Sep 172019
 

 

Two tracks. One of them nearly 17 1/2 minutes long, the other one just over 20 minutes, each of them denominated as a Part of a single work. That’s the new album by the black metal band Ancient Moon, Benedictus diabolica, Gloria Patri, which will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on September 20th. Two very long pieces composed and performed by anonymous artists, locations unknown, but apparently crossing continents.

Music of such daunting length can be… daunting to listeners, and to people such as myself who feel compelled to wrestle with words as a means of communicating sound. But don’t be daunted, or deterred from listening. Patience is obviously required, but in this case it will be richly rewarded. Continue reading »

Sep 172019
 

 

(This is the first part of an extensive series of posts by TheMadIsraeli devoted to a retrospective analysis of the discography of Slayer. With luck, we’ll manage to post each installment on a daily basis until it’s completed.)

I fucking love Slayer. The blasphemous flesh flayers are no doubt legendary in metal’s history and its evolution, for good reason. The speed, sheer technicality, outright viciousness, and the new wave of dark tonality they brought was absolutely, existentially crucial in the birth of what we now know as extreme metal.

However, there’s always been a lot of conjecture around this band. Lots of fluff about legacy, how they influenced metal, etc., but no one (that I’ve seen) has applied a hard critical eye and evaluated this band’s entire catalogue of albums as a work of art. Not as a piece of history, not as an influence, not as an example of innovation, but as an assessment of how Slayer have performed as musicians across their body of  work over time. Continue reading »

Sep 162019
 

 

As promised in Part 1 of this week’s somewhat delayed edition of this column, the music I’ve selected for Part 2 consists of recordings by bands who are new discoveries for me, for which I’ll credit two regular sources of new discoveries. But before we get to the music, I have an exciting announcement to share, which occurred just today.

KRATER

I didn’t jump into Krater’s creations until their third album, 2016’s Urere, but that instantly made me a fan, so much so that I felt compelled to share today’s announcement of their new album even though I don’t yet have any song streams to present. The opportunity to put Misanthropic-Art‘s creepy creation for the album’s cover at the top of our page was an added inducement. Continue reading »

Sep 162019
 

 

Following hot on the heels of their 2018 album Continuum, the English instrumental post-rock band Sons of Alpha Centauri (SOAC) have created a second part to the journey which began there, and have done so in a stunning collaboration with industrial metal icon Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu…) and ambient gloom metal maestro James Plotkin (Khanate, Jodis, etc.). The results of these creative unions are relentlessly fascinating, amalgamating a wide range of stylistic ingredients in a way that’s both compulsively head-moving and equally mind-bending. The music has genuinely primal power, yet also transports listeners into an alien cosmos and seemingly spirits us away into haunting realms that we enter at our peril.

This new album, Buried Memories includes two 10-minute monoliths of eclectic ambient progressive rock by SOAC — “Hitmen” and “Warhero“. “Hitmen” was mixed by Broadrick, and the album further includes his interpetive remixes of the track, one in his guise as Jesu and the second as the eponymous JK Flesh. James Plotkin created the mix for the second long SOAC track, “Warhero“, and then the album further includes a third, shorter SOAC track (“Remembrance“) mixed by Plotkin, as well as his remix of “SS Montgomery“, a single from the band’s landmark self-titled debut album.

What we’re presenting today is the premiere of the Jesu remix of “Hitmen“, as well as an impressionistic review of Buried Memories as a whole, in advance of its release on October 13th. Continue reading »

Sep 162019
 

 

I was in Utah over the weekend for my job and didn’t have a lot of free time. I did have enough time to do some listening and make these selections, but not enough to finish this column and post it in its usual place on Sunday before I had to go to the airport for the trip back to Seattle.

As you can see, there will be a second Part later today. For this first Part I’ve chosen songs that mark the return of  bands whose previous work we’ve praised and promoted. The second Part includes a number of new discoveries.

