STAROFASH’s New Meisterwerk Ghouleh is Available Now

Notodden, Norway’s STAROFASH, featuring Heidi S. Tveitan (ex-PECCATUM), has just released their fourth album entitled  Ghouleh.  The album is available for free streaming and purchase on Bandcamp (http://starofash-official.bandcamp.com/) in addition to iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Spotify.  In other words, Ghouleh is a digital only release via Mnemosyne Productions.

Here is what she had to say about the album:

“I am very happy to share the following announcement with you :)
Mnemosyne Productions are proud to present the fourth album from Starofash, titled ‘Ghouleh‘. This completes Heidi S. Tveitan‘s 2013 project, where she wrote, recorded and released one song for each month of the year. The album contains all twelve songs, and finishes off with a bonus track. Artwork and design by Ideophony. Photos by Heidi S. Tveitan.”

After listening to the first few tracks, it looks like STAROFASH have another winner on their hands.  Awesome.

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2014 Show Report

The month of January brings excitement to the City of Anaheim every year, and the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2014 show is no exception!  Let’s cut to the chase this year!  A few highlights of the gazillions of musical instruments and gadgets are found below…enjoy!
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Video of the Day: MINDGRINDER’s Return from 8 Year Hiatus

It’s been a long time since MINDGRINDER‘s last album, Riot Detonator, was released (eight years to be exact).  The wait is over as the band’s third album, Prop Agenda, is available now on iTunes and Spotify.  The album was recorded in Akkerhaugen Lydstudio and MINDGRINDER‘s Barnsville Studios, mastered at Andy La Rocque‘s Sonic Train Studios, and features cover artwork by Eliran Kantor.

Check out the video for the track, “WYSIWYG“:

As a bonus, check out their awesome cover of the EMPEROR classic “I am the Black Wizards” featuring none other than EMPEROR guitarist Samoth on bass:

New Video for THE WRETCHED END’s “Zoo Human Syndrome” Now Online

Despite the fact that “Zoo Human Syndrome” is taken off THE WRETCHED END‘s 2010 record, Ominous, the band have posted the official video for it.  Check it out below.

The video was filmed, edited and produced by none other than Trym Torson (ex-EMPEROR/ZYKLON/ENSLAVED).  Epic song and cool video.

THE WRETCHED END is currently working on their third record and will release news soon.

IHSAHN’s Das Seelenbrechen Set for October 2013 Release

Candlelight Records today confirms October 22 as the North American release date for Das Seelenbrechen, the fifth solo album from IHSAHNDas Seelenbrechen will be available on compact disc, a limited edition digibook (with expanded graphics and liner notes), and double 180-gram clear vinyl. Pre-orders are set to launch via online and physical retail outlets beginning September 10.

“Musically, this album is a very deliberate sidestep to what I have been doing; a necessity to reset the creative parameters so not to fall into formula,” shares IHSAHN. ”I think I do my best work slightly outside of my comfort zone and I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time. Free form and improvisational can be scary for a musician but it is very liberating at the same time.”

Recorded at his studio in Norway in collaboration with drummer Tobias Ornes Anderson (LEPROUS), Das Seelenbrechen courageously eschews traditional metal instrumentation in favor of a limitless textural landscape that evokes the freewheeling spirit of artists like DIAMANDA GALAS, SCOTT WALKER, and JOHN ZORN. In discussing the album IHSAHN notes, “even though my music has changed over the years, I feel there is a source of inspiration at the bottom of it all that is constant. The general idea for this album was to try and dig deep into this raw source and express it without too much refinery and do so within a less familiar musical landscape. It is the reason for several purely improvised songs and parts on this album. I spontaneously performed with just lyrics and the idea of the atmosphere I was wishing to create. While many will feel it sounds different, I don’t think it is necessarily different from my previous album. And in my head, it will fit in perfectly with my plans for the sixth album.”

Das Seelenbrechen takes its name from Nietzche‘s famed Human, All Too Human: A Book of Free Spirits. Writings by the 19th century philosopher and other historical figures have often found their way into IHSAHN‘s songwriting. ”The title is taken from one of his aphorisms on art and how, in its purest form, is neither good nor bad,” says IHSAHN. The album’s abstract packaging, again conceived by Spanish graphic artist Ritxi Ostariz, embraces the aphorisms essence.

