Sep 052013

Collected in this post are a handful of tours that I decided were worth mentioning, even though only the first one is within my grasp. I’m trying to be less self-centered. This is like trying to levitate, but I should get points for the effort, don’t you think?

BEHOLD…THE ARCTOPUS / BOTANIST / LESBIAN

Earlier today we posted Old Man Windbreaker’s review of the entire discography of Botanist. And only now I come to find out that Botanist will be here in The Emerald City at Highline along with two other stellar bands in little more than a month (October 13). One is the brain scrambling Behold… the Arcoptus (featuring Colin Marston on Warr Guitar, Mike Lerner on Guitar Guitar, and Weasel Walter on drums), and the other is Seattle’s own Lesbian, who are riding a big wave of entirely justified attention drawn by their latest album Forestelevision.

But this turns out to be just one stop on a brief West Coast tour by BtA. On October 12, Behold…the Arctopus and Botanist will be playing together with Agalloch and Eight Bells at Day 3 of the Fall Into Darkness festival in Portland (OR). And on October 11 BtA and Botanist will be playing Oakland along with a Bay Area band named Burmese.

May 142013

(Andy Synn delivers another installment of his irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Two more reviews come after the jump. With music.)

HACRIDEBACK TO WHERE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN

Much more nu-metal

A change, but not for the best?

Still, there’s much to like

Apr 262013

May 14 was a day I was really looking forward to. That was the day that the “End of Disclosure” North American Tour featuring Hypocrisy, Krisiun, Aborted,  and Arsis was supposed to roll into Seattle and flatten it like a pancake. That line-up was so damned fine it was almost too good to be true. Turns out it was too good to be true. I received this press release from Nuclear Blast about half an hour ago:

Swedish death metal legends HYPOCRISY, have been forced to sit out their upcoming North American tour this May due to reasons beyond their control. The band members had received their visa approvals and everything was going as scheduled, until the embassy let them know that the earliest they could pick up their visas, get them stamped and so on, wasn’t until late June at the earliest. A regular procedure that would normally take just a few days to sort, takes much longer at the moment due to that current workload Homeland Security is experiencing.

“As we were getting ready to go get our visas stamped and ready for the tour we were informed that the earliest we could go initially was sometime in July,” explains guitarist/vocalist Peter Tägtgren. “We then immediately continued to call them, got the label to help with some letters, and put our lawyer to work etc. The best that got us was an appointment in late June. This is a HUGE blow to us, to our fans and everyone who has supported HYPOCRISY in North America. Sometimes there are battles you can’t win, and this is one of them. We will be back, I can promise that!”

Apr 042013

On March 22, 2013, Sweden’s Hypocrisy performed at a record release show in Stockholm for their new album End of Disclosure, which is out now on the Nuclear Blast label. Director Ville Lipiäinen was on hand to film some of what transpired. Lipiäinen was also the director of Hell Over Sofia, the band’s live 2011 performance DVD, and today Nuclear Blast released his video of Hypocrisy performing “Tales of Thy Spineless”.

There’s a lot of old-school, thrashing, grinding death metal in this track, but with a nice little catchy melody that sneaks into the front and back of the song. Actually, the song is like a Hypocrisy sandwich, with one song sandwiched in between parts of another quite different one. I’m happy with both parts (listen for dat base in the middle segment).

The video is, of course, well done. It was filmed from multiple camera angles, including one trained on the front row of the audience. Watch it after the jump.

Feb 272013

The last 24 hours have turned out to be full of tour announcements. I collected details about three new ones that appealed to me in an earlier post today, and I just saw another one that elevated my pulse rate.

This North American jaunt is headlined by Sweden’s Hypocrisy in support of their forthcoming album End of Disclosure (which we’ve written about before). That’s sweet news, but it gets a whole lot sweeter when you take a look at the other bands alongside them: Krisiun, Aborted, and Arsis! 

In addition, Starkill (who I’ve featured before at NCS) and Autumn’s End will appear on selected dates.

The schedule is after the jump.  You’ll be relieved to know that the tour is coming to Seattle and that I’ll be able to see it. I know that wil brighten your day.

Feb 232013

When it comes to music debuts and hot breaking news, Friday’s aren’t usually very eventful. But yesterday was an exception. I posted a lot of new things yesterday as they were happening, but still didn’t cover everything, due to day-job bullshit. Today I’m catching up, with a collection of more sweet new items.

