Nov 052018
 

 

Both Amiensus and Oak Pantheon are from Minnesota. Both bands are long-time favorites at our putrid site, and we’ve been following both since very early days in their development. And now both of them, today, have released a new split named Gathering II.

As the name suggests, this isn’t their first collaboration. Five years ago to the day, they jointly released another split named Gathering. It included one track by each band, and so does Gathering II, but the new release also includes a third track that’s a true musical collaboration in which both bands participated. Continue reading »

Aug 112018
 

 

(In this week’s edition of WAXING LYRICAL, Andy Synn presents the results of his interview with Sami and Tanner of long-time NCS favorites Oak Pantheon, whose new EP Sol was released last spring.)

Anyone who’s been a regular reader of NCS for any decent amount of time will undoubtedly recognise the name Oak Pantheon, as we’ve been writing about and supporting the band practically since their inception, and have covered practically everything they’ve released thus far, to a greater or lesser extent.

The one thing we haven’t really had much chance to go into detail about, however, is their latest EP, Sol, which sees them breaking from their established pattern and pursuing a calmer and more contemplative, Neo-folk-influenced sound.

Thankfully I was able to corral guitarist/vocalist Sami Sati and guitarist/backing vocalist Tanner Swenson to participate in this latest edition of Waxing Lyrical, where you’ll find a wide range of information about all stages of the band’s career, including the mindset and process behind their newest and most unusual release. Continue reading »

Apr 152018
 

 

Well, I managed to finish the second part of today’s Shades of Black before Monday after all.  I’ll dispense with any further introduction and move directly to the music I’ve chosen, which is quite varied.

CARPATHIAN FOREST

As of yesterday, when I wrote these words, the most-played track by Carpathian Forest on YouTube was “I Am Possessed” (one of the previously unreleased tracks that appeared on the compilation album We’re Going to Hell for This), with almost 590,000 plays. That song and album were released in 2002, more than a decade after the band first took shape. A couple of new albums followed that release, but nothing new has emerged for the last 12 years — until now.

So, in the annals of Norwegian black metal, it’s fair to say this new release is an historic event. But is it more than that? Continue reading »

May 162016
 

Lord Impaler-Demology-The Decade of Obscurity

 

Here are a couple of quick news items of interest that qualify as updates to recent posts here at our putrid site.

LORD IMPALER

In a Shades of Black post yesterday I included a video of the first live performance by the Greek black metal band Lord Impaler in 16 years, opening for Rotting Christ on May 13 in Kastoria, Greece, and performing a new song from their forthcoming second album In Full Regalia. And today Lord Impaler followed that landmark event in their history with an announcement I thought was worth spreading around — especially because it involves an offer of free music, much of which has been hard to find: Continue reading »

May 092016
 

Oak Pantheon-In Pieces

 

(Andy Synn reviews the remarkable new album by Oak Pantheon from Minnesota.)

Change is perhaps the only true constant in life. People change. Bands change. And our relationship to them, and to their music, changes accordingly.

And yet, though it’s undeniable that Minnesotan metallers Oak Pantheon have certainly changed somewhat since the release of their first album, 2012’s stirring From A Whisper, the essence of the band, their core sound, still remains fully intact, even as their latest release finds the group expanding beyond perhaps what even they originally envisioned.

Changed, and yet unchanging, it’s precisely this paradox which is at the centre of In Pieces, a compelling enigma which necessitates multiple spins to truly appreciate and comprehend. Continue reading »

Aug 272015
 

Mordbrand vidclip

 

One of these days I’ll learn that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers shouldn’t make promises about what they’re going to do. Yesterday I wrote that I would post two round-up’s of new music in an effort to partially catch up on all the new songs that had emerged since the last one I compiled five days earlier, but that obviously didn’t happen.

However, thanks to Austin Weber, we do have two today, with this being the second one. One silver lining to the cloud of my tardiness is that since yesterday I discovered one more item worth recommending to you — and it’s the first one in this post.

MORDBRAND

For those who haven’t religiously followed my scribbling over the last few years, I will confess that I’m a slavish fan of Sweden’s Mordbrand. It’s not that they have any compromising photos of me, it’s because they’ve been so consistently good at what they do. Out of all the outstanding songs they’ve released, perhaps my favorite track is “That Which Crawls” from their 2014 album Imago — and today they released a video for that very song. Continue reading »

Aug 022014
 

 

To pick up where my last post left off, the aircraft that I boarded yesterday in Seattle did in fact land in Denver, where I and my personal security detail spent the evening drinking beer, eating pizza, and air-guitaring at the Black Sky Brewery in preparation for the sonic holocaust that will begin today (otherwise know as the Denver Black Sky fest).

