Jun 272012
 

These are short notes about things I saw and heard over the last couple of days that I couldn’t make room for in any other post. And yes, I’m trying out yet another title for these posts. I confess that I’m still partial to “Brain Fuckerings! I Haz Thems!”, but the search goes on . . . In this post: Ensiferum, Testament, As I Lay Dying, and Beherit.

ENSIFERUM

I saw the artwork above. It definitely caught my eye, (a) because it’s for Ensiferum’s new album, Unsung Heroes, and (b) because it depicts the wise, godlike Väinämöinen from the Finnish Kalevala epic in gorgeous reddish colors with a forest and a lake and a vaulted sky of stars. Also a sword, a shield, and . . . what the hell is that thing he’s holding?  A harp of some kind perhaps?

Anyway, it’s a damned epic cover, and I expect no less from the music. The album will be released on August 27. As previously mentioned on this site, it’s available for pre-order at Finland’s Record Shop X (here), which ships worldwide.

TESTAMENT

I also heard a new song from Testament’s next release. It’s called “True American Hate”, and it will be on the group’s forthcoming album, Dark Roots of Earth, which is due on July 31 from Nuclear Blast Records. It includes kickass cover art, too. We featured it once before, but one good turn deserves another . . . Continue reading »

May 302011
 

No secret that we’re Finnish-metal fanatics here at NCS. Also no secret that we’re doing our best to become better educated about black metal. Put those two pieces together and you get this post, which is based on news that will be headline-type stuff for true black-metal fans. But first, some background for those readers who aren’t already KVLT (lifted from something we wrote back during our month-long FINNISH METAL WEEK series):

“Beherit” is the word for Satan in Syriac, a dialect of the ancient Aramaic language. It’s also the name of an influential black-metal band formed in 1989 by Nuclear Holocausto (Marko Laiho), Black Jesus (Arjo Wennström), and Sodomatic Slaughter (Jari Pirinen). After releasing two albums, the second of which (Drawing Down the Moon) appeared in 1993 and became a BM classic, the band broke up.

Beherit then rose from the ashes in 2008, with original members Nuclear Holocausto (having returned to Finland from Thailand) and Sodomatic Slaughter joining newcomers Ancient Corpse Desekrator and Abyss. After 14 years of silence, the band released their third album, Engram, in 2009.

And now the news: Beherit is releasing, for the first time, their true debut album, originally recorded in 1990. In the band’s words: “You NEVER HEARD this recording or the two previously UNRELEASED tracks featured! Finally unearthed from Sodomatic Slaughter’s personal collection after being lost for the last 20 years. Recorded as a duo by Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance and Sodomatic Slaughter in Ala Ky Studio and mastered in 2010 by Joona Lukala.”

The album will be released in June 2011 on vinyl, CD, and tape. After the jump, we’ll give you the track list, ordering information — and a music player that will stream two of the tracks. Be forewarned: This is vicious stuff AND the music will start playing as soon as you go past the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 092010
 

What, did you think we would forget about black metal? No way. How could we put together a tribute to extreme metal from Finland and not (fearfully) bow our horned heads in obeisance to the music of the beast? We just needed a little time to summon up the courage before wading out into that smoking, seething, sulfurous pool that is Finnish black metal.

As regular readers know, we wouldn’t call ourselves black-metal experts. As fans of the genre, we’re relative latecomers, and we’re still discovering bands — not only new ones but also historical icons. But from what we’ve learned in our ongoing education, Finland has definitely made its mark. You know the mark we’re talking about (it begins with a 6 and ends in a 6 and, uh, it has a 6 in the middle).

Today, we’re featuring three long-running bands who seem to be among the best known within kvlt circles (Horna, Beherit, and Impaled Nazarene :)) — even we had heard of them before and even knew some of their music — plus another (Sargeist) who may not be quite so well-known but are very capable of impaling your head on a musical spike. And in a last-minute update, we’ve just got to say something about Behexen.

Once again, we’re indebted to our commenters for their suggestions, and particularly to Johan Huldtgren (Obitus) for bringing Sargeist (and Behexen) to our attention. We know Johan is really waiting for the humppa music, but he’s gonna have to wait a bit longer. Patience, bro. For now, dear unclean readers, inscribe a pentagram on your forehead with fetus blood and listen to what we’ve dug out of the maggot-ridden crypt — it’s quite a varied spectrum of what Finnish black metal has to offer, and the music is awesome.   (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »