Nov 272020
 


The Corona Lantern – photo by Tom Šrejber

 

I had plans for a “Thanks Giving” post yesterday, ruminating on why the holiday still means something to me, even though as a godless heathen the only spirit in the sky I’m thankful to is this one. It was going to include observations based on this fascinating article about how the science of the brain helps understand why this time of year can be so melancholy, why the stresses of the pandemic have made the sadness (and the anger) even worse, and why we could all get some good out of not using our prefrontal cortex so much.

I was even going to explain what I had just learned, based on this absurdly detailed article and this video, about how toilet paper is made, and in particular about how the hell they perforate such fragile sheets of soluble cellulose. I even had a way of connecting that subject to the others, which will now remain a mystery, because I obviously ran out of time yesterday before I could write it.

Now that we’re on the other side of Thanksgiving Day I don’t feel up to writing the post I had conceived of, and will just say that somewhere along the way I intended to thank all of you who make NCS possible and all who support it, as well as all the bands — though I already did that when celebrating our 11th birthday not so long ago. But it can’t hurt to renew expressions of gratitude, and it might actually be therapeutic, so thanks again.

And now here’s a bit of music, a very tiny bit compared to my usual round-ups, but time is again about to run out. More coming this weekend. Continue reading »

Mar 242019
 

 

Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but I did listen to all the selections in this round-up on Saturday. I just didn’t get this post finished in time to launch it yesterday.

I listened to a lot of other things yesterday, too. Some of that will find its way into the usual SHADES OF BLACK column later today. Other songs and videos were also interesting, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Drawing lines gives me a headache, especially because I know that Monday will begin another week filled with new songs and videos on top of those from last week that I failed to get to, and another week when my day job (again) probably won’t leave me enough time for round-ups.

Doom plays a role in all of the following songs, which factored into my line-drawing, but the sounds of suffering play quite different roles from song to song.

OCTOBER TIDE

In their 25th year October Tide are releasing a new album, which founding guitarist Fredrik Norrman describes as “a bit more aggressive, a bit more death metal, and with an overall colder feeling than previous records”. His brother, guitarist Mattias, is still in harness, as is vocalist Alexander Högbom, but since the band’s last album they’ve added a new bassist (Johan Jönsegård) and a new drummer (Jonas Sköld), both of whom are also members of Letters From the Colony (who seem to have a lot of Meshuggah in their DNA, at least based on this live video from last summer). Continue reading »

Nov 222015
 

Nachash-Conjuring the Red Death Eclipse

 

As you can see, I decided to give the “Seen and Heard” title a rest for today, but that’s still what this post really is — another selection of music I’ve come across in recent days that I thought you might enjoy as much as I have. Most of what’s in here is new, some of it only newly discovered by yours truly. As is usually the case, the featured music is stylistically diverse. And because this is a birthday weekend at NCS, I decided to really load up this post with a lot of listening.

NACHASH

We’ll start this collection of music with the debut EP from Norway’s Nachash, a four-track offering entitled Conjuring the Red Death Eclipse. Though it was released in February of this year (through Unborn Productions), I only discovered it recently, and what a discovery it has been.

The four long songs on the EP are rich and multifaceted. The final track “A Necromancer’s Lament”, which is set to play first on Bandcamp, is like a melding of stoner doom and black metal; the riffs are so goddamn delicious that I got pulled headfirst into the rest of the EP as if I’d been sucked into a whirlpool. Continue reading »