Because time is short (or more accurately, the time not spent drinking, eating, jawing, and sleeping), this little round-up will be less fulsome than I would like — but still worthwhile, I hope.

ELEMENTAL NIGHTMARES — I

We’ve been writing about the Elemental Nightmares project since early days, and it is now a reality. Today Elemental Nightmares released the first of seven 10″ vinyl splits for digital download; the physical copies will start shipping on August 7 or 8.

The first split includes songs by Wildernessking (South Africa), Oak Pantheon (Minnesota), Kess’khtak (Switzerland) Liber Necris (UK), and it features that stunning artwork you see at the top of this post (all of the individual pieces of art for the seven splits, when placed next to each other, will eventually flow together to form one large piece of art). The work was created by Düsseldorf artist Alexander Leybovich (whose web site is here). Continue reading »

Jul 172014
 

 

Here are a few noteworthy things I spotted and heard yesterday, with some help from my friends. If time permits, I’ll put up a second collection today, because yesterday really brought a cavalcade of things I want to spread around.

ÆVANGELIST

I know there are human beings in Ævangelist, but I still prefer to call them “the Ævangelist entity” because the music sounds like emanations from a dark dimension outside our own by an inhuman being whose shape can’t be mapped. This entity has been churning out music at a an increasingly furious rate. Although the last album, Omen Ex Simulacra emerged from the void only last fall, yesterday brought an announcement by Debemur Morti Productions that a new full-length named Ævangelist III – Writhes in the Murk will become available in September (on CD, vinyl, and digital).

That news would have been enough to stop me in my tracks all by itself, but the announcement was accompanied by the unveiling of the wonderful album cover you see above. It was created by Andrzej Masianis, who also created the painted cover for the last album, which is worth seeing in full rather than in the cropped version that was visible as the album’s front cover. The painting was originally entitled “Exterminating Angel”: Continue reading »

Jun 122014
 

Here are some new things I found over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing around. I’m doing my best to finish a review, so I’m going to atypically attempt to be brief. I know this will cause mass depression among readers, but that’s just the way it has to be.

SÓLSTAFIR

As previously reported, the next album by Iceland’s Sólstafir is named Ótta and will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. Today the album became available for pre-order in triple-LP format (here) and the cover art was disclosed (above). I don’t know what thinking is behind the use of this photo or how it relates to the music and/or lyrics, but I like it — such a dramatic setting, and such a fascinating face. Bought it.

Also today Stereogum premiered the new album’s title track. You may not be prepared for it. You may not even think it’s metal. But I think it’s goddamned awesome. It’s icy and adrift, bleak and beautiful, melancholy and memorable. But it has a harsh edge as well, it rocks in its own way, and the soaring of the vocals into a howl near the end are very cool. And is that an electrified mandolin I’m hearing, along with the synth and strings? (Answer:  Nope, it’s a banjo!)

Go HERE to listen.

GOD MACABRE

I’ve written before about the Relapse reissue of the one and only album by Sweden’s God Macabre — a band who’ve frequently been on my mind ever since seeing their magnificent set at Maryland Deathfest XII last month. One of my friends who was there with me surprised the hell out of me a few days ago with a gift of the special MDF edition of the LP. And then yesterday I noticed that the digital version of The Winterlong reissue is now available on Bandcamp. If you haven’t heard it, you should. It has lost nothing in the two decades since its original release. Here it is: Continue reading »

Apr 022014
 

My close friends and family members will tell you that I’m one of the most gullible people you could ever encounter. I prefer to think of it as an innately trusting nature, but my history of being duped is so long and rich that I can’t really quarrel with their judgment. Even on April 1, when I try to be on guard, I still get suckered like a carnival rube.

There were lots of metal-oriented pranks yesterday that were funny even though they were obvious — such as the 50 reviews that suddenly materialized on Metal-Archives for the ingeniously named Penis Metal by Hades Archer. At least I think that was a prank. Sometimes gullibility can work in reverse.

One prank I fell for, hook, line, and sinker, appears at the top of this post. I have such a hard-on for Oak Pantheon and Amiensus, and their 2013 split Gathering, that I took one look at that flyer — and the appearance of a Seattle date — and started marking my calendar and exclaiming enthusiastically about it on Facebook. I didn’t dwell on the logistical difficulty of a tour that would start on the US East Coast, jump to a bunch of European capitols, and then pick up on the US West Coast, all within the space of a month. I also completely missed the two tiny words in the lower right-hand corner of the flyer. Continue reading »