Jun 302010

(Two months passed between installment No. 6 of this series and installment No. 7 — but now we’ve got No. 8 only a week after the last one. For any newcomers out there, this series is about things we see that make us say “Shit! That’s metal!” — even though it’s not music.  And the entire installment we’re featuring today (the idea, the writing, and the song choices we’ll be streaming at the end of the post) have been supplied by Aaron, one of our readers and frequent commenters. And it’s called . . . .)


I’m sure most of you have read the last “That’s Metal – But It’s Not Music,” featuring the naked woman who stole 2 cars, gave the cops the “slip,” and got tasered? [If you haven’t, use this link.] Most of you would have to agree – that lady has ovaries of steel. Now it’s time for a new edition, featuring a man with balls made of stone.

Taken from page 36 of the news section in the Toronto Sun paper (yes, I’m Canadian — metal things happen here too), a headline reads “Gator Swim gets Florida man arrested”.

Yes, he got arrested. Eric Ross actually lived to tell the tale, which is surprising, considering this report:

“Tour boat captain Kenneth Clineman said Ross, 37, refused to return to the boat.”

And yes, Ross knew the waters were alligator-infested. Ross even told reporters it was his lifelong dream to “Swim with the alligators.”  What the fuck?

(more about this unwarranted interference with Natural Selection after the jump, plus some songs to hear . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 302010

We’ve been waiting for the seed of Insidious Disease to blossom forth from the fertilized earth. Will it be a putrescent mass of unearthly purplish life, writhing with hungry tentacles and awesome in its otherworldly magnificence? Or will it be just another pumpkin?

Why do we wonder? Because of who’s in the band:

Marc “Groo” Grewe (ex-MORGOTH) – Vocals
Sven Atle Kopperud (a.k.a. Silenoz) (DIMMU BORGIR) – Guitar
Shane Embury (NAPALM DEATH) – Bass
Tony Laureano (ex-DIMMU BORGIR, NILE, ANGELCORPSE) – Drums
Jon Øyvind Andersen (a.k.a. Jardar) (OLD MAN’S CHILD) – Guitar

We got so stoked when we first heard about this line-up that we wrote about it two months ago, and we’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for more news ever since.

Now we know that Insidious Disease will release their debut album, Shadowcast, on July 12 in Europe and July 27 in the U.S. via Century Media Records. And now we have a video of the band performing a track from that album called “Rituals of Bloodshed”. Watch it after the jump, and decide for yourself: Awesome putrescent mass or just another pumpkin? And while you’re deciding, be stunned and amazed by the infernally amazing special effects. Continue reading »

Jun 292010

Why do people read album reviews? In an extremely rare moment of logical thought, I decided that was a question worth considering when I started writing them myself. Just seemed to me that if I really wanted anyone to give a fuck about what I wrote, it might make sense to figure out what people were looking for. Here are the answers I came up with:

First, some people are looking for advice in deciding whether to spend their time (and maybe their money) on the music.

Second, even if readers already know the band and have their own opinions about the album, they’re curious about how the particular writer has reacted to it, and why — maybe as validation for their own opinions, maybe as a test about whether their own musical taste has finally fallen all the way into the shitter.

And/or third, they want to be entertained by the writing — even if they don’t really give a crap about the album itself.

I read album reviews for all three of those reasons, and I try to keep those reasons in mind when I write my own, even though I know full well that (a) anyone who looks to me for advice is scraping rock-bottom; (b) no one in their right mind would use my opinion as a standard by which to judge their own; and (c) my best shot at being entertaining depends on using words like “shitter,” “crap,” “fuck,” and “anus” as often as possible.

For me, the best reviews are those that satisfy all three of the criteria listed above. But I confess that, more and more, I read reviews for the third reason — to be entertained. I still read reviews to find new music, though the truth is that I already have so much new music to hear that I need more like I need a second anus. And I figured out a long time ago that I like so much of what I hear that testing my opinions against those of respected critics would just make me feel even more retarded than I already feel.

So, realizing that the desire to be entertained is a big part of why I gravitate to particular reviews, I decided to sample for you some of the best lines I found in music reviews over the past week. Why? Because it’s fucking entertaining.  (so, if you want to be fucking entertained, continue reading past the fucking jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 282010

(Today, the half-wits who usually write for this site are stepping aside to make way for another post from our occasional guest contributor, the awesome Steff Metal. You can see Steff’s other NCS contributions via the Category link on the right called Steff’s Posts, and you can (and should) visit her own site at SteffMetal.com.)

New Zealand. Land of hobbits, sheep, bare-breasted hippies, shoddy public transport and an abundance of lame indie bands. Barring ten months I spent exploring the world, I’ve lived in New Zealand my entire life, and – despite the sheep and the hippies – it’s a wicked place to live. Cheap as chips, an abundance of wilderness and a generally laid-back attitude.

Probably due to the laid-back attitude (and the hippies) New Zealand is not known for our metal. Our remoteness from the two major world metal scenes – Europe and the US – means our metal tends to mimic trends 6-12 months old.

Nevertheless, metal bands we have, and a decent variety, too. If I had to define a NZ sound, it would be “Pantera with a few more sheep jokes.” I’m not saying that’s exactly a bad thing.

Here are a few New Zealand metal bands for you to check out. (brave souls should continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 272010

I found something that’s just so interesting I’ve got to share it, even though I’m adding almost nothing of my own. I’m even ripping off the title to this post.

The source material (as well as the title I stole) come entirely from the inquisitive mind of Eric at Baroque, Bleak, Brutal, a most excellent metal blog. He’d been playing around with Encyclopedia Metallicum’s The Discordance, which he accurately describes as “pretty much a metal geek’s wet dream: the site’s database of information – genres, locations, release dates, etc. – presented in forms like grids, lists, maps…”

The main grid at The Discordance includes a count, by country, of the number of metal bands, segmented into different musical styles, from the Encyclopedia Metallicum’s database.  For example, it lists a total of 3,065 metal bands from Sweden and 14,772 from the United States.

So, Eric decided to match up The Discordance numbers with the population counts for each of the listed countries, as identified in The Font of All Human Knowledge (a/k/a Wikipedia). For each country, he divided the number of metal bands by the total population and came up with a metric that represents the number of metal bands per person. And then he put all those metrics on a spreadsheet, ranked from high to low, i.e., the country with the most metal bands per capita down to the country with the fewest.

Now, stop for a few seconds and make your own guess about which country is at the top of the list, with the most metal bands per unit of population.

Have you made your guess?  Okie dokie. Now continue on past the jump to see how you did . . . Continue reading »

Jun 272010

Eryn Non Dae is one of our favorite French metal bands. Hell, they’re one of our favorite metal bands, period. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve put up no fewer than three posts about them and their awesome 2009 album Hydra Lernaïa. You can check out our review of that album here and our interview of END here. In our review, we wrote:

“Alternating between brutal headbanging heaviness and shrieking turbulent intricacy, the music has a very experimental, discordant, anarchic vibe. It’s dense, intense, grim, sharply angled, and often surreal. . . . Hydra Lernaïa is an adventure in the unexpected. It’s obviously the product of considerable thought, extensive work, and a high level of technical proficiency in the playing — nothing less could have succeeded in realizing on such an ambitious game-plan. This is dark math metal with brains as well as brawn, and emotional power as well as rigorous complexity.”

When we were conducting our interview of END back in January, the band was getting ready for a big live show in Toulouse at a venue called The Bikini. We couldn’t go (our teleporter was on the fritz) but over time, videos of the performance have dribbled out. We featured a video of the song “Blistering Hate” in the third of our previous posts. And yesterday we discovered that END has just released a pro-shot video of “Existence Asleep” performed live at the same show.

The song is a killer, and so is the video — excellent picture quality and a really cool light show. END has also recently set up a ReverbNation page, which allowed us to create a widget with tracks for you to stream from Hydra Lernaïa. So, after the jump, we’ve got the video, the streaming music — and some welcome news we got from END’s guitarist and backing vocalist Franck Quintin. Continue reading »

Jun 272010

For some people, Sunday is a day of rest. For us, it’s just another day when we parboil our heads with metal. And on this Sunday, we’re featuring two unsigned bands we think are worth checking out. As it happens, both have made their latest offerings available for free download, and we’re making it easy on you by adding download links right here at NCS. So, if you’re in the mood to flash-fry your gray matter while you, uh, rest, then read on.


Burning Ghats is a band from Vancouver, British Columbia, and they’ve produced an eclectic, three-song demo that’s very cool. “Contombs” is a high-energy blast of grindcore that features unusually inventive, technical guitar leads, pummeling drums, and Converge-style vocals. We would have been happy with two more songs in the vein of “Contombs,” but we got a surprise with the second song, “Chorea Pseudonym”. It starts off with the pacing ratcheted down, but the time signatures then proceed to jump all over the place, with bursts of flashy, math-metal technicality in the guitar leads.

There’s more nimble-fingered guitar mayhem in the third installment, “Hemophiliac Gash,” which zooms back up to grindcore pace. Right before the song’s mid-point, there’s a jazzy solo (almost sounds like a sax), and then the bottom drops out of the rhythm — a long, slow breakdown carried along by the bass and drums and experimental-sounding guitars meandering in the background, before one last eruption of blowtorch fire.

In a nutshell, the Burning Ghats demo is packed with hardcore attitude, grindcore energy, and tech-death flash. It’s a real head-turner. (lots more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 262010


Me: Hey man, can I get a light?

