Jul 062018
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Immortal on the day of its release by Nuclear Blast.)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll no doubt be aware that the release of a new Immortal album – the band’s first since 2009’s All Shall Fall, as well as their first since the now well-documented and more than a tad acrimonious split with their former frontman Abbath – is what we in the business like to call A Very Big Deal.

You’ll also likely have seen a plethora of different reviews, comments, and op-eds being published either decrying it for not being “Immortal enough” due to its lack of Abbath, or else praising it to the heavens for being “a return to the band’s roots”, with lines being drawn and camps being formed on either side of this divide.

And while, if everything’s gone right, at the time of reading this you’ll hopefully have found a way of listening to the album for yourselves, I still thought it might be worth publishing my own thoughts on the matter, and asking, “can’t we all just get along?” Continue reading »

Jul 012018
 

 

My cup runneth over — not really in the sense of the Psalm but more like Fantasia’s rendition of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, in which drowning in a deluge spawned by runaway magic is a serious threat. In other words, I have far more new metal in a black vein to recommend than I know what to do with.

In an attempt to do more rather than less, I’ve compiled a two-part post on this Sunday… and I’ve also wimped out by providing a series of little more than encouragements rather than reviews, especially in the case of the three full albums included in this first Part.

IMMORTAL

My comrade Andy Synn tells me he will soon provide a review of Immortal’s new album, Northern Chaos Gods, which is due for release on July 6th. (Spoiler: he seems quite high on it.) In the meantime, Immortal has revealed a second single from the album, the title of which might lead some to guess (incorrectly) that the new Abbath-less Imnmortal had decided to re-record an earlier song. Continue reading »

May 122018
 

 

One of my friend Andy’s objectives in launching our Saturday Waxing Lyrical series (the new edition of which is here) was to make it possible for me not to worry about coming up with something to post on Saturdays. I get to party on Friday nights, sleep in on Saturday mornings, and loll around like a walrus in penguin shit for hours after waking.

So I’m sort of defeating the purpose of Andy’s generous gesture by doing this post… but only sort of. I couldn’t resist throwing these brand-new hell-blazing tracks and videos at you because I had so much fun listening to and watching them yesterday and this morning, but I’m not going to take the time to explain what happens in the songs or why I like them so much. I’ll just give some basic info and let you have at it.

There’s some good geographic dispersion in this collection, as well as a lot of enviable talent on display. Also, if you happen to have some asbestos underoos, you might want to pull those on to protect your nether regions. Continue reading »

Sep 062015
 

Rearview Mirror

 

It seems that Immortal are no more. Last year Abbath declared the band at an end, and having lost a legal battle to secure rights to the name, he is forging ahead under his own. Meanwhile, Demonaz and Horgh announced last month that Immortal will continue without Abbath, and that the two are at work on a new album to be released by Nuclear Blast.

Who knows whether these now separate formations will create music worthy of the band’s past glories. Rather than engage in fruitless speculation, let’s listen to some of those instead. Continue reading »

Mar 062015
 

 

I have a lot of new music and videos that I spotted earlier in the week that I still need to throw your way, and with luck I’ll be able to do that later today, but for now, here are the first two things I saw this morning after firing up my computer and visiting Facebook.

GORGOROTH

My NCS comrade Andy Synn posted the album cover that’s at the top of this post. It appeared on the Facebook wall of Gorgoroth, with this announcement:

Gorgoroth has signed to Soulseller Records, who will release the band’s new album Instinctus Bestialis on 8. June 2015 on CD/vinyl and digital (available through Amazon, Spotify, iTunes etc.) Continue reading »

Dec 022013
 

(Guest writer Ben raises an interesting question about the effect of seasonal change on listening habits. Read . . . and comment!)

Hello NCS readers, my name is Ben, and as Winter comes into it’s fullness (at least where I’m living in Wisconsin) I’ve noticed something interesting this year.

As the temperature decreases down to the teens or lower, the volume increases and the aggression in the music increases considerably. It’s probably obvious I listen to “heavy” music, seeing as I’m a regular visitor of NCS, but my taste is quite varied. I can, on a daily basis, be listening to bands like Death, At The Gates, and Godflesh, as well as classical compositions, jazz, drum and bass, etc. But the right choice for the winter days and nights, just seems to be unrelenting Metal.

