Slowed down by two weeks of work-related travel, I’m now in the middle of a bunch of catch-up projects for NCS, none of which are finished. So what have I been doing this morning? In typically ass-backwards fashion, I’ve been listening to a bunch of random tracks thrown my way by NCS contributors and readers.
I have no idea whether this goes on in other genres of music, but one of the great things about metal is how people pass around tracks they’ve discovered (thank you, YouTube). We’ve all got bands we love and follow, and the bands we like are collectively cranking out music at a torrential pace, almost beyond our ability to consume, but we still want to find new music from new bands. Of course, that’s a big part of our mission here — to pass around what we’re hearing and liking.
So, this is a really random collection of stuff I heard just this morning, courtesy of the people whose names I’ll credit as we get to each song. And the line-up is . . . Jamey Jasta (U.S.), M.A.N. (Sweden), Barghest (U.S.), Haemorrhage (Spain), and Sifar (India). Lots of music all across the map of metal genres (actually, Sifar is right off the map), so I’ll keep the verbiage short.
Yes, that Jamey Jasta — Hatebreed, Kingdom of Sorrow, Icepick, and who knows what else. To be honest, I lost interest in Hatebreed a while back (though I used to be a big fan in their early days), and I didn’t find much to like in Kingdom of Sorrow’s albums, so I was going to take a pass on Jasta’s solo album, which is scheduled for release this week. But NCS writer Israel Flanders told me I really needed to give this solo album a chance.
I’ve listened to three songs that Israel recommended, and I gotta say I’m very pleasantly surprised. There’s some quasi-clean singing on the songs that’s quite good, though that wouldn’t be a big attraction for me. The big attraction is that the songs are HEAVY AS FUCK, and include some seriously headbangable riffs. So, I’ll tell you what Israel told me — give this shit a chance. The song I liked the most follows right after the jump.
JASTA will be released July 26 by eOne Music. It includes guest appearances by Randy Blythe and Mark Morton (Lamb of God), Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), and Phil Labont (All That Remains). I have a sneaking suspicion that Israel will have more to say about this album soon . . .
M.A.N. is a band formed “out of the ashes” of Sweden’s Transport League and features former Mnemic frontman Tony Jelencovich. They released an album last year called Massive Audio Nerve. At the time, the band wrote that it was “the very first metal band ever to have incorporated what it calls the ‘Full Scale Quarter Tone System’ into its music — and metal music genre as a whole.” According to the group, “‘Full Scale Quarter Tone Systems’ [our own term] means that there are 24 quarter semi tones, instead of 12 ‘ordinary’ semi tones, within reach of an octave [1200 cent].”
I have no fucking idea what this means or how it would affect the music. I do know that I like the song that Israel Flanders sent my way. It’s an invigorating, djent-heavy piece of thrash, and the split-screen official video is kinda cool, too. I think more metal guitarists should wear those throw-away plastic gloves that food service workers use. And have belly dancers writhe around them while playing. It seems to help. The song is called “Logocide”.
UPDATE: I just discovered that M.A.N. have a much newer video, released on July 22, for a song from the album called “Identical Abuse”. I’m not sure what’s going on in it, to be honest, but I sure had fun watching. And the listening is fun, too — the song is a fast-paced fusion of industrial rhythms and metallic groove that got me movin’. Here ’tis (and to follow M.A.N on Facebook, go here):
And next we have music recommended to us by NCS reader Utmu . . .
This is a four-piece band from Baton Rouge, Louisiana — the bayou country where my father and his family came from, which peaked my interest in the band immediately. As Utmu pointed out, their self-titled album was recently featured (with a full-album stream) in a post by Cosmo Lee at Invisible Oranges (here). Cosmo wrote:
“It fits in with what I like about a lot of American black metal – raw, punky, sometimes unpretentious. Parts also capture the depth and melancholy that the Norwegians did so well. But I can pinpoint exactly when my ears perk up. The third song has a gorgeously painful doom section; the fourth song is a lovely, Burzum-esque ambient interlude; and the last two songs have some gnarly death metal.”
All that sounded promising — and indeed, the music does pay off. This widget features three songs from the album, all of which are well worth hearing.
Barghest’s Facebook page is at this location. And next up, we have a gore-drenched video from . . .
This band is from Madrid, Spain. They released their second album called Hospital Carnage via Relapse Records on May 24 (May 30 internationally). The album was mastered by Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer), and that was a promising association — not because I know shit about Scott Hull’s production skills, but because I don’t think he just sells himself out to anyone willing to pay for his work. I think he needs to be interested in the music, and that’s a recommendation that speaks volumes to me.
I’ve had a promo copy of this album for a while, but like so many others, I just haven’t found time to get to it yet. But I did see news of an official video released by the band on July 21 for a song called “Traumaggedon”, and that’s what I watched this morning. The gore-drenched medical-professional theme has been done before (eg, General Surgery), but the song is an ass-kicker and a head-beater — deathgrind done well. And the lead singer looks like Henry Rollins dipped in a vat of blood, so that’s a plus.
To get more info about Haemorrhage, check their Facebook page here. Here’s the vid:
And last, here’s a band who I discovered this morning via a Facebook post from occasional NCS contributor Siddharth Darbha:
I have to start this little squib with a warning — this music isn’t metal (at least not by my definition), and the singing is all clean. So, what the fuck is it doing in this collection? Damned if I know. Just because I do something doesn’t mean I understand what I’m doing or have any explanation for it. You should know that by now.
Sifar is from Delhi, India. They write their songs in Hindi. They list these influences: Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Junoon. They have a self-titled, 3-song EP on offer at Bandcamp (here), which they released on June 18. I listened to the tracks only because Siddharth seemed to like what he’d heard, and I respect the dude’s tastes. I listened to a song called “Gunah” first, and I nearly stopped it after the first 30 seconds, because it’s much more rock than metal, but as the song continued it started to grow on me.
The second song, “Main Jaaonga”, is even more in the indie-rock vein, but damn if I didn’t get hooked by Amit Yadav’s soaring vocals in the chorus (the dude has got a very good voice). Maybe I would like indie rock more if all of it were sung in Hindi. The third song, “Roko Na Mujhe”, is another catchy piece of modern rock with another hooky chorus.
Okay, so shoot me for including this at a site generally devoted to metallic extremity. Oh, don’t bother. I’ll just shoot myself. But because I’m part zombie, I will be back tomorrow, missing part of my head, which I don’t use much anyway. With apologies to all the Indian metal bands who we should be writing about, here’s Sifar (their Facebook page is here):