The Skull Premiere “The Touch of Reality” from For Those Which are Asleep

Posted in audiObelisk on October 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the skull

November 4 marks the release date for For Those Which are Asleep, the debut full-length from Chicago doom five-piece The SkullTee Pee Records, known more these days for psychedelic rock (NaamWeird OwlEarthless) than the sort of traditional Sabbathry in which The Skull traffic, will be handling the CD/LP, and if The Skull are something of an odd fit, one can certainly say extenuating circumstances apply.

With three-fifths of the band’s lineup — bassist Ron Holzner, drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson and vocalist Eric Wagner – culled directly from US doom legends Trouble, no doubt many of those who approach The Skull‘s first long-player will do so with a firm expectation of what’s in store. In some ways, those expectations will be right, but with guitarists Lothar Keller and Matt Goldsborough (ex-Pentagram) each playing a significant tonal role, For Those Which are Asleep sets its own course through doomly traditions.the skull for those which are asleep Wagner‘s inimitable vocal style, semi-spoken and subdued on “Send Judas Down” and “The Touch of Reality” and pushing into higher-register theatrics on the title-track and “Sometime Yesterday Mourning” — which, coupled with a cover of Trouble‘s “The Last Judgment,” was released earlier this year as a single (streamed here) to herald the album’s coming — to further the band’s utterly classic sound, modern and crisp in its production in a way that coincides with some of the album’s more forward-thinking moments, The Skull not just interested in paying homage to Trouble‘s legacy, which is how they started, but in moving ahead and building on it as well.

Today I have the extreme pleasure of debuting the track “The Touch of Reality.” It’s the second cut on For Those Which are Asleep behind “Trapped Inside My Mind” and it slips easily into one of the record’s most satisfying grooves, Olson smoothly riding the rhythm in Keller and Goldsborough‘s riffing, given heft by the breadth and ever-dynamic bass-work of Holzner while Wagner holds court over top. With The Skull, one of doom’s most enduring legacies breathes new life, and For Those Which are Asleep is as resounding a wake up call as one could ask. Heads and headbangers alike will be pleased.

Please find “The Touch of Reality” on the player below, followed by some info off the PR wire, and enjoy:

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THE SKULL — the new band featuring original members Eric Wagner (vocals) and Jeff “Oly” Olson (drums) of American doom metal legends TROUBLE alongside longtime TROUBLE bassist Ron Holzner, guitarist Lothar Keller (SACRED DAWN) and former PENTAGRAM guitarist Matt Goldsborough will release their debut album For Those Which Are Asleep on November 4 via Tee Pee Records, the NYC independent record label known for releasing landmark albums from acts such as High on Fire, Graveyard, Earthless and Sleep.

Written and recorded this past spring, For Those Which Are Asleep features ten tracks of elemental Heavy Metal and is the first full length album to feature Wagner, Holzner and Olson since the 1995 release of TROUBLE’s critically acclaimed LP Plastic Green Head. The new record’s greatest strength is how well it captures the apocalyptic trudge that Trouble delivered from the first downbeat of their 1984 debut, but now unequivocally propelled by the hallmarks of a hungry new band fueled by new blood. The mighty voice of Wagner is on full display; the vocalist proving on For Those Which Are Asleep that he still wields an eerie power at the mic. Titanic riffs abound as Keller and Goldsborough weave ominous atmospheres over the molten, crushing core of Holzner and Olson’s sinister strut. Make no mistake, THE SKULL are in complete command of their craft and have capably created a modern classic; a recording where atmosphere is established as drums crash, guitars blare and stories are told.

For Those Which are Asleep on iTunes

The Skull on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

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Lark’s Tongue Stream Debut LP Narrow in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on September 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

larks tongue

Illinois five-piece Lark’s Tongue will release their debut album, Narrow, through their own Bird Dialect Records on Sept. 20 (preorder here). The eight-song 2LP plays out in utter defiance of its title: Narrow is anything but as Lark’s Tongue explore the spaces between heavy psychedelia and post-rock, working influences from New Wave melancholia into songs like “Hecate” and concocting rich vocal harmonies to complement the airy backing of guitar effects and synth that constitute their lush, immersive sound when paired with deep bass and underlying drums that seem to hold the whole thing together. At 63 minutes, it is as ambitious a debut as one is likely to hear this year or any other, and its weight is matched by both its sonic and emotional resonance.

