Feb 242013

(After an extended hiatus, TheMadIsraeli revives the Revisiting the Classics series with a look back at an album from a band who are on the verge of dropping their latest bombshell.)

I figured this series needed to make a comeback some time ago; it was just getting the time to do it.  It’s rather ironic that the album I decided to use for this revival was one I selected five or so months before The Living Infinite was even announced.

The Chainheart Machine represents old-school Soilwork at its absolute finest.  The sharp, punctual, technical riffing, the frantic changes in tempo and time signature that occurred on some songs, the bewilderingly virtuoso-caliber shred of guitarist Peter Wichers, the epic melodies — this album has it fucking all if you ask me.  All the instrumentation is impeccable; the mix for its time is just PERFECT for what was going on here (a dense, industrial tone — odd choice for melodeath); and I just fucking love it, back to front.

The thing that really makes this album is the songs as a whole.  Let me explain. Continue reading »

Sep 142012

(NCS guest contributor Mike Yost provides this look back at an album that defeats all resistance to use of a dreaded e-word.  These musings also appear on Mike’s own blog, Remnants of Words.)

As many of you already know, the word epic is used far too often. And not just in metal reviews. Some examples you might hear are as follows:

TV Commercial: “If you’re thirsty, try (insert shitty sugary sports drink here) to quench that epic thirst!”

Movie Review: “Bruce Willis stood in front of the White House in a torn, bloody t-shirt while firing machine guns and bazookas in slow motion with explosions raining down all around him as terrorists were being blown away by the dozens. It was fucking epic!”

A Friend: “So then, we go to (his or her) place and start having sex on the kitchen counter, and (he or she) pulls out this epic glass dildo from the cupboard!”

As Islander has lamented in previous posts, the word epic has proliferated in metal blogs to the point that its overuse has the opposite effect. Epic now equals insipid. Superficial. Commonplace. I become very skeptical about an album when I see it in a review. I can’t help but think it’s being used to compensate for music that’s just plain bad. Or maybe the author of the review was just too tired after a long day at work and passed out at the desk looking for a thesaurus. (I’ve been there.)

This is unfortunate. Because there are a few bands out there who are epic. There are a few albums that are epic. Even a few songs. Continue reading »

Aug 292011

(TheMadIsraeli delivers another installment of Revisiting the Classics, focusing on a personal favorite of mine.)

Shit is on now.

If you don’t know who this band is, you shouldn’t even be reading a site called No Clean Singing. Dying Fetus are the kind of elite, prestige-incarnate band whose achievements you wish you were capable of achieving with your sorry lives. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m sure TheMadIsraeli wasn’t really talking about you — just some other poor schmucks who, unlike you, and your close friends, are incapable of grand achievements.]

This is one of those bands whose every album I possess. Love every album, every song, every riff, every breakdown, you name it. Dying Fetus, Suffocation, and Vader are my elite of death metal, and so far no one else has earned admission to their company.  Killing On Adrenaline (1998) is the album when the band (or maybe, in the end, more specifically, guitar-brutalizer and guttural-barker John Gallagher) found their sound. After a couple of VERY prototype-sounding releases, the formula found on Killing On Adrenaline became the solidified sound that would continue to mark the music of the band and its various incarnations up to this very minute.

I know that most people, when talking about the classic Dying Fetus album, would go to the band’s release after this one, Destroy The Opposition. While that album is great, there is a rawness and energy on Killing that it doesn’t have, most likely a product of the band’s excitement in discovering who they were. This album also features most of the so-called classic Dying Fetus lineup — vocalist/bassist Jason Netherton, guitarist and mastermind John Gallagher, rhythm guitarist Brian Latta, and drummer Kevin Talley. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 262011

(TheMadIsraeli, who originated our now-continuing series of look-backs at metal classics, provides this latest installment, focusing on the 1988 debut by California’s Forbidden.)

Thrash metal in a lot of ways IS metal to me.  It’s the genre that, when I think about metal, I gravitate to automatically.  The energy, the frantic rage and desperation, THE FUCKING SPEED AND THE RIFFS!  It’s always astonishing to me when I meet a metalhead who doesn’t like thrash.  That’s like not liking pizza, or beer, or the combination thereof.

Forbidden was a thrash band I’d always heard about but never bothered to check out, dismissing them as a cult band who were viewed as being more legitimate than the more popular thrashers because they simply weren’t mainstream.  Boy was I wrong, and it took one unexpected circumstance to open my eyes: My girlfriend at the time made me check out Forbidden’s music.  Yes people, my girlfriend at the time had better music than I did, AND was hotter than I was, AND was more talented.  Hopefully, I’m on my way to catching up, at least on the quality of music I have.

Forbidden Evil is the typical fan favorite, as well as mine, but for good reason.  Consisting of a badass set of pipes by the name of Russ Anderson, a fierce guitar duo in Craig Locicero (one of my fav guitarists of all time mind you) and Glen Alvelais, Paul Bostaph on drums, and Matt Camacho on bass, Forbidden were poised to take the thrash circuit by storm with the release of this album. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 162011

(In light of the positive response to TheMadIsraeli’s “Revisiting the Classics” post about At the Gates, we’ve decided to make this a continuing feature, and all of us here at NCS will be contributing over time. But for the second installment, TheMadIsraeli is back again, and he’s looking back at Anthrax.)

Since you guys liked my “Revisiting The Classics” column, I thought I’d do another until I can pump out the next round of current stuff. Have some good stuff coming down the pipe, including another discography download. But now, we’re talking about Persistence of Time (1990).

This is Anthrax’s best album. NOT Among The Living. Get that notion out of your head. It’s amateur tripe compared to the maturity found on Persistence of Time.

Come on, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 132011

(TheMadIsraeli (the artist formerly known as Israel Flanders) steps into the WayBack machine to revisit an At the Gates classic.)

I think it’s time to take a few steps back away from the current metal scene and revisit a timeless classic in the metal landscape. I’ve decided that from here on, I’ll be doing not only current reviews, but also reviews of albums from the past I absolutely adore. Without further ado…

Anyone worth his weight in metal should know this album, this band, and the MASSIVE influence they have had on metal since the album’s release. This is, by all accounts, THE melodic death metal standard. Never did a band of the Gothenburg elite craft an album this aggressive, this vicious, all while retaining pure melodic content throughout. This is also a controversial album, of course, often slandered for its initiation of tens of thousands of At The Gates imitators. But don’t hate the masters, hate the weak imitators.

This is one of my top 10 albums of all time, ever, in metal, period. To me, this is a perfect, absolutely flawless, 10/10, 100% all-killer-no-filler, sonic assault. Those riffs, those vicious vocals, that fucking guitar tone that no one to this day seems to know how to dial in as well, the jarring tempo changes, all contained in very concise, to-the-point songs that don’t wander or play around in any way.

Slaughter Of The Soul (or “SOTS”, as we’ll refer to it from here on) is the final album from this Swedish five-piece before their unexpected decision to quit, preferring to stop while they were ahead and not risk becoming self-parodying ass-hats (*coughArchEnemycough*). A very respectable move indeed. Even to this day, even after re-forming, the band claims they shall not write a single new song for the rest of their lives. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »