Jul 292016

Meshuggah revolver ad-2

 

I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been distracted during nights this week by a televised political convention (because I am a political junkie with low willpower), and I also had to make a quick out-of-town trip. Metal didn’t wait for me while I was diverted, and so I have an immense list of new things from the last few days that I want to recommend. I’ve cut the list down to a mere 10 items, which I’ve collected here. Seriously, I’m aware that 10 is a lot, so I’ve choked back my usual desire to spill a lot of words.

I’m starting with two news items and then following those with 8 new songs or videos, presented in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.

MESHUGGAH

I no longer subscribe to Revolver magazine. If I still had the subscription, I might have seen the full-page ad at the top of this post, which so far seems to be the only disclosure that Meshuggah’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason will be released by Nuclear Blast on October 7. Here’s another fan pic of the ad:

Jun 012015

 

(In this post our man DGR reviews a Sacramento performance by Sepultura, Destruction, Arsis, Boris the Blade, and Micawber.)

Two shows in two days can sometimes be a difficult prospect, especially when you’re used to working those evenings. When you’ve barely recovered from one, dragging yourself to another can feel like a herculean labor. You don’t have the ‘holy shit I’m here’ adrenaline of being at a festival, it’s just two separate events on two different days, and as it would turn out, on two fairly different scales.

The previous night before this show, I wind up seeing Anaal Nathrakh in a venue the size of a fairly large kitchen (that show reviewed here), and this time I was slated to see Sepultura at Ace Of Spades — a venue that I have lavished many loving words over, mostly in hopes that they keep booking metal shows because they have a knack for bringing bands that normally wouldn’t roll through to Sacramento. Of course, you have to keep in mind that this show was a fairly large cultural icon at this point, with both Sepultura and Destruction being long-running international bands at about thirty years a piece. Hell, this was a Sepultura thirty-year anniversary tour, all things considered. (While we’re on the subject, Boris The Blade turned out to be from Australia, meaning this was quite the international tour.)

Sep 222014

 

“Supergroups” are hit or miss affairs. The combination of musicians drawn from well-known and very talented bands sometimes turns out to be less than the sum of its parts. That may turn out to be true of Necromancing the Stone (though I’m betting it won’t), but at least they’ve scored a win with the selection of their band name.

Necromancing the Stone is a new band whose line-up includes these musicians:

James Malone (Arsis) (guitars)
Ryan ‘Bart’ Williams (ex-The Black Dahlia Murder) (bass)
Jeramie Kling (The Absence) (drums)
Justin Wood (Brimstone Coven) (guitars)
John Williams (Brimstone Coven) (vocals)

As for the music, the band have recorded a three-song EP named Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead that will be released tomorrow. It will be available on Bandcamp, and shirts are already available at this location. The EP was mixed by Peter Tagtgren at Studio Abyss, with additional mixing by Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios. The EP’s cover art, which you cane see next, was created by Mark Riddick:

Aug 272013

(All of the regular NCS staffers have been together in Seattle since last week and collectively took in the performances by Wintersun, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Arsis at Studio Seven on August 23. In this post Andy Synn reviews the show and shares with us some video clips that he filmed that night.)

So… we may have missed Starkill. Apologies all. We were busy having drinks across town at The Oak (very cool place by the way) and ended up staying a bit later than we’d anticipated.

No worries though, because we made it to the venue just in time for Arsis who were, for me, at least, the most anticipated band of the night.

ARSIS

I’ve never seen James Malone and his melodeath marauders before, but I’ve been a fan of the band ever since they released A Celebration of Guilt, so this was a big moment for me, and the band did not disappoint at all.

Malone himself is both a fantastic guitarist and a vicious vocalist, shredding and riffing away flawlessly while barking his venomous, diseased lyrics.

Aug 242013

This is a photo by Jun Tiangja of rice terraces in the Philippines. It has nothing to do with anything else in this post. I just think it’s beautiful.

I forewarned you that there would be a drop in NCS content for about one week beginning yesterday because I planned to confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards here in the Emerald City. And if you’re now laughing at the notion of yours truly and my fellow NCS scribes being characterized as wizards, you’re welcome.

All of us have indeed congregated in Seattle, with BadWolf arriving yesterday afternoon and TheMadIsraeli, Andy Synn, and DGR swooping in at various times on Thursday. And though I expected our collective blog time would dwindle drastically, I didn’t foresee that we wouldn’t post a goddamn thing yesterday, not even a notice saying we wouldn’t be posting a goddamned thing yesterday.

We’ve fallen down on the job because I think we’ve been enjoying each other’s company. I say “I think” because I’m not a mind-reader and am mainly speaking for myself, and speaking for myself, I am happy to learn that people who seemed like cool dudes over the internet have turned out to be cool dudes in person, too.

Aug 102013

I know you didn’t ask what I’ve been watching and listening to on this gray Pacific Northwest morning, but I’m telling you anyway, because that’s how blogging works.

