Dec 262018
 

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum prepared this review of the Riders of the Apocalypse show that took place in Oslo on December 19th.)

I usually publish reviews of concerts in Oslo just for a Norwegian audience, but I think this concert review can be of interest for the international NCS audience. The NCS statistics for 2018 were really cool. I must say I was impressed with the amount of visits (more than 1.7 million) and I’m pretty glad we have readers from more than 100 countries all over this small planet. I would like to thank everyone who supports NCS and all those who read my occasional contributions. It is my wish for 2019 to be able to contribute even more!

The first thing that caught my attention when I saw the line-up for the concert that took place the 19th this month was Svart Lotus. I had heard about the band before and knew it was 1349‘s bassist who was behind the project. But as to what the other band playing Riders of the Apocalypse could be exactly I wasn’t sure at first. The other band scheduled to play was going to be Superlynx, and I had heard from some rock-knowledgeable friends that they were good, but I hadn’t really checked the band for myself as I tend to have just enough time for metal. So I figured I would go based mainly on the 1349 connection. Continue reading »

Dec 192018
 

 

(Andy Synn continues his campaign to make many of us jealous over the shows he’s getting to see in the UK, this time witnessing a duo of American tech stalwarts, a Canadian one, and a Swedish one, and documenting the event with video.)

Looking back over the last twelve months I can see that I’ve been lucky enough to attend a number of awesome shows, festivals, etc, this year, with the last couple of months in particular being an incredibly busy (not to mention fun) period, especially where frantic, fret-melting technicality is concerned.

Just in the last few weeks I’ve got the chance to catch Beyond Creation/Gorod prog out and Aborted/Cryptopsy blast faces, and two nights ago saw things get kicked up yet another notch with the fatal four-way of Revocation, Archspire, Soreption, and Rivers of Nihil at Mama Roux’s in Birmingham. Continue reading »

Nov 282018
 

 

(Despite having spent last night in Nottingham running a gauntlet of especially vigorous sonic punishment, our Andy Synn still had sufficient remaining wits about him to deliver this report of the event, with video documentation of the beatings.)

Those of you who know me well, and probably some of those who barely know me at all, will be aware of my general distaste for the whole “brotherhood of Metal” shtick that frequently gets bandied about by certain publications.

Don’t get me wrong, the power of music to bring people together and unite them behind a common cause, a common feeling, still astounds me at times, but the whole cliché about Metal being a “brotherhood” is one that’s too often deployed as a disingenuous disguise for arrogant elitism or a flimsy excuse for chasing the lowest common denominator (and, occasionally, both at the same time).

Still, there are times when even my well-documented cynicism has to be put on hold, and the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and positive energy of last night’s show was certainly one such occasion. Continue reading »

Nov 242018
 


Gorod (in Prague, not Birmingham)

 

(Andy Synn spent last night at the Asylum in Birmingham, England, enjoying performances by Beyond Creation, Gorod, and Entheos, and has quickly provided the following report and videos.)

Despite how stultifyingly stressful this week has been for the most part, yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day all in all, as things at work took a major turn towards the positive, while the evening found me taking a trip over to Birmingham to catch three (out of four) great bands of the “technical” persuasion. Continue reading »

Nov 062018
 

 

(On November 3rd the Leeds University Union hosted the star-studded 2018 edition of Damnation Festival, and our own Andy Synn was there again, and files this video-adorned report.)

Now, let’s get one thing straight right away – I love Damnation Festival. Alongside Inferno Festival and Maryland Deathfest it’s part of my annual triumvirate of awesome events which I do my absolute best to attend every single year.

One thing that bugs me, however, not about Damnation itself, but about the coverage afforded to the fest (and, by extension, to many other festivals too), is how much of it reads almost like it was written without even attending the event – every band is awesome, every performance is great – with little to no attempt to be critical or to give the reader a sense of the specific flavour and atmosphere beyond generic platitudes which could have been pulled straight from each band’s bio.

So this review isn’t going to be one of those. Because not every band I saw on Saturday evening was awesome, and not every performance was great… and while there were no downright terrible showings, several of the bands put in what I thought was a sub-par effort.

Thankfully, however, the good (and the very good) hugely outweighed the bad, and I think (and hope) you’ll still get a kick out of reading this review and watching the accompanying videos. Continue reading »

Oct 182018
 

 

(One of our Norway-based contributors, Karina Noctum, prepared this evocative review of the Motstrøms concert on September 29 at the Myrens Dam in the heart of Norway’s Telemark region. All of the accompanying photos were taken by Andrea Chirulescu.)

