Nov 202010

[Just in case we ran short of quality guest contributions to use while I was away, I wrote a few brief pieces before leaving. They’re called “teasers” because they’re just brief tastes of new albums that I’d like to review for NCS when I get back — because they’re really good. Of course, I have the attention span of a gnat, so there’s a chance I’ll never do that, and these teasers will be all I accomplish.]

This is the fifth teaser. The first one was about The Secret. The second was about Blood of Kingu. The third one was about Melechesh. The fourth one was about The Wretched End. This one is a taste of the new album by:

The Band: Necronaut

The Band’s Location: Sweden

The Album: Necronaut

Label: Regain Records

The Band’s MySpace page:  http://www.myspace.com/necronaut666

Brief notes:  Necronaut is the all-star project of Fred Estby, the former drummer of Dismember and Carnage. He recruited an impressive line-up of guests to help create this album. Shit, “impressive” is really an understatement. Wait and see.

“Old school” is a really over-worked, cliched expression, but given Estby’s personal history and the pedigree of the dudes who are involved in this project, we have to use it: This is old-school death metal, with a hellish current running through it.

Here’s a track — the vocals on this one are supplied by Andreas “Drette” Axelson (Tormented, ex-Edge of Sanity):

Necronaut: Twilight At the Trenches

To see the complete line-up of people that Estby recruited to contribute to this album, click past the jump . . .

Nov 192010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we have yet another guest post by ElvisShotJFK — this one being the second installment in a series he created in his last post.]

Don’t you hate it when you hear a good song but don’t know who’s it’s by? Sometimes it’s more frustrating when the song is a cover and you can’t figure out who’s actually playing it. The more obscure the song or band, the harder it is to figure out where to look. Even with the wealth of knowledge to be found online these days, Napster Syndrome is alive and well, making some songs difficult to accurately track down. People still get it wrong, no matter how many times someone who knows what they’re talking about says something.

Like Cradle Of Filth (who I mentioned earlier in Volume 1), Children Of Bodom have recorded several covers over their career, going so far as to release an album’s worth of covers, some of them recorded specifically for the album. Not only that, but they used midgets to help promote the album.


Heavy metal midgets. Awesome.

Where was I? Oh yeah . . . even though they’ve done a fair amount of covers, there are songs that have been credited to them that were actually done by other bands.

Let’s get Blooddrunk and dive right in . . .

Nov 182010

[Just in case we ran short of quality guest contributions to use while I was away, I wrote a few brief pieces before leaving. They’re called “teasers” because they’re just brief tastes of new albums that I’d like to review for NCS when I get back — because they’re really good. Of course, I have the attention span of a gnat, so there’s a chance I’ll never do that, and these teasers will be all I accomplish.]

This is the fourth teaser. The first one was about The Secret. The second was about Blood of Kingu, The third one was about Melechesh. This one is a taste of the new album by:

The Band: The Wretched End

The Band’s Location: Norway

The Album: Ominous

Label: Nocturnal Art Productions, with marketing and distribution worldwide through Candlelight Records

The Band’s MySpace page:  http://www.myspace.com/thewretchedend

Brief notes:  This band is a collaboration between Samoth (Emperor/ Zyklon) on lead and rhythm guitar, and Cosmo (Mindgrinder) on lead and rhythm guitar plus bass and vocals — those two previously worked together on a deathpunk project called Scum — plus Nils Fjellström (Dark Funeral, In Battle, Aeon) as the drummer. Some very nice death/thrash played by people who know what the fuck they’re doing.

Here’s a track:

The Wretched End: Red Forest Alienation

Nov 172010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Our temporarily Australian correspondent The Artist Formerly Known As Dan has another list for you today. He left out a few activities. We sure hope the comments fill in the holes . . .]

If you are like me (read: a nerd) then you tend to categorize everything, especially music.  Whenever I hear something new, I’m very quick to make a judgement about the overall sound and what type of music it is. Only, I’m not filtering it into one of those sub-genres that are constantly argued about on the internet. I’m thinking about if I like the music enough to listen to it again. If the answer is yes, then I think about when I would listen to the music again, and what the associated activity might be (don’t ask me how or why I do this – I probably have a problem).

Anyway, the point is, I think about music as something to augment my life and its associated activities, like some kind of bizarre “soundtrack to life.” For example, I really really enjoy gaming to Dagoba. I’m not positive how it started, but I think I was playing Guild Wars and I played the entirety of Face the Colossus and it was just fucking awesome.

This post is mostly meant to stimulate discussion, so what is your favorite music to xxxxx to?  I’ll list some examples below of some activities and what I like to hear while doing them.  (after the jump . . . including music to hear)

Nov 162010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we have another guest post by ElvisShotJFK. He has filth for you. As in, Cradle of . . . or maybe not.]

