New Music Roundup Again: Steven Wilson, Archgoat, Skelethal, Satan’s Host, Usnea & Ascension


Two roundups in one week? Do you see the hours I put in for you? My schoolwork suffers, my poor wife feels neglected, and I seldom get around to taking my bi-monthly shower anymore. But the gratifying thought of even one of your precious little heads banging along to one of these songs makes it all worth it.

Let’s get to it, then.

I’m not going to fawn over Steven Wilson every time his name is mentioned, no matter how much my body is telling me to. Plus, I’ve already done it here and here. Still, you should probably know that the second installment of Lasse Hoile’s series of Steven and the band recording at AIR Studios has been released. Like the last video, this studio update doesn’t disappoint. You’ll hear new music from the album and some interesting commentary about the inspiration behind it and its driving concept. Just like the rest of the 1,275,875,431 concept albums he’s been a part of, the story is sad as shit. So go figure. Check it out below. As far as I know, the album is yet unnamed and unscheduled, but we’re to expect it early next year. PS — Guthrie Govan’s beard is just awful.

Finland’s imaginary legends ov non-imaginary war metal Archgoat just released a new song that’s actually called “Nuns, Cunts & Darkness.” In no way is the name a joke, which is, ironically, exactly what makes it so funny (much like their age-old demo… wait for it… Penis Perversor). My dear mother always told me that you’re never too kvlt to laugh at the word penis. “Nuns, Cunts & Darkness” is from their upcoming release The Apocalyptic Triumphator, which is set for release through Debemur Morti Productions on January 26th of next year. It’s oppressive, it’s raw, it’s bestial, it’s all those other overused words associated with this type of black/death. Imagine what a song called “Nuns, Cunts & Darkness” might sound like. It’s probably this exact song. You get blasting drums, muddy riffs, demonikk hellburps, and funeral bell tolls. It’s gnarly.

Would this be a roundup without a band on Iron Bonehead Productions? Technically yes. But it wouldn’t be a very good one now would it? Skelethal released their first LP (Deathmanicvs Revelation) in April and they’ve already got a new EP (Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity) planned for released before the year is over (November 28th, to be exact). Skelethal does a damn good job at reminding me why the oldschool Swedish death metal revival is one that I can get behind, one grimy and impossibly catchy riff after the other. CVLTNation premiered the first track from the new EP a few days ago. It’s an atmospheric intro track, so releasing it kind of seems like a weird move. But check this out: Skelethal has the second song streaming on their Bandcamp, and I’m going to put them together for you. I’m going to pamper you like the princes and princess(es) you are. Where else are you going to get this sort of treatment?

Satan’s Host have had a weird career. Apparently they formed way before my time in 1977 and didn’t release a single thing until Harry “Tyrant” Conklin joined in 1986 (after contributing vocals to one of the greatest heavy metal albums ever made and subsequently leaving Jag Panzer). They released Metal from Hell (now a USPM staple), then broke up. Then their guitarist reformed the band with a new lineup. Then, Harry Conklin rejoined in 2011. And here we are. Satan’s Host play an ever-shifting blend of no-frills power metal with some blackened/deathened influence. It’s power metal for those who prefer black knight’s armor to silver and would rather sacrifice a horse to Satan than train it for LARPing. Last year’s Virgin Sails was killer and I urge you to check it out. Now they’re planning to release a 80+ minute double LP in early 2015 entitled Pre-Dating God. If you can stomach what may be the worst video ever created, you can hear a preview of the music. Old people, dude…

Our very own SMOHLG turned me on (to this next one). Usnea is late to the Doom party this year, but they’re making up for their lack of punctuality with real quality. Random Cosmic Violence is out via Relapse Records on November 10th, and missing it would be a mistake. Unless for some reason you don’t like having your entire world crushed to dust by sludgy funeral death doom. There’s striking disparity between the mournful, lamenting dirges and the devastating heavy passages, but it all flows together with the cohesion necessary to really draw you into the slow-moving storm. They’ve got two tracks streaming on Bandcamp. Here they are.