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Motstrøms, which translated from Norwegian means “against the current”. Motstrøms was a celebration of a long and many-faceted musical career. It was about Emperor, Ihasahn’s solo project, the projects he has developed together with his wife Heidi Tveit, as well as the musical contributions of significance from other important musicians such as Leprous and Raphael Weinroth-Browne, among others.

Motstrøms is a fitting name indeed, taking into account Ihsahn’s musical character. I was excited when I first heard about it, and felt right from the beginning that it was going to be a special evening. I started getting “the I can’t believe I’m here” feeling just before arriving, the kind of feeling I do not get in Oslo anymore. Besides, Emperor were going to play some songs, and I had to be there. I have been following pretty much every Emperor concert I could attend, and I’m grateful for any new concerts because I know it will stop abruptly some day, and that will be it. Continue reading »

Sep 042018
 

 

(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum was in Bergen, Norway last week for part of the latest edition of the Beyond the Gates festival. This isn’t a complete review of the fest, but rather some reflections about the location, some musical recommendations prompted by the line-ups, and impressions of some of the performances that made a particular impact. Credit for all the wonderful photos in this post goes to Jarle H. Moe.)

Beyond the Gates is a festival that takes place every year in the mythical Black Metal city of Bergen (at least, it certainly seems mythical). It’s a paradise for blackpackers (a name for the hopeful souls who make the journey to the land of Black Metal and if they do their research well may end up in Abbath’s garden), a good city if you are into grey, doleful weather and dark surroundings. You’ve got the beautiful and dark mountains of might surrounding the city; it rains pretty much every day; and as a consequence the shadowy forests will be under a shroud of fog. All in all, pretty Black Metal.

If you are considering traveling in spite of everything I’ve mentioned above then go here and you will find a comprehensive list of metal stuff to do in Bergen. I find Bergen a nice place since I like grey skies, dark forests, mountains, and rain, so being there is a happy experience for me, especially when combined with music. Continue reading »

Jul 232018
 

 

The second annual installment of Austin Terror Fest took place in the heart of Texas on June 15-17, 2018, proudly co-sponsored by NCS. It featured performances by 30 bands from around the U.S. (and outside it). It was a great event, and we’re already anxious for ATF 2019 (and yes, work is already under way to present the third edition of the festival next year). We were very fortunate that New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor was there to document the fest through her lenses, and to share her photos with us so that we, in turn, can share them with you.

Last week we presented photos from the first day of the festival and the second, and today the focus is on the performances that took place on the third and final day, with sets by nine bands at Austin’s Lost Well. And without further ado, here’s our selection from the many great images that Teddie captured during these performances: Continue reading »

Jul 202018
 

 

The second annual installment of Austin Terror Fest took place in the heart of Texas on June 15-17, 2018, proudly co-sponsored by NCS. It featured performances by 30 bands from around the U.S. (and outside it). It was a great event, and we’re already anxious for ATF 2019 (and yes, work is already under way to present the third edition of the festival next year). We were very fortunate that New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor was there to document the fest through her lenses, and to share her photos with us so that we, in turn, can share them with you.

On Wednesday we presented photos from the first day of the festival, and today the focus is on the performances that took place on the second day, with sets by a dozen bands alternating between indoor and outdoor stages at Barracuda in Austin. And without further ado, here’s our selection from the many great images that Teddie captured during these performances: Continue reading »

Jul 182018
 

 

On Monday of this week we completed a three-part post providing photographic memories of Northwest Terror Fest 2018, thanks to the artistic eye and skilled technique of New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor. Today we begin another three-part photo retrospective featuring Teddie’s photos, and this time the focus is on another NCS co-sponsored festival that took place earlier this year — Austin Terror Fest — whose organizers and staff also played integral roles in helping us successfully put on the second edition of NWTF in Seattle.

The second annual installment of ATF took place in the heart of Texas on June 15-17 and featured performances by 30 bands from around the U.S. (and outside it). A small number of those overlapped the line-up of NWTF, but most did not. By all accounts, it was a great event, and the energy comes through in Teddie’s photos. Work has already begun on the 2019 edition of this Texas-based festival.

Teddie’s westward trip from New Orleans took longer than expected, and so the following montage of her pics from ATF’s first day includes only the final four bands who played on June 15th, at the Lost Well venue. We’ll have complete photo spreads of the second and third days in the following days here at NCS. Continue reading »