Mar 092019
 

 

I had a weird 24 hours that began Thursday night and ended last night. Not weird enough to be entertaining if described in detail (though it did involve me never making it home until Friday morning), but weird enough that it left me frantically scrambling just to write the two premieres I’d committed to do yesterday, and no time for anything else NCS-related.

Saturday morning arrived with no ideas about what I might do for a Saturday post (and no Waxing Lyrical from Mr. Synn), but it turned out that my NCS comrades had left various exclamatory pieces of news at our on-line meeting ground, and another friend had enthusiastically fired off a link in my direction, and all of that proved quite sufficient for this round-up.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE

It would go too far to say that we are primed to reflexively shower every Fleshgod Apocalypse release with praise. We have pointed out a few mis-steps by the band here and there. But it’s also true that we get pretty excited whenever something new surfaces (years and years ago there was a running joke at the site that as soon as I finally received the great mountains of gold that Nigerian princes were offering me via e-mail, I would bribe FA to become the NCS house band and play at my home whenever I wanted, which might prove to be every other day). Continue reading »

Jan 292018
 

 

(Todd Manning wrote this review of the new split by Baltimore’s Neolithic and the Swedish band Martydöd, set for release on February 15 by Deep Six Records.)

 

Does anyone want to burn down a city to kick off the new year? If so, the new split between Neolithic and Martyrdöd should provide the perfect soundtrack to the chaos. This is a short record, but goddamn if it isn’t raging. Continue reading »

Jan 042017
 

 

This is Part 3 of our continuing list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. To see the first two installments and an explanation of the criteria for making the selections, go here.

MARTYRDÖD

Anyone who saw my review of List won’t be surprised to find a song from the album on this list. I came close to embarrassing myself with how effusively I praised it. Hands down, it’s one of my favorite releases in an incredibly strong year for metal. Continue reading »

Dec 202016
 

martyrdod-video-1

 

I’ve already opened the floodgates to a torrent of words about Martyrdöd’s new album List. Count yourselves lucky — I could have gone on at even greater length extolling the virtues of the album. It remains one of my personal favorite releases of this year that’s about to expire. Insofar as I’m able to create any kind of objective distance from the music despite the immense, visceral impact it has had on me, I also think it’s one of the best albums of 2016. You may now be able to imagine my excitement at the chance we’ve been given to premiere the video you’re about to see for a song from the album, “Handlöst Fallen Ängel“.

List was released by Southern Lord on November 25. The video provides an excuse for people like me to urge other people who may not yet have explored List to STOP FUCKING AROUND AND DO IT. But happily, the video is a great stand-alone combination of sights and sounds, wholly apart from the excuse it gives me to hector you about this riveting album. Continue reading »

Nov 172016
 

martyrdod-list

Martyrdöd are unquestionably a metal band, but the roots of their music is in Swedish hardcore, they’re dedicated to the d-beat, and anything you read about them will likely include the words “crust punk” somewhere in the first paragraph (sometimes with “blackened” or “metallic” stuck on the description). Yet they’ve become so much more than what most people would think of as a crust band. Their new album List, for example, is one of the most epic experiences of 2016.

Yes, I know: If there is an afterlife, I will pay some hellish price for using that overworked word. But dammit, there is no better word that comes close to summing up the experience of List. Continue reading »

Oct 292016
 

bethlehem-cover-art

 

Hey there, happy Saturday to one and all. I kept a list over the last week of (mostly) new music I enjoyed. With the aid of an abacus, I counted how many songs, EPs, and albums were on that list. They added up to 39 (!). I moved some of them into the list of candidates for tomorrow’s Shades of Black post. I then picked the following nine for this playlist. There’s not a lot of rhyme or reason to the selections, though I did aim to provide wide genre variety. I hope you find something to like — I liked all this stuff a lot.

BETHLEHEM

This year the influential German band Bethlehem are celebrating their 25th anniversary by releasing a self-titled album (their eighth overall) on December 2 via Prophecy Productions. The album features a new vocalist, i.e., Onielar, from the German black metal band Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, and a new Russian guitarist known as Karzov, who participated significantly in the songwriting.I think it’s worth including this quote from Marcus Losen, Bethlehem‘s drummer in the early years:

“Apparently somebody in this f*cking universe answered my longstanding wish at last. These 10 tracks have the spirit and the balls I missed in Bethlehem for more than 18 years!”

Continue reading »

Jul 232014
 

Here’s a typically random and diverse collection of recommended new music and metal news that I came across over the last 24 hours. It ranges from highly anticipated black metal to a metal banjo cover, with all sorts of different musical trajectories in between.

NIGHTBRINGER

The fourth album by Colorado’s Nightbringer is entitled Ego Dominus Tuus (I Am Your Lord), and it’s due for release by Season of Mist on September 20 in NorthAm (September 26 elsewhere). Yesterday, SoM revealed the cover art by David Herrerias (above), which is wonderful. At the same time, the first advance track from the album began streaming at various sites around the globe. Its name is “Et Nox Illuminatio Mea In Deliciis Meis”, which refers to a line from Psalm 139. According to the band:

“The lyrics draw heavily upon this psalm, which we feel, via a perhaps more heretical approach, elucidates symbols relevant to the ‘midnight sun’ and the ‘night of light’. Furthermore we touch upon the Greek melancholia and the sovereignty of Saturn over those of us who are born with his mark and our relation to the former concepts as well as the significance of the ‘black light’ of our Lord. It speaks much of the ecstatic furor one may enter in which wisdom is imparted both from above, below and within, via a state of ‘divine madness’. “

Should you be interested in reading the 139th Psalm, you can do so here (the song’s title refers to the phrase “and night shall be my light in my pleasures”). Whether you do or don’t peruse the psalm, I strongly recommend listening to the song (it’s streaming at Stereogum here). Continue reading »

Jul 022014
 

Collected here are four new songs and one teaser reel of new music from five bands that I heard over the last 24 hours and believe are worth throwing at your head like a nail bomb. I present the music in alphabetical order by band name.

CEREMONIAL CASTINGS

Go ahead, click that image above to enlarge it. I’ll wait.

Pretty fuckin’ cool, isn’t it? It’s the creation of Belgian artist Kris Verwimp and it graces the cover of a new album entitled Cthulhu by Ceremonial Castings. Cthulhu will be this Washington State duo’s eighth album and it’s due for release on July 8. Based on descriptions on the band’s Facebook page, it will be a monumental concept album spanning 2 CDs, the first consisting of 11 tracks divided into three chapters, with a total run-time of more than 70 minutes, and the second consisting of a single 61-minute work entitled “Cthulhu Unbound”. Continue reading »