Jun 112021
 

 

On June 14th the Chilean black/death band Black Ceremonial Kult will add to their collection of demos and splits that have been released since 2014. The newest release, which will come our way via Godz Ov War Productions, is named Crowned In Chaos. As you will discover through our full stream of the EP today, that title is well-chosen.

The band draw their inspiration, and the source of their powers, from occult mysticism, and it obviously leads them into frightening and dangerous places, because their music as represented on this new EP is unmistakably — and inhumanly — frightening and dangerous.

Through the first seven tracks of this 11-track release, the music alternates, creating chilling visions as well as explosions of breathtaking violence and madness, yet the tracks flow into each other seamlessly, creating a massive hallucinatory psychosis. Continue reading »

Jun 102021
 

 

In between bouts of activity driven by my fucking day job today, I had just enough time to pull together this relatively short round-up of new sounds — two tracks (both with videos) from forthcoming albums, and one recently released EP.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM (U.S.)

WITTR’s new album has been officially announced. Entitled Primordial Arcana, it’s set for release on August 20th by Relapse Records. Coincident with that they released a video for the song “Mountain Magick“. The band made the video themselves, and filmed it “in the northern reaches of the Olympic Mountains and the ancient forests that shroud the foothills”. They also recorded, produced, and mixed the album themselves. Continue reading »

Jun 102021
 

 

For just a three-track EP, Death on Fire‘s Six Foot Box is a vibrantly diverse and dynamic experience that manages to hit home in multiple ways. After reaching the end, it’s really easy to loop back around to the beginning, to re-live the experience and try to get a better understanding of how the band managed to provoke such a reflexively visceral and physical response while simultaneously moving emotions in such different and powerful ways. By then, the songs have just dug their hooks deeper under the skin, even further strengthening the desire to go back to them.

You can pick out songwriting and recording techniques (and a dark world-view) that flow across all three tracks, but trying to dissect and enumerate all the stylistic strains in the music (which seem to span about five decades of rock and metal history) is a much more difficult task, though probably easier if you’ve got some gray hairs in your head. It’s better to just appreciate how well this Indiana band have integrated the sounds that inspired them.

What we have for you today, in advance of the EP’s July 16 release, is the premiere of the EP’s second track, “A Hell of Our Own Design“. It now joins the closing song, “Begging For Air“, as publicly available streams — but we’ll also give you a written preview of the EP opener as well. Continue reading »

Jun 072021
 

 

Today’s roundup of new music and videos is a real hodgepodge (or perhaps you would prefer mishmash) of metallic creativity. At least one of the entries is a massive hodgepodge unto itself. A full trip through all of them may leave you shaking your head — hopefully in wonder.

SKEPTICISM (Finland)

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of this pioneering funeral doom band, remarkably with its original line-up still intact. To celebrate their long survival, they have a new album named Companion that’s ready for release on September 24th by Svart Records. The first single, “Calla“, emerged last week with a beautiful and haunting video made by Tuomas A. Laitinen that perfectly suits the music and the equally haunting words, which incorporate references to pale calla lilies in a story of longing and closure. Continue reading »

Jun 042021
 

 

Desolate subjects and a desperate mission animate the music on Kvadrat’s debut EP Ψυχικη Αποσυνθεση (“mental decay”), which we’re now premiering in full. Rather than embracing folklore or mysticism, this Greek black metal duo grapple with the kind of severe personal estrangement that reduces a mind to a frightening and hopeless prison, a vessel of fear, frustration, pain, and desperation, capable of producing not only depression but also hatred and a desire for oblivion.

The lyrics speak of life denying us light, of time melting all hope, of toxic rain flooding the paths of salvation, of sounds of hysteria ringing from bottomless pits of madness, and of rising fires of destruction as a last resort.

And with that subject matter in mind, the music pours gasoline on the gates of an unwelcoming reality, and ignites it, perhaps as a way of shedding light on the causes of terrible predicaments, or as a violent means of freeing lost souls from mental paralysis.

Be forewarned: This music asks no quarter and gives none. These four songs are absolutely breathtaking in their intensity and sonic power — dense, near-overwhelming, onslaughts of sound capable of swallowing a listener whole — but they are somehow also strangely mesmerizing. The music rings as well as ravages, and while it’s unnerving in its discordance, it can also seem heavenly — if the heavens were on fire. Continue reading »

Jun 032021
 

 

Indiana’s Graveripper are open and obvious in their admiration of Germanic thrash, but equally attracted to the stylings of early Norwegian black metal, as well as the rollicking riots of first-wave black metal. As the band’s founder, vocalist/guitarist Corey Parks has quipped, “We’ve described ourselves as if Exodus and Kreator had a kid and Immortal babysat frequently. We’ve received comparisons to Venom, Toxic Holocaust, and Skeletonwitch, which I can see. I think there is a lot of Midnight in there, and bands like Bonehunter, Bewitcher — all that.”

