Mar 092016

Exodus-Tempo of the Damned

 

(TheMadIsraeli returns with another round-up of music from yesteryear that’s been keeping him company lately. Volume 1 can be found here. As will become obvious, the post’s title is tongue-in-cheek.)

Here we are with this again. I’m feeling this idea a lot, I have to admit. Getting right to it…

ExodusTempo Of The Damned

I honestly believe at the end of the day this is Exodus’ best Souza-era record. It has punch, attitude, mean-as-fuck riffs, and it feels like there’s a higher degree of precision here. I know people enjoyed the wild, free-spirited nature of their earlier albums, but I do feel like the band mastered their craft here.

It also stands as a pretty solid reminder that out of all the more popular American thrash bands, Exodus are the absolute KINGS of the mid-paced stomp. “Sealed with a Fist” is the epitomizing example, raunchy and in your face while being infectious and full of that piss and vinegar thrash captures so well.

Jan 292016

Robb Flynn calls out Phil Anselmo

 

We don’t spend time writing about metal scandals, metal gossip, or other forms of salacious but largely time-wasting subject matter (aka click-bait). It’s not that I blame anyone for reading that stuff — I do it myself from time to time. It’s just not part of our mission.

But this video is powerful, no bullshit, from-the-heart stuff, and I thought it was worth sharing. And I’m posting it despite the fact that I tend to turn a blind eye when it comes to noxious ideologies and hateful speech by members of metal bands, as long as it doesn’t hit me right in the face through the music itself — which I will probably continue to do. Besides, preaching to people about what is or isn’t suitable content for what they should be listening to isn’t part of our mission either. But I still think this is worth sharing.

Here’s Machine Head’s Robb Flynn getting some important things off his chest. If you happened to have missed out on the recent controversy he’s addressing, you’ll find out about it in the first seconds of the video. Your comments, as always, are welcome.

Jan 252015

We now come to Part 25 of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

I could go on at length about both of the songs I’m adding to the list today, because to me the way in which each song is constructed and the musical ingredients the bands folded into them make the songs as interesting as they are catchy — and they are both very catchy. But I’ll hold my verbiage to a minimum and let the music speak for itself.

MACHINE HEAD

A lot of bands would have been quite happy to end “Now We Die” at about the three-and-a-half minute mark, and it would have been a fine, hard-rocking, heavy-grooved piece of business without anything more. But this is Machine Head and of course they weren’t about to stop.

Jul 292014

I haven’t managed to compile a round-up of noteworthy new things in a few days, so this one is largish, though still not large enough. I’ll try to keep my own verbiage to a minimum so you don’t lose interest and drift away like hyperactive children, or like me when I hear a firetruck going by. I’ll begin with a trio of news items and then move into the music.

MACHINE HEAD / CHILDREN OF BODOM / EPICA / BATTLECROSS

Yesterday came an announcement that Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica, and Battlecross will tour North America together beginning on October 4 in Denver and ending on November 1 in Hollywood. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Machine Head’s new album on Nuclear Blast should be out around the time of this tour. I can’t honestly say that I’m very lathered up about this tour, but if you are, please send photos of yourself. Here are the dates (continued after the jump):

10/04/2014 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
10/05/2014 Aftershock – Merriam, KS
10/06/2014 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
10/07/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
10/09/2014 Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
10/10/2014 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

Apr 212014

Swimming through the effluent of the interhole this morning I came upon these life rafts that buoyed my spirits. May they make you buoyant as well.

AUROCH

Last November I reported the happy news that Vancouver’s Auroch had signed with Profound Lore, for the release of the band’s next album during 2014 (that same report was merely the prelude to a review of the band’s killer 2013 EP Seven Veils, which you should hear if you haven’t). And now we have the album’s name — Taiman Shud — and the cover art by Cold Poison, which you can see above and which is damned cool — cold, grim, and undoubtedly fitting for what I expect will be an immense and forbidding death metal release.

The official release date was also announced:  June 24, 2014. A vinyl edition will be coming in July via Dark Descent.

And in other Auroch news, it was announced that Tridoid Records will be releasing the band’s previous album From Forgotten Worlds on vinyl this coming August.

Dec 052013

(In this guest post, Booker identifies works of literature that he was inspired to read as a result of metal, along with the specific music that provided the push. If you’ve had similar experiences, we’d like to hear about them in the Comments, along with any thoughts you might have about Booker’s post.)

Well, if you’re reading NCS, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that metal is one of mankind’s greatest creations. When I’m feeling generous I’d even expand that to music in general. You know what one of human beings’ other greatest creations is? Sending humans to an orbiting lunar body in specially controlled atmospheric craft and protective suits? Pfft, no! Using a modified virus to evoke lasting immune responses to deadly diseases? Meh.

What I’m talking about is writing. That’s right, writing, without which those other achievements wouldn’t even be possible. When you think about it, it’s pretty mind-blowing that we can scrawl lines on paper, and now digital displays, and someone else can look at those hieroglyphics and almost instantaneously discern meaning, enabling us to convey ideas and thoughts to someone else without even talking to them! From one side of the planet to another, or even from one mind to another across the abyss of time and the divide of death. Think about that after smoking a few pipes (oh my god, it’s like there’s people reading my mind!… over the internet!… and I’m reading some thoughts from someone who’s dead!… woooaahh).

And with writing came literature (and humorous toilet graffiti).  Not surprisingly, given the vast array of ideas and storylines conveyed by literature, some of those works have in turn inspired musicians to craft musical works covering the same themes, and when metal musicians do it you get what I’d call a veritable orgy of humanity’s greatest creations – metal meets literature, all getting off over each other. That’s what I’m talking about! But what I’m going to cover here is taking this one step further – not just metal albums inspired by literature, but albums/songs/bands that have in turn inspired me to go back to the source and read the inspirational literature in question.

Nov 142012

Sakis Tolis, laying down a soothing lullaby. 

Once again, your intrepid editor has sifted through the ever flowing stream of metal news and new music to find those gleaming nuggets that will enrich your daily lives.  Actually, I don’t know if you’ll give a shit about any of this, but I do, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?  No need to answer, that was a rhetorical question.

ALBUMS ON THE HORIZON: ROTTING CHRIST AND NECROWRETCH

We’ve already reported that Rotting Christ are at work on their 11th studio album, but today I saw a few more tidbits of news: The album will be entitled Do What Thou Wilt, and it will hit the stores on March 1, 2013. We usually don’t write about such happenings unless we have a bit more juice to go along with it, such as album art or a song premiere. But these Greek maestros are the kind of band whose every move interests me. And I’m particularly interested to see if the new album will be a further step down the path of strongly folk/ethnic-influenced metal exhibited on Aealo.

I also saw today that the French band Necrowretch have finished the recording and mastering of their debut album for Century Media. It was recorded in late August at Blackout Multimedia studios in Brussels by Phorgath of Enthroned and its title will be Putrid Death Sorcery. The cover art is being prepared by Milovan Novakovic from Montenegro, who also created the beastly cover for the band’s last EP, Now You’re In Hell (reviewed here). And if you’re wondering why this news matters, check out some Necrowretch music right after the jump.

Sep 102012

Last week, numerous metal blogs reported the rumor that Dethklok, Machine Head, All That Remains, and The Black Dahlia Murder would be touring North America together this fall. Preferring to wait for something more concrete, we didn’t post about that. But this morning we saw confirmation via Lambgoat that the tour really is happening, along with a schedule of the dates and places.

The tour will hit 31 cities, beginning on October 30 in Norfolk, Virginia, and ending on December 8 in Atlanta. It’s almost entirely a U.S. tour, but there will be shows in Montreal and Toronto.

My feelings about the tour were pretty well summed up by Axl at Metal Sucks when he reported the rumor: “[T]his tour . . . does have one weak spot, in the form of a certain auto-tuned metalcore band whose frontman loves guns. That being said, I still wouldn’t skip this tour — thirty or forty minutes to take a breather at a show with three other awesome bands on the bill isn’t a bad thing.”

I still have great memories of Dethklok’s performance when they toured with Mastodon a few years ago and would think hard about paying to see them regardless of who else was along for the ride. But The Black Dahlia Murder will put on a helluva show, and I’ve never seen Machine Head and want to.

And as for All That Remains, their early albums were among my favorites for years when metalcore first exploded, but I’ve gradually lost interest. Still, maybe ATR will play some songs from This Darkened Heart and The Fall of Ideals, which could be a cool nostalgia trip. But I’m not counting on that. What are your thoughts about this tour?

Check out the schedule after the jump, and stream a song (“I Ejaculate Fire”) from Dethklok’s new album while you’re at it.

Aug 282012

(Our NCS comrade Andy Synn has recently been making me green with envy by attending summer metal festivals on the other side of the Atlantic, which for me might as well be on the other side of the solar system.  However, gentleman and scholar that he is, he didn’t just go and have a ridiculously good time. He also sent back this review of his jaunt to the UK’s BLOODSTOCK festival on August 10-12, 2012. We’re dividing it into two parts, with Part 2 coming up tomorrow [now posted here].)

Ah, Bloodstock. Always an interesting festival, caught between its early power/trad-metal roots and its steady expansion into a more rounded, extreme/non-mainstream metal festival. This year’s line-up was pretty enticing, but circumstances and finances looked set to prevent my attendance. But fate and serendipity stepped in (thank you Sahil!) and on Friday 10th of August I found myself once more pulling into the festival’s parking lot, with a song in my heart and a shiny guest wristband on my arm.

 

FRIDAY

Carefully timing my arrival to coincide with that of Moonsorrow, I wasn’t disappointed, the band utterly on fire, despite the occasionally washed out sound. It helps that the set-list comprised some of my favourite Moonsorrow tracks, I’ll admit that, but the performance itself was brilliant either way. The only downside is that, due to the length of their material, it always seems like too few songs

Sepultura put on a damn good show, their new drummer certainly doing his best to live up to Igor Cavalera’s enviable legacy, while the triptych of Derrick, Paulo, and Andreas showed again and again why they stuck with the name – they just do it all better. The new material sounded great live, while the quartet give the old stuff, including a brace of Beneath The Remains-era material, new life and vigour. Props as well for the welcome, but unexpected, guest slot from Tim “Ripper” Owens on “Territory”.

Dio Disciples were, in many ways, something of a curiosity for the festival. Essentially Dio’s band with a different singer (and a few guests), it’s hard to judge them on merit alone, as their appearance was due to far more than just an ability to play the songs well. This was a tribute to one of the genre’s legendary figures, and while it would be churlish to say it was simply a well-received cover set (the downright dedication to this band’s slot bordered on the fanatical), one can’t help but be moved by this show of respect, and by being reminded of the sheer quality of the material on display.

Sep 272011

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new Machine Head album, Unto the Locust, which is being released today on Roadrunner Records.)

It’s time for me to come out of the closet.  I AM A MACHINE HEAD FAN.  I mean yeah, I have no problem admitting that The More Things Change, The Burning Red and Supercharger are nothing but sonic packages of primate anus waste and that every copy of them that exists should be torched in the fires of mallcore hell — but the great albums from this band outweigh the bad.

Burn My Eyes?  Classic post-thrash, the epitome.  Through The Ashes Of Empires was a solid return to form, while using what was good about their… shall-not-be-named-again mid-period exploits.  And The Blackening saw Machine Head taking a respectably ambitious turn, risking looking like complete and utter posers and tools by expanding the scope of their songwriting, breaking into epic song lengths of up to 10 minutes.

Unto The Locust is this band’s best album since Burn My Eyes.  Indisputable this fact shall be.  This is an all-guns-blazing post-thrash assault that actually reveals the MH crew bringing back to the music their old 80’s thrash influences to a surprising extent.  There are even a lot of moments that recall Vio-Lence or Forbidden — bands in which members of Machine Head have previously done time.

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