Apr 302014

Prosthetic Records will be releasing the new Marty Friedman album Inferno on May 27 in North America (May 26 in the UK/EU and May 23 in G/A/S). Within the last hour, a brand new song from the album named “Meat Hook” started streaming on YouTube. This song includes Jørgen Munkeby of Norway’s Shining playing saxophone and providing vocals. Friedman says this may be his favorite song on the album, and you can understand why — because this song is fucking fantastic.

It includes not only borderline unhinged skronkiness and eye-popping shred from this duo but also a beautiful melodic saxophone part. The sound captures elements of both Shining’s Blackjazz sound and Friedman’s, and it’s amazing how well the combination works. Mind=blown.

After the jump listen to “Meat Hook” and then check out what both Friedman and Munkeby have to say about it in separate video statements.

Apr 302014

(Earlier this week we were thrilled to premiere a full-album stream of the new Aborted album along with BadWolf’s review. Today the album was officially released, and to celebrate the occasion we now bring a second review by TheMadIsraeli.)

I spent a lot of time earlier this month listening to a fuck load of Aborted, particularly Global Flatline and the band’s new serving of carnivorous delight The Necrotic Manifesto, back-to-back on repeat.  Global Flatline was a big deal for Aborted, earning them new fans and some return fans after a slew of albums that seemed mostly to have been met with indifference.  I never really understood the dislike or luke-warm reaction to the band’s 2005-2008 output; I quite enjoyed it, but it didn’t exactly click with a lot of people.  Global Flatline honestly may have been the band’s crowning opus since Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done.  As a result, The Necrotic Manifesto is an album that puts the burden on these Belgian butchers of doing some extreme heavy lifting to maintain a consistency of quality.

Other bloggers I’ve talked with who’ve had advance access to this album all seem to have different takes on this record.  Some feel it’s a continuation, a logical one, of Global Flatline while others think (as I do) that this has a much less refined, grittier, and more unrelenting flavor.  I also feel that there is quite a bit more grind present, whereas I thought Global Flatline was a straight death metal album.  The fact the band switched out guitar players has to be a huge factor, too; those who were replaced appeared on those last several records, including Global Flatline.  I mean, you can’t really argue with who they now have in the ranks — Danny Tunker, who has quite a resume, and Mendel Bij De Leij, whose latest solo release I reviewed recently and who is Sven De Caluwe’s bandmate in System Divide.  Yet I have to admit that I was curious about how these changes would affect the music.

Apr 302014

Your humble editor has fallen down on the job. Due to a variety of personal and work-related interferences I haven’t been as diligent as I would like in spotting and writing about new developments in the wide world of metal over the last couple of days. With luck, I can do some catching up today, beginning with this collection of items that I thought were worth your attention.

INCANTATION

How many times have you seen Incantation’s name as a reference point for releases by new death metal bands? Dozens of times? Hundreds? I know I’ve used them many times myself in attempting to capture a certain kind of sound in writing about the music of more recent groups. And now we have new music from Incantation themselves.

But before getting to that, is that album artwork cool or what? It’s by the phenomenally talented Eliran Kantor, whose work we’ve praised frequently at this site. We’ve obtained a hi-res version of the cover, which you can see in all its glory by clicking on the image above.

The album’s name is Dirges of Elysium and it’s due for North American release by Listenable Records on June 24. The song that premiered yesterday is named “Carrion Prophecy”, and man, it’s a monster — monstrous pounding riffs that ooze radioactive sickness, monstrous abyssal growls, and an atmosphere of monstrous menace. When the song begins to gallop and race, heads will bang hard, and when it descends again into a pit of decay and depravity, you may feel tumors begin to thicken your organs.

Apr 302014

Periodically the London-based Candlelight Records releases a sampler of music from the label’s artists, and within the last day or two they did it again. This new compilation is named Legion III and it includes 27 tracks by a long list of bands with a wide variety of musical styles. I’m familiar with most (though not all) of the bands, and the ones I know of are very good.

