Oct 202021
 


Obscura and their rides…

 

I picked songs for six bands for this hump-day roundup, and all of them come with videos. I expect moving through this will keep you on your toes, or rock you back on your heels, because the tracks move in unpredictable ways from one to the next. I got thrills of different kinds out of all of them, and hope you will too.

As the post title suggests, I have an idea for a second round-up, which includes some recently released EPs. I haven’t started writing it yet, so I’m unsure whether I’ll have time to finish it for posting today, but if not, you’ll see it first thing tomorrow.

OBSCURA (Germany)

This latest track premiere from Obscura’s new album, which is delivered through a performance video, got my motor running in a big damned hurry. “When Stars Collide” is a turbocharged thrill-ride with glorious bursts of singing by Soilwork’s Björn Strid, the kind of song geared to set arenas on fire with its pyrotechnical fretwork and blistering drum attack, and the dual-guitar soloing is a big ear-worm too. Continue reading »

Sep 252021
 

 

To avoid boring you and offending vegetarians and vegans out there, I’ll spare you the details, but I have to pick up an animal carcass and then burn wood in a pit for about 6 hours today before burying it. There’s a lot to be said about staring at fire for 6 hours, but I’m going to drink anyway.

And anyway, because this all has to get started soon and because I slept in, I’m unable to write this morning. Even in the “Overflowing Streams” format I usually manage to write a couple sentences about the new music and videos I’ve chosen and then leave pre-order and Facebook links. I don’t even have time to do that today. In the 11+ years of NCS I can’t remember another time when all I’ve done is installed the music streams and videos. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

To salve my wounded conscience I did decide to (mostly) limit this collection to what I consider well-known bands because you’ll probably have a good idea about what’s coming without me providing any guidance. But there may still be a few surprises.

P.S. There’s no new music from Lock Up in this collection. I just like Khaos Diktator‘s cover art for the band’s new album. The first single, “Dark Force Of Conviction”, will be coming on September 30th with a video. Continue reading »

Aug 212021
 

 

The usual torrent of new music continued this past week, culminating in the expected high tide on Friday. Harried by my day job, I couldn’t keep up with what happened yesterday, though my compatriot DGR did, and he again funneled a lot of the new stuff my way. Five of the selections you’ll find below came from him, though I did manage to add eight more advance tracks that I scoped out this morning, to create a lucky 13.

As in other instances of gigantic round-ups such as this one, it includes a lot of bigger names, but I’ve infiltrated some lesser-knowns. It’s like putting out honey to attract flies, and then hoping something they weren’t expecting bites them. Welcome aboard flies! Here we go in alphabetical order:

1914 (Ukraine)

It’s exciting to see an underground favorite such as 1914 (whom we’ve been writing about since their early days) getting picked up by a big label such as Napalm, for the simple reason that it will expose their prodigious talents to a wider audience. The fact that Nick Holmes makes a guest appearance on the song/video that leads off this collection will help as well. Continue reading »

Jul 022021
 

 

I’m scurrying. I was all ready to launch an album premiere and review, but the provider of the stream code seems to have been swallowed by the earth. So, to fill the gap I’ve quickly pulled together a bunch of new songs I encountered this morning, most of which come with entertaining videos. I’m pretending I’m a DJ and just inserting some very brief comments before each one, and adding some release info below the clips.

OBSCURA

The tech-death arms race shows no signs of diminishing, and, with manes and drapery blowing in the wind and fingers and limbs flying at blinding speed, Obscura rejoin the melee. Minds will be boggled…. Continue reading »

Jun 162021
 

 

We’re not paid by the word around here (we’re not paid anything around here). But if we were, I wouldn’t make enough from this post to buy a cheap beer. Being short on time today, I’ve resorted to what I seem to be doing with increasing frequency in these round-ups, i.e., just foisting music and videos on you without commentary, artwork, or links.

Rest assured, however, that I’m foisting the following songs and films for a reason — because I think they’re worth your time. Or at least some of them will be worth your time, while others might not be your genre-cup of tea. I don’t expect that everyone out there will be as small-c catholic in their tastes as I am.

I did have enough time to briefly summarize the release info for the records that include the music I’ve chosen — or, regarding the first item, the artwork I’ve chosen, because there’s no music yet from that album. Continue reading »

Feb 142019
 

 

There’s probably someone out there who was thinking, “Is this list STILL not finished? It’s the middle of fuckin’ February — when is that lunatic going to stop?” And then that someone saw the title of this installment and thought, “Oh wow. Didn’t realize he hadn’t gotten to Obscura or Soreption yet. I guess it’s okay if he goes on for a bit longer.”

