Coming Soon: Cormorant’s New Album Now Streaming, and Once Again Available for Pre-Order!

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This is awesome news for anyone who, like myself, may have accidentally missed out on the deadline a couple months ago for pre-ordering the new album by Californian blackened progressive metal band Cormorant, Dwellings, due to be self-released on 6 December, 2011.

While we may now be out of luck in regards to some of the elements from their totally awesome packages that were being sold the first time around (a signed poster of the full album cover – one panel of which is visible above, but which can be seen in its full glory here; exclusive downloads of unreleased demo materials; inclusion of our names among the credits in the accompanying booklet; etc.), at least the meat of the previous offerings (digital download of the album, CD digipack, t-shirt or sweatshirt with the album artwork) are once again available to pre-order in various combinations.

If you’ve heard the band’s previous offerings – 2009 LP Metazoa or 2007 EP The Last Tree, then clearly you don’t need any more convincing that Dwellings is going to be a must-own.  No, all you need is a link to the preorder page, which is conveniently located here, at Bandcamp.

If, on the other hand, you are a newcomer to the Cormorant experience, well I’ve got a real treat in store for you to get yourself educated… Continue reading

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Get ’em While They’re Hot: Seventh Rule Recordings Offers Free Album Downloads for Cyber Monday!

[W]e could have emailed you Friday about this awesomeness, but honestly we were too busy sleeping in…

So begins the announcement sent out by Seventh Rule Recordings last night.  The Chicago-based underground label then wastes no time getting to the meat of their message:

We figure that every year, all businesses try to grab every bit of money you have in your wallet. This year we wanted no part in that, in fact we just wanted to make it so you could enjoy Seventh Rule releases without spending any money at all. This is our thanks to you, our friends and supporters.

That’s right, well over a dozen albums full of high-quality stoner/sludge/doom/ambient/whatever metal are now yours for the taking, absolutely free of charge!  The only catch is, this appears to be a today-only offer, so get on it ASAP!

Seventh Rule official website is here, but to jump straight to the download section, you’ll want to visit their Bandcamp page here.

If you find the vast list of free downloads overwhelming, fear not!  Here are some suggestions that I’ve had in my personal library for quite some time, and which come highly recommended by yours truly:

Coming Soon: Undersmile Debut Album Promises to be ‘Hideous’

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Oxonian sludge quartet Undersmile have announced some new details for their forthcoming debut album Narwhal

First, near the end of last week, it was revealed on their Facebook page that producer/engineer Billy Anderson (whose impressive resume includes work on albums by such luminaries as Eyehategod, Melvins, High on Fire, and many others) is currently mixing the record.

Then, earlier today, a press release from Future Noise gave a tentative release date of 9 April, 2012.

Hel Sterne, one of the band’s two vocalists and guitarists, personally has assured me that the new release will be “hideous”.  She was also kind enough to provide the following video as a preview of what you can expect in April:

Narwhal will be the band’s first official full-length release, but is coming on the heels of their recent EP Undertaker (a split between Undersmile and Caretaker) which is available for streaming, or for purchase via either digital download or CD, at Bandcamp.

Also available for streaming or digital download at Bandcamp is last year’s EP A Sea of Dead Snakes, although sadly I have learned that the limited-run CD copies (which, like the split EP above, had been made available by Blindsight Records) recently have sold out.

Stay tuned right here for further information as it becomes available, or even better, “like” Undersmile on Facebook for updates direct from the source!

Coming Soon: Decaying Announce Tracklisting, Artwork, and Release Date for New Album

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Mark your calendar – January 2, 2012 is set for the official release of Encirclement, the second album for Finnish death metal band Decaying.  It will be made available by Polish label Hellthrasher Productions.

According to the band’s Facebook note (click here to read the whole announcement)…

The lyrics on the album are mostly handling specific events in the World War 1 & 2, but there is also other topics included.  […]

You can expect over 60 minutes worth of extremely heavy & old school death metal in the vein of Asphyx, Bolt Thrower and Death, but with a twist! This is definitely an improvement over our first effort, Devastate. Stay tuned!

I’ve heard a couple songs from the band’s previous album on Death.fm, and I have to say, I am really looking forward to some new material from these guys! 

Decaying Official Youtube channel
Decaying on Facebook

In Case You Missed It: The Matador – Descent into the Maelstrom

 The MatadorDescent into the Maelstrom (Serotonin Productions, 21 April 2011).

 “It raged with such noise and impetuosity that the very stones of the houses on the coast fell to the ground.

Much like the short story of the same name, these progressive-post-doom-metal Queenslanders’ EP takes the listener on a voyage that explores unknown depths of madness.  Also like the Poe narrative, there is no telling where the experience will end up, but what is certain is that you will not emerge from the other side unscathed or unchanged.

This review is somewhat atypical, in that I will be describing each of the songs in detail, rather than just giving some overall impressions of the entire album.  Ordinarily I wouldn’t do this, but for one thing, there are only five songs on this release; also, the passage of time through the tracks seems to represent a progression – an aural journey that represents the titular descent – and it felt like this was the best way to do justice to the material.

Keep reading to join me on this voyage, and along the way you’ll come across links where you can listen to and/or download a couple of the tracks…

Continue reading

More Cynic News — Stream New Album for Free (Part 2 of 2)

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Ok, ok, ok.  As promised a few days ago, I decided to give this entire Cynic EP (currently streaming in full on Pitchfork) the opportunity to impress me in the way that the title track failed to do.  Spoiler alert: my opinion has actually been down-graded quite a bit.  Read on… Continue reading

More Cynic News — Stream New Album for Free (Part 1 of 2)

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So in an earlier post I downloaded the title track from the new  EP Carbon-Based Anatomy, by Cynic (released yesterday on Season of Mist).

I went on to discuss how that particular song nearly bored me to death.  And I promptly deleted it from my downloads library as soon as I’d heard it.  But there continues to be a wordwide Cynic-mania of epic proportions… at least based on the number of hits I continue to get on that specific post (which was now nearly a month ago) compared with any of the others I have written since then.  So obviously people are really excited about this release for some reason.

Well, you might be interested in knowing that Pitchfork has got a FREE stream of the full album currently online, just click here to check it out.

Simply based on the amount of interest this has been generating, I feel obligated to take a chance on the rest of the album — in case the one advance single that was released is completely non-representative of all the other songs.  I highly doubt it, but I will be giving this an apprehensive test-drive later today.  And I will share my reactions in a follow-up post sometime this weekend.  So stay tuned for that!

In the meantime:
Carbon-Based Anatomy (CD), or (digital download).