Nov 272021
 


Nechochwen

 

Very early this morning I spent time listening to new music in order to select what I would want to recommend to you, and made the following selections. But then I unexpectedly had to spend a couple of hours on the job that pays me (advising world leaders on how to deal with problems that confound their feeble minds), and that left me with almost no time to provide my own (unnecessary) impressions of the music. So it will have to speak for itself, which is no problem because it speaks so fluently.

This is an idiosyncratic set of song choices, with very little to connect them to each other other than my attraction to them. But I think it will be a very interesting, albeit unpredictable, journey if you stick with everything through to the end.

NECHOCHWEN (U.S.)

After nearly 8 years since the release of the fabulous Heart of Akamon, West Virginia’s beloved Nechochwen have returned, unveiling the title track from their impending new album, Kanawha Black. Kanawha Black will be released worldwide by Bindrune Recordings in Spring/Summer of 2022. Continue reading »

Feb 022020
 

 

As predicted at the end of yesterday’s penultimate segment of this list, I spent hours agonizing about what to include in this final Part. And in the end, despite the internal misery occasioned by having to make a final choice among so many strong remaining candidates, it’s still a largely random outcome — even though this final episode includes a LOT more songs than usual. Basically, I went with my gut, slightly aided by my brain, which thought this sequence of tracks might be a fitting conclusion. At a minimum, it’s more directly in line with the title of this list than yesterday’s choices.

The first three songs are guitar spectacles, the fourth and fifth ones keep the savage energy in the red zone in different ways, the sixth moves into malevolent brutishness (with serious risk of sore-neck syndrome), and then we shift gears into downright epic territory with the last two stirring and marvelously multi-faceted songs, which seemed the right way, in farewell, to express how glorious metal was in 2019.

MATTERHORN

I first stumbled across the Swiss band Matterhorn in the spring of 2018 when they had two songs up for streaming in advance of Iron Bonehead‘s CD release of their debut album, Crass Cleansing, and I came away very impressed. I had a tough time categorizing the music, describing it then as a stew of extremity that included elements of thrash, speed metal, punk, black metal, and death metal — and the overall impact was electrifying. Continue reading »

Feb 052019
 

 

Yesterday I learned of the postponement of an album premiere I had expected to write for today. If I had a less obsessive personality, I would have used that unexpected free time to go for a walk through the uncommon snow that turned the forested area where I live into a wonderland (because most workplaces, including mine, were closed down yesterday — because a little snow works like a paralytic agent on the City of Seattle). Instead, I spun my way through a couple dozen new songs… while occasionally staring out the window at the brilliance of that uncommon snow.

As you can already tell, since this is Part 1 of something I worked up, I liked quite a lot of what I heard, and thought you might too. I’m confident there will be a second Part… but not sure about a third… it depends on whether the snow melts and the paralysis loosens.

GODS FORSAKEN

What a very nice coincidence. Almost exactly one year ago we were anointing a song from this Swedish band’s debut album (In A Pitch Black Grave) as one of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and a year and a day after that event they released the first single from their second album. And damned if it isn’t already a contender for the 2019 edition of that list. Continue reading »