“Of all my albums, my goals for this one have been the most abstract.  I’ve had quite a rollercoaster ride putting it together but now that it is done I must say I am very pleased.”

Video of the Day: IHSAHN’s Full Set at Wacken Open Air 2013

With the recent news that EMPEROR will reunite for Wacken Open Air next year (as well as Bloodstock 2014), it got me in the EMPEROR/EMPEROR-related mood.  Thus, let’s check out IHSAHN‘s performance at this year’s Wacken Open Air earlier this month.

It’s a pretty good set.  It helps tremendously that Ihsahn‘s backing band are Norwegian progsters, LEPROUS.  Good shit.

Ihsahn Issues Clarification on EMPEROR Reunion

As reported earlier, EMPEROR have announced that they will reunite to perform In the Nightside Eclipse at Wacken Open Air festival 2014 with drummer Faust.  However, what was not clear was whether the band would be reuniting for good or simply for more reunion shows.  Ihsahn provided the clarification we all asked for:

EMPEROR will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of ‘In The Nightside Eclipse‘ at next year´s Wacken Open Air. Ihsahn and Samoth will be joined by Faust on drums, and they will perform the album in its entirety.

“There will be no new studioalbum or a world wide tour, only a few exclusive festival appearances next year, to mark the celebration of this landmark album.”

EMPEROR to Reunite for Wacken 2014 with Faust

This past Friday, August 2, 2013, EMPEROR announced that they will reunite once again to perform at Wacken 2014.  To add to that, former drummer Faust will be joining the band to perform In the Nightside Eclipse in its entirety.

From the Wacken website:  “Come 2014, the band will celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘In The Nightside Eclipse‘, with a few exclusive performances. Beyond that, the future, as ever, is a mystery waiting to be unravelled…”

Let’s hope that this performance is recorded so the poor souls who can’t fly over to Germany next year will get to see.  In any case, let us rejoice!

KVELERTAK – Meir

Kvelertak - MeirAfter being totally immersed in music for a decade or two (or three), it’s easy to grow desensitized to the untainted joy and fresh excitement that music can bring. Thankfully, there is Norway’s KVELERTAK that easily remind us all why we became music freaks in the first place.  With their second album, Meir, the band easily meet the lofty expectations set by their explosive debut.

KVELERTAK have matured as songwriters and have taken their fun and exciting hybrid of Norwegian black metal, rock ‘n roll, and punk to fresh places.  The trademarks of the 8th note downstroked riffing, blast beats, bluesy solos, and gang vocals are still intact.  The band effectively use melodic guitar leads, acoustic guitars, and soulful rock ‘n roll riffing with their black metal dimension.  Meir can sound equally happy and fun as well as ugly, mean, and black.  Arguably, the highlight of the album is the blazing “Nekrokosmos.”  The song starts off in a fairly standard way before it ends with a long instrumental bridge that is beautifully reminiscent of EMPEROR‘s “With Strength I Burn” and “The Wanderer.”

CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou has done a perfect job with the production side of the album.  Meir is perfectly balanced, warm, and has natural tones.

Meir generates the kind of emotions that excite a person to (re)dedicate their lives to music.  Fresh, fun, exciting, and just so fucking good.  Buy or die. (Roadrunner Records)

New LEPROUS Album in the Works

After spending a very eventful and busy year promoting their latest album release, Bilateral, acclaimed Norwegian progsters LEPROUS have now started their recording sessions for their upcoming, currently untitled studio album, set to be released before summer 2013 worldwide via InsideOut Music.

LEPROUS singer/synth-player Einar Solberg checked in with a status report:

“As many of you already know, we’ve started recording our new album. The drums are finished, and we’re now focusing on the guitars. Also this time we’re using Vegard ‘Ihsahn’ Tveitan and Heidi ‘StarOfAsh’ S. Tveitan as our producers / technicians. The drums were recorded in the really cool and old school Juke Joint Studio (http://www.jukejointstudio.com/ ), and we’re really satisfied with the result.

“As far as the new music, we can only remind you that LEPROUS will never be the kind of band to re-create the mood from previous works, and it’s very important for us that each album has its own strong character. We have great belief in this album and we promise something fresh, challenging and soulful! This album will also be mixed and mastered by Mr. Jens Bogren @ Fascination Street Studios.”

Check out a special studio video from the drum recording sessions here: