Aug 312017


Jupiterian

 

I’m in the same situation I was in yesterday, with my fucking day job squeezing the life out of my NCS time, except now I’m being squeezed on the east coast of the U.S. instead of the west coast. As a result, this post, plus one forthcoming premiere, will be the only ones you’ll see at our site today.

Before entering the Land of Nod late last night I spent about an hour listening to new music selected at random, and heard one more stunner this morning over coffee. And because time is short I’ve picked only three of those to write about.

JUPITERIAN

I’ve written about this Brazilian band frequently in the past. The last time, when the subject was a new EP of cover songs, I referred to the band’s ability “to club a listener senseless” and to channel “pure evil — cask-strength and undiluted”, the “stark, desolate, and devastating” sensations of their music, and the capacity of the vocals alone “to give any normal person a shivering case of the night terrors”.

Little wonder that I nearly spilled my morning coffee when I saw a bunch of exciting news this morning about their new album Terraforming — including the revealing of a new song.

Nov 032012

As explained in today’s earlier post, I’ve had a bit of a setback. I can’t walk very well at the moment. But crawling still works. And as I crawled through the interhole and my e-mail this morning while moaning in pain and feeling like a prize dumbass, I found some news about Nergal (Poland) and Intronaut (U.S.) and new music from Sulphur Aeon (Germany) that made me feel better, at least psychologically if not physically.

NERGAL GETS SOME HIGH LEVEL SUPPORT

I saw a note on the Facebook page of Behemoth’s frontman Nergal that looked interesting. You may have seen (either here or elsewhere) that Nergal’s legal troubles in his native Poland have been revived thanks to a ruling by the Polish Supreme Court that he can be criminally prosecuted for offending people’s religious feelings even if he didn’t intend to do that. This whole mess stems from a 2007 Behemoth performance in which Nergal tore up a Bible on stage.

There are plenty of places in the world where governments repress speech, sometimes violently, but I don’t usually think of Poland that way. So I was surprised when the country’s highest court made it easier, not harder, for people in Poland to be prosecuted for expressing “offensive” thoughts about religion.

What Nergal’s note revealed is that the day after this abysmal court ruling, the European Commission — which is the executive body of the European Union, of which Poland is a member — released a statement in support of Nergal. Citing the European Convention of Human Rights, a treaty that Poland signed which protects freedom of expression, the EC stated: “This right protects not only information or ideas that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also those that offend, shock or disturb.”

The full article cited by Nergal is here. It’s not clear how the EC’s position or Poland’s treaty obligations will affect the progress of the case against Nergal, but it’s definitely an interesting and encouraging development.

Oct 302012

Every day brings shitty news, both large and small. We usually don’t write about shitty news. We usually try to write about things that make the shit in life more tolerable. So I guess you could call this post a different kind of Exception to the Rule.

SANDY

Who came up with the name of “Sandy” for this storm? Sandy is a freckle-faced girl with a beaming smile and sparkling eyes, wholesome and playful, the girl next door. If the hurricane naming gurus wanted an “S” name for this thing, they should have gone with something like Shedim.

Sandy made landfall at 8 pm, Eastern Time, last night, with hurricane-force winds extending up to 175 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds spreading out 485 miles from the center. At least 17 people have been killed so far and this morning more than 7 million people are without power in a multi-state region.

Businesses and schools are closed, roads are closed, subway and commuter trains have been shut down, more than 13,000 airline flights were canceled, even the Erie Canal was shut down. In Manhattan, waves topped the sea wall in the financial district, sending cars floating down streets and flooding the Ground Zero construction site. The Jersey Shore was devastated. A well-known replica of the H.M.S. Bounty was sunk off the North Carolina coast. And on and on and on.

The fuckin’ thing has even extended its reach into the Midwest. Chicago officials warned residents to stay away from the Lake Michigan shore as the city prepares for winds of up to 60 mph and waves exceeding 24 feet well into Wednesday. And though the storm has been downgraded from hurricane status to a tropical storm, it’s not finished wreaking havoc on the Northeastern US and Canada.

Sep 112012

Behemoth’s Nergal has completed work on an autobiography, with the title of Sacrum Profanum — a title that presumably refers to the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane, which is a central characteristic of most religions. The book will be released next month in Poland, and unfortunately there are no current plans for it to be translated into English.

The book will be promoted through a series of video trailers that will appear on Behemoth’s YouTube channel. According to Behemoth’s label, Metal Blade, “the trailers will feature Nergal reading portions of the book, as well as acting out portions of stories, which Nergal describes as ‘some funny, some sad, some evil…some related to the band, some not.'” The trailers will be in Polish with English subtitles.