As you may have noticed, the title of this post is a nod to the frostbite-loving Norwegians we all know as Immortal.  Now I’m not the biggest Immortal fan, or Black Metal for that matter. I appreciate it, but I get sick of hearing about how “evil” a band supposedly is. For the reasons I described earlier, though, over the past few weeks Immortal has more often than usual been a nice choice of music for the working hours. Continue reading »

Jun 102013
 

Here’s an interesting discovery (via a Facebook post by a record label that I saw this morning). It’s a feature on StumbleUpon.com. I don’t know how long it’s been available because I don’t frequent StumbleUpon, so maybe this is really old news. It’s called “Neverending Playlist”. You type in the name of a band and it creates a playlist of songs by that band.

I typed in the name “Immortal”. I don’t know why, but that’s the first name that popped into my head. I got a playlist of 50 songs. The songs play automatically, from one to another, so you can start it going and then do something else. You can pause and skip songs, too, if you want.

It looks like all the songs are retrieved from YouTube, so StumbleUpon hasn’t compiled its own library of music. But there’s obviously a lot available on YouTube. For example, 50 songs by Immortal. It’s not really “neverending”, though. I was interested to see if StumbleUpon would make new Immortal music once it had exhausted Immortal’s entire existing discography and continue playing from now until the end of forever. Continue reading »

Nov 142012
 

It was all of two days ago that we splashed the news across our site that two of metal’s genuine landmark labels — Earache Records and Osmose Productions — had established beachheads on Bandcamp for the first time. As of two days ago, Earache had uploaded high-quality digital files for albums from their catalogue by At the Gates, Napalm Death, Evile, and Rival Sons, while Osmose had delivered three classic albums by Norway’s Enslaved. But what they’ve each done since then has been equally mind-blowing.

We had gotten word that Earache was interested in suggestions about what albums they should prioritize for upload to Bandcamp, and I included my own short list in that previous post — a list that included Bolt Thrower’s legendary 1991 album War Master. And guess what! As of today, Earache has put War Master on Bandcamp HERE. Allow me to figuratively bow down in humble thanks. Actually, I think I’ll literally bow down, too. So stoked to see what they upload next . . . .

Not to be outdone, wait ’til you hear what Osmose has done: In just the last two days since we published that earlier post, Osmose has added to Bandcamp nine more albums — including the first six albums by the immortal ImmortalDiabolical Fullmoon Mysticism (1992), Pure Holocaust (1993), Battles In the North (1995), Blizzard Beasts (1997), At the Heart of Winter (1999), and Damned In Black (2003).

In addition, Osmose has added three more Enslaved albums: Blodhemn (1998), Mardraum-Beyond the Within (2000), and Below the Lights (2003). Continue reading »

Sep 062012
 

(Our UK-based writer Andy Synn made the trek to Germany for this year’s edition of the SUMMER BREEZE festival, and provided us with a review of the bands whose performances he witnessed.  We’ve divided the review into two parts. In this post, Andy covers the festival’s first two days, and tomorrow we’ll have his impressions of Day 3. We’ve also collected videos of many of the performances at the end of the post.)

So… German festivals go Thursday – Saturday, not Friday – Sunday… who knew? Well apparently everyone else in the world except for us, when we booked an overnight stay in Cologne on the Wednesday night! Still, Cologne was awesome, and only a mere four hours drive away…

Anyway, on reaching the site (after a desperate last minute rush to the petrol station – seriously, make sure you fill up before you reach the Dinkelsbuhl exit guys and gals!) we joined a surprising, infuriating, queue of cars, followed by an interminable security check… time was ticking away and Be’lakor (one of my primary reasons for going to the festival) would soon be taking the stage! So with some slightly rushed stunt driving (I’m pretty certain I went down that grass verge as much sideways as I did forwards) and a breathless scramble… we made it. Just.

DAY 1

Justifying our desperate, occasionally slightly risky, efforts to get to the festival on time, Be’lakor were undeniably awesome. Live, the Agallochian overtones of the music come through a lot more, a melding of misty melancholy with swells of oceanic heaviness giving the band a more distinctive and individual live presence. The group’s image is a little difficult to reconcile with the music though, encompassing a host of short haircuts, laid-back Australian accents, and inappropriate t-shirts! Shame on you guys!

The next band I was dying to see also happened to be one of my favourites, my loyalty to Darkest Hour forcing me to choose them in an unfortunate clash with Glorior Belli. And though it pained me to do so, I’m glad I did. Darkest Hour never disappoint, their punky, hyper-energetic take on melodic death metal fitting perfectly with the blazing sunshine and free-wheeling atmosphere of the festival. Plus, I was still yet to see them live with either the new material or the new line-up, and both absolutely killed it live. Continue reading »

Mar 022012
 

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