Jan 022013

Yesterday I posted two catch-up features in an effort to spread the word about new music and news I came across over the long holiday weekend. But two really wasn’t enough. So, here’s a third.


The revival of old school death metal marches on.  In this instance, the purveyors are not newcomers mimicking the style, but people who were doing this when the old school was young.

Sorcery are a Swedish band who originally came together in the late 80s. By 1991 they had recorded an assortment of demos and one full-length album (Bloodchilling Tales), and then dissolved. Their revival began in 2009 with the recording of a new demo (followed by a second in 2012), and now they’re on the verge of releasing a new album — Arrival At Six — on the Xtreem Music label (release date: Jan 15). Of course, it was recorded at Sunlight Studios, by Tomas Skogsberg. And as you can see, it features completely killer cover art by Daniel Devilish.

Thanks to a tip from Utmu, yesterday I listened to the first single from the album, “Warbringer”.  Continue reading »

Oct 102012

Chicago guitarist Jeff Wilson is a busy dude. In addition to his bands Chrome Waves and Wolvhammer, both of which we’ve praised here at NCS in the past, he’s also a driving force in a new collective called Doomsday. He’s got some heavyweight talent along for the Doomsday ride, too:

Bassist Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber, Chrome Waves, Apostle Of Solitude)
Guitarist/vocalist Jon Woodring (Bones)
Drummer Zack Simmons (Goatwhore)
Vocalist Zion Meagher (Anti-Human Thesis).

In some ways this group is like a Nachtmystium alumni reunion, since Wilson, Woodring, Simmons, and Meagher were all previously involved with that band — and Doomsday’s self-titled, six-song EP was engineered by Nachtmystium’s Sanford Parker, along with Carl Byers (Coffinworm). It will be released on November 6 by Wilson’s newly founded label Disorder Recordings, and it features brilliantly occult cover art by Christina Caperson.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the details out of the way and nearly sunk this review under the weight of all those links, I do have a few words to say about the music: It’s really fuckin’ good. Continue reading »

Oct 092012

(One of the most-read pieces we’ve ever published at NCS was BadWolf’s May 2011 interview of Blake Judd and his bandmates in Nachtmytium. This year brought us a new Nachtmystium album — Silencing Machine — and another BadWolf interview of Blake Judd, which follows.)

This interview happened on july fifth.


This interview sat on my hard drive for a few months, gumming up the works. Blake Judd was my first ‘break’ as a blogger on this very website. Since then he’s become one of my favorite people to work with (when you can keep him in one place for more than ten seconds). Honestly, I found that interview so hard to follow that I nearly deleted this one. But you deserve to hear it. Judd only gives excellent interviews, and his new album, Silencing Machine [reviewed here]  is likewise excellent.

Judd and I shot the shit for close to a half hour, talking about the cancellation of Gathering of Shadows fest, Roadburn, the new record, marriage, and what makes a good song.


BadWolf: The heat’s really fucking with me. I don’t know how people stand it.

Blake Judd: I was at South by Southwest earlier this year. Probably the tenth time I’ve been to Austin and I love that city, I’d love to live there. When it gets cold I keep saying to the wife we should move down there. Then you get a day like this? No way I could ever live somewhere this hot. Continue reading »

Sep 142012

One last post for this Friday, with a focus on recently announced U.S./Canada tours.

First, it was announced today that Nachtmystium will be headlining the Dawn Over the Ruins of America tour, which also includes Jarboe (featuring Baleyyg) and Canada’s Weapon. All of the dates have not yet been released, but the ones that have are after the jump. Also, although I know Jarboe used to be in Swans, that’s about the extent of my knowledge about her work, and I know zip about Baleyyg. So if anyone has any insights, leave a comment. Nachtmystium and Weapon, of course, are must-see bands for yours truly. (Thanks to Utmu and Vonlughlio for the tip about this one.)

Second, Boston’s mighty Revocation will be headlining a tour, and A Life Once Lost and KEN Mode will be along for that ride. I’ve almost lost count of how many times I’ve seen Revocation, because they tour like there’s no tomorrow, and every damned show has been killer. And if you saw tomorrow’s earlier post about ALOL, well, you know how I feel about them. KEN Mode is another band I am very interested in seeing. Those dates are also after the jump.

Third, Lambgoat is reporting that Dying Fetus will be touring late this year with Cattle Decapitation and Cerebral Bore in tow. There’s been no official announcement, but Lambgoat has ferreted out three venues where this line-up has been announced so far. I’ll just sum up my thoughts about this tour as follows: HELLS FUCKING YEAH! Continue reading »

Aug 032012

(In this review, BadWolf provides his take on the new album by Chicago’s Nachtmystium.)

What does it mean when Nachtmystium, a band whose success has sprung from breaking convention, releases a return-to-form? Silencing Machine, portentous title and all, disposes of the psychedelic and dance-rock elements of its predecessors, as well as much of frontman Blake Judd’s morbid introspection. Rather, its constant aggression and meditation on worldly issues recalls more of classic Metallica and Marduk than, say, Marillion.

I will say first that Nachtmystium mean a great deal to me personally—Black Meddle‘s One (Assassins) and Two (Addicts) both saw me through great personal tumult — and second, that my favorite thing about Blake Judd and his band of crusty ne’er-do-wells is their ability to take one sound per record and twist it into several unique permutations. A good psychedelic album takes you someplace—a good Nachtmystium album takes you several places.

So when I first heard Silencing Machine, I found it toothless. Most of the songs on Silencing Machine follow the general formula of Assassins’ title track: black metal intro, transition to groove section, optional return to black metal section, end. Nothing stuck with me besides the big, juicy chorus on the title track. For the first time, Nachtmystium bored me, and I anticipate it will bore many on first listen.