*If you like what you hear, you can stream the entire album over at Stereogum. I recommend that you do this.*

Let’s close things out with some orthodox black metal from Germany. Very recently, Ascension was picked up by Season of Mist, who will now be releasing the band’s upcoming full-length The Dead of the World on December 24th. Yesterday they released a video for the album’s first single, “Deathless Light” (also featured on a recently released EP of the same name). The song kicks off at pretty high speeds but eventually settles into the smoldering, mid-paced seethe that’s become their métier. Slowing things down and allowing the music to breathe, brood, and build steeps the music in a rare type of darkness that the stubbornly everblasting black metal bands never touch on; cold-blooded, deliberate, ritualistically focused. Think Ofermod or Ondskapt. Listen below. Summon something.

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  • God

    So since satans host is blackened power metal, does that make me TRVE and a poser at the same time because I love them?

    • It makes you doubly trve.

      • God

        It better! Virgin sails was a beast of an album.

    • Riotact ov Steele!

      You being God and all, you’re supposed to be all things, so, innately you were always TRVE and a poser at the same time.

  • DubyAct666

    That Skelethal artwork is pretty sweet.

  • Tyree

    Archgoat, Ascension, Skelethal, & Usnea >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • DubyAct666

      Where’s your 666, Riotsoldier?

      • Meehoineyhoin666Riot

        TyreeAct666, Mark of The The Riot

    • DubyAct666
    • The Riot Ov Hell666

      Archgoat makes my kvlt stick rise.

  • Skelethal and Archgoat made my dick spin in the best of ways.

    • DubyAct666

      I think there’s a website that counts that sort of thing.

  • Nordriot Act 666

    Archgoat is as good as ever, if not quite dirty enough. Usnea are very good too. Ascension I would like to like but I don’t too much.

    • Ty-FreeWillyAct666

      Have you ever seen Archgoat in concert?

      • Meehoineyhoin666Riot

        I wanna see Pissgrave in concert and I want them to release music digitally, i.e. not cassette only.

        • Ty-FreeWillyAct666

          I could not agree more.

      • Nordriot Act 666

        No, But I’m thinking about seeing them in a couple of weeks.

        • Ty-FreeWillyAct666

          DO IT!!!!! You are lucky to have them in your country.

          • Nordriot Act 666

            I will eventually have to see them so I might.

  • Nordriot Act 666

    Does anyone here care for Barathrum? Because they are sort of releasing their first album since 2005 this year.

  • “Just like the rest of the 1,275,875,431 concept albums he’s been a part of, the story is sad as shit” – TRUE WORDS… i don’t know how Wilson can create beautiful melodic songs with so many sad and spooky lyrics!…

    • DubyAct666

      Hello Riotlink LeonAct 666!

    • Here’s something relevant from a documentary film about Insurgentes:

      “The suffering or the bad memories are as important as the good memories, and the good experiences. If you sort of, can imagine life as being 99% of the time quite linear, and most of the time you’re in a state of neither happiness nor sadness. And then that 1% of the time you experience moments of very crystalised happiness, or crystalised sadness, or loneliness or depression. And I believe all of those moments are very pertinant. It’s like I said to you, that for me it’s mostly those crystalised moments of melancholy which are more inspirational to me. And in a strange way they become quite beautiful in their own way. Music that is sad, melancholic, depressing, is in a kind of perverse way more uplifting. I find happy music extremely depressing, mostly – mostly quite depressing. It’s particularly this happy music that has no spirituality behind it – if it’s just sort of mindless party music, it’d be quite depressing. But largely speaking, I was the kind of person that responds more to melancholia, and it makes me feel good. And I think the reason for this is, I think if you respond strongly to that kind of art, it’s because in a way it makes you feel like you’re not alone. So when we hear a very sad song, it makes us realise that we do share this kind of common human experience, and we’re all kind of bonded in sadness and melancholia and depression.”

      • Thanks for sharing this, bro. That was beautiful and means a lot!.. Everyone told me that my taste for melancholic and nostalgic music is threatening for my mental states.. But, i’m fact, i’m very melancholic and nostalgic by myself; so, it’s not harm for me to hear it, I think.. Everyone finds their own voice..

