Sep 232015

Varathron-The Confessional


This is one of those mornings where I’ve accumulated a lot of music over the last couple of days that I’d like to tell you about, but I don’t have enough time to do all the telling. So I’ve picked only three new things, which is what I have time for, and I picked this grouping because they provide variety, which someone said is the spice of life. Because time is short, I will also have to hold my own descriptive verbiage to a minimum.


One item of exciting news that appeared in recent days was the announcement that the Greek black metal titans in Varathron have a new, seven-track EP named The Confessional Of The Black Penitents that will be released by Agonia Records on October 23. Apart from the prospect of new music from this excellent band, I also enjoyed the cover art, since it happens to be a painting by Swiss painter and printmaker Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926) that I’ve used before as one of the daily art posts on the NCS Facebook page.

In addition to the news about the EP, Agonia began streaming a new track named “Sinister Recollections”. It’s one of three new songs on the EP — the other four are previously released songs recorded live in Larisa, Greece, on May 16, 2015. Continue reading »

Jul 072015

Hellsodomy-Sodomy Is Nigh


This is Part 2 of a collection of new music I’ve come across in recent days that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I have. And if you don’t enjoy these songs, please just keep that to yourselves because I’m sensitive and bruise easily.


That’s right, the band’s name is Hellsodomy, and you get two guesses about what the music will sound like. If you guessed “ambient drone”, please ram your head into the wall and try again.

Hellsodomy hail from Kadiköy in the metroplex of Istanbul, Turkey. They have an EP named Sodomy Is Nigh, which will be released on CD later this month by Barbarian Wrath. It consists of four new songs plus the four tracks that appeared on the band’s 2014 demo, Masochistic Molestation. Two of the new songs are streaming on Bandcamp along with one of those demo tracks, and I’ve found the other three demo tracks on YouTube. Continue reading »

Aug 232012

I thought this artwork was cool. It’s name is “Ocean In Motion” and it was created by Oana Cambrea. It has nothing to do with the rest of this post. I just wanted to put it someplace where I wouldn’t lose it. It did make me think of synchronized swimming, though something like this would have been much more fun than the event as it’s performed at the Olympics. Anyway, at the end of this post I have the only example I know of where synchronized swimming was metal. But onward to other new metal things I saw and heard recently.


Speaking of cool album art, I saw the cover of the next album from NOLA’s haarp. It’s called Husks and it’s set for release on September 18, 2012 through Housecore Records. I didn’t really dive deeply into this band’s last album (2010’s Filth). I remember listening to one track at a time when I was in a hurry, I didn’t immediately fall in love with it, and I moved on to something else.

This new one was recorded by Housecore’s Phil Anselmo (Down, Pantera) and mastered by Pig Destroyer’s Scott Hull, and that gets me interested in giving this band a second chance. Based on a press release, it appears there may be some new twists in this album, in addition to the band’s core mix of hate-filled sludge and grind. Check out the cover after the jump, and one more piece of related artwork created for haarp. Continue reading »

Aug 182012

Finland continues to spawn excellent new metal. I know that’s not a revelation, but it’s in the front of my mind because I’ve been listening to my own latest Finnish discovery — a band from Mikkeli named Bloodred Hourglass. After a few demos, they recorded their debut album Lifebound last year and then succeeded in forming a relationship with the Finnish label Spinefarm, which is set to release the album on August 24.

I first got curious about Bloodred Hourglass after seeing a review of Lifebound by Madame X at the Angry Metal Guy blog (is she still a “probationary scribe”?). And then yesterday I noticed that the entire album was streaming at Finland’s Inferno magazine website, and I let it run roughshod through my head over the ether.

The music represents a confluence of styles. Thrash is the dominant ingredient, but it would be misleading to brand this a thrash album, because (as Madame X noted) it’s almost equally freighted with groove metal in the vein of Lamb of God, and there are hardcore and melodic death metal elements in the mix, too.

And then in addition to all that, the album includes unexpected instrumentals that don’t fit with any of those other genre references — sometimes as standalone songs (“We Lived Like Kings” and “Ghost Wounds”) and sometimes cropping up in the middle of something else (as in “Arcadia”). The instrumental music is so divergent from the band’s dominant motif that I can’t begin to explain it. But if I tried, I’d say it’s like being teleported to an alien mother ship for unnatural impregnation right in the middle of Breaking Bad.

I don’t know about you, but I happen to like surprises when going through an album, and taking a sharp left turn into a parallel dimension can fire different neurons and produce a greater “fuck yeah” sensation about the album as a whole. Which it does here.

Continue reading »