IHSAHN: New Album Arktis Set For March 4 Release!

Candlelight Records proudly announces March 4 as the global release date for the sixth solo album from Ihsahn titled Arktis. The album will be available in standard CD, deluxe CD (featuring additional exclusive content), and vinyl formats. The album’s first single, “Mass Darkness,” is released today via iTunes and Amazon. It is available for streaming now via Spotify. Decibel Magazine exclusively presents the Michael Dickinson (Orange Goblin, Gallows) created lyric video for the song available for viewing HERE.

Arktis was recorded at Ihsahn’s studio in Notodden, Norway and was mixed in Sweden by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia). The album features ten songs and is the longest and most spirited of Ihsahn’s solo recordings. It features guest appearances from Einar Solberg (Leprous), Matt Heafy (Trivium), Jorgen Munkeby (Shining), Tobias Ornes Andersen (Shining, ex-Leprous), and renowned Norwegian author Hans Herbjornsrud. Graphic elements for Arktis once again have been provided by award-winning Spanish designer Ritxi Ostariz.

Few artists in modern heavy music have created such an extraordinary and unique body of work as Ihsahn. Having refined and redefined black metal with the now legendary Emperor, Ihsahn is Norway’s foremost musical extremist. He has spent the last decade establishing himself as a fearless and wildly idiosyncratic solo artist and even by his own remarkable standards, Arktis is a bold and mind-blowing step into the unknown. Ihsahn comments, “my focus for this album was to write within more traditional song structures and still give each song a strong individual identity, be that through a re-occurring melody, a chorus, sound design or the good, old guitar riff. I also wanted to explore this on the production side, blending organic rock sounds with more modern expressions.”

The stark visuals utilized in the video for “Mass Darkness” are inspired by late 1800’s Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen. It depicts his famed three-year expedition to the North Pole first by ship and then by foot over land. Ihsahn notes, “the whole atmosphere of facing the cold, immense unknown fits rather good with the general lyrical concept of the entire album. It paints a sense of doubt, hopelessness and frustration yet celebrates curiosity, free will and the choice to avoid conformity. It is, at best, an observance of one’s insignificance in relation to time, nature and space yet each individual’s ability to make things matter even if only to themselves.”

Guitar World Executive Editor Brad Angle calls Ihsahn, one of the most influential, progressive and enduring musicians to emerge out of the classic Norwegian black metal scene.” Loudwire says he is “an elite musician.” Blabbermouth declares him, “an evolutionary wunderkind.” For the 40-year old musician, the global accolades have yet to impact his creativity with each and every album pushing boundaries and preconceived sounds typically assigned to heavy music. With Arktis, he continues his blending of extreme metal and progressive rock that will easily sustain his already massive fanbase while opening even more doors for the humble multi-instrumentalist. Ihsahn says,” with the contributions from several of my talented friends and the incredible mixing skills of Jens Bogren, I feel the end result is just as varied yet cohesive as I hoped for. Actually, I can’t recall having had such a great time making an album before and hopefully that comes across too.”

Arktis full track listing:

  • 1. Disassembled
  • 2. Mass Darkness
  • 3. My Heart is of the North
  • 4. South Winds
  • 5. In the Vaul
  • 6. Until I too Dissolve
  • 7. Pressure
  • 8. Frail
  • 9. Crooked Red Line
  • 10. Celestial Violence

Ihsahn uses Blackstar Amplification, Rotosound, and Steinberg Media Technologies.

 

VISION OF DISORDER: New Track From Forthcoming LP Streaming At Decibel; Razed To The Ground Nears Release

Razed To The Ground is the imminent new full-length from New York City hardcore icons, Vision of Disorder. Set to drop via Candlelight Records on the new street date of November 27th, 2015, Razed To The Ground was captured by Chris “Zeuss” Harris (Hatebreed, Madball, Terror etc), and displays a more refined and matured approach to their sound while musically retaining their signature tension, release and paralyzing grooves, punctuated by a nonstop barrage of dynamic vocal devastation.

As a precursor to its release, today Decibel Magazine strikes with “Electric Sky” at THIS LOCATION.

You can also sample the record’s title track, still playing at Revolver Magazine at THIS LOCATION as well as “Hours In Chaos” at Lambgoat RIGHT HERE.

