Aug 252017

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Paradise Lost, which will be released on September 1 by Nuclear Blast.)

Not that long ago, the idea that Paradise Lost would, twenty years into their existence, be undergoing a well-deserved critical and commercial renaissance, would have been seen as… well, if not outright laughable, then certainly a little far-fetched.

That’s not to say that the band’s foray into the realms of dark, synth-heavy electro-rock was a complete failure (I’ll gladly go to bat for Host any day of the week) but, even so, there was a time when the band’s star seemed very much on the wane, and unlikely to ever ignite in the same way again.

And yet, ever since the release of 2007’s In Requiem the grim Northerners have been on a steady upswing, one which has seen them growing ever darker, ever heavier, and ever doomier over time, ultimately culminating in the utterly monstrous Medusa, one of the darkest, heaviest, and doomiest albums of their career.

Jun 082017

 

Not for the first time, I had a discussion with a few of my NCS comrades at Maryland Deathfest about how much stuff I post most days. I think their feeling was that 4 posts a day at NCS should be considered adequate, and that more tends to result in reader/listener overload. While I think this is good advice for my exercise of editorial discretion, and undoubtedly would help relieve the frenzied stress levels of my daily existence, the sad fact is that I… just… can’t… fucking… help myself! I see or hear something that gets me excited, and I feel an apparently irresistible compulsion to share it.

And so, while today I’ve already posted an album review and plan to post three premieres (one of which is a full album, accompanied by a review), I also decided to compile this round-up. On the bright side, two of the following 10 items(!) only consist of artwork and news — and I could have made this soooo much longer, but I’m saving some new discoveries for this weekend.

INCANTATION

I was gob-smacked the first time I saw Eliran Kantor’s artwork for the cover of Incantation’s new album. Even now, seeing the piece with the band’s name and the album title on it, my gob is still smacked. The first single from the album has also proven to be a gob-smacker. But before we get to that, here’s Eliran Kantor’s explanation about the inspiration for his painting on the cover of Profane Existence:

May 022016

Roadburn-2016-OfficalArtwork1

 

The 2016 edition of the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is now in the history books. It was the first edition of the festival to be presented at the newly renovated 013 venue, and it boasted a typically impressive and diverse line-up of bands. While none of the NCS scribes was on hand for this year’s event, we do have photos of many of the performances, thanks to Kris T. Therrian of 17 seconds photography, and beginning today we’ll be providing them for your viewing pleasure.

We’ve divided these photo collections into four parts, one for each day of the festival, and we’ll roll out the remaining three installments over the next three days. Many thanks to Kris for letting us share these memories with you. For more info about her work, visit these links:

Feb 082016

Katavasia-Sacrilegious Testament

Welcome to the 20th installment of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ll be finished with the rollout of this list next Sunday. To hear the other songs on the list up until now, click this link.

Today we have three diverse pieces of metal, each of them from albums that were the source of multiple candidates for this list.

KATAVASIA

In the early part of last year we devoted quite a lot of attention to this Greek band’s 2015 album Sacrilegious Testament, and still more attention when year-end-list time rolled around — which is not surprising, given who’s in the band:

Jun 162015

 

(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Here we go again! With May long behind us, there was a lot of material to sift through, along with a hell of a time at Maryland Deathfest to remember. All good things!

Overall, May wasn’t the best month this year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some gems to uncover. Quite a good amount, actually, with the selections coming from a broad spectrum. Hey, that’s why I’m here – to give you the goods from all over! I try to deliver. Maybe not as exciting as the pizza delivery guy bringing carb-loaded goodies, but I do what I can!

Onward!

Jun 102015

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Paradise Lost.)

I guess, when it comes to Paradise Lost, the old axe that everything is cyclical rears its ugly head once again. I’ve never been much of a believer in it, but lo and behold, Paradise Lost have released their darkest, doomiest, and arguably heaviest record in some time — a record we were told was never likely, as Nick Holmes was likely never to growl again and instead would forever sing through Paradise Lost’s goth-laden doom, and a record that would never be this heavy despite the fact that the band had gotten heavier since returning to their doom standard a few records ago.

Then again, things change.

May 062015


Photo by Ewan Cawood

 

A flood of new music and videos appeared yesterday. I found a dozen of them I’d like to recommend, but I’m squeezed for time at the moment, so I’ve made some hard choices and picked three for this post. Perhaps I’ll be able to collect a few more later today — though it’s likely that as this day wears on even more good new music will appear. Anyone who thinks there’s something wrong with the state of metal in 2015 is just WRONG.

