NIDINGR – Greatest of Deceivers

To further prove that Norwegian black metal is far from dead, NIDINGR take a big leap in progress with their sophomore record, Greatest of Deceivers.  The band’s last one, Wolf-Father, was undoubtedly very good but it did not necessarily break new ground.

With Greatest of Deceivers, NIDINGR take a more avant garde Norwegian black metal approach.  There are plenty of tempo changes, eerie atmospheres, unsettling shifts, and plenty of dissonance.  The band never allow the listener to get too comfortable or complacent as the songs constantly shift around.  Naturally, recent DODHEIMSGARD and MAYHEM releases may be points of reference for this record.  Additionally, a good comparison to NIDINGR‘s progression is SATYRICON‘s Rebel Extravaganza as nothing is straight forward and simple.

The guitar/bass duo of Teloch (MAYHEM, UMORAL) and Blargh (DODHEIMSGARD) offer their most ambitious riffing yet. Refreshingly, NIDINGR break new ground in this department as the record crawls, blasts, charges, and stomps about.  It should also be mentioned that bass plays a role in the record.

Clean guitars ring out alongside raging guitars/bass as vocalist El.Cpt.Estrella Grasa conjures the spells.  Drumgod Hellhammer is not part of the record but Øyvind Myrvoll does more than a good job.  Øyvind‘s drums are mixed to give it a very natural sound.  Fans will be happy to know that ULVER‘s Trickster G AKA Garm AKA Kris Rygg makes another excellent appearance.

There is more than enough to digest and understand about Greatest of Deceivers, and that’s precisely its biggest strength.  Props to NIDINGR for taking a big leap forward and expanding their world.  No formulas, no gimmicks.  Just Norwegian black metal for 2012.  (Indie Recordings)

Song of the Day: ARCTURUS’ “Du Nordavind” from the Constellation EP

For today’s Song of the Day, let us revisit one of the greatest underground metal bands of all time, ARCTURUS. Back in 1994, the band released the Constellation EP via guitarist Samoth‘s Nocturnal Art Productions. Simply a groundbreaking piece of Norwegian symphonic black metal. Absolutely mandatory.

Here is the original recording of “Du Nordavind“:

NIDINGR – Wolf-Father

Despite the fact that Norway is no longer the “big” thing in metal does not mean that the nation is lacking in a new generation of black metal bands. With a five year hiatus between their debut release, Sorrow Infinite and Darkness, and their brand new album, Wolf-Father, NIDINGR has quickly gained ground in the hierarchy of new Norwegian black metal bands. Wolf-Father is distinctly and proudly Norwegian with its high frequency raging guitars, precise blast beats, and black feel. However, do not mistake NIDINGR for sounding old or derivative as they manage to give a fresh take on the famous Norwegian black metal sound.

Teloch (1349, ORCUSTUS, GORGOROTH) and Blargh (DØDHEIMSGARD) dish out the catchy, and, often, simple riffs that are not too far removed from bands such as 1349, DØDHEIMSGARD, and THORNS. The guitars in particular have a sweet resonance, and the perfect tone that you want for this type of metal. Vocalist Cpt. Estrella Grasa’s shouts and proclamations are reminiscent of Aldrahn (THORNS, ex-DØDHEIMSGARD) in a good way. Drumgod Hellhammer lays down his usual top-notch performance that, at times, seems too easy for him to run through. “Baldrs Draumar” explores a different vibe with its doomy section featuring ULVER’s Garm on vocals.

Wolf-Father is a very consistent in tone, style, and approach. On one hand, this characteristic holds the album back from really breaking out into greatness. On the other hand, being consistently good with no discernable drop off is a compelling reason to listen to it. The next release from NIDINGR should be even better. (Jester Records)

Collaboration Between ZWEIZZ, Joey Hopkins to Recieve Release Through Jester Records

ZWEIZZ, the experimental project of FLEURETY/ex-DØDHEIMSGARD member Svein Egil Hatlevik (aka Hologram, Magic/Logic), has confirmed the release of his collaboration with the late Joey Hopkins simply titled, Zweizz & Joey Hopkins. Jester Records will be releasing the album in November.

Hatlevik issued the following message:

“I am happy to announce that the first and only album by ZWEIZZ & Joey Hopkins will be released through Jester Records in 2010.

“I met Joey Hopkins through the social networking site Myspace. We initiated a cooperation in 2007 that lasted until Joey’s untimely death in December 2008.

“By then we had made eleven song sketches. I only spoke with him on the telephone once, and we were discussing meeting IRL, but somehow we didn’t feel like there was any hurry. Then suddenly he was gone.

“I have tried to make an album that both his mother and the rest of his family can remember him by – as well as being a statement that lives up to my somewhat idiosyncratic artistic standards. And of course, I can just assume that Joey would have approved of the songs in their respective final states. It can be difficult to kill the darlings of a friend who has already went onwards.

“I hope I have succeeded in making this an album that he would have liked, and I want to share this music with as many people as possible to celebrate the memory of the immense talent of Joey Hopkins. It has been an honour to work with you.

“Some words to describe the musick: Electronic, hectic like a can of worms, some pop surfaces, distorted, melodic most of the time, some black metal influences, some IDM influences. IT’S LIKE A GOLEM.”

The tracklisting is as follows:

1. “Eternal Puberty” – feat. Ingrid Berge
2. “dWill to dPower / Tomorrow
3. “Black Strobes” – feat. Torgny Knutson Amdam
4. “Bimbo Rimjob
5. “Porcelain Dolls in the Bath
6. “The Goat” – feat. Kristoffer Rygg
7. “Armies of General Nonsense
8. “Smash, Politics, Gag
9. “How We Ate The Flesh” – feat. Ingrid Berge
10. “No Clue” – feat. Czral
11. “Compulsar Massive” – feat. Kim Sølve

Hatlevik assures an additional remix by UPLAND and hints at the likelihood of additional material.

Visit ZWEIZZ at http://zweizz.blogspot.com/.

HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM’s Daniel Cardoso Reveals Solo Album

Daniel Cardoso of HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM, also featuring Kristoffer G. Rygg (a.k.a Garm of ULVER), has announced that a solo album under the band name, DEL, is on course for completion.  Cardoso issued the following statement:

“For those who have been waiting for the new HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM record, and mailing us asking for more music, we have to be honest and say it might take a little longer than we expected. We know we promised you some updates on the new record some time ago, and the truth? is that part of it is already written, but this time we are finding it really hard to match? both our (me and KrisGarm from ULVER ) availability. He both had other personal business at the side to take care off, as some people may know I’m really busy at the studio producing new bands and Kris is such a busy bee. We all have other matters to attend. But we need you, the fans, to know we both still believe in this band and we only need to get the proper mindset and timing to fix logistics and get the job done.

“In the meantime, I’ve been stepping some new ground with my solo effort, DEL. I’ve always been comfortable playing all sorts of instruments but never really felt able to share my voice with the world. Well, this is the time. DEL‘s debut is believed to come out before the new HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM album and there’s not much else I can say about it RATHER than go check it out. Next week I’ll start producing the new OBLIQUE RAIN album and next month? its the new W.A.K.O. (fuckin’ redneck death/thrash rockers!) record. It never stops, and it’s all good! ”

Check out DEL‘s MySpace page for some samples, including a cover of Terence Trent D’arby‘s “Sign Your Name“: http://www.myspace.com/delonline

STAROFASH – The Thread

STAROFASH (formerly STAR OF ASH) dropped a surprisingly delicious debut album in 2001’s Iter.Viator. Curiously, one wondered if the group, spearheaded by Ihriel (PECCATUM, HARDINGROCK, and wife of EMPEROR‘s Ihsahn), could follow-up with equal creative magic. With The Thread, STAROFASH may not have matched Iter.Viator‘s spontaneous excellence, but does succeed with equally unique musical styling and pleasing consistency. The Thread‘s dark, avant-garde, gothic rock is a slight departure from Iter.Viator, which was more heavily dressed with electronic influences. This time around, STAROFASH‘s sound is more organic provided by a more prominent bass guitar, less programmed sounding percussion, and even brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments (perhaps a HARDINGROCK influence). The music primarily revolves around Ihriel‘s simple and melodic piano and keyboard work. Her voice, still breathy and delicate, finely contributes to the post-metal, gothic overtones. Though her singing style is relatively singular, her vocal presence is just enough and never is overdone. Ihriel is also joined by vocal talent, Garm (Kristoffer G. Rygg) of ULVER/HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM, who lends very magnificent vocal melodies on “Blood Bones and Skull” and “Crossing Over.” In fact, the vocal patterns on “Crossing Over” by both Ihriel and Garm are incredibly strong and memorable, let’s hope this isn’t the last collaboration between the two. All around, The Thread is a fantastic soundtrack that may not immediately strike within, but certainly grows with lasting effectiveness. No doubt, the world needs to expose themselves to the uniqueness that is STAROFASH. (Candlelight/Mnemosyne)

ULVER – Shadows of the Sun

The collective anticipation has been in wondering what the devil ULVER will throw at us the next time around. Known for being quite unpredictable at times, ULVER‘s latest is fortunately of highest quality. Like the previous Blood Inside, Shadows of the Sun is a new age, art rock, musical soundtrack full of emotive soundscapes. Familiar sounds and instruments help to tie the two albums together. However, where Blood Inside was exciting and unpredictably dynamic, Shadows of the Sun is (mostly) calm and more uniform throughout. In fact, Shadows of the Sun could be seen as an accompanying piece to Blood Inside, where Blood Inside poses the questions and introduces conflict, while Shadows of the Sun seeks to answers those questions and find resolution (in a musical context). Delicate piano and orchestration sparse on percussion give the album a very open and meditative feel. Meanwhile, vocalist Garm delivers a solid and mature performance. His low, soothing baritone perfectly suits the warm, breathy, ambiance of the album. No singular song or few songs stand out on the album as the album should be listened to as one piece. Because of that (and the ambient nature of the album), Shadows of the Sun is not instantly engaging (but that’s certainly not unusual for an ULVER album). Give the album a handful of listens, and you will find that Shadows of the Sun is a gorgeous album. (The End Records)

ULVER Members to DJ Exclusive CD Release Party in New York

ULVER vocalist Kristoffer Rygg (aka Garm, Trickster G) and programmer/keyboardist Tore Ylwizaker will be DJ-ing the CD release party for their upcoming album Shadows of the Sun (out October 2nd on The End Records) Thursday September 20th, 2007 at Europa Night Club in Brooklyn, New York.

Both members of ULVER will be DJ-ing throughout the night. Live band support for the show will come from experimental rock act THE AUSTERITY PROGRAM and stoner rock/metal duo LAPDOG OF SATAN (featuring members of PRIESTBIRD/TARANTULA AD).

Tracklisting and album art for Shadows of the Sun can be found here.