Jun 242021
 

 

(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth returns to NCS with this review of the new album by Thy Catafalque, which will be out tomorrow on Season of Mist. A full stream of the album follows the review.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. Once again, the impending release of something truly special rouses me from my nocturnal haze and guides me to my keyboard, compelling me to write. Yes, as the title of the article likely gives away, there is a new Thy Catafalque album ready to enter the public eye, and so I take upon myself the honor of reviewing it. Vadak is the tenth Thy Catafalque album, compilations and the Zápor EP notwithstanding, and as is fitting for such a significant number, it’s a truly noteworthy album in a discography full of noteworthy albums.

By this point in time, my devotion to the work of Tamás Kátai is a well-worn, well-documented history, but for the uninitiated, Thy Catafalque is primarily the work of one man, typically with a number of guests. Kátai is a Hungarian multi-instrumentalist and the driving force behind this project, and (as I will further explain in the paragraphs to come) is something of a musical genius. In the 23 years that Kátai has been recording under this moniker, the band’s style has evolved almost constantly from a relatively experimental black metal project to something that is, frankly, impossible to define. In the lead-up to this review, I did a chronological listen to the entire Thy Catafalque discography, front to back (including the first three albums, which are the most black metal releases and my least favorite simply because they’re the harshest and least listenable), and that endeavor served to further bolster the knowledge that Kátai’s musical fingerprints have been all over this project since the beginning. Continue reading »

Apr 172021
 

 

Roadburn Redux is going on right now. It should be a “must watch, must listen” event for me (and for you), but I’ve had too many distractions the last few days to glue myself to my computer and take it all in. Sadly, I can’t do that this weekend either. All I’ve done so far is to check out a few songs and videos, and I’ve included two of those (which were premieres) at the front of today’s round-up — along with a bunch of other good stuff I discovered over the last 24 hours.

To see the full line-up of events at Roadburn Redux go HERE. You’ll see that it includes both live and pre-recorded music, some of it full sets and some of it individual songs and videos, including premieres. You’ll also see that if you have missed something, the streams and videos will remain on-line at the Redux site until the evening of April 20th.

AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN (Netherlands)

Next month this excellent Dutch band will release their ninth album, As The Morning Dawns We Close Our Eyes. At Roadburn Redux they premiered one of its songs along with a video for it. That song, “Melancholia“, is true to its name in some of its moods (which have a wistful quality) — but the rambunctiousness of the rhythm section, the vibrancy of the gleaming guitar harmonies, and the soaring brilliance in the high end are bursting with life (and the strangled harshness of the vocals are vicious). Continue reading »

Apr 042021
 

 

I explained yesterday that I’m on a weekend vacation. I also wrote that I wasn’t sure if I would prepare this usual Sunday column. Obviously, I have.

But because I’m really trying to make as much room as I can for rest and relaxation (which in my case is like making room for self-mutilation), I’ve limited myself to things I can quickly and impulsively react to — just a scattering of advance tracks and one stand-alone video. It was even easier for me to make these selections because all of them are by bands in whom I already had complete confidence.

I’ve also been listening to some albums this weekend that have also seized my attention. Depending on how the day goes, I might have a second installment devoted to those. Continue reading »

Mar 132021
 

 

I’m going to indulge myself and let you know what’s recently been going on behind the scenes here at our putrid site before we get to the music below.

As I moaned and bitched about over the last couple of weeks, I have indeed been crushed by a project for my day job. For many days last week I couldn’t do anything but write premieres I had promised to do, and for two of those days I couldn’t even do that. Thankfully, Andy Synn stepped in and did the editing and posting of some things written by others (and by himself) so that the site didn’t go dark.

While consumed by work, I couldn’t even pay much attention to our email or announcements on social media and music-related messages from friends. But the worst part of that project ended yesterday, and I did a little catching up (just a few days’ worth), enough that I made a list of 47 songs and videos to check out (I’m not making that up). Of course I’ve only randomly jumped around in that list. I’ll probably never get to the rest of it, much less everything else that came out while I was missing in action. From that random darting around I picked the following songs and videos. Continue reading »

Jan 252021
 

 

In a round-up yesterday I disclosed that I spent a lot of time on Saturday catching up with new music I was interested in hearing. I actually just scratched the surface, but still got submerged in a lot of metallic extremity. As palate cleansers, I sometimes gave my ears and my head a break by venturing into music I knew in advance wouldn’t be the usual bread and butter of NCS. From those off-the-beaten-path excursions I selected the following music to share with you.

I don’t mean to suggest that there’s no metal here at all, and a couple of the names will be well-known to NCS readers, but it’s still different. And you’ll also find that there is a lot of globe-hopping coming your way.

THY CATAFALQUE (Hungary)

I can always recognize the music of Thy Catafalque when I hear it, regardless of which vocalist happens to be accompanying Tamás Kátai. It may have something to do with his guitar tunings and his use of rhythms, but mainly it’s rooted in his crafting of melodies. I wish I could confidently assert that the melodies are connected to the folk traditions of his Hungarian homeland, but I’m just assuming that, because I’m not a student of Hungarian folk music. To my untrained ears, all I can say is that the sounds are exotic to me, and both earthy and haunting. But really, those two adjectives just skim the surface, because across the breadth of Thy Catafalque‘s extraordinary discography, there are many other sensations as well. Continue reading »

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 »

Jan 232020
 

 

(Our old friend Professor D. Grover the XIIIth returns to NCS with this review of the new album by one of our favorite bands, Thy Catafalque, which will be released by Season of Mist on January 24th.)

Greetings and salutations, friends. I am here today because we have been blessed once again with a new Thy Catafalque album, a wonderfully common occurrence in the last few years (with new albums being released every year-and-a-half to two years). For those unfamiliar with my love affair with the work of Tamás Kátai, I first discovered Thy Catafalque in the olden days of The Number Of The Blog thanks to an old contributor, Tr00 Nate (if you’re out there somewhere, yes, I’m still giving you the credit you deserve). The album Róka Hasa Rádió was an eye-opener for me, providing a portal through which I could immerse myself in something utterly distinctive and unlike anything I had ever heard.

Since then, Thy Catafalque’s catalog has reached nine full-length albums (plus the Cor Cordium demo), and each album is a masterwork in varied songcraft. I lack any real grasp of music theory, and so I’d imagine that there is someone out there more learned than I who could probably explain it, but there is something about Kátai’s music that makes it immediately recognizable as his work, regardless of the song’s composition. Given how much variety there is in your average Thy Catafalque song, much less an entire album, this musical identity is simply staggering to me. Continue reading »

Nov 242019
 

 

Two things: First, for those of you who make it a point to come here on Sundays for a SHADES OF BLACK feature, I do plan to have one ready a bit later, though I’ve had a devil of a time trying to cut it down to a manageable size. I still have quite a lot to write too, and I’m planning to get together with some cronies to watch the Seahawks football game this morning, so things could go sideways.

Second, I waded through an extravagant number of recently released songs yesterday, planning on a SEEN AND HEARD round-up. And that’s really what this is, but the different post title I picked hints at the reason why I decided to combine the music of these five bands — because all the music, in different ways, struck me as exotic. And I do have to emphasize that they struck me that way because I’m listening with Western, and in particular, homegrown American, ears.

THY CATAFALQUE

The first selection is a cover of a song by Kaláka, an old Hungarian folk band who turned 50 this year. The mastermind of Thy Catafalque, Tamás Kátai, explained that this band “have been one of my main inspirations since my childhood and this song is particularly close to me.” The song, “Embersólyom“, is presented through a beautiful video filmed in the Bükk Mountains of northern Hungary. Continue reading »

Feb 172018
 

 

Still playing catch-up after a week devoted mainly to premieres, I picked the following five tracks to conclude this two-part Saturday round-up. I’m definitely not caught up yet, but this will have to do for now. More catching up will happen tomorrow, with the usual Sunday focus on black metal.

THY CATAFALQUE

Tamás Kátai has recorded a new Thy Catafalque album, and I could hardly be more excited to hear it. If perchance you haven’t discovered Thy Catafalque, carve out some time this weekend and go explore the Bandcamp page, which I’ve linked below. I think you’ll find the music distinctive and enthralling.

The new album (the eighth one) is Geometria, and Season of Mist plans to release it on May 4Tamás explains that this one includes violins, electronica, occasional saxophone, trumpet, and fretless bass, plus the voices of Martina Veronika Horváth (Nulah, Niburta) and Gyula Vasvári (Perihelion), in addition to his own. Viktoria Varga also provides narration. Continue reading »

Aug 262016
 

Thy Catafalque-Meta

 

As I explained yesterday, what you’re reading now was supposed to be Part 2 of a two-part post that we began with a selection of new songs compiled by DGR. Before I could finish this thing, some new tracks by Meshuggah and Asphyx appeared, and I decided to throw those at you right away. (Speaking of big names, a new In Flames song also appeared (here), but it mainly depresses me.)

Before something else happens to cause further delay, let’s get into the following new music and videos from eight bands — five of whom  are old favorites, plus three new discoveries. (Yes, this is what happens when a round-up is delayed — it grows like a bramble of thorns.)

THY CATAFALQUE

In mid-July we premiered the first advance track from Meta, the new album by Thy Catafalque. It was a heavy beast, maybe even a surprisingly heavy beast for those who may have formed their expectations for this album based on last year’s Sgùrr. The surprises don’t end there. For example, I can now share with you another song that premiered elsewhere yesterday: “10^(-20) Ångström“. Continue reading »