along with other things I’ll find today). Everything below is new, except for the second song and video, which is newly discovered.

DEVIN TOWNSEND

This first video is actually a last-minute addition. I had this round-up nearly ready to go when I noticed a message from my comrade DGR that read as follows: “New Devin Townsend video out in the wild. Does a good job highlighting how batshit the songwriting is. Still has its ‘Space Enya’ moments”. Continue reading »

Feb 212019
 

 

After finishing this morning’s previous posts, I just barely had enough time to grab a few new songs for this round-up before having to surrender to my fucking day job. Based on what’s on the slate tomorrow, I think I’ll have time for a few more then.

BLACK ANVIL

Following up on their latest album, 2017’s very good As Was, New York’s Black Anvil have a new EP named Miles headed our way, a release that was written, performed, and recorded as a tribute to late The Devil’s Blood guitarist/vocalist Selim Lemouchi. DECIBEL mag, which premiered the EP’s opening track earlier this week, describes Miles as retaining “the barely-restrained insanity of Black Anvil’s previous releases while also embracing more melody and vulnerable emotion”, and that description is borne out my the song they premiered, “Iron Sharpens Iron“. Continue reading »

Feb 202019
 

 

I probably should have dug deeper into my ever-expanding list of recent music to check out, but instead spent my latest listening time focused only on what I added to that list over the last 48 hours. With so much new stuff coming out every day, sometimes music that’s even a week old becomes a casualty, rudely shoved aside by newer interlopers. That’s what happened here.

Unfortunately, because I happen to be hurrying at the moment, I won’t have quite as much to say as I usually do about what you’ll be hearing — but you really should listen to all these tracks anyway, even without detailed impressions from me!

WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA

If you haven’t heard of Waste of Space Orchestra, perhaps you’ve heard of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising. If you haven’t heard of them either, checking out their music should be on you to-do list just above “see a doctor about that gangrenous toe”. Continue reading »

Feb 172019
 

 

I still plan to post the usual Sunday Shades of Black column later today (though at this moment I haven’t finished it), but I thought I’d begin the day by sharing some of the music I investigated in the course of figuring out what I’d put in that column. I listened to the following songs and albums at different points in time, but it eventually occurred to me that compiling them here would provide an… exotic… listening experience.

All of these songs draw upon musical traditions that pre-date metal by many centuries, if not millennia. That makes the interweaving of them with metal sound exotic, but of course that’s a relative term. It’s more accurate to say “exotic to Western ears”, i.e., my own, and probably yours.

TAMERLAN

Tamerlan is the alter ego of musician Timur Iskandarov, whose place of origin is listed on Facebook as Prokopyevsk, Russia (a place in southwestern Siberia sandwiched between Mongolia and Kazakhstan), but who has also spent time in Uzbekistan, Serbia, Turkey, and elsewhere. As Tamerlan, he has released four albums (with a fifth one on the way) since 2006, along with a handful of shorter releases. The forthcoming record, Infinigrammaton, will be jointly released by Casus Belli Musica and Steinklang Industries on March 10 (digitally) and March 15 (CD). Continue reading »

Feb 142019
 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a bouquet of black roses for you. Careful with the thorns.

I had originally planned to post this round-up yesterday but ran out of time, so most of the songs and videos I’ve selected have been out in the wild for a couple of days. But you still might have missed them, so I’m forging ahead anyway.

The number of items in this collection is also large enough that normally I would have divided it into a two-part post, but I was so pleased with the stylistic variety represented in what I’d chosen that I decided to keep it all together in one place. Just take a deep breath (or maybe hyperventilate), and try to get through all of it — I bet you’ll find at least one new song you’ll really enjoy.

INTER ARMA

In not much more than three months from now, NCS will present the third annual edition of Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle. We announced the full three-day line-up on New Year’s Day, but of course, as always seems to happen, since then we’ve had a few bands drop out due to circumstances beyond our own control. One of those was scheduled to headline a night at one of the two main stages, but we got lucky and were able to secure a great replacement — Virginia’s Inter Arma, who happen to have a new album coming our way this spring. Continue reading »

Feb 112019
 

 

I delivered a double dose of new music and video recommendations last Thursday, but of course (as expected) a ton more new stuff appeared since I made those selections. In fact, everything I’ve chosen for this post surfaced just since I finished that last round-up. I had planned to post this collection on Saturday, but it snowed at the NCS compound, the power went out, and that was the end of that plan. Just as well — now you can use this playlist to start the new week on a heavy note.

I’m beginning with a trio of vicious death metal attacks, moving to a pair of more melodically-minded, and much more entrancing and doom-influenced, songs, and then finishing up with a real ripper. We don’t want anyone locked into a steady place for too long; that’s how brain cells get moldy.

IMPRECATION

By chance, two of the new songs in this post are from albums slated for release by Dark Descent Records, and this is the first of those. This is also the first of two Texas bands in this playlist. The album is Damnatio Ad Bestias, the second full-length released by the venerable Texas band Imprecation since they rose from the dead in about 2009 after a long hiatus. Continue reading »

Feb 072019
 

 

As explained in Part 1 of today’s round-up, I feel particularly inundated by new metal this week, far too much for me to cover comprehensively (and I’ve still got a lot of catching-up to do with music that came out before this week). I’m not sure there’s much rhyme or reason to what I chose to write about in this two-part installment. The choices were pretty damned impulsive.

For example, I could have written about the new songs and videos by Allegaeon, Continuum, Kartikeya, Katechon, Latitudes, Nightrage, and Sectioned (to name just a few), but I haven’t — though you can click those hyperlinks and check them out anyway. Here’s what I am writing about:

ROTTING CHRIST

Yesterday the Russian site Satanath (home to Satanath Records) premiered another new song off the new album (The Heretics) by Rotting Christ, which will be released by Season of Mist on February 15th. The name of the song, “Vetry zlye (Ветры злые)“, explains the choice of Satanath for the premiere. But although the song title and some of the lyrics are in Russian, it’s not Sakis Tolis who “fights his way through a maze of Russian phonetics” in the chorus, but guest singer Irina Zybina (vocalist in the Russian folk metal band Грай [Grai]). Continue reading »

Feb 072019
 

 

This week has been ridiculous. With the exception of the year-end holiday season, when releases slow down a bit, every week now brings a flood of new music from metal bands and labels, but this week seems to be turning into a typhoon. With most of Thursday (as I write this) and all of Friday still to come, it’s only going to get worse/better. So once again, I’m resorting to a two-part round-up.

But even with a two-part collection I’m still not going to be able to comprehensively cover the (rising) waterfront. I’ve still had to make some choices, and so in Part 2, in addition to the usual write-ups, I’m just going to link you to additional streams of music that I’m not writing about in more detail. I’m doing that then instead of now, because I haven’t yet figured out where to draw that line.

MISERY INDEX

Two days ago, via Loudwire, Misery Index released a lyric video for another new track off their forthcoming album Rituals of Power. As the band explain: “‘The Choir Invisible‘ is a euphemism for the dead, or those who have passed on. In the context of this song, it is an anthem of the dispossessed and the hopeless. Many across the world exist in an ‘in-between’ state that is often ignored and/or washed over because they lack the power and voice to plead their case as human beings. The song takes up this theme and tells it from the somber view of those who risk their lives, board ships and cross oceans in order to find a better life.” Continue reading »