Sep 072017

 

This will be a very busy day at our site. We’ve posted one review already, we have another one coming, and we have four (!) very good premieres lined up. But thanks to DGR, we also have a brief round-up of new songs and videos that have recently appeared elsewhere — to which I’ve added one news item at the front end, one wisely suggested by my comrade Mr. Synn. So, you’ll have to tolerate a bit of my verbiage for the first item, and then I’ll turn you over to the words and selections of DGR.

COMMUNIC

This has been a banner year for metal album covers, and Berlin-based Eliran Kantor has been responsible for many of the best ones, including the one above, which accompanies a new album by the Norwegian progressive metal band Communic. And the fact that we will have a new Communic album this year is itself very welcome news.

The name of the album is Where Echoes Gather, and it will be released on October 27 by the band’s new label, AFM Records, following four previous albums released by Nuclear Blast.

Jun 292017

 

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Origin, which will be released on June 30.)

Origin are one of death metal’s most unique standouts from the 2000s-era of death metal. Their brand of chaotically fast, noisy, cosmic, techy deathgrind has never been done better, nor even really emulated properly, and that’s because this band has always had a consistent vision. Or rather, Paul Ryan and John Longstreth have had consistent vision. The Origin sound is unmistakable and it has remained so, to their benefit and at their peril.

Unparalleled Universe is Origin’s best record since new vocalist Jason Keyser joined back in 2011, especially compared to 2014‘s Omnipresent, which was received… not as well as the rest of Origin’s discography. I suspect the Origin guys felt this, and maybe even felt that way about Omnipresent themselves after the dust had settled, because Unparalleled Universe is a step up. It has some of the best songwriting, riff-craft, and consistently belligerent sonic matter obliteration they’ve ever created.

May 152017


Origin

 

(DGR steps in for round-up duty with a collection of deathly advance tracks from forthcoming albums that detonated late last week.)

2017 has been a year that has moved in fits and starts, with huge batches of releases and then a period of calm, then another huge batch and so on. It’s a different feeling from last year’s torrential flood, but it also means that promotional stuff moves in fits and starts as well — which is how we wound up with the back half of last week bringing one big release after another from some fairly recognizable names for those who love their death metal and high speed.

It was a pretty intense flood of death metal washing over the metal community, much of it coming from some fairly big names — a hefty collection of mainstays, old guard, and standard-bearers. We tried to collect some of them into our usual three-to-four part series of bands, but eventually it seemed like everyone wanted to get in on the game, and that’s why you have a SEEN AND HEARD headline with five recognizable names within it, all deploying material virtually at once.

Jul 082014

(DGR wrote this review of the new album by Origin.)

Origin are a band who have some miles on them. In my case, they landed on my radar ‘long about the time Headbangers Ball gave their video a spin back in 2008 — I think? — and since then I’ve attempted to keep my eyes on them. However, the group stick to a pretty solid new-album-every-three-years schedule, so it wasn’t until 2011 that I got to really swoop into the whole zeitgeist of fandom with them after the release of Entity. With Entity, Origin really planted both feet on the ground as one of the bands who were going to take the concept of tech-death and push it to its very limits. Instrumentally, the whole album was a frightening affair — filled with a combination of technical pyrotechnics and insane speed capable of leaving listeners slack-jawed. That the album was essentially a three-man affair made the whole thing even more insane.

The issue with that album, though, is that for all its incredible playing and stunning technicality — believe me, it was insanely challenging from the first note of the over-the-top “Expulsion Of Fury” — it became something of a morass. You couldn’t really tell which song was which after a while, as one wall of notes after another came crashing down around you. Part of that could be written off, because it feels like the very purpose that drives Origin’s existence: to be the “most”. If they were going to go a full blown tech-death route in 2011, then Entity was going to be the “most” tech-death you could pack into one disc, and the result was a dense obsidian slab of it.

That’s why, with Entity as background, I became so interested three years later about Origin’s new disc Omnipresent. Where would the band going after something like Entity? Could they line up with earlier releases? Could they match Antithesis and its endless replay back in the Headbangers Ball 2.0 days on MTV2? All of these questions were valid, plus you now have the presence of a dedicated vocalist within the band. Surprisingly enough, on Omnipresent, Origin reign it in a bit . The stunning guitar playing, progressive writing, and insanely technical aspect of the band are all still present, but now you can actually distinguish just what the hell is going on, and in that sense Origin have created some of their most enjoyable music to date.

May 212014

By the time you read this I will have embarked on my journey from Seattle to Baltimore for the Maryland Deathfest. To be precise, I’ll probably be with the TSA at Sea-Tac having my rectum probed before hobbling to the departure gate (who knew that the Ghost butt plug would refuse to come out unless you could plead with it in Sumerian?).

