Mar 282014

Here are a few notices sent my way by my NCS colleagues that we agreed were worth mentioning.  They concern forthcoming albums.

ANATHEMA

Following up on their well-received 2012 album Weather Systems, the UK’s Anathema revealed this morning that their new album will be named Distant Satellites and will be released by the Kscope label on June 9. The album art was created by Korean new media artist Sang Jun Too and was based on his “Distant Light” installation. Some of the songs were mixed by Steven Wilson. The band’s announcement also included these words:

Distant Satellites is the culmination of everything ANATHEMA been working up to so far in our musical path. It contains almost every conceivable element of the heartbeat of Anathema music that it is possible to have.

Jan 132014

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the announcement that’s the subject of this post. And as I wobbled in a sudden affliction of vertigo, the words “holy shit” repeatedly escaped my slack-jawed mouth. About all I’m capable of doing at the moment is re-printing the official press release. Grab hold of something solid in case you feel faint, and read on…

The Metal Alliance Tour is back for their fourth ferocious year of wrecking heads. Festival organizers Dan Rozenblum and Steve Seabury of High River Entertainment are proud to welcome to American soil the mighty Behemoth as their 2014 headliner. This will be the first time in over a decade that Behemoth will tour North America in support of their new record The Satanist released on April 2nd through Metal Blade Records. The tour will be rounded out by New Orleans natives Goatwhore1349Inquisition and the buzz worthy unsigned act Black Crown Initiate.

“This tour is no exception for our love of all things heavy.” states Rozenblum. “This tour is for metal fans by metal fans.” adds Seabury. “this bill explores our appreciation for the dark and black side of metal. Behemoth have been a favorite of ours and we are stoked to have them headline the fourth edition of the Metal Alliance Tour!” 

Mar 172013

Yeah, it’s fuckin’ St Patrick’s Day. I usually look forward to this day, partly because I have a soft spot in my heart for the Irish even though I have no Irish ancestry and partly because, hey, any excuse to get wasted. And is there more to St Patrick’s Day than getting shitfaced? Does anyone sit in quiet contemplation of the contributions of the Irish people to the development of civilization?

But I have to say I’m not excited about Saint Shitfaced Day this year because I’m on the home stretch of the fuckin’ work project that has kept me away from Seattle for 3 weeks and counting. It’s now like a race to the finish, with Tuesday slated for the project’s completion, and I have no freedom to party at all today.

In fact, this is the only post I’ll be able to manage today, having worked til midnight last night and having started again at 6 a.m. this morning. Consequently, his will be real quick and dirty.

GOATWHORE

I saw that photo up there of the almighty Goatwhore playing at the IndieMerchStore Riverboat Party at SXSW in Austin yesterday. Fuckin’ metal. Also kind of different to see Goatwhore playing in broad daylight. Amazingly, they didn’t burst into flames.

Jan 262013

Welcome to Part 17 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three I’m announcing today, click here.

I’ve been tramping through the forest of black metal the last couple of days and decided to stay there at least one more day. I’ve been pretty sure for a while that this list would include music from each of today’s three very different albums. The hard part came in picking just one song from each.

GOATWHORE

This NOLA band’s 2102 album Blood For the Master was reviewed for us here by Andy Synn. It was loaded with great metal, but I ultimately picked “When Steel and Bone Meet” for this list. To borrow Andy’s word, “When Steel… is a bar-room brawl set to music, chains and fists flying in a drunken, grooving orgy of violence that manages to cram in a swaggering groove, pummeling power-riffage, and some switchblade soloing in barely more than 3 minutes.”

Oct 102012

Chicago guitarist Jeff Wilson is a busy dude. In addition to his bands Chrome Waves and Wolvhammer, both of which we’ve praised here at NCS in the past, he’s also a driving force in a new collective called Doomsday. He’s got some heavyweight talent along for the Doomsday ride, too:

Bassist Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber, Chrome Waves, Apostle Of Solitude)
Guitarist/vocalist Jon Woodring (Bones)
Drummer Zack Simmons (Goatwhore)
Vocalist Zion Meagher (Anti-Human Thesis).

