Apr 212014

(BadWolf turns in this live show review and also proves he’s got some photographic skills.)

This summer, progressive rock legends Yes announced not only that they would tour, but that their show would consist of not one but two—two!—of their classic records, 1971’s Fragile and 1972’s Close to the Edge, in their entirety.

What in the fuck does this have to do with The Ocean? More than you’d think.

On their spring co-headlining tour with Scale The Summit, The Ocean elected to play their 2013 album Pelagial front-to-back. It’s a bold move. Metal fans, as a rule, demand the old stuff. Even if the new Metallica record is awesome, nobody will want to hear more than a single song from it in a live setting—everybody will want to hear Master of Puppets in its entirety. The former album, no matter how slick, will enver have the ‘classic’ status that we attribute to their older work.

Then again, sometimes a band can smell a classic the minute they shit it out.

Jan 152014

Satan has been a busy little sulphurous bee this week. So many newsy metal announcements, so many new metally songs, more than my addled brain can keep up with. Here are a few of the items I spied over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing. More will come in another post today.

TOURISM: THE OCEAN / SCALE THE SUMMIT / THE ATLAS MOTH / SILVER SNAKES

Who are these people who are constantly blaring that “Metal Sucks” and why are they associating with miscreants such as The Ocean, Scale the Summit, The Atlas Moth, and Silver Snakes? I must add that question to the long list of life’s mysteries to which I must devote my investigative energies. Whoever those people are and whatever obscure impulses motivate them, they are presenting a U.S. tour of the afore-mentioned miscreants, wisely choosing to launch it in The Emerald City, for which I will give thanks by sacrificing a neighbor’s child under the next full moon.

Other less important cities will be visited by this very impressive line-up, and I will list them after the jump for those whose eyesight isn’t sharp enough to discern them on the tour poster above. And speaking of the line-up, though I have been savaged by the first three bands in previous musical performances, Silver Snakes have not had the pleasure of savaging me before, and in fact I was unaware of their existence before those people who blare “Metal Sucks” presented them in this new tour, though I sometimes see silver snakes while on the verge of a blackout drunk. Therefore, along with the dates I will provide a bit of their music, which involves clean singing along with heaviness and lightness.

Dec 082011

(The METAL SUCKFEST that took place in NYC on Nov 4 and 5 was a milestone event — the first U.S. metal festival organized and co-sponsored by a metal blog, and Metal Sucks pulled together a fucktastic line-up to boot. So, NCS decided to document the event up-close and personal by sending two emissaries — NCS writer BadWolf and photographer Nicholas Vechery.  They returned intact, and this is BadWolf’s report of the festival’s second day, along with Nick’s photos. We’ll have interviews to come in the days ahead.)

Photographer Nicholas Vechery and I returned for the second day of Suckfest even more hung over and disgruntled than on November 4th—we wanted to look and feel our best.

I learned about the sad passing of GWAR’s Cory Smoot earlier that day, so I was all frowns… until we walked into the Grammercy and found it bustling. Tickets to the second day must have outsold the first two-to-one.

What’s more, people seemed excited. No one is very visibly excited about anything in New York except exiting a subway train (especially the Green line, ugh!). A mass of goat-throwers chit-chatted, drank, acted like an honest-to-god community—something rare for me, the Midwestern Metalhead.

Community, people coming together—that’s what makes festivals amazing.

Sep 142011

I saw Scale the Summit play in Seattle in April 2009. They were either the first or second band of the night. I hadn’t even heard the album they had released shortly before that tour started, Carving Desert Canyons. They were relative unknowns then, and they had no vocalist. I was prepared to be uninterested.  It took about five minutes before I changed my mind.

I remember being wide-eyed and gap-jawed in wonder, completely sucked into what they were doing on stage. If I’d heard a studio album that contained the music I was hearing, I would have been completely enthralled. To see them doing it live on stage, with no studio gimmickry or room for error, was astounding.

Now here we are more than two years later. Scale the Summit has another album out, The Collective, which was released in March of this year. They’re definitely better known now. In fact, one of the band’s two phenomenal guitarists, Chris Letchford, made MetalSucks’ list of the Top 25 Modern Metal Guitarists in June (and my only complaint about that was why he didn’t appear higher in the list).

Seeing Letchford and his co-guitarist Travis LeVrier doing their thing live remains a thoroughly entertaining experience, and yesterday’s release of the two of them doing a play-through of the song “Whales” from the new album captures some of the wonder I felt for the first time more than two years ago. (more after the jump . . .)

Nov 022010

Another month has passed. Another Halloween has come and gone. Here in Seattle, we are looking forward to what is supposed to be an especially wet, dark, cold, sucktastic winter — which is really saying something, given that all Seattle winters are wet, dark, cold, and sucktastic. If they weren’t, we would have the population of Los Angeles, so there’s a silver lining to that massively dark cloud.

Yes, the seasons come and they go, the great wheel of life rolls forward, and we are all one month closer to our end, whatever it may be. But as time inexorably passes, new things happen. In particular, we find out about new metal gestating in studios around the world, struggling and kicking and yearning to erupt into the air, screaming like a banshee.

And that brings us to another monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we cobble together a list of forthcoming new albums, cribbing like rag-gatherers and lint-pickers from PR releases and metal news sites like Blabbermouth in order to construct a line-up of new music that at least we’re interested in hearing, even if no one else is.

