Jan 242020
 

 

I usually try to group songs together in these installments in a way that makes sense at least to me, sometimes grouping by genre but in other ways as well. Today, however, the music is a little more “all over the map”. All three songs come from albums I love (and I think are pretty uniformly liked by my NCS comrades too), and I just want to make sure I honored the music before running up against the end-time for this list. You can find everything that preceded these three tracks here.

BLUT AUS NORD

Part of the thrill afforded by a new Blut Aus Nord album is the process of discovery, because BAN has rarely followed a straight and steady path from one record to the next, and predicting how their path might twist and turn requires a crystal ball. The music is, as Vindsval has said himself, a “process of perpetual regeneration”. In the case of their new album, Hallucinogen (which I reviewed here), BAN turned to psychedelia, which they transformed through reformulation into a new aesthetic. Continue reading »

Nov 192019
 

 

(On November 22nd Nuclear Blast will release the debut album of the British band Strigoi, and today we presentt DGR’s review of the album.)

Gregor Mackintosh‘s newest project Strigoi is an interesting proposition: Even though his previous project Vallenfyre exists no more, having released three excellent albums and then neatly wrapping things up, Strigoi sees Greg Mackintosh once again reuniting with one of his Vallenfyre friends in order to release more doom-infused death metal, fully divorced from the gothic melodrama of Paradise Lost.

Abandon All Faith comes packed with music, weighing in at eleven songs and an intro track and all of it some of the weightiest and sometimes dirtiest death metal that the group could muster. If there were an award for crushing by sonic weight via guitar tone, Strigoi could easily find itself in the running, as the whole album is filled with cacophonous bellowing and hefty guitar riffs that make every song feel astronomically heavier than they otherwise would have been.

Ostensibly launched as a project for the crew to explore more facets of heavy metal music than what they felt they were able to do in Vallenfyre, Strigoi still keeps it pretty close to home on Abandon All Faith. It’s a huge album wherein the experimentation comes largely in the different atmosphere the band try to portray across their twelve songs, and although there is a strain of familiarity that runs throughout Abandon All Faith, hearing the group still manage to create a suffocatingly heavy brick of death metal remains an exciting experience. Continue reading »

Oct 192019
 

 

It’s been another messed-up week for yours truly. My usual routines have been flipped upside-down by events in my personal life, and I’m not sure when they’ll be right-side-up again. As with the week before last, new-music round-ups were a casualty. I did manage to find enough free time this morning to compile this one.

LORD MANTIS

Five years after Death Mask, Lord Mantis has revived and recorded a new album named Universal Death Church. The line-up this time consisted of a reunion of vocalist/bassist Charlie Fell and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Markuszewski, joined again by guitarist Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams, and by new drummer Bryce Butler in place of the late Bill Bumgardner. Continue reading »

Sep 212019
 

 

I had originally planned to post most of this collection (all but the opening song) nearly two week ago. I obviously didn’t get it finished then, and other obligations and ideas have kept pushing it side in favor of other posts since then. As the days have passed, a couple hundred other interesting songs have surfaced, from which a more “hot off the presses” round-up might have been assembled. But I decided just to pull this one off the shelf instead, brush off the light coating of dust, and present it on this Saturday.

In different ways, the second through fifth songs in this collection are off the usual beaten paths here at NCS, different in different ways from the kinds of music we usually focus on. The first one, which is more recent, is more in the main line of our usual interests, but I’m so excited by it that I didn’t want to defer recommending it. It’s also surprising, and not completely out of place in a post devoted to deviations from the mean.

STRIGOI

It’s not an overstatement, at least among those of us who toil at NCS, that whatever groups Greg Mackintosh becomes involved in (in addition to Paradise Lost) will be worth checking out, sooner rather than later. With Vallenfyre now ended, he has turned to Strigoi, a group he created with the aid of Extreme Noise Terror and Vallenfyre bassist Chris Casket, and so far, no one else aside from drummer Waltteri Väyrynen, who did studio session work on Strigoi’s first album. That band name, we’re told, refers to “the troubled spirits in Romanian mythology who could rise from the grave and assume an entirely different form”. Continue reading »