THE DEATHTRIP

My tumble into the music of The Deathtrip began in July 2016 when Neill Jameson included these words about the band’s 2014 debut album Deep Drone Master in an NCS post about black metal:

The Deathtrip is an Aldrahn project (who you should know from Dødheimsgard amongst others). Two demos that were primitive and degenerate as hell were enough to keep my interest, but the realization of the building blocks they represented which came together on this release is startling and welcome. Aldrahn has always had one of the greatest voices in black metal and it has felt like far too long since it’s been heard. Hopefully this is a project that will continue and grow.” Continue reading »

Sep 162019
 

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Ukrainian band White Ward, which will be released by Debemur Morti Productions on September 20.)

To say that White Ward are the band Ulver might be today if they hadn’t totally abandoned the Black Metal aesthetic would, probably, be an over-simplification.

Both bands are, after all, distinct entities in their own right, and to imply that the former are simply a more metallic variant of the latter would be to do them a major disservice.

And, yet, there’s more than a hint of Perdition City to the Ukranian quintet’s new album, whose unusual mix of biting riffs, moody jazz inflections and neo-noirish vibes purposefully eschews the more “traditional” aspects of Black Metal – the nature worship, the rustic spirituality – in favour of a sound that’s distinctly urban in both tone and texture, all neon and glass and cold concrete.

But whereas Perdition City was billed as “music to an interior film”, this one is much more physical and grounded. It’s the soundtrack to the world outside your window, a world of digital prophets and ephemeral profits, social media sirens and vicarious virtual violence.

A world where what we put in no longer equals what we get out. Where what we give no longer balances what we take. A world on the brink of total Love Exchange Failure. Continue reading »

Sep 132019
 

 

(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the Swiss band Voice of Ruin, which is set for release on September 27th by Tenacity Music.)

Voice Of Ruin is a band that I get A LOT of promo and PR-related material about in my NCS inbox, and have since the band came about in 2014.  I’ve, like, SORT of listened to these guys?  But have never given them much of a chance because I’ve been confused by the references to melodic death metal, black metal, thrash metal, and metalcore, all of which have been attached to their name.

However, after receiving a promo for the band’s upcoming record Acheron, I decided why the fuck not, I’m going to sit down and really take in an album from these guys for the first time. Continue reading »

Sep 132019
 

 

(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Norwegian destroyers Blood Red Throne, which is being released today by Mighty Music.)

Now, I’m aware that I’ve caused a fair bit of controversy and upset over the last few weeks.

And I apologise for nothing.

But perhaps now it’s time for us (well, most of us, some people just won’t let things go) to put aside our differences and begin the healing process.

And what’s more healing than a good dose of Death Metal? Continue reading »

Sep 132019
 

 

The four marauders in Wayward Dawn from Skanderborg, Denmark, may not be grizzled veterans (in fact, their ages range from 19 to 21), but you’d never guess that from listening to their music. The brand of death metal they’ve embraced is ferociously powerful, demonically sinister, furiously enraged, and delivered with explosive energy. And they’ve already demonstrated precocious song-writing talent, injecting their slaughtering assaults with booming grooves and the kind of riffs that get stuck in a listener’s head.

Wayward Dawn made their mark last year with their debut album, Soil Organic Matter, and participated in a four-way split this past spring (Carriers of the Disease), and now on this lucky Friday the 13th, they’re releasing a new single through Mighty Music named “Prophet“. To commemorate the occasion we’re cooperating with a few other sites to present the debut of the song through a video that captures the band’s live energy. Continue reading »

Sep 122019
 


Hour of Penance

 

Much as I hate to do this, I’m going to resort to the format I used last Saturday when I was similarly pressed for time — just serve up some of the new songs and videos I’d like to recommend from what I’ve encountered this week, sans verbiage from me (except in one case). I’m probably going to do the same thing tomorrow, because I have a long list of recommendations.

My shortage of time is going to persist from now through the weekend, thanks to travel, meetings, and nose-to-the-grindstone efforts required by that thing that pays all the bills around here (my fucking day job). Continue reading »