In some ways this group is like a Nachtmystium alumni reunion, since Wilson, Woodring, Simmons, and Meagher were all previously involved with that band — and Doomsday’s self-titled, six-song EP was engineered by Nachtmystium’s Sanford Parker, along with Carl Byers (Coffinworm). It will be released on November 6 by Wilson’s newly founded label Disorder Recordings, and it features brilliantly occult cover art by Christina Caperson.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the details out of the way and nearly sunk this review under the weight of all those links, I do have a few words to say about the music: It’s really fuckin’ good.

Sep 242012

This is another daily collection of things I saw and heard this morning that I thought were worth sharing. It’s heavy on the death metal, because the death metal is heavy on me.

GOATWHORE

This is a big Goatwhore day. First, I saw the news that Goatwhore will be touring the U.S. and Canada with High On Fire and Lo-Pan. The tour begins on Nov. 15 in Austin and concludes on Dec. 22 in San Francisco. On selected stops, Primate (featuring Brutal Truth vocalist Kevin Sharp) and Corrosion of Conformity will also be performing.

This should be an ass-mauling, face-lacerating show. I’m happy that it’s stopping in Seattle, because it’s important to be happy for yourself in order to be happy for other people, or so I tell myself whenever I see stupendous tours that stop in Seattle but may not stop where you live. The full schedule is after the jump.

I also saw that Goatwhore have today premiered a new official lyric video for “Death To the Architects of Heaven”, a killer song from their 2012 album, Blood For the Master. You can watch that after the jump, too.

Apr 112012

(BadWolf and friends attended a special performance by Goatwhore in Toledo on March 7. This is his review, plus his on-site interview of Ben Falgoust and Sammy Duet. All photos accompanying this post were taken for NCS by Nicholas Vechery.)

I’ve had the most rotten luck with local shows lately. That awesome Black Dahlia Murder/Skeletonwitch/Nile tour was supposed to come through my hometown, as was the Faceless/Dying Fetus/Goatwhore tour. Both of those were cancelled. In fairness, the Black Dahlia Murder decided to headline a huge local metalcore festival—the Jamboree—instead, but I’m no huge proponent of skinny-jean deathcore. Thank god (or satan or wotan or whatever) for Goatwhore, who decided to play Toledo anyway—for free.

Ramalama Records

Goatwhore picked the perfect venue: Toledo’s finest record store, Ramalama Records. I have a long history with the establishment; it’s fair to say I would not be a metalhead were it not for the owner, Rob, and his clerk, Nick. A story within a story:

I rode into the store on bicycle on a Saturday afternoon at the age of 15. I was dressed in black jeans and a Master of Puppets tee-shirt—Nick said I was the first cool-looking guy to enter the store all day, and as such if I bought a record the second would be half off. A sick deal, but I had no idea what to get, so I just pointed at my tee shirt and said “Stuff like this.”

Nick picked out Municipal Waste’s Hazardous Mutation record. “What’s that sound like?” Nick threw it on the stereo.

“The good old days,” he said. Twenty seconds into ‘Unleash the Bastards’, I said he had himself a deal.

For my second buy I took a gander at the new releases shelf, and a  record cover caught my eye—some really great art of a ship being sunk by a whale. The band was called Mastodon. The album, obviously, was Leviathan. Nick let me listen to “Blood and Thunder”, and that was the end of normalcy in my life. $20 or so later, I was in metal for life.

Mar 272012

Goatwhore’s 2009 music video for “Apocalyptic Havoc” is one of my all-time favorites. It’s not terribly fancy, though it’s well-made. There’s no story. It’s just the band playing in something that looks like the interior of a church (except for the inverted crosses), with assorted close-ups of spark-shrouded Ben Falgouth looking badass (which is not difficult, since I bet Ben Falgouth looks badass even when he’s asleep) and Sammy Duet looking serious and cool, carving those tasty riffs with the neck of his guitar almost vertical.

