Jun 122019
 

 

(Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was in the audience at The Loft on June 6th when the Devastation on the Nation Tour made its stop in Atlanta, and he provides these impressions, with his own excellent photos following the text.)

I have been looking forward to this night for months. The Devastation On The Nation Tour is in full swing, and co-headliners Dark Funeral and Belphegor are being supported by a host of bands including legends Incantation, HATE, Vale of Pnath, Nightmarer, and Malformity.

I make it to The Loft and have to walk up the stairs past some teeny-bopper event going on in the first-floor lounge area. Yes, I am a metal snob. I walk in the middle of HATE’s set, and Sinner’s vocals hit me like a brick. After a short setup, death metal legends Incantation take over the stage. With every riff and groove, I’m reminded of why this band has such a cult following. Incantation embody American death metal in the most imaginative way possible and I have a total blast watching their set. Continue reading »

Aug 292016
 

Gra-Photo by David Kareketo
Photo by David Kareketo

 

(John Sleepwalker of Avopolis returns to NCS as we share his interview of Andreas “Heljarmadr” Vingbäck, mainman of the Swedish black metal villains known as Grá.)

Sweden’s Grá is a notorious black metal outfit that makes no compromises in aesthetic, despite a subtle evolution unfolding one step at a time. They form the kind of entity that’s hopelessly marked for Death, but Death is only a part of their evolution, according to a rather interesting interview with their mainman Andreas “Heljarmadr” Vingbäck.

It is now obvious that their latest opus, Ending, simply marks the final part of their Charon suite, as well as a crossroad towards new, unexplored territories. The band is already looking forward to hitting the road to promote their latest album, by scheduling a short European tour consisted of seven dates in total. Here is the schedule, followed by the interview: Continue reading »

Jun 092016
 

Dark Funeral-Where Shadows Forever Reign

 

(Andy Synn revives an old, irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Three reviews of three lines each come after the jump. With music, of course.)

REVIEWS IN HAIKUS
It’s been quite a while
Since I’ve done one of these. Let’s
See if I still can! Continue reading »

Apr 012016
 

Dark Funeral-Where Shadows Forever Reign

 

I’ve gotten in the habit of preparing these Shades of Black posts for Sundays, but the first two items in this collection are so new that I thought I’d get them out there without delay. The last two are less new, but have been on my mind recently. I have some other music appropriate for this series that I will still try to collect for Sunday. As usual, this is music in a black vein, though not all of it is black metal, strictly speaking.

DARK FUNERAL

Sweden’s Dark Funeral are back with their first album in six years. The new one is named Where Shadows Forever Reign and it’s scheduled for release on June 3 by Century Media, with cover art by Necrolord. Continue reading »

Mar 082016
 

Skeletonwitch 2016

 

Over the last hour I spied four new items of interest that I thought I’d toss up here instead of waiting to include them in tomorrow’s planned round-up, which is already pretty over-stuffed as it is.  The first three include new songs.

SKELETONWITCH

I think we can all agree that as the vocalist of Skeletonwitch, Chance Garnette was going to be a tough guy to replace following his ejection from the band in late 2014. Last month the band announced that Adam Clemans of Wolvhammer was the man they chose to try to fill those shoes. And now we have a chance to find out how well he is doing that. Continue reading »

Dec 182014
 

 

Five days have passed since I compiled the last round-up of news and new music. I’ve seen and heard many things I would have preferred to write about as they were appearing, but I’ve been otherwise occupied with year-end lists — not writing them myself, of course, but doing the much more important work of embedding album art and song streams and currecting typoz. This takes time, and after doing it for more than a hundred different albums over the space of five days, my brain now has the consistency of porridge.

So, to give my brain a chance to gel again, I’ve taken a break from my immensely important editorial duties and collected the following items for your entertainment (and mine). Though these notices are not all timely, I believe they are all worthy of attention.

KEEP OF KALESSIN

What you see above is the gatefold album art for Epistemology, the new album by Norway’s Keep of Kalessin, which will be released on February 16 by Indie Recordings. The artwork was chosen by the band based on a contest in which more than a hundred artists submitted designs. Continue reading »

Sep 062013
 

(Here’s the third and final part of Andy Synn’s review of 2013’s edition of the SUMMER BREEZE festival in Germany. Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here. Once again, Andy provides video that he filmed at the performances.)

