Mar 022016
 

In Mourning-Afterglow

 

I wasn’t able to compile a round-up of new things for yesterday, which means that I’m now up to my eyebrows in news and music that I’d like to share, or I would be if I had a head. But figuratively speaking, I do have more items worth spreading around than I have time or space to compile. Therefore, I’ve chosen somewhat randomly. But the first two choices were compelled not only because I’m a big fan of both bands but also because the artwork for both is stupendous.

IN MOURNING

Today Sweden’s In Mourning revealed details about their new album, including the magnificent cover art that you see above, which was created by the magnificent Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin. The name of the album is Afterglow and it will be released by Agonia Records on May 20. Continue reading »

Jul 262013
 

Majalis is one of those “after work” side-projects whose debut release leaves such a powerful impression that one can only hope, fervently, that it continues. It began years ago as a songwriting collaboration between two of In Mourning’s guitarists, Tobias Netzell (ex-October Tide) and Björn Pettersson. Eventually, they enlisted vocalist/bassist Daniel Jansson and drummer Jonas Martinsson and recorded Cathodic Black, an EP released earlier this month by Pulverised Records. And together, they’ve created something wonderful.

If you’re familiar with In Mourning, you know that Netzell and Pettersson are experienced in dropping the weight of oceans upon listeners while interweaving melodies that have a way of sticking fast in the memory. They do something similar in the three long songs that make up Cathodic Black, but have stepped outside the realm of dark melodic death metal to do it. This time they’ve moved into the territories of post rock, sludge, and doom.

The weight of the mid-paced music comes via massive, fuzzed-out, doom-drenched riffs and a drum-and-bass duo that can really bring the heavy lumber when they put their minds to it. But the music is also a study in contrasts, and the power and intensity of the passages when Majalis starts to crush is magnified by the softer measures that often precede them — the beautifully somber piano piece that begins the EP, the isolated guitar strumming and echoing percussive sounds within “Rusting Sun”, the contemplative guitar duet in the middle of “Tooth and Bone”, and other similar moments when the band dial back the intensity. Continue reading »

Dec 302012
 

This is Part 3 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two we’re announcing today, click here.

2012 was a great year for melancholy, doom-influenced melodic death metal, and both Finland’s Before the Dawn and Sweden’s In Mourning can claim two of the best releases in that genre. Both of their albums supplied multiple candidates for this list, and it seemed like a natural fit to pair the two that I ultimately selected.

BEFORE THE DAWN

The dulcet clean vocals of Lars Eikind may be gone, but Tuomas Saukkonen is still at the helm of Before the Dawn, and on Rise of the Phoenix he masterfully charted a new post-Eikind course that proved to be tremendously satisfying. As Andy Synn wrote in our review of the album, “at its best this album marries melodic power and precision in a way few others can match.”

My initial temptation was to put the song “Phoenix Rising” on this list, but ultimately I couldn’t resist the siren’s call of “Throne of Ice”. Continue reading »

Jun 292012
 

Yes, I’m still trying out titles for these posts in which I collect metal news, new videos, and new music that I’ve seen recently. I mean no disrespect to any of the bands featured in this post. In my lexicon, “riff-raff” is a compliment, plus I really wanted some alliteration; otherwise I probably would have called this “Rounding Up the Motherfuckers”.

Yesterday I saw and heard a lot of things worth passing on, so I’m dividing this collection into two parts, with the second part to follow a little later this morning. In this Part 1 are observations involving new albums from two excellent bands —Results by Murder Construct and Cold of Ages by Ash Borer — plus a recent live performance by In Mourning caught on film, plus a from-the-horse’s-mouth report on a potential Mastodon collaboration with Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and In Flames’ Björn Gelotte.

MURDER CONSTRUCT

This band is a super-group of sorts, featuring Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan on vocals, Exhumed/Phobia/Impaled’s Leon del Muerte on guitar and vocals, Intronaut/Uphill Battle’s Danny Walker on drums, Bad Acid Trip’s Caleb Schneider on bass, and Fetus Eaters/Watch Me Burn’s Kevin Fetus also on guitar. The name of their game is death-grind, and I fuckin’ loved their 2010 self-titled debut (described here). Continue reading »

Apr 192012
 

This photo seemed appropriate for this post. (Thanks to Alfonso for sharing it on FB.) It’s a pic of what two fishermen pulled up in their net from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez on Sunday. Fortunately for them, it was already dead. This Great White shark measured almost 20 feet long and weighed an estimate 2,000 pounds. It took 50 people to help pull the carcass ashore. More details can be found here.

And that’s about all the introduction I can afford for this post, except to say that I’ve rounded up a bunch of new flesh-eating music and am throwing it at your head. Here’s what I caught in my net, in no particular order:

New videos from Cryptopsy (Canada), Fester (Norway), Mordbrand (Sweden), and In Mourning (Sweden), plus new songs from Carach Angren (The Netherlands) and Antigama (Poland). That ought to hold you . . . and eat you. (To learn more about each band, click on their names.) Continue reading »

Apr 122012
 

(Yesterday, Sweden’s In Mourning began a limited-time streaming of their new album. Today, TheMadIsraeli has a review.)

Fuck me for forgetting about this.

It seems even when sick, there is to be no rest for me.  I completely forgot that the new opus of melodic death doom metal masters In Mourning, The Weight Of Oceans, was to be out soon.  As you can imagine, when they started streaming this album yesterday I immediately had to get on that shit.  It’s a vital part of the new movement of melodic death metal that mixes powerful melodies, pedal-point riffing, and drama with doom metal’s macabre melancholy and profound slower tempos.

In Mourning made quite a splash with their debut, Shrouded Divine, an album I love to this day.  Their second release, Monolith, was a good album, but they tried to go for a more energetic approach that, both in tempo and in melody, had fewer connections to doom.  Something about it just didn’t sit right with me; it just didn’t feel like In Mourning to me.  Thankfully, The Weight Of Oceans is a return to In Mourning’s doom-intertwined roots.

In Mourning, for the uninitiated, incorporates the typical influences of this new style of melodic death metal at their core, essentially combining the slow tempos and proggy song structuring of old school Opeth with Insomnium’s poignant, to-the-point melancholic melodies and sense of melodrama and dignity.  The band are also obviously influenced by the spearheads of this new style of melodeath, Daylight Dies.

In Mourning definitely have their own sound though.  Their attack is precise and intricate, and their sense of melody focuses less on complex transitions and more on straight-forward, mournful melodic progressions.  The complexity of the composition is more in the realm of how the guitars play with one another, creating some quite dazzling walls of melody.  Björn Pettersson and Tim Nedergård are one of my favorite current guitar duos in metal right now.  Their sense of compositional teamwork is absolutely astounding, acting as one in generating an intricately woven overcast of despair and agony that just consumes the listener. Continue reading »

Apr 112012
 

You remember that album cover, don’t you? Sure you do. How could you forget it? It’s the Necrolord cover for The Weight of Oceans, the third album by Sweden’s In Mourning, which will be released by Spinefarm Records on April 18. It’s what we call a “highly anticipated” release here at NCS.

And beginning today, everyone can hear the entire album. It will be streaming between now and that April 18 release date at the Kaaoszine web site, which you can reach via this link.

I’ve only had time to listen to the first three tracks, but they justify our eagerness for the album. The lengthy album opener, in particular, warrants the over-used term “epic”. It’s called “Colossus”, and if you don’t have time for anything else, check that one out — it took me back to memories of Opeth’s Blackwater Park.

Of course, please come back here and let us know what you think.

Mar 242012
 

THAT, my friends, is the cover art for the new (third) album by Sweden’s In Mourning, The Weight Of Oceans, which will be released by Spinefarm Records on April 18. The artwork is by none other than Kristian Whålin (Necrolord).

This is old news, since the album art and details about the album were released in late February — except I didn’t pick up on it until TheMadIsraeli started chatting with me about In Mourning earlier today on FB.

Necrolord has created so many stupendous metal album covers in his career, but this is definitely one of my favorites.  This excerpt from his bio at The Font of All Human Knowledge includes some info I didn’t know (and after the jump, I’ve got some music from The Weight of Oceans):

At the age of 17, Wåhlin formed Grotesque (as guitarist) with school friend Tomas Lindberg on vocals, Alf Svensson on guitar, and Tomas Eriksson on drums. The 1990 break-up of Grotesque would lead to the formation of At the Gates, who would be credited as instigators of the “Gothenburg Melodic death metal sound”. Wåhlin would collaborate with Lindberg and other At the Gates members a short time additionally in the death metal band Liers in Wait, and would go on to design the “Russian icon” cover-art of At the Gates’ cornerstone release, Slaughter of the Soul.

Dissection, who shared practice quarters with At the Gates, would display illustrations by Wåhlin on the cover of The Somberlain and also Storm of the Light’s Bane; the latter featuring the infamous scene of the “grim reaper horseman” in the middle of a snow-covered forest tundra. In the Nightside Eclipse, the debut of seminal Norwegian black metal band Emperor, would also be graced with his work on the cover. Wahlin would continue as an album artist for several other bands in the European death, black, doom, power and gothic metal collective throughout the 2000s.

Continue reading »

Dec 142011
 

(One of the best things about operating NCS is the chance to make connections with metal-lovers from around the world. Because of our frequent focus on Finnish metal, I’ve made a connection with “fireangel“, one of the two creators of a very informative and entertaining Finland-based blog called Night Elves. I invited fireangel to write a post for our year-end Listmania, and here it is.)

Islander kindly invited me to share my favourites of 2011, knowing full well that my taste oscillates between “No Clean Singing“ and more often its mirror image, “No! Clean Singing!”, as it was so nicely put in the 2-Year-Anniversary-post, and that my suggestions would make a better fit with “Exceptions To The Rule” than the NCS Rule itself. Nevertheless, he thought he could live with that, so maybe you can, too. Even though this post is written by one person, it includes the musical favourites of both Night Elves.

I selected some songs that work as my personal pick-me-up for plenty of situations – feeling tired, sleepless, moody, etc – and can convert me into a decent citizen, at least for a limited time.

In order to test the boundaries even more, this post also includes songs that are not necessarily from 2011, but I listened to them on quite heavy rotation in this year. Continue reading »