I urge you to listen several times—Blake Judd writes albums that take some digging to sink in. Silencing Machine proved a compelling ride when I gave it the opportunity. This year Nachtmystium took their lessons in atmosphere and rhythm from the previous two albums and applied them to an aggro black metal template. Continue reading »

Jul 052012

In this post I’m collecting new songs (and one video) from four bands that surfaced over the least 48 hours. The musical styles are different, but the new tracks have this in common: they’ll centrifuge that tofu-like substance housed by your skull into a sticky merengue.


Nachtmystium’s new album, Silencing Machine, has been making the rounds among your NCS comrades and has been getting an enthusiastic reception. We will have a review of the album and a Blake Judd interview in the not-too-distant future, or at least within the lifespan of a Galápagos tortoise. Two songs from the album have already premiered — the title track and “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams” — and yesterday brought us a third one, courtesy of The Onion’s A.V. Club.

The latest song is “Decimation, Annihilation”. With a name like that, one would expect the song to do some decimation’ and annihilatin’, but it really didn’t sound completely like what I was expecting.

In many ways, this album is evidence that Nachtmystium got most of the weirdness out of their system with the Black Meddle albums and have returned to the more aggressive, more raw, black-metal based slashing of Instinct: Decay. But the rhythms at the beginning and end of this new song are still a curveball — with something closer to black-metal decimation and annihilation layered in the middle. Hear it for yourself, right after the jump. Continue reading »

Jun 202012

(BadWolf found us a real gem to start this Wednesday.)

If you still haven’t checked out Nachtmystium, Chicago’s black metal prodigies, where the hell have you been? Their mix of punky black metal with stoner rock, psychedelia, and industrial elements strikes that perfect balance between great songs and great sounds—their two Black Meddle records garnered serious critical acclaim (from myself and others) for it. But Nachtmysitum’s metamorphosis from Norwegian attack clone into unique entity began on their 2006 album, Instinct: Decay.

If you haven’t heard Instinct: Decay, this is the perfect opportunity. It’s required listening for any serious fan of USBM. If you’re a fan of Blake Judd and Friends’ new material, you can hear the beginning of that sound here. If you thought the Black Meddle albums were wussy metal you should still listen: Instinct: Decay is substantially rawer than either of its successors. Nachtmystium played the album front-to-back at this year’s Roadburn Festival, and some German website I have never heard of is streaming the entire performance as recorded straight from the sound board.


I imagine you can figure it out easily enough—hit the big triangle that looks like a play symbol. It’s a play symbol. [Editor’s intrusion: or, you can stream it at NCS right after the jump.]

The sound of this recording is pretty great, but that’s to be expected—I have Nachtmstium’s Live at Roadburn LP from early last year, and it’s fantastic. As a matter of fact, Blake’s vocals aside, this recording sounds better than the actual album, which is in pretty dire need of a remaster, already. Continue reading »

Jun 152012

Nachtmystium’s new album Silencing Machine is due for release on July 31 via Century Media. I’ve been really interested in this album because of Blake Judd’s interview comments about it (promising that it’s a move away from the Meddle albums and more of a follow-up to Instinct: Decay, i.e., “It’s a fuckin’ black metal record”.) and because of what I heard on the first song to be released from the album for streaming (the title track).

Today, Nachtmystium premiered a second song titled “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams” exclusively through some German site called Visions.de (here).

I’ve been trying off and on to get the goddamned music player on that site to stream the song for the last half hour, without success. I press play, and it just sits there like a lump of inert code. On the computer I’m using, I’ve only got Firefox and Safari, so maybe it’s a browser issue, or maybe it’s a slow net connection, which sometimes plagues me where I’m currently located. Or maybe Visions.de is just lame.

But really, why did Chicago-based Nachtmystium (or Century) pick some apparently non-metal site in Germany which features a bunch of annoying flashing ads as the locus for this song debut instead of an ad-free site whose music player works and whose verbiage can be read by stupid monolingual Americans, i.e., our site? There is no justice.

Anyway, if you can hear this song, let me know what you think. Meanwhile, I’m going over to Pitchfork to listen to the title track again, because it rips and rolls.

Jun 042012

I don’t really intend to make a habit of these posts, even though this is the third one like this I’ve done in a week. Or maybe it’s already a habit, like smoking hair through a gasoline bong. I don’t know.

Anyway, I heard a new song from King of Asgard today. The last time I wrote about this Swedish band was all the way back in September 2010, via a MISCELLANY post in which I sampled their last album, Fi’mbulvintr. They now have a new album set for release by Metal Blade on various dates from July 27 to July 31, depending on where you live. The album title is …To North, and above is the extremely cool oil-on-panel cover art by Mattias Frisk.

The new song, which began streaming today, is “The Nine Worlds Burn”, and it’s also extremely cool. Basically, King of Asgard are doing it again — combining deeply charred Viking metal with enchanting, clean female vocals. It’s like Naglfar, but with a surprising and effective folk accent. Check it out:

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/47946772″ iframe=”true” /]

Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I’ve been doing actual paying work all morning. I took a break not long ago and cast my baleful eye around the interhole and my NCS e-mail box to see what there was to see and hear. And these are things I thought worth passing on.

First, that cover you see above is for a tribute album to Emperor called In Honour of Icon E, which will be released on June 25 by Metal Swamp. It’s a very nice piece of art, created by Wolkogniv of Folkingrimm Art.

It also looks like it will be a very nice album, with Emperor covers by the likes of Demonical, Helheim, Horna, Taake, and Setherial. I’ll give you the full tracklist rundown after the jump, but the news for today is that the album has gone up on Amqzon for pre-order, which means you can hear snippets of each song here. Continue reading »