The first trailer went up for streaming today. The thoughts expressed are serious, though the philosophy is certainly not new — but the trailer is also provocative. Yes indeed, I do believe that’s a Bible that Nergal burns in the trailer. After being prosecuted repeatedly in Poland for doing the same thing on stage many years ago, he seems to be courting more legal harassment — and clearly gives no fucks about that. The last line of the trailer makes that even more abundantly clear.

Reports about the book indicate that much of it is an extended and wide-ranging interview of Nergal, rather than him or some ghost-writer laying out a narrative. No doubt, he has led an unusual life, and I suspect this would be a fascinating read. Here’s hoping that an English translation will someday become available.

UPDATE: I found a page on the Behemoth web store (here) where the book (in Polish) can be pre-ordered. It includes this statement: Behemoth’s “THIS IS A POLISH VERSION OF THE BOOK! ENGLISH ONE – ESTIMATED DATE 2013”. That page contains additional info about the book, and after the jump I’ve included a bit more about it after converting the text into English through Google Translate

The trailer is after the jump, too.

Feb 232012

Quite a few news items were delivered to the NCS Island today via carrier pigeons, which are our preferred mode of news transportation. Unfortunately, a few of the pigeons dived left when they should have dived right and landed in the loris compound, where they were unceremoniously converted into squab tartare. We’ll never know what important messages those brave aeronauts were carrying. But the ones who made it safely to the NCS editorial offices revealed the following:

ASPHYX

Yours truly can testify that the new Asphyx album Deathhammer is a delicious serving of primal death-doom with more hooks than you’ll find in this guy. But you don’t have to take my word for it, because DECIBEL has started streaming the whole album here.

HIGH ON FIRE

High On Fire’s new studio album De Vermis Mysteriis has now been scheduled for an April 3 release by eOne Music. It was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. The album title apparently comes from a fictional grimoire created by Psycho author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu mythos.

According to the press release I got, “The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus, and ‘a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors’ eyes.'” However, portions of the release were obscured by pigeon dung, so I can’t swear I got the Jesus twin thing right.

Aug 202011

Here at NCS, we avoid the daily news like the plague (unless it involves metal), because it offers constant reminders that human beings are fucking nuts, and not in a good way. For every small step of advancement toward civilization, there seem to be about 10 steps in regression as the self-centered and the arrogant persist in reenacting acts of gob-smacking idiocy that have been a feature of the human landscape for millenia and inflicting their prejudices on people who don’t think or act as they do.

But there are just enough, just barely enough, episodes of rationality to keep hope alive that a day will come when most people will act like the higher-order creatures they are supposed to be, instead of just bigger-brained versions of water buffalo and warthogs.

This week we had news about the lifting of legal clouds in two criminal cases that most metalheads have come to know quite well — the murder case against the West Memphis 3 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and the prosecution of Adam Darski (a/k/a Nergal) of Behemoth for giving offense to religion in Poland.

According to this story, a Polish judge found Nergal innocent of offending religious feeling when he ripped up a Bible during a 2007 Behemoth concert, called the Bible “a deceitful book”, and branded the church a “criminal sect.” The judge held that Nergal’s actions were “a form of artistic expression consistent with the style of his band.” Duh. He added that the court had no intention of limiting freedom of expression or the right to criticize religion. That’s an encouraging pronouncement.

Nergal can now go about the business of continuing to recover from leukemia and practicing for Behemoth’s next live performances this fall. No doubt, his detractors in Poland are seething over this turn of events, still stubbornly refusing to understand that trying to jail people who speak ill of churches, no matter how “offensively,” or who tear up “holy books,” won’t silence criticism of churches or religion. If people aren’t secure enough in their own faith to ignore what people like Nergal do in performances for their own fans, then enforcing laws against religious offense won’t save them. (more after the jump . . .)

Jun 282011

Like all good Behemoth slaves, I followed frontman Nergal’s battle with leukemia with a shifting feeling of dismay, dread, sorrow, hope, and eventually a sympathetic feeling of victory. Today I saw news of yet another milestone in Nergal and Behemoth’s comeback that I thought was worth sharing: For the first time in over a year, Behemoth is back in their rehearsal space rehearsing both old and new songs, and we’ve got pictures to prove it. Nergal issued this statement:

“Sooo, first rehearsals after the transplant are under our belts! I didn’t want to get overexcited at first, just wanted to see how things would go, but I have to tell you…the second rehearsal we fuckin’ nailed “Ov Fire And The Void”, “Lucifer”, “Conquer All” or “Antichristian Phenomenon” flawlessly! One of us even asked: ‘Did we really take a year off from each other?’ Ha ha… it was good times in great company! But the biggest surprise were the songs we NEVER played live ever and planning to do on the upcoming “Phoenix Rising Tour”. I won’t reveal any names yet, let it be a mystery til we hit the stage, all right?”

