Aug 102016



(All the way from sunny Norway, our blog brother Gorger is back, this time with a special mid-week edition of our usual Sunday column focusing on metal from the past.  To find more of Gorger’s writings, type “Gorger” in our search bar or visit Gorger’s Metal.)

In Norway, pilsner, a light golden beer with a mild and refreshing taste, an eponymous brand originated in the Czech area of Plzeň, or Pilsen if you will, has by far been the beer of choice for most people for decades.

As a white wine of beers (not that it’s weissbier (wheat beer), it’s rather a pale lager), not too unlike Heineken, Budweiser, Miller Genuine Draft, or perhaps Miller Lite, I’d suppose. It’s an unrivaled thirst quencher, but for those moments when you want to enjoy some rich flavored beer, some of us have always turned to the red wine of beers, bayer (a dark lager), ale, porter, and such.

Beer is metal, but it’s not music, so by now, you’re undoubtedly wandering just what the hell this has got to to with metal. As darker, tastier types of beer have grown in popularity over the past few years, and micro breweries have popped up everywhere, we’ve seen a rash of bearded hipsters enjoying it. And whilst it’s a positive thing, it also accumulates that angered feeling of “why the hell didn’t you drink it ten years ago, like some of us did, if it’s so tasty, you fucking pussy”.

Similarly, we all have some obscure underground gems that we almost keep to ourselves, and only sport whence appropriate. If these became majorly famed, hell even trendy, that would undeniably ruin some of their magic, right? Still, I feel like I’ve had these bands to myself for ages, and time is ripe for sharing the murky grandeur with you all. Besides, this music ain’t becoming totally mainstream any time soon anyway. Brace yourself for a true pitch black attack! Continue reading »

Aug 072016

Rearview Mirror


(Austin Weber steps up with this week’s Rearview Mirror feature, focusing on the 1995 debut album by Candiria.)

It’s been far too long since I contributed to our Rearview Mirror series here at NCS, and there’s still an endless number of old and forgotten gems I’d like to cover in this series when I have more time! If you’re ready to step into the time machine for a lesser-known gem by Candiria, come prepared with an open mind. This isn’t easy-listening or genre-by-numbers material. You ready for some supreme weirdness?

Brooklyn-based and never content to confine themselves within a single genre, Candiria have always created the music they want to make, critics and fans be damned. The band have had a long and storied history ever since their inception in 1992, going through multiple styles and sonic territories on different releases, a myriad of line-up changes, a tour-van-related crash tragedy that shook the band to its core, and a couple of breakups/hiatuses followed by multiple comebacks. Recently the band returned with 2014’s Invaders two-song release, and are set to release a new full-length next year. So it seems quite fitting to cover their initial album, Surrealistic Madnessin light of the band’s newly re-activated status. Continue reading »

Jul 312016

Rearview Mirror


(DGR takes over The Rearview Mirror again, with a look back at the Finnish band Wolfheart — and it’s not the one you’re probably thinking of.)

When prolific Finnish musician Tuomas Saukkonen launched a new solo project entitled Wolfheart in 2013, there was a small part of my brain that fired and said there had been a Wolfheart before — which was true; there have actually been a couple of them. But I quickly wrote off the hunch as a misfiring neuron, which has pretty much been shown to be the basis of this site.

Why it mattered to me that there had been a Wolfheart prior to the formation of the current excellent Wolfheart is a question that would go unanswered for some time, until I remembered that the other Wolfheart had been a project launched by a couple of the members in Charon — and then it all made sense, as I am a fan of Charon, albeit in an ass-backwards sense because I didn’t really check them out until an eternity after Poisonblack had launched in the mid 2000s, it being the project of one of the main guys behind Sentenced, who hung it up in 2005. Continue reading »

Jul 242016

Rearview Mirror


(DGR steps in to write this Sunday’s edition of The Rearview Mirror, in which we revisit releases from metal’s past.)

Sometimes I find myself shooting awake with ideas for Rearviewmirrors, lots of which remain half-written. I love this column because it allows me to basically post what I wake up thinking, which is usually along the lines of ‘Holy shit, remember _______?!’ I did that recently with Circle Of Dead Children, a band whose music was not only an ugly reflection of the time in which it was written, but also years later is still able to turn a mirror and announce with utter disdain that absolutely fucking nothing changes.

Of all the bands that would eventually find their way into my early-going CD collection, Pennsylvania’s Circle Of Dead Children were always one of the most extreme ones. I came around to the group late-ish in their career, a few years after Zero Comfort Margin — the group’s 2005 EP that is today’s subject — was released. I actually discovered this EP in early 2008, after reading the lyrics to one of their songs, “Android (120 Ampere Opiate)”, and it closed with the line “Your sound bite slogans can burn with your flags”. Continue reading »

Jul 172016

Rearview Mirror


(While your lazy editor is away partying, our old friend and guest contributor SurgicalBrute steps up to make sure our Rearview Mirror series continues for another week.)