Random Metalhead Outside a Club (“RM”):  Yeah, help yourself.

Me:  Thanks man.  (firing up a coffin nail) So, what did you think of that last band, Early Graves?

RM:  Mayhem, man! Just absolute fuckin’ mayhem!

Me:  Exactly!  It was like bein’ hit by a big fuckin’ truck, wakin’ up with tread marks embedded in your face.

RM:  Fuck yeah! That was some amazingly heavy shit. What the fuck were they playin’?

Me: All those songs were from their new album, Goner.

RM:  Good name for this kind of music, that’s for sure. It’s just, raw, eye-gouging, fuck-it-all shit. It’s like punk rock except with the heaviness dialed into the red zone.

Me: Yeah, I’m with you on that. Kinda reminded me of early Entombed, except faster, Entombed on a grindcore binge. Definitely heavy. That fuzzed-out bass is really up-front in the sound, and the fucking drummer just crushes his shit, absolutely fuckin’ berserk. But you’re right about the punk rock thing. It’s definitely got those punk rhythms and pacing.

RM:  But, you know, it wasn’t all just non-stop scorching. There was that one song that just started grinding down into a sludgy, crusty rhythm. That shit reminded me of this sweet car I used to have, the day the fucking engine just seized up on me. Sounded like the whole fuckin’ thing was coming apart and then it just stopped. Gaskets were just corroded to shit. I had to rebuild the motherfucker with money I didn’t have.

(more after the jump, including a song to hear . . .)

Continue reading »

Jun 252010

It’s been a while since our last installment in this series. In case you’ve forgotten, or you’re a newcomer, every now and then we come across something that isn’t music, but still makes us think, “Shit! That’s metal!”

We’ve got a hell of an example for you today. Over the last 24 hours, this story has been picked up with gusto by various news organs, all trying to outdo each other with eye-catching headlines. Here’s one example:

Naked Woman Steals Car, Gives Utah Cops the “Slip,” Gets Tasered, Say Cops

As attention-grabbing as that headline is, it still doesn’t do justice to the full story — which we will now give you, along with our editorial comments, a video report, and a little musical accompaniment. For the basic facts, we’re combining the versions of the story as reported in Salt Lake City’s daily newspaper, The Deseret News, and by CBS News. Here goes:

WEST VALLEY CITY — A naked woman stole two vehicles, including a police squad car, crashed both vehicles and was Tasered before being arrested Tuesday morning by West Valley police.

The bizarre series of events began at about 5 a.m. in West Jordan. A man was posting advertising signs along state Route 111 and was outside of his vehicle when a 31-year-old woman pulled up next to him and got out of her car, said West Valley Police Capt. Tom McLachlan.

“Unique thing about that was that, uh she was not wearing any clothes,” McLachlan said.

Some dudes live their whole lives without ever having a naked woman approach them. Many of them listen to metal. And you can imagine what this dude’s first thought must have been. But it didn’t last long, because:  (more of this bizarro story after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 242010

We were reading today about a band called Fleshwrought that just signed with Metal Blade Records for the worldwide release of their debut CD, Dementia/Dyslexia. The news caught our bloodshot eyes because of who’s in that band (more about that later). We listened to some tracks streaming on the band’s MySpace page and got more interested. We Googled the band, and among other things, found a link to Amazon.com.

The link was not for a Fleshwrought album — of course not, because Metal Blade hasn’t released it yet. Instead, the link took us to a Metal Blade Summer Sampler released on June 22 that happens to include a Fleshwrought song. It also includes songs from 23 other bands.  And guess what? You can download the whole thing for free.  And guess what? There are some fucking good songs by some fucking good bands on this comp.

Here’s the line-up.  And after the jump, as a public service, we’ll give you the link for the download — and we’ll tell you the interesting names behind Fleshwrought.

1. Enemy Unbound Absence
2. Kill Them All Aeon
3. The God Particle Allegaeon
4. Holy Smokes Barn Burner
5. Two-Day Booze Bison b.c.
6. Monumental Failure Brain Drill
7. Ghost Town Charred Walls Of The Damned
8. Seething the Flesh in the River of Phlegethon Dawn Of Ashes
9. Wake the Dead Fatal Embrace
10. Mental Illness Fleshwrought
11. Vinterrket Istapp
12. Vamods Tale Kings Of Asgaard
13. Nihilistic Stench Lightning Swords of Death
14. Swallowed By The Earth Ocean
15. Back Of My Hand Return to Earth
16. In The Underworld Skyforger
17. Vagaries of Perception System Divide
18. Oceans to Dust Valkyrja
19. Creatures of the Mire Woe Of Tyrants
20. Dead Wrong Cancer Bats
21. Mercy For Today Son of Aurelius
22. Since 1776 I Am Abomination
23. Charmer This Or The Apocalypse
24. London Lost Its Fog Rosaline

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »