Nov 012017

 

As explained in Part 1 of this gigantic mid-week round-up, I’m trying to catch up on the flood of new videos and songs that were released on Halloween and the few days leading up to it (although a few of the items I’ve selected are a bit older than that).

Because there are so many things I want to throw at your eyes and ears, I alphabetized everything by band name, beginning with Apophis and ending with Watain, and divided the list into three parts. I’m posting them as fast as I can get them ready to go. And because there are so many songs and videos, 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. Onward to Part 2:

CATTLE DECAPITATION

Cattle Decap put up a video for “Prophets Of Loss” last week, mostly a live performance video using a bunch of tour footage from the group’s recent European run. Great song from a great album. Random comment by my comrade DGR: “It looks like their bassist has cut his glorious mane of hair…. This is most unfortunate. RIP really tall bassist guy’s hair.”

Feb 052016

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(Year-end lists… you just can’t kill em’. But Andy Synn has made a habit of crowning our annual LISTMANIA series with one final offering — his selection of the last year’s top songs — and this year is no different.)

Did you REALLY think I was done with lists? Are you really that naive? Oh, how foolish are those who are most willing to be.. umm… fooled. Or something.

Yes, it’s no secret I enjoy making lists, and as such have a particular fondness for the end-of-year period here at NCS, not just because it lets me indulge my numero-erotic list-making proclivities in full (and in public, no less) but also because I sincerely enjoy reading and debating all the other lists we publish and reference and, in the process, discovering bands I’d otherwise overlooked.

The hardest list to pull together though is the list of my favourite songs of the year. Not because of any hard-fought pretence of objectivity (there’s none of that here), but because there’s simply so many options to choose from, with my initial list coming in at well over 100 entries, each drawn from albums across the length and breadth of my Great/Good/Disappointing lists of last year.

But, finally… finally… I managed to whittle it down to the ten selections you’re about to encounter.

I’m not suggesting these are the definitive “Best” songs of the year by any means, they’re just ten tracks which have burrowed their way under my skin and into my brain the deepest.

So, without further ado…

Dec 272015

Alkaloid-The Malkuth Grimoire

 

We have arrived at the fourth installment of our 2015 list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Like the first three, this one includes three songs. All three of these are types of death metal, but certainly not the same type. It’s also kind of hard even to slap a genre label on any of them individually, other than the broad one to which I just alluded.

If you’re new to this evolving list, go HERE to see the songs we’ve already named to it and to learn what we mean by “most infectious”.

ALKALOID

The debut album of this German “super-group” drew a lot of attention from us this year, including a premiere of the song I’m now adding to this list. culminating with my comrade Andy Synn naming The Malkouth Grimoire both to his list of the year’s “Great Albums” (here) and to his list of the year’s “Critical Top 10” (here) — anointing it “the No. 1, ‘best of the best’ album of 2015” and lauding its “sheer creativity, mind-blowing instrumental prowess, ball-busting heaviness, and esoteric, progressive melodies”.

Sep 172015

Cattle Decapitation vidclip-2

 

(Here’s Part 2 of Leperkahn’s massive round-up of new music and videos for this Thursday. Part 1 cane found here.)

A lot has happened in the metalsphere over the past few days. It’s certainly tough to keep up – some might even say it’s impossible. But here at NCS, we’re nothing if not delusional dreamers, and thus we maintain the resolve to attempt to cover all that we can, even if we still fail miserably to come even somewhat close to covering everything. Come join us in our delusions.

CATTLE DECAPITATION

I’m absolutely adoring these hometown heroes’ new full-length The Anthropocene Extinction – it’s similar to Monolith of Inhumanity, yet feels like it has a dose of Swedish Shining-esque black metal in it, from the extra bite of some icier riffs to vocalist Travis Ryan’s downright psychotic live persona (not to be confused with his face…).

Ahead of two months full of touring, first on a headline run with King Parrot, Black Crown Initiate, and Dark Sermon (rolling through Chicago (!) with Temple of Void (!) as an opener), and then supporting Cannibal Corpse with Soreption, the band have released a playthrough video for the mammoth track “Mammals of Babylon”. It shows off just how insanely talented these dudes are, as Dave McGraw is capable of inhuman speeds behind the kit, and Josh Elmore shows off some mammoth chops, and deceptively complex riffs.

Aug 062015

Cattle Decapitation-The Anthropocene Extinction

 

(DGR provides this typically in-depth review of the new album by Cattle Decapitation.)

We begin by stating the obvious, which has always been a strong suit of mine during my tenure here at NCS. I’ve brought you such hits as “Napalm Death are an important band” and “such and such disc is really good”, without any real qualifications as to why — so I figure why not continue with my trademark and just float this out there:

Monolith Of Inhumanity was a hell of a disc and it did a ton to elevate Cattle Decapitation’s stature. Cattle Decapitation were by no means a newcomer when Monolith Of Inhumanity hit, but it did seem like the disc where everyone finally took notice of them — which was hilarious, because it felt like a solid third of the reaction consisted of other people screaming, “You see? I fucking told you so! I’ve been saying this since Karma Bloody Karma came out!”.

They’re right too, but Monolith Of Inhumanity’s approach of basically being a hurricane of sound, with the band ramming everything and the kitchen sink genre-wise into its runtime and somehow managing to reign it all in so that it could be composed into songs, made the album an intense and incredible experience. It also made it an album that is nigh-impossible to replicate. Many bands didn’t even try to edge close to it, whereas others went chasing after the quickly homogenizing tech-death scene.

By being seemingly everything, Monolith Of Inhumanity became the Ur-Album, and damn near impossible to describe. It was one of those times where the old axe of ignorance being bliss truly applied, because if we had tried to make a thorough effort to capture the music in words, we’d still be stumbling over ourselves, going, “Well, it’s a death metal disc…kind of, it’s got grind elements…kind of”, as our unfortunate victims’ eyes quickly glazed over as they fell into a comatose state.

With essentially no one making a grab for Cattle Decapitation’s crown, they remain at the forefront of metal, but that also means that The Anthropocene Extinction — the group’s new album — has a lot to live up to. With essentially no competition, it means that Cattle Decapitation’s biggest competitor is, well, …themselves. In that context, The Anthropocene Extinction is especially interesting because it doesn’t feel like the band set out to compete with Monolith Of Inhumanity but have instead learned from it, adapted many of its sounds, figured out what parts they like, and experimented with their sound even further.

Aug 042015

Ares Kingdom-The Unburiable Dead

 

I’ve been distracted by a combination of personal obligations and the demands of my fucking day job. As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t post anything on Sunday, which was only the seventh calendar day in five and a half years when that has happened, and we had only two posts yesterday. So great is the daily flood of metal that even a few days of distraction means that we get very far behind in our attempts to keep up with all the new music. Catching up would be a herculean task, but in this post I’ve made a modest effort to round up some (and only some) of the good new music and video streams that have surfaced since the end of last week.

This collection is incomplete, but it’s still a long playlist of recommendations — presented in alphabetical order by band name, with a rare paucity of words from me about the music. Your thoughts about these sights and sounds will be welcome, as always.

ARES KINGDOM

Roughly two years after the release of their last album, Veneration, Kansas City’s Ares Kingdom are about to drop a new one. The name is The Unburiable Dead, and the CD release is projected for early September on Nuclear War Now!, with LPs to follow. The album cover, which I think is wonderful, is based on a piece by the German artist George Grosz (1893 – 1959) called “The Pit“. When a friend of the band told me about the cover, he included this quote by the artist, who led a fascinating and tumultuous life:

Jul 022015

 

I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…

SKEPTICISM

Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.

And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film.

Jun 192015

photo by Tim Flach

Greetings from the lovely Shreveport Regional Airport in northwest Louisiana. The project on which I’ve been slaving away in East Texas all week has ended and I’m now beginning to make my way back to Seattle after a late night of partying and an early morning of packing.

I’m feeling seriously metal-deprived, especially during the last week when I had almost no time to listen to anything or write about it. I’m going to start making up for that with a road trip to Vancouver on Sunday to catch Bolt Thrower, and then I think things will start getting back to normal around our putrid site on Monday or Tuesday, though I do have some thoughts for posts on Saturday and Sunday.

May 202015

 

Guess what? There’s a new Cattle Decapitation song, the name of which is “Manufactured Extinct”. It comes from the band’s next album The Anthropocene Extinction, which Metal Blade has scheduled for worldwide release on August 7. And you can see the delicious artwork for the album up above, created by longtime Cattle Decap collaborator Wes Benscoter.

I don’t have anything more to say about the song, because I’m at 40,000 feet at the moment, flying to Baltimore for Maryland Deathfest, and though there is wi-fi on this plane, it ain’t good enough to stream music. But I can embed the song for you to hear, and I can embed the lyrics right after the song, and I can ask you to tell me how awesome it is… and so I will do all those things right after the jump!

Aug 102014

Last weekend (August 2-3) I spent two beautiful days in Denver attending the Denver Black Sky Festival. For someone who had never attended a metal festival of any kind before this year, I’ve had three great experiences in a row — MDF in May, Gilead Fest in July, and now Black Sky in August. I’d like to say I deserved it, but who would I be fooling?

The festival took place at The Gothic Theater and at Moe’s BBQ, both located in the same block on S. Broadway. I made the trip with three compatriots from Seattle, and we met my NCS comrade Badwolf from Toledo in what became an MDF reunion (and an unanticipated turning point for BadWolf’s life). We spent Saturday and Sunday at The Gothic, and missed some bands we ideally would have wanted to see at Moe’s, but had to make some tough choices.

The Gothic is a very cool, spacious, multi-level, vaulted-ceiling venue, with a wrap-around balcony on the second level, a big floor, and a great main stage with good lighting. The festival organizers set up a second stage opposite the main one, just in front of the bar at the rear of the floor. They called it “In the Round”, because its location enabled the audience to stand all around the stage; you could stand behind the second stage as well as in front of it (and you could also look down on it from the balcony above).

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