As I’m sure you all have heard by now, Islander has decided to skip out on doing actual important things this weekend, like entertaining us with new music, so he can spend time hanging out and partying. That means that you readers get the distinct honor of having me host this week’s installment of The Rearview Mirror.

Now, this is a good-news/bad-news sort of situation for you guys. The good news, for those who don’t know me, is that digging up bands is kind of my thing. I’m always on the lookout for stuff that’s been overlooked or forgotten. The bad news is, I’m not much of a writer, even on my best days, and since I’m basically speed-writing this late Saturday evening, we can safely say it isn’t going to be one of my best days… So just bear with me as we look back on Hazael. Continue reading »

Jul 102016

Rearview Mirror


I devoted last week’s Rearview Mirror post to Unanimated, and it seemed only natural to follow that one with this week’s feature on Dawn — another early Swedish band whose music evolved from death metal toward melodic black metal, producing albums between 1994 and 1998 that are still revered today and who are still hinting at a further album to come, although when that will happen remains a mystery.

Dawn’s first three demos were released during 1992 – 1993, and those were followed in 1994 by their debut album Nær sólen gar niþer for evogher (“when the sun goes down forever”). After a split with Pyphomgertum and a 1996 EP, Sorgh på svarte vingar fløgh (“Sorrow flew on black wings”), the band released their widely acclaimed second album, Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy). That was in 1998, and Dawn haven’t released anything new since then. Continue reading »

Jul 032016

Rearview Mirror


For this Sunday’s look back into metal’s past I have Bardo Methodology to thank for the idea of focusing on Unanimated. Last week, that site featured an excellent interview of Richard Cabeza by Niklas Göransson, which reminded me not only of Unanimated’s past glories but also of the fact that the band is still alive, though it’s anyone’s guess when they will complete work on a fourth album.

As Göransson notes, Cabeza is “Stockholm death metal royalty” (though he has lived in Dallas, Texas, for the last 14 years). In addition to being one of Unanimated’s founding members in 1989, he was a bass player for Dismember and Murder Squad, a vocalist for General Surgery, and a live member of Satyricon and Dark Funeral. Continue reading »

Jun 262016

Rearview Mirror


For yet another week I’m devoting this backward look at metal’s past to a band I’ve only recently discovered. The band is Disincarnate, and the music I’ve chosen to stream is their lone album, 1993’s Dreams of the Carrion Kind.

The band was formed by guitarist James Murphy. Before then, he was a member of Death on their 1990 album Spiritual Healing, a session soloist on Cancer’s 1991 album Death Shall Rise, and a member of Obituary for their 1990 album Cause of Death. He was also a member of Testament from 1993 to 2000.

In 2001, Murphy was diagnosed with brain cancer but recovered after surgery. He has been a busy record producer and operates a recording studio (SafeHouse Production), and he has made guest appearances on dozens of albums (listed here). Continue reading »

Jun 192016

Rearview Mirror


Although the focus of these Rearview Mirror posts is music from metal’s past, in my case it has also become a vehicle for discovery. Instead of writing only about songs and albums I’ve known about for years, the series has also given me an excuse to dig into albums I’d never heard (or even heard of) before, and that’s again true of today’s installment in the series.

Sorhin are a Swedish black metal band whose first demos were released in 1993 and 1994. Along with other short releases, Sorhin’s discography includes two albums, a debut full-length in 1997 named I det glimrande mörkrets djup and the remarkable album I’m featuring today, Apokalypsens Ängel from 2000. Continue reading »

Jun 122016

Rearview Mirror


As I’ve mentioned before, I wasn’t listening to extreme metal in the late ’80s or the ’90s. With the help of some knowledgable guides, I’ve spent time over the last decade trying to catch up on what I missed. It’s a deep history, and the process of exploration isn’t nearly finished. Today’s Rearview Mirror focuses on my most recent discovery (with thanks to Jan K. once again for turning me on to the album you’re about to hear).

Obtained Enslavement was a black metal band formed in Stord, Norway, in about 1989. The band’s founding members included Pest (who went on to become the frontman for Gorgoroth both before and after Gaahl), guitarist Døden, and drummer Torquemada, and they were soon  joined by a phenomenal keyboardist who used the name Heks. Together they recorded two demos and four albums before disbanding (though additional musicians also participated on some of the albums). Continue reading »