May 062013

What do you do when you get flooded with tantalizing news and new music over the span of 24 hours, and it’s all too much to cover in your usual long-winded style of prose (I don’t mean your long-winded style, I mean mine)? You swallow all those words and you do this . . . really short blurbs about many items . . . from Howl, The Resistance, Strychnia, The Absence, Darkane, Mordbrand, and After the Burial. Whew!


Today, Rhode Island’s Howl premiered a new official music video for “Demonic”, a song off their new album Bloodlines, which is out now and which features some incredibly eye-catching cover art. “Demonic” is a cross between scorching and crushing. Scorshing? It’s catchy, too. The video comes next . . . Continue reading »

Sep 082011

Last year, Andy Synn reviewed After the Burial’s 2010 album, In Dreams, and was underwhelmed. I was, too. After high expectations, it was indeed one of the most disappointing releases of the year. I have a sad feeling that ATB has left the brilliant days of Rareform behind forever.

So I really can’t explain why I watched the band’s just released official video for an In Dreams song called “Pendulum”. There are moments in the song when the band latches onto a riff that at least conjures up memories of Rareform, but the rest of the song just comes way too close to generic metalcore.

I guess the video is an attempt to sex-up the song, or rather convince everyone that it will sex you up if you listen to it. Y’know, take a stereotype of repressed teenagers (girls in a Catholic school) and show how they get all uninhibited and rebellious when listening to the rad music of ATB. I thought it was a little creepy, in addition to being grossly cliched. So, why am I including it in today’s NCS posts? Fuck if I know. Anyway, the video is after the jump. Continue reading »

Nov 242010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we’re stepping aside again to make way for another album review by our UK contributor Andy Synn. It’s about the latest release, In Dreams, from one of NCS’s most beloved bands — AFTER THE BURIAL — but brace yourselves, because Andy is underwhelmed with the effort — and backs up his opinion in detail. Comments please!]

Apologies all, but I’m afraid this is going to be my first ever mainly negative review.

To qualify myself for this, I’d like to state that although I found Forging A Future Self to be a little stock for the majority of its running time, the band’s sophomore release Rareform remains one of my favourite albums of the more modern iteration of metal. It’s a skillful display of technicality and melody, mixed with a sense of interesting and progressive song-writing and a great sense of (non-derivative) Meshuggah-influenced groove. It had energy to spare and was organic in its ability to shift styles and tones.

Unfortunately, the third album In Dreams seems to have forgotten much of the positive growth demonstrated by Rareform, aiming for a more derivative and mass-appeal based sound. In a move similar to much of the “djent” movement (and also in a way reminiscent of the development of UK hardcore darlings Architects) the band have regressed to a more simplistic, and arguably less “metal”, sound. Now whilst not every record needs to be “tr00”, “kvlt”, or whatever is the precisely elitist terminology of the day, this record comes across as rather forced and lacking in certain departments, leading me to wonder if the band have lost a lot of interest in the “metal” element of their sound. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 232010

While I was away on vacation I didn’t completely neglect what was happening in the world of metal, but I confess I didn’t spend the kind of time I usually spend keeping up on current developments. So over the weekend I did my best to catch up. It was kind of like swimming against a flood tide. It’s amazing how much happens on a daily basis. Of course, I find that a lot of the bulletins, press releases, and blurbs that fill up the likes of Blabbermouth and band pages on Facebook and MySpace are pretty uninteresting.

But even ignoring the boring and utterly useless streams of bullshit that pass for metal news much of the time, I still found all sorts of happenings over the last 12 days that were quite interesting, and even exciting — the kind of occurrences we would have written about on this site if we’d been able to stay on top of our game. The downside of writing about them now is that for many of you, it will be old news. But what the fuck. We’re going to write about some of those items anyway, stale though they may be. Some things still taste pretty good even when they’re beyond their sell-by date. And besides, maybe some of you missed them, just like I did while I was off staring at clouds.

It may take a couple or three posts to catch up, but there’s no time like the present to get started. So today we’ve got a collection of items about Animals As Leaders, From ExileAfter the Burial, and I Declare War. That’s what you’ll find after the jump, along with some music videos . . . Continue reading »

Nov 122010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post comes to us from Dan, who apparently is now called The Artist Formerly Known As Dan. Dan is an American temporarily transplanted to Adelaide, Australia. He has a list for you.]

So, I realize it’s cliche to make one of these lists (and maybe a bit premature?), but they’re usually useful for several reasons.  Firstly, it allows me to shamelessly plug the bands I like and push my agenda on you.  Secondly, it allows you to post lists of the records I forgot and tell me why my first list was wrong.  I can then subsequently go back to the records I may have forgotten or never owned in the first place.  Everyone should theoretically win here, since there is always music overlooked or forgotten about throughout the year.  So, let’s begin.

10. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza – Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events

Technical, but so brutal.  A perfect recommendation for someone who listens to too much vanilla-breakdown deathcore (and, for some of you, “too much” implies listening to any deathcore at all).  I highly recommend seeing them in concert; they bring tons of energy.  Yippie-Kay-Yay-Motherfucker.

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

Nov 022010

Another month has passed. Another Halloween has come and gone. Here in Seattle, we are looking forward to what is supposed to be an especially wet, dark, cold, sucktastic winter — which is really saying something, given that all Seattle winters are wet, dark, cold, and sucktastic. If they weren’t, we would have the population of Los Angeles, so there’s a silver lining to that massively dark cloud.

Yes, the seasons come and they go, the great wheel of life rolls forward, and we are all one month closer to our end, whatever it may be. But as time inexorably passes, new things happen. In particular, we find out about new metal gestating in studios around the world, struggling and kicking and yearning to erupt into the air, screaming like a banshee.

And that brings us to another monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we cobble together a list of forthcoming new albums, cribbing like rag-gatherers and lint-pickers from PR releases and metal news sites like Blabbermouth in order to construct a line-up of new music that at least we’re interested in hearing, even if no one else is.

What we do in this series of posts is update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) After the jump, in alphabetical order, is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or new info about some of the previously noted releases. Continue reading »

Feb 052010

Ah, the visceral* joys of live Core — as in hardcore, metalcore, and deathcore. Some of the best bands in each of those genres are featured in the current MOSH LIVES II tour, and your three NCS Co-Authors were there when the tour hit Seattle’s El Corazon on the night of February 3. We bring you this report and a batch of our usual amateurish photos.

(*Visceral: from the Latin word viscera, referring to the internal organs of the body, specifically those within the chest or abdomen. Definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

1.  Felt in, or as if in, the viscera
2. Not intellectual
3. Dealing with crude or elemental emotions
4. Of, relating to, or located on or among the viscera)

Man, talk about getting your money’s worth. Emmure, Terror, After the Burial, Miss May I, Thick As Blood, and local bands Helles and Dire Wolf. In a word, this show was epic. (read more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 232009

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »