Don’t Miss This! Vol. 5

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My turn!

If you missed out on the last four segments of Don’t Miss This!, then you missed out on not missing out on some things you might have missed out on this year. You idiot!

Our dear, dead friend Stockhausen brought this instant classic to the toilet a few weeks ago before passing the torch to W. They cordially introduced you to a few of their favorites among this year’s sleeper albums. Then, last week, our resident literal know-it-all Christian Molenaar held your pitiably mainstream hands and led you through a magical land where Impetuous Ritual is considered mainstream radio dad-rock and bands are executed on the spot after reaching 50 Facebook likes.

Now, it’s my turn. Here’s the deal. You guys have missed out on a lot of Power Metal this year. I know that shit for a fact. You know that shit for a fact. But, out of respect for the dead (i.e., Stockhausen), I’ve chosen to go against everything I’ve been taught in the hall by giving you all a break from that most glorious of genres. Thank me in the comments below.

 

Nasheim – Solens vemod

The Swedes in Nasheim have been together for 13 years now. Apparently they’ve spent most of that time releasing a handful of splits and demos that nobody really cared about and participating in other similarly Swedish activities. They finally got their shit together and dropped Solens vemod (their first full-length) this year, and it currently stands atop the icy peak of my year-end list, battling Death and Power for the top spot.

It got a little bit of attention leading up to its release, but not nearly as much as it deserved. Solens vemod is a blackened ebb and flow through four tracks of perfectly balanced atmosphere. While more traditional and not nearly as folkish as Agalloch, there just might be enough acoustic strumming and clean background chanting to give you the fix that The Serpent and the Sphere couldn’t.

Lastly, I have two letters and two numbers for all you audiophile boners: DR12. That means smooth, audible bass. Mmmmm. Buy this.

 

Castle – Under Siege

The darlings of the heavy metal sub-underground are back again this year with another old-school jaunt full of killer riffs, quick solos, occult tendencies and denim vests. Under Siege (which, when coupled with the band name, is essentially un-Googleable) totally rules. Clocking in at the succinctly kickass run time of 34 minutes, it rips from the very first second to the very last. This trio doesn’t want to waste your time with indulgent intros or outros, they just want to riff and solo your brains out. If you’re savvy to their previous album, Blacklands, you might notice that they’re stripping down most of their experimentation here, setting their sights instead on the tried-and-true.

Some might consider Elizabeth Blackwell to be a poor singer by traditional standards, but sewn into the fabric of occult heavy metal she sounds right at home. It’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s undeniably metal, and it wouldn’t be Castle without her.

My Castle shirt is one of my most valued possessions. Part of that is because there’s a wizard sitting on a skull-throne on it. But the other part is because Castle is tight.

 

Ea – A Etilla

Funeral doom isn’t for everybody, and I fully realize that. Enjoying it requires patience. And probably host of psychological disorders. But even if you have neither of those things (and who are you kidding?), you still ought to check out Ea. They’re a mysterious bunch from Wyoming. The band’s identity is unknown, but whoever the hell they are, they’ve solidified their status as funeral doom masters since their 2006 debut.

According to their Bandcamp, “Ea is based on the sacral texts of ancient civilizations. Ea uses a dead language which was recreated according to the results of archaeological study.” Spoooooky.

A Etilla is a single 50-minute song. It’s an emotionally exhausting back-and-forth between faint hope and not-faint despair. You need to spend some quality time with this one. Wait until you have a free 49 minutes and 12 seconds and get lost in the wash of distortion, choir and roar. You will not regret it.

 

TrollfesT Kaptein Kaos

To put this weirdo group in a bit of perspective, TrollfesT is what Finntroll turns into when it forgets to take its Ritalin. They call themselves “true Norwegian Balkan metal.” They sound like a dirty caravan of Balkan gypsies that traded stolen jewelry for some electric instruments and a shitload of amphetamine. And I mean that in the best way possible. Fill your tankards with laced mead and romp along. If you hate TrollfesT, you hate fun. Bonus points for having one of the best music videos of the year.


Don’t Miss This! is an ongoing feature where each of the ToH writers explores a few releases you may have missed this year.

(h/t to Stockhausen for the cover image)

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  • Death

    How does one fill their cup with emptiness?
    A lot of great music here. I’m really feeling Nasheim.

