Jan 292013

I love Bandcamp. I know that’s not a revelation, since I’ve been ejaculating my love for Bandcamp at NCS for years. But I have new reasons to love Bandcamp.

For example, Kroda. One of my favorite black metal bands on Earth, whose 2011 album Schwarzpfad was one of my favorite releases of that year in any genre. As of today, Schwarzpfad is on Bandcamp and available for streaming and digital download — the first time this album has become available legally as a download anywhere. This is the second Kroda album that has appeared on Bandcamp, joining the excellent 2012 release, Live Under Hexenhammer: Heil Ragnarok! Here’s the link, and the stream:

http://kroda.bandcamp.com/album/schwarzpfad

But that’s not the only Bandcamp news I want to share.

Jan 292013

I generally don’t see much point in trying to guess about a future event when all I have to do is wait a week and I’ll have the answer. But this time I just can’t resist.

What you see above is an image that appeared on the Scion A/V Facebook page late yesterday along with these words: “We’ve got something special coming to you from Meshuggah next Tuesday.”

By way of background, consider these facts. First, Scion A/V, that renowned automotive patron of metal, is sponsoring The Ophidian Trek 2013, which is Meshuggah’s up-coming North American tour with Animals As Leaders and Intronaut; it kicks off on Feb 11 in Orlando.

Second, Scion A/V also sponsored Meshuggah’s 2012 North American tour with Baroness and Decapitated, and to boost that baby Scion A/V made the lead track from Koloss (“I Am Colossus”) available for free download and financed a limited edition 7″ vinyl version of the song as a giveaway on the tour.

Jan 282013

You know, it’s about fuckin’ time that someone captured in music the inner pain, sorrow, degradation, and wistfulness that clowns experience every goddamn day. God bless those Cephalic Carnage brethren Nick Schendzielos and Brian Hopp for doing that in this new video.

I mean, let’s be brutally honest: no one likes clowns except other clowns. Little kids may pretend to like them, but deep down inside they’re either scared shitless or experiencing an inarticulate sense that something is not right. And the rest of us KNOW that something is not right.

This widespread prejudice has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of clowns. It is the hidden shame of our great Nation. And the number would be orders of magnitude higher except for the fact that juggalos travel in packs. But (except in the case of juggalos), this mixture of fear and loathing that everyone feels about clowns is heartless and insensitive.

If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? Beneath the face paint and the big red noses, are they not human, just as you and I? Actually, I don’t know, because I wouldn’t get close enough to touch one of them if my fuckin’ life depended on it.

Jan 282013

(In this post, guest writer Graffiti Petey provides a look back at California’s Antagony.)

Metalhead A: “Suicide Silence. White Chapel. All Shall Perish. Job for a Cowboy.” 
Metalhead B: “Yup, heard of all these bands.” 
A: “How about Despised Icon? Animosity?” 
B: “Yeah, I think I remember them.”
A: “Okay, what about ANTAGONY?”
B: “Who???”

Chances are if you are reading this you have never heard about the seminal Bay Area-based metal band–Antagony (circa 1999-2009). Their story is a tragic account of bad timing and bad luck. Why is this band still relevant? Well, it’s been almost 4 years since they disbanded but their loyal fanbase is still passionate about what they did and what they could have been. To put it simply: Antagony mixed elements of Death/Grind and Hardcore before all of the aforementioned bands. Now you know this. If you are familiar with Hollywood tragedies, a good analogy would be River Phoenix: an experienced actor who influenced his generation but never quite hit stardom. After his untimely death–fellow actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, and his brother Joaquin have gone on to super-stardom. This is the pattern we’ll see with Antagony.

Reading over Antagony’s past members is like reading a who’s who in the modern metal scene. The thirteen former members of Antagony have gone on to such bands as Oblivion, All Shall Perish, Hacksaw to the Throat, Suffokate, Oblige, Misericordiam, and more. You may be asking yourselves—how did all of these bands gain more recognition than their originator? The answer to that is a fateful combination of bad luck and bad timing, as we’ll discuss during the chronological analysis of the band history.

Jan 282013

I know almost nothing about TrenchRot. They are from Philadelphia, and through a little web sleuthing I’ve figured out that their members include vocalist/guitarist Steve Jansson, who has split time between a speed metal band named Infiltrator and a sludge band named Grass. And beyond that, they’re a mystery. Except for their music; I do know about that.

Earlier this month TrenchRot posted a three-track demo named Dragged Down To Hell on Bandcamp. You can pay what you want to get it. The music is neither speed metal nor sludge, but death metal. TrenchRot’s beefy death metal stew has a strong old-school flavor but it doesn’t sound like re-packaged, cookie-cutter hero worship. The songs are distinctive, and galvanizing.

For the most part the three demo tracks blaze away at a thrashing pace, propelled by slaughtering riffs, squalling guitar leads, and a mix of percussive rhythms, all hell-bent on sonic demolition.  Where the pacing changes, it’s a drop down on all fours for a moaning, groaning death-doom crawl.

