Nov 292017
 

 

Serbia’s The Stone is one of the longest-running, still-active extreme metal bands in the Balkans. Originally launched in the old Yugoslavia in 1996 under the name Stone To Flesh, the band have pursued their musical inspirations for two tumultuous decades that saw the re-establishment of an independent Serbia, brutal conflict in neighboring Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and cycles of political upheaval within the country as well. Dating back to their days as Stone to Flesh, the band have released eight albums, and their ninth one, Teatar apsurda is now set for release on December 9th by Mizantropeon Records.

Despite their longevity, I didn’t discover The Stone until 2014, in the run-up to the release of their last album, the brilliant Nekroza, and since then I’ve also become a fan of Kozeljnik, the eponymous side project of one of The Stone’s founding and continuing members (a two-part interview of him that we published this past May — here and here — provides a fascinating history of these bands, as well as metal in the Balkans).

Perhaps needless to say, I’ve been eager for this new album, and not surprisingly, it’s fantastic. We’re very happy to give you a taste of what makes it so good through our premiere of a song named “Gavranovo“. Continue reading »

May 112017
 

 

(Music journalist Konstantin, who in past years has written for Serbia’s Nocturne Music Magazine, makes his first appearance at NCS with this extensive interview of Kozeljnik, founding guitarist and composer of the long-running Serbian black metal band The Stone and a participant in many other groups as well. Part 1 of this interview can be found HERE.)

Proudly standing in the underground waters for more than two decades, The Stone have engraved their name as one of the pivotal names in the Eastern European black metal scene of the ‘90s. From a war-torn country under embargo where buying the latest CD of your favorite band was practically impossible to touring with Revenge and Inquisition, they have cleared their path with strength and spirit.

In a detailed conversation with Kozeljnik (The Stone, Kozeljnik, May Result, Oculus, Murder, Ophidian Coil) we recall those days; and we discuss such topics as where metal has made mistakes in the last years and why that one legendary US act decided to have special gigs in the Balkan woods years ago. Continue reading »

May 102017
 

 

(Music journalist Konstantin, who in past years has written for Serbia’s Nocturne Music Magazine, makes his first appearance at NCS with this extensive interview of Kozeljnik, founding guitarist and composer of the long-running Serbian black metal band The Stone and a participant in many other groups as well. Part 2 of this interview will follow tomorrow.)

Proudly standing in the underground waters for more than two decades, The Stone have engraved their name as one of the pivotal names in the Eastern European black metal scene of the ‘90s. From a war-torn country under embargo where buying the latest CD of your favorite band was practically impossible to touring with Revenge and Inquisition, they have cleared their path with strength and spirit.

In a detailed conversation with Kozeljnik (The Stone, Kozeljnik, May Result, Oculus, Murder, Ophidian Coil) we recall those days; and we discuss such topics as where metal has made mistakes in the last years and why that one legendary US act decided to have special gigs in the Balkan woods years ago. Continue reading »

Jan 032015
 

 

The rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs continues today with three more tracks. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

BEHEMOTH

I’ve seen some quibbling here and there, because metalheads do love to quibble, but The Satanist has nevertheless been one of the best-received albums of 2014, by both fans and critics alike. It’s nothing quite like anything Behemoth have done before, though it is still recognizably a Behemoth album — and I can say that because this band have become one of those select groups who have a distinctive sound all their own. Yet on The Satanist, to quote from BadWolf’s NCS review, “It’s less interested in battering the listener over the head than it is in getting inside your head.” Continue reading »

Sep 172014
 

 

I’ve had quite a fruitful morning of listening to new music, and among the fruits I tasted were the following three premieres and one teaser, which I’ve grouped together as examples of razor-edged black metal that will jolt you wide awake.

POSTHUM

That album art at the top of this post is so damned cool. It grabbed my attention immediately and led me to explore what it signified. And what it signifies is the coming of a new album (the third one) by Norway’s Posthum. Entitled The Black Northern Ritual, it’s scheduled for both CD and vinyl release by Indie Recordings on October 13.

Having been seduced by the album cover, I discovered that Norway’s NRK P3 Pyro (the internet radio station of the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) has begun streaming an advance track from the album named “To the Pit”. It’s loaded with riffs and rhythms that both rip and rock, and at its core is a sombre melody that will get its hooks in you. Beautiful guitar solo in this song, too. Continue reading »

Aug 222014
 

 

Here are a trio of new songs that I heard this morning that I enjoyed. Perhaps you will enjoy them, too. Obviously, I couldn’t resist grouping these three S bands together. Cool album covers for all of them, too.

SCAR SYMMETRY

Scar Symmetry’s sixth album is on the way. The title is Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity). It has a cool album cover, don’t you think? Today the band released a lyric video for a single from the album named “Limits To Infinity”. The announcement came with these quotes from band members:

Per Nilsson: “I thought to myself… am I allowed to fuse death metal with AOR, and go extreme in both directions? I didn’t ask for permission, I just went and did it, and I’m pretty excited to hear what people are gonna think about it.”

Henrik Ohlsson: “‘Limits to Infinity’” unveils the malevolent plan of the elite, the hidden hand, and their discoveries regarding the secrets of the universe. The lyric elaborates on the decision makers’ long-term plan to merge with machines and colonize other planets.”

The music is a high-powered combination of jolting riffs/rhythms and catchy melody, deliciously ugly growls and soaring cleans, tumbling drums and a flickering solo. It hammers and it glides and I don’t think you’ll be able to remain still while it does its thing. Continue reading »

Jul 312014
 

I’ve collected in this two-part post seven very good new songs from four bands that I heard for the first time yesterday. All the songs are from forthcoming albums, and as the title of the post suggests, most (but not all) of them incorporate elements of black metal into the music in varying degrees, and they are all shrouded in darkness. The cover art for each album is also really good. The bands are presented in alphabetical order (Part 1 can be found here) — except for a last-minute addition at the end.

SWALLOWED

I found out about this Finnish band more than two years ago when I listened to (and wrote about) their self-titled 2010 EP (still available here). It’s been a long wait for their debut album, but it finally seems to be on its way. The name is Lunarterial and it’s projected for release on October 14, 2014, through Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo. The cover art is the work of Swiss artist Peter Birkhäuser. The new song I heard yesterday is a track from the album called “Arterial Mists of Doom”.

This disorienting song’s huge, slow, nearly atonal chords vibrate with grotesque levels of distortion — and then erupt when you least expect it into ghastly pyroclastic flows moving at blinding speed. The visceral drumbeats and cymbal ticks seem to have a mind of their own, and their unpredictability is also part of what makes the song so arresting. The vocals match up with the doomed, blasted, destructive aura of the music — they’re maniacal, agonizing, horrifying. It appears that Swallowed have made a soundtrack for your nightmares… Continue reading »

Mar 202011
 

We’ve got an NCS reader and commenter who uses the nom de plumeSurgical Brute.” Every now and then in his post comments, he’ll mention a band whose music is new to me. I usually try to check out those bands, and so far, he hasn’t steered me wrong.

Recently, I invited him to send us five new recommendations, because it’s pretty clear to me that my tastes and his coincide to a significant degree. He responded with five bands whose music I’d never heard. I’ve been saving up those recommendations for a MISCELLANY post, which is the series that recounts my adventures into the musical unknown. I’m splitting up those five bands into two MISCELLANY posts, with the second one to follow next weekend, if not sooner.

So, here we go: For each band, I’m including Surgical Brute’s brief description of the music, my own reaction to a single song (or two) picked at random from each band, and then the song itself for you to hear and judge for yourself. Here’s the line-up for today, in the order that Surgical Brute described them to me via e-mail: The Stone (Serbia), Graveyard Dirt (Ireland), and The Wakedead Gathering (U.S.). Bear in mind that I hadn’t heard the music before sitting down to listen for this post. It turned out to be quite a varied offering of music.

THE STONE

This Serbian band formed in 1996, originally under the name Stone To Flesh, and in the following years they’ve produced quite a lot of music. Their most recent full-length — the band’s fifth — is called Umro (which seems to mean “died” or maybe “dead”). It came out in 2009 on Folter Records. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »