Oct 152021
 

 

I grew up in central Texas in a household of three generations that included an old-time folk fiddler and a square-dance pianist. Sometimes other musicians would drop in for rehearsals or impromptu performances for friends and family. I’d sprawl on the floor with my brother, mesmerized by the sometimes fiery sometimes forlorn bluegrass and mountain music they made.

This was long before black metal (or really any kind of extreme metal) existed. I mention it because it may help explain how thoroughly my mind was blown when I first heard Primeval Well‘s self-titled debut album two years ago, though that was probably evident from the run-away words that spilled out of me at the time:

Primeval Well make you understand what black metal would have sounded like if it had originated along the Mason-Dixon line in America or in the Appalachian mountains, instead of Norway. It swirls and spins, it dances and cavorts, it soars to grandiose heights of sheer ebullience, it takes us under sodden wisteria beneath crescent moons. It unleashes hellfire and black magic, lunacy and seizures, the savage delight found by lean, hard-living people who were given nothing by anyone and found their own pleasures in the devil’s dream, and the woozy somnambulance brought about by corn liquor from the still.”

All this comes back to me because I’ve had my mind blown again, this time by Primeval Well‘s second album, Talkin’ in Tongues with Mountain Spirits, which is set for release on October 20th by Moonlight Cypress Archetypes, and which you will now have a chance to hear for yourselves. Continue reading »

Dec 272019
 

 

Christmas Day and the day after are usually quiet ones in the spheres of activity of which NCS is a part. The typical flood of press releases dwindles to a trickle, most other metal blogs are hibernating, and few bands or labels release new music. Eyes are elsewhere, many of them probably closed altogether.

However, I can’t resist taking advantage of the relative peace to check out odds and ends I’ve been waiting to explore, or have recently noticed for the first time. I guess it’s obvious that I can’t resist, given how much new music I’ve already thrown at you during this holiday week — but here’s more (don’t duck!):

WORSEN

I could have sworn I had written something about Worsen’s 2019 debut album Cursed To Witness Life, but can find no evidence of it. Add that to the list of excellent 2019 releases I’ve shamefully neglected. If you haven’t already sampled what that album has to offer, and you enjoy black metal, you should go here and give it a shot. As a couple of commenters wrote on that Bandcamp page I just linked you to: “Cold as hell, awesome melodies and in your face riffs”; “Haunting, beautiful, dark and utterly mesmerizing.”

What reminded me of Cursed To Witness Life was a new single that Worsen released on December 24th to commemorate the birthday, not of Jesus, but of Lemmy Kilmister, at whose altar many of us pray more often than the other guy’s. It’s a cover of Motörhead’s “Killed By Death”, and it’s fucking great. Continue reading »