There are moments at which, with the spacious mix, ever-present focus on melody and heavy push, Lark’s Tongue remind of mid-period Katatonia or some of Anathema‘s former glories, but they seem to take the long way around to get there. That is, I don’t think it’s a direct influence, and rather that the wisping guitar of “Lay Me Down Slow” and the dramatic vocals of “Hermit’s Lament” come more from post-rock than the doom that took earlier inspiration from it. Still, as Narrow plays out, even in a heavier-rocking cut like “The Mask of Evil,” there’s a definite sense of clarity in Lark’s Tongue‘s vision, lark's tongue narrowand the method of expression varies widely between the dreamy opening of “Windows and Mirrors” and the drone-to-apex finale of “Brown Recluse,” but what remains consistent is the smoothness with which they execute the material and the vast range of the album’s scope, undercutting the notion of Narrow as a first album and giving away members’ experience in acts like MinskMen of FortuneDeceased Priest and JuanGoblin.

Lark’s Tongue is comprised of Chris Bennett, Jeff Hyde, Nate Lucas, Jon Wright and Andrew Sledd, and whatever else Narrow may or may not be, it’s a huge leap from where they were last year on their split with Across Tundras (streamed here). Listening to it is like diving into a pool, the way the band’s sound encompasses, especially when played at appropriate volume. Perhaps the most immersive moment is “Cold Hands,” which over the course of its 10 minutes rises from minimal guitar drones to a huge, lumbering tonal crush topped with somehow-still-under-control vocals that really emphasize just how far ahead of the game these guys are.

They’ll play two release shows for Narrow on Sept. 19 and 20. PR wire details and LP preoroder info follow the album itself, which you can hear on the player below.

Please enjoy:

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Following a debut 7″ and split 12″s with Across Tundras and Men of Fortune, Narrow is the debut full-length from Lark’s Tongue and the ninth release on the band’s own label, Bird Dialect. It features eight expansive songs across two LPs that collectively encapsulate the band’s first four years of existence.

Narrow is a pilgrimage across the vastness of psychedelic rock to places at once familiar and foreboding, severe and loving, intricate and immense. It’s the band’s first fully-formed missive: a statement of intention, a transmission of catharsis, a halcyon ode to the power of transformation.

A vinyl release show is set for September 20th at Ear in the Envelope in Peoria, Illinois, just one day after the band opens for the legendary Nik Turner’s Hawkwind at RIBCO in Rock Island.

Recorded by Jeff Gregory at ToneLab/Earth Analog
Mixed by Sanford Parker at Hypercube
Mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room

Pre-order the record at birddialect.bigcartel.com. For more information, visit birddialect.com or larkstongue.bandcamp.com.

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The Skull Debut Album For Those Which are Asleep Coming Nov. 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Don’t put 2014 to bed yet! After releasing their debut single earlier this year (review here), The Skull will issue their first full-length, For Those Which are Asleep, on Nov. 4 via Tee Pee Records. I’m in genuine suspense to hear how the Trouble offshoot — vocalist Eric Wagner, bassist Ron Holzner and drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson hailing from the seminal Chicago doomers — pay homage to their origins and even more how guitarists Lothar Keller and Matt Goldsborough (ex-Pentagram) distinguish themselves in tone and style and thus plot a new course for The Skull distinct from that of the band to whom they were originally formed as a tribute.

The title fascinates as well. The phrase “for those which are asleep” would seem to speak of things not human, otherwise it would be “for those whom are asleep.” Not sure if it’s meant to speak of an personify inanimate objects or if it’s just an odd turn of phrase, but it’s one more thing to add intrigue — if only to grammar dorks — about the album.

The Skull have the unenviable task of driving from Montreal to Delaware next weekend to appear at the Wings of Metal and Vultures of Volume festival. Bit of a hike that I’m sure will prove worth their while.

A certain PR wire has specifics:

the skull for those which are asleep

THE SKULL to Release For Those Which Are Asleep November 4

Metal Band Featuring Former Members of Doom Legends TROUBLE and PENTAGRAM Finalize Debut LP

THE SKULL — the new band featuring original members Eric Wagner (vocals) and Jeff “Oly” Olson (drums) of American doom metal legends TROUBLE alongside longtime TROUBLE bassist Ron Holzner, guitarist Lothar Keller (SACRED DAWN) and former PENTAGRAM guitarist Matt Goldsborough will release their debut album For Those Which Are Asleep on November 4 via Tee Pee Records, the NYC independent record label known for releasing landmark albums from acts such as High on Fire, Graveyard, Earthless and Sleep.

