Apr 212010

This news item in yesterday’s paper caught our eye. Under the headline “Iranian cleric: Promiscuous women cause quakes”:

“A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

“Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

“‘Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,’ Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.”

You may ask, as we did, “What the fuck?!?” But wait, there’s more — and we’re going to connect up this lunacy up with Iranian metal, too!  (more after the jump . . .)

Apr 202010

Hey, sorry we made that album cover (above) so big.  We know it must have come as a shock when you opened up this page and saw that gruesome piece of mind-fuckery. We just couldn’t help it. We have to have our fun where we find it.

Yeah, so that’s an album cover. Not just any album cover, but an album cover by Pär Olofsson, who’s done the album art for bands like Immolation, Miseration, Revocation, Arkaik, Immortal, The Faceless, Winds of Plague, and many others. We put up a whole bunch of his album covers for your viewing pleasure here not too long ago (scroll down when you get to that link).  Have to say that none of them really looked anything like the one above.

You may ask, “What’s it a cover for?” It’s a cover for an album called Quantum Catastrophe. You may ask, “Who’s the band?” The band is called Brain Drill. But of course it is. That’s a really accurate name. If you heard their 2008 debut album, Apocalyptic Feasting, you know what we’re talking about. The new one, the aforementioned Quantum Catastrophe, isn’t officially out yet. It’s not due for release (on Metal Blade) ’til May 11. But you don’t have to wait until then for a taste.  (more after the jump, including some audio and video tastes . . .)

Apr 192010

Sometimes simple, blunt-force trauma works just fine.

Evil Power, the recently-released album by Chicago’s Lair of the Minotaur, is a grab-bag of different musical styles. But the songs do have some things in common: They’re all nasty, stripped-down, unpretentious, in-your-face headbangers, and the album as a whole is a real bright spot in the year’s new releases to date.

The songs have one other important thing in common: They’re packed with more heavy, grinding bass and guitar riffs and power-hooks than any one band ought to be allowed.

As for those stylistic variations, the album includes thrash-metal stylings, sometimes mixed with hard-rock chords and drum fills (“Attack the Gods”), metal-infused punk rock rhythms (“Let’s Kill These Motherfuckers”), old-school death-metal riffs that could be straight out of Metalocalypse or Wolverine Blues-era Entombed (“Riders of Skullhammer”), stripped-down, blackened metal with plenty of tremolo-picked chords (“Goatstorm”), and sometimes combinations of almost all the above (“Blood From the Witch’s Vein,” “We Are Hades”).  (more after the jump, including a song to stream . . .)

Apr 182010


Mother Nature has reached out her hand and swatted a large portion of the world up-side the head, provoking us to say, “Shit! That’s Metal” (though it’s not music). So, here’s another of our irregular installments on that subject. And at the end, we’ll let you listen to some music from Iceland (and no, it won’t be “Bjork” — which is almost exactly the sound we’ve made on those blessedly rare occasions when we’ve heard her music).

Iceland, a nation of 320,000 people, sits on a large volcanic hot spot in the Atlantic’s mid-oceanic ridge. Last week, southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH’-plah-yer-kuh-duhl) volcano began erupting for the second time in a month, sending ash several miles into the air, and winds have pushed the plume south and east across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and into the heart of Europe.

Yes, bits of Iceland are now all over Europe, and probably all over the world. Now you don’t have to go there to bring a little bit of Iceland home to you. It’s probably in your yard or sitting on your windowsill right now!

In turn, all that ash in the air has caused the grounding of planes on a huge scale, stranding tens of thousands of passengers in airports throughout Europe and causing the cancellation of numerous in-bound international flights, not to mention the cancellation by metal bands of scheduled European gigs.

In Iceland itself, torrents of water have carried away chunks of ice the size of small houses. More floods from melting waters are expected as long as the volcano keeps erupting – and in 1821, the same volcano managed to erupt for more than a year.

(more after the jump, including a few more photos and that music we promised . . .)

Apr 172010

Some people think physical CDs and album artwork have become, or soon will become, an anachronism, as the unstoppable movement to digital downloads continues to surge ahead. Some of your NCS Co-Authors are in that camp. But not me. Whenever possible, even when I’ve already listened to a download of music, I try to get my hands on a physical CD. Lots of reasons for that, but one reason is that I like to see all the album art and any text content that may be included. And sometimes, seeing an image of album art on the webz draws me to the music, when otherwise I might never have listened to it.

A recent case in point: German black-metal band Odem Arcarum‘s new album, Outrageous Reverie Above The Erosion Of Barren Earth. I saw the amazing cover art for that album by Bulgarian artist Haate Kaate and put up a short post on it not too long ago. (You really should go check out that post to see what I’m talking about.) At that time, I had only listened to one song from the album on Odem Arcarum’s MySpace page — and did that solely because I thought the art was cool. But it didn’t take me long to buy the CD, which I now have in my grimy claws.

For me, the album art would have been worth the price of the CD. But as an added bonus, the music is also strikingly impressive — one of the coolest examples of progressive black metal I’ve yet heard.  (and we’ll tell you why after the jump . . .)

Apr 162010

HIATUS: The radio show hosted by two of your NCS Co-Authors is on summer vacation, but should resume in September 2010.

Two of the three perpetrators of this site have landed a radio gig. Alexis and IntoTheDarkness will be co-DJs for two hours of metal every Friday morning from 10:00 – 12:oo Pacific Time on KSUB, the radio station of Seattle University.

