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Knowing full well that if their identities were to be revealed, a prison sentence at the very least, and maybe even death penalty at worst would be the end result, Al-Namrood, the three piece black metal band from Saudi Arabia, have made no concessions. A group of three non-believers in a country governed by religion; artists honing forbidden crafts; black metallers who in the public eye might as well be black sorcerers. The ultimate musical rebels. To find out more about this obscure and mystical band, who defy all social norms in their country of birth, read the short interview below, conducted via e-mail about a week ago. Starting from today, the 28th of August, Sputnik can also host the video premiere for Al-Namrood’s song “Hayat Al Khezea,” which is from their upcoming album Diaji Al Joor, that will be out on November 27th, 2015 via Canadian-based label Shaytan Productions. The music video is the first ever for Al-Namrood.

So is Al-Namrood literally the only band from Saudi Arabia releasing metal music, or are there other really underground groups as well, who are quietly doing similar things to you guys?

There is a lot of talk on this matter, but we don’t notice any real activity from musicians going on here. While it is mentioned on some website that we have over 20 bands in the country, I question how many of them are really active or still exist. This is worth pointing out…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 28th 2015. All dates are for physical U.S. releases unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ahab – The Boats Of The Glen Carrig (Napalm Records)
Beach House – Depression Cherry (Sub Pop Records) – Rudy K.
Cold Showers – Matter Of Choice (Dais Records)
Defeater – Abandoned (Epitaph)
Destroyer – Poison Season (Merge Records)
Drinks – Hermits On Holiday (Birth Records)
Foals – What Went Down (Warner Bros.)
The Fratellis – Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied (Cooking Vinyl/MRI Entertainment)
Frog Eyes – Pickpocket’s Locket (Paper Bag)
Grandchildren – Zuni (Ernest Jenning)
I See Stars – Phases (Sumerian Records)
The Jet Age – Destroy.Rebuild (Sonic Boomerang Records)
Kahn, Commodo & Gantz – Vol. 1 (Deep Medi Musik)
Liam Corcoran – ROM-DROM (Fontana North)
Mike Krol – Turkey (Merge Records)
Monk Parker – How The Spark Loves The Tinder (Bronzerat Records)
Motörhead – Bad Magic (UDR)
Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed (Nuclear Blast)
Pentagram – Curious Volume (Peaceville Records)
Silicon – Personal Computer (Weird World)
Soilwork – The Ride Majestic (Nuclear Blast)
Stolen Jars – Kept (Self-released) [Digital Only]
Tad Morose – St. Demonius (Despotz Records)
Tamaryn – Cranekiss (Mexican Summer)
Tijuana Panthers – Poster (Innovative Leisure)
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness (Republic)
Willis Earl Beal – Nocturnes (Tender Loving Empire)
Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That…

There has been quite a pleasant number of interesting Estonian releases this year, for myself at least. White Sparks released an excellent space-themed album called Dark Matter Halo, Paean have refined their prog/death metal sound with Scorn of Eternity and are quickly reaching new heights, Okym Riim just dropped a collection of some real fine hip hop songs on us, Süngehel have finally managed to release their debut album Necromantic Blood, which is full of blasphemous black metal, Epp Kõiv has a nice, varied electronica album out in Heas Mõttes, and Avoid Dave have got the neo-soul corner on lockdown in Estonia with Insert Title. One artist who I didn’t mention in that line, but definitely belongs there as well, is Mauno Meesit, the man behind the synthpop project Sinine, who decided to close his laptop and strum on his guitar instead during the last few years. His new album, and acoustic debut by the name of Closer, is definitely one of the finest Estonian releases of 2015, and probably one of the hardest to categorize as well. By saying it’s an acoustic album, I’m actually saying very little about it. Hence why I got in touch with Mauno some time ago to let him properly introduce us to Closer, and what it’s all about. Take a look.

Hey Mauno! How is the summer so far?

Hi there! I just moved back to Estonia after living in Berlin for the last…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 21st, 2015. All dates are for physical U.S. releases unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adrien Reju – Strange Love And The Secret Language (Zip Records)
Battlecross – Rise To Power (Metal Blade)
Bon Jovi – Burning Bridges (Mercury Records)
Briana Marela – All Around Us (Jagjaguwar)
Carly Rae Jepsen – E·MO·TION (Silent Records/Giant Little Man)
Cocksure – Corporate Sting (Metropolis Records)
Disturbed – Immortalized (Reprise) – Irving Tan
Gardens & Villa – Music For Dogs (Secretly Canadian Records)
Ghost – Meliora (Loma Vista) – Jom
Hate Eternal – Infernus (Season Of Mist)
Jordin Sparks – Right Here, Right Now (RAL)
Kadavar – Berlin (Nuclear Blast)
Kip Moore – Wild Ones (MCA Nashville)
Method Man – The Meth Lab (Tommy Boy Entertainment/LLC)
The Murder Of My Sweet – Beth Out Of Hell (Belle Antique)
Myrkur – M (Relapse)
Noah Gundersen – Carry The Ghost (Dualtone Music)
P.O.D. – The Awakening (T-Boy Records/UMe)
Paul Smith & The Intimations – Contradictions (PIAS)
Publicist UK – Forgive Yourself (Relapse)
Racoon Bandit – Close Your Eyes (Self-Released)
Radkey – Dark Black Makeup (+180 Records)
Rivers Of Nihil – Monarchy (Metal Blade)
The Road Chief – All My Love (Cascine)
Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown (Atlantic)
Royal Headache – High (What’s Your Rupture)
Salvador Santana – Fantasy Reality (Various Music)
Sarah McQuaid – Walking…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 14th, 2015. All dates are for physical U.S. releases unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Bullet For My Valentine – Venom (RCA)
Don Broco – Automatic (Search & Destroy Records)
Gangrene – You Disgust Me (Mass Appeal Records)
The Good Life – Everybody’s Coming Down (Saddle Creek Records)
Grace Potter – Midnight (Hollywood Records)
Melanie Martinez – Cry Baby (Atlantic)
New Politics – Vikings (Warner Bros.)
Pat Green – Home (Greenhorse Music)
Pete Nolan – Easy (Arbitrary Signs)
Stray From The Path – Subliminal Criminals (Sumerian Records)
Soulfly – Archangel (Nuclear Blast)
Teen Daze – Morning World (Paper Bag)


Album Streams:

Bullet For My Valentine – Venom

Grace Potter – Midnight

Soulfly – Archangel

Teen Daze – Morning World

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 7th, 2015. All dates are for physical U.S. releases unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alessandro Cortini – Risveglio (Hospital Productions)
Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (Metal Blade)
Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss (Sargent House)
Craig Marshall – After All (Big Ticket Records)
Deaf Wish – Pain (Sub Pop Records)
Dr. Dre – Compton (Aftermath) [Digital Only]
Enabler – Fail To Feel Safe (Century Media)
Fear Factory – Genexus (Nuclear Blast) – Trey Spencer
Frank Turner – Positive Songs For Negative People (Interscope)
Georgia – Georgia (Domino Recording Company)
Golden Rules – Golden Ticket (Lex Records)
HEALTH – Death Magic (Loma Vista) – Rudy K.
I Am The Albatross – Lonesome Son (Rail Rider)
Iris DeMent – Trackless Woods (Flariella Records)
Joe Plummer – Built In Sun (People In A Position To Know Records)
Krisiun – Forged In Fury (Century Media)
La Luz – Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art)
LHF – For The Thrown (Keysound Recordings) [Vinyl Only]
Luke Bryan – Kill The Lights (Capitol Nashville)
The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It (Caroline Records)
Mac DeMarco – Another One (Captured Tracks)
Miss May I – Deathless (Rise Records)
The Mynabirds – Lovers Know (Saddle Creek Records)
Never Shout Never – Black Cat (Warner Bros.)
Night Beds – Ivywild (Dead Oceans)
The Phoenix Foundation – Give Up…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 31st, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Albert Hammond, Jr. – Momentary Masters (Vagrant)
Camera Shy – Camera Shy (Run For Cover Records)
CFCF – Radiance And Submission (Driftless Recordings)
Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ (New West Records)
Elbow – Lost Worker Bee (Polydor) – Irving Tan
Gunplay – Living Legend (Def Jam)
Insane Clown Posse – Marvelous Missing Link (Psychopathic)
Joss Stone – Water For Your Soul (Kobalt)
Kataklysm – Of Ghosts And Gods (Nuclear Blast US)
Knuckle Puck – Copacetic (Rise Records)
Lianne La Havas – Blood (Nonesuch)
Migos – Yung Rich Nation (300 Entertainment)
Mocky – Key Change (Heavy Sheet)
Ricardo Donoso – Machine To Machine (Denovali)
The Strypes – Little Victories (Virgin EMI)
Teenage Time Killers – Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Rise Records)
Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy (Merge Records) – SowingSeason
Xandria – Fire & Ashes (Napalm Records)


Album Streams:

Lianne La Havas – Blood

Migos – Yung Rich Nation

Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy


SputnikMusic’s Most Played Artists of the Week (according to Last.FM):

Staff :

1. Jamie xx
2. Electrosoul System
3. Carly Rae Jepsen
4. Faith No More
5. Cradle Of Filth
6. Ben Howard
7. Florence + The Machine
8. Modest Mouse
9. mewithoutYou

As we inch closer and closer to Meliora’s release date, Ghost continue to share studio versions of some of the record’s forthcoming tracks. “Cirice” and “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” have been the first songs released by the Swedish occult outfit, and several live recordings of “Majesty” have been posted online, but the newest studio offering for streaming comes in the form of “Absolution”.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Ghost – “Absolution” (04:51)

Meliora is slated for an August 21st release, and pre-orders are available through Kings Road Merch here.