Because of that trip, time is short and so, as I did yesterday, I’m just throwing a whole bunch of song streams (and a few links) at you, with few words of my own. This is all new metal I found yesterday that I liked. Presented in alphabetical order:

ACxDX

ACxDC are from SoCal. The last time I wrote about them was almost two years ago, soon after one of vocalist Sergio’s newborn twins (Savina) had to have surgery to repair a hole in her heart. After many short releases, they finally have recorded a debut album named Antichrist Demoncore. Yesterday an advance track from the album premiered. Its name is “Destroy Create”. It’s a powerviolence assault, both searing and crushing, and maybe more complicated than you might be expecting.

May 132014

This is turning into a monster of a day for new song and album streams. Not long ago we posted about the full-album stream from Misery Index, and just since then I spotted four more song and album streams that are worth your attention. Here we go:

ORIGIN

Origin have now premiered a new song entitled “Manifest Desolate”, the first advance track from their forthcoming sixth album, Omnipresent. The album is due for release on July 4 in Europe by Agonia Records and June 8 in North America via Nuclear Blast. Pre-order here.

“Manifest Desolate” comes in the form of a video that displays the many formats in which the album will be released. The song itself is a blistering explosion of tech-death fireworks, kind of like jamming your face into a fistful of Roman candles. But my favorite part of the song actually comes when the band down-shift the tempo. Listen next…

May 072014

Over the last 24 hours I discovered (thanks in large part to tips from NCS friends) quite a lot of new music and news that I’d like to recommend to you — so much that I’m dividing the discoveries into two posts today, this being the first.

ORIGIN

I always look forward to new music from Origin. I know that, if nothing else, it will simulate the experience of wetting my finger and sticking it in a high voltage electrical outlet, except without the heart stoppage and the hair smokage.  And yesterday brought release details about the new Origin album — Omnipresent:

It will be released in North America by Nuclear Blast on July 8 (yet another birthday present for me!) and by Agonia Records in Europe on July 4. The cover art, which is visible above, is by Colin Marks (Nevermore, Kataklysm, Exodus), who also created the cover for the band’s Entity album.

Drummer John Longstreth, guitarist Paul Ryan, and bass-player Mike Flores are back, and this album will feature the Origin debut of ex-Skinless vocalist Jason Keyser. Colin Marston handled the mixing and mastering. Pre-ordering is available here for Agonia. This is a new band photo:

Feb 012014

Here are some things I spied and heard over the last 24 hours, including a destructive new song and an invigorating new video. But I begin with some teasing photos that appeared in my Facebook news feed. The first one is above, accompanied by these words:

“Legendary Florida Death Metal pioneers Massacre will return with their first studio album effort in almost 20 years! Programmatically entitled Back From Beyond, the album will be released on March 24th in Europe and April 1st in North America.”

Here are some others, with the verbiage that accompanied them. If you don’t recognize the faces, hover your mouse over the images.

“New Album nearly complete! 1.31.14”

Jan 072014

Your humble editor is behind (or is A behind, depending on who you talk to). Behind on reviews, behind on news and new song premieres, behind on the vaunted list of 2013’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and behind in posting things that our staff and guests have written for publication. There are many reasons for this tardiness, but I’d rather not dwell on them. Instead, let’s look ahead to the future.

As far as NCS is concerned, we do have a few late-breaking year-end lists to post. Honestly, I’m somewhat amazed that these lists continue to draw as much interest as they have, given how many we’ve posted during this year’s LISTMANIA extravaganza, but even our most recent ones have attracted strong interest. So, we’re not calling a halt to them just yet. And just as that series is finally winding down, another one will begin: Finally, I’m going to start rolling out the Most Infectious Songs list later today, with the first three picks.

I also expect to resume our usual features now that the holiday season is over, beginning with the following round-up of news and new music. And we begin with…

ORIGIN

Two and a half years have passed since Origin released Entity, and yesterday brought the welcome news that the band are about to begin recording their next album, which will be entitled Omnipresent.

Jun 212012

(Andy Synn gives us examples of reverse-Eye-Catchers.)

In between reviews (at the moment I have pieces on the new Vintersorg, Gojira, Ihsahn, and De Profundis in gestation) and work on future editions of The Synn Report (for which I have a vague outline of what bands I want to cover, and in what order), I’d like to drop in little columns on bits of metal culture tangentially connected with the music. It’s fun to do, and it gives me a bit of breathing space and a place to clear my head.

Now, while I have a long-running piece on metal lyrics and the art of writing them (and then setting them to music) in the works, I thought for now I’d do a short, irreverent piece on metal artwork.  More precisely, bad metal artwork.

Ok, so clearly I could have filled this entire list with bad black metal artwork… although similarly I could easily have filled it with bad death metal artwork (any number of covers featuring zombies, rape, or zombie rape would do) or bad thrash artwork (robots, tanks, robot-tanks, etc). But I’ve gone for a cross-genre approach to make things a little fairer, and to allow me to fit in some real stinkers.

All these examples have been chosen from my own collection, and I’ve selected a few pieces of artwork that have unfortunately been latched onto otherwise great albums. Not all of them are utterly terrible, but none of them do justice to the music contained within.

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