ROTTING CHRIST

These Greek heavyweights have been rolling out many new songs from their new album Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy, which Season Of Mist will be releasing next week. But yesterday, the entire album became available for streaming on several sites, including Metal Hammer.

I’m completely sold on this album, though I’ve been holding fire on explaining why because we do have a review in the works. I will once again merely say that you should hear this album. And now you can — via the player I’ve embedded right after the jump.

Feb 152013

This is an odd pairing of items, I suppose — half of it metal and half of it in the vein of our THAT’S METAL! — BUT IT”S NOT MUSIC series. Here we go:

HYPOCRISY

Last month we featured an edited stream of the title track to Hypocrisy’s new album, End of Disclosure. Nuclear Blast was then — and still is — giving away the song as a free download. This morning, NB debuted a lyric video for the full song, which turns out not to be much longer than the edited version.

As I wrote when we first streamed the track, it’s like welcoming a familiar old friend — very recognizably a Hypocrisy song. But if you dig Hypocrisy as much as I do, new music from them is a prize.

The new album End Of Disclosure will be released March 22, 2013 (EU) and April 02, 2013 (NA). Watch and hear the video after the jump.

Jan 252013

Thanks to tips from DGR, I learned about two attention-grabbing developments this morning — new details about the forthcoming albums by Sweden’s Hypocrisy and October Tide plus new songs from each of them. And then on my very own I found a new single from the next album by Norway’s Vreid. It is a good day to be alive.

HYPOCRISY

Here’s how I progressed toward the new Hypocrisy song: First, I saw the cover art for the new album, End of Disclosure, which was created by Wes Benscoter (Slayer, Kreator, Nile, Vader, and more). I found it pleasing. Kind of a Zen demon. Also, many skulls. Second, I read, and was intrigued by, this quote by Hyporcisy’s main man Peter Tägtgren in the Nuclear Blast write-up on the album:

“This time I wanted to go back to basic, felt like we lost it for the last couple of albums , it’s straight to the point, it’s more Hypocrisy than ever, the fast, the heavy, the epic.. Enjoy!”

And then I listened to an edited version of the album’s title track, “End of Disclosure” — which you are about to hear, too, and which is available for free download.

Oct 172012

(UK-based NCS scribe Andy Synn makes an appearance with another five-fold list of “favourite” things.  Such wasteful use of vowels.)

I realise I’ve been off the grid for a bit now (though I am working on some reviews, a 30th edition of The Synn Report, and an awesome interview) so in between balancing all that, work pressures, and 2 bands, I thought I’d drop you another irreverent column on five of my favourite things.

 

BEFORE THE DAWNBITTER END (PLACEBO COVER)

Such an odd choice, but one which works perfectly, taking the darkly gothic atmosphere of the original and replacing its more pop orientation with some heavy metal riffage and a meaty drumming backbone. The vocal interplay is also sublime, the predominant clean croons matched with a bullish, anguished growl from Tuomas Saukkonen.

Dec 292011

(Andy Synn provides an unexpected SYNN REPORT, seizing upon the imminent calendar change to discuss the re-recording of 12 songs by 12 tremendous bands — and of course we’re including the music, which means 24 tracks. Fuck, this would be a mixtape that KILLS.)

So here it is, a surprise Synn Report to finish off the year. Arbitrary though the distinction may well be, the end of the year provides a perfect excuse to attend to a similar theme, the transition from the old to the new – re-workings and re-recordings.

Are they better? That’s an argument for the ages? Are they necessary? Hell, that’s probably an even worse argument to start up…

Primarily, re-recordings serve a twofold purpose – 1. to reinvigorate songs that might otherwise not be getting the set-time they deserve, and 2. – to royally piss off a band’s fan-base. Although there’s a chance that the second isn’t entirely intentional. Still, the re-recorded album courts controversy like almost no other, whether it’s a varied collection of songs that are chosen to receive the treatment, or a full re-recording of an entire album.

The full re-recording of an entire album is clearly the most contentious option, while single track re-recordings are often a much more successful and welcome proposition, most often appearing as b-sides and bonus tracks for the avid collector. The full-album re-recording, however, remains exceptionally and unequivocally divisive, alienating as many old fans as it attracts new ones.

So here’s a list of some of those renewed tracks that I think definitely have something to offer the listener, both old and new. I’m sure I’ll have to turn in my kvlt card after this, for promoting something so new and shiny, but ah well…

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