  • The quality of the vocals are irrelevant given the amount of riffs Castle delivers to us

    • KJM

      Good stuff.

    • Mon*Star

      I think her vocals are fantastic. She sounded great live, too. (Or at least as good as the album, depending on your opinion.) Their gig in Pittsburgh may have been one of their worst shows ever from a venue/turnout perspective, but playing angry never hurt a hard rock act.

  • old_man_doom

    Ea! Caveman metal ov the highest order

    • Howard Dean

      Remember a few years ago when funeral doom was (semi-)popular? The ebb and flow of subgenres is fascinating. The popularity coincided with Ahab’s rise to prominence, and seemed to dissipate when they released The Giant. Seriously–that album was uber-hyped, and all talk about it (and funeral doom’s relevance in metal mainstream, for that matter) died as soon as it was released.

      That said, funeral doom and torture doom are guilty pleasures of mine.

      • I won’t pretend I can’t get down to The Call of the Wretched Sea.

        • Howard Dean

          Call of the Wretched Sea was awesome. That’s one of the best funeral doom albums in my opinion.

          • old_man_doom

            If not the best…

        • W.

          I actually like Ahab. And Thergothon.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        I never realised there had been hype for a single FDoom release. But moat deserve a cubic buttload of hype. Underatandably not many listen to it though. Any idea why that album killed the hype?

        • Howard Dean

          Yeah, The Giant was fairlyhyped–especially for a funeral doom album. Ahab sort of stepped to the forefront of the scene, and there seemed to be a real interest in the subgenre throughout the underground (if you visited websites and forums, funeral doom bands were often talked about). But it just sort of stopped. It’s mentioned much less frequently now.

          I think with that album in particular, Ahab decided to get a little progressive, and that polarized the fans (as is custom when bands go progressive). People saw them as the “funeral doom Opeth.” But I’m not sure why the buzz stopped so suddenly.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            Maybe when the interesting band stopped being what it had been the other formerly interesting bands were interesting no more.

            A shame

      • Tyree

        I can listen to diSEMBOWELMENT’s Transcendence Into the Peripheral all day long. Same with with Evoken’s Atra Mors.

        • Howard Dean

          Probably my favorite funeral doom album is In The Depths of R’yleh by Catacombs. That shit is oppressive.

          • Tyree

            Never listened to that one, I’m very much curious now.

          • Get on that. An absolutely crushing album.

          • Howard Dean

            It’s total Lovecraft worship, but is one of the few albums I feel captures the hugeness of the outer gods/Cthulu mythos. Really good stuff.

          • W.

            Yes! I love that album.

          • Colosseum IMO.

          • Howard Dean

            I only own Chapter I: Delirium, but that shit is really good.

          • Get the other two cuz they are out of print and soon you won’t be able to get the physical media.

          • Howard Dean

            Will do. I’ll probably take a look on eBay and see what’s up.

          • I think you may still be able to get at least one off Amazon or similar.

          • Stockhausen

            MMMMMMMMM.

      • old_man_doom

        I don’t remember funeral doom ever being “popular,” but that’s probably because I’m a fucking troglodyte. I think The Giant is incredible, as is everything Ahab has ever done. Usually, the theme of the band or band’s album is what hooks me. Ahab = badass doom based on nautical literature, A+. Ea = based on ancient civilizations and prehistory, also badass A+. Thergothon = Lovecraftian horror and awe, A+. And so on…

        • Howard Dean

          It was semi-popular (read: not completely in the shadows as it is now). It wasn’t popular in the sense of Mastodon/Opeth, or even OSDM revival like Bloodbath or that ilk, but it was much more on the radar than it is now. Sites were actually covering it, and people were talking about it often on forums and blogs.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            Toilet should so do an article about Funeral Doom

          • old_man_doom

            I guess I missed out on that trend. I just really love funeral doom, trendy or not. I think the whole proto-metal revival thing may have overshadowed it; that’s fuckin huge now

        • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

          Nortt? My shameful?

          • Howard Dean

            Nortt is the shit.

  • Tyree

    I cheated Masterlord and listened to all of Nasheim’s “Solens Vemod” this morning. Spoiler Alert: It’s fucking incredible! The first song is a bit slow moving but the 3 songs after pick up. Solens Vemod is bone chilling greatness.

    • Tyree

      The last song “Vördnad” is really beautiful actually.

    • May it rape your short list as it has mine.

      • Tyree

        Seriously, I’m thinking about adding it. This surprised me!

  • W.

    Does Ea sing in Sanskrit? It’s a dead language, although plenty of people study it.

    • Howard Dean

      “Sanskrit. You’re majoring in a 5000 year-old dead language?”

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    Now someone tell me what do DR stand for (that dr12) Im feeling dumb here

    • JAY ALAN GOODWIN, WE SUMMON THEE.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Thanks

        • I hope that didn’t come off as a snarky snub, but I figure Wikipedia could explain it better than any of us.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            It did well. Also JAG helped. I understand it well now

    • Howard Dean
      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        So, Dining Room, Daniel Radcliffe (a rad name btw) or Das Reich?

        • Howard Dean

          Yes.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I thought so

    • It’s a measurement of dynamic range. Most modern productions are so shitty that they squeeze every last bit of dynamics out of them. As a rule there should be no clipping and RMS should not be less than -8 dB below full scale. Drums should be peaking; not buried underneath a dense wall of sound in music that isn’t supposed to sound like a dense wall of sound.

      IOW: everything should not be as full-time loud as everything else.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Thank you, what exactly do the numbers mean

        • They tend to correlate with the measurement I described above. A DR 8 is *usually* around -8 dB FS.

          To my ears DR 11 is actually ideal even for really heavy music. You have to turn it up louder than some DR3 release (like the last one by Misery Index) but you’ll be rewarded with an album that doesn’t sound like shit at higher volumes because it wasn’t made to sound artificially loud at laptop speaker-volumes.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            ThangJuu

      • JWG

        I feel that the difference from one DR to another is too-near imperceptible, and it’s only really noticeable when you’ve got a difference of at least 4.

        I don’t get the anguish some people display over a difference of one or two.

        • Yeah, there are some pathological ass-hurt audiophiles who do nothing to help the cause. They’re too busy talking about frequencies they can’t possibly hear and have this control-issue over what artists do in the recording process.

          …these are the types who generally moan over such a small difference. Fucking zealots and fetishists who think that analogue tape has some sort of magical properties that can not be captured with modern digital equipment…even at their beloved numbers like “24/192!”

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            Not exactly sure how related this is, but that last part reminded me…
            To hell with (god) everyone who says that all albums sound better on vinyl. Even the ones that were digitally recorded

          • I have many that do but some that don’t. It often just comes down to the playback equipment and simple difference in EQ.

            There’s nothing magic about the medium itself. I love and collect vinyl but, when all things are equal, a CD should be a more accurate representation of what the artist intended.

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    Ea is very good. Ea, lord of the deep. Ea. Ea. Chthulu ftagn

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      Also Trollfest has a sick Britney Spears cover. Toxic, shit’s hilarious.

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      This A Etilla is really murdering. Awesome

  • The whole time I was watching the Trollfest video I kept mouthing the words “what the fuck?”

  • i LOLed so hard at your assessment of @christianmolenaar:disqus!
    cause i knew how much it hurt him to post that Don’t Miss This For Plebs!

  • KJM

    OFF TOPIC: I believe some were wondering what the up coming Opeth tour will be like. Here’s the setlist from the recent London show.

    01. Intro

    02. Eternal Rains Will Come

    03. Cusp Of Eternity

    04. Bleak

    05. The Moor

    06. Advent

    07. Elysian Woes

    08. Windowpane

    09. April Ethereal

    10. The Devils Orchard

    11. The Lotus Eater

    12. The Grand Conjuration

    Encore

    13. Deliverance

    Not bad at all

    • Mikael may be dumb, but he’s not ignorant. he knows to give the masses what they wanna hear: death metal.

      • KJM

        Aw, he’s not dumb, just very very stubborn.

        • he’s not dumb, i’m just butthurt.

      • I don’t want to hear it. I’m far more interested in what he’s doing now.

        • KJM

          At any rate, it looks like this tour will make everybody happy and I may even go see the US tour now despite the lackluster support acts.

          • Yeah, I think he should include songs from his entire discography regardless of the direction. Opeth is Opeth; past or present.

