Jul 192012

Still plagued by the annoying intrusions of non-metal life (fuck non-metal life), your stupid friends at NCS have nevertheless found time to gather a few recent items of interest for your amusement and edification.


First item is above, presented to you as a public service, rather than because of my usual self-centered interests, since this tour isn’t coming remotely close to Seattle. But any U.S. tour involving both Primordial and Cormorant is by definition newsworthy. I don’t know While Heaven Wept, but they must at least be interesting or they wouldn’t be along for this ride.

Do pay close attention to the little asterisks, since not all bands will be at all dates.


The next item is also a tour announcement that also happens to be in September and also happens to include Cormorant (look closely at the dates for Sept 16-20 on the following poster) and also happens to be by-passing Seattle. On this tour, the headliners will be YOB and a band called Norska, which features YOB bass player Aaron Rieseberg and his brother Dustin and is described as a “progressive tech-sludge rock band.”

(Thanks to Utmu for the tips about these tours.)


One more piece of tour news. I guess this is what happens when the festival-style tour you were planning to headline caves in (I’m talking about that abortion of a Shockwave Tour that disintegrated recently). Here is what the ex-Shockwave headliner Fear Factory announced today:

“Legendary metal manipulators FEAR FACTORY are pleased to announce a U.S. headlining tour next month. Set to commence on August 1 in Fresno, California, the next segment of the The World Industrialist Tour 2012 will pummel its way across the country and includes a stop at this year’s Juggalo Gathering in Cave In Rock, Illinois alongside Soulfly, Static X, DMX, Onyx, and George Clinton among others. . . .”

Seriously? Talk about an act of desperation. Wouldn’t it have been better just to sleep in that day and then sit around the bus scratching your ass and staring blankly out the window?

If you want the rest of the Fear Factory dates for this new tour, go get ’em here.


Enough with the tour news, how about some new musics? A Million Dead Birds Laughing (hereafter, AMDBL) are a band from Melbourne, Australia. They are damned close to releasing their second album, Xen, which can be pre-ordered now as a CD via AMDBL’s Bandcamp page and can be freely downloaded at that same place once the album drops (on about July 27).

At the moment, only two songs from Xen are streaming at Bandcamp — “Beast” and “Hydra” — and they can both be downloaded right now. They’re pretty damned interesting. The music is kind of a blend of grind and flashy tech-death but with actual melodies and even some clean singing in “Hydra”. They fly by, but it’s an interesting listen.  I’ll be checking out the rest of the album when it comes.


By the way, AMDBL’s first album, Force Fed Enlightenment, can be downloaded for free HERE.


Xaphan are a band from Minneapolis whose name I ran across because of a glowing post about them on Southern Lord’s Facebook page. Southern Lord posted about them because Xaphan will be performing on the August 11, West Coast version of The Power of the Riff in L.A. Xaphan have a two-song demo they released in June, and those songs are streaming on Bandcamp HERE.

I have to say, these are two seriously fucked up songs. They’ve got some beastly, heavy, Entombed-style riffage that crushes. They’ve got some drum pounding that sounds like the end of the world. They’ve also got some screaming/jabbering schizo guitar and a hardcore-style vocalist who sounds like his guts are being pulled out with white-hot tongs.

But that’s not all. The songs stop and restart without warning. I mean, you think the song’s over, but Xaphan is really just keeping you off-balance. And speaking of off-balance, if you listen to these two tracks, there’s a decent chance you’ll walk kinda wobbly and have trouble enunciating for the rest of the day. Crazy shit — in a very good way.


  1. So stoked that Cormorant’s coming to Pittsburgh. Can’t wait.

    • Ahem. Asterisks. I was stoked too. Now I’m very very sad. Fuck asterisks.

    • How on Earth Rochester is so lucky to be getting Cormorant and While Heaven Wept is beyond me, but that has concert of the year potential! By the way, Islander, give WHW a listen – it’s melodic doom, emphasis on the melody. Vast Oceans Lachrymose was widely hailed as one of the best albums of 2010, an opinion with which I heartily agree.

      • That name is now ringing a bell — or rather the album title is I will check them out.

      • Vast Oceans Lacrymose came out in 2009, but otherwise you’re spot on! It is fantastic!

        I’m distraught that both of these tours are missing Vancouver! I’d kill to have a chance to see WHW live, and Yob will be an awesome show too!

        • Oops, my mistake…wasn’t it a late 2009 release that no one heard about until the following year? I know I didn’t hear about it until several months after its release.

    • Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. That tour poster is like the first thing I saw this morning and I almost pissed myself. Arthur Von Nagel himself came along and burst my bubble. I still feel super depressed.

  2. If you’re curious about Norska they’re on Bandcamp. And they were added to Metal Bandcamp here http://metalbandcamp.com/2012/04/norska-norska.html

  3. God damn it. Primordial isn’t coming within half a continent of me. Fuck. God damn it. Piss. Cunt. I’VE WAITED YEARS DAMN IT.

  4. Looks like I’ll be seeing Primordial in September.. That’s some great news.

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