Aug 162016
 

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate

 

I’ve returned from Olympia where I spent three days and four nights immersed in the wonders of Migration Fest. While I still need to write a recap of the festival’s final day to accompany two previously posted recaps, I’ve also started exploring developments in the world of metal that I missed while I was out and about in Olympia. Unsurprisingly, I missed a lot. I’ve selected a mere quintet of items to recommend in this round-up — four of them from old favorites of our site and one by a very striking newcomer.

KHONSU

To say that we’ve been eagerly anticipating the new album from Norway’s Khonsu would be an understatement. Earlier this year, our man Andy Synn named it as one of his five most anticipated albums of this year, largely on the strength of the band’s 2012 debut album Anomalia, which he called “without doubt one of the strongest and most creative debut albums in living metal memory”. And now, finally, we have more details about the album along with a video trailer for it. Continue reading »

May 162016
 

Dávid Glomba-Cult of Fire cover

 

(One of our friends from Norway, eiterorm, rejoins NCS with a guest “Seen and Heard” post, collecting news and/or recommended new music from a diverse array of 9 bands.)

While Islander is recovering from his Friday night sufferings, alcoholic daemons, and (gasp!) metal shows, I thought I’d step in with an occasional roundup.

AEGRUS

The Finnish black metal band Aegrus recently revealed the details for their upcoming release. The EP, entitled Conjuring the Old Echoes, will be unearthed some time this summer via Hammer of Hate Records. Below is the track list for the release. Continue reading »

Aug 052015
 

Dalkhu-Descend Into Nothingness

 

Once upon a time I started an irregular feature called “Eye-Catchers” in which I periodically tested the hypothesis that cool album art correlates with cool music. As much as anything else, it was a vehicle for exploring the music of bands I wasn’t familiar with, based solely on the attractiveness of their album or EP covers. There’s still a category link to all those posts on the right side of this page, even though the project has been moribund for quite a while.

This post, though it shares that “Eye-Catchers” title, really isn’t a continuation of the earlier experiment, because I’m already a fan of all the bands whose news and/or new songs are collected below. But the artwork for these new albums is so good that it seemed to be a fitting title. So, here we go….

DALKHU

I originally discovered this two-man Slovenian band in the middle of last month — and that really was an example of the original “Eye-Catchers” experiment. Their second album, Descend… Into Nothingness, features cover art by our beloved Paolo Girardi, and that’s what induced me to explore the music. Having done that (and written about the first advance track from the album here), I immediately became a fan. And so when I learned that Dalkhu released another new song yesterday, I felt confident it was going to be another good one — and so it is. Continue reading »

Dec 292014
 

 

Welcome to Part 6 of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

AENAON

Despite the fact that Aenaon’s latest album Extance was released almost 12 months ago, and despite the fact that it was recommended in two different posts at our site, by Austin Weber (here) and KevinP (here), I still didn’t get around to exploring its wonders until this month — and only then after it appeared on no fewer than four different year-end lists published at our site, as well as a bunch of reader lists (collected here). One of our year-end contributors (deckard cain) also nominated one of the album’s songs for this “most infectious” list, and today I’m enthusiastically agreeing. Continue reading »

Oct 192014
 

According to The Font of All Human Knowledge:

Bedřich Smetana was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country’s aspirations to independent statehood. He is thus widely regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride; for the symphonic cycle Má vlast (“My Homeland”), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer’s native land; and for his First String Quartet, From My Life.

“My Fatherland” is described as a cycle of six symphonic poems. Interestingly, according to the article quoted above, it was composed after illness had rendered Smetana completely deaf in both ears. The second part of the cycle is entitled “Vltava” and it was finished in late 1874. As the article explains, it was named for, and inspired by, “the river that runs through Prague towards its junction with the Elbe [and] is Smetana’s best-known and most internationally popular orchestral composition”.

And why, you may ask, am I writing about Smetana and “Vltava“? Because the Czech black metal band Cult of Fire have recorded a two-song EP dedicated to the composer and will be releasing it on 7″ vinyl through Iron Bonehead Productions on the 140th anniversary of Smetana’s completion of “Vltava“: December 8, 2014. This is the band’s fourth studio release overall, and thus it’s entitled Čtvrtá Symfonie Ohně (The Fourth Symphony of Fire), with cover art created by David Glomba. Continue reading »

Sep 032014
 

 

This is a second round-up for the day, collecting some of the news and new music I discovered yesterday that I thought were worth sharing around. In no particular order:

GORMATHON

I first wrote about Sweden’s Gormathon this past July upon setting eyes on Eliran Kantor’s wonderful cover art for their new album, Following the Beast, which will be released by Napalm Records during September in Europe and on October 17 in North America. Back then I didn’t have any music to share, but thanks to a tip from TheMadIsraeli I discovered that a few days ago they released an official music video for one of the new album tracks — “Absence of Trust”.

