Dec 312011

I was going to wait ’til after midnight here in Cascadia to post this, but what the fuck. It’s already after midnight everywhere in the world except the Americas. So, on behalf of all your embarrassing friends at NCS, I want to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year. May 2012 be better for you than the year just ended. Take care of yourself, look after your friends, and don’t let the bastards get you down.

And yeah, I know what that photo looks like. We do like our massive ejaculations here in Seattle. If you’d prefer a less ejaculatory photo, I like the one after the jump, too. It has pretty colors. There are also three  songs after the jump, including a brand new version of the New Year’s traditional featuring lead guitars by Jeff Loomis. Rock on.

Dec 312011

This is Part 6 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

Yesterday’s installment in this list was all Finland. Today, it’s all made in the U.S.A. (in fact, it’s all made in Ohio). I also decided to feature the songs from these two bands today because it’s New Year’s Eve. Even if you’re not planning to get obliterated tonight, the end of the year still deserves something suitably apocalyptic for your ears — something evil, something blasphemous, something that sounds like the skies are burning, but something that also makes you want to party hard, even if you’re just partying with yourself in your mind. So, here we go:

SKELETONWITCH

Forever Abomination made a slew of the year-end Best Album lists we’ve published at NCS so far. For example:  DECIBEL magazine wrote that “the band cranks up the black metal and coherently manages to amalgamate all their various influences as they rampage through one concise, blistering track after another.” Andy Synn called it “a game-changing creation of abominable power”, “as flawless a thrash record as we have seen this year”, and “as vehement a black metal album as any released by the traditional set” (and you can read Andy’s full NCS review from September here). Rev. Will called it “my black thrash metal album of 2011″.

No doubt, Forever Abomination will be remembered as the album when Skeletonwitch got their shit completely together, producing a razor-edged riff machine that’s distinctive, dangerous, and memorable. But as good as the album is, from start to finish, one song stood out as the most infectious — and we think it’s one of the most infectious extreme metal songs of the year.

Dec 312011


It’s nearly 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

Phro has started drinking.  I can’t tell whether he’s already passed his limit or whether he needs to drink a shitload more.  He sent me these two videos.

You remember Babymetal, don’t you?  How could you forget.  I’ve been trying, but my psychotherapist says I need to work harder at it.  The new video is the same goddamn “Doki Doki Morning” song, but this time the Babymetal teeny boppers are dancing and throwing the goat.

The other video is from the same chick who did that PonPonPon video.  I’m ashamed I even know that. This is all Phro’s fault.

It’s not even 6 a.m. here in Seattle.  I now need to get fucked up fast, but 6 a.m. seems just a tad on the early side.  I’m screwed.

Believe me, there WILL be a palette cleanser soon . . .

Dec 312011

I know that most of you will be like me tonight. You’ll curl up with a romance novel and a box of chocolates and have a quiet, dreamy evening that may or may not last long enough to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks on television before you drift into a restful slumber, awakening cheerful and refreshed on New Year’s Day. For those very few of you who plan to get wrecked, piss yourselves, and wake up bleeding in a pool of your own vomit with a thermonuclear hangover and missing teeth — this post’s for you, motherfuckers!!!!  It’s time to griiiiiiiiiinnnnnndd!!!!!

Today, we’re featuring brand new and recent releases from (respectively) Fuck the Facts and Brutal Truth, but first, what better way to start this special day/night than with a band called

TOTAL VOMIT EXPERIENCE

This band is from — where else? — Finland. I first heard their name (and once you’ve heard it, how could you forget?) when doing a little research about the excellent new death metal band Magenta Harvest for this post last May. Magenta Harvest includes a guitarist named Timo Hanhikangas, who was then a member of Total Vomit Experience, too, and that’s how I heard the name. Eventually, I checked out their online sites and found this list of “artists we also like” on TVE’s facebook page:

Carcass, Napalm Death, Rotten Sound, Repulsion, Entombed, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Throbbing Gristle, Fields of the Nephilim, Current 93, Discharge, Extreme Noise Terror, Master, Anticimex, Godflesh, Swans

Now, of course, having good taste in metal doesn’t mean you can make metal that tastes good, even if you have an awe-inspiring band name like Total Vomit Experience. But it turns out that TVE definitely can make the tasty metal.

Dec 302011

This is Part 5 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

It’s no secret that we have a special aFINNity for Finnish metal at NCS, and the two songs that are the subject of today’s feature are from Finnish bands who’ve made their own distinctive marks in the genre of melodic death metal. Both Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum released wonderful albums this year, both of which were loaded with powerful, memorable songs. The hard part was not deciding whether to include these two bands on this list. The hard part was deciding which of many appealing songs on those albums should be included.

Insomnium’s album One For Sorrow made many of the “Best of 2011″ lists we’ve published over the last few weeks, and Andy Synn hit the nail on the head when he summed up the album this way in his NCS review: “A poignant reminder of love and loss, and the pain of those left behind. An emblem of grief that cannot, yet somehow must, be borne, and of the strength we find within ourselves to carry on. Through all the tears shed in silence, for all the rage and sadness, One For Sorrow is at its heart an album of meditative melancholy and strength not yet subdued. Grace under pressure. Happiness and heartache in equal measure. One for sorrow, two for joy.”

Insomnium have a gift for writing songs that intricately combine power, immersive atmospherics, and irresistibly infectious melodies. Particularly because of Niilo Sevänen’s incredible harsh roars (among the best in the business), Insomnium continue to create that pairing of beauty and the beast that make their melancholy take on melodic death metal so enticing.

Dec 302011

(Phro remembers a few metal greats who left this world in 2011. He assures me that he in no way means disrespect to the departed or their bereaved families — this is just his Phro-like way of saying “Thanks for the rocking!”)

