Nov 252020


Even the best of times can become shadowed by dark days, but these are obviously among the worst of times for almost all of us, the kind of times when music that uplifts the spirits can be most welcome. But few of us are in search of cheep thrills, naivete, or shallow pandering. In rotten times, the most welcome uplift comes from genuine passion, and from music that doesn’t forget the darkness in our midst even as it soars.

These thoughts have come to mind thanks to the spectacular title song we’re premiering from the debut EP by the Swedish band Maestitium, which will be released on February 5, 2021, by Black Lion Records. Maestitium is a studio project started by guitarist, vocalist and composer Elias Westrin (Tomb Dweller, ex-Voices of Vengeance) in the fall of 2019. The idea for the EP was born while Westrin was attending a music production course at Hola Folkhögskola outside of Kramfors, Sweden, and drew inspiration from the music of such bands as Insomnium, Sentenced, Wintersun, Hinayana, and Wolfheart. Continue reading »

Feb 192014

I was at Seattle’s El Corazon venue last night. I was there for the show headlined by Dark Tranquillty, but as devoted as I am to that band, I was even more excited to see Omnium Gatherum and Exmortus, who I had never seen before. They were both flat-out amazing — as was DT.

But this isn’t a show review. While I was waiting for my companions to arrive, I had a beer in the bar and watched a video screen that scrolled through the schedule of bands on the calendar at El Corazon over the coming months. I had reactions to the bands I didn’t know, based mainly on their names (though the accompanying photos played a role in my reactions, too — so I guess this post could also be considered a commentary on the importance of promo shots).

I don’t think I’m so different from most metal lovers — superficial things like band names make a difference. They trigger reactions. My reactions may not be the same as yours, because I instinctively would want to see a band named Goatfuckers, and you might not. But can we agree that band names do make a difference in how interested we are in checking out music we’ve never heard before? Continue reading »

Oct 302013

We may have another post for you today, a full-album stream of a recently reviewed album, but this depends on the whims of the technology gods. In the meantime, below is what purports to be a list of reasons for admission to an insane asylum in the late 1800s, sent to me by a friend (thank you Patrick). Exactly why he thought this would interest me, I’m not completely sure. But of course it interests me intensely, mainly because the vast majority of these reasons look like metal band names.

Actually, I’m pretty sure some of these ARE metal band names. Continue reading »

May 152012

(I just want to apologize in advance for the fact that Phro chose to use the privilege of having the following piece posted at NCS to write in graphic detail about fucking your mom. Because I know he would never say things like this about my mom.)

Ugg. It’s that time of year again. The sun is staying up longer, the temperatures are getting higher, the high school students who smoke dog turds and put bags of flaming pot on my porch have more free time, and, apparently, metalheads will soon be venturing out of their caves to do horrible things with their penises and vaginas in large groups. I suppose it’ll be like Woodstock, but without all the hippies with their long hair and drugs. Oh. Wait. Nevermind.

So, like a good Phro should (according to his mommy…hi, mom!), I’ve found some tours and the bands playing them and analyzed their names. I’m kinda like Tom Hanks in that one movie about Jesus having sex with the Pope crossed with Phillip Seymour Hoffman in that movie where he huffs gas fumes. Now, before we go on, I just have to say that huffing gas fumes is a horrible, horrible idea when smoking pot. There are just some things that you shouldn’t multi-task. One drug at a time, kids.

Also, I got really drunk and fucked your mom last night. Happy Mother’s Day! (I told her it was a present from you. Kinda like this.)

To the tours!

First, apparently there’s a Shockwave Tour. What a stupid fucking name. How about calling it the Brown Note Tour and handing out bullhorns for the audience to fart into? Continue reading »

May 112012

In September 2010, I wrote a post about metal band names called “What’s In A Name?”. The point of the post was to pick out some badass metal names and some not-so-great ones and to ponder the connection (if any) between cool band names and the music. I categorized some of the evidence into groups — the ass-kicking bands with ass-kicking names, the ass-kicking bands that have succeeded despite piss-poor names, and the bands whose names are just . . . perplexing.

Yesterday, Full Metal Attorney (FMA) posted a piece on his blog called “What’s In A Name?”, and that seemed like a good excuse for revisiting the subject of metal band names. He makes the point that band names DO MATTER — they’re part of a band’s identity and part of the whole “marketing package” that would also include logos, album art, and of course the music itself.

He argues that band names have a lot to do with whether new listeners are likely to check out the bands’ music in the first place: As he points out, some band names are just silly (e.g., Weekend Nachos) and may deter listeners from exploring what the bands have to offer, even when the music may be right up the listener’s alley, while other band names (e.g., Autopsy) are both memorable and almost perfectly descriptive of a band’s musical style.

He also describes some persuasive factors that make a band name good, and not so good, and then he comes up with his list of the Ten Best Metal Band Names. Continue reading »

Sep 152010

This is the second post of the day, which we don’t do very often. As the title says, this is mainly a sappy thank-you post.  Of course it is, because “sappy” is my middle name. Well, it comes right after my other middle names, i.e., “wordy” and “half-assed.”

For many months after we started this blog, no one posted any comments on what we wrote.  Okay, to be honest, for many months no one read what we wrote.  But even after the reading started, our words were greeted by silence.  Figuratively, the sound of crickets.

Not all bad, because I’ve missed the sound of crickets ever since moving to Seattle from Texas years ago. I don’t miss the appearance of crickets, just the sound of them, on warm nights, when you can’t see them. Kind of a dreamy, hypnotic sound. The sound of nature around us, undisturbed.

Where was I?  Oh yeah: No one posted any comments at NCS for a long time.  But now that has changed, and it’s been an exhilarating change for us.  We look forward every day to seeing what readers write, even when someone calls us retarded, and we feel kinda empty on the days when none come.  That’s mainly because the comments are usually better than the posts we write.

Yesterday was a classic example, certainly one of the best comment days ever.  We did a half-baked riff on band names and got a slew of comments that were smart and funny and creative and educational and took the discussion off in unexpected directions, which is part of what’s so much fun about the comments we’re getting.

And did I say the comments are educational?  They’re really educational!  Of course, when, like us, you start in a state of embarrassing ignorance, it may not take much to be educational in our eyes, but still. After the jump, I’ll tell you the things I learned yesterday, and one thing in particular that drew me back to an album I haven’t listened to in a while, and it was just a perfect end to a beautiful Indian summer day in Seattle.

But first: Thank you to the people who commented yesterday — to Dan, and ElvisShotJFK, and Brian, and Andy, and byrd36 — and to everyone else who has taken the time to add something to this site since we started.  And we don’t mean to slight those who simply read and don’t write (which is mainly what I do on other sites).  We are sappily grateful to all of you, too. But if you usually don’t write and are are tempted to write something someday, don’t worry — we won’t bite! (more sappiness, plus some music, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Sep 142010

Who hasn’t heard of Slayer? Even non-metalheads who’ve never heard Slayer’s music have heard of Slayer. (Though most of those people are ministers.) The band created ground-breaking music and have been vastly influential on the development of generations of bands, but they also had the inspiration to pick one of the best metal band names of all time.

That same talent for name selection is recognizable in the other members of the so-called “Big Four”: Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Wholly apart from the music, those one-word names are fucking metal.

How much does it help to have a badass band name in the microcosm of metal? I’m really not sure. What if the music of the “Big Four” had sucked ass? What if they had appeared on the music scene and then rapidly sunk beneath the waves like dense turds, never to be seen or heard from again, and taking their awesome names down into the depths with them?

That could have happened, because I don’t think picking a great name means your music will be great, and all those great names would have been lost to the world of metal forever. On the other hand, if Slayer had called themselves Behold the Arctopus or Attack! Attack!, would the music have somehow become worse? Would Slayer have become less popular? Picking a sucky name doesn’t necessarily hurt your chances if the music is good.

There just doesn’t seem to be any necessary correspondence between the quality of band names and the quality of the music or success of the band. But it is entertaining to consider the evidence — the ass-kicking bands with ass-kicking names, the ass-kicking bands that have succeeded despite piss-poor names, and the bands whose names are just perplexing.

We’ll kick around some examples after the jump, and then we’ll invite your participation . . . Continue reading »

Feb 092010

It’s time for another installment of Band Name Fodder!

I don’t watch much TV, but when I do I can’t escape those fucking direct-to-consumer drug commercials.

I really don’t get it. Big pharmaceutical companies are spending more than $4 billion annually promoting products to people who can’t buy them. You need a fucking prescription to buy this shit! And who writes prescriptions? Doctors do! And surely doctors don’t decide what to prescribe based on TV ads. Do they? Please tell me they don’t!

So the theory is that advertising will cause people who have medical problems (or think they do) to ask their doctors for the drugs they see advertised on TV, and that will cause doctors to prescribe more of the advertised drugs. It must work, because if it didn’t, Big Pharma wouldn’t continue spending so much fucking money on those ass-sucking ads. And that’s pretty scary.

What’s particularly insane is that the advertising has been successful despite the fact that the ads spend more time warning you about all the disgusting side effects of the products than they do explaining the supposed benefits. Shit, even if I were tempted to believe the puffery that the drug companies spout about their wares, I wouldn’t touch ’em with a ten-foot pole after hearing the litany of warnings — but that obviously isn’t holding most people back.

The whole phenomenon just seems twisted and grotesque. But I’ve thought of one way to entertain myself when I’m stuck watching one of those ads: I imagine the drug names are the names of extreme metal bands, and I think about what kind of music they play — and what kind of side-effect warnings would appear on the CDs. Here are a few examples (after the jump . . .): Continue reading »

Jan 192010

Every now and then we’ve told you about a word or phrase we’ve stumbled upon that has nothing to do with metal, but sounds exactly like it oughta be the name of an extreme metal band. We’ve stuck those posts under the category of “Band Name Fodder.” Now we’ve stumbled across something new: words and phrases that have nothing to do with metal but sound like they could be the names of brutal songs.

You know the kind of song titles we’re talking about — the kind that at first blush (and sometimes second and third blushes) make no sense, but just sound really evil, uncompromising, and vicious.  Songs like:

“Carrion Sculpted Entity” (Cannibal Corpse), “Megacosm of the Aquaphobics” (Cephalic Carnage), “Postmortal Coprophagia” (Devourment), “Prosthetic Erection” (Annotations of An Autopsy), “Diaboloical Submergence of Rebirth” (Goatwhore), “Intestinal Putrefaction” (Abominable Putridity), “Pestiferous Subterfuge” (Aborted), “Gestation of Malevolence” (Abysmal Torment), “Cyclopian Scape” (High On Fire), “Ceremonian Disembowelment” (Impetuous Ritual), “Gestated Human Slurry” (Infected Disarray), “Damnation Pentastrike” (Lightning Swords of Death), “Into the Qliphot of Golachab” (Malfeitor), “Fermented Offal Discharge” (Necrophagist), “Postmortem Dissection” (The Pathology), “Cataclysmic Purification” (Suffocation), “Contemporary Perception Narcotics” (Trigger the Bloodshed), “Cranial Media Parasite” (Magrudergrind). And so on.

Well, just in case the well runs dry for bands like these (or they lose their thesaurus), we’ve found a gold mine of source material. (see what we’ve discovered after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 252009

I’ve taken some shit for the photo of the slit-throat turkey I used in our posts on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. So this time, I picked the handsome specimens above. Still metal, and still alive (at least temporarily).

I’ve been thinking about turkey because, having finished Christmas Day dinner, my body is now about 75% turkey and I’m in a tryptophan-induced coma. I got into a debate with one of my NCS Co-Authors about whether the common wisdom is correct that turkey contains high doses of tryptophan and causes drowsiness when consumed in mass quantities. IntoTheDarkness insisted that was B.S. I insisted it was true. To resolve the dispute, I consulted The Font of All Human Knowledge. Turns out the answer is sort-of yes and sort-of no.  I know you’re dying to find out the facts. Details after the jump. Continue reading »