“In other news, I started jamming out some NEW shit too…too early to give any further comments but it sounds VERY disturbing and eerie. Can’t fuckin wait to unleash those ideas to my friends…”

I don’t know about you, but this gave my day a boost. In these photos, Nergal looks like he’s been through a fucking meat-grinder, physically, but he’s on two feet with axe in hand. Hails and horns, man. More photos after the jump.

Nov 102010

By the time you read this, I’ll be far, far away from the NCS metallic island — but NCS will still be here. Yes, my open invitation for guest blog submissions generated an enthusiastic and heart-warming response. We now have almost enough quality pieces to fill every day of my vacation hiatus — and if a couple more that have been promised come through soon, we’ll be all set.  And if they don’t, I created a couple of goodies before leaving that I can slot in.

What this means is that NCS will not go dark while I’m fucking off in a distant land.We will keep our streak of posts alive — at least one every day since my now-largely-missing-in-action comrades and I started this thing. It makes my eyes moist to think of how valiantly NCS readers stepped up to help out. Our it could be that I’m growing allergic to the lorises.

I think you’ll enjoy what we’ve got scheduled for appearance over the next 11 days. I know I enjoyed reading them. You may enjoy them so much that you’ll petition me to stay on vacation indefinitely. It’s a real mish-mash of topics, from album reviews to Top 10 lists to discoveries of new music to “op-ed” opinion pieces, and more. Of course, the writing styles are different, but I’m pleased to say that many of them use the words “fuck” and “fucking” and one uses the word “poop” — repeatedly. I feel like I’ve been a good role model.

So, without further ado, our first guest post appears right below this one. Thanks to all who contributed. Stay safe until we meet again.

P.S. I’m so fucking glad that Nergal found a bone marrow donor. People stepped up for that dude. You give people a chance, and they’ll step up to just about anything.

P.P.S. If the sketchy internet access where I’m going permits, I do plan to get online once a day while I’m away — at least long enough to read comments and join in the commentary, at least briefly. So add some damned comments to these guest posts, won’t you? Muchas gracias.

Aug 132010

The last couple of days my day job has had my head in a fucking vise. I’ve barely had time to create posts for this site, but haven’t had much time to browse other metal sites I usually frequent in order to keep up with what’s happening in the metal cosmos. I did a little catching up last night, and found two stupendous videos that have just been released over the last 48 hours.

Because I’m a little slow to find them, you may have seen the videos already, but I’ve got to put them up anyway because they’re both so cool — in very different ways. Both of them made me exclaim “Holy Fuck!” (hence, the really imaginative title of this post).

The first one is a video of “Alas, Lord Is Upon Me” from Behemoth’s most recent album, Evangelion. I saw a censored version of this video on a couple of other metal sites, but this morning I found an uncensored version that’s now out. The only difference from the censored version is that there are a couple of flashes of nudity (as a priest in his vestments has sex with a naked woman in a church). The images in this slick video (even when they don’t involve nudity) are striking.

The second video is a live pro-shot performance by the reconstituted Polish death-metal band Decapitated. I got excited about this one mainly because Decapitated’s heavy-grooved, technical music is just so damned awesome, and this performance appears to be the first since the awful 2007 van accident that killed the band’s drummer and left its vocalist in a coma.

In fact, the only original member of the band still left is guitarist Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka. But based on the evidence of this video, Decapitated can still kick your ass into the stratosphere.  (both videos are after the jump . . .)

Jan 212010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010. This is how the day began over Puget Sound (honest to God — I really saw this and really took this photo):

And this is how it ended at El Corazon in Seattle:

After starting off the New Year of live music last week with an ass-kicking show by DevilDriver, Suffocation, Goatwhore, and Thy Will Be Done (see our review here), your three NCS Authors took in the Evangelia Amerika tour two nights ago in Seattle — and the ass-kicking continued as Behemoth, Septicflesh, Lightning Swords of Death, and Those Who Lie Beneath took the stage at El Corazon.  For our report, and a lot more of our amateurish concert photos like the one above, continue reading after the jump.

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