Jan 212015

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth


I’ve commented before about the enormous flood of stream premieres, new album announcements, label signings, and other metal news that has been unleashed since the beginning of the year. But yesterday may have reached new heights of ridiculousness in terms of the number of noteworthy things I saw in a single day.

In fact, yesterday brought so damned much cool stuff that I’d either have to write a half-dozen posts or do what I’m doing here instead — just funneling streams, links, artwork, and news blurbs your way with a minimum of commentary. The bands are presented in alphabetical order — all 18 of them. In most cases, you can enlarge the cover art and photos by clicking on the images in this post.

Jan 202015


This is a collection of recent music I heard over the last 24 hours that I want to recommend. As the post title suggests, the music is loosely connected by elements of black metal — and I do mean “loosely”, especially in the case of the first song.


I first learned of the Dutch two-man band Urfaust when our long-time supporter Utmu wrote about them in a guest post two years ago, a post I would commend to people who are new to Urfaust. Even today, I’ve still only dabbled in the band’s previous recordings, but enough to recognize that their approach to black metal is highly distinctive.

More than four years have passed since their last album, but Germany’s Ván Records is now poised to release a new 12″ vinyl EP from the band. Entitled Apparitions, it features painted artwork by ThornyThoughts Artwork.

Jan 192015


I was getting bored with those “Seen and Heard” post titles, so I changed  it for today — but that’s still what this is: a collection of new songs that I spotted and heard over the last 24 hours and would like to recommend to you. And since it’s Monday, you know what kind of mood I’m talking about.

P.S. This is a holiday in the U.S., and although I still have to work, we won’t have the usual volume of posts today. Hope you enjoy this one, and the next installment of our “Most Infectious” song list, which will be up a bit later.


When I first saw the album cover (above) for the new album by Texas-based Pyramids, I quipped to some friends: “This is what happens when you let monkeys play with a tape dispenser”. I’m still not sure what the photo signifies, but the music is no joke.

The new album is named A Northern Meadow and it’s set for release by Profound Lore on March 17. And on this album the Pyramids line-up is augmented by some notable guests: Vindsval of Blut Aus Nord; Colin Marston of Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, and Krallice; and composer/musician William Fowler Collins. This will be my first exposure to the band’s music (so far as I can remember), but I’m now very eager to hear the album because the first advance track has now premiered.

Jan 172015

We have arrived at Part 21 in the continuing rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

The two songs I’m adding today aren’t as loud and extreme as the majority of what’s on the list. They’re also exceptions to the rule embodied in the site’s name. But they’re both very good, very infectious songs — and they have some other things in common, too. Prepare for some satanic rock.


Morning Star Rise marked a conscious change in sound for New Zealand’s The House of Capricorn, a change exemplified by the song I’m adding to the list today. Relatively speaking “Ivory Crown” is one of the more subdued tracks on the album — if you’re looking for tracks that drive harder on the mayhem end of the spectrum, then I’d recommend “The Road To Hell Is Marked” or “Our Shrouded King”. But “Ivory Crown” is built around such killer melodic hooks that it’s powerfully addictive.

Jan 162015

My memory of what happened a year ago is hazy (my memory of what happened yesterday is hazy, too, but more like partly cloudy instead of overcast with dense fog). But this January seems to have brought an unprecedented tide of new music. Wholly apart from all the new album promos we’ve received since the first of the year, every day has bought new song or video premieres that are worth hearing. It’s as if labels and bands were just waiting for the holidays to end and then opened the floodgates.

I’ve got a list of new music to check out that’s grown absurdly long, and since I haven’t managed to write a round-up in five days, it’s unrealistic to catch up in a single post. So even more so than usual, I chose this collection of songs on a truly random basis. I have a lot more I’d like to throw your way — with luck I can do that this weekend.


Sannhet are from Brooklyn. Their second album, Revisionist, is coming from The Flenser on March 3. Yesterday Stereogum premiered the album’s first advance track, a song named “Lost Crown”.

Jan 122015


(DGR gets Raunchy… and he wrote this review. Your humble editor made a few intrusions in italics.)

It’s time to get a little silly don’t you think? We’ve covered a whole lot of really heavy shit over the past few weeks. It feels like we’ve covered a billion death metal bands and ground a million lists to dust. We’ve been in the murk-covered swamps of gore that metal comes from for far too long, and it’s time to lighten shit up around here. And personally, I feel like I’ve done enough with my year-end list, helping out with infectious song nominations, and sharing groups like Unbeheld out there that it’s time to swing the pendulum back in the other direction. This site needs equilibrium — we can’t let people actually think we’re going to take our own name seriously, now can we?

Now, we could go in depth with what the fuck Myke Terry’s been up to lately – given that the man is partially responsible for the name of this site — but that feels a little uncouth. Instead, I propose we check back in with the guys in Raunchy.

More than a year ago I started my only real contribution to a series for the site, a “higher criticism” feature that began as a sort of joking half-take on a whole bunch of Raunchy albums [the last installment of which is here]. It was  a feature partially proposed to me on a dare by other NCS staff, because over the years the band’s name has made them the unfortunate butt of a few jokes and their sound, which combines a hefty dose of pop music with the more modern metal scene, has been one that could turn off people in our usual audience. This is how you wind up with a bunch of people sitting around a table going, “Let’s make the new guy do a Raunchy discog run.”

Jan 102015

Welcome to the somewhat delayed Part 15 in the continuing rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

Because of interference by my day job, I missed adding an installment of this series yesterday, but we’re rolling onward with it today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both of the songs in this edition, and I’m pairing them here because both songs are also inextricably linked in my head with the videos that were released for them.


I still think Once More Round the Sun sports one of the best album covers of 2014, by Oakland-based artist Skinner. The album as a whole reflects the band’s continued crossover movement, which began with The Hunter, into the realm of hard rock — albeit with both prog-y and sludgy ingredients still quite evident in the mix. I don’t begrudge them the decisions that led to these two albums, though I don’t consider either one of them unqualified successes either.

Despite those misgivings, Mastodon remain a phenomenal live band, I still get quite a kick out of the vocal tag-team among the band’s three vocalists, and they still turn out some highly infectious songs that are still heavy enough to get their hooks in my head. Which brings me to the next addition to this list.

Jan 082015


Today we bring you Part 14 in the continuing rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

Some of you might question the appearance of today’s two songs on a list whose title includes the words “extreme” and “metal”, appearing on a site whose name abjures clean singing. I have a simple answer for you: It’s my list, and there’s no fuckin’ way I’m leaving these songs off of it.


Last month Iceland’s Sólstafir paid a visit to Seattle and performed a show at a cozy venue called Barboza, and I watched it from the second rank of people in front of the stage. I’d seen the band’s amazing set at MDF last year, but it was this show that made me realize something I hadn’t yet admitted to myself — that they are, right now, my favorite band on the planet.

Jan 052015


I collected enough new pieces of music and news items over the last 24 hours to justify a two-part Monday round-up. This is Part 1. I guess everything in here violates the rule of our site, as reflected in its name.


Our Tokyo-based friend and former NCS contributor Phro spotted something new from the Japanese J-pop/metal sensation Babymetal. It’s a three-minute trailer that appeared this morning for a new song named “Road of Resistance” that features some surprise guests. Phro wrote about it for his regular gig at Rocket News 24, and I’m just going to quote a few of his words below (you should read his whole write-up at this location). Like Phro, I happen to be one of those people who have enjoyed what Babymetal are doing to spread the gospel of metal to the uninitiated.

Stop what you’re doing and get ready to lose your… ummm… stuff. Kawaii-meets-coffins idol group BABYMETAL just released a trailer for a new song featuring guitars by Herman Li and Sam Totem, the semi-legendary guitarists from DragonForce. The song is called “Road of Resistance” and our only complaint is that the trailer is too short…despite being over three minutes long.

Put your kitsune up and get ready to headbang…

Jan 012015


Well, Happy Fucking New Year to all you motherfuckers out there (to bring good luck, I think it’s important to call all our readers “motherfuckers” on the first day of 2015). I hope everyone is beginning the new year in one piece and not too much the worse for wear from whatever you did last night to commemorate the calendar change.

I’m in unusually good shape myself, which is to say that I had a fairly peaceful and alcohol-free evening with my spouse, who resisted my entreaties to get shit-faced. This morning, I want to thank her for once again being the level-headed part of this partnership.

I spent part of this morning web-surfing for new music and found quite a lot worth recommending. Here’s part of what I found, presented in alphabetical order, since I am able to remember the order of the alphabet because I was good last night.

P.S. For those who came here looking for the next installment in our 2014 “Most Infectious Song” series, I’m taking a break for today — so I can figure out which two songs to post next!

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