        • i can picture him looking at you in the crowd and winking right before playing Elysian Woes

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0zFBEqCAdj8
    This you shouldn’t miss. Released a while ago, raw but melodic black metal. Love that doom-y intro. Sadly they are no more.

    • Awesome.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Sacrifice from the same album is a killer tune too. A little faster, sorrowful melodies and utter destruction.

        The album was apparently recorded in 2011-2013 but released only now. Seeing as they called it quits before this year.

        • I’m all over it. I only really like BM that sounds like music and has song-structure. This works nicely.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I haven’t checked out the other albums, but I hear they unfortunately suck.

            I’ll making my own mind up only later. But I think this may make my short list

    • Howard Dean

      Great stuff. “Raw but melodic” is really the Finnish black metal trademark sound. This could easily be a track from a lost Horna split.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Have you heard the latest Horna, last year or so? With the new vocalist from Finnish Rammstein

        • Howard Dean

          Not yet. They have one of those massive and sprawling discographies. I just jump in at random spots and listen.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            It was better than I expected (Askel Lähempänä Saatanaa I think was the name). I was positively surprised with the vocalist

  • We’re planning future editions of this feature. Any interest in one that ain’t even a little bit metal?

    • Yes.

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      About a cubic buttload. That is much

    • Howard Dean

      Not even a little bit metal? So we’re planning metalcore and tech death versions?

      I kid, I kid.

    • Tyree

      Don’t miss John Mellencvnt’s new album from this year.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oEquZwvG0k

    • W.

      On a serious note, if you talked about Death Grips and Run the Jewels 2, you would make Ed and me happy lads.

    • KJM

      Yes, especially if it’s Rap/Hip Hop or hard rock.

    • Cock ov Steele

      Stay lo-fi!

    • Stockhausen

      Yes. But it can’t have any clean singing, or clean guitars, or good sounds.

    • yessir

    • JWG

      I’m all for “[not] even a little bit metal”.

      …I don’t think we’ve all missed the latest Opeth album, though.

      • uh-oh, you’re going to rustle the other J_G’s jimmies…

        • JWG

          In fairness, I love it, and I’ve played it tons more than Heritage (which I also like a lot). It’s just not “metal” in any identifiable sense comparing it to current genre trends.
          …Including the other “retro” metal ones.

          • I’m ok with it not being “metal.” There’s quite enough “metal” to choose from these days. Much of it is mediocre-to-shit-tier and/or features the very same-sounding death-vox as a trillion other me-too bands. Schuldiner did it all better over twenty-five years ago.

      • W.
    • JWG

      On a more serious note, I’m intrigued by this because of the range of tunes that are not even a little bit metal which I like.

      I really haven’t paid attention to much other than metal so far in 2014 – unless it fell into an intersection of Canadian Content and not-quite-mainstream rock/pop. And even then, I only got a tiny subset (two albums).

      I wish I’d kept up with the year’s jazz or blues releases, for instance.

      • I’m afraid I don’t know much about jazz or blues but I spend a fair amount of time with pop, rap, and country music. Due to the kinda music I play/folks I hang with I’m pretty deep in independent rock so most of my insight is there.

  • Cock ov Steele

    No need to lift today, all this heavy azz doom shall bestow upon me the same effects.

    • you can skip the cock pushups today.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Never skip thw cock pushups. You’ll never know when a button needs be pressed and the only movable part in your body is the phallos

      • Howard Dean

        “It’s when you fuckin’ lay down on the ground and let your boner lift you up in the air.”

  • Stockhausen

    How have I gone my entire death without knowing TrollfesT. YES.

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    I have now finished that Ea song.
    I did not know a man was capable of having this many fulfillments following becoming erect in this short time

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    toilet doom

    watch the toilet vid—-while listening to the other one

    http://youtu.be/IJrWlHRT-18

    http://youtu.be/DVg2EJvvlF8

  • Mon*Star

    Castle has been one of my most enjoyed finds of the year, and I think her vocals are excellent. She has a very distinct voice, but I don’t believe that makes it bad by any means. She’s hittin’ notes.

  • Call the Slambulance

    This TrollfesT is killer! Also, the video reminds me of a thing from an old CKY tape, so they get brownie points out the wazoo.

  • FuckOffYouFuckingFuck

    Thanks. Now I can’t stop listening to Funeral Doom.