Written and recorded this past spring, For Those Which Are Asleep features ten tracks of elemental Heavy Metal and is the first full length album to feature Wagner, Holzner and Olson since the 1995 release of TROUBLE’s critically acclaimed LP Plastic Green Head. The new record’s greatest strength is how well it captures the apocalyptic trudge that Trouble delivered from the first downbeat of their 1984 debut, but now unequivocally propelled by the hallmarks of a hungry new band fueled by new blood. The mighty voice of Wagner is on full display; the vocalist proving on For Those Which Are Asleep that he still wields an eerie power at the mic. Titanic riffs abound as Keller and Goldsborough weave ominous atmospheres over the molten, crushing core of Holzner and Olson’s sinister strut. Make no mistake, THE SKULL are in complete command of their craft and have capably created a modern classic; a recording where atmosphere is established as drums crash, guitars blare and stories are told.

For Those Which Are Asleep track listing:

1.) Trapped Inside My Mind
2.) The Touch of Reality
3.) Sick of It All
4.) The Door
5.) Send Judas Down
6.) A New Generation
7.) Till the Sun Turns Black
8.) For Those Which Are Asleep
9.) Sometime Yesterday Mourning
10.) The Last Judgment

This month, THE SKULL will pay tribute to TROUBLE’s landmark debut Psalm 9 (which Wagner and Olson co-wrote and performed on) in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the record’s release. THE SKULL will perform the influential album in its entirety at both the Wings of Metal Festival (Aug. 29 in Montreal) and the Vultures of Volume Festival (Aug. 30 in New Castle, Delaware) as headliners of each gathering. The band has also been confirmed to perform the full album at Barcelona’s Day of Doom Festival on October 10. Additional shows are expected to be announced as well.

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull
https://twitter.com/troubletheskull

The Skull, “Sometime Yesterday Mourning” b/w “The Final Judgment” (2014)

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Mount Salem Premiere “Lucid” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

mount salem

Chicago doom rock newcomers Mount Salem are headed to Europe this fall for an impressive festival run that will include Dutch Doom Days and Hammer of Doom. There are others, of course, but let that be indicative of the theme with which the four-piece are working: Doom. Their initially self-released debut, Endless, got picked up by Metal Blade, and Mount Salem haven’t looked back since. Today, they premiered a new video for the track “Lucid” from the album.

Knowing next to nothing about the band at the time, other than they were from Chicago and they were doomed out, I was fortunate enough to catch Mount Salem live last fall in Rhode Island (review here), and they’ve hit the road at least twice since then, so they’re working quick to get their songs in front of as many people as possible. I’d expect that momentum to only continue to build as they move into and beyond this first European incursion.

The video for “Lucid” is directed by Dave Skwarczek (http://www.skwarczek.com) and is followed by the tour dates. Please enjoy:

Mount Salem, “Lucid” official video

Recently, Mount Salem confirmed their first European tour in support of their album “Endless”. The band will be making their UK debut at The Black Heart in London on November 2, 2014. The following dates are confirmed by now and can be announced. More dates to be confirmed soon!

MOUNT SALEM European Tour
25/10/14 NL – Leeuwarden – Into The Void Festival
26/10/14 DE – Hamburg – Rock Club St. Pauli
30/10/14 DK – Copenhagen – Stengade
31/10/14 DE – Paderborn – Thumbs Up Fest
01/11/14 NL – Rotterdam – Dutch Doom Days
02/11/14 UK – London – Our Black Heart
07/11/14 ES – Zaragoza – Arrebato
10/11/14 IT – Milan – Lo-Fi
11/11/14 IT – Bologna – Freakout Club
12/11/14 AT – Wien – Arena
15/11/14 DE – Würzburg – Hammer of Doom Festival
16/11/14 DE – Leipzig – Plaque

Mount Salem comments: “We are very excited to be coming overseas for our first time. Traveling is a hobby for all of us so we’re thrilled to be able to see new countries, meet new people, and of course, play some music.”

MOUNT SALEM is:
Emily Kopplin – vocals & organ
Cody Davidson – drums
Mark Hewett – bass
Kyle Morrison – guitars

Mount Salem on Thee Facebooks

Mount Salem at Metal Blade Records

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Minsk Working on First Album in Half a Decade

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s been a while since much of anything was heard from Illinois post-metallers Minsk. The Relapse troupe’s last full-length was 2009’s With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (review here) and after an appearance on the Hawkwind Triad (review here) tribute from Neurot alongside Harvestman and U.S. Christmas, they kind of faded out. They’d had a good run up to that point, working with producer-and-eventual-bassist Sanford Parker and touring the country several times over while on a seemingly relentless path of creative growth, but yeah. Then they were gone.

The PR wire informs they’re working on their first album in what by the time it arrives will have been six years. I’ve posted the Bandcamp stream for With Echoes in the Movement of Stone below, but I’d expect that anything Minsk put out at this point would be much different than that album was, with all the time that’s passed and whatnot. I guess we’ll find out for sure early next year when Relapse puts it out.

Till then:

MINSK: Begin Recording New Album

Band’s First Record in Over 5 Years to See Early 2015 Release

Peoria, IL psychedelic metallers MINSK have begun work on their new full-length record and first in over 5 years. After a two-year hiatus, the band has been reinvigorated and has written their most ambitious material to date. The album is being recorded at Earth Analog studios outside of Champaign, IL throughout July/August and is being produced by long-time collaborator Sanford Parker. The as-of-yet titled album will see an early 2015 release via Relapse Records.

Founding member Timothy Mead commented on the group’s rebirth:

“So much attention and care have gone into this process, this renewal. We knew that in order to really move Minsk forward in a meaningful way we would need to raise the bar all over again. This realization lit a fire within us to transcend what was. So many things had to fall into place to make it what we knew it needed to be. A new rhythm section, a second guitar for the first time since the early days of the band, additional vocalists, Sanford’s contributions moving to the realm of synth/noise for this album. Lots of changes, to be sure, and yet the results will be unmistakably Minsk… just Minsk on a whole different level this time around. We cannot wait to share the fruits of these labors.”

Founding member Christopher Bennett further elaborated:

“With each album cycle, a multitude of experiences and influences unite to bring about the cultivation of a cohesive and representative grouping of sounds. This new album will present inroads to some of the musical archetypes we initially discussed when starting this band, but ones we have not yet touched on in the macrocosmic sense. It embodies the furtherance and expansion of Minsk in ways desired in the past, but not realized until these songs began to show themselves to us. The aggregate elements combining into a solid form. We hope to reveal this process to any and all who have the ears to hear.”

Minsk is:
Aaron Austin
Christopher Bennett
Zachary Livingston
Timothy Mead
Kevin Rendleman

Collaborators:
Sanford Parker
Ryan Thomas

http://www.thesoundofminsk.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Minsk
https://www.twitter.com/minskband/
http://instagram.com/thesoundofminsk
http://minskband.bandcamp.com/

Minsk, With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (2009)

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American Heritage to Release Prolapse on Solar Flare Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I might’ve said one or two, but it’s a genuine surprise to realize three years have passed since the release of Sedentary (review here). That record was a vicious return from the Chicago outfit with Georgia roots, and three years between albums for them is down from the five it took to get to Sedentary, so actually that’s even less. I’d say that’s probably a good sign for American Heritage‘s future, as well as the fact that they have a permanent bassist, which they didn’t going into the last record, but apparently guitarist Adam Norden (interview here) has quit the band since Prolapse was recorded, so there might not be a future at all.

That’s how the PR wire has it, anyway. Nonetheless, the band is signed with Solar Flare Records and will have the album out in November:

AMERICAN HERITAGE To Issue Sixth Album Via Solar Flare Records This Autumn

Clermont-Ferrand, France-based Solar Flare Records proudly announces the signing of Chicago-based quartet, AMERICAN HERITAGE, for the release of the band’s recently completed sixth full-length album.

Since 1996, AMERICAN HERITAGE has relentlessly dispatched their ripping concoction of technical, mangled metal/hardcore backed with their cynical, lowbrow music and human relations, both on record and on the stage. Their self-titled 1998 debut EP released on The Rosewood Union was chased by the full-length, Why Everyone Gets Cancer, released in 1999 on the same label, and their Through The Age Of Quarrel And Into The Era Of Putting Up With It album released in 2001 by Troubleman Unlimited, and then the Bipolar album through Escape Artist in 2004. Two subsequent albums on Translation Loss followed — 2006’s Millenarian and 2011’s Sedentary, the latter released in Europe via Solar Flare Records — among EPs on Class-B Records, Delboy Records and more including split 7″ releases with Thee Plague Of Gentlemen, Mastodon and others. Their most recent Sedentary album, recorded while the lineup was void of a full-time bassist, included guest contributions on each track, involving their partners in crime, collectively hailing from Sulaco, Murder Construct, Exhumed, D.I.S., Fight Amp, Nachtmystium, Buried At Sea, Mastodon, Primate, Lioness, Sweet Cobra, Dark Fog, Plague Bringer, Black Cobra, The Swan King, Beak, Surachai and others. On the road, AMERICAN HERITAGE has toured and performed alongside the likes of Baroness, Black Cobra, Floor, Mastodon, Pelican, Burnt By The Sun, Misery Index, Coliseum, Dysrhythmia, Saviours, Origin and countless others.