I usually mention new comps on this site when they’re free — and of course when they include music by bands I like. In this case, the comp costs $4.99 (or £2.99), but I thought the array of music was so good that it was worth spreading the word anyway. Also, that’s a pretty cheap price for the quality of music included here. Speaking of which, this isn’t simply a repackaging of previously released tracks — it also includes live cuts and demos that until now haven’t been made available for purchase.

Rather than try to pick out a few names to highlight what’s to be found on the sampler, I’ll just post the entire list:

Apr 302014

(Austin Weber reviews the forthcoming second album by Noneuclid, a band featuring members of Triptykon, Dark Fortress, and Obscura.)

After seeing Obscura live a number of years ago with new (at the time) bassist Linus Klausenitzer in tow, I curiously checked after the show (where “Ocean Gateways” blasted my butthole apart and I was the lone idiot screaming and growling along to each song) to see what else he had done, and in doing so stumbled upon Noneuclid and their outstanding debut, The Crawling Chaos. After a long 8 year wait, they’ve finally followed up that album with the release of Metatheosis, an effort that further builds upon, bends, and blends the foundations and experimental defiances of tradition they previously established. Metatheosis, at a towering 67 minutes, is not a record for everyone. Which is to say it hits the right mixture of weird, wonderful, and wounded, in a graceful interconnected trifecta that will intrigue just as many people as it will repulse.

This is a testament to the fact that they’ve had the balls and vision to really go for it, to craft a specialized sound that is a hybrid you will either become hypnotized by or unable to connect with. Ambitious music like this exists not for the purist who will be confused by it, but for metalheads craving that new sound that hits all the sweet spots in a way they haven’t heard before.

To classify Metatheosis overall, one could say that it falls into the realm of thrash, while avoiding the trappings and limitations of the retro-thrash movement. The progressive thrash base of Noneuclid comes across like Watchtower and Voivod meet Metallica and Slayer. Aided by the incorporation of ravenous death metal shrouded with black touches, the music also embraces a despairing sense of doom with orchestral and acoustic threads woven into the tapestry. Noneuclid’s merger of styles comes across as quite unorthodox and avante-garde, and in the end they never quite fit anywhere, they are simply Noneuclid, and their approach is all their own.

Apr 292014

In some quarters, Jef Whitehead’s cover to the new album (Death Mask) by Chicago’s Lord Mantis has stirred up controversy — including in the comment thread to our own review of the album, where the band’s Charlie Fell joined the conversation to provide his own response to the controversy. Of course, controversy and metal aren’t strangers. In fact, one might argue that controversy is at the heart of metal. In fact, one might go further and argue that metal really doesn’t give a shit (and shouldn’t give a shit) about social agendas, political issues, or trying to move society in one direction or another.

That seems to be the general point of a short but potent piece by our fellow blogger Full Metal Attorney that appeared yesterday. In that piece, with the title “Metal Doesn’t Give A Shit”, he uses the controversy over Whitehead’s cover as a jumping-off point for an opinion piece in which he responds to the claim that metal should become “a truly counter-cultural resistance against mainstream society” — and I quote in part below:

“No, I’m sorry. Metal doesn’t care. Metal is horror films, snuff films, shock jocks, and pulp in music form. It has no higher purpose, and no social agenda.

Metal isn’t left. It isn’t right. It’s up yours. Dee Snider didn’t dress up like a woman because he was “ahead of his time” on queer issues, he did it to piss people off.

Apr 292014

(In this post, NCS contributor KevinP interviews Hamish Glencross of Vallenfyre and My Dying Bride and along the way extracts a track-by-track commentary about the new Vallenfyre album — Splinters — which is scheduled for release by Century Media on May 12 in Europe and May 13 in North America.)

K:  Ok, let’s get something clear right from the start.  How close were you to convincing Gregor to change the name of the band to VallenPorn ‘stache??