“Black to the Future” Fall 2015 tour dates (Purson will serve as the opening act):

09/22 Washington, DC – The Fillmore
09/23 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
09/25 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
09/26 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
09/27 New York, NY – Terminal 5
09/28 Boston, MA – House Of Blues
09/30 Montreal, QC – Metropolis
10/01 Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
10/02 Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theater
10/03 Chicago, IL – The Riviera
10/05 Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall
10/06 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
10/08 New Orleans, LA – The Civic Auditorium
10/09 Atlanta, GA

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 24th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Warner Music Nashville)
Brigades – Indefinite (Pure Noise)
The Bunny The Bear – A Liar Wrote This (Victory Records) – Davey Boy
Counterparts – Tragedy Will Find Us (Pure Noise)
Cult Leader – Useless Animal (Deathwish Inc.)
Ducktails – St. Catherine (Domino Recording Company)
The Dustbowl Revival – With A Lampshade On (Signature Sounds)
Eleni Mandell – Dark Lights Up (Yep Roc Records)
Eleventh Dream Day – Work For Tomorrow (Thrill Jockey)
Field Music – Music For Drifters (Memphis Industries)
Jill Scott – Woman (Atlantic)
Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova (Legacy)
Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Sugar Hill)
Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang (Epic)
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution (Relapse)
Loop – Array 1 (ATP Recordings)
Madchild – Silver Tongue Devil (Battle Axe Records)
Northlane – Node (Rise Records)
Old Man Luedecke – Domestic Eccentric (True North Records)
Omar Souleyman – Bahdemi Nami (Monkeytown)
On An On – And The Wave Has Two Side (Roll Call Records)
Ricked Wicky – King Heavy Metal (Guided By Voices)
Sleaford Mods – Key Markets (Harbinger Sound)
Strange Wilds – Subjective Concepts (Sub Pop Records)
Symphony X – Underworld (Nuclear Blast America)
Tim Bowness – Stupid Things That Mean The World (Inside Out US) – Raul Stanciu
Trae Tha Truth –…

After two busy years, releasing a couple of beautiful, critically acclaimed solo records (Abandoned Dancehall Dreams & Stupid Things That Mean The World), it was time to talk again with Tim. Fortunately, he was kind enough to provide me all the information I wanted to know, including some fresh updates regarding some of his other projects such as Henry Fool or the second collaboration with Peter Chilvers (with whom he created a gorgeous LP 13 years ago, entitled California, Norfolk).

Hello Tim! How are you?

As of now, I’m suffering from a fever and in bed with a coat on (in the middle of Summer). A perfectly miserable condition to discuss my work perhaps?!?

It’s been over two years since your first interview for Sputnik. It has been a busy period for you, releasing two solo records: Abandoned Dancehall Dreams and Stupid Things That Mean The World. I am sure they have attracted a completely new audience to listen to your music. How do you feel? What do these albums mean to you?

I’m really pleased that both visually and musically the two albums have seemingly established something new for me.

As I’ve often said before, My Hotel Year – from 2004 – was a solo album in name only. It consisted of songs I’d co-written as part of several ongoing and unfinished collaborative projects. It was put together as a way of collecting material from disparate sources that would have been lost otherwise. I like some of the…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 17th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alan Jackson – Angels & Alcohol (Capitol Nashville)
Bassnectar – Into The Sun (Amorphous Music)
The Bird And The Bee – Recreational Love (Rostrum Records)
The Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes (Astralwerks)
Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room – Party Adjacent (Asian Man)
Dragonforce – In The Line Of Fire (Ear Music)
Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015 (Drag City)
Future – DS2 (Epic)
Galactic – Into The Deep (Provogue)
Iron Wine & Ben Bridwell – Sing Into My Mouth (Black Cricket/Brown Records)
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Southeastern Records)
MS MR – How Does It Feel (Columbia)
Ninja Sex Party – Attitude City (CD Baby)
Pitbull – Dale (Sony Latin)
Ratatat – Magnifique (XL Recordings)
Sublime With Rome – Sirens (InGrooves)
Tame Impala – Currents (Interscope) – Rudy K.
Team Sleep – Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4 (Woodstock Sessions)
Tearjerker – Stay Wild (Self-released)
White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again (Polyvinyl Records)
Wilco – Star Wars (Self-released)
Xander Duell – Wade Laiste (INGRID)


Album Streams:

The Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes

Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015

Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Ratatat – Magnifique

Tame Impala – Currents

Tearjerker – Stay Wild

White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again

Wilco – Stars (free download)…

As Friday the 10th marks the first date under the global music industry’s paradigm shift into a more unified release schedule, your weekly news post will also be moving to the end of the week to honour the change (and to generally make things as easy as possible for yours truly). The change – which has eschewed multiple releases across the week in favour of one singular day – will affect 45 countries, and was put in place by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The conglomerate currently represents 1300 various record companies around the world.

