May 312014

Earlier this month we featured a brand new song named “Counterbattery” from Sweden’s Just Before Dawn. It turns out that “Counterbattery” was just the first track on a two-song single that will be released later this summer on vinyl and cassette via Prowler Records, and a few days ago Just Before Dawn put the second track up on the web for streaming and free download.

The new song is named “Outnumbered”. Anders Biazzi once again wrote and performed the music (with Brynjar Helgetun on drums), and on this track the vocals were recorded by Rogga Johansson and Jonny Petterson.

Like everything else this project has delivered to date, the lyrical subject matter concerns warfare, in this instance the fate of an outnumbered unit of soldiers surrounded by the enemy in a ruined city, lying in wait for one last strike and a final grasp at redemption. Continue reading »

May 302014

Boston’s Pillory will soon be releasing their second album Evolutionary Miscarriage via the Unique Leader label. If you’re familiar with other bands on the Unique Leader roster, then you’ll probably be able to make a good guess about the particular type of mayhem that Pillory deliver, but we’re going to remove the guesswork by premiering a stream of the new album’s second track, “Mass Enmity”.

If you aren’t intrigued by the instrumental introduction, I’ll be surprised, because it’s very enticing. But the song just grows more and more interesting, the kind of music that simultaneously activates the reptile part of the brain while engrossing the higher faculties as well. Parts of the track sound like a conflict raging on some futuristic battlefield. Parts of it surf on cosmic space lanes. Other parts sound like the soundtrack to the work of a big mainframe solving an immensely complex mathematical formula. Continue reading »

May 302014

(Andy Synn reviews the new self-titled EP by Fever Sea.)

A band that I’ve been keeping a rather close eye on for a while now, Progressive/Post- Black Metal troupe Fever Sea, recently released their second, self-titled, EP for ‘Pay What You Want’ over on their Bandcamp page, and I thought it about time we covered this strangely compelling, always intriguing release here at NCS.

While the band’s previous EP The Deluge (reviewed by Islander here), still stands out as a phenomenal debut release by a band full of nascent, blackened promise, their self-titled EP somehow manages to be even better, weaving together moments of angular post-hardcore and atmospheric blackened sorcery into a seamless, multifaceted tapestry of light and shade. Continue reading »

May 302014

I’m slowly moving back into what I normally do at this site after more than a week of living in the world of Maryland Deathfest, first by attending it and then by re-living the experience in NCS posts. And part of what I do is attempt to highlight news items of interest. I’m a bit late featuring the three collected here, but I think they’re worth mentioning, even if tardily.


Beginning in September and running into November, Sweden’s Amon Amarth will be touring the US and Canada. Sadly, they will only have the Viking ship on stage at the October 18 New York City (Manhattan)  date, which is a show that’s part of Decibel magazine’s 10th anniversary celebrations. At that show, the UK’s Vallenfyre will also be appearing.  I would give your left arm to see that show.

Except for that New York City event, Skeletonwitch will also be a part of this tour, which makes it doubly enticing. Sabaton will be on the tour as well. However, although Vallenfyre will be playing the Manhattan date in place of Skeletonwitch, Skeletonwitch and Evoken will be playing later that same night at St Vitus Bar in Brooklyn; that show is also part of the Decibel anniversary festivities. I would give your right arm to see that one. Continue reading »

May 292014

I’ve been reliving my experience at Maryland Deathfest XII through these “travelogue” posts. Maybe “extending my experience” would be a better way to say it, because I really didn’t want it to end and still don’t. But I need to move back to what I usually do at the site (as soon as I remember what that is), and so this will be the final installment.

When I left off yesterday I was in the middle of giving a round of applause to the bands I saw at the Rams Head venue during the course of MDF who made the biggest impact on me. To be clear, I enjoyed the performances of every band I heard at MDF, but the ones I’ve mentioned in these posts were the highlights. I’ll wrap up my thoughts about the performances at Rams Head next, and then turn to the bands who were at Edison Lot.

Saturday night after Bölzer finished their set and I finished waiting in line at their merch table to throw money at them, I caught the last half of the set by Finland’s Hooded Menace, a band I like a lot. They were hooded and they were menacing, boulder-sized doom chords falling down like slow rain (if it were raining boulders) and bleak (but entrancing) guitar melodies rising up like graveyard mist. Continue reading »

May 292014

I’ve not been paying much attention to new song and video premieres or metal news since leaving town for Maryland Deathfest last week and I’ve fallen way behind. But I did just see what you’re about to see in this post — a pair of brand new goodies from NOLA’s Goatwhore relevant to their new album Constricting Rage of the Merciless.

First, we have the cover art created by Jordan Barlow. Very nice.

Second, we have a lyric video for an advance track from the album named “FBS”. It is also very nice (I’m pretty sure I heard them play this on the recent Metal Alliance tour). It’s a nasty, thrashy stun-gun of blackened speed metal with riffs galore and an off-speed instrumental break that’s just as cool as the pedal-to-the-metal parts. Continue reading »

May 292014

(Austin Weber provides the following introduction to our premiere of a new track by Fall of the Albatross from Queens, New York.)

The bewildering experience of taking in Fall Of The Albatross is overwhelming at first, as they are masters of splicing chaos and calm to form intricate dynamic webs and make every bit of it fit together perfectly. For those who’ve missed my previous posts here regarding the band, they are a highly eclectic instrumental metal band with a focus on blowing your mind. The June 24th release of their new full-length, Enormous Cloud, draws ever closer, and thus another song premiere is in order.

Which brings us today to the adventurous journey contained within “Limerence”, a song that churns out planet-smashing math core, stuffs it with a fluffy jazz filling, and sneaks in sublime swelling post-rock builds as well. They arrange the opposing styles expertly to split-second ping-pong off each another brilliantly. From vicious tempo changes to unwinding solitude, this song encapsulates the essence of the record — no boundaries. Continue reading »

May 292014

(DGR wrote this review of the debut album by Germany’s Genocide Generator.)

Late last year I went on a bit of a grind kick and found myself exploring a wide variety of bands — a huge chunk of which I eventually reviewed here at NCS. I was not, however, finding them through the usual channels. Instead, I was discovering them through links posted by other bands whose music I was initially listening to — and that’s how I recently discovered Germany’s Genocide Generator.

Distaste were one of the bands whose music I reviewed late last year, and since then I’ve been keeping an eye on the band as well as its various members’ other projects, just to get some idea of what they’ve been up to — as well as catching the occasional really good recommendation. A surveillance practice like this really lends itself to the discovery of very good bands from groups’ local scenes, ones that may not be covered too often in the metal website world. For instance, Mastic Scum (reviewed here) was one of those recommendations from Distaste.

Since then though, I’ve found myself traveling through concentric circles on Facebook via a variety of bands and recently found myself doing so with Distaste once again — with supplemental help from Metal-Archives to get an idea about the bands I was clicking on and looking at. Continue reading »

May 282014

Diocletian at Rams Head Live — MDF XII

So far I’ve written about two of the venues at Maryland Deathfest XIIThe Edison Lot and Soundstage. Today I’ll cover two more and begin discussing more of the bands who provided, for me, the musical highlights of the four-day event.

My two Seattle friends and I arrived in Baltimore in the early evening of last Wednesday after a long cross-country flight to D.C. and then a numbing crawl through rush-hour traffic from there to Baltimore. It was a steady 20 miles per hour all the way, except for the times when it wasn’t moving at all and about 10 minutes when we accelerated all the way up to a blistering 40 mph.

We hooked up with my NCS comrade BadWolf at the hotel (he had driven all the way from Toledo), and since all of us were feeling hungry and sort of beat to shit, we had some food and drinks at the hotel after checking in and before making our way to the Ottobar for the pre-fest show on Wednesday night. Continue reading »

May 282014

Just last week, Iceland’s Sólstafir absolutely floored me (and hundreds of other fans) with their performance at the 12th  edition of Maryland Deathfest. Hot on the heels of that trump, Season of Mist has just announced that the band will be releasing a new album named Ótta on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America.

According to the press release, “As the name suggests, Ótta will include eight songs, which titles will be unveiled later in June.” Pre-orders will start at the SoM e-shop (here) on June 10.

And that’s about all I have to say about that.  I have to go now and change my shorts.