Nov 302015

HateSphere-New Hell

 

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Denmark’s HateSphere.)

Out of all the bands that came out of the post-Haunted neo-thrash movement, my two favorites — and I’d argue to a point the objective best — have been Carnal Forge and HateSphere. I was a rabid devotee of HateSphere’s first five albums, but then the majority of the band left and founding guitarist and song-writer Pepe Hansen was forced to find new blood. Their output has had varying results for me since then.

I loved the music of To The Nines but couldn’t stand the weak vocals of Jonathan Albrechtsen in place of the band’s original vocalist Jacob Bredahl, who was as feral as it got. I LOVED The Great Bludgeoning; it had riffs, it had aggression, it had frantic energy — and the new vocalist and still current vocalist Esben or “Esse” Hansen had that vomitus tone to his vocals that called back to Bredahl, and the result was that he fit the music quite a bit. I enjoyed SOME of the bands next record Murderlust, but I have to admit that a lot of it was really forgettable. The thing is, I still love this band, even if they aren’t exactly the same band I used to love, but the spirit is definitely still there.

So I guess the question is where does New Hell stand?

Feb 192015

Agostino Arrivabene – “Vanitas In Refraction”

 

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli presents his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks appear in this post, and the remaining five will appear in Part 2 tomorrow [here].)

This particular list is something that’s going to piss some people off and perhaps spark some sarcastic comments.  It would probably do that regardless of the contents. When you don’t include anything by The Big Four, of course you don’t understand the roots of the genre and are dissing genre-defining classics.  But if you do pick anything from The Big Four, you’re unoriginal, have no underground cred, etc., etc.

Thrash is a style of metal that gets taken pretty fucking seriously, as opposed to others where there definitely seems to be a more “you like what you like” mentality.  In my observation, It’s also the sub-genre of metal where the recognition and respect of the eldership are most likely to make or break your credibility as a fan of the music.  The thrash community is almost zealot-like in the way it can ostracize you because you don’t think Metallica and Megadeth were the pinnacles of the style.

I’m gonna be one of those guys who has nothing from The Big Four on his list, so I’ll be expecting the hipster comments for sure.  My list, as per usual, is not numbered in any kind of order that denotes anything.

Sep 092014

Here are a few random metal items I spotted yesterday and this morning that I thought were worth sharing.

VARATHON

It’s been a fine year for Greek black metal, and it’s about to get finer with the release of Untrodden Corridors of Hades by Varathron.

Varathron have been a force in the Greek underground scene (and in black metal generally) since the late 80s, but their last album came out in 2009 (Stygian Forces of Scorn), and that was at a point when yours truly hadn’t waded deep enough into black metal waters to become aware of them. I do know of them now, and based on what I’ve heard, this is an album that goes on the “highly anticipated” list.

Also, the album’s cover art is a very fine piece of work by the almighty Mark Riddick — and unlike his usual pen-and-ink work, this one is an acrylic painting. This isn’t the first piece of art Riddick has created for Varathron — but the last one was in 1994!

Jan 102014

(In this post Andy Synn reviews albums released in 2013 by Hatesphere, Reptilian Death, and Nephren-Ka.)

That’s right, there’s even more stuff we failed to cover last year. Lots more, in fact. And time is growing short, as we’re slowly starting to see the first of what 2014 has to offer appear in the NCS mailbox.

So it’s time to pick up the pace. Here’s three death metal friendly albums that we unfortunately overlooked last year. All killer, no filler.

Round 2… fight!

HATESPHEREMURDERLUST

It’s undeniable that The Haunted were/are a key influence on the development of Hatesphere. But where the Swedish legends seemed unable to settle on a style or direction for very long, the Danish death-thrashers have long stuck to their guns and forged themselves a distinctive, manically aggressive, identity – largely thanks to the unswerving dedication of guitarist Peter Hansen.

Sep 282011

(TheMadIsraeli has been a reviewing machine lately, and here’s his assessment of the new album by Denmark’s Hatesphere., which is out now on Napalm Records.)

Hatesphere.  One of my favorite bands of all time.  How anyone could develop the capacity to dislike this Danish deathrash legend is ENTIRELY beyond me; they produce some of the sickest riffs, melodies, grooves and overall bewildering sonic assaults of any band in their genre niche.

