Aug 072017


The original idea for The Rearview Mirror (credit to DGR) was to give us a quick and easy way to begin Sundays at our site when we had nothing else ready to go. It was supposed to be quick and easy because all we’d do would be to post a song stream from fondly remembered releases from the past, as opposed to our usual constant focus on new and forthcoming albums, EPs, and splits. Yesterday would have been a good day for that since I was on a mini-vacation and had nothing ready to go. Of course, I forgot.

It didn’t take long for the original idea to morph. “Wordiness” is our middle name, and so our Rearview Mirror posts expanded into essays and took almost as much time to prepare as everything else around here. Which is probably why the series eventually melted away. It might come back on a regular basis since I’m now thinking about it, or it might not. But I am reviving it at least for today… since I don’t have anything else ready to go on this Monday morning (things are in the works, just not finished).

But this post still doesn’t follow the original Rearview Mirror idea. Wordiness still reigns (though in this case I’ve cribbed from some things we’ve written in the past). Continue reading »

Jul 122013

Well, I just saw some very sad news via Lambgoat: A Life Once Lost is breaking up, again, and it sounds like this may really be the end. I’ve been a big fan for a long time. A Great Artist, Hunter, and Iron Gag, in particular, got so many plays in my car that I feared the CDs would eventually just melt. So this really is a bleak development. I’m just going to quote verbatim from the Lambgoat story:

“This has slipped under the radar for the past week, but A Life Once Lost frontman Bob Meadows recently sat down with the Doylestown, PA edition of the blog Fig to discuss his transition from musician to carpenter. The interview (which you can read here) seems mundane enough until you get several questions into the interview, at which point the following exchange takes place:

This time in your life also marks the end of your popular metal band, A Life Once Lost, fill me in on this new phase. Why leave the band after 14 years of success?

I feel like I need to step back a little bit from that to just better myself as a person. I just felt like I wasn’t really able to handle that aspect of being in a band or that commitment. I really had to put so many things aside. I’m 33 years old now and I feel like my life has been on hold since I was 19. I’m not complaining about where it’s taken me, it’s been pretty awesome. I’ve been able to put out 6 records, film videos, see countries I would have never seen before and I’ve taken a band further than a lot of people have in their lifetime. It’s a lot of fun and it feels really rewarding.

Continue reading »

Apr 162013

(In this post NCS writer BadWolf reviews a live show by A Life Once Lost, Author and Punisher, and Encrust last month, and Nicholas Vechery provides some killer pics.)


I was walking through JC Penny with a friend the other day—he had a gift certificate and wanted to spend it, which proved harder than we anticipated. Because fuck JC Penny. He decided to look through clearance dress shoes. He tried a pair on, put it back and said:

‘It fits alright but I don’t like that metal band on the top.’

To which I said.

‘I don’t think I’ve heard anyone use those two words literally like that in years.’

It’s easy to take the origin of metal, as a genre-describing-word, out of context. It’s become self-referential. Suppose your friend took a spill while skateboarding and cut his forehead open—you might see the blood streaming over his eye and say ‘that’s so metal,’ like the genre’s content. But really that’s not metal at all. Metal cannot bleed.

Metal is machine-music. It’s hard as industry. I cannot conceive of an acoustic metal band—unlike rock and roll, we need electricity and amplification to make metal. Though not necessarily guitars, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The Man Machine Tour, featuring A Life Once Lost, Author and Punisher, and Encrust, was an inspired lineup: not only did each band have its own distinct flavor, but each, in its own way, embodied those mechanical, industrial aspects of the genre. Continue reading »

Jan 292013

Welcome to Part 20 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three I’m announcing today, click here.

We’re down to the final week of this list. In almost all the installments that preceded this one, there was some kind of discernible theme or shared trait in the songs that I grouped together. There really isn’t one in this post, or at least not one that may conscious mind is able to identify. These are just three songs that grabbed hold of me pretty hard in 2012.