Razed To The Ground has been reaping critical adulation from critics globally. “The new Vision of Disorder song is riffs on riffs on riffs,” proclaimed Metal Injection upon hearing first single, “Hours In Chaos.” “In Razed To The Ground they have delivered a masterclass in no-nonsense, deftly controlled packets of nervous, furious energy, trimmed of fat and patiently waiting to rip your face off, given half a chance…outstanding,” issues The Monolith. In a near-perfect 4/5 rating, Skulls ‘N’ Bones gushes, “Vision of Disorder have created their masterpiece …an awesome album, front to back.” In an 8/10 review, The Metal Observer concurs, “Razed To The Ground is not only the best Vision of Disorder album since Imprint, but it’s the comeback the fans wanted, and it’s the comeback the band deserved.” Adds Wonderbox Metal of vocalist Tim Williams in particular, “His screaming snarls sound like anger personified and his cleans always have a certain edge to them that make them stand out from most of the more commercial/weak sounding cleans used by a lot of their peers. He’s on top form again on this release and it seems he will never run out of steam… a strong new album from these hardcore stalwarts.”

Forged in 1992, Vision of Disorder recorded three demos and an EP before releasing their self-titled Roadrunner Records debut in 1996. Between 1994 and 1999, the band would see eight additional and now rare recordings as their fan base grew, including a split 7-inch with Loyal To None (Hearsay Records), a split 7-inch with Nanchaku (Dea Records), and the Resurrecting Reality EP (Crisis/Revelation Records) featuring their cover of the Bad Brains classic “Soul Craft.” The band would record a second album for Roadrunner, Imprint (1998), and two additional albums, For The Bleeders (1999, Go Kart Records) and From Bliss To Devastation (2001, TVT Records) before disbanding. By 2008, VOD reunited and began writing new material for the first time in over a decade. They announced their signing with England’s Candlelight Records on February 23rd, 2012. The Cursed Remain Cursed was released six months later.

Razed To The Ground pre-orders are currently available at THIS LOCATION.

 

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: The Accuser Streaming At Decibel; Record To See Release TOMORROW Through Candlelight Records

“The Accuser cements Abigail Williams’ status as one of the great American black metal bands, capable of crafting challenging yet rewarding music that rocks as much as it is thoughtful…4/5″ – New Noise Magazine

With its official unveiling now less than twenty-four hours away, today Decibel Magazine spews forth Abigail Williams’ The Accuser in its menacing entirety.

Continuing to reap the critical hails of media critics globally, in a recent 4/5 review, New Noise Magazine notes, “Over the past two records, the band has been producing some of the best, most daring American black metal around… The Accuser cements Abigail Williams’ status as one of the great American black metal bands, capable of crafting challenging yet rewarding music that rocks as much as it is thoughtful… Abigail Williams has written possibly its best work yet.” The Metal Observer gave the record a 9/10 score crowning it, “the best release in the band’s career, and certainly one worthy of multiple spins.” In another near-perfect 4/5 rating, Heavy Blog Is Heavy asserts, “The atmosphere is a dense wall of noise that turns the tremolo-picked riffs and blastbeats of opener ‘Path Of Broken Glass’ into chaotic drones that keep in step with the burgeoning USBM movement and allows for spacious moments of melodic introspection on the brilliant and vaguely Earth-like closer ‘Nuummite,’ which utilizes brooding cleans and a sparse psychedelic and Western-sounding guitar work. There’s a tug-of-war dynamic that plays out here that begins with a maddening confrontational approach that eventually erodes into something more sensitive and emotional as melody and negative space gradually become incorporated into each track as the album progresses.”

Get grim with The Accuser, now playing at Decibel at THIS LOCATION.

And if you missed it, view the band’s twisted Mike Dickinson-directed “Nuummite” video still available at Cvlt Nation at THIS LOCATION.

Fronted by founding vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron (ex-Lord Mantis), Abigail Williams now features guitarist Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Chrome Waves, Doomsday, La Chant Funebre), and drummer Charlie Fell (Cobalt, ex-Lord Mantis, ex-Avichi) with recording bassist Will Lindsay (Indian, Lord Mantis, Anatomy Of Habit) and live bassist Micah Leonetti (Wolvhammer). Captured in just five days by Sorceron at the band’s home studio in Olympia, Washington, the eight-track offering is fittingly bleak, dark, nihilistic and infinitely engrossing and features a guest appearance by Neill Jameson (Krieg, Twilight) as well as the psychedelic cover craftings of Portland-based illustrator/tattoo artist, Stevie Floyd (Dark Castle, Taurus).