Back when Napster ruled college dorms, it allowed people to download and listen to all kinds of music that they might not have otherwise been able to hear. What started off as a simple idea snowballed into a fight with labels and artists picking sides; some were against the practice, while some embraced what it could do for their exposure.

Most people may remember Metallica’s role in the downfall of Napster, armed with 60,000 pages of user info.To many, the band seemed hypocritical, considering the tape trading that preceded the widespread usage of the internet that fueled the metal masses. However, Metallica did have a good reason to be concerned, but I think they handled it poorly and instead of looking at the immediate problem they faced (a leaked demo of “I Disappear”), they went for the symptom – the users of Napster. Napster’s founder didn’t help matters any when he showed up at the VMA’s wearing a Metallica shirt, then joked that he borrowed it from a friend.

Years have gone by and the Napster of old is long gone, as are some of its alternatives. While peer-to-peer is still around, torrents and hosting sites like Rapidshare, Megaupload and dozens of others serve the same purpose, but without many of the actual benefits. If someone had a bunch of stuff you were familiar with and liked, chances are he or she also had some other stuff that you’d like, not to mention the possibility of finding demos, rare tracks and bootlegs. Plus, not every download means a lost sale, but that’s a matter for another time.

Legal issues aside, there was another dark side to Napster and its kind — people who had no fucking clue who made the songs. “Weird Al” Yankovic was credited to almost every unknown funny song (or parody), while many a metal song were attributed to the big names, Metallica and Megadeth at the top of the heap.

Sadly, this trend continues to this day, and thus I present to you two songs attributed to one band, this band being Cradle Of Filth, who I’ve been a fan of for many years. I’m not here to defend the band, because they don’t need it and I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind about them. That’s not why I’m here, and I don’t mind if you don’t like the band. I do mind some of the attitudes people have toward the band, but there’s not really anything I can do about that.

So, let’s move on to the songs, after the jump.

Nov 162010

[Just in case we ran short of quality guest contributions to use while I was away, I wrote a few brief pieces before leaving. They’re called “teasers” because they’re just brief tastes of new albums that I’d like to review for NCS when I get back — because they’re really good. Of course, I have the attention span of a gnat, so there’s a chance I’ll never do that, and these teasers will be all I accomplish. So I’m running them now, even though I don’t need to]

This is the third teaser. The first one was about The Secret. The second one was about Blood of Kingu. This one is a taste of the new album by:

The Band: Melechesh

The Band’s Location: The Netherlands (ex-Jerusalem)

The Album: Epigenesis

Label: Nuclear Blast

The Band’s MySpace page:  http://www.myspace.com/melechesh

Brief notes:  Exotic, eastern, invigorating, black as night, red as fire, and sometimes bright as day. Sounds like nothing else. Here’s a track:

Melechesh: Sacred Geometry

Nov 152010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post is from a Midwestern dude who will become a regular guest contributor to NCS, and his NCS nom de plume is BadWolf.]

Michigan is known for many things: the automotive industry, cherries, astronomical rates of violent urban crime. To this list I would add excellent melodic death metal bands that routinely sound straight out of northern Europe. The most well known of these bands is The Black Dahlia Murder, but the underground scene in Michigan is filled with bands that sound quintessentially Swedish. The best of these bands might be Michigan’s best-kept secret, Dagon (there’s a HP Lovecraft reference right in the name — of course they’re quality).

Dagon play melodic death metal reminiscent of NCS favorites Arch Enemy and Amon Amarth, full of big chunky riffs and anthemic choruses—this is hook salad, not riff salad. So what? Melodeath bands dealing in earworms are a dime-a-dozen. Where Dagon excels is in the sheer number of subtle neoclassical and prog nuances they add to the formula.

Twin lead guitarists Chris Sharrock and Briant Daniel employ NWOBHM-style guitar harmonies to create a thicker, meatier guitar sound than most (read: over-produced) bands emulating the Gotheburg sound. Bassist/Vocalist Randy Ladiski is the band’s MVP—his prog-tinged six-string basslines propel their songs with an impressive gallop while deepening the melodies and occasionally dipping into funk territory. Randy’s co-vocalist is drummer, Truck Batterbee.

That’s right, singing drummer. Batterbee and Ladiski share vocal duties about 50/50, with Ladiski providing low gutturals and Batterbee handling Abbath-sounding black metal shrieks. Their voices are intense but audible. When listening to Dagon, even a metal novice can easily decipher the lyrics (completely focused on ocean-related topics), which are well-written and poetic if not incredibly insightful. That’s fine, melodic death has never been the genre of choice for stupendous lyricists anyway.  (more after the jump . . .)