I’m sure the song has something to do with how much I like the video. To be honest, Goatwhore could have been filmed playing dominoes and eating shelled pecans in a NOLA icehouse and I still would have loved it, as long as “Apocalyptic Havoc” was blasting out of the speakers.

But now Goatwhore have gone and gummed up the video works. Yesterday, we witnessed the debut of the video for “When Steel and Bone Meet”, which is a track on their most recent album Blood For the Master (reviewed here by Andy Synn). They could have just let the song carry the video again, as they did for “Apocalyptic Havoc”, because the song is great. To borrow Andy’s word, “When Steel… is a bar-room brawl set to music, chains and fists flying in a drunken, grooving orgy of violence that manages to cram in a swaggering groove, pummeling power-riffage, and some switchblade soloing in barely more than 3 minutes.”

But no, they had to throw in brief shots of two unclothed chicks licking blood off each other. I mean, really, who wants to see that? Bor-ing.

Feb 022012

(In this post, NCS writer Andy Synn reviews the new album from Louisiana’s Goatwhore.)

The first rule of Project Satan is . . . kill for the master.

If Goatwhore were a car, they’d be the were-car from Futurama, a savage, intelligent military car built from the most evil parts of the most evil cars in all the world. The steering wheel from Hitler’s staff car. The left turn signal from Charles Manson’s VW. The windshield wipers from that car that played Knight Rider . . . either that or the stalking murder-mobile from Stephen King’s Christine. Hot and nasty, definitively deadly.

“Blood For The Master” is a pitch-black muscle-mobile that runs on the blood of virgins, devouring the innocent and spewing out noxious fumes of poison thick enough to blot out the sun for a thousand years. Quite simply, it is the finest record the band have ever produced and a fitting soundtrack to the end of all things, a whiskey bottle in one hand, a straight razor in the other.

The record takes the best aspects from both their most recent breakthrough releases, the razor-sharp blackened savagery of A Haunting Curse and the sludgey death-march bludgeon of Carving Out The Eyes Of God, and mixes them up into something utterly toxic and bad for the environment. The production is utterly stunning, going one step beyond its predecessors’ thick and powerful sound by bringing back some of the bite of the more blackened guitar tone from A Haunting Curse without losing those thick, tangling bass tones and high-octane drum blasts.

Jan 062012

Yesterday, I was whining about the INFERNO Metal Festival in Oslo Norway this April — exciting line-up of bands, too fucking far away for me to see. One of the comments on that post, from Kazz, pretty much summed up my feelings about the matter:  ”Sometimes the Atlantic Ocean just pisses me off.” To which I responded, “Damned ocean. If it were only smaller, we could kick the shit out of it.”

But look! Now we have help with the shit-kicking! This morning I saw the announcement about the tour featured in that flyer up there. Now THAT is going to be one skull-fucking abomination of a musical extravaganza. It will be particularly sweet because the tour starts only four days after GOATWHORE releases their new album on February 14, which was recorded by Erik Rutan at his Mana Recording Studio in Florida.

And speaking of Erik Rutan . . . HATE ETERNAL! Hells yeah. No one puts the power drill to your cranium quite like Hate Eternal in a live setting.

Oh, and speaking of boring holes in your skull . . . CEREBRAL BORE, all the way from Scotland! And fucking FALLUJAH on top of that!

I’m not saying this is better than Inferno Fest, I’m not saying that we’ve found the secret to subjugation of the Atlantic Ocean, but it do make me feel a damned sight better than I did when I was whining yesterday — because this death metal juggernaut will be stopping in Seattle, which involves no Atlantic Ocean crossing for me to reach. Maybe it will make a stop somewhere near you, too. The full schedule is after the jump. And because these four bands are now on my mind, I’ve got videos from each of them after the jump, too.

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