Sep 242021
 

 

Man, my head is spinning once again over how many new songs and videos I want to recommend from the week that’s now ending. There are only six of them in this roundup, and there’s not much rhyme nor reason about why I picked these — other than the fact that I like ’em — because they provide a pretty wild series of musical twists and turns rather than some kind of cohesive flow from one to the next. But I am smiling at the whiplash it’s going to give you. I guess I should add that in different ways they’re all pretty fuckin’ intense.

I’ve got a very busy weekend ahead, but I hope to collect a few more new things from the past week’s deluge in posts on both Saturday and Sunday.

1914 (Ukraine)

I’m beginning with a couple of very dark and (as promised) very intense songs, the first of which is 1914‘s “Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)“. If you’re not already familiar with the horrific World War I event that’s the subject of the song, you’ll learn about it in the prelude to the animated video. Continue reading »

May 062021
 


Ereb Altor

 

(Nathan Ferreira wrote the following reviews of four new EPs that are all well worth your time.)

In these pandemic-ridden times, I’ve had online discussions with internet cretins about how EP releases may be a more viable format for artists, especially those that rely on touring as an income source. There’s less time and expense required to record, produce, and promote them, and it allows the artists in question to focus more on moving other projects forward – in theory, anyways.

Plus, how often do you actually make it through all those hour-long albums you own front to back in one sitting? Is there really that much of a difference between 25- and 40-minute runtimes in terms of how complete an album feels? If the music is good enough, probably not.

For the reasons above, and because I’ve been seeing an unusual number of artists both bigger and smaller embrace the EP format recently (a sign of the times, perhaps), I thought it was appropriate to give some attention to some of the more bite-sized musical snacks that have caught my ear in the past couple of months. Mini-albums need love too, you know. Continue reading »

Apr 032021
 

 

I’m on a short vacation. First time away from the small community where I live in nine months. Along with a group of family and friends, we made the trip yesterday to an AirBnB on the water in a place called Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington, in the Puget Sound. The photo above was one of the sunset views last night from the deck of this rental.

I had originally decided not to do any blogging this weekend, but I was awake this morning so much earlier than anyone else in the house that I started listening to a few new songs, and here I am blogging again. It’s just three new songs, so that’s a compromise of sorts.

I’m not sure if I’ll write a SHADES OF BLACK column for tomorrow. We’ll be headed home on Monday morning. Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

 

This is the third and final installment of a SHADES OF BLACK feature that I began two days ago. You’ll be shocked to learn that as long as this post has been, I added music from two more bands on top of what I originally planned for this Part 3 yesterday. If I hadn’t been placed in restraints by orderlies here at the asylum, I would have added more.

EREB ALTOR

The wonderful Swedish band Ereb Altor, who have taken their main cues (but not their only ones) from the mythic Viking metal of Bathory as established in Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods, have a new album named Ulfven that will arrive on July 21 via Hammerheart Records. Earlier today they revealed a song from the album that’s simply magnificent. Continue reading »

Feb 172016
 

Mordbrand-Hymns of the Rotten

 

Man, the flood of enticing new metal just doesn’t stop. In only the last couple of days I’ve found so many new songs I’ve become excited about that I could write a half-dozen of these round-up posts just for today, and by the time I finished I’d probably be able to find just as many new things for tomorrow. Sadly, my time is not completely my own, and my fucking day job is nagging at me, so this will have to do for now.

But before I get to a few of the new songs that have peaked my interest (two of which are well-earned exceptions to our “Rule”), I’ll start with a new compilation of previously released songs that’s well worth your time.

MORDBRAND

Mordbrand will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors — because I’ve written about virtually every one of their releases. And I’ve done that because everything they’ve done to date has been so damned good. And now they’ve revealed a new release that provides both an efficient jumping-on point for people new to the band and a welcome collection for existing fans. Continue reading »

Jan 212016
 

Moonsorrow-Jumalten Aika

 

I’ve had a crazy week, much of the craziness resulting from the demands of my fucking day job, coupled with hours spent yesterday morning anxiously working with our web host’s tech support to figure out how to get into the WordPress software for our site so I could write and post things — because it had spontaneously decided to lock me out.

Anyway, the net result of all this is that I’ve fallen way behind in both listening to and writing about new music — other than the enormous number of premieres we agreed to post this week. I’ve also been unable to write new installments of our 2015 Most Infectious Songs list. With luck, I can get that going again tomorrow.

Intermittently since the craziness began, I have managed to discover the interesting new things I’ve collected in this post, though I still have lots of catching up to do. I’ll begin with two news items and then move into actual music.

MOONSORROW

Yesterday brought the very welcome announcement that Finland’s Moonsorrow will release their seventh studio album on April 1 (via Century Media). The title is Jumalten Aika, which means ‘The Age Of Gods’ in English. Continue reading »

Dec 242015
 

Wolfheart video clip-2

 

And so it begins, the last piece of our year-end LISTMANIA extravaganza: For the seventh year in a row, I present my list of the year’s “most infectious extreme metal songs”. As I’ve done in the past, my goal is to roll out this list gradually, with one installment per day (including weekends and holidays) until I’m finished, and usually with two songs in each installment. This is a goal, not a promise, because life is too damned unpredictable.

I will add that, as in most other years, I’m starting the rollout before actually finishing the list. Because it’s a work in progress, I don’t know how long it will be. My goal (not a promise) is to finish it before the end of January. To be clear, this is an unranked list; there’s no rhyme or reason to the order in which I’m announcing the songs.

To get a running start, I’m including three songs instead of two in each of the first five installments of the series, and these groupings aren’t random; they may not make sense to anyone but me, but I have my reasons for putting them together as I have.

Okay, let’s get started — and if you don’t know what I mean by “most infectious songs”, go HERE for an explanation. Continue reading »

Oct 302015
 

Autopsy-Skull Grinder

 

I returned home late last night from my whirlwind 48-trip to the other side of the continent for my fucking day job. While on the seemingly endless wi-fi-enabled plane ride home, I spent some time seeing what I missed since Tuesday. Not surprisingly, I found a lot of new music worth throwing at you, and this morning brought even more. Though my ass is still dragging from that trip, I thought I’d collect some of what I liked today and leave the rest ’til sometime this weekend.

AUTOPSY

This first song is one that appeared this morning. The name is “Waiting For the Screams”, and it comes from the new album Skull Grinder by the almighty Autopsy (who I had the pleasure of seeing at California Deathfest not long ago). I’m still slobbering over Wes Benscoter’s cover art for this thing, which is one of the best in a long run of gruesome Autopsy covers. Continue reading »

Aug 242015
 

Ereb Altor - 1

 

(Comrade Aleks presents his interview of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mats from the Swedish band Ereb Altor.)

Ereb Altor is a band that doesn’t need a special introduction. It was founded in 2003 by two members of Swedish traditional doom outfit Isole (Mats and Ragnar) to channel their inspiration by Bathory (of the “viking period”) in a new direction.

Cyclone Empire released the fifth Ereb Altor record Nattramn in April 2015, and this new work continues the line of the two preceding albums as the band holds onto the combination of epic Viking metal with both doom and black elements. I was lucky enough to draw the attention of Mats, and he patiently answered my questions. Continue reading »

May 132015
 

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.

 

Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »