Aug 222020
 

 

Sigh. Yet another week when I didn’t have enough time, or didn’t set aside enough, to do even one round-up of new music. I did do a lot of listening last night and this morning, and found enough promising new black metal to fill a two-part SHADES OF BLACK post tomorrow, and then narrowed down other things I found into this post. As the title suggests, it leans mainly into death metal or blackened death of various kinds.

There are four complete releases in the following collection, which I book-ended with singles from forthcoming records.

JUST BEFORE DAWN

One of my favorite practitioners of Swedish death metal, Just Before Dawn, will be returning on September 25th with a new 45-minute soundtrack from the warzones of the last global conflict. The title is An Army At Dawn, and Raw Skull Recordz will handle the release. Once again, JBD riff-meister Anders Biazzi has enlisted a platoon of guests — 10 guest vocalists and three guest guitar soloists, if my count is correct — along with his steadfast JBD allies Gustav Myrin (guitar/bass) and Jon Rudin (drums). Continue reading »

Apr 102020
 


Enshadowed

 

I wondered whether the words “pandemic” and “pandemonium” were linguistically related. So I did some research.

Pandemic“, a word that originated in the 1660s in reference to disease, means “incident to a whole people or region” and derives from the Late Latin word pandemus, and in turn from the Greek pandemos, meaning to “pertain to all people; public, common” (from pan– “all” and dēmos “people”).

On the other hand, “pandemonium” was coined by John Milton in 1667 in Paradise Lost (though he spelled it “Pandæmonium”) as the name of the palace built in the middle of Hell, “the high capital of Satan and all his peers,” and the abode of all the demons. He built the name from the Greek pan– “all” and the Late Latin daemonium (“evil spirit”), which in turn derived from the Greek daimonion (“inferior divine power”) and daimōn “lesser god”.

So, although pandemics often produce pandemonium, as we’re witnessing, the words aren’t very closely related.

Now that we’re finished with your home-schooling for the day, let’s move on to the musical pandemonium I selected for this round-up. By coincidence, all the music comes from bands who are established favorites of our site. Continue reading »

Apr 272018
 

 

It is time once again to cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war, and simultaneously to ring the dinner bell in the heads of those Pavlovian dogs among us who salivate at the sound of chainsawing riffs and the movement of skull-plundering rhythms. Bolt Thrower may have fought their last battle, Hail of Bullets may have been drained of life, Asphyx may be pondering their next move, but Just Before Dawn continue to rise in gruesome power and terrible glory.

On their new album, Tides of Glory, all the key ingredients from previous releases remain in place — the thematic focus on events from the Second World War; the head-hooking, body-moving riffs; the monstrous power of the enlisted vocalists; the obliterating might of a rhythm section firing on all cylinders. But while riff-meister Anders Biazzi and his combat-veteran comrades haven’t made any dramatic departures from the old-school death metal stylings of the earlier albums (and it would be a rude shock if they had), they’ve still found ways to up their game. Continue reading »

Apr 282017
 

 

I left Seattle on Monday for my job and arrived home again near midnight last night. I woke up four hours later because there is very little justice or fairness in the world. Before my eyes would focus properly, I saw messages from friends on Facebook that alerted me to the two new tracks I’ve collected here. I have a fuckton of other new music to sift through since I didn’t have time to assemble a SEEN AND HEARD round-up while I was out of town, but I decided to get these two tracks up on the site without delay, even before the coffee kicks in.

DECAPITATED

Three years after Blood Mantra, Poland’s mighty Decapitated are returning with a new album named Anticult, which will be released by Nuclear Blast on July 7th. Last night the album’s memorable cover art appeared on the web, and this morning, before the sun rose out here on the U.S. west coast, Decapitated detonated a video for a new song named “Never“. Continue reading »

Apr 192017
 

 

As mentioned in the first installment of this mid-week round-up earlier today, I have enough items I want to spread around, and enough time to do it, that I’ve divided the collection into multiple segments. There might even be a Part 3, but we’ll see how the day goes.

Part 1 was a sequence of songs specifically organized as a playlist because of a certain flow and mood in the music, at least as discerned by my twisted head. This Part 2 has no unifying theme, other than my own interest in everything here. There are a couple of news items at the outset, and then some very good music.

JUST BEFORE DAWN

Just Before Dawn will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors, but for any newcomers, it has been the studio project of Swedish musician Anders Biazzi and his drumming ally Brynjar Helgetun, with a changing array of vocalists and guitar soloists. It’s one of my favorite current purveyors of old school Swedish death metal. And now JBD will be moving out of the studio in order to destroy a few stages. Continue reading »

Dec 142016
 

 

(Jonny Pettersson is a busy man, with leading roles in such groups as Wombbath, Ashcloud, Just Before Dawn, and Ursinne, as well as his excellent new solo project Henry Kane. Fortunately, he found time to graciously accept our invitation to share a year-end list of favorite releases.)

 

brutally-deceased-satanic-corpse

1. Brutally Deceased – Satanic Corpse (Death metal)

This album had me blown away. It’s the perfect mix of buzzsaw death metal and blasting brutality.

Continue reading »

Sep 162016
 

bolt-thrower

 

This has been a great week for the debut of new metal (and the track you’re about to hear continues the trend), but it has also been a particularly sad one, because on September 14 — the one-year anniversary of the death of Martin ‘Kiddie’ KearnsBolt Thrower announced that the band would be interred with him.

Bolt Thrower’s music will never die, even though the band will not move forward without Kiddie. BT’s influence on heavy metal, and death metal in particular, has been vast, and it will be timeless. As one sign of this, we bring you a very special premiere. For 24 hours only, we will stream a medley of Bolt Thrower songs recorded by the Swedish death metal band Just Before Dawn, who will be very familiar to readers of this site. The medley is an amazing track and a most fitting tribute to an irreplaceable group. Continue reading »

Jun 132016
 

Just Before Dawn-The Ghosts of the Eastern Front cover

 

The Swedish death metal war machine Just Before Dawn has already given the world two excellent albums (Precis innan gryningen (2013) and The Aftermath (2014)), and the first installment in a trilogy of EPs (2015’s The Dead and Those About To Die), and now JBD mastermind Anders Biazzi and a formidable battalion of allies are on the verge of launching their latest offensive — a new EP named The Ghosts of the Eastern Front. — and below you will find some thoughts about the EP as well as a teaser video with audio samples from the songs.

Like the first EP in the trilogy, this new one will be released on cassette tape by Till You Fukkin Bleed Records, and the songs on the cassette will also later be included on a new full-length release planned for later this year. Continue reading »

Feb 142016
 

Wombbath-Downfall Rising

 

I’m not finished with this list, but I’m making myself stop. It’s the middle of February, and I ought to be using the time I’ve been spending on this focusing on 2016 releases. But I still can’t help but feel bad that I’m stopping without having mentioned all the other 2015 songs I’ve heard that are as deserving as the songs that are on this list.

Tomorrow I’ll have a wrap-up post, with a complete list of all the songs and links for listening to them. Here are the last four, and I’m closing out this list with some good old death metal.

WOMBBATH

Until last year, Wombbath’s last album was 1993’s classic Internal Caustic Torments. The group that recorded Downfall Rising isn’t the same band from more than 20 years ago — vocalist/bassist Jonny Petterson (Ashcloud, Syn:drom, etc.), guitarists Al Riglin and Taylor Nordberg (Infernaeon), and drummer Jeramie Kling (Infernaeon, The Absence) joined forces with founding guitarist Håkan Stuvemark for this new album — but they upheld the Wombbath name and reputation very well. Continue reading »

Jan 252016
 

Fifth To Infinity-Omnipotent Transdimensional Soulfire

 

(Here’s the first of KevinP’s monthly selection of releases for 2016, naming his Top 5 favorite albums released or scheduled for release during January.)

Writing these little “intros” for the monthly picks are by far my least favorite part of what I have to do.  I always try and keep it pithy even on the off chance I have something profound to say.  So on that note, here we go…… Continue reading »