PARADISE LOST

My Facebook news feed blew up with friends posting about the new Paradise Lost video yesterday. Most of the links were accompanied by exclamations of surprise and praise. To those I’ll now add my own.

The song is “Beneath Broken Earth” and it appears on the band’s forthcoming album The Plague Within, due for release on June 1 by Century Media. The video was directed by Ash Pears. Here’s a quote about the song and video by the band’s guitarist Greg Mackintosh (who we hope has recovered from his recent mishap on stage in Seattle with Vallenfyre):

Apr 242015

 

This is the second of today’s round-ups of newly discovered music. This one should probably be called “Seen and Heard by DGR“, because it was he who linked me to everything collected here (except the final song) over the course of this week.

PARADISE LOST

Paradise Lost is such a “name” that after four days out in the world, their new song “No Hope In Sight” has probably been heard by every sentient creature (and many non-sentient ones) who know of the band. But we haven’t featured it here yet, and since many of our readers are not earthlings, we thought a few of them might not have discovered it yet. So, here it is. DGR says: “It was good sound”. What do you think?

Sep 092012

On the night of September 4, 2012, a group of friends and I were on hand at Studio Seven in Seattle to take in the first show of a North American tour featuring Katatonia, The Devin Townsend Project, Paradise Lost, and Stolen Babies, and I brought my fancy camera, which I still haven’t learned how to work very well. And yes, that means there will be a bunch of amateurish photos scattered around this write-up.

Two of us had bought VIP tickets, which gave us the chance to attend a “meet and greet” with DTP in advance of the show. As instructed, we arrived at the venue at 5:45 pm, and eventually a group of about a dozen of us were brought inside, given swag bags, and escorted to Studio Seven’s balcony bar, which was empty except for staff people getting ready for the night — plus Devin Townsend and two members of his live band, drummer Ryan van Poederooyen and guitarist Dave Young.

We spent the first 10 or 15 minutes talking with Ryan, who couldn’t have been more friendly and humble (and who clearly was in love with the songs DT had written for Epicloud). Eventually, we wandered over to where DT was holding court with the rest of our group of admirers, and he seemed very much the same person as he does on stage — full of energy and humor, making jokes and funny faces, and enjoying talking with all of us mostly tongue-tied well-wishers. If there’s a big rock star ego anywhere in his personality, it’s well-hidden. (We had talked earlier with one of the venue’s security guys who we know, and he confirmed the impression — that DT has always been outgoing and nice to all the staff people every time our friend has worked one of his Seattle shows).

We had our photos taken with DT and then were escorted back out of the venue to wait for the doors to open along with everyone else (though our swag bags contained VIP laminates that allowed us to get back in first). The goodies inside the bag also included a signed copy of the Epicloud CD, which hadn’t yet been released as of the time of this show.

Aug 292012

(Our UK correspondent Andy Synn, who is a lucky devil, attended the mammoth BLOODSTOCK festival earlier this month and delivered a report on the performances. You can find his review of the festival’s Friday and Saturday shows at this location, and today we’ve got his write-up about what he saw and heard on BLOODSTOCK’s final day — plus a collection of videos (some of which are full sets) at the end.)

SUNDAY

Unfortunately, the first band to assault my ears on the last day of Bloodstock were the generally uninspired Kobra & The Lotus, a band who the metal media have been trying desperately to ram down our throats for some time now, but who don’t have the songs or presence to justify it. Not the worst band in the world by a long shot, but memorable only for how forgettable they were, and for the singer’s often flat, often forced, vocals.

So it’s a good thing we had Nile! After some admittedly hilarious sound problems (where you could hear the sound guy shouting and swearing at everyone to ‘Fuck off! We’re not ready!” after Nile tried to start their intro a tad early), the quartet finally kicked into a sterling set of challenging death metal mechanics. The new songs are definitely finding their place in the complex algorithm of Nile’s set, while a run-in by members of The Black Dahlia Murder for the climactic chant-along of “Black Seeds of Vengeance” helped add to that special “festival-feeling”.

Speaking of The Black Dahlia Murder, they were up next and also faced the unappealing task of presenting their razor-sharp melodic death metal to a crowd that had seemingly greeted their announcement with either measured ambivalence or outright hostility. But with good natured aplomb, and some hilarious stage banter, the quintet were definitely up to the challenge, packing an impressive number of songs into a short time slot in an effort to win over as many with their music as possible. Kudos for the handling of the naked guy (“Raise him up, I want to see his penis… no wait, keep him away from security… oh no, they got him. Enjoy jail dude!”), and well done on ending the set with more people in the field than they started with.

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