OBSCURA

All of us here were big, big fans of Obscura’s latest album Diluvium — and it seems like everyone else who listened to it felt the same way. In his review, Andy recognized it as “the culmination of a decade’s worth of work and growth by this ever-evolving entity” and considered it home to “some of the most nuanced and natural-sounding songs of the band’s career” — “another win for Obscura, as well as a more than fitting conclusion to their epic endeavour” (it eventually made Andy’s list of the year’s Great albums).

For his part, DGR (in his year-end write-up) also thought the album was great — “predictably dense, but not in the stuffed-to-the-gills way that a lot of tech-death albums have been, but more because this was an album that really saw Obscura exploring their chosen sound” — and gave it a very high recommendation. Continue reading »

Feb 112019
 

 

(Andy Synn wants you to know that he took in another show. This time, Obscura, Fallujah, Allegaeon, and First Fragment drew him to the environs of London on February 8th, yielding this report plus video of the event.)

For whatever reason, possibly known only to the gods themselves, tonight’s show was one of three big package-tours plying their metallic wares in the capital all on the same evening, with Behemoth/At The Gates/Wolves In The Throne Room on at Kentish Town Forum and Psycroptic/Aversion’s Crown/Within Destruction/Hadal Maw/Hollow World making The Dome in Tufnell Park their home for the evening.

Thankfully, as I’d caught the latter tour a few days earlier in Manchester, my choice between the remaining two options was an easy one to make, as while I’m a fan of practically all the bands on both bills (to a greater or lesser extent), I wasn’t hugely taken with either of the most recent Behemoth and At The Gates albums, whereas I was very high on the most recent Obscura album (and, spoiler alert, the upcoming new Fallujah too).

So it was off to the O2 in Islington for me! Continue reading »

Jan 012019
 

 

(Here’s the second installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

This segment has some interesting patterns in it. The grindcore power hour makes its appearance here, as I’m a sucker for a whole lot of high-speed songwriting over blasting drums, and there’s still some spill-over from the veterans who remained fairly consistent (which you’ll note, defined a lot of part one). As we reach the bottom of the list you’ll start to see some new faces, stunning debuts and incredible full-lengths, and from here the list only gets more and more wild.

As of this writing I’m not sure how to describe the next few segments, but you’ll note that the albums tend to get a little bit more heartfelt, vicious, and a whole lot more passionate as we get further and further into this list. If anything I’d say the immediate thing I’m noting is that the high-twenties of this affair fully sell me out as having had a giant tech-death party. But right now, let us enjoy this current batch of madness as we bounce around from the worlds of grind, to high speed death metal, to a pleasant prog-death and sludge metal break, only to finally close things out with a tremendous crushing of skulls. Continue reading »

Jul 162018
 

 

I’ll make this quick:

First, within the last hour or so, Behemoth announced a North American tour (Ecclesia Diabolica America 2018) with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. It begins on October 20th in Phoenix and ends on November 24th in Los Angeles, and includes stops in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as 18 U.S. States. Here’s the current schedule: Continue reading »

Jul 092018
 

 

(This is Andy Synn’s review of the new album by the celebrated German band Obscura, which will be released on July 13th by Relapse Records.)

Where to start with this one?

Obviously the name Obscura should be familiar to the majority (if not all) of our readers, as the band – these days comprising creative (and somewhat controversial) linchpin Steffen Kummerer alongside guitarist Rafael Trujillo, drummer Sebastian Lanser, and resident uber-bassist Linus Klausenitzer – have long since established themselves as one of the big names of Progressive/Technical Death Metal.

What they, and you, may not be aware of, however, is that, despite all the line-up changes, intra-band friction, and media-managed drama of the last few years, Obscura have been actively engaged in crafting a ten-year long, four-album deep, conceptual cycle – beginning with 2009’s Cosmogenesis (origin), and then moving through further phases with 2011’s Omnivium (evolution), and 2016’s Akróasis (consciousness) – which is finally about to conclude with the release of Diluvium, representing not only the end of the cycle, but also the end of an era for Kummerer and co.

So, with that in mind, perhaps the real question you should be asking yourself right now is… can this record possibly live up to those lofty expectations, and truly deliver the ending which this saga deserves? Continue reading »