Of course, it’s one thing to tick off all those influences and another thing to witness how well Graveripper have drawn together the ingredients of ’80s death/thrash, blackened speed metal, and savage rock ‘n’ roll — while also incorporating dark and memorable melodies so seamlessly into their blood-rushing onslaughts.

And witness it you shall, because today we’re presenting a full stream of the band’s explosive and moving new EP, Radiated Remains, the day before its release by Wise Blood Records. Continue reading »

May 302021
 


Ritual Moon

 

Especially after yesterday’s humongous round-up it probably wasn’t smart for me to follow it with another one, but that’s what I’ve done. As you’ve probably figured out by now, careful thinking and reflection never have much to do with my NCS contributions. Impulse and enthusiasm tend to rule the day.

RITUAL MOON (U.S.)

I had intended to fully explore this L.A. band’s January 2021 debut album after listening to an advance track many months ago, but never got back to it until my comrade DGR recently posted about it. He figured it would be up my alley. It definitely is. Continue reading »

May 252021
 

 

(Here’s DGR’s review of the debut death metal EP by a group of Swedish veterans who’ve taken the name Grand Cadaver.)

It’s very likely that a large part of what might catch people’s eyes with a project like Grand Cadaver comes from the band’s lineup – so much so that I assumed our search bar had to be broken within our smoking crater of the internet since I could’ve sworn they’d gotten a shoutout here before.

The project itself is one of many recent creations of the swede-death revivalist forge. While the genre has never gone away, the last few years have seen a humongous resurgence of groups playing that blueprint-perfected, chainsaw-toned, snare-drum-thumping style of death metal. The revivalists often seem to have been made up of names from larger projects – many from the melodeath scene even, as if to stake some sort of claim along the lines of ‘We can play this type of shit too!’.

In the case of the newly founded Grand Cadaver project you have Dark Tranquillity‘s Mikael Stanne at the vocal front, and alongside him stands journeyman drummer Daniel Liljekvist (whom you might recognize as having sat behind the kit for In Mourning and Katatonia in times past), with Stefan Lagergren (whose resume is deep in the death metal scene, including an early stint in Tiamat as well as years in Expulsion), Alex Stjernfeldt (most recently of Let Them Hang, and Novarupta) and Christian Jansson (Pagandom, ex-Transport League) completing the lineup. To say that the group’s resume is stacked is putting it mildly.

So, when you see names like that with the death metal tag attached to it and a near-thirteen-minute EP entitled Madness Comes… you pretty much know what you’re in for from moment one. Continue reading »

May 232021
 

 

You may have noticed that for the last three days in a row I had time to create some pretty large round-ups of new songs and videos. But the time I found to do such things eventually ran out, and so this Sunday column of blackened sounds isn’t as extensive as I had hoped. in subsequent posts over the coming week I will endeavor to include other choices I made for today, but didn’t have time to write about.

Still, you won’t go away hungry today, because the following four choices include two full albums and a complete EP, as well as one advance track.

VALAIS (Ireland)

I don’t know much about this new project, and I’m not sure I’m free to disclose what little I do know beyond the apparent fact that it’s based in Dublin. So, until more info becomes public (if it ever does), we’ll have to let the music speak for itself. Continue reading »

May 212021
 

 

(It is our privilege to bring you this premiere of the experimental and unpredictable new release from Odraza, out tomorrow on Gods Ov War Productions, featuring a foreword by our own Andy Synn)

Ah, Odraza. Now that’s a name I’ve not heard since… well, since just last year, as a matter of fact, when I heaped praised upon their sublime second album, Rzeczom (an album which only just missed out on a place on my “Critical Top Ten” of 2020).

The band’s latest release, however, is even more unique and unusual than its provocative predecessor, comprising as it does a single twenty-minute track, conceived and brought to term as part of an exhibition to be presented at the Museum of Podgórze later this year.

Of course. this isn’t the first time that Odraza have strayed off the beaten (left-hand) path – their 2015 EP, Kir, for example, was a twenty-minute instrumental commissioned and performed live for an event at The Museum of the City of Krakow in tribute to the fallen in the Płaszów concentration camp – but there’s no question in my mind that Acedia is the band’s most unorthodox and unpredictable work yet, as well as a welcome reminder that strange times often breed even stranger art.

Continue reading »