Most people I know who are fans of Woods of Ypres have been fans for a long time, and they’re devoted to a point of rare intensity. When they listen to the band’s final album, Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light, they can’t separate the album from the eerie coincidence of David Gold’s death just a handful of months after its recording. The album’s reflections on death are inseparable from, and magnified by, Gold’s own tragic passing. For them, the knowledge that this album was Woods’ last lends the music a special poignancy.

I am not one of those people. Until Woods 5, I had never listened to any of the band’s albums all the way through, and even my sampling of widely heralded songs was limited. Given my tastes, the band’s music just never clicked with me. I can’t even honestly say that Woods 5 seduced me all the way through; some of the songs included more goth rock vibes than suited my appetites. Continue reading »

Sep 142012

One last post for this Friday, with a focus on recently announced U.S./Canada tours.

First, it was announced today that Nachtmystium will be headlining the Dawn Over the Ruins of America tour, which also includes Jarboe (featuring Baleyyg) and Canada’s Weapon. All of the dates have not yet been released, but the ones that have are after the jump. Also, although I know Jarboe used to be in Swans, that’s about the extent of my knowledge about her work, and I know zip about Baleyyg. So if anyone has any insights, leave a comment. Nachtmystium and Weapon, of course, are must-see bands for yours truly. (Thanks to Utmu and Vonlughlio for the tip about this one.)

Second, Boston’s mighty Revocation will be headlining a tour, and A Life Once Lost and KEN Mode will be along for that ride. I’ve almost lost count of how many times I’ve seen Revocation, because they tour like there’s no tomorrow, and every damned show has been killer. And if you saw tomorrow’s earlier post about ALOL, well, you know how I feel about them. KEN Mode is another band I am very interested in seeing. Those dates are also after the jump.

Third, Lambgoat is reporting that Dying Fetus will be touring late this year with Cattle Decapitation and Cerebral Bore in tow. There’s been no official announcement, but Lambgoat has ferreted out three venues where this line-up has been announced so far. I’ll just sum up my thoughts about this tour as follows: HELLS FUCKING YEAH! Continue reading »

Sep 142012

Because I was too busy yesterday doing things I actually get paid to do and writing about vaginas, I didn’t get around to hunting the web for new shit to recommend until last night, by which point some of what I found had already spread around metal blogville like herpes at a swingers’ convention. But some people only seem to read this humble blog for their metal injections, so I’m including that stuff anyway. Also, because of my delay, I found way too many nuggets to cram into a single post, so there will be two this morning, this being the first. Here we go:


This is one of the items that spread rapidly around blogville. And here’s a back story about our connection to Philly’s ALOL:

Back in the day, I was massively hooked by their debut, A Great Artist. The intricate polyrhythmic interplay between the drums and the bass, the mid-range moaning of the guitar leads and assorted other guitar noise, and the high-end howling vocals made for a sweet combination.

I liked the next album, Hunter, even better — more deeply-carved Meshuggah-esque grooves, and even more incurably infectious riffs. I probably listened to that album as many times as I’ve listened to anything. The last album, 2007′s Iron Gag, was good, too, though I’d gotten so hooked on the band’s style that the musical course changes on it were personally disappointing — less Meshuggah and more Pantera, and a throatier vocal style from Bob Meadows.

Then, it appeared the band had broken up, and that was a huge bummer. But I discovered at the end of 2009 that ALOL wasn’t really history after all. At the end of that year, I read that the band was reviving and planned a new album in 2010 — and on the strength of that news, I put them on our January 1, 2010, list of the 21 albums I most wanted to hear in 2010.

Well, it took a bit longer than that. Continue reading »

Aug 012012

I confess that as you read this I will still be fast asleep.  I was out late last night with a big group of hard-partying friends and didn’t finish what I wanted to post for the beginning of this day. So there will be a delay, because who fuckin knows when I will wake up and how long it will take me to finish what I intended to deliver for you.

But all is not lost.  I do have this beautiful piece of news:  A Life Once Lost recently completed the recording sessions for their next album, and it’s name is Ecstatic Tranc, and it will be released by Season of Mist on October 23rd in North America and on November 16th in the rest of the world.

