Jul 072011

While feverishly trying to finish a few reviews and features I’m way late on, I still can’t help but listen to new songs as they pop up on the NCS radar screen, and I heard two head-smashers over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing — from Halo of Gunfire (U.S.) and I Chaos (The Netherlands).

Actually, we don’t have radar at NCS, though we do have a foil-lined room designed to pick up alien transmissions from space. I think that’s where I received the subliminal instructions to listen to these songs, along with the instruction to paint my face green before going to work today. I always follow the instructions I hear in that room. I don’t wanna risk more rectal probing in the mothership that periodically hovers over the NCS Island. I couldn’t sit down for a week after the last session.

Actually, I haven’t been feverish either. If I worked feverishly, I might make more headway in completing the various writings I’ve started. I think a more accurate adjective for my work-pace would be fitful. Or maybe somnolent.

Where was I? Oh yeah, new head-smashing songs. Both of them deliver a technically exuberant form of modern death metal that I’m starting to classify in my own mind as “smash with flash” — music that melds technically demanding performance with untrammeled aggression, yet not as atonally brutal as the music of bands like Necrophagist or Hate Eternal; music that’s not part of the increasingly saturated (and often soulless) technical genre of “djent”; music that has progressive and even jazz tendencies but doesn’t feel compelled to wimp out with frequent injections of clean singing. (more after the jump . . .)

At the moment, I’m mentally filling this “smash with flash” category with bands like Hacride, Gorod, Obscura, Gorguts, Augury, Tardive Dyskinesia, maybe CiLiCe. I’m not sure whether Decrepit Birth fits or not — the boundary lines aren’t sharply defined, after all, and I’m still having some trouble articulating them. Maybe I’ll come back to this idea another day. But now, onward to those two songs:


This band is from Santa Maria, California. NCS co-founder IntoTheDarkness passed along to me the band’s first EP a couple years ago, as well as their 2010 debut album in 2010 called Conjuring the Damned, which I liked. Since then, they’ve hooked up with Unique Leader Records and they’re scheduled to begin recording the next album at the end of 2011. In the meantime, they posted a new song on Facebook yesterday called “Soulless and Scorned”. It’s head-smashingly good.

“Soulless and Scorned” is a no-holds-barred, slash-and-burn kind of song, but it’s got some impressive technicality going on in the guitar and bass performances while holding on to a very catchy sense of groove. Bring on that new album faster boys!

This widget includes that new song plus two others from the HOG debut album. Check it out:

Band press kits

HERE is Halo of Gunfire’s Facebook page. And now, for our next song . . .


Not long ago, NCS writer Israel Flanders posted a feature about a now-defunct Dutch metal band called Cypher, and managed to secure permission to provide for you a never-released three-song demo that was to pave the way for the band’s next album. Recently, we provided an even better-quality download of those tracks along with album art and a tabs book (here). Israel also discovered that Tobias Borra and Joost Van Der Graaf from Cypher have formed a new band with drummer Koen Herfst that’s working on new songs.

As it happens, Joost Van Der Graaf and Koen Herfst are in another band called I Chaos, which recently released their debut album, The Human Repellant. Yesterday, Israel sent me a link to the following video of the band recording a track on the album called “Degeneration Sublime”. It’s a flashy slug of technical death metal with all the performers hitting hard on all cylinders. Very cool. I be tracking down The Human Repellent now . . .

The album is available on iTunes and Amazon, and you can catch up with I Chaos on Facebook here.

Enjoy the rest of your fucking day.


  1. I’ve known about Halo of Gunfire since they signed to Unique Leader, and as far as I can remember, I’ve put off listening to them. The new song was pretty good near the beginning with a nice groove, but I kinda’ lost the groove about halfway through. The groove was nice, but the rest was pretty meh.

    I didn’t think I would be interested in I Chaos because of the name. They turned out better than expected, but the song overall was standard tech death to me, but without any good hooks.

    I think if I try the other HoG songs out I might begin to like them, I’ll check it out later though cuz I have to go tend to something, I’ll comment again after the listens.

    • “Monstrosity” was much better than the new one, and “Black Mass” seems to have a mild melody to it.

      To be honest I couldn’t really get into these guys. I kinda’ wanted to get into HoG, but the riffs are in too many pieces I guess I could say, and/or failed to get my attnetion. Overall I couldn’t really concentrate on the music without getting bored, “Monstrosity” was worth listening to though, it had a pretty good riff in the beginning that led into another one, then it had that breakdown, which while standard was pretty interesting to me.

      Sorry mate, wish I could’ve gotten into the music, but the riffs aren’t there for me. 🙁

      They’ve definitely got a lot of potential though.

  2. Actually, I went back and listened to “Soulless and Scorneed” and my reaction was much better than what I remember it was the first time. I guess these guys are ‘growers’ if you know what I mean.

  3. Like It

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.