But you don’t have to live in Seattle to listen, because the broadcast will be streaming worldwide over the web. You will need WinampiTunesXMMS or an mp3 player capable of listening to shoutcast streams to tune in.  You can listen by clicking this link. And for future reference, here’s the URL:

http://www.seattleu.edu/ksub/default.aspx?id=26824

If you like the kind of demented extreme music we cover on this site, check out this show.

And yes, the first broadcast starts today (this thing got cleared at the last minute or we’d have given you more warning). And if Alexis and IntoTheDarkness commit any fuck-ups, be forgiving. This DJ thing is a first for them.

Apr 162010

The official line-up for the Summer Slaughter Tour 2010 has now been confirmed (by Metal Sucks).  Here it is:

DECAPITATED
THE FACELESS
ALL SHALL PERISH
THE RED CHORD
VEIL OF MAYA
CEPHALIC CARNAGE
DECREPIT BIRTH
CARNIFEX
ANIMALS AS LEADERS
VITAL REMAINS

That is one mouth-watering band list of extreme metal awesomeness, isn’t it?

But as you scan your greedy eyes over that list, which band doesn’t exactly fit with the rest? If you’re like us, your eyes probably came to a halt at Animals As Leaders. Wonder how they came to be included. Mind you, we’re not complaining at all. We saw Tobin Abasi and his mates play in Seattle last week (and wrote about it here, with photos), and they are gobsmackingly good. But it’s an interesting choice.

Tour dates and places aren’t available yet. You can be abso-fucking-lutely sure that if this tour comes anywhere near Seattle, we will be there.

Apr 152010

Yesterday we posted some news about a promising metal band from Mumbai, India, called Demonic Resurrection. Astonishingly, that short piece drew more visits than any other post we’ve written, save one, since we began this blog last November. One of those readers, “Infected0718,” urged us to check out another Mumbai band called Bhayanak Maut, and we did. Today we feel compelled to write about them, too. (We received other recommendations, and we’re also following up on them.)

Metalheads well know that we’re in the middle of an extreme metal renaissance (and NO, we’re not talking about Axl Rose taking the stage again or Slash releasing a new album). In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion in the number, quality, and popularity of bands putting out the kind of music we love.

That phenomenon is not confined to North America and Western Europe. It’s happening throughout the world. And to us here at NCS, there’s something reassuring about that. As fucked up as the planet is in so many ways, and as many religious, cultural, and political barriers still divide people around the globe, music is a common language. Even in our tiny corner of the music universe (where a ridiculously small percentage of all people are thoroughly hooked on this brand of music), we have brothers and sisters everywhere who speak this demented language.

As a pretty random set of examples, we’ve written here at NCS in the not-too-distant past about bands and artists from Italy (Hour of Penance, Psychofagist, and Carnal Rapture), Hungary (I Divine), Romania (Negura Bunget), Moldova (Neuromist), Costa Rica (Sight of Emptiness), Finland (e.g., The Jasser Arafats), Sweden (Soreption and Valkyrja), Greece (Rotting Christ and Gus Drax), Indonesia (Bloodshedd), Germany (Thrudvangar), Norway (Shining), France (Eryn Non Dae), South Africa (Haggis and Bong), and — well, you get the idea.

Not so long ago, we never would have known of bands like this or had any realistic chance of hearing their music. But thanks to the miracles of modern technology invented by Al Gore, they’re now just a few clicks away. And that brings us back to Bhayanak Maut.  (stay with us, after the jump . . .)

Apr 142010

As regular readers know, we’re suckers for extreme music from far-away places that aren’t particularly well-known in the U.S. for their metal scenes.  (Though we like American bands, too!) Mumbai, India, qualifies. It’s far away. It’s not known here in the U.S. for its extreme metal scene. And it has produced a band called Demonic Resurrection that turns out to be worth some close attention.

Some of you guys probably already know of this band, but they’re a discovery for us. But what you probably don’t know is this breaking news from Mumbai: Demonic Resurrection have signed a deal with Candlelight Records for the worldwide release of their latest album, The Return To Darkness, which the band self-released in January. We now know that The Return to Darkness is the band’s third album, and the completion of a conceptual trilogy.

If we had seen Global Metal, the documentary film by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, we would have known about these Mumbai metallers before now, because they’re apparently featured in that film, along with bands from other exotic locales such as China, Iran, Indonesia, and Israel. (We’ve really got to watch that film.)

(more after the jump, including the band’s latest music video . . .)

Apr 132010

Two nights ago the three perpetrators of this site attended the Seattle stop of the Twilight of the Thunder God Tour II at The Showbox. In Part 1 of this post (which you can find here), we wrote about the performances of the first two bands on this show — Eluveitie and Holy Grail. Today, we’re bowing down before the awesomeness of Amon Amarth. And after we’ve sung our praises, continue on after the jump for a big batch of our photos from their set.

We’ve been listening to Amon Amarth’s Viking-themed melodic death metal for almost as long as we’ve been listening to death metal, but this live performance was a first. We got so stoked when we found out they were coming to Seattle this spring that we posted an announcement of the tour back in February under a two-word title: HOLY SHIT! So, how did the actual show measure up to our inflated expectations? Well, we still can’t improve on what we wrote in February: HOLY SHIT!

From the first chords of “Twilight of the Thunder God” to the last notes of “The Pursuit of Vikings” in the encore, Amon Amarth proved why they have not only survived for more than 20 years but have remained to this day one of the best death metal bands on the scene.  (more after the jump, including the best of our amateurish photos . . .)

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