Following the departure of original guitarist Andrei Cabanban back in 2002, through a continually revolving array of bassists, AMERICAN HERITAGE has been steadily comprised of drummer Mike Duffy, vocalist/guitarist Adam Norden and guitarist Scott Shellhamer, and for the past several years, completed by bassist Erik Bocek. This lineup raided SOMA Studios in March of this year with producer Sanford Parker, with additional recording by Che Arthur and Mike Lust, to record their sixth full-length, Prolapse. Once the caustic madness of the bruising album was recorded, Parker mixed the final product, the thirty-three minute album displaying some of the band’s most diverse material to date. After the recording of Prolapse, core member Adam Norden left the band, and after eighteen years of abuse and racket, this move makes it foreseeable that this will be the final album from AMERICAN HERITAGE.

Prolapse will be let out of the cage this November, on digital, CD and vinyl formats via Solar Flare Records, home to Pigs, Sofy Major, The Great Sabatini, Pord, Stuntman and other high-quality acts from the noisier end of the underground rock/metal community. A confirmed street date and additional release details will be announced in the coming weeks.

https://www.facebook.com/americanheritageband
http://americanheritage.bandcamp.com
http://www.twitter.com/fuckingheritage
http://solarflarerds.blogspot.com
http://facebook.com/solarflarerecords
http://solarflarerds.bigcartel.com

American Heritage, Sedentary (2011)

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Novembers Doom, Bled White: Elongating a Grand Circle

Posted in Reviews on July 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Chicago death-doom outfit Novembers Doom released their first album in 1995, nearly 20 years ago now. They weren’t the first American death-doom act, and there were others who solidified around the same time, but Novembers Doom were easily among the earliest adopters of a dramatic melancholy most common then in the European doom scene pre-Reverend Bizarre, bands like Katatonia, Paradise Lost, earliest Anathema and My Dying Bride serving as an influences to be melded with Novembers Doom‘s own Chicago death metal style. Their progression in the years since Amid its Hallowed Mirth has been a steady line in terms of quality but has presented several distinct shifts in sound, into full-on death-doom on records like 2002’s To Welcome the Fade and 2005’s The Pale Haunt Departure, and more recently, leaning back stylistically more to death metal. The Pale Haunt Departure presented a discernible starting point, but the movement has been gradual, and over 2007’s The Novella Reservoir, 2009’s Into Night’s Requiem Infernal (review here) and 2011’s Aphotic, they’ve continued to pursue that direction. Their latest outing, Bled White (released on The End Records, their label of the last nine years), furthers the progression to the point that Novembers Doom have very little of what would commonly be considered doom left in their sound. Instead, they offer 11 tracks/68 minutes of depressive death metal, marked by the growl/clean-vocal tradeoffs and capital ‘r’ lyrical Romanticism of frontman Paul Kuhr and the persistent double-kick of Garry Naples. In its production and execution, Bled White is a metal album, and it retains that status even at its most subdued or melodic points, as on “Clear” or the morose “Just Breathe.”

There seems to be a certain nihilism — or at least fuckall — in how the full-length is put together. Not in the songs themselves, which are rigidly structured, but in how they’re arranged and the overall mentality of Bled White‘s construction. With a strong opening duo of driving, catchy and pummeling metal in the title-track and subsequent “Heartfelt” before the softer “Just Breathe” and acoustic interlude “Scorpius,” it seems reasonable to call it front-loaded. After “Scorpius,” “Unrest” kicks back into Novembers Doom‘s blend of death and melodic theatricality — guitarists Larry Roberts and Vito Marchese and bassist Mike Feldman carefully winding between beauty and brutality as Naples tosses in blastbeats and breakdown grooves and Kuhr self-harmonizes — and from there they set about toying with the balance in their sound over the course of the brighter-toned “The Memory Room,” the blistering “The Brave Pawn,” and “Clear,” which has a feel like what Opeth might’ve turned into had they kept their more inventive rhythm section and dialed back on the prog fetish. But no question the opening salvo is Bled White‘s most memorable. This seems somewhat incongruous with the fact that Bled White is also the longest record in Novembers Doom‘s 19-year tenure. At nearly 70 minutes, it’s as though when they were piecing it together, they said, “Fuck it, we’ll put this stuff up front for the people who are only going to listen to three or four songs anyway, and the rest will be there for anyone who wants it.” That’s not to say the back end of Bled White doesn’t have its high points — the solo in “The Grand Circle” is the best here, and “Animus” digs into satisfying bludgeonry before the nine-and-a-half-minute “The Silent Dark” closes out with a suitable payoff beginning with some standalone raw harmonies from Kuhr – just that by the time they get there, Novembers Doom have already pushed the stylistic bounds they’re going to push this time out. The nihilism aspect comes into play, then, because nine records in, they didn’t decide to hold that material back. It’s there if the listener wants it.