Jan 282013

Monday’s are tough enough under the best of circumstances, but your humble editor had something of a lost weekend, with epic revels on Saturday night and a Sunday lost in painful fog, paying the price for all that fun. The brutal reality of normal life and work now intrudes, whether I want it to or not.

But now is not the time to mope and moan over that which can’t be changed. It’s time to get back on the fuckin’ horse and charge out of the gates. And to get the old game face on for what lies ahead this week, here’s some murderous new music that I discovered yesterday — from Guttural Secrete (U.S.), Black Crucifixion (Finland), and Malevolence (Portugal).

GUTTURAL SECRETE

Guttural Secrete are from Nevada. They play brutal death metal. Actually, let’s call it brutal tech-death. They have a new album entitled Nourishing the Spoil due for release next month on the Brutal Bands label (pre-order here). Last October I included a song from that album by the name of “Stainless Conception” in this post, and over the weekend the band debuted another one, “Deadened Prior To Coitus”. What a nice name for a song!

It begins with eerie, reverberating chords and then all hell breaks loose with grinding, pulverizing riffs and a merciless drum attack. There’s a load of fast fretwork and rapid tempo changes throughout, as well as a reappearance by that ghostly melody from the intro. The vocals, of course, are guttural secretions.

Jan 282013

Welcome to Part 19 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three I’m announcing today, click here.

We’re winding down. We’re nearing the end of this list. I’m thinking we’ll stop with Part 21. Or maybe Part 22. I’m still wrestling with my mind over how to finish. It’s like wrestling with a puddle of mercury.

All I’m really sure about are the three songs I’m adding to the list today. They’re all Exceptions to the NCS Rule, but they bring the power of the riff something fierce. They rock so hard they’ll break your dick, even if you don’t have a dick.  So I’m going with them even though they rely mainly on clean vocals.

MOKOMA

I heard about this Finnish band last November via a recommendation from NCS supporter jeimssi, who nominated the song “Kuollut, Kuolleempi, Kuollein” for this list. The song comes from the band’s 2012 album 180 Astetta — which turns out to be Mokoma’s ninth album. They’re apparently quite popular in Finland, though less well known outside the borders, perhaps because they sing in Finnish.

Jan 272013

Welcome to Part 18 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

I think you’ll readily get the connection between the two songs I’m adding to the list today. Folk/pagan metal is not a genre of music that is as near and dear to my black heart as others, and I’d never hold myself out as any kind of expert, much less as someone who listened to a lot of albums in this field during 2012. But I do know what I fuckin’ like, and I do like these two songs.

ELUVEITIE

I’m unable to disassociate this Swiss band’s recorded music from my memories of hearing them live. I’ll see them live whenever I get the chance, because every show I’ve attended has been a big kick in the ass. Those experiences make me prone to like their recorded music because I can visualize and feel the energy of them performing. But with that said, I believe I’d still think the title track to their 2012 album Helvetios is a damned fine song.

Jan 262013

I’m going to a massive bash tonight in celebration (a day late) of the 254th birthday of Robert Burns.  Whisky will be drunk, songs will be sung, whisky will be drunk, poems will be recited, whisky will be drunk, haggis will be eaten, whisky will be drunk. Also, whisky will be drunk, and we will all be drunk.

Therefore, I will be writing something for tomorrow today, because I have a feeling tomorrow will be lost to incapacitation. I will also be preparing myself today for some sort of performance tonight, and also updating my last will and testament, just in case. Between the writing for tomorrow and the preparation for tonight, I will be scarce around the site on this Saturday. But before disappearing, I thought I’d share a few recent discoveries and a few old favorites that are on my mind today, all of which are metal, even if they’re not all music.

PRAISE

Today the following comment appeared on a post about the band General Surgery that I wrote a year ago: “Thank you a lot for giving everyone an extraordinarily brilliant chance to read critical reviews from this site. It is often very kind and full of a lot of fun for me and my office friends to search your web site at the very least three times in 7 days to read the new guidance you have. And of course, I’m just usually satisfied concerning the stunning techniques you give. Selected two ideas in this article are indeed the most efficient I have had.”

Jan 262013

Welcome to Part 17 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three I’m announcing today, click here.

I’ve been tramping through the forest of black metal the last couple of days and decided to stay there at least one more day. I’ve been pretty sure for a while that this list would include music from each of today’s three very different albums. The hard part came in picking just one song from each.

GOATWHORE

This NOLA band’s 2102 album Blood For the Master was reviewed for us here by Andy Synn. It was loaded with great metal, but I ultimately picked “When Steel and Bone Meet” for this list. To borrow Andy’s word, “When Steel… is a bar-room brawl set to music, chains and fists flying in a drunken, grooving orgy of violence that manages to cram in a swaggering groove, pummeling power-riffage, and some switchblade soloing in barely more than 3 minutes.”

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