May 242010

Musica Diablo is a relatively new band based in São Paulo, Brazil, with a self-titled debut album due for release on May 28. Three things grabbed our attention. First, the band’s vocalist is Derrick Green, who’s been the frontman for Sepultura since 1997.  Second, the band describes its music as “extreme fast thrash metal, with with the characteristic Brazilian style and a strong root into the 80’s veteran veterans.” Third, the forthcoming album features a cool cover (above) by Gustavo Sazes, who has also done album art for Arch Enemy, God Forbid, and Old Man’s Child.

That was enough to draw our attention to the music. We’ve been listening, and let’s just say it will kick your ass all the way up to your shoulder-blades. The music is blistering in its intensity and speed and features some cool dueling guitar solos — and Derrick Green’s raspy howls and guttural growls are skull-scrapingly vicious.

Musica Diablo was started by guitarist Andre NM (of Brazilian hardcore band Nitrominds) in early 2008, and the rest of the line-up consists of drummer Edu Nicollini (also of Nitrominds),  second guitarist André Curci (KorzusThreat), and bassist Ricardo Brigas.  The band’s new album is currently streaming in its entirety at a Brazilian internet site called Radio UOL, which you can find at this location.

But you don’t have to go there just yet, because after the jump, we’ve got a widget that will allow you to listen to five of the album’s 11 songs right here at the NCS site. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to check this shit out.  (more after the jump .  .  .) Continue reading »

May 232010

Fetching album cover, isn’t it? It’s for the The Reckoning, the latest release (on Regain Records) from Sweden’s Arise. Arise has been around for almost 15 years, though the band was significantly re-formed in late 2006, with three new members joining the two remaining original members (drummer Daniel Bugno and guitarist LG Jonasson). The Reckoning is the band’s fourth album and the first since the 2006 makeover.

Regain publicized the album for a late-March 2010 release, so I thought it was new. But it turns out the album was also released in the spring of 2009 — or so it seems, because lots of metal blogs reviewed it last year. Puzzling.

At any rate, between the 2009 “release” and the 2010 release, The Reckoning has been reviewed quite a bit, and while most reviewers found things to like, a common snooty critique runs through the write-ups like a monotoned thread: That what Arise is doing has been done before by other, better-known bands in their early days, like At the Gates or Dark Tranquillity or In Flames.

I suppose there’s some truth to that criticism. I just happen not to care, because I’m having too damned much fun listening to this music. It’s thrash-paced death metal embedded with devilishly catchy grooves, seamed with melodic leads and solos, enhanced by razor-sharp modern production, and played quite capably by people who know what they’re doing.  (more after the jump, including a track to stream . . .) Continue reading »

May 222010

In yesterday’s post, we focused on recent news about Cameron Argon (a/k/a “Big Chocolate”), a dude that our bonded-in-blog bros over at Metal Sucks aptly called a “Renaissance Man.” What prompted our feature was Argon’s separation from Burning the Masses, a death-metal band with whom he’d recorded a forthcoming album and toured throughout Europe earlier this year. But at the tail-end of yesterday’s post, we also mentioned that in his “Big Chocolate” persona, he had remixed a Suicide Silence song called “Disengage”.

Century Media has released that remix, along with the original song, as a “single.” It’s available in two formats — as a digital download from iTunes and as a 7″ blue vinyl from CM Distro. Joshua Andrew Belanger created the cover art for the single, which you can see above.

Off and on yesterday, we listened to the original song and the remix back-to-back. The more we listened, the more we got into both versions of the song. The original Suicide Silence track shifts back and forth between a pulsing distorted riff and a dissonant, squealing guitar lead, and then up-shifts the tempo before crashing the pace down into a broken-down crawl. Following the breakdown, the tempo continues to shift back and forth, and throughout the song Mitch Lucker growls and shrieks mercilessly until the track finishes with 15 seconds of solitary drums.

In the remix, Big Chocolate has done more than separate and reshape the sounds present in the original. He’s applied a variety of electronic effects to distort and change the vocals and instrumentation, injected samples, added scratching and electro drums, messed with the rhythms so that they generate more of a dance-beat, and done a hundred other things that we’re not expert enough to figure out or describe.