Abigail Williams’ The Accuser will see release on October 30th via Candlelight Records. For CD preorders go HERE and for digital orders go HERE.

 

BIO-CANCER: Greek Thrashers Tour Europe With Marduk In October!

BraveWords.com says, “The band exudes confidence and passion with an authentic, old-school sound while injecting a fresh approach with youthful exuberance.” New Noise Magazine adds that vocalist, “Lefteris’ phenomenal vocals totally destroy on every single bar. He is just a non-stop wrecking machine of potent energy coming at you.”

The band’s sophomore album, Tormenting the Innocent, was released late March. Mixed by Andy Claussen (Destruction / Krisiun), it features art by Andrei Bouzikov (Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust). With already 20,000 views of an early video from the album (“Bulletproof”), there is a growing buzz for their towering sound.

Tormenting the Innocent is the first worldwide release for the young five-piece and follows their 2012 self-released debut Ear Piercing Thrash. The band has shared the stage with Sodom, Onslaught, Rotting Christ, Xentrix, Artillery, & more.

If you missed checking out Tormenting the Innocent before, now is the time. Order now from Manic Music Online (HERE). Interviews with the band are available.

 

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: Tour Starts Today!

With Abigail Williams nearing the recording completion of their forthcoming new album, the band has announced a West Coast tour. Set to kick off today, July 11, the tour will hit fourteen cities before its completion in Seattle on July 27. The tour announcement follows the recent release of the special 4-disc collection, From Legend To Becoming (Candlelight) available now in stores nationwide. The limited edition collection includes the band’s three full-length albums, 2008’s In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns, 2010’s In The Absence Of Light, 2012’s Becoming, plus their debut EP, Legend.

“After a year off from touring and working on our new record, we are looking forward to getting in the van again,” says vocalist/guitarist Sorceron. Continuing he notes, “we will be playing lots of new material from the upcoming release as well as our favorites from the past.”

Sorceron has been keeping busy the last year working on new material for Abigail Williams as well participating in other recording projects – Lord Mantis, Missing – and serving as producer and engineer on other recordings. He premiered early versions of two songs expected to appear on the new album via No Clean Singing last winter. “Musically this album is very diverse,” he said. “the overall vibe is way more negative compared to our last album. Artistically this is the best line-up I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.”

The complete listing of dates are:

  • 7/11 – Fruitdale Grange, Grants Pass OR
  • 7/12 – Starlite Lounge, Sacramento CA
  • 7/13 – Elbo Room, San Francisco CA
  • 7/14 – Complex, Los Angeles CA
  • 7/15 – Brick By Brick, San Diego CA
  • 7/16 – Yucca Tap Room, Phoenix AZ
  • 7/17 – The Jam Spot, Albuqueque NM
  • 7/18 – Bushwacker’s, Denver CO
  • 7/19 – Area 51, Salt Lake City UT
  • 7/20 – The Shredder, Boise ID
  • 7/23 – Obsidian, Olympia WA
  • 7/25 – Hindenburg, Vancouver BC
  • 7/26 – The Pin, Spokane WA
  • 7/27 – Studio Steven, Seattle WA

Abigail Williams’ as-yet-untitled new album is expected for an autumn release. Songs from the band are featured on Candlelight’s latest Top Tunes playlist available on Spotify. Listen HERE.

 

DECOMPOSED: Hope Finally Died Set For Reissue

A truly forgotten gem of UK doom/death will be reissued on August 21. Originally released in 1993, Hope Finally Died is the full length debut by the South London four-piece. Metal Ireland notes, “if there was ever a lost classic screaming to be brought back to the public’s attention this is it.” Decibel Magazine, who will host a full stream of the album beginning August 17, calls it “a lost gem that stands tall along side the ‘Big Three’ of British death/doom.”

One of the first album’s released by a then fledgling new English label (Candlelight Records), Hope Finally Died was pressed only once making it unavailable for well over a decade. Ebay and Discogs currently list original pressings of the seven-song album for $150 or more. The album was recorded over the course of seven days mid-April 1993 at West Midlands-based Rhythm Studios; also the birth place of Cathedral’s Forest Of Equilibrium, Solitude Aeturnus’s Through The Darkest Hour, and Electric Wizard’s Come My Fanatics. Its release came during the genre’s most prolific period; My Dying Bride’s breakthru Turn Loose The Swans (called “Bram Strokers Dracula to the ears” by Rolling Stone) and Anathema’s Serenades saw release the same year (Paradise Lost’s classic Gothic release two years prior).

Winterfylleth bassist Nick Wallwork includes Hope Finally Died in his Top Ten death/doom albums for MetalGig. He recalls, “its one of the earliest releases on Candlelight (candle003 no less). I was first made aware due to a name drop on the inner sleeve of Anathema’s Serenades. Looking at the cover art I was prepared for maybe another emotive melodic doom experience but what I got was very different. This is deathly doom metal of the highest order.”

The reissue, featuring artwork as it was originally intended by the band, comes at the perfect time with Paradise Lost having recently released their fourteenth album, The Plague Within (“the genre is finally getting its day in the sun,” – Metal Injection), and My Dying Bride’s new album, Feel The Misery, set for release early autumn.

Track listing for Hope Finally Died:
1. Inscriptions
2. Taste The Dying
3. Falling Apart
4. At Rest
5. Instrumental
6. Procession
7. (Forever) Lying In State

The band, vocalist/bassist Harry Armstrong, guitarists James Ogawa and Pete Snasdell, with drummer Tim Spear, recorded four demos between 1990 and 1992 before setting to work recording what would be their first and final album. Recently, Armstrong was one of 52 riders that made a 161-mile charity bike ride from London to Donington last month. Heavy Metal Truants was founded by Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood and has to date raised more than 175,000 pounds ($280,000 USD) since its formation. The monies raised benefit The Nordoff Robbins Foundation; a UK-based charity that uses music to transform the lives of those struggling with the challenges of autism, dementia, metal health and more. This year’s riders also included English Dogs guitarist Gizz Butt and Paradise Lost guitarist Aaron Aedy. Donations can still be made at https://www.justgiving.com/Heavy-Metal-Truants/.

Pre-order Hope Finally Died now on Candlelight’s official webstore or at the label’s official Bandcamp page. iTunes and Amazon pre-order will launch July 31.

 

OPIUM LORD: East Coast Tour With Primitive Man

The Birmingham-based five-piece will do a quick East Coast run of dates with friends in Primitive Man starting July 16 in Kalamazoo. Metal Temple declares, “Eye Of Earth brings the heaviness in a way that all fans of doom can appreciate.” The Sludge Lord proclaims, “straddling that line between doom and sludge that makes the doom nastier and psyches the sludge out, Opium Lord hit the sweet spot.”

Official dates are:

  • 7/16 – Louie’s Trophy House, Kalamazoo MI
  • 7/17 – Coalition, Toronton ON
  • 7/18 – Le Ritz, Montreal QC
  • 7/19 – Middle East, Cambridge MA
  • 7/20 – Funky Jungle, Providence RI
  • 7/21 – Sinclair’s Pub, W. Babylon NY
  • 7/22 – Bar, New Haven CT
  • 7/23 – St. Vitus, Brooklyn NY
  • 7/24 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia PA
  • 7/25 – Ace Of Cups, Columbus OH
 

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: Announce July Tour

With Abigail Williams nearing the recording completion of their forthcoming new album, the band has announced a West Coast tour. Set to kick off July 11, the tour will hit 14 cities before its completion in Seattle on July 27. The tour announcement follows the recent release of the special 4-disc collection, From Legend To Becoming (Candlelight) available now in stores nationwide. The limited edition collection includes the band’s three full-length albums, 2008’s In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns, 2010’s In The Absence Of Light, 2012’s Becoming, plus their debut EP, Legend.

“After a year off from touring and working on our new record, we are looking forward to getting in the van again,” says vocalist/guitarist Sorceron. Continuing he notes, “we will be playing lots of new material from the upcoming release as well as our favorites from the past.”

Sorceron has been keeping busy the last year working on new material for Abigail Williams as well participating in other recording projects – Lord Mantis, Missing – and serving as producer and engineer on other recordings. He premiered early versions of two songs expected to appear on the new album via No Clean Singing last winter. “Musically this album is very diverse,” he said. “the overall vibe is way more negative compared to our last album. Artistically this is the best line-up I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.”

The complete listing of dates are:

  • 7/11 – Fruitdale Grange, Grants Pass OR
  • 7/12 – Starlite Lounge, Sacramento CA
  • 7/13 – Elbo Room, San Francisco CA
  • 7/14 – Complex, Los Angeles CA
  • 7/15 – Brick By Brick, San Diego CA
  • 7/16 – Yucca Tap Room, Phoenix AZ
  • 7/17 – The Jam Spot, Albuqueque NM
  • 7/18 – Bushwacker’s, Denver CO
  • 7/19 – Area 51, Salt Lake City UT
  • 7/20 – The Shredder, Boise ID
  • 7/23 – Obsidian, Olympia WA
  • 7/25 – Hindenburg, Vancouver BC
  • 7/26 – The Pin, Spokane WA
  • 7/27 – Studio Steven, Seattle WA

Abigail Williams still untitled new album is expected for an autumn release. Songs from the band are featured on Candlelight’s latest Top Tunes playlist available on Spotify. Listen HERE.

 

CROWN: Decibel Magazine Premieres New Song

Natron, the sophomore album from France’s CROWN, is set to hit North American stores on August 21. Decibel Magazine today officially streams the album’s first song, “Serpents.” Pre-order for the album via Candlelight’s official webstore and Bandcamp page is available now with ITunes and Amazon pre-orders beginning July 31.

Discussing the song, “most people on this planet are hiding their true personality or more precisely their soul behind an invisible veil. They build this veil in an effort to protect themselves from reality or each other,” says guitarist/vocalist Stephane Azam. “’Serpents’ represents this very human habit and details how in doing so, it drives us to a darker side of our soul; we become shrouded from everything including ourselves.”

Alcest vocalist Neige contributes to “Serpents” while Khvost from Grave Pleasures (formerly Beastmilk), and Frederyk Rotter of label mates Zatokrev also enrich Natron’s unique sound. “Neige also appears on the song ‘Wings Beating Over Heaven with Michiel Eikenaar/of Nihill,’” confirms Azam.

Hissing electronics, charging guitars, and splashing cymbals of a minimal yet completely effective drum machine, CROWN’s sound is further emboldened by a massive, oppressive bestial roar. Describing the band’s caustic music, Ave Noctum notes, “if Front 242 had been formed by members of Neurosis and Isis with lead weights chained to the guitar strings.. good. Very good.” “Nearly every song pounds with the thunder of Neurosis, Cult Of Luna, or Batillus; yet I’m also hearing some recognizable Godflesh as an influence which should certainly speak to some,” comments New Noise Magazine.

Natron will impact national metal radio on August 11. Nick Simone of award winning promotion company The Music Syndicate will be in charge of the radio campaign that begins this weekend with “Serpent” being serviced to radio in advance of album’s forthcoming release. “Terrifying-absolutely terrifying,” notes Simone. “That sums up my thoughts on the band pretty succinctly, I think.”

CROWN will tour Europe with Agalloch beginning July 28 in Berlin and ending August 24 in Greece.

 

DEMON LUNG: A Dracula In Stores Today

Tracked by legendary soundsmith, Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Zoroaster, Eyehategod, Taurus, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth etc.), A Dracula delivers eight dark, menacing psalms of sin loosely based on Juan López Moctezuma’s 1977 horror film, Alucarda in which two teenage orphan girls living in a Catholic convent unleash a demonic force and ultimately become possessed by Satan.

Already reaping the approvals of media outlets nationally and abroad, Doom Metal Heaven names the latest DEMON LUNG platter, “a consistently engaging and mesmerizing work of creative misery,” The Sludgelord notes, “A Dracula is a record that screams of heaviness, but it also provides a sonic abyss that allows listeners to get lost in its depth and undercurrent,” while Nefarious Realm champions, “a massive record full of monumental riffs, an impressive rhythm section, and a voice full of soul…by far one of the best releases of the year.” Meat Mead And Metal celebrates a production that, “scratches every damn doom itch,” and is, “blisteringly fun but also richly mind-altering, like you’re being beaten alive as drugs paralyze your system,” naming DEMON LUNG, “one of doom’s most exciting new bands.” Metal Insider concurs, “they’ve not only avoided the dreaded sophomore slump on their newest opus, but they’ve kicked it in the nuts and pushed it off a cliff…You’d be hard-pressed to find a better soundtrack this year for gratuitous amounts of blood, and sadistic hedonism… If they were any heavier, any more smothering, the Earth would open and swallow you whole.”

A Dracula comes nearly two years to the date from the successful release of the band’s critically-lauded, 2013-released The Hundredth Name. Media applauded the band, especially vocalist Shanda Fredrick with Decibel Magazine gushing, “She emerges like a high empress, adding real soul to the quintet’s lurch.” A Dracula will be released via Candlelight Records on June 29th, 2015 with additional tour dates to be be announced shortly.

 

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