    • GuacamoleAct666

      That dude is unhappy. Luckily for us, his angst bleeds over into beautiful music. There’s an amazing quote by Kierkegaard that says it in a way no-one else could:
      “What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…. And people flock around the poet and say: ‘Sing again soon’ – that is, ‘May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.”

      • i just want more Porcupine Tree. steven wasn’t the only amazing musician in the band.

        • GuacamoleAct666

          Oh, I agree 100%. I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I felt his solo work to be too unfocussed, too self indulgent. Porcupine Tree was a great group because the units came together under his leadership in a way that was unparalleled, but without that focus, he seems a little aimless. That being said, his solo work is getting better and better with each release.

          • The Raven and the other long name’s album is terrific.. Luminol bass line is HEAVENLY MADE!

          • GuacamoleAct666

            Agreed. Luminol and Drive Home are amazing tunes, but after that the record started to lose my interest.

          • I sensed in that way, too. But, to me, it’s a more fun listen that their first solo album. And, EHEM….. Blackfield :/

          • Nine Inch Males

            To each his own, but on the first listen I found each song to be better than the last. Later on favorites started to form, but I thought it was one of the most captivating albums I’ve ever heard.

          • GuacamoleAct666

            That’s totally fair. I know I’m going to be in the minority here, but I like what I like.

      • you deserve all the money that Kierkegaard didn’t gained..

        It’s like the 80 % of the lyrics in the In Absentia record.. Take for example Gravity Eyelids.. Beautiful song.. But the lyrics… So wrong.. 🙁

  • JWG

    I feel like I missed something here. I should get my ‘Act’ together.

    …maybe later though. I won’t really be awake until mid-afternoon (day off yay).

  • There’s also a new mors principum est song:

  • Mr.CustodialArts

    USNEA were mentioned somewhere else today, but all the flushing proved distracting…I will investigate deeper in the BOWL.


    I woke up with NEW MILLENIUM CYANIDE CHRIST in my head this morning (usually the way I choose drive time commute riffage) but then STREETSIDE popped into my head (fuckin’ WINO, man!), which reminded me of how I discovered THE OBSESSED in the first place-by opening a CHURCH WITHIN cassette at a flea market and reading the band’s THANK YOU list (they thanked FUGAZI, so I was IN), which made me think of all this BANDCAMP business and the speed at which we discover/absorb music these days…which made me think of the TOILET as I scrubbed my sac in the shower.

    • DubyAct666

      I feel honored to be thought of at such a vulnerable and personal time for you.

    • Riotockhausact 666

      That was quite the sentence!

  • Stockhausen

    “Technically yes” made me laugh. It’s the little things, man.

  • Ty-FreeBeerAct666

    Looking forward to seeing this sitting at my front door. Hopefully Disqus doesn’t fuck me over with my attached picture.

    • Saying hopefully disqus doesn’t fuck me over anything is pretty much asking it to fuck you over.

    • Riot PhoenixAct 666

      I really want to get this off Bandcamp. But I’ve already purchased a lot of stuff over the last couple of days. We’ll see.

      Also, dat vinyl >>>>>>>>

  • Riotockhausact 666

    Holy handbaskets, I’m excited for the new Steven Wilson album.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    amazing music—royal truth–

    as the world struggles to catch up to the true arts—-

    a combination from all corners of the world

    and those that were supposed to left behind

    and the false gods fall to pieces

    and cry out—as they wait to cross into actualized

    historic genius and spectral light

    watch this video of two turtles fucking–while listening to the 2nd one (both full vol)

  • Oh snap, new Steven Wilson. Noice.

  • Ah… This is better.

  • GuppusmaximusAct666

    When someone can manipulate the guitar the way Guthrie can then they can have any kind of beard they want. I mean, he could have a beard that’s also his hair and back to a beard again (picture: circular comb-over).

  • PrincePoopyPanties

    Didn’t we already get the new Steve Wilson CD when the new Opeth came out?