 

 

H:  Heh heh! Well, I wanted to keep the focus off the facial hair as much as possible as I could tell it would be a distraction, so I thought better of it.  I was a little concerned people would think my dad had joined the band!

 

K:  LOL, fair point.  Papa Glencross.  If I may ask, whats the genesis behind that thing in the first place?

H:  Simply my daughter wanted me to grow a ‘stache.  And if that’s the worst thing she’ll ever ask of me, I’d be doing ok.

Apr 292014

(TheMadIsraeli wrote this.)

Time to revisit this shit again at my own peril.

So, I, and we, have written multiple times about Hacktivist.  For those unfamiliar with them, Hacktivst play rap-djent.   They WERE the only band doing what they do, but now it looks like we may be seeing rap-djent become a solidified “thing”.

Australia’s Devastator are the second band I’ve heard doing this kind of shit, and while the temptation is to compare them to Hacktivist solely on the fact they’re playing djent with rapping as the main vocal drive, Devastator are quite a bit different.  Their music has a more driving edge to it, far more aggressive both musically and in the tone of the vocals of Matthew “AntiMatter” Youkhana.

Apr 282014

 

(NCS writer DGR recently had the chance to pose some questions by e-mail to Ville Friman, guitarist, song-writer, and co-vocalist for Finland’s Insomnium, whose new album Shadows of the Dying Sun was reviewed by the same DGR here.)

 

Thank you so much for sitting down for this interview. How are you feeling as the official release dates of Shadows Of The Dying Sun move closer?

Ville Friman: No worries Dave, our pleasure really. It’s exciting times. Album seems to be doing well in the press, and we just found out that it made album of the month in German Metal Hammer, which is pretty big. Just hoping that people will like it and enjoy it as much as we do.

 

Shadows Of The Dying Sun is still recognizably Insomnium but there are a couple of shifts in sound. For example, I noticed a pretty big increase in tempo on a lot of the songs and the inclusion of some serious blastbeat work on the part of Markus. Insomnium have done fast tunes and more “traditionally” (if you could forgive a reductive phrase) melo-death songs before, but this album really sees the speed increase on multiple songs. Were you guys feeling in a faster mood than usual?

Ville Friman: Yes, I guess the blastbeats are bit of a new thing with us. We have fast songs on the album, but also a couple of slower pieces. So it’s a mix of things. We weren’t trying to be fast intentionally. I guess we just brought the tempo up a notch in general. And we were thinking about finding the best tempo for each song, and when we wanted to sound fast, we went pretty much as fast as we could.

Apr 282014

(In this post BadWolf reviews the new album by AbortedThe Necrotic Manifesto — and we bring you for the first time anywhere a full stream of the album in its entirety.)

When you have a staff as wild as the NCS crew, it’s pretty difficult to arrive at anything approaching consensus. Between Islander, myself, Izzy and Andy, not to mention our various contributing writers, we like pretty much every style of metal (Note: that sentence, to anyone just casually reading this site, probably sounds completely absurd. You’re right. It’s totally absurd, but follow me). Concordantly, whenever there’s a record that every single one of us feels strongly about, it’s worth getting up and taking notice. One such record was Aborted’s 2012 rager, Global Flatline, which somehow wound up on every single one of our year-end lists. Maybe that’s why we have the privilege of streaming its successor, The Necrotic Manifesto, in its entirety for you below!

Aborted haven’t messed with their formula much in the last two years, which is good; why mess with perfection? The Belgian five-piece combines gory death metal with hardcore and grindcore influences as well as anybody else. If you wanted, you could call them a deathcore band, but why would you want to? Their approach doesn’t rely on big, meaty breakdowns to carry otherwise limp songs. Sure, there’s a massive bruiser at the end of “The Davidian Deceit,” but the three minutes leading up are chock full of squealing guitar runs and lock-step grooves as well.

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