The resulting music is drenched in wild sound effects, more aurally dense than the original, but still recognizably “Disengage” and still recognizably metal. I don’t listen to electro house or dubstep, but one of my collaborators (IntoTheDarkness) is getting into those genres and I’ve heard a few things he’s recommended. Snatches of the “Disengage” remix sound like those styles, but I really don’t think a genre name has yet been invented for the results of what Big Chocolate did with the Suicide Silence material. Anyone out there have a suggestion?

Ater the jump, you can listen to both songs back-to-back. And then after that, we’ve got a “mixtape” for you that was inspired by “Disengage”. Continue reading »

May 212010

Back in mid-February, we enthusiastically reported the blessed union of the remarkable Cameron (“Big Chocolate”) Argon and the also-remarkable San Diego death-metal band, Burning the Masses.

The exciting news back then was that Argon was joining BTM as its vocalist, adding his talents not only to the recording of BTM’s next album but also joining the band for an ass-kicking European tour with Suffocation, Annotations of An Autopsy, Nervecell, and Fleshgod Apocalypse. We called it “A Marriage Made in Hell,” because, you know, all involved are hella good.

You can read that extended report, which included an interview with Cam Argon, at this location.

Cam did indeed join BTM, he did indeed track the vocals on the band’s forthcoming release, Offspring of Time (which is scheduled for a July 20 release on Mediaskare Records), and he did indeed front the band on that European tour.

But on May 18, he put up a blog post stating that he would not be performing with BTM on the band’s 3-month, nationwide summer tour — which began the next day. We got in touch with Cam to get more details, and his answers to our questions appear after the jump.

If you’re a fan of Big Chocolate, Burning the Masses, Suicide Silence, Disfiguring the Goddess, or Abominable Putridity, you’ll want to read what he had to say because he touches on all those projects. And if you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s time you found out!  Oh yeah, Cam also talks about a mysterious new musical collaboration he’s got going on with Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence (continue after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 202010

Job For A Cowboy, Whitechapel, Cattle DecapitationRevocation, and I Declare War hit Seattle hard on JFAC’s current Ruination tour on the night of May 18 at El Corazon. All three of your NCS collaborators turned out for the carnage and we file this somewhat incomplete report, along with a somewhat incomplete batch of our half-assed photos (be sure to scroll to the end of the review to see those).

Somewhat incomplete, because we had to leave before JFAC’s set. Maybe if we were being paid to run this site, we’d have stayed to the bitter end, but the people who actually do pay us were expecting our asses to show up on time early the next morning. Life is full of fucking compromises, isn’t it?.


Well, what can we say? It’s just so fucking cool to see our local boys making good. As we reported here back in March, IDW has signed with Artery Recordings and has a new album (Malevolence) due out on June 8, with two of the songs currently streaming on their MySpace page. They played some dates earlier this month in California with Whitechapel and Son of Aurelius, and next month they start a nationwide tour with Molotov Solution, Dr. Acula, and Monsters.

But this night was a show for the home folks — something of a coming-out since the news of their label-signing, and man, did the home folks turn out. El Corazon was packed to the gills in time for the first chord of IDW’s first song, and they showed these hard-working, hard-playing dudes a lotta love.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 192010

Swedish death-metal legends Grave made an indelible mark on the development of the genre with the 1991 release of their now-classic debut, Into the Grave. After a hiatus in the late 90s, Grave regrouped and starting releasing new albums beginning in 2002 — one about every two years. The last release was 2008’s Dominion VIII.

So, let’s see, that was two years ago.  That must mean it’s time for a new Grave album! And sho nuff, it’s coming out on June 14 via Regain Records. It will be called Burial Ground. It will undoubtedly be awesome.

And today, Grave have posted a track from that album called “Liberation” on their MySpace music player. It whines and grinds and howls and pounds. It’s the classic Grave sound, on speed. Limber up your neck muscles and check out that song at this location.

May 192010

We knew Rome’s Hour of Penance had legions of devoted fans around the world (including us), but we found out the hard way just how devoted they are.

Last week, we reported the bad news about what happened at their show in Alicante, Spain not long ago. In a nutshell, the band’s drummer Mauro Mercurio was unable to play on stage (apparently due to being too fucked up) and had destroyed or damaged property at the venue, resulting in detention by Spanish police. That led Hour of Penance to cancel the remaining dates on their European tour. And then the next day we reported the even more depressing news that vocalist Francesco Paoli had decided to leave the band as a result of the Alicante incident, and we posted his explanation.

