North American Atmospheric Black Metal band Obsidian Tongue has shared a new single, their first for their new album due in early 2020. ‘Return to the fields of Violet’ is the first track from Volume III, due out January 31st via Bindrune Recordings. The track is the first new music from the band since the band released a single a few years back, two 2015 split EPs, and 2013’s epic full-length A Nest of Ravens in the Throat of Time. Jam the new track right now! Get hype as this will be a major underground release on the schedule for us, and should be for you as well if you love high-quality USBM. More info and pre-orders are coming soon about the album! Continue reading
Prolific Dark Folk and Black Metal group Panopticon has just released a new two song EP! The Crescendo of Dusk is available to purchase and stream from their Bandcamp. Dedicated to The Northern Lights, this inscription can be found with the stream “This record is in honor of the northern lights, which very few things in the world are more beautiful and awe-inspiring than.” All music written, performed and recorded by Austin Lunn and mixed and mastered by Colin Marston, who also contributed some additional keys. A limited Edition one-sided LP will be available exclusively through Bindrune Recordings in early 2019. Pre-orders will be announced soon. . The cover photo was drawn by Lunn with an additional photo by Bekah Lunn. The bands’ last release was the stellar double album The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II) (Bindrune Recordings).Continue reading
Canadian atmospheric black/doom metallers Wilt is streaming their newly released album Moving Monoliths, out now via Bindrune Recordings, below.
Track Listing: WILT – Moving Monoliths
01: Illusion of Hope (11:46)
02: Moving Monoliths (13:08)
03: The Elder (13:09)
04: Solitude (2:05)
As much jealously as US metal fans claim to have when it comes to the amount quality bands, and tours Europe has, we do get some quality shows. One such tour is the recent tour from Icelandic metallers Sólstafir and gazetastic post-rockers Junius. For Junius, this was a hometown show since there are local and the place was jammed packed equally for both top bands with an occasional crossover of styles. It was cool to have a bit of a diverse bill for change, since had been seeing a lot of same-sounding bands of late. The upstairs part of the Middle East venue is a poorly lit pool of sweat on a good day, so this was a good environment to hear some heavy music.
The first band I caught was the surprising black metal merchants of Infera Bruo. They play an insane meld of sounds ranging from classic old-school black metal, to psychedelic soundscapes, to more finer-ground post-metal bleakness. In spite of having little in common with the headliners, Infera Bruo took the stage like they owned it and just made everyone in attendance cower at their form. Front man Galen is very charismatic, changing his style up vocally from a fiendish bark to a more tempered sound as the music shifted. It was also hard not to be impressed with their keyboardist Germanicus, worked his magic on synths and effects with some really classic industrial elements from his vintage gear. As a whole the band kept my attention no matter they song, and they hop from one genre to another naturally. To a man Infera Bruo are masterful performers, and it has been a long time since I was this impressed with an opener. We’ll be looking out for their next release on Bindrune Recordings with great interest.
The night had gotten off to a slow start apparently, before I even got there, so the fellas in Junius were visibly annoyed that they were late getting on stage (not due to Infera Bruo, but the venue). Junius also brings their own stage lighting, preferring to control their own atmosphere visually as well as musically. They set up quickly and with no fanfare they got underway. The crowd has swelled to the front, and lucky for a shorty like me, the band is very tall. On the smallish stage looked like giants, but even more they sounded like gods. For some bands these condition are less than ideal, but with the patience of a fine craftsmen, Junius plays passionate music for the thinking person. Opening with ‘Hiding Knives’ the band led by Joseph Martinez, took the audience on a heart-wrenching tour de force. The back lighting of the band for some reason made me think of the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs: oddly uncomfortable and bracing myself for what was to come. I don’t think the average person appreciates how hard it is to play gently and slow, since most people who play in some form of metal start out jamming with speed as their guide. Junius are not just talented, but tasteful with their choice of different layers of sounds, coloring each part of a song. Bombastic and solemn all at the same time, we witnessed some folks in the front actually moved to tears during their set. Drawing heavily on their new EP Days of The Fallen Sun (Prosthetic), they surely proved to be one of the must-see bands live in 2014.
Sólstafir was a lot more relaxed coming to the stage, but then again they were drinking and hanging out at their merch table the entire show. They definitely showed what a really successful band does, understanding that this is their lone chance to connect with the fans, hanging out, telling stories and getting very intimate with people. Although a few people left following Junius, if you were still in the house tonight, it’s because you were meant to be there. They also got down to playing immediately and opened up with a string of their more heavy rock-orientated fast numbers. I think this surprised some fans, following the dreamer sounds of earlier in the night, but it was refreshing. Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason is one of the best performers and band leaders you will ever see. Wildly passionate in his every movement, sung note, and chord that he struck, he was amazing. The entire band had an air about them, like veterans (which they are) of the metal world, and the world at large. Raucous, exciting performers, they were not unlike what I imagine a young Thin Lizzy must have been like in Dublin ca. 1975. As my fellow scribe Wren Leader whispered in my ear at one point, “they are doing Icelandic cowboy songs”. It made sense really. Great songs, no pretense about the music they make. The long set was again, heavy on fast numbers to start. The dull dark room was less suited to these bombastic numbers and I had wished they were in a bigger, better club at this point, with proper lighting and staging. Later in the show however, when the band loosed up their set and slowed things down considerable with their more doom and drone inspired work, it worked. This is where the band really shines. Even though all the songs are sung in the tongue of their homeland, the music definitely no less meaningful or effective. You could hear a few die-hards singing a long in fact! Tracks like ‘Svartir Sandar’, ‘Fjara’ will just make you weep. So heavy and deep, it wasn’t fair. I felt lucky myself to witness this epic band on US soil. I am also happy for those smart enough to make it out for this short tour, and the lucky devils who caught them in the daylight at Maryland Deathfest recently.
WORDS: KEITH (KEEFY) CHACHKES
PHOTOS: ECHOES IN THE WELL