Nov 012017

 

Halloween, and the few days leading up to it, always seem to be a hot time for the release of new metal, for obvious reasons I suppose. This year’s Halloween season sure as hell proved to be busy for hapless metal bloggers like me who were trying to keep up with all the new stuff rushing out into the world. Because I had a lot of premieres to write yesterday (which in themselves added to that Halloween torrent of new metal), I didn’t have time to compile a Halloween round-up. So I’m doing it today instead.

Now, you may well think this is ridiculous, but I have 17 new songs and videos to recommend. A few of them are 7-10 days old, but the rest were all released on the last couple days of October. Rather than trying to boil that list down to the size of an average SEEN AND HEARD post, I just decided, fuck it, I’ll throw ’em all at you.

Because there are so many, I alphabetized everything by band name, beginning with Apophis and ending with Watain, and divided the list into three parts. I’m going to post them as fast as I can get them ready to go. And because there are so many, I’m resorting to a tactic I’ve used occasionally in the past: Although I may dribble a few words here and there, I’m mainly presenting everything with just basic release info and no reviews. Here we go:

APOPHYS

We have some history with this band, whose line-up includes a lot of talented Dutch musicians with impressive resumes — I wrote no fewer than six posts surrounding the 2015 release by Metal Blade of their debut album Prime Incursion, including an interview and a track premiere. Now they have a new album coming out, and on Halloween they released the first single, “Retaliate“.

Nov 302015

Awe artwork

 

(Here’s KevinP’s list of favorite releases during the month of November.)

Last month this column was posted on October 28th, three days before the end of the month. I had a reader and then a friend of mine on Facebook ask me how I could create my list when the month didn’t even ended yet (since there were a plethora of releases due on October 30th).  So I realized maybe what I thought was common knowledge (advance promos) wasn’t as common as I thought?  For instance, as I type this now, I already have four albums on my iPhone that are due in February.

One of the perks for this labor of love we do here is getting to hear albums from a few weeks to many months prior to release. Record labels and PR companies know websites/magazines need lead time to prepare stuff. As flattering as it may be for some to think so, I would not be able to hear an album on the release date (say October 30th), make an accurate assessment of it, write a column, send it off to Islander, and get it posted the same day.

And now for a few housekeeping items before we get to this month’s releases.  This is the first year I’ve done a monthly column. I will still be doing a Best of 2015 list, but will have that ready in early January as to give it some separation from December’s releases.  You’re the Best Around, Nothing’s Gonna Keep You Down will be ready next week (where I go over all the OTHER best stuff of the year).

Oct 302015

Autopsy-Skull Grinder

 

I returned home late last night from my whirlwind 48-trip to the other side of the continent for my fucking day job. While on the seemingly endless wi-fi-enabled plane ride home, I spent some time seeing what I missed since Tuesday. Not surprisingly, I found a lot of new music worth throwing at you, and this morning brought even more. Though my ass is still dragging from that trip, I thought I’d collect some of what I liked today and leave the rest ’til sometime this weekend.

AUTOPSY

This first song is one that appeared this morning. The name is “Waiting For the Screams”, and it comes from the new album Skull Grinder by the almighty Autopsy (who I had the pleasure of seeing at California Deathfest not long ago). I’m still slobbering over Wes Benscoter’s cover art for this thing, which is one of the best in a long run of gruesome Autopsy covers.

Oct 112015

2015-10-10 19.43.19-1

 

I’ve failed. This makes the seventh day in nearly 6 years, weekend and holidays and inclement weather included, when I haven’t been able to post something of substance. I blame California Deathfest, and my inability to spend the hours before the next night preparing something for our putrid blog.

I have photos and lots of thoughts about the bands I saw on Saturday night, but that will have to wait until Monday. All I’ll say for now is that the photo above is a hint about the band whose Saturday set, for my tastes, was the best of the day. But it was a very, very close call, because it was a very strong night of metal, which included these people:

Sep 032015

Autopsy-After the Cutting

 

I find myself in Alaska this morning, preparing for a day of toil for my fucking day job. This means that posts on our putrid site will be scarce today. I’m also behind (again) in putting together round-ups of news and new music. Before I have to immerse myself in what I’m paid to do, I thought I would at least compile a selection of things I spotted over the last couple of days — and this selection is based principally on the attractiveness of the album art.

AUTOPSY

As announced yesterday, the almighty Autopsy have two new  things headed our way. First, on November 13 Peaceville Records will release a jumbo set entitled After the Cutting that includes four discs “full of classics, new tracks and previously unheard rarities from deep within the band’s own archive”. This special release will also include “an expansive book penned by Dennis Dread recounting the career of the gore legend, featuring unseen photos and exclusive artwork”.

Wes Benscoter again handled the Autopsy artwork for After the Cutting. As you can see, it’s sick.

Jun 062014

(Back in February NCS contributor KevinP shared with us an early list of 2014 albums that were peaking his interest. More than three months have passed, and now Kevin brings us five more recommendations.)

2014 hasn’t slowed down with the new releases worthy of all our time. If you’re playing catch up, you can see Part 1 here.

HexisAbalam

I never liked straight-up hardcore and I’m not a huge fan of straight-up black metal either. Wasn’t in 1992, still not today. But when you mix the two together, it’s like “somebody put gasoline on my fuckin’ balls and lit it” (yes, I’m quoting Joey DeMaio, gotta problem with that?). Take the darkness and evil tint of black metal, mixed with the fury and bottom end of hardcore in a nice concise package of mainly 1-2 minute songs & nothing overstays its welcome.

http://hexisband.bandcamp.com/album/abalam

Mar 272014

I’ll spare you the why’s and wherefore’s, but your humble editor has fallen behind in monitoring developments in the world of metal.  As a result, the collection of new songs is even more random than usual. Nevertheless, I think all the music is very good, and it’s diverse enough that it should please a range of tastes.

AUTOPSY

Tourniquets, Hacksaws And Graves is the name of the seventh studio excrescence by the mighty Autopsy. Ever since the Wes Benscoter album art and April 21 release date were disclosed by the Peaceville label back in February, I’ve been waiting for a taste of the music, and we finally got it yesterday, with the premiere of “The Howling Dead” at Noisey.

I’m not surprised at how good this song is, but I’m surprised at how wretchedly good it is. That driving beat at the beginning, shrouded in dense distortion, is just killer. So is the thoroughly horrific doom slow-down that follows it. So is the lurching, rocking stomp that comes next. And so on… Chris Reifert’s vocals have never sounded more horrific, the riffs are as putrescent and grisly as they’ve ever been, and the closing guitar solo oozes decay. Fantastic!

Feb 212014

To be clear, Tourniquets, Hacksaws And Graves is the name of the seventh studio excrescence by the mighty Autopsy. The deliciously disgusting album art (by Wes Benscoter) was unveiled today, showing the creative use of intestines as a tourniquet before the amputation begins.

Also revealed today: the release date — April 21 (via Peaceville).

“Once again bone crushingly heavy nightmares await…. Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves will awaken the most depraved part of the coldest zombie’s stare…..blood will flow, brains will be destroyed, coffin lids will be opened….”  That’s what the band say. I believe every word of it, too. Extremely eager for this.

And that.  Is all.  (except for this new band photo:

Sep 222013

(It’s been a while since we received a guest post from Dane Prokofiev (who writes everywhere and has his own blog at Zetalambmary), but today he returns with an argument about why it’s worthwhile to use band comparisons in music reviews.) 

I used to dislike comparing a band whose album I was reviewing to another band in my written reviews and only resorted to doing so when I found absolutely nothing interesting about the band’s music to be worthy of description through the use of metaphors. Ever since my exposure to Saussurean semiotics, however, I have changed my mind.

Saussurean semiotics posits that there is no intrinsic connection between words and their meanings. That is to say, it is not natural for the word “dog” to refer to the concept of dog-ness. The word “dog” is a linguistic construct, something that is distinct from the concept of dog-ness. What English-speaking people label as “dog” is labeled as “الكلب” by Arabic-speaking people , “chien” by French-speaking people, “hunder” by Icelandic-speaking people, “犬” by Japanese-speaking people, and “狗” by Mandarin-speaking people. The fact that people use different words for the same object in different languages means that there is no particular connection between the word “dog” and the thing that we refer to as a “dog”.

The product of this arbitrary relationship between the signifier (“dog”) and the signified (the concept of dog-ness) is called the sign, which is the mental image that is conjured in a person’s mind when he or she sees the signifier and understands that it is referring to the signified, aka certain properties that constitute the thing-ness of something.

Jul 012013

May I have your attention please.

You now have the opportunity to listen to the entirety of Autopsy’s new album, The Headless Ritual, which will be released tomorrow (order info is available here).

The stream was launched today exclusively at Noisey.com and you can find it by clicking this here link. I think you’ll enjoy what you hear.

Should you have any penetrating thoughts about the album after it penetrates you, we would welcome your comments.

Thank you for your attention.

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