Dec 122012

This has proven to be an interesting morning for news. Here’s what I saw that made an impression. There’s some music at the end, too.


All Shall Perish were one of the originators of the deathcore genre, and in this writer’s humble opinion they remain one of the best bands to be found in that now-thoroughly-saturated space. This morning, All Shall Perish guitarist Ben Orum announced that he is leaving the band. As he explained in a statement I saw on Facebook, his responsibilities to his family have made it too difficult for him to continue touring.

But although he is withdrawing from All Shall Perish, Orum further announced that he is joining a band of whom we at NCS have become quite fond: Oblivion. The connection that led to this new partnership is an interesting one. As Ben Orum explained in his statement:

While I am done with touring, I will never stop writing music. I am joining the extreme metal band OBLIVION as a bassist and contributing songwriter. OBLIVION’s debut album will be released on January 1st, 2013. We are beyond excited to unleash it onto the metal world. I’ve always been into death metal and extreme music, this is my return to TRUE Death Metal. What makes OBLIVION unique and sets us apart from the pack is the fact that our primary songwriter is a world-renown classical composer and professor of music, Dr. Nick Vasallo. His voice gives the music a subtle refinement with the craftsmanship of the compositions.

I’ve known Nick since high school and we were in our first band together-ANTAGONY. Nick went on to college and became a classical composer. I went on to a successful career as a touring musician/songwriter in ASP. Now, 10 years later we are working together again. It’s a full circle. While OBLIVION were recording their album, Nick injured his thumb and was unable to finish his tracks, which has delayed the album recording. On top of that, he has accepted an appointment as a tenure-track professor at a prestigious university and won’t be able to juggle all the hats of singing, composing, and playing bass for OBLIVION. So that’s where I come in–I’ll be fulfilling his duties as a bassist.

We also have another Dr. in the making, our guitarist Victor Dods is finishing his PhD in Math. The other guitarist, Ted O’Neil, is a veteran from the original thrash scene in 80’s, and our drummer, Luis Martinez, is a natural phenom. All of this plus me, makes us a huge force to be reckoned with. Stay tuned for the heaviest and darkest music out there. We are OBLIVION.

We wish All Shall Perish much continued success. We are also pretty fuckin’ stoked to see what the new Oblivion line-up is going to produce.


I saw a press release this morning which disclosed that Cynic have started recording a new album. I’m not sure that alone would have caused me to include the news in this post, despite Cynic’s prominent place in the history of progressive metal. But I found the following statement by drummer Sean Reinert intriguing:

“This album marks CYNIC’s 5th release. It’s a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band’s progression. We’ve had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels ready to be unleashed on the world. I’ve been in trio mode with Malone and Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn’t be happier about what’s happening with these songs. They are truly alive!”

Of course, the references to “bold new sound” and “gigantic leap” don’t tell us much about where Cynic is heading musically, but these are obviously talented people and it will be interesting to find out what Reinert means.

Further updates will be appearing through the Season of Mist website and the Cynic website and Facebook page.


There may have been earlier reports abut this next item, but if so, I missed them: Misery Index will be releasing a live album on February 19. The eye-catching cover is above. Entitled Live In Munich, the record captures the band’s performance at the Backstage venue in Munich, Germany on February 18, 2012, while the band was touring with Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse. It appears that Season of Mist intends to release the album both digitally and on a limited edition LP.

And I’m mentioning this because Misery Index are a killer band, and may an even more killer live band — so this could be some really good shit.


I’m pretty sure I first heard the name Convulse a couple of years ago when we were doing that Finnish Metal Week thing at NCS, which stretched into two weeks of non-stop posts about Finnish metal bands. Their name came up again in a bunch of the Comments on a post I wrote more recently about the developing line-up at next year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest — because Convulse is on the bill.

They seem to be pretty widely recognized as a linchpin in the development of Finnish death metal, and indeed in the growth of death metal globally. Originally formed in 1988 under the name S.D.S., their first release was a cassette demo in 1990 name The Resuscitation Of Evilness. That led to a full-length album named World Without God and a second album entitled Reflections that Relapse release in 1994. And after that, Convulse disbanded.

But Convulse are now back, with a two-track EP — Inner Evil — that Svart Records plans to release on January 25. And that, in turn, is just a prelude to a full-length album that’s expected by next autumn.

Today, Metal Sucks premiered the title track to the new EP. Recorded entirely on analog equipment without Pro-Tooling or triggering, it’s a crawling, maggot-ridden mass of death/doom that periodically transforms into a slithering, maggot-ridden mass of hungry white worms big enough to strip flesh down to the bone.

Which is to say, I really like this song. Go HERE to check it out.


  1. I’d be interested to see what happens with the Cynic release. I have to admit I was way late to the Cynic party, and only first heard of them when they popped up on lots of people’s end of year lists for 2008 with Traced In Air. That is a seriously impressive album. I passed on Carbon-based Anatomy after listening to the stream – it just wasn’t metal at all. (Not that there’s anything wrong with musos exploring other sounds but it just didn’t do anything for me). I’m thinking where they head next could be make or break in the metal community to some extent. On the one hand, the guys seem like such talented musicians who can really breathe life into their instruments that I’m sure whatever they do will ooze the subtlety and nuance of good musicians, but on the other it might mark a point where you couldn’t really consider them as ”metal” anymore.

  2. Can’t wait to hear the live Misery Index. One of my favorite bands that I STILL haven’t seen.

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