Barren Womb – Nique Everything (2015), Lizard Lounge (2020)

Barren WombNique Everything (Spartan Records, 27 November 2015)

 

Barren WombLizard Lounge (Loyal Blood Records, 22 May 2020)

 

Hello, friends and casual acquaintences! Nice to see you all once again. And at this point we’ve successfully navigated our way through half of another week, which almost feels like cause for celebration, doesn’t it? These days, we kind of have to take what we can get.

Anyway. Obviously the reason you are here is because you are looking for more new music, and the reason I’m here is to share some with you. Several years ago in a larger article about several other albums, we had taken a quick glance at a split record between Grizzlor (from Connecticut) and Barren Womb (from Norway).

Right after that article was published, I became aware of a full-length album by the latter of those two, which had been released several months after the split. I enjoyed that record quite a bit, but as seems to happen far too often, somehow I never got around to writing about it and sort of lost track of the band.

But now — they’ve got another new record due out just two days from now, so it seems like a great opportunity to kill two birds off my to-do list with one stone, so to speak. Here we go!

 

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Kite – Irradiance (2020)

KiteIrradiance (Argonauta Records, 27 March 2020)

 

Good afternoon! Here we go with another recommendation of a recent release for you to insert into your ear-holes.

There have been some pretty stellar albums so far in 2020, but with the state of the world being what it is, I’m afraid some of them might end up slipping through the cracks and escaping the notice of many listeners. And that would be a shame, so we’re going to continue doing what we can to seek out the good stuff and bring it to your attention.

Argonauta Records is apparently stuck in lockdown along with the rest of Italy right now, and so they have delayed shipping out anything from their store at the moment, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out this record from Norwegian trio Kite!

 

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Sâver – They Came with Sunlight (2019)

SâverThey Came with Sunlight (Pelagic Records, 08 March 2019)

 

Here in the Valley of Steel we don’t pay much attention to what’s trending or getting a bunch of recognition elsewhere; all we care about is listening to what we enjoy, and (sometimes) writing about it.

But having said that, sometimes it’s also nice to feel vindicated and validated, when something we identify as “good” achieves recognition from elsewhere.

Case in point: They Came with Sunlight, the debut offering from Oslo trio Sâver — which upon its release about eleven months ago made quite an impression upon this reviewer, later to become firmly entrenched in our selection of last year’s best records.

Well, just a few days ago the band announced that the album had been nominated for a Norwegian Grammy. In fact, it was one of four from 2019 recognized in the Metal category by the Spellemann committee, for the award officially known as the Spellemannprisen.

And so, if you haven’t already become enamored of They Came with Sunlight, here’s your opportunity to see what all the fuss is about!

 

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Krakow – Alive (2017)

KrakówAlive (Dark Essence Records, 24 March 2017)

 

From the first time I heard them, Norwegian post-metallurgists Kraków quickly became one of my favorite bands out there, through their grasp of the beautiful and fragile meshed with the ugly and frightening, spread out over long meandering compositions that enthrall the listener with their aural stories.

As many times as I’ve listened to their releases (the three most recent of which were written about right here), the appearance of a live album was certainly exciting news. On top of that, we’ve recently learned that another new record will be appearing later this year! In this post you can find out more about that live album — and then at the end, what we know so far about their next one!

 

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Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (2016)

MayhemDe Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive (self-released, 15 December 2016)

 

It happens every year without fail: news announcements pop up about the Mayhem tour coming to town, and my ears will invariably perk up, until I realize they don’t mean THAT Mayhem, but the perpetually mediocre packaged tour with the energy drink sponsor. But every single time there’s that split-second of hopefulness, because let’s be honest, it would be a huge deal if the Oslovian band who was one of the main originators of black metal as we know it (hugely influential not only for the musical style but the overall aesthetic as well, and as famous for releasing some of the genre’s most highly-regarded landmark records as for the various controversies surrounding its members’ extra-curricular activities) was coming to town, right? Well guess what, Mayhem are coming to town.

It all started as a celebration of their debut LP (still universally regarded as the pinnacle of black metal), 1994’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which the current iteration of the group (which now consists of bassist Necrobutcher, the sole remaining founding member, though he had been separated from the band and replaced by — someone else — at the time the album was recorded and initially released; drummer Hellhammer and vocalist Attila Csihar, who have each been members for large portions of the band’s history, including taking part in that first full-length; and more recent additions Teloch and Ghul on guitar) began playing live in its entirety for the first time ever, during a European tour. That tour has continued adding additional trips to various parts of the world over the past couple of years, and at this moment Mayhem are recreating De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas on stages across North America.

This current expedition on this side of the ocean will actually be wrapping up in the very near future, but I’ll be including the remaining scheduled dates down in the comments section (along with a one-off visit set to take place next spring). But before we get there, I’d also like to share with you this recording that the band put out nearly a year ago, which originated way back at the beginning of this long series of commemorative tour dates.

 

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Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance (2013), Germ – Escape (2016)

Darkthrone-The-Underground-Resistance

DarkthroneThe Underground Resistance (Peaceville Records, 25 February 2013)

 

Germ-Escape

GermEscape (Prophecy Productions, 29 April 2016)

 

Good afternoon, or good evening, or good whatever-it-is-right-now. I can hardly even tell anymore, because I don’t think there was any point today at which I even reached a state of being half-awake. These late-night hockey playoff games are really killing me. Last night’s went into overtime, which ended up only lasting about two and a half minutes, but still, it was already difficult enough for me to stay awake through the end of the first three periods.

Anyway, I’ll quit whining and get on with the music I have to share with you today. One of these was on my top 13 of 2013 list — yes, I’m still working on getting something written about each of those, and we’re down to just a handful remaining! — while the other was released just last week, but both of these albums are highly recommended listening (even though on the surface they seem completely different) …

 

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Bardus – Solus (2014), Stella Porta (2016); Grizzlor / Barren Womb – Split (2015)

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BardusSolus (Wolf Beach Tapes, 21 October 2014)

 

SLF022 - hi-res cover

BardusStella Porta (Solar Flare Records, 01 April 2016)

 

jacket

Grizzlor / Barren WombSplit (Riotous Outburst Records, 17 March 2015)

 

Hello, and Happy Friday to everyone out there! I hope you’ve had an okay week — and if not, then I hope you have a great weekend to make up for it. Before then, though, I’d like to throw something at you real quick.

At this very moment, there’s somewhat of a mini-tour going on — a handful of regional dates featuring a couple of bands, Philadelphia’s Bardus and New Haven’s Grizzlor, and it just happens that each of them have released something over the past year and a half that I’ve got in my to-do list for sharing with you readers. So it seems like a pretty convenient time to share both of those with you now, and even more so considering the fact that one of them also will have a brand-new album coming out next month — I’ll talk a little about that one, too.

I’ll try to keep this one kind of short (I know I say that a lot and it doesn’t always work out that way, but I promise I’ll try!) because I’m sure all of you are as anxious as I am to get started on those weekend plans. But scroll down to the comments section because I’ll also throw in the remaining tour dates for these two bands — which happens to include a stop in Pittsburgh this Saturday!

 

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Krakow – diin (2012), amaran & genesis (2015)

diin

Krakówdiin (Dark Essence Records, 14 September 2012)

 

amaran

Krakówamaran (Dark Essence Records, 09 February 2015)

 

genesis

Krakówgenesis (Dark Essence Records, 07 August 2015)

 

Hey, folks. So last week as you may have noticed, we had a bit of a blast from the past: I wrote about an album that came out in the latter part of 2012, one which I have enjoyed listening to immensely since I first heard it, and one that likely would have found its way onto my list of that year’s best releases if I had just gotten around to hearing it sooner. Well today, we’ll be taking a look at another album that also came out around the same time — late 2012 — and has become one of my favorite things to listen to since I first discovered it. That album is called diin, and was the second to be released by Norwegian post-rockers Kraków. Today we’ll also discuss that band’s third record amaran (and the EP that closely followed, genesis) — and since I’d made the mistake of finding that earlier album too late and excluding it from my 2012 list, I made sure to rectify that when it came time to put together my list for 2015, since those two (jointly) happened to rank among the best things I heard last year.

Anyway, that’s surely enough in the way of introduction — you can just expect that we’ll be covering several entries from this band’s discography — part of which I was sorry to have missed once, and all of which you would be wise not to miss now!

 

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THE TROLLS ARE COMING!! (Finntroll and TrollfesT Announce North American Tours)

trolls

THE TROLLS ARE COMING!!

 
Specifically, the Finnish masters of “humppa” style folk metal, Finntroll, and the originators of “True Norwegian Balkan Metal”, TrollfesT, are both coming to North America later this year — separately, although each of them will be part of a tour package that will surely have any fan of folk/pagan metal salivating with anticipation! Even better, both bands will be making a stop in Pittsburgh!!

 
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Breaking News: TrollfesT Begins Work On Another New Album!

trollfest-recording

 
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the TrollfesT Facebook page (if not, then you should be ashamed of yourself!), but all this week they’ve been teasing the fact that some sort of major announcement would be made on Thursday. Guess what: now it’s Thursday. And here’s what I’ve just learned…..

 

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