I love this band, though I have a feeling the new album won’t sound much like their last one, since that was five years ago, and the world of metal has changed.

But the news makes me remember this song from their 2007 album, Hunter:


[audio:|titles=A Life Once Lost – Rehashed]
Jan 302012

(In this interview conducted by phone last month, NCS writer BadWolf caught up with Bob Meadows of Philadelphia’s A Life Once Lost, who have a new album in the works — the first since 2007’s Iron Gag. The band played the inaugural Metal Suckfest in New York City last November (reviewed by BadWolf in a two-part feature here and here), and the live photos accompanying this interview except for the one above were taken at that show for NCS by Nicholas Vechery.)

Bob Meadows is angry.

And why shouldn’t he be? As vocalist for A Life Once Lost, it’s part of his job description. More than that, his band has been jerked around within the industry on a near-continual basis for their entire career. It’s a common story, but a tragedy nonetheless. It’s been nearly five years since 2007’s Iron Gag album, and since then A Life Once Lost has gone through innumerable lineup changes.

But all that’s in the past. This year, the Philly bastards will release a new album on Season of Mist. They’ve already done some smaller gigs, as well as played the Metal Suckfest.

So why is Bob so angry? Maybe it’s got something to do with the toxic in-fighting that pulls our great art-form into infamy. It might also have something to do with the youngsters following in Bob’s footsteps. These Djent youngsters owe him some credit as well: A Life Once Lost mixed Meshuggah-like math grooves with melodic hardcore sensibility (before Hot Topic co-opted that sound) over a decade ago.

His views on these and other subjects, after the jump! Continue reading »

Dec 082011

(The METAL SUCKFEST that took place in NYC on Nov 4 and 5 was a milestone event — the first U.S. metal festival organized and co-sponsored by a metal blog, and Metal Sucks pulled together a fucktastic line-up to boot. So, NCS decided to document the event up-close and personal by sending two emissaries — NCS writer BadWolf and photographer Nicholas Vechery.  They returned intact, and this is BadWolf’s report of the festival’s second day, along with Nick’s photos. We’ll have interviews to come in the days ahead.)

Photographer Nicholas Vechery and I returned for the second day of Suckfest even more hung over and disgruntled than on November 4th—we wanted to look and feel our best.

I learned about the sad passing of GWAR’s Cory Smoot earlier that day, so I was all frowns… until we walked into the Grammercy and found it bustling. Tickets to the second day must have outsold the first two-to-one.

What’s more, people seemed excited. No one is very visibly excited about anything in New York except exiting a subway train (especially the Green line, ugh!). A mass of goat-throwers chit-chatted, drank, acted like an honest-to-god community—something rare for me, the Midwestern Metalhead.

Community, people coming together—that’s what makes festivals amazing. Continue reading »

Aug 292010

Sunday mornings really aren’t any better than Saturday mornings, but we’ve run that riff already, so no more NCS prescriptions about how to get your ass in gear (at least today). Instead, this is just another installment of MISCELLANY.

We did one of these earlier in the week, but we’re still catching up, so we’re doing another one. May have to do even one more before next weekend, because the list of things to check out has grown to ginormous proportions.

To remind you of the ground rules: I randomly check out music I haven’t heard or videos I haven’t seen, trying to stick with bands I’ve never heard before, and keeping my fingers crossed that it will be worth the time. I make a list during the week of things that come our way and then go exploring without much rhyme or reason.

It would be like throwing darts at the list, except I’m not allowed any sharp implements. So I just imagine I’m throwing darts. In my mind, I’ve only put out someone’s eye once.

What’s fun about this game is that I don’t know what I’m gonna find, or whether it will be worth a shit, except (usually) I know it will be metal. Here’s what I heard or saw, in the order of doing it, for this installment of the series: Mytra (Hungary), A Life Once Lost (U.S.), Vulture Industries (Norway), SiC (Faroe Islands), and Loading Data (France?).

Yes, this is a long list, but it’s fucking Sunday. What else are you gonna do today? You can hear and watch what I heard and saw, after the jump . . . Continue reading »