The best comment on the YouTube clip was this one: “New video from Saruman and his band directly from Isengard!” Visual resemblances aside, there’s something about the music that inspires such thoughts as well. It’s catchy-as-hell melodic death metal that bears resemblances to Amon Amarth, but with flavors of folk and power metal in the mix. Here’s the video: Continue reading »

Jun 182014
 

I never got around to posting a second round-up yesterday, as I had planned, so I’m loading up this one not only with what I had intended to feature yesterday but also with some other items I discovered last night. Yeah, that makes this a really long post, but what else have you got to do?

As you’ll see, I’m indulging my taste for blackness, death, and deathly blackness, though for those of you less interested in slaughter and depravity, you can skip to the more melodious song at the end. There’s actually a bit of clean singing in that last one.

BLOOD OF KINGU

Earlier this month I reported that Ukrainian black metal band Blood of Kingu (started by Roman Sayenko of Drudkh) would be releasing their third album via Season of Mist on September 2 in North America (and August 29 everywhere else). The title is Dark Star on the Right Horn of the Crescent Moon. Yesterday, thanks to my friend Vonlughlio, I learned that Terrorizer has now premiered the first advance track from the album, “Enshrined in the Nethermost Lairs Beneath the Oceans”.

The song wastes no time unleashing a torrent of blasting drums and rippling tremolo runs that carry a seductive melody behind gargantuan vocal proclamations. An aura of infernal darkness radiates from the music in waves, but man, it’s also highly infectious. You’ll need to go HERE to listen. Blood of Kingu have a Facebook page at this location. Continue reading »

Oct 212013
 

Consider the idea of a Czech black metal band creating an album in homage to the Goddess Kali, the Aghoris, and Hindu funeral rites. With the album and song titles in Hindi. And they perform in embroidered robes and a striking array of strange hoods. Who wouldn’t be at least a little curious about the music? I certainly was.

मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान (“Ascetic Meditation of Death”) is Cult of Fire’s second album, and is due for release on November 30 on the German label Iron Bonehead Productions. From the opening moments of the first track, it’s apparent that the band set their sights on creating something more complex and more artistically ambitious than a straightforward black metal blitzkrieg.

The music is in constant motion, transitioning between moods of light and dark, alternating the pace between hard-driving rhythms and stately progressions, crossing boundaries between incendiary assaults and gorgeous panoramas that more closely resemble post-rock than black metal. The melodies range from the bleak and heart-broken to the shimmering and soaring, but the overall atmosphere is one of epic grandeur, dramatic and impassioned. Continue reading »

Sep 202013
 

Here’s the second part of my effort to collect worthwhile new music discovered over the last 24 hours. You can find Part 1 via this link. All the music in this Part is different, but all of it is just fuckin’ evil.

CULT OF FIRE

In May I gave a laborious description of how I had found the Czech black metal band Cult of Fire. It started with a shirt. It ended with a track from the band’s 2012 debut album Triumvirát that was included on a free comp from Demonhood Productions. As reported in that earlier post, Cult of Fire are now signed to the German label Iron Bonehead for release of their next album (which should be coming in 2013). Yesterday, I found a stream of the first advance track from the album.

I’m unable to write or pronounce the name of the album or the song, but I can show you what they look like: The song is “मृत्यु का वीभत्स नृत्य” and the album’s name is “मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान”.

I took a chance and put those titles into Google Translate and, lo and behold, it turns out the language is Hindi. The song title translates to “ghastly dance of death” but Google Translate failed me when it came to the album name. I did find this statement about the album by the band: “It’s a homage to the Goddess Kali, the Aghoris, the funeral rites in India and its close surroundings.” Continue reading »

May 102013
 

Demonhood Productions, as I learned this morning, is a relatively new Norwegian label mainly focusing on underground black, death, and thrash metal. It was established in 2012 as “a cooperation” between Duplicate Records and Neseblod Records. As I also discovered only this morning, they released a compilation in March that’s a free download on Bandcamp. Entitled Enlightened Darkness, it consists of 14 tracks by 14 different bands.

I’m not familiar with all the bands on this comp, but the names I do know are impressive (and we’ve written about them here at NCS): Nekromantheon, Wormlust, and Cobolt 60. The compilation also includes a song by a Czech band named Cult of Fire that I’ve recently become interested in. In fact, that’s how I found this comp.

Last year Cult of Fire released their debut album Triumvirát through Demonhood; one of the tracks from that album is what’s included in this comp. However, Cult of Fire are now signed to the German label Iron Bonehead for release of their next album (which should be coming in 2013). This morning I saw that Iron Bonehead has started selling a Cult of Fire shirt called “Insane Dance of Kali”, and it’s so eye-catching that I promptly ordered it (here). This is what the shirt looks like (it comes in black and white): Continue reading »