MANIMALISM – Manimalism

Manimalism - ManimalismMANIMALISM‘s self titled debut is an anachronism of sorts. While the band wrote the album’s material during the span of 1993 to 1999, things did not come together until now. MANIMALISM is never cited as being part of the Norwegian black metal wave that took the world by storm due to their low-key status.  The band’s most well known member is guitarist Kim Solve of Trine + Kim Design Studio, who has designed artwork for ULVER, SOLEFALD, and THE WRETCHED END.

Using VED BUENS ENDEFLEURETY, and recent MAYHEM as reference points, MANIMALISM walk on the strange, eclectic side of Norwegian avant garde metal. The ominous ringing of clean guitars and discordant time signatures meld with heavy, palm muted riffing juxtaposed with crooning vocal stylings. There is a feeling of being dragged away to the twilight zone.

Not only are the individual performances excellent, the live recording-like production make the album a great listening experience. The drumming crashes and bashes with seemingly unexpected yet perfectly timed flurries. The guitar crunch and clean guitar tones are immaculate. For example of great bass playing, check out the awesome basslines on “The Dandified and the Devilfish.”

Ironically, opener “Demons in Tuxedos” may be the weakest song on Manimalism. The vocal lines on the chorus are a tad sour. However, Manimalism gets meatier, weirder and more compelling as the tone gets stranger and more unsettling. Fourth track, “Romance,” may be the best song with the band use the dynamic of pockets of silence to great effect. Everything comes together with its ghostly eeriness.

MANIMALISM is wholly unique and thus, fits perfectly into Norwegian avant garde metal universe.  (Adversum)

SUNN O))) and ULVER Team Up for Terrestrials

SUNN O))) and ULVER have teamed up for a collaboration entitled, Terrestrials.  The result of this union is a three-track recording; “a trio of movements which flow like magma beneath the Earth’s crust, sonically uninhibited, unpredictably cosmic, haunting and stirring, yet simultaneously ceremonious and beautiful.”

Southern Lord shall release Terrestrials in February 2014.

ULVER Posts Messe I.X – IV.X Teaser Trailer

UlverNorway’s ULVER has launched a teaser trailer for its upcoming album Messe I.X – IV.X.

Messe I.X – IV.X is due out on October 8 via Kscope. The album will be available as a vinyl, download and CD, which also features a 5.1 surround mix of the album. Fans can pre-order it through the Kscope webstore at: http://www.burningshed.com/store/kscope/.

A new song “Glamour Box (ostinati)” is currently streaming online on the Messe I.X – IV.X mini-site at: http://kscopemusic.com/ulver/.

AGE OF SILENCE & WINDS’ Andy Winter New Solo Album Available Now

Andy Winter - IncomprehensibleKeyboardist/composer Andy Winter of WINDS and AGE OF SILENCE fame has a new solo album, Incomprehensible, which is available now via The End records.  The album features an impressive roster of guest vocalists from MADDER MORTEM, AGALLOCH, GREEN CARNATION, EDGE OF SANITY, PECCATUM, BORKNAGAR, NOVEMBERS DOOM, and WINDS.

Also appearing are Jan Axel von Blomberg aka Hellhammer (MAYHEM, WINDS), Carl August Tidemann (WINDS, ex-ARCTURUS), Øystein Moe (WINDS, ex-ULVER), Don Anderson (AGALLOCH, SCULPTURED) and Mike Young (THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT).

Having continued his approach of always applying a very genre-defying style, “Incomprehensible” is yet another unmistakable and unique record from Andy Winter, and one that provides a different experience altogether when compared to anything else in metal, or indeed most music.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2012

As another great year for heavy music comes to a close, APESHIT takes a look back at our favorite pieces of music of 2012. This year had some great comebacks in CRYPTOPSY and STRIFE. There were also some nice surprises in the new sheer quality of the new SIX FEET UNDER and brutality of the new SOULFLY.

We want to thank all our readers, friends in the industry, and all the amazing artists, big and small, that we get a chance to work with for a great 10th year of existence. As the music industry as a whole continues to take an economic hit, let us all remember: If you like a band or one of their releases, support it!

Here’s hoping for a great 2013!

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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)

ULVER Delivers Powerful Words on the State of the Music Industry

Norway’s ULVER have delivered one of the most thoughtful and biting statements about the dire state of the music industry. Life has not been easy for musicians and ULVER pulls no punches in their statement:

“THE ART OF DYING

“Look, the pay you have held back from the workers who mowed your fields cries out against you,
and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. (James 5:4)

“Wolves are withdrawing, once again, in order to evolve. The record industry is in trouble, and the panic in the business has resulted in severe depression for musicians worldwide. We have new offerings, both music and a medium, but first:

“Politics.

“Much has been said, on topics like crowd funding, file sharing, the death of the physical format as we know it. Answers are ambiguous, but one thing is for sure: musicians are required to consider the direct financial implications of their activities far more closely today.

“The top-heavy machinery, with their CEOs and managers and sales and marketing departments, is obviously a pricey one. When their expenses have been covered most of the money is gone, leaving the artists in the lurch. It seems a gross injustice, especially in a time where their manner of operation has become such an anachronism.

“We can no longer carry the weight of this museum, so we have once again (first time was when we established our own imprint, Jester) decided to take the matter into our own hands, in a way more autonomous than before. We’ve been prudent enough to make sure we own our own material – since Nattens Madrigal that is – which is not at all a given in this shady business, and which in itself has given us disadvantages when it comes to advances, percentages and PR in the past.

“The last five years the insidious disease that is the music business has really reared its ugly head. If you want to have your album manufactured, distributed and possibly promoted today it almost goes without saying that the label/licensee/distributor should have an unheard of allowance. But even more morose: a similar (disproportionate) cut off your digital sales and streaming income is expected. That’s after the bite of the Apple.

“It’s a sin. They don’t do any actual work for this money. Certain suits have started to demand cuts from the live earnings of their bands/artists as a premise for signing them. Our hearts sincerely go out to the younger generation of recording artists, as we’ve seen literal slave-contracts signed by the “up and coming”.

“It’s tragic really. Killed in infancy.

“If only the Richard Bransons out there would take their humanitarian initiatives to their own artists first, is a thought. The promise of good promotion does not bring bread on the table.

“And while we’re having a stab at the system: fuck iTunes, and Spotify et al., which is the same old story over again – oversized monsters, getting rich and mighty, while it takes years and lots of legwork for something, if anything, to come back to those who made the music i.e. their product in the first place.

“In selling out, ULVER has always opted for the lesser evils, and we’ve been in the groove with decent folks, VME and Kscope in particular. But given the context, it has to be acknowledged: we’ve made quite a few external people and/or companies a lot of money over the years…”

Read the rest of their poignant statement here.

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“:

ULVER to Release Covers Album, Childhood’s End, May 28th, 2012

Norway’s ULVER will release a cover album, Childhood’s End, of various classic psychedelic songs on May 28th, 2012 via Kscope.

The band’s cover of BEAU BRUMMEL‘s “Magic Hollow” can be streamed below:

A video interview with band leader, Kris Rygg (AKA Garm, Trickster G) has been posted online:

Further details on Childhood’s End can be found here.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2011

2011 was a very productive and enjoyable year for extreme music, perhaps the best in years. Thus, it was not an easy task choosing what we enjoyed best since they were just so many. 2011 also gave us unforgettably bad albums by LOU REED and METALLICA, flops by THE HAUNTED as well as controversial ones by MORBID ANGEL.

We look forward to another strong year in 2012 in which we will celebrate our 10 years online. Cheers for all of your support in 2011! Radikult!!
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