Apr 272010

We’re suckers for eye-catching album art.  We’ve found, more often than not, that when the album art is really cool, there’s something worth hearing in the music, too. That’s not based on a statistically valid survey, of course, and it doesn’t make any logical sense. But in our own personal case, it seems to be true.

To test out that hypothesis, we hunted through news items on a recent 48-hour period at Blabbermouth to find eye-catching album art, and then we listened to music from the albums in question.

For example, check out that one above.  Actually, if you’re already on this page, you don’t really have any alternative but to check it out. But it’s pretty fucking cool, isn’t it? It’s the cover to a new album called Reptilian by Norway’s Keep of Kalessin, which will be released n North America on June 8 via Nuclear Blast and in most of Europe on May 10 through Indie Recordings.

Based on the track listing (which you can see here), it appears that many of the songs will have something to do with, uh, dragons. So whaddaya know? In addition to being scary cool, the album cover actually has a thematic connection to the music.  The band’s guitarist Obsidian C. commented on the cover: “The music on Reptilian is more in your face and direct than before so we chose this cover and the title to emphasise that directness as well as focusing even more on the fantasy elemement in the band. This beast of an album is staring at you and it’s going straight for your throat!”

Well, if we had a dollar for every band that used the “straight for your throat” line to describe its music, we could quit our day jobs and flog away on this blog full-time. The question is whether Obsidian C. is spouting mere puffery or whether the music really is as cool as the album cover.  That’s the point of this little experiment. What’s the answer?  (we’ll give you our opinion, after the jump, plus another test case for our hypothesis about cool album art and cool music . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 232010

We’re now almost two months into 2010, and it’s already time for our second update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here and the first update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last update about a month ago — and there’s a lot of them.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last month about forthcoming new releases:

1349: “Prosthetic Records will release the brand new album from Norwegian black metal legends 1349 in North America via an agreement with Indie Recordings. The new CD, which promises ‘a return to the band’s more traditional, raw-yet-technical black metal sound,’ is due on April 13. In support of the yet-to-be-titled record, 1349 will embark on a North American tour in April and May as the support act for CANNIBAL CORPSE (alongside SKELETONWITCH and LECHEROUS NOCTURNE).”

ABACABB: “ABACABB are currently out on the road headlining the Hot Dice On Black Ice Tour featuring Upon A Burning Body!. The tour just hit Texas and will be in California this weekend. Following the tour ABACABB will enter the studio with producer Will Putney at Machine Shop in New Jersey and will have a new album to be released sometime this summer.”

AEON: “Swedish death metallers AEON have set Path Of Fire as the title of their third album, due later in the year via Metal Blade Records. The CD was recorded in September 2009 at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden and was mixed the following month at Mana Recording Studios in St, Petersburg, Florida by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE). The mastering was handled by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (CONVERGE, HATEBREED, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) in New Windsor, New York.”

AMORPHIS: “AMORPHIS will release its first-ever live DVD, Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes, in early June via Nuclear Blast, in time for the band’s 20th anniversary. The filming took place on November 20, 2009 at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland, where AMORPHIS was supported by STRATOVARIUS and BEFORE THE DAWN. In addition to the full-length live show, the anniversary DVD will include plenty of bonus material documenting the band’s impressive career.”   (much more after the jump . . . ) Continue reading »