Islander

Nov 232020
 


Moonspell

 

(For the second (or is it the third?) time, our editor (that would be me) screwed up and didn’t get Gonzo’s Friday music round-up posted before having to turn to non-NCS work, but we’ll just pretend again that Monday is the new Friday. Hope you have a good weekend on Tuesday.)

Doing what you love for a living can often be the ultimate study in double-edged swords, in the sense that getting paid to do it all day makes doing it for fun… somewhat less fun.

In this case, I’m talking about writing. The past month has seen me doing a lot of it, and unfortunately, the bulk of that has gone towards my new day job instead of describing the dark and devastating tones found here at NCS.

Today is Friday, though, and my chronic addiction to loud music is overtaking any professional obligations. For now.

Join me as I blast out some words about some new shit you can crank up and bang your head to. Continue reading »

Nov 232020
 

 

Irreversible Mechanism made a strikingly good impression on us in 2018 when Blood Music released their second album, Immersion. For one, my comrade DGR lavishly reviewed the album and then positioned it at No. 8 on his year-end list. In his assessment, the band moved from “the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ style of writing in their debut album” toward “something that sounds like a head-on collision of Fallujah, Rivers Of Nihil, and a handful of other post-metal groups currently working on the fringes of the tech-death scene”.

And for another, I added a track from Immersion to the 2018 edition of our Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. It wasn’t an album that I initially expected to be a contender for that award, because it’s such a massive record, not only in its length but also in its near-constant all-out assault on the senses, so densely packed with ideas that it lends itself to new discoveries every time you dive back into the hurricane. Given that the songs also tend to flow into each other, it’s also an album that’s probably best experienced in a single session, and it’s tough to carve out individual tracks from the one that preceded or followed it. Nevertheless, the more time I spent with the album, the more addicted to it I became and the more convinced I became that something from the album belonged on the list.

And now we have the opportunity, two years later, to revisit the music of this talented group from Minsk, Belarus. They’ve made a play-through video for a song named “Footprints in the Sand” that appears dead-center in Immersion’s track-list, whose lyrics have an eerily prescient connection to our current pandemic age, and it’s our pleasure to share it with you today. Continue reading »

Nov 222020
 

 

Today we begin our 12th year of existence, having celebrated our 11th birthday yesterday. It just so happens that we begin the next circle of the Earth around Sol on a Sunday, and an opportunity to blacken the sabbath again.

ONDSKAPT (Sweden)

After doing some searching I was surprised to learn that I’ve never previously written about the music of Ondskapt at our site, though I do see one (very old) mention by a guest contributor in a year-end list. This absence puzzles me. It is definitely more a regrettable oversight than a sign of disinterest. But now, finally, I can check that box, and do so enthusiastically thanks to the song I’ve picked to open today’s playlist. Continue reading »

Nov 212020
 

 

(Today we have a bonus edition of THE SYNN REPORT, with the usual month-ending one still ahead, and here Andy Synn pays homage to the extravagant discography of Florida’s Lascaille’s Shroud.)

Recommended for fans of: Edge of Sanity, Allegaeon, Scar Symmetry

Despite what it says above… this is NOT the November edition of The Synn Report. That’s still to come at the end of the month as normal.

What this is, however, is a bonus edition of everyone’s favourite discography deep-dive designed to correct a grave injustice perpetrated by this site, and by this writer in particular.

You see, several years back we began covering the work of Lascaille’s Shroud, the outlandish Sci-Fi-Prog-Death project of Florida’s Brett Windnagle, and wrote rather glowingly about their first three albums.

But then, somehow, we lost touch with the band, and it was only recently that I discovered that they’ve since produced an additional three albums, with the most recent two being released earlier this year.

As you might gather then, it’s high time for us to catch-up on what we’ve been missing, and while this may not be as comprehensive an article as some of them – Brett’s talent for extravagance means it’s not unusual to see songs shoot past the 15, 20, or 25 minute mark, and both their second and third albums are spread across two stacked discs clocking in at a total of over two hours of music – it should still give you a real feel and flavour for what Lascaille’s Shroud is all about. Continue reading »

Nov 212020
 

 

On November 21, 2009, I made the first post at this blog, which, with tongue partially in cheek, I had decided to name NO CLEAN SINGING. I started it on a lark. I had no training or experience as a music writer. I had only scattered bits of knowledge about the long history of metal, because until recently I had spent my decades of time on earth mainly listening to other kinds of music. What I did have was a burgeoning attraction to heavy music and a lot of curiosity. Back in those early days of the blogging phenomenon, you really didn’t need much more than that to start out. Probably still don’t.

Of course, the intensity of my own interest and the ease of starting up didn’t mean that anyone would pay attention to NCS — and I didn’t expect that or need it. NCS existed as a hobby, for want of a better word, that I hoped would be an enjoyable diversion for me from the grind of daily life. That was the sum total of my motivation. If you had told me back then that I’d still be doing it 11 years later, or that NCS would achieve a certain level of global notoriety, I would have laughed so hard that I’d have been left gasping for air.

On this milestone birthday, I’ve thought again, as I do every year, about why unexpectedly we’re still here, and what has changed from those earliest of days. Continue reading »

Nov 202020
 

 

(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the 2016 self-titled debut EP of Texas-based Cognizant, which was given a proper CD release by Selfmadegod Records on November 13th.)

When it comes to Grindcore, there’s always been a split, with some bands falling on the Metal side of the fence while others are more firmly rooted in Hardcore, though even more have staked out their territory somewhere smack in the middle. In the case of Dallas-based five-piece Cognizant, they easily emerge from the fetid swamp of Death Metal and their debut self-titled record, re-released courtesy of Selfmadegod Records, shows why they have become a force to be reckoned with.

In 1997, Floridians Assück dropped one of the best Grind records of all time with Misery Index, and they too were heavily indebted to Death Metal (in their case it was the almighty Suffocation). Cognizant looks to Gorguts for much of their Death Metal influence, and this leads their particular brand of blasting a much more complex and abstract edge. But do not mistake this abstractness for a lack of impact, because this is a paint-peeling assault from start to finish. Continue reading »

Nov 202020
 

 

High above the Earth an astronaut drifts alone, abandoned by the destruction of the rocket that sent him there. Eyes wide and stricken by fear, he witnesses visions, of the natural spectacle below him… and of other possibly unnatural spectacles, or perhaps only the dissolution of his own mind.

Those are among the harrowing and mesmerizing sights to be seen in the video we’re premiering today, accompanied by a song that in itself is harrowing and eerily captivating in equal measure. The song is “Orbit“, and it comes from a debut album named Conceive by Chicago’s Hypervolume. Get ready for countdown… and loosen up your neck too. Continue reading »

Nov 202020
 

 

As you all know, we spend most of our time here immersed in sounds of metallic extremity, and maybe that’s why I experience a bit of glee whenever I have a chance to surprise you — especially when the surprise is as thoroughly captivating as the music we’re presenting in this post.

The authors of that music are an Austrian trio named Gjoad, who draw inspiration from majestic visions of their native alpine surroundings. They channel those inspirations into a formulation of atmospheric rock that’s beautiful and enthralling, but also dark in ways that can become unsettling. And in creating that music, the band enhance the richness of the atmosphere through the use of instruments such as jaw harps, singing bowls, horns, and bells.

Gjoad‘s debut album is named Samanōn, and it will be released by the always-distinctive French label Antiq on December 15th. What we have for you today is a song from the album named “Hagazussa“. Continue reading »

Nov 192020
 

 

XLIX, the new second album by the Italian death metal band Crawling Chaos which is set for release on November 20th 2020 via Time To Kill Records, is a concept album inspired by a book that remains widely read and widely cited five centuries after it was written, and in its concept is a departure from the more usual subject matter to be found within death metal, including this band’s own full-length debut from seven years ago, Repellent Gastronomy. The band have explained:

“While Repellent Gastronomy was some sort of anthology of Lovecraftian horrors revisited in a death metal fashion, XLIX is a concept album in all respects. To write it we were inspired by “The Prince”, the famous book written by Niccolò Machiavelli in the Sixteenth Century. The narration is a kind of parable, a chronicle out of time and space that traces the story of a nameless and faceless protagonist. All the lyrics are penned in the first person by this sort of ‘new Prince'”. Continue reading »

Nov 192020
 

 

(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of Goratory’s new album Sour Grapes, which is out now on Everlasting Spew Records.)

This time around I have the opportunity to review Goratory’s new album Sour Grapes, released by Everlasting Spew Records on October 16th.

For those who are not familiar, this Brutal Death Metal band from Boston, Massachusetts was born in 2000 and released their debut demo that year. Their debut album arrived in 2001 and was well-accepted in the scene and stamped their name into our souls since then. Just a year after, they released their second offering, which went into new territory (sort of) when the technical aspects of their music became more prominent, and that went along very well with the brutal delivery they were going for.

For their third offering, they took more time in releasing it. It saw the light of day in 2004 and continued on the same path as its predecessor. This release was amazing, no doubt in my mind, but for me the second release remained my favorite. Continue reading »