Last night, after forcing a pony to snort enough coke to kill an elephant and then drinking the O.D.ed pony’s blood, I passed out in a pond of vomited up pony blood and enchiladas.  (Nothing helps pony blood go down like Mexican food!)  And, like Paul fallen off his horse on the road to Damascus, I was visited by a savior: Seth Putnam.

“What the Virgin Mary’s bloody tampon??  Seth Putnam??  I though you were fucking dead!  Are you here to rape my dirty nose?”

He laughed like an angel (an angel who’d just woken up after doing a speedball out of a hooker’s torn anus, but an angel none the less.)

“Well, my child, that is true…I am dead.”

“Son of a…I knew that last pint was too fucking much.  Motherfucker.  So, I’m dead too and you’re here to take  me to hell?”

He laughed again.  This time it was more like the mirth of a child watching his or her first Tijuana donkey show.

“No, not at all!  I’m here to reveal my gospel to you to share with all the world!”

I punched myself in the dick to see if I was dreaming.  (A little pinch is nothing when you’re on pony blood—you need to inflict real pain.)  I screamed like a little kid seeing Sandusky’s face on TV.  At least I knew I wasn’t dreaming.  After panting in agony for a while, I regained composure and wheezed out a question.

“What’s…urg…your…gaaaa…gospel…uhhhrrrr…?”

Dec 302011

(The Indian metal scene is vibrant, multi-faceted, and loaded with talented bands waiting to be discovered on the international stage.  In the vanguard of the movement are Demonic Resurrection and their frontman The Demonstealer.  As a songwriter, a musician, the manager of Demonstealer Records, the host of a heavy metal cooking show, and much else besides, he’s a busy dude, but he made time to answer our request for a list of his favorite albums from 2011.)

Considering I haven’t heard much music this year it was very hard putting this list together. Had I heard a lot of the other albums released this year I might have had a different list. Either way, given a choice, this list would be in no particular order, but since we do this thing, here is my list in order.

1. Fleshgod ApocalypseAgony – Oh my god this was my surprise discovery for 2011. I found it thanks to SickDrummer.com where there was a drum cam video of Francesco Paoli playing the song ‘The Violation”, after which I saw the music video and had my nuts blown off!! I immediately got the album and it’s been in my player ever since.

Dec 302011


(Sending his binary bits all the way from Denmark, MaxR — the proprietor of the Metal Bandcamp blog — makes another welcome guest appearance at NCS with this feature on his Top 10 Metal Bandcamp doom favorites of 2011.)

10 tracks in no particular order plus one honorable mention. 2 hours 26 minutes and 1 second of music. Enjoy.

1. Lycus – “Aghast”. Mournful choral vocal lines accompany the traditional death metal vocals and crashing riffs. And that fantastic fast section as the track goes from stately to pummeling. Cathartic.

Dec 292011

(I got sort of caught up in all the year-end Listmania we’ve been feeding you on this site, and am therefore late in publishing this guest opinion piece by Jesper Zuretti of The Binary Code. Check this out and let us [and Jesper} know what you think.  Are we putting too much emphasis on recording quality?)

We Are the 3%: Recording Quality v. Song Quality
a novice attempt at history, psychology, and temptation

Many people hearing music in this day and age tend to put the quality of the recording in the forefront, even ahead of the quality of the composition and music. But how much does the music-hearing individual really understand about the quality of the recording they’re listening to? Should they need to understand anything at all? Should music be over-scrutinized and classified into the depths of genre segregation, with fine-tuning into multiple combinations of classification?

The best part about music, in my opinion, is the freedom you have with it, and yet people are probably pickier about music than they are the food they eat. The history of music proves to us that recording (although it’s the conduit to our musical stream) is but a small aspect of music’s place in the entirety of human existence. I’m no certified musicologist (although I’d like to think I am), but maybe we’ll open some minds – just bear in mind that I’m a long-winded typist! Stay with me:

Human beings have been making music as long as the species has existed. The human voice is considered one of the first instruments we ever used to make music. And beyond that, Humpback whales also spend a great deal of time creating music (and by “great deal of time,” we’re talking Frank Zappa amounts of time). So it’s very safe to assume that music was being created even before mankind came into existence. On that assumption, if you subtract the amount of time during which humans have actually captured music on recordings from the length of time whales have been on this planet (speculated to be 54 million years), you end up with less than 3% of music’s supposed development time dedicated to recording.

Dec 292011

This is Part 4 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

For fans like me who are addicted to old-school, Swedish-style death metal, 2011 was a very good year. We’re in the midst of a revival, and it doesn’t show any signs of abating. One of the best releases of the year in this grisly genre was the second album by Sweden’s Entrails, The Tomb Awaits. Entrails originally came into existence in 1991, became moribund by 1998, but revived beginning in 2009. Their latest, Dan Swanö-produced offering reflects Entrails’ authentically deep roots in the scene.

As we wrote in our review of the album, “The music is a gargantuan beast, dripping with the remains of its last grisly meal of suppurating human flesh — and it’s a headbanger’s delight, too. . . . Dynamic vocals that are deliciously horrible, perfectly toned guitar-and-bass combos that sound like giant earth-moving equipment scooping up disease-infested masses of corpse meat, the booming assault of heartless drums, a surrounding aura of voracious evil — what’s not to like? The answer: Nothing. It’s all good.”

Entrails and their labels Dark Descent Records and FDA Rekotz gave us the chance to premiere a song from the album called “Remains In Red” along with the review, but “End of All Existence” is the most infectious of many catchy beasts on The Tomb Awaits. It’s also one of the most infectious extreme metal songs of the year, in my most humble opinion, so it’s our next addition to this list:

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