Those two posts received an absolute flood of hits from across the interwebz — and it’s still happening a week later. We’re clearly not alone in being depressed over the disintegration of this amazingly good modern death-metal band, whose 2010 album Paradogma has been one of our favorite releases of the year to date. So, at the risk of appearing morbidly fixated on these depressing developments, we’re serving up some additional details today — including the possibility that reports of the band’s death may be premature.

The further details come from another blog entry by Francesco Paoli (whose other band, Fleshgod Apocalypse, has a new album (Mafia) due for release in the U.S. on June 8). In his latest message, Francesco tries to set the record straight with some clarifications. It turns out that he had made the decision to leave Hour of Penance before the incident in Alicante, in part because Mercurio’s college career was interfering with HOP’s ability to schedule live performances and in part because Francesco was finding it increasingly difficult to juggle his roles in two increasingly active bands at the same time.

Of course, Francesco had not planned to leave HOP as abruptly as he did — that was the result of what happened in Spain — but he says his friendship with HOP’s guitarist Giulio Moschini and bassist Silvano Leone remains strong (apparently not so strong with Mercurio), and that he will be “happy to cooperate” with them in the future if they decide to go forward with Hour of Penance.  We’re not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds like a willingness to be part of a re-formed HOP if Moschini and Leone replace Mercurio. He definitely won’t be easy to replace — the dude is an amazing drummer — but HOP may not be dead after all.

After the jump, we’ll show you Francesco’s latest post in its entirety. Continue reading »

May 182010

We haven’t been huge fans of the music produced in the past by Soulfly, the band that Max Cavalera started after leaving Sepultura in 1996. But Soulfly’s new album Omen (due for a May 25 release on Roadrunner) is currently streaming in its entirety, and we’ve been listening.  Rather than try to describe it today, let’s just say it’s sick — and let you hear it for yourselves, for as long as this stream lasts (to get to the music player, which starts playing automatically, move on after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 182010

As time has passed, we’ve found ourselves listening less and less to metalcore bands that really made a big impression on us a few years back. You could chalk it up partly to changes in our musical tastes and partly to our feeling swamped by the flood of generic metalcore bands trying to capitalize on what used to be the latest fad by combining chug-heavy riffs and growling with rancid emocore clean singing. In fact, we started this blog in part out of frustration with that phenomenon.

But listening less and less doesn’t mean no listening at all. There’s still something about metalcore (done right) that triggers the same positive feeling we had when the genre first emerged.

As I Lay Dying is one of those metalcore bands whose albums have consistently struck a chord with us — and in fact, we’re probably doing them an injustice with the metalcore label, because it’s become something of a bad word in our vernacular.

So, we’ll just toss that label aside and say this: The band’s new album, The Powerless Rise, is song for song their best one yet, and we’re really digging it.

The cool album cover by J. Bannon features a red-eyed skull exploding from below, and a similar image is on the fold-out CD insert, but with the explosion coming out the top of the skull. It’s a fitting image, because The Powerless Rise includes some serious skull-exploders — some of the most intensely aggressive music As I Lay Dying has yet produced. Take off your neck-braces and prepare to injure yourselves all over again, because this album overflows with music that will compel you to bang yo heads.  (more after the jump, including a track to stream . . .) Continue reading »

May 172010

The three of us responsible for this site follow Soilwork like a pack of hungry dogs after a meat wagon. We’re anxious for their new album, The Panic Broadcast (due on July 2 in Europe and on July 13 in America). We’re anxious for their appearance in Seattle on July 27 along with Death Angel, Augury, Mutiny Within, and Swashbuckle.

Basically, we’re just anxious. But to calm our over-charged nerves, Soilwork has just put up a new song from The Panic Broadcast on its MySpace page. It’s called “Two Lives Worth of Reckoning,” and it reminds us why we think Soilwork kicks all kinds of ass — galloping, howling metal infused with an infectious melodic chorus.

The Panic Broadcast is the first album to feature original guitarist, songwriter and producer Peter Wichers since his return to the band in 2008. And man, based on “Two Lives Worth of Reckoning,” he sounds like he’s in fine form.

Go here to stream that track. And check out the album cover above. Created by Bartosz Nalezinski, it kicks all kinds of ass, too.