Jul 232022


Would one four-song roundup yesterday have been satisfactory? Were two of them too many? Is it overkill to add music from four more bands today, for an even dozen of them? I hear your answers to those questions, all those deafening howls of “NO!!! WE WANT MORE!!!””

So, on we go….


It took me almost a week to catch up to Death Breath‘s two-track EP, The Old Hag, but once I did I haven’t been able to get enough of it. It does its dirty work in just a bit more than 7 minutes, which makes it really fucking easy to keep going back to it whenever I need a musical riot to rocket me out of the doldrums and make me feel like fighting the bastard world. Continue reading »

Feb 282019


(By now, surely every metalhead knows about the Lords of Chaos movie directed by Jonas Åkerlund, and written by Åkerlund and Dennis Magnusson based on the 1998 book of the same name, focusing on the Norwegian black metal scene of the early ’90s. In the following post, Wil Cifer shares his reactions to the movie — and we welcome your own in the Comments if you’ve seen it.)

I know it’s a vulgar concept, but let’s pretend for a moment that movies are pure entertainment. There are some filmmakers like David Lynch and Lars Von Tier who transcend the fluff of your typical popcorn sellers, but they are the exception to the rule.

If you are looking mindless fun, draped in corpse paint, then your expectations of Lords of Chaos might be reasonable. If you are looking for the definitive history of Norwegian Black Metal, then you might be better off with the 2010 documentary Until the Light Takes Us. Continue reading »

Apr 102010

Back on Jan 11 (which seems about a decade ago), I posted still photos from the then-forthcoming movie Clash of the Titans and suggested how those images could represent different kinds of extreme metal bands. You can see that here. The movie is now out, and seems to be drawing hoards of viewers. I haven’t seen it yet, though I intend to — despite a review I read by the always wicked Anthony Lane in the April 12 issue of that famous metal zine, The New Yorker. It’s just too funny not to share a few excerpts:

There is an awful lot of clashing in “Clash of the Titans,” but no Titans. A pity, for the real Titans were early-model deities, born of Uranus and Gaea; she, peeved by her husband, took the unusual step of forging what one ancient text describes as “a saw-toothed scimitar,” with which her son Cronos then “harvested his father’s genitals.” All of which would have made the perfect Lars von Trier film.

Instead, we have to be content with late-period gods and monsters, plus efficient head removal and the odd winged horse, but not a single act of castration. How do these people hope to earn our respect?

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 022010

A couple of your NCS Co-Authors saw the movie Crazy Heart this weekend, to find out what the hubbub was all about, and we thought it was amazingly good. The story and the acting are compelling, and the music is stunning. So although it’s got nothing (much) to do with metal, we need to write about it.

In a widely (and rightly) praised performance, Jeff Bridges plays a legendary country music performer named Bad Blake who has slid far down the back side of his career. He tours the Southwest out of the back of a rusting SUV, playing bowling alleys and bars with pickup bands, suffusing himself on a daily basis with clouds of cigarette smoke and a flood of whiskey, and satisfying his meager need for companionship with the occasional, pointless one-night stand.

Broke, alcoholic, overweight, nearing 60, with four failed marriages behind him and a grown son with whom he’s had no contact in 20 years, Bad Blake has nearly succeeded in flushing his career and his life down the toilet. He’s not very likable and seems stuck on a dead-end road to oblivion that he has mapped for himself.

On the other hand, though resentments and frustrations surface, Blake doesn’t wallow in self-pity, nor do we see much of the narcissism that seems to survive in many celebrities when all legitimate reason for self-regard has long since left the house. For Blake, this is simply his life, as it has become. It is what it is, and he simply wants to get on with it.

Beyond those meager saving graces of his personality, we see something else admirable: Even when stumbling in an alcoholic haze, he can still bring it on stage — with allowances for the occasional mid-set rush into an alleyway to puke his guts out in the nearest garbage can.  (more after the jump, including some music to stream . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 222010

Spastic headbangers rejoice! Meshuggah‘s live performance DVD/CD Alive is out and available for purchase.

We’re guessing the odds that (a) you care enough about extreme metal to visit sites like ours, but (b) have never listened to Meshuggah, are (c) pretty fucking small. If by some tiny chance you haven’t given Meshuggah a serious listen, then this would be a very good time to do it. If, as is likely, you already know the music, you’re going to have a meshuggasm watching and listening to Alive.

[From the NCS Dictionary: meshuggasm: intense or paroxysmal excitement; especially: an explosive discharge of neuromuscular tensions at the height of arousal produced by listening to Meshuggah.]

The Alive DVD includes live performance footage from Meshuggah concerts during 2009 in Montreal, Toronto, and New York City, and from a 2008 festival performance in Tokyo. The decision to compile and alternate performance cuts from different venues rather than show one concert from start to finish keeps the video visually interesting, and presumably allowed the band and the director to pick the best live performances of each song.

The video includes 12 songs performed live, 5 from the latest full-length ObZen (“Pravus”, “Bleed”, “Electric Red”, “Lethargica”, and “Combustion”), 4 from Nothing (“Perpetual Black Second”, “Stengah”, “Rational Gaze”, and “Straws Pulled At Random”), 2 from Chaosphere (“New Millenium Cyanide Christ” and “The Mouth Licking What You’ve Bled”), and 1 from Contradictions Collapse (“Humiliative”). (more after the jump, including a track from the CD . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 112010

I saw Avatar this weekend. Amazing movie that lives up to its hype. But that’s not what this post is about. Before the movie there was a trailer for a forthcoming movie called Clash of the Titans, which is a remake of a 1981 fantasy classic and happens to feature the same Sam Worthington who was the male lead in Avatar. The movie is based on the Greek myth of Perseus. Based on the trailer, the new movie looks like it will kick ass.

I’ve obviously got metal on the brain, because as I watched all the gods and weird creatures flashing across the screen in the trailer, I was thinking they’d fit right into different types of metal bands. I’m probably losing my mind, but see what you think. Here are some still photos from the trailer and what flew through my addled head when I saw them.

Brutal death metal (and I do mean broootal)

(more after the jump . . . .)

Continue reading »

Dec 202009

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of death metal. As many of you don’t know, I also have a passion for film and I just saw what I believe to be the best film of 2009: The Messenger. I know, I know, this is a blog about death metal, so you might ask: “what the fuck does The Messenger have to do with death metal?” If you’d like to find out, continue reading after the jump. Continue reading »