This is a great surprise! Norwegian avant-garde metal masters Arcturus are back from their decade-long slumber with new material! With the man with the heavenly voice, ICS Vortex (of Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar fame and with his own solo project) on vocals, Hellhammer (literally every black metal band) on drums and main songwriter Steinar Sverd Johnsen at the helm, the band is hitting full force with their new album Arcturian, which they claim will be their magnum opus. Well, they’ve released a new song titled “The Arcturian Sign”, so let’s see if that’s true.
Somewhere over the burning church, Dutch melodic/symphonic black metal outfit Carach Angren have set forth the first track from their upcoming fourth full-length record, both titled There’s No Place Like Home. Brutality mixes well with more melodic parts in this new single, so make sure you peep it before it disappears. Head on over the jump for the stream.
Some bands are as big as the genre they occupy. Their names are nearly synonymous with the style of their music and to name them is to invoke the strong points, and clichés, of said genre—Epica can certainly be counted in this category. Symphonic metal owes them a great debt as some of its biggest releases were created over the last ten years or so by this band. Epica are not only a name in themselves but also contain one of the most acclaimed artists of the genre: Simone Simons. In the face of this, do Epica turn to rely heavily on their strongest asset or is the focus spread around the members of the band, talented musicians in their own right?
Many contemporary metal bands, regardless of genre, are often found guilty of band worship in their material – too regularly one can hear the exact song that inspired a riff, too often a band tries too hard to be THAT BAND 2.0. Nexilva have broken the mould of paying direct homage to their musical heroes by — instead of copying or emulating — creating a record that drops in and out of genres and sounds, each page turning into a new wicked adventure. Eschatologies is full of evil, grooving death that fights tooth and nail for it’s place among it’s peers. And wins.
January started the year out with a lot of promise, with new releases from Indian, Alcest, and Periphery gaining quite a bit of attention around these parts. However, what floored us the most in the first four weeks of 2014 was the first-ever proper release from Chicago newcomers Warforged. Essence of the Land is an odyssey exploring death metal, black metal, and progressive metal influences that stunned a large number of the staff group. Opeth comes to mind with the band’s dynamic use of keyboards and acoustic guitars as cinematic gateways between stretches of technical riffing and powerfully melodic brutality, or perhaps Between the Buried and Me’s penchant for epic-length songwriting and weaving a larger picture over multiple tracks.
Essence Of The Land tells the twisted tale of a dread-inducing and brooding swamp and the unknown horrors that lie beneath its surface, making it one of those surprising death metal albums where the lyrics actually add a lot of atmosphere and weight to music. So much so, in fact, that the video accompaniment that provides visuals for ¾ of the EP contains the lyrics throughout, alongside footage of the band tearing through earth-shattering riffs.
At the heart of it, Warforged’s sound presents an assortment of progressive death metal influences that still manages to sound fresh and exciting, despite dredging the very bottom of the swampy sludge they strive to recreate. And honestly, what better way to start a new year than with a new band that are reinvigorating even one of the most well-trodden of sounds?
We spoke with the entirety of Warforged to not only get a look into the creation of one of 2014’s best releases, but to get a glimpse at what’s in store for the band’s future.
Victory Records have just done the unthinkable and signed the black metal band Erimha to their roster. This is especially odd coming from the label that have been shying away from “legitimate” metal acts and instead tends to sign more commercially viable scene/bro acts like Emmure, The Bunny The Bear, and Design the Skyline. What we’re talking here is a fanbase of kids with neon-colored mullets, ear gauges, and white dudes who have knuckle tattoos and think it’s okay to use the word “nigga” in reference to themselves. That label is now called home to a black metal band. That’s weird, right?
Starkill (formerly Massakren) are a symphonic black/melodic death metal band hailing from Chicago. Their sound can be described as a mixture of old Children of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir. They had an EP out under their previous name, but they got picked up by Century Media and now they’re about to release a full length titled Fires of Life under their new name. They’ve released a video of a song from said album titled “New Infernal Rebirth”. It’s quite fun, reminiscent of the old Bodom albums. You can check it out below. Fires of Life comes out on the 30th of April on Century Media. If you like oldschool Nordic metal, then it should be a treat. Also, you can check the band’s previous video for the title track of the album after the jump.
O hay, it’s The King Of Procrastination! I’ve been letting the world of music pass me by the past couple of months as I’m creating my website and writing my horror novel and almost let the top of the year list slip by me. Luckily, Riddick the Cat called me up yesterday and told me to get the hell to work with this because I’m a “better interest to him than the human he lives with.” So there’s that. But, why shall we be bound to doing a list in a multiple of five? “Nay,” says Deadite, “Let’s beat the system and do eleven top albums of the year!” So dark, edgy, and kvlt.
02. Pale Horse
03. III: Death Dimension Phantasma
04. The Monolith
05. An Extension Of His Arm And Will
06. Bring Out Your Dead
07. Come Perdition
09. The Dying Flame Of Existence
[Century Media Records]
Black metal is a curious beast. I didn’t even think to delve into this misunderstood genre of metal until I heard Mayhem’s debut record and the most recent release from Krallice, which I reviewed. It really is more of an acquired taste; something that the palate must be prepped for. When I first discovered metal, I was into Metallica and Iron Maiden, not Dimmu Borgir and Burzum. However, when your first taste black metal on a palate that is prepared for it, you will receive a healthy, hearty, and heavy treat.
Norwegian progressive black metal giants Borknagar never fail to impress. Looking at the lineup, they have Vintersorg and ICS Vortex of Arcturus/Dimmu Borgir on vocals, and a killer back catalogue, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their forthcoming new album Urd is sounding great already.
Metal Hammer Germany have premiered a track called ‘Roots’ on their website, which features the majestic voices of both aforementioned singers. The song is proggy and black as all hell, and although it’s not the most exciting song ever, it’s fairly solid and has served its purpose of getting me excited for the album. Exactly why we have teasers like this, no?
Urd is due out March 26th on Century Media Records. Hail Borknagar!