I was NOT a fan, however, of their previous album To The Nines.  The band had lost its signature lineup, including favorite vocalist of mine Jacob Bredhal, and while the true core of the band remained in founding guitarist Pepe “Lyse” Hanson, the new line-up he’d aquired just… wasn’t working.  At all.

Now we’re here at the new Hatesphere album The Great Bludgeoning.  New musicians in hand, specifically a new drummer, vocalist, and bassist, and I’m happy to say this album has undone the bad taste To The Nines left in my mouth.

Sep 032011


It’s Labor Day Weekend, August is a thing of the past, and as some people count it, summer is over. School is on the verge of resuming for people still attempting to educate themselves, and a ton of new metal tours are looming on the horizon for the fall. And of course, the fall will be filled with new album releases, too. Which brings us to the latest monthly edition of METAL IN THE FORGE.

You know the drill:  In these posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album before August, we wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. And feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about.

Aug 282011

Is this a badass album cover or what? Yes, I’m still catching up on last week’s news, and when I saw this, I damn well came to a full stop. Not only because of the artwork, but because Denmark’s HateSphere is one of those bands whose new music I think is always worth checking out (and this comes from someone who’s not a huge thrash fan).

Their next album may be especially worth our time, for three reasons. First, how can you go wrong with an album called The Great Bludgeoning? Second, the band’s line-up has changed since their last release in 2009 (To the Nines). Esben “Esse” Hansen (who also sings in As We Fight) joined the band as vocalist in June 2010, and a bass player with a punk background named Jimmy Nedergaard (Gob Squad) joined more recently for the recording of the new album. I’m curious about how those changes may affect the band’s sound. (Actually, we already have evidence, as you’ll hear.)

Third, the band claims that for the new album, they’ve taken a “more old-school direction” than they did on the last release, with a lyrical focus on “aggressions, drinking and hate”. So in other words, it will be an upbeat, family-friendly affair. Yay!

Oh yeah, one more thing: There’s a teaser clip available now, which will musically tease you. It’s after the jump, along with info about the album artist, the release dates, and a few other factual morsels.

Jul 012011


June is behind us, July lies ahead. Here in the U.S., we’re about to start the long weekend leading up to Independence Day, when Americans celebrate the birth of the nation by buying explosive ordinance wherever fine explosive ordinance is sold and lighting up the night sky (in addition to blowing the shit out of objects and sometimes themselves). People will also be exposing unsightly parts of their bodies wherever sun can be found and eating large quantities of health food prepared on outdoor grills. Our Founding Fathers would be proud of what they wrought!

Because the last month has ended, that means it’s time for another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album during May or preceding months, we wrote about them in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. And feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that we overlooked.

Mar 112010

It’s not uncommon that when we see a national tour on its Seattle stop, there’s one or two bands that caused us to shell out for the tickets and one or two that we can pretty much take or leave — or worse yet, that we simply have to endure, as part of the price paid to see who we really want to see.

But that sure as hell wasn’t our reaction when we first heard about The American Defloration Tour. Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura, Augury, and HateSphere. We would have paid to see any one of those bands. To see them all on the same bill was just a fucking bonanza!

So when that stellar line-up took the stage at El Corazon on the night of March 9, all three of your NCS Co-Authors and our entourage were there to bear witness to the awesomeness, and we now file this report, along with a few photos (for which we apologize, because we forgot to bring the good camera and used a borrowed camera that hadn’t been charged and ran out of juice and, well, shit happens).  (read on after the jump . . .)

Jan 052010

SOREPTION

One week ago, on another day that wasn’t a Monday, we published a feature called Math Metal Monday about four technical metal bands whose albums we really enjoyed during 2009.  And then, within a matter of days, I realized we’d left off three bands we listened to repeatedly in ’09 that well and truly belonged on that list: Soreption, Obscura, and Dismal Lapse. Shit!  What were we to do?

And then it hit me.  There would be another Monday!  In fact, another Monday would come pretty damn quick!  Man, was I relieved.

OK, you’re thinking, why is this dude so impressed with himself in figuring out there would be another Monday? It’s not like he invented the electric light, or some shit like that. But what I’m thinking is, I’ve so shredded my brain with all the metal I listened to over the holidays that I’m lucky to remember there’s even a day called Monday. Unfortunately, I still can’t remember what day Monday is.

Anyway, please read about those three overlooked bands after the jump.

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