The third, and final, day of the festival was a funny one. It seemed (at the time) that this was going to be the day when I only saw a few bands – particularly as I had a long gap planned at one point to do some shopping and eating and such. But, now that I look back on it, I see that I actually watched a good seven full sets, most of them pretty long, five of them from bands I absolutely adore. So, all in all, actually a very, very good day.

 

Oddly enough the first band of the day was to be Portugese goth-metal masters Moonspell, a band I’m not really a fan of, per se, but whose stellar performance at Inferno earlier this year definitely made me want to check them out again.

Consummate showmen, with an enviable brace of infectious songs and killer riffs, the group managed to turn a brightly-lit early afternoon slot into something of a gothic mecca, their passionate performance crafting a clear and well-received connection with the crowd before them.

We were also treated to one of those wonderful “festival moments” when current Tristania singer singer Mariangela Demurtas came out to add her vocals to a fantastic run-through of “Raven Claws” (although her awkwardly sexy dancing and casual clothes felt oddly at odds with the song’s darkly seductive vibe). Continue reading »

Apr 032013
 

(NCS writer Andy Synn has returned from Oslo’s Inferno Festival, held on March 27-30, 2013, and brings us a multi-part report of what he saw and heard, along with photos. Check out his Opening Day report here.)

Kicking off the festival-proper at the early time of 17:30 Horned Almighty were like a veritable boot to the face of the assembled audience. Nasty, brutal, and brimming with feral punk aggression, the group come across as a bad-boy version of the Misfits, raised on black metal nihilism and death metal misanthropy, and kick up a hell of a racket, with a truly demolition-strength guitar tone. Material from across their four albums bulked out the set, with the strongest focus being on Contaminating The Divine and Necro Spirituals.

Frontman S. didn’t let the fact that the band were opening the festival proper intimidate him, spitting necrosadistic venom at the crowd with his spiteful, belligerent snarl, while the aptly-named Carnage on bass was a stalking, twisting revelation of spindly fingers and malevolent contortions. Give these guys a longer set and a bigger stage someone! Continue reading »

Dec 212012
 

(Andy Synn wrote this latest installment in the “Five of My Favourite” series.  He seems pretty smug, given that today isn’t over yet.)

Well since the world didn’t end (you’re welcome by the way…) how about a quick column on five of my favourite songs about… the end of the world?

 

SCAR SYMMETRY – “CALCULATE THE APOCALYPSE”

Ah, what a tune. Thick and crunchy cyber-ised melodic death metal, with lyrics about the destruction of the world via the medium of a gigantic asteroid. Our inevitable destruction has never been so catchy.

‘Estimate time of impact
Calculate the fatal fact
Estimate the cataclysm
Calculate the apocalypse’

Continue reading »

Oct 132012
 

On the night of October 10, 2012, I was in metal heaven, and the gods were all on stage: Morbid Angel, Dark Funeral, and Grave.

At times like this, I love living in Seattle even more than usual. The city is just big enough to draw tours like this one, but small enough that they get shoe-horned into venues like El Corazon. I’ve seen reports that El Corazon has a capacity of 750, but that must include the separate room where the main bar is located because there’s no way the room with the stage holds that many. Especially when the bar area in the concert room is blocked off and used for gear storage, as it was for this 21-and-over show, that room doesn’t look like it holds more than about 250 people.

And it wasn’t even packed to capacity for this show. Though the turnout was strong, it was still possible to maneuver pretty close to the stage, as I did, getting within about 10 feet from the front. The only drawback was that I forgot to bring my fucking camera, an oversight for which I will forever beat myself up. My companion took a few pics with her phone, and I’m using a few of the better ones to illustrate this review, but still . . . not the same.

GRAVE

I’ll just be honest and admit up-front that I had trouble maintaining objectivity about each of these bands. Completely separating the feelings of excitement-verging-on-awe that I felt from finally getting to see each of them live from my reactions to what I heard just isn’t possible. Grave, for example, is pretty much a band who can do no wrong in my book. They occupy a central place in metal history as one of the progenitors of Swedish death metal, yet they have not only survived for more than two decades, they continue to put out dependably strong albums, with this year’s Endless Procession of Souls (reviewed here) being no exception. Continue reading »