What we do in this series of posts is update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) After the jump, in alphabetical order, is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or new info about some of the previously noted releases.

Mar 152010

Last week we received the following e-mail:

Hey, No-Cleaners.
We definitely have a whole lot of no clean singing on Flaming Tusk’s new album Old, Blackened Century. For that and many other reasons I think you’re going to love it. The album is available as a pay-what-you-will download (yes, even $0) at http://music.flamingtusk.com.
Enjoy. In a horrifying kind of enjoyment.

Keith [aka Zosimus]
Flaming Tusk

Well, we thought that was one of the most intriguing e-mails from a band we’d received in a while. So, we hopped right over to the linked page, downloaded Old, Blackened Century, made a monetary contribution, and started listening. And then listened again. And again. And it turns out that Flaming Tusk’s stylistic flair doesn’t stop at e-mail messaging and cool album titles.

The music is indeed immensely enjoyable, in a horrifying kind of unclassifiable metal enjoyment. If you like blackened post-hardcore proggy doom sludge noise metal, well you’ve come to the right place. (read on after the jump, and we’ll give you a track to stream, too, plus some musings about band names that Flaming Tusk may have narrowly averted . . .)

Jan 022010

About a week ago we finished posting our list of the Ten Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of 2009. Finishing the list turned out to be a bit of a struggle because your NCS Co-Authors had more favorites than we had open slots on the list.  And each of us had some infectious favorites on our short lists that didn’t survive the final negotiations among us — but they just missed by a nose. So we’re going to roll out those songs now. It’s the next best thing to just reneging on our commitment to make our list a “Top Ten” and instead renaming it the “Top Fourteen.”

LAMB OF GOD:  In Your Words

Lamb of God enjoys such a hallowed place in the pantheon of extreme metal that thousands wait with bated breath for each new release — and then, when it comes, promptly engage in vociferous debate about whether it compares favorably or not to the monster hits of the band’s past.  Wrath was LOG’s first release in over two years, and predictably generated a war of words about whether LOG had lived up to its fans’ stratospheric expectations, and about what it signified about the band’s future trajectory.

We won’t engage in comparisons of the album to LOG’s ground-breaking work of the past: Considered on its own merits, it’s a well-engineered, riff-filled barrage of headbangery by some brilliant song-writers and musicians.

“Infectious” is Lamb of God’s middle name, but our most infectious favorite from Wrath is the first song that appears on the album after the (very cool) instrumental intro.  “In Your Words” launches with an insistent, immediately headbangable riff, followed by an extended scream from the almighty Randy Blythe (whose versatile vocals throughout the album are superb) and a crushing drum attack – and we’re off to the races.  At about  the 2:30 mark, the song defuses into a pounding breakdown and then culminates in an extended cascading wall of pulsing, groovy, tremolo-picked melody.  So damn cool!  See for yourself and then continue reading after the jump for our last three finalists:

Lamb of God: In Your Words

Dec 282009

This past weekend we finished dribbling out our list of the Ten Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of 2010. Here’s the final line-up:

1.  Asphyx: Scorbutics

2.  Mastodon: Crack the Skye

3.  Amorphis: Silver Bride

4. Goatwhore: Apocalyptic Havoc

5.  August Burns Red: Meridian

6.  Pelican: Ephemeral

7.  Scale the Summit: Age of the Tide

8.  Daath: Wilting On the Vine

9.  Molotov Solution: The Harbinger

10. Revocation: Dismantling the Dictator

Yes, the list is finished — and for your listening pleasure, we’ve added a playlist of the listed songs to our MySpace page — with one slight alteration:  we couldn’t find Scale the Summit‘s “Age of the Tide” on MySpace, so our playlist includes another of our favorites tracks off Carving Desert Canyons.

Even though we finished the list, your NCS Co-Authors had some infectious favorites that didn’t survive our final negotiations — but they just missed by a nose. So we’re going to roll those out later this week. It’s the next best thing to just reneging on our commitment to make this a list of the Top Ten and instead renaming it the Top Fourteen.

Dec 222009

Here at NCS, we’re putting a different spin on year-end listmania. Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even necessarily our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. Ours is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. We’re talking about songs that produce involuntary physical movement and worm their way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get ’em out (and wouldn’t want to).

We’re not ranking our list from #10 to #1 because that would be too much fucking work (and your co-Authors would still be arguing about it this time next year). So, our list is in no particular order. We’re also dribbling the songs out one at a time because your lazy Authors are still debating what belongs in the remaining slots. Our list heretofore:

1.  Asphyx:  Sorbutics

2.  Mastodon:  Crack the Skye

3.  Amorphis:  Silver Bride

4.  GoatwhoreApocalyptic Havoc

5.  August Burns Red:  Meridian

6.  Pelican:  Ephemeral

And to see our seventh entry on the list, continue reading after the jump.

Nov 242009

[Editor’s Note: NO CLEAN SINGING was originally founded by three metalheads who go by the names of Islander, Alexis, and IntoTheDarkness. In this post, IntoTheDarkness tells you a little bit about himself, and below that, Alexis introduces herself. Islander hasn’t yet written anything about himself, other than what you can read into what he writes on this site — and this photo.]

Why is there such a separation within the metal scene? Why is it that if someone likes more than one distinct type of metal, he or she gets ridiculed? For example, if you’re someone who likes both death metal and deathcore, you are suddenly no longer a true metal fan.

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