Nov 142010

Yes, I am not here. Yes, I am on vacation. Yes, I wrote this post before I left. Yes, I scheduled this to appear while I am gone. It is not time-sensitive, because all these people from Nigeria, and Ghana, and Mali, and Burkina Faso are big on talk and short on action. I’m now to the point that I don’t expect an answer to my messages. I don’t even know why I bother writing back to them at all.

The last chapter in my search for riches beyond the dreams of avarice has petered out. For those of you who haven’t been keeping score, that chapter was MALIAN RICHES AWAIT!. Ecobank and The Bank of Africa (Burkina Faso branch) never wrote back. Also, despite the fact that I offered them a very easy way to send me my money via PayPal, that didn’t happen.

I may have made a tactical error in threatening to sic Interpol on their ass for extortion when I wrote them. I think I need to do a better job controlling my temper. I just didn’t realize how sensitive bankers can be. I thought all bankers were a bunch of human-sized reptiles with scaly reptile skin and predatory dispositions and antifreeze for blood. Maybe the ones in Africa are warm-blooded. Maybe their feelings can be hurt after all. I think I need to be more empathetic, more laid back. I need to shine their shoes with my tongue.

Fortunately, just as I was about to shitcan the designs for the Cube Pool, the Lorisarium, and the Grolsch Vortex Fountain and tell the contractors I hired that they would have to chase me down like an animal if they wanted their money, I got a new message from a different bank in Burkina Faso. So I have a chance to put into practice my new tactic of being all sweetness and light.

I’ve always heard that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, so I might as well try to drown them in honey. Can’t hurt, right? Putting to one side why you’d want to catch flies in the first place; I’ve never really understood why anyone would want to do that. I’d rather just eat the honey and let the flies go somewhere else.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the latest message from Burkina Faso. That’s after the jump, along with my heart-felt reply . . .

Nov 142010

[Just in case we ran short of quality guest contributions to use while I was away, I wrote a few brief pieces before leaving. They’re called “teasers” because they’re just brief tastes of new albums that I’d like to review for NCS when I get back — because they’re really good. Of course, I have the attention span of a gnat, so there’s a chance I’ll never do that, and these teasers will be all I accomplish. So I’m running them even though I don’t need to.]

This is the second teaser. The first one was about The Secret. This one is a taste of the new album by:

The Band: Blood of Kingu

The Band’s Location: The Ukraine

The Album: Sun in the House of the Scorpion

Label: Candlelight

The Band’s MySpace page:  http://www.myspace.com/bloodofkinguband

Brief notes:  This band is the side project of Roman Saenko, the creative force behind Ukrainian cult folk-black metal band Drudkh (as well as Dark Ages), and fellow Drudkh band members Thurios (who also played with Saenko in Hate Forest), Krechet, and Yuriy Sinitskyi.

But this music is a departure from Drudkh. It includes some ethnic drumming and some Tibetan chanting, but apart from those flourishes, this is standing-wave, wall-of-sound black metal that courses through your blood like a superheated injection. Here’s a track:

Blood of Kingu: Those That Wander Amidst the Stars

Nov 132010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post is from Timbus, the guitarist, back-up vocalist, and co-founder of NCS favorite, Nekrogoblikon. He has some thoughts about musical taste and what it means to be open-minded . . .]

Sometimes people are just walking piles of bullshit. In fact I bet half the people you see day-to-day are made solely of poop. It’s really horrifying. I wonder if they know? Probably not. They’re all stomping around *splunch* *splunch* “I’m so smart!” *splunch* *splunch*. Their footsteps probably make that noise. That’s how poop walks. Probably. Maybe one day some dude will try to talk to them and quickly determine that the human being they’re interacting with is really just sentient excrement. Then the dude will sit back and go “Ohhhh, I see what the problem is. We disagree because you’re actually just made of poop.” I think that doesn’t happen very often though.

People can bullshit just about anything. You’ll hear stories all the time about how either people bullshit the government or the government bullshits us. Or maybe it’s a job. Or maybe it’s Enron. Or maybe it’s Osama Bin Laden, I don’t fucking know. The entertainment industry is definitely made up 90% of poop. But so are the consumers! So it’s ok!

Have you ever asked anyone “What kind of music do you like?” or “What’s your favorite band?” I’m a musician. Music is such a big part of my life that relating to other people is much easier if I can find common ground musically. So, naturally, I ask those questions of people I meet. Sometimes I get really interesting answers. Sometimes I get a response that’s more like “Oh I just listen to radio” or “I watch MTV” or some other mainstream response. Those are fine! If you’re not really “into” music, and you just listen to whatever’s on your local rock station, that’s totally chill. Hey, I like eating out a lot, but I don’t really care about the particulars of how my food was prepared, just as long as it tastes good. Not everyone is a musician or even a music nerd.  (more after the jump . . .)

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