Oct 142015
 

2015-10-10 19.57.59

 

From last Friday through Sunday, October 9-11, 2015, I and two of my NCS comrades (DGR and BadWolf) attended the inaugural edition of California Deathfest in Oakland, CA, brought to us by the same good people responsible for the long-running Maryland Deathfest.

On Saturday morning I managed to scribble some notes and pull together a few photos from the first day of the festival (here). Though delayed for various reasons, this post will now focus on Saturday’s show, and before this week runs out I hope to prepare a feature on Sunday’s third and final day of the event. Continue reading »

Oct 162013
 

Herein, a collection of recommended music I discovered over the last 24 hours.

INQUISITION

Last night brought the premiere on three European sites of the title track from Inquisition’s forthcoming album, Obscure Verses for the Multiverse, which Season of Mist plans to release on October 29. Lambgoat then premiered it this morning for the North American market. Yet none of these sites chose to say anything about the actual song. It was just sort of “here’s a song, listen to it”. Maybe they know something I don’t know, i.e., that most people skip over words and go right to the music? Man, if that’s right I’ve sure been wasting a lot of time. But I can give it a shot:

Go HERE if you want to listen to “Obscure Verses for the Multiverse”. Continue reading »

Jun 292013
 

I like to think I do a decent job of keeping my eyes open for new releases by bands I like, including bands and labels who don’t send out lots of press releases or advance promo copies to NCS. But I completely fell down on the job in the case of Canada’s Antediluvian, despite the fact that I was powerfully impressed by both their 2011 debut album Through the Cervix of Hawaah (reviewed here) and their 2012 split with Adversarial (reviewed here). Just how badly did I fall down? Well, for starters, until yesterday I completely missed the fact that Nuclear War Now! released Antediluvian’s second full-length album — Logos — in April.

And to top that off I also failed to notice that two previously unreleased tracks recorded at the same time were released in May as a 7″ vinyl EP (entitled Septentrional Theophany) accompanying the premiere issue of a zine called Haruspex. The zine, written by Jason Campbell with artwork by  Tim Grieco (Haasiophis of Antediluvian) was originally intended for release in support of NWN! Fest III, but apparently will be an ongoing thing. It’s being sold, along with the Antediluvian release, by Nuclear War Now! at this location.

Obviously, having just discovered these two oversights yesterday, I don’t have either release in my grubby claws yet. But I did listen to the two songs from Septentrional Theophany on Bandcamp. If it’s possible for music to be both primitive and avant garde, that’s what these two songs are. Continue reading »

Jul 022012
 

Late last week Nuclear War Now released a six-song vinyl split by two of Canada’s most horrifying death metal bands, Antediluvian and Adversarial. I learned this through a personal message on The Living Doorway blog. I knew the message was intended for me because JGD began his post with these words: “Attention mongoloids”.

I’ve been keeping my bloodshot eyes on Antediluvian ever since being overwhelmed by their 2011 Profound Lore album Through the Cervix of Hawaah (which I reviewed here). Adversarial is a name I’ve heard, but listening to this split was my first exposure to their music. Each side of the vinyl LP has a name: “Leviathan” is the name of the side that features Adversarial’s music, and “Lucifer” is the side that includes Antediluvian’s three tracks. According to NWN, the bands collaborated on the EP’s themes, and the six songs are meant to be heard together.

Adversarial’s music is dense and chaotic, a swirling hornet hive of grinding, distorted guitars and a nearly non-stop machine-gun snare attack. Contrasting with the vicious smashing of the instruments, the vocals are slow, ghastly, and deeper than ocean trenches. The riffs are usually blazing in their speed, and there is a complexity and unpredictability in the guitar and bass performances that’s almost hidden in the unabashed ferocity of the music. Occult guitar melodies swirl up out of the dense smoke and fire from time to time, but the songs are mainly full-tilt eruptions of annihilation.

By the way, I wasn’t kidding about the non-stop snare attack — it consumes the vast majority of the drummer’s repertoire (along with a healthy dose of brutish double-bass), but man, I do dig it. Continue reading »

Feb 222012
 

Over the last few days I saw two pieces of art that caught my attention, in part because the art is great and in part because both pieces relate to Mitochondrion, whose music has left wounds all over me that won’t heal.

The artwork above was created by Jeremy Hannigan (who’s also the vocalist of the doom band Funeral Circle). He created it for a new double-LP version of Mitochondrion’s 2008 debut album, Archaeaeon, which will be released by Dark Descent Records. According to the band, this special vinyl release will include the full lyrics in proper order, song descriptions, lyrical meanings, and a brief history of the album.

Archaeaeon was originally self-released by the band, but Dark Descent picked it up last August for re-issue as a CD, following a re-master of the music by Colin Marston (Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Behold… The Arctopus), and now we’ll have the vinyl. Of course, I still don’t own a turntable, but I think just about any news concerning Mitochondrion is worth repeating, perhaps especially when the news concerns Archaeaeon.

I first discovered Mitochondrion through their second album, Parasignosis, which got a Profound Lore release in January of last year. It blew my shit away, to put it mildly. I came to Archaeaeon much later, and found it equally compelling, though different in some respects from Parasignosis.  (more after the jump, including the second piece of art and Mitochondrion music . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 222011
 

There is a certain style of death metal that I think of, in shorthand fashion, as horrifyingly avant-garde. Some people might prefer the term “progressive”, but I don’t think that word captures the atmosphere of cold, terrifying, otherworldly abomination conveyed by the music. Among current practitioners of this style of death metal, Portal, Mitochondrion, and Dragged Into Sunlight usually come to mind first. Now, I have to add Antediluvian to that list.

Like Portal and fellow Canadians Mitochondrion, Antediluvian are now on the Profound Lore label, which today is officially releasing their debut album (following an assortment of demos, splits, and an EP). It’s a nine-track monstrosity titled Through the Cervix of Hawaah. I’ll try to describe why I like this album, though to be brutally honest, it may be the result of compulsion rather than voluntary choice: After all, when Cthulhu extends his tentacles, few can resist.

When I included Antediluvian in that group which included Portal, Mitochondrion, and DIS, I didn’t mean to imply that the four bands sound alike, and they don’t, but they all succeed in creating a chillingly inhuman atmosphere of dread and catastrophe, in part by employing unusual musical ingredients that aren’t part of the standard stock-in-trade of death metal.

In Antediluvian’s case, the musical mix includes both “conventional” death metal elements and unconventional ingredients, plus remnants of the band’s more black-metal leaning origins. Perhaps most noticeable is the unusual style of drumming. The rhythms are unpredictable, sometimes seeming to be a step or two away from the beat you expect, sometimes almost out of sync with the bass and guitars (though I suspect that’s an aural illusion). The toms are used more frequently than in most death metal, lending the fills a kind of tribal sound (that is, if demonspawn organized themselves into tribes). There are blast beats, but they come sporadically, in bursts, and they sound more remorselessly methodical than as an attempt to break a speed record. Continue reading »