Mar 042011

Are you in the mood for a diversion from whatever else you’re doing or were about to do? Good!  Because we thought we’d share some new music that we heard in the last 24 hours from Pestilence and Outcast, plus a new video clip of Mastodon playing “Crack the Skye”, which will appear on their forthcoming DVD. It’s all ridiculously good. Why else would we want to share? Get ready to be . . . diverted.


Dutch death metal band Pestilence has been cranking out skull-crushers since 1986 — not counting that extended hiatus between 1994 and 2008.  The band count among their alumni the likes of Tony Choy (Atheist, Cynic) and Martin Van Drunen (Hail of Bullets, Asphyx). Their current line-up is also loaded with talent, including fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (Obscura) and original or near-original members Patrick Mameli (vox/guitar) and Patrick Uterwijk (guitar).

They’ve got a new album due in late April on Mascot Records called Doctrine, and it’s been on our “highly anticipated” list. Two days ago, Pestilence made the seventh track from the album available for streaming, and we’ve got it here. It’s called, appropriately enough, “Sinister”.

It combines enormous pile-driving riffs with near-experimental, prog-sounding guitar leads/solos, and pummeling double-bass. It’s a head-smasher of a song, but it also engages the non-reptile part of the brain (ie, the part you sometimes think with). For some of you, the throaty vocals may take some getting used to, but trust me, this is a cool song. It’s coming your way right after the jump . . .

[audio:|titles=Pestilence:  Sinister]


This Parisian band is one of, I dunno, thousands?, of bands I’m still trying to catch up to. Their third album, Awaken The Reason, is due for release later this year. It was mixed at Split-Second Sound studio in Amsterdam with Jochem Jacobs of Textures and was mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music in New Windsor, New York.

Here at NCS, we’re gargantuan fans of Textures, and mastering by Alan Douches is usually a reliable sign of quality. And these days, French metal is strong as horseradish, so of course I listened to the following song that Outcast made available for streaming two days ago. SO very fucking glad I did.

The riffs and time signatures jump around like barefoot children on a hot pavement, the drums rarely repeat the same patterns twice, there’s a freaky-good guitar solo, and the vocals bray in a hot fury (a mix of hardcore howls and death-metal growls). If you’re a fan of bands like Textures, CiLiCe, and Tardive Dyskinesia, do check this shit out:

Outcast – Elements by Outcast Official


If Mastodon needs an introduction, then I entered a parallel universe in my sleep last night. They’ll be releasing their first-ever “live experience” package, entitled Mastodon: Live At The Aragon, on March 15 via Reprise Records. That’s like just around the fucking corner!

Get this: The set will contain a CD and DVD capturing the band’s 78-miniute performance on October 19, 2009, at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The performance included all of Crack The Skye, plus songs from Blood Mountain and Leviathan, plus their cover of “The Bit” by MELVINS. The DVD is also going to include a 58-minute “tour film” containing the videos that were projected on screen behind the band during the show.

Your three NCS co-founders saw this show when Mastodon performed it in Seattle, and although I usually don’t spend money on metal DVD’s, the chance to come close to re-living that wholly mind-blowing experience may cause me to make an exception.

You can pre-order a special bundle through that will include the CD/DVD combo and some other shit that I don’t care about. You can buy a digital download of the release in both audio form and as a live concert film on both iTunes and Amazon. And that’s all the fucking free advertising I’m giving this thing.

Except for this. A video excerpt from the DVD of Mastodon performing my favorite track from Crack the Skye. As I said about a hundred times during this show, fuck yeah.

UPDATE: Oh fuck, I tried to resist, but I can’t (see the comments below). This isn’t metal, but the video is 100 different kinds of awesome. In fact, I’ve decided it’s the best music video I’ve seen this year. I will probably think something else tomorrow. Outcast is funky. But so is OutKast. I mean, they can get cats and dogs and owls and turtles and chrome hood ornaments to move with the groove. Sorry Ms. Jackson . . .


  1. Come on March 15!

    Also, since Outcast was so good I’ll forgive you that it wasn’t Andre Benjamin and Big Boi doin’ it ATL style 😉

  2. Aw man, I love that song! NOT.

    It’s a NOT-joke

  3. With Pestilence, the occasional low register growl had me nodding, but the bass is incredible. The rest of the vocals sound almost emo, at least to me.

    I’m impressed with Outcast. I can’t say it is much like anything I own. The vocals remind me of ob(servant)-era Psycroptic at times, which is not a bad thing.

    • No, not a bad thing at all. And the low end of that Pestilence song just punches holes in the floor.

      If you’re diggin that Outcast song, hang on til tomorrow because we’ve got something else coming you might also like that’s in a similar vein.

  4. Did anyone else spend the day hearing ‘I’m sorry Ms. Jackson….ooooooohhhh’ in their head?

    • Uh-huh. Yeah. Speakin for myself, yeah. One of the rare days in my life, I didn’t listen to metal today. I was playin Ms. Jackson in my head, all fuckin day.

  5. Pestilence was…
    Really that was in no way what I was expecting. It was positively…strange. I think it was that bass line. It sounded like Primus got freaky with the Presidents of the United States of America and their baby was an idiot savante….strange….

    And now Outcast is doing something…similar.
    Did you purposefully pick strange music today!? I’m not complaining, but it’s kinda weird how they somehow compliment each other so well….

    • It just worked out that way. I’ve been a fan of Pestilence for eons and have been very curious about what they would do with the new music. And then Outcast was just a random stop-and-listen while browsing Blabbermouth, because I knew the name but had never heard their music, and I thought it was great. Today’s post is going to be another sort of unusual collection — assuming I can get my ass in gear and finish it. Rough night last night.

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