Metal Update – 25 February 2018

Here we go again – no sooner have I posted a news round-up, I have enough material to bring you another. I just love it when the music world gets going at full speed again – around every corner there is a new album announced, new artwork, new snippets of studio happenings or something else to get us salivating and interested.

So without further ado, here I go again…

Kingcrow – The Persistence
Release date: TBC

The minute-long snippet released yesterday of Diego Marchesi singing a new track is the most news we’ve had from the Kingcrow camp for several weeks. Yes it’s frustrating, but I truly believe in this band and I know how good the new album is. So stick with me, this hype is real. However, please enjoy the following track, taken from the fabulous ‘Eidos’, while you wait.

Ihsahn – Amr
Release date: 4 May 2018

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This is one artist that needs no introduction. One third of the mighty Emperor, Ihsahn has gone on to forge an impressive solo career since the demise of the black metal behemoth. And one thing is for sure, the Norwegian artist has never stopped experimenting and pushing at boundaries. It means that each new album brings with it an unusual amount of intrigue and excitement; what will the new material sound like? Where will Ihsahn go this time? Will I like the music he creates? Will I even understand it? These are all questions that cross my mind before hearing a new Ihsahn record for the first time.

If I’m honest, I’ve not liked everything that Ihsahn has recorded. I admire his talents and I commend the guy for moving into unchartered waters, but I like some of his offerings a lot more than others. Nevertheless, I find myself gravitating to each new album like a moth to a flame. With ‘Amr’, I’m already sucked in via the artwork, which is striking, opulent and somewhat unusual to say the least.

The following song taken from ‘Amr’, ‘Arcana Imperii’ has struck a chord with me, meaning that I will be quick to check out the new record when it is released. More weirdness, more strange ideas…but more immediate melodies is what I hear on a first spin or two. Check it out and see what you think.

Kataklysm – Meditations
Release date: April 2018

Kataklysm cover

There is something that I just love about Canadian extreme death metal band Kataklysm. Maybe it’s the sensationally over-the-top yet precise musicianship? Maybe it’s the heaviness of the material? Maybe it is the uncompromising approach of the band as a whole? Maybe it is the killer groove and melody that permeates so much of their music? Or maybe it is all of these and more besides. I just know that I get excited every time there’s news of a new Kataklysm record.

This time is no different. And, according to the press material that accompanied news of a new record (albeit with no exact release date confirmed), ‘Meditations’ is the culmination of all four members coming together to compose the material as a group. I like hearing things like that, because it often means that the result is more representative of the entire band and more honest as a result. I also like it when an album is accompanied by a quote like this one from singer Maurizio Iacono: “This is a very personal album to me with old wounds being revisited – I felt a big urge to pour my soul into this release.” This kind of quote usually means that the album will mean business and if that’s the case, watch out, because Kataklysm on their ‘A’ game is almost certainly going to be a ridiculously intense affair.

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Gazpacho – Soyuz
Release date: May 2018

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I can’t believe that I nearly missed this. News of a new Gazpacho album is another reason to be very cheerful indeed. Some refer to the Norwegian band as neo-prog, others prefer the term ‘experimental rock’, ‘prog’ or ‘art rock’. But whatever pigeonhole you try to force the sextet into, you’re attempting something futile and certainly rather pointless. The fact is that Gazpacho are a law unto themselves, always looking to try new things, experiment with new sounds, textures and musical ideas, usually ensuring each album has a theme or overriding concept.

If I’m honest, I have liked some of Gazpacho’s albums more than others over the years. However, one listen to ‘Soyuz One’ and I am well and truly hooked. The melodies are huge, the tone and vibe to the track is beautifully dark and I love the very occasional moments of increased heaviness thanks to the introduction of properly chunky guitars. When blended with the more introspective and minimalist sections within the track, they create a huge impact.

Suffice to say that if the rest of the album follows a similar path to ‘Soyuz One’, it is possible that ‘Soyuz’, an album that apparently tells tales of people and lives “frozen in time”, could be the best recording of Gazpacho’s career. I suddenly have extremely high expectations for this album. Whilst we await a firm release date, enjoy ‘Soyuz One’:

Dimmu Borgir – Eonian
Release date: 4 May 2018

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After eight years, we have a new song from Dimmu Borgir so I had to include it in my latest round-up. I’m sure you’ve already heard about this and already have your opinions on ‘Interdimensional Summit’. I certainly do. However, in case you’ve been living on the moon over the last few days, here’s the link to the first single taken from ‘Eonian’, due to be released on 4 May 2018:

If you’ve missed any of my other updates in this series during 2018 so far, they can be accessed via the following links.

Metal update – 23 February
Metal update – 21 February
Metal update – 17 February
Metal update – 12 February
Metal update – 6 February

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