ARSIS

A new Arsis video premiered yesterday. The song is “Scornstar” from their 2013 album Unwelcome. It was directed by Scott Hansen. It’s footage of the usual kind of thing that happens at an Arsis show. You know, people foaming at the mouth, chicks showing their tits, dudes ripping their hearts out of their chests, people’s guts exploding, bodily fluids and intestines spraying every which way. For people who’ve seen them play live before, it’s kind of old hat. But if you’re new to the band I guess it might be interesting.

I don’t really understand why this kind of regular occurrence was newsworthy. Must have been a slow news night at the TV station that broadcast the report. You can watch it next if you want.

Jul 162013

The day will come when crowdfunding campaigns reach the saturation point, but we’re not there yet, and we may not ever get there if more bands become as creative as Arsis.

You may remember that earlier this year Arsis was to be part of the End of Disclosure North American Tour along with Hypocrisy, Aborted, and Krisiun. And then, as we sadly reported here, Hypocrisy was forced to drop off the tour due to delays in obtaining visas, and that led to Aborted’s cancellation as well. But instead of just writing off the whole enterprise, Arsis and Krisiun soldiered on, despite the negative impact of those last-minute cancellations. That bought them a lot of respect from a lot of people, including me; I saw the Seattle show on that tour, and those bands killed it, despite playing to an embarrassingly small audience.

But what goes around comes around, and we gleefully reported that Arsis had become part of another North American tour beginning in August with Wintersun, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Starkill. But this is going to cost Arsis a pretty penny, as it turns out, and they’re making an appeal to fans to help them underwrite the expense. Before you blow this off, check out some of the perks they’re offering.

Jun 042013

Well, North American Wintersun fans may have to wait until early 2014 for Time II, but we won’t have to wait that long to see the band in the flesh. Following up on a short run of 2012 dates in support of Time I, MetalSucks have just announced their sponsorship of a much more extensive Wintersun tour beginning this August. That alone would be hot news, but look who else will be along for that ride:

Fleshgod Apocalypse
Arsis
Starkill

Damn, this is going to be sweet. And maybe extra-sweet, because Wintersun are already hinting at surprises in their set list. Music from Time II maybe?

Check out the tour schedule next . . . .

May 102013

That flyer up above is the latest one I could find for the 9th edition of the Euroblast Festival, scheduled to occur on October 11-13, 2013, in Cologne, Germany. However, it doesn’t show the most current listing of bands. For example, yesterday the Euroblast organizers announced that Arsis will also be appearing (hell yes), and Threat SignalAliases, and Der Weg einer Freiheit are also recent additions to the line-up.

And today brought the exciting announcement that Sweden’s Deathember and Russia’s Kartikeya have been selected to appear. We reviewed Deathember’s new album earlier this week (here), and of course Kartikeya has been a frequently mentioned NCS favorite for years.  Congrats to both of those bands.

And after the jump you can see the complete line-up as it now stands. Many more bands will be announced in the coming months, but the line-up already includes a large number of bands we really like around here. For more info, visit Euroblast’s web site or their Facebook page.

May 052013

(DGR took it upon himself to create a “greatest hits” album for Arsis, with explanations for his picks. Too bad the album is only in his mind.)

Some people are good with lists, amazingly good. The fact that they can cut something down to five or ten seems incredible, especially given my wishy washy bullshit where if you have an album I enjoy, I’ll probably talk about it to some extent. Andy is one of those guys, and it was while reading his top 5 underrated discs post that I found myself listing something of my own, although to a slightly bigger extent. It was when he mentioned Arsis’ Starve For The Devil as an underrated album that I found about all six of my available neurons firing off at once, for a couple of reasons.

One was that it never really seemed like the folks who hated on Starve had much of a legitimate reason, other than it leaned heavier toward the melodic side of things; if I were to nominate any disc as underrated, it would probably be We Are The Nightmare. Not that I’m claiming that disc was amazing, because I actually think it’s the weakest of the Arsis albums, but I’d really love to see an impassioned defense of it.

The other was that, man, I have followed Arsis for a seemingly long time. Like, since late 2004 long time, when I received a message in an IRC chat from a friend who used to turn me on to all sorts of good music, notifying me that he was emailing me the song “Seven Whispers Fell Silent” and that I needed to hear it. My tastes in metal were not that spectacular at the time, but that song kicked my ass and I needed to have more.

Unfortunately, the local Sam Goody didn’t exactly carry the latest Willowtip releases, so I basically found myself shit out of luck since I hadn’t quite acclimated to my new town and had no idea that places like Dimple or Tower existed – which had sprawling metal sections in comparison. I wound up waiting half a year to make a trip to the Bay Area and hit up a Rasputin’s where I bought A Celebration of Guilt and Evergrey’s Recreation Day, because opposites get you really weird looks at the checkout counter – also paying the last three dollars in rolled-up pennies because you’re poor.

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