Sep 272011

(In this post, NCS contributor Phro reviews an album by Clinging To the Trees of A Forest Fire as only Phro can.)

(Phro’s note: Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire is a Denver (woo!) funeral grind band (band’s words, not mine, but incredibly appropriate) that will rip your face skin off and then burn it as you stare hopelessly and slowly bleed to death.  Today, I listened to their 2008 album Omega Drunk On the Blood of Alpha.  It’s fucking amazing.  If you want to hear or get more of their music, go to their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/CTTTOAFF) or their bandcamp page (http://ctttoaff.bandcamp.com/))

“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!”

Furious wind whips at my face like tiny dicks fighting for a place in the bukkake circle, desperately trying to get close enough to the girl to avoid just masturbating in a room full of perverts and a slightly uncomfortable woman.  My arms flail as I fight against gravity, Newton, and all that physics has birthed—screaming—into the world.

“Motherfuckermotherfuckermotherfuckermotherfucker!!!”

My screams are nearly drowned out by the robotic howl of the wind.

Sep 262011

(NCS writer BadWolf reviews the controversial new album from Opeth.)

The mark of a good album is that I cannot stop listening to it, the mark of a great album is that it makes me think, and Heritage is spinning my gears the way Opeth first did six years ago. When I first heard Ghost Reveries, it opened up my eyes to the possibilities of metal to be artful, emotional.  Heritage is opening my eyes to the possibilities of abandoning metal (and genre, period) entirely.  This is in many ways a massive departure, but a necessary one.

But first let’s talk about that adjective “progressive.” Opeth are prog, but not progressive; after all, how can Mikael Åkerfeldt progress when he’s effectively re-written 1999’s Still Life album 4 times in a decade to varying results? For ten years Opeth has only explored Chiarascuro (admittedly, an amazing concept). They have already mastered the juxtaposition between light and dark in a metal context to the point where they’re being imitated constantly (with almost no success).  Heritage needed to happen—Opeth needed to expand their palate or commit to rereleasing lesser permutations of Blackwater Park forever. Here’s a very NCS metaphor: the sex was getting boring. (more after the jump . . .)

Sep 262011

In May of this year, NCS writer TheMadIsraeli introduced us to a Moscow band called Kartikeya, and included links for downloads (here). Apart from the stunningly good (and quite different) death metal to be found on the band’s latest album, Mahayuga, that album also featured remarkable artwork by a Russian artist, “Mstibog” Kirenkov. We included a lot of his album art with TheMadIsraeli’s review.

Yesterday I found out that on October 1, a label called Grailight Productions will be releasing a new limited edition Kartikeya “single” titled Durga Puja, and it will include the amazing artwork of Mstibog once again. Up above is the cover, depicting the ten-handed war goddess Durga.

The new single will include covers of songs by Sepultura and Melechesh, re-recorded and re-arranged versions of songs from Kartikeya’s first album The Battle Begins, a live version of a song called “The Path”, and a brand new song, “Durga Puja”, which was mixed/mastered by the producer Logan Mader (Soulfly, Gojira, Divine Heresy, W.A.S.P., DevilDriver, etc.). After the jump, you can see the track list.

Also after the jump you can hear Kartikeya’s cover of “Triangular Tattvic Fire” by Melechesh. It’s a blowtorch blast of wonderfully vicious, hard-charging, eastern-tinged, blackened death metal and it sounds fantastic.  I’m really looking forward to this single.

Sep 262011

(TheMadIsraeli provides a glowing, detailed, review of the new album from Textures, and following that we’ve got the album’s first official music video and more tracks to hear.)

FUCKING.  TEXTURES.

This album I highly anticipate will alienate some longtime fans of this band who were expecting a Silhouettes part two.  Dualism lives up to its name — in fact, I was surprised by how much it honors the name on so many levels. Everything on this album is about balance.  Elements are so evenly distributed in their use that it makes the album unusually well-rounded.

Let’s get one thing straight at the outset: Textures isn’t djent. Textures is progressive groove metal, and this album proves it.  It includes songs that really weave hill-and-valley-laden sonic tapestries that take the listener on a journey, sometimes in durations as short as under three minutes.  This is an album that means business, a mission statement by a band really trying to put out the definitive word that they are playing their own game with their own set of rules and always have been. This album simply makes it official.

Duality begins innocently enough. Opener “Arms Of The Sea” starts out with an ominous dissonant lead, building the tension into a mammoth sludge riff filled with dark, southern swagger.  This may be the catchiest riff Textures have ever written, no lie.  The song lumbers on at its methodical pace, an odd choice for an album opener to be sure, but so effective once it clicks with you.  It’s got heavy parts, pretty parts, ascending build-ups and descending crescendos, diverse vocal delivery all over the map, and top-notch tasteful drumming by master of the kit Stef Broks. In retrospect, this song serves as a good summation of the album as a whole, although it may not seem so at first.

Sep 252011

The Greenery is a band from Long Beach, California. They released their debut album Spit and Argue on July 24 via Prosthetic Records. I haven’t heard the whole thing, just three songs, two of which have already been turned into music videos. Those three songs are refreshing, that is, if you find it refreshing to be sucker-punched in the gut and then kicked in the head with steel-toed boots while you’re writhing on the floor.

The Greenery play in-your-face, old-school, hardcore punk with an authentic sound and a blast furnace of venomous attitude. The music takes me back to the days before I got into metal and spent my time getting head-butted by a pretty steady diet of punk music. The songs are fairly short and don’t include the downtuned, chug-heavy riffage of more modern hardcore. They kick the door down, shoot you full of adrenaline, throw you around the room, and then bolt out before you quite know what hit you.

I haven’t kept up with this scene, and we don’t write about it much at NCS, so this will seem like a random selection of music, but what can I say? It kicketh my ass and eviscerateth my gutses, and so I’m sharin’ it.

After the jump, I’ve got two music videos that are a blast to watch (and hear) and then a third track that eases up on the pacing but loses none of the righteous antagonism (and thanks to TheMadIsraeli for feeding me these links.)

Sep 252011

It’s been a while since we published an installment in this EYE-CATCHERS series. To remind you, the object of this series is to listen to new music based solely on the attractiveness of the album covers — testing the completely irrational hypothesis that cool album art correlates with cool music.

I was inspired to do another one of these posts by an e-mail exchange I had recently with NCS reader Treezplease. He sent me a handful of album-art images and a song to accompany each one, and I dived in. I’m going to include two of those test subjects in this post, and maybe more later. But at about the same time, I also got an e-mail from a German band called Vaulting. I visited their Bandcamp page to listen to something, and right away I saw the album cover up above. So I just had to lead off this post with it, because it truly is a fucking eye-catcher, isn’t it?

VAULTING

Vaulting was founded in 2006 in Wiesbaden, Germany, by two brothers, guitarist Matthias Gathof and drummer Sebastian Gathof. To date, the band have released a 5-song demo in 2007, an 8-song EP in 2008 called Epilog, and a five-track EP in 2009 called Modus Humanis, the cover of which you’re looking at right now. The band are also on the verge of releasing their first full-length album, Nucleus. (more after the jump . . .)

Sep 252011

Long ago, some religions declared the seventh day of the week a day of rest, and in many countries that day became Sunday. Here at NCS, Sunday is a day of evisceration. It’s not really a special day, because every day of the week is a day for evisceration. Because, really, a day without a pile of steaming guts is like a day without sunshine. Am I right? Of course I am.

To begin the eviscerating process, here is Goretrade, from Columbia.

The song: “Dead Man Walking”

The album: Mistaken Conception (July 2010)

http://www.myspace.com/goretrade
http://www.facebook.com/goretrade

(Thanks for the tip Israel.)

Sep 242011


Most of the time I act on impulse and the rest of the time I over-think things. Yesterday or the day before, both Mastodon and Opeth released new music videos for songs from their new albums. I had already posted new videos yesterday from The Devin Townsend Project and Dark Tranquillity, but because Mastodon and Opeth don’t use the initials “DT”, I decided to skip them.

Actually, I decided to skip them because, by the time I found out they had been released, I figured that anyone who cared about those bands had already seen them via some other metal blog or elsewhere. I think that qualifies as over-thinking things. Both videos are good, some people who visit NCS don’t read other metal blogs, and just because I was going to be late to the party doesn’t mean I should ignore the party, so . . . both videos are now viewable the jump.

Mastodon’s is for a song called “Curl of the Burl”. The song is okay, with a nice stoner riff running through it, but it probably isn’t going to join my list of Mastodon favorites. The video is freaky to watch, though. I especially liked the boobs shining as bright as headlights. And if anyone can figure out what that backwoods cretin is snorting in his cabin, please clue me in.

Opeth’s video is for “The Devil’s Orchard” and, like the Mastodon video, it appears to be a drug-induced dream. Some of the psychedelic images are cliched, but the video as a whole is still very well done and fun to watch, and it complements the song quite well. I just wish I liked the song more.

Sep 242011

I had an interesting and very fruitful exchange of e-mails yesterday with one of our readers who goes by the name Treezplease. He started off with a handful of recommendations for our really irregular and infrequent EYE-CATCHERS series (in which we pick bands to hear based solely on the quality of the album art). But he threw in a couple of other names, and one of them was this Long Island, NY band — Artificial Brain.

I immediately liked the name, because I have long suspected that my own brain is artificial rather than something you would expect to find in nature. Treezplease threw a song my way — “Spacid” — and I listened to it, and it seemed to send a signal to my own artificial brain that cause a biomechanoid larva to awaken and begin eating its way out through one of my ear canals. Or at least that’s what it felt like. I’m not 100% sure because I passed out. When I came to, I did have a trail of phosphorescent slime running from my ear down my neck and something had burrowed a hole right down through my floor, and I’m afraid it may be headed in your direction.

Later, I discovered that “Spacid” is part of a 3-song demo that Artificial Brain made available for free download on Bandcamp in June of this year. And I saw this note on the Bandcamp page: “Space/Death/Black Metal featuring members of Revocation and Biolich.” Uh, whut da fuck? I don’t know Biolich, but Revocation? Fuck yeah. (more after the jump . . .)

Sep 232011

We’ve been dribbling out new songs and videos today, and I thought we were through, but we’re not — because I just got a press release about a new lyric video from Carnifex. It’s for a song called “Dead But Dreaming”, which will appear on the band’s next album, Until I Feel Nothing, scheduled for release by Victory Records on October 24. I have a couple of quick reactions, and then I’ll let you go watch and listen to the video.

First, the song is a fucken crusher. Massive, groaning chords set the stage, and then the band rip into high gear with pounding riffs, grisly vocals, artillery-style drumming, and well-placed bass drops. Fans of the band’s deathcore roots will welcome the return of brutal breakdowns, and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of almost dream-like ambience here and there in the song.

Second, the lyrics aren’t half-bad, and certainly an improvement over the misogynistic ranting that filled so many of the band’s earliest songs.

I’m guessing we’re going to get more straight death-metal in the new album, continuing through on the transitions that began on Hell Chose Me, but as deathcore goes, this song proves that Carnifex have still got it.  The vid is right after the jump, along with some Carnifex tour info and a link for album pre-orders.

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