Obviously I don’t know this. The case could just as easily be that Novembers Doom loved each of these tracks so much they couldn’t live with the thought of not including them. Frankly, I don’t think the cases are mutually exclusive. Novembers Doom, however, are a viciously underrated band. For all their early pursuit of death-doom, they’re left out of nearly every conversation of pioneering metal, and while they’ve always been too in-between stylistically for an American metal audience — which, admittedly, is probably the most open-minded it’s ever been right now — for a long time they were likewise too American for Europe. They’ve enjoyed success, played fests, found a loyal following, but they’ve never been the kind of influential touchstone they easily could’ve been. The reasons for this are undoubtedly complex –it’s not the kind of question one asks in an interview: “How come you guys aren’t huge?” — but if the result is that on Bled WhiteNovembers Doom have cast aside genre considerations and made their longest outing to date because it pleases them to have done it and they believe (rightly so) in the strength of their songwriting, that only makes Bled White a more honest and admirably sincere album. It can be a challenge if you’re not already a fan of the band in terms of the consistency of mood and structure, but they’ve thought of that and accommodated. For those who have traced their progression, they’ll find Bled White fits along the directional line, and that nine albums on, Novembers Doom continue to push their sound into new places in their subtle way and at their own pace. To look back on the vast stylistic terrain they’ve covered all these years is to be reminded of just how far they’ve come and to catchy a glimpse of where they might go.

Novembers Doom, “Bled White” from Bled White (2014)

Novembers Doom on Thee Facebooks

The End Records

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Nachtmystium’s Final Album The World We Left Behind Due in August

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Boy, what the hell happened with Nachtmystium? Back when they put out Instinct: Decay on Battle Kommand/Southern Lord and got picked up by Century Media circa 2007, there was no getting away from them. They were inevitable — the band that was going to both pioneer and save US black metal from being a pale imitation of superior European bands. Boldly defiant of their genre and remaking it at the same time. Now, already broken up for a year, their final full-length feels like little more than a footnote to squandered potential. Maybe that was the idea all along. What’s more black metal than saying fuck it to everything?

I’ve heard the stories about drugs and ripoffs and whatever else, and I’ll allow that stuff — whatever of it is true and whatever isn’t — will have a say in how a band is received over the long haul by a community, but wow. Looking around at bands like AgallochDeafheaven and any number of American black metal’s other current indie darlings, it just seems like Nachtmystium dropped out of that conversation awfully quick. Guess that’s how it goes sometimes.

Nachtmystium‘s final outing (until the reunion), The World We Left Behind, is out Aug. 5 in North America, Aug. 4 in Europe, New Zealand and Australia on Century Media, who sent the preliminaries down the PR wire:

NACHTMYSTIUM set to release highly anticipated final album ‘THE WORLD WE LEFT BEHIND’ August 5 via Century Media Records

‘THE WORLD WE LEFT BEHIND’ is NACHTMYSTIUM’s swansong, the final chapter in a tumultuous, controversial and always provoking history. A black metal memorial, oozing of desperation, gloom and depravity.

The nine song album is set for release on August 5th in North America and August 4th in Europe/Australia/New Zealand.

‘THE WORLD WE LEFT BEHIND’ track listing:
1. Intrusion
2. Fireheart
3. Voyager
4. Into The Endless Abyss
5. In The Absence Of Existence
6. The World We Left Behind
7. Tear You Down
8. On The Other Side
9. Epitaph For A Dying Star

NACHTMYSTIUM online:
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialNachtmystium
http://centurymedia.com/

Nachtmystium, “I Wait in Hell” Live at St. Vitus Bar, Brooklyn, Nov. 19, 2012

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