Feb 202015

 

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli completes his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks, along with an introduction, appear in this post.)

VI: Sepultura – Arise

It takes a lot of restraint for me not to declare this the greatest thrash album ever created.  Sepultura’s Arise is THE epitome of everything I love, need, and want in thrash metal and it’s so immaculate in its execution that attempting to quantify it is nearly impossible.  It’s brutal, it’s fast (so fucking fast), it has dynamics in the songwriting. Andreas Kisser knew how to write some of the most unique solos in the entirety of thrash metal, and Max and Andreas wrote some of the most intense, drama-filled riffage while keeping things savage and merciless.  Whenever Sepultura breaks into frantic, demon-slaying speed from a mid-paced stomp, as in “Desperate Cry”, provides me an adrenaline rush that knows no equal.  It would be fair to say I’ve listened to Arise more than 10,000 times and I’m still not sick of it.

Seriously, this album is the very definition of savagery.

Aug 262011

(TheMadIsraeli, who originated our now-continuing series of look-backs at metal classics, provides this latest installment, focusing on the 1988 debut by California’s Forbidden.)

Thrash metal in a lot of ways IS metal to me.  It’s the genre that, when I think about metal, I gravitate to automatically.  The energy, the frantic rage and desperation, THE FUCKING SPEED AND THE RIFFS!  It’s always astonishing to me when I meet a metalhead who doesn’t like thrash.  That’s like not liking pizza, or beer, or the combination thereof.

Forbidden was a thrash band I’d always heard about but never bothered to check out, dismissing them as a cult band who were viewed as being more legitimate than the more popular thrashers because they simply weren’t mainstream.  Boy was I wrong, and it took one unexpected circumstance to open my eyes: My girlfriend at the time made me check out Forbidden’s music.  Yes people, my girlfriend at the time had better music than I did, AND was hotter than I was, AND was more talented.  Hopefully, I’m on my way to catching up, at least on the quality of music I have.

Forbidden Evil is the typical fan favorite, as well as mine, but for good reason.  Consisting of a badass set of pipes by the name of Russ Anderson, a fierce guitar duo in Craig Locicero (one of my fav guitarists of all time mind you) and Glen Alvelais, Paul Bostaph on drums, and Matt Camacho on bass, Forbidden were poised to take the thrash circuit by storm with the release of this album. (more after the jump . . .)

May 272010

More than a month has passed since we posted our last update about the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, and we figured it was time to check in again.

Since our last update, Exodus, Forbidden, and Testament have signed on. That’s a heavyweight injection of Bay Area thrash into this floating festival (we’ll give you the complete current line-up of 18 bands after the jump). Plus, in related news, the Swedes have gotten in on the act by putting together their own metal cruise (more on that after the jump too).

If you don’t know what this cruise is, we’ll fill you in: The organizers have chartered a cruise ship (Royal Caribbean’s “Majesty of the Seas”) capable of carrying 40 metal bands (which means they’re still targeting 22 more bands to fill out the line-up) and 2,000 fans, departing Miami on January 24, 2011 for a 5-day, 4-night cruise in the Caribbean, including a stop at the Mexican island of Cozumel.

The 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise has got great potential — both good and bad. It could be a truly awesome experience. It could also be a clusterfuck of cosmic proportions. And there’s no way to know which it will be until that cruise ship limps back into port, probably on fire, at the end of the voyage.

We’ve got some thoughts about what could make it orgasmically good, and what could make it suck big-time. But we’d bet the farm that unless Royal Caribbean is run by metalheads (not likely), they have no fucking idea what they’re about to get themselves into, and that increases the risk of suckage.  (more thoughts, and other related stuff, after the jump . . .)

Mar 312010

We’re now a full three months into 2010, and it’s time for our third update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here, the first update here, and the second update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last two updates — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ANAAL NATHRAKH: “U.K. extreme metallers ANAAL NATHRAKH have commenced work on material for a new album, tentatively due before the end of the year.”

ANNIHILATOR: “Canadian thrash metal veterans ANNIHILATOR will release their 13th, self-titled album in Europe on May 17 via Earache Records, in Japan through Marquee and in Australia via Riot Entertainment.”

ARISE: “A two-minute video trailer for The Reckoning, the fourth album from Swedish death/thrashers ARISE, can be viewed below. Due on March 22 through Regain Records, the CD features guest appearances by Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, ex-CARNAL FORGE), Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQUILLITY) and Jake Fredém (NOSTRADAMEUS).” [NOTE: the album is now scheduled for release on April 6.]

(more after the jump . . .)

Jan 252010

Doesn’t matter what flavor of metal you like, if you’re a headbanger you got a weakness for guitar gods, amiright?

But have you heard of Gus Drax? No? Let me introduce you.

Gus Drax is from Greece.  He’s 22 years old. He plays with UK prog metal outfit Biomechanical and has recently signed on to play with German thrashers Paradox, too. He has an instrumental solo album on the way called In Search of Perfection. And he can play guitar like nobody’s business.

Seriously, this dude has got some truly eye-popping chops, and based on a few songs from his forthcoming solo effort that have recently been made available for streaming on his MySpace page, he’s got major-league songwriting skills, too. These prog-metal instrumentals vary in tempo but are infectiously melodic and densely packed with some truly amazing solo riffage. But Drax’s playing is not simply a display of technical pyrotechnics. It’s got heart and soul in spades.  (more after the jump — including a sample song and a video)

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