Friday was chosen as the official day in an effort to curb piracy, as both physical and online stores peak with consumer traffic over the weekend. July was chosen in an effort to work out  and fine-tune any kinks prior to the holiday season.

For more on the topic, you can head over here. But for now, as always…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 10th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Between The Buried And Me – Coma Elliptic (Metal Blade)
Cody Simpson – Free (Bananabeat Records/Coast House)
Cradle Of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches (Nuclear Blast America) – Trey Spencer
Ego Likeness – When The Wolves Return (Metropolis Records)
Four Tet – Morning/Evening (Text Records)
Ghostface Killah – Twelve Reasons To Die II (Linear Labs)

Full Disclosure:

Everybody will have different experiences based on their preferences, their familiarity with one product or another, as well as what hardware they’re using. In the interest of transparency, this is my brief history and a list of test devices. I’ve been a member of Spotify Premium since July of 2011 and I’ve never really had any issues with it or a desire to try to find anything better. On the other hand, I do like Apple products so I had to give Apple Music a shot. The ‘test devices’ that were used for my comparison of Spotify and Apple Music are the following: iMac, Macbook Pro, iPhone 6+, iPhone 4S, iPad 3rd Generation and iPod Touch 5th Generation. There will be a lot of comparisons to Spotify since that service is obviously Apple’s biggest competitor.

The Good:

The actual presentation of both the desktop and mobile versions of Apple Music are beautiful.  On the desktop, the streaming albums integrate flawlessly with any purchased/ripped music that is already on your iTunes. The only way to tell the difference is the little cloud icon with an arrow through it that lets you know that you can download the track for offline use. The integration doesn’t stop there, though. When you select an individual artist there are a few new features that pop up. The most noteworthy is the addition of three tabs at the top of the band page. The first is ‘My Music’ which is exactly what you would…

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Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist: Q2 2015 Edition

Because who wouldn't be enticed to click on this playlist by Chad Kroeger's glorious mug?

Ladies, gentlemen, and readers who may not identify by either pole of the gender binary, welcome to Sputnikmusic’s 2nd Quarter Infinite Playlist for 2015. It’s been a long year since the last one of these went up – in the interim, the staffers who typically run the playlists (namely Sowing and myself) have been very busy with various kinds of work, both within and without Sputnik. That said, we figured now is as good a time as any to kick-start the ol’ Infinite Playlist again, and thanks to a healthy crop of user submissions we’re able to present a wide variety of some of the finest music released between April and June of this year. We’ve got a great mix of music for you, from post-hardcore to weird synthesizer explorations to a double dose of Britpoppy alt-rock, and we hope you enjoy this as much as we did.


This issue’s contributors are as follows:

Gameofmetal / Supercoolguy64 / danielito19 / RadicalEd / ChoccyPhilly / Tunaboy45 / judasgoat / Crawl / Brostep / ZackSh33 / Lambda / anobsoletevernacular / TheSpirit / Arcade / Pangea / cmaitland421


Being As An Ocean – “Little Richie”

“Little Richie” contains veiled hints that the upcoming third, and self titled,…

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Hi there! Apologies to those of you who missed out on our celebratory rainbowsplosion on Friday.

In case you missed it, pretend you’re Homer:

You're not at Moe's anymore.

People got a bit cranky with me, and perhaps understandably so — my favorite remark had something to do with “keeping the politics out of a music site” — despite that user 5′ing the entire Ted Nugent discography. Another user inquired as to why we decided to “fag up the main page”, which seemed odd considering there were no large bundles of sticks anywhere to be seen.

Despite our Communist name, Friday might have been the most important SCOTUS ruling since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, and there’s no reason why we can’t dance.

You know, perhaps there’s lots of lumber in those pants.

On another note, what are you doing for your extra leap second? Some of you might not have been alive during the Y2K pandemonium, but alas, I assure you that, somehow, your computer will be just fine.

Let’s carry on, then, to our Q2 mixtape, which our staffers are again delighted to present to you. Featuring selections from Titus Andronicus to The Drays to Nicolas Jaar to Icicle to Witchwood to God is an Astronaut, please feel free to stream the playlist below for some of our favorites between April 1st and June 30th.

Not everything is in the Spotify playlist, though, so keep your…

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