May 242018


The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here, and Day 2 here. Continue reading »

Nov 092017


(This is Todd Manning’s review of the new album by All Pigs Must Die, which was recently released by Southern Lord.)

Anyone who claims that Hardcore is incapable of reaching the levels of extremity produced by Metal obviously hasn’t heard All Pigs Must Die and in particular their latest full-length Hostage Animal. Make no mistake, the lines between Metal and Hardcore are becoming ever more blurry, but the roots of this album are unmistakable. Hostage Animal is born of pure Punk fury.

With a line-up boasting luminaries from such other outfits as Converge, Trap Them, and The Hope Conspiracy, All Pigs Must Die deftly combine an overwhelming sense of visceral violence with songwriting chops that successfully walk the tightrope between chaos and focused execution. Continue reading »

Sep 012017


I finished my work on the U.S. east coast last night, and for reasons I won’t bore you with, it turned into a sucky day. A few stiff drams of the amber bead improved my mood, which improved further as I listened to the music collected here. This was one of those interesting listening sessions where the things I picked to stream just kind of fit together (at least in my addled brain), as if someone had chosen them for a playlist.

I’m going the airport now for the trip home. There’s a premiere coming your way a bit later this morning, but otherwise this will be another short day for posts at our site. Things will get back to (ab)normal around here this weekend and next week.


I discovered All Pigs Must Die for the first time watching them kick the holy bejesus out of an audience at a Seattle club back in August 2011. They were taking part in Southern Lord’s The Power of the Riff tour. The next month they released their debut album, God Is War, which was a hard-to-define amalgam of punk, hardcore, crust, black metal, and death metal that was downright beastly. Continue reading »

Jun 262017


(About 14 months ago Neill Jameson began a series for our site in which he recommended music in the vein of dark and negative hardcore. We posted a second installment in the series a few months later (here), and after that Neill compiled other lists of recommendations in different genres, including black metal. You can find all of these previous lists via this link. Now we’re fortunate to have Neill back with us for a third collection of negative hardcore.)


A year or so ago I started with the project of forcing my tastes unto others through these lists and in the spirit of having two ouroboros tattoos I figured I’d circle back to the first subject, which was dark and negative hardcore. I’m fitting one extra in from my usual format because I think this will probably conclude this genre, at least for the moment. So with that fascinating introduction let’s just jump into it. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

(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 first day, along with Nick’s photos. BadWolf’s Day Two report will be tomorrow, and we’ll have interviews to come after that.)

Blogs will control the entertainment industry within our lifetimes (if the industry lasts our lifetimes). TMZ will overtake Entertainment Tonight. In some ways, Pitchfork has already taken Rolling Stone’s place.  Case in point: MetalSucks just threw the first (to my knowledge) blog-driven extreme music festival on US soil, Suckfest, and NCS was there to cover it.

On November 4, 2011, suckalos—yours truly included—flocked to the Grammercy Theater in Manhattan for seven hours of thrash. NCS photographer Nicholas Vechery and I rolled in sleep-deprived and sore after a 20+ hour bus trip from Ohio. The venue –the Grammercy Theater—was indeed a theater once and remains dark and sparse.

Initially, I thought the Grammercy would be too small to fit a decent crowd, but the first day was poorly attended.  Attendees shouted “Occupy Grammercy!” between songs, but otherwise behaved themselves too well by my standards. New York headbangers seem more reluctant to mosh than when I lived in the Big Apple. I smelled a division between lineup and audience—the first day’s bands all shared a background in hardcore punk, but in general MetalSucks caters to a more technical/progressive metal loving audience. The lineup was strong, but perhaps suited for a more intimate venue. After all, who wants to see Magrudergrind behind a security barrier?

Audience aside, the first day’s bands exploded over the lower-east side with white-knuckle intensity. Continue reading »

Sep 012011

All Pigs Must Die is a band I discovered for the first time watching them kick the holy bejesus out of an audience at a Seattle club on August 18. They were taking part in Southern Lord’s The Power of the Riff tour. I mainly went to see Pelican, but discovered a lot of other awesome bands in the process, APMD being one of them (see our partial review of that show here). Southern Lord has just recently released the band’s debut album, God Is War, and it’s a hard-to-define amalgam of punk, hardcore, crust, black metal, and death metal that’s beastly.

But God Is War isn’t the main reason for this post. The main reason is that APMD was persuaded by CVLT NATION to select songs for a mixtape that the site released for free download yesterday. The band explained what they did: “This is a selection of songs from bands that have have influenced us as a whole and as individual players. Our goal was to put together a range of music that has contributed to our musical output as a band, rather than compiling a list of more obscure songs we may each be listening to at the moment. So while you may have heard much of this before, we hope you enjoy hearing it all at once.”

Perhaps reflecting the eclectic mix of styles you can hear in APMD’s own music, the mixtape is a wide-ranging compilation, and a fucking good one to boot. In toto, it’s an hour and a half of music, and includes songs by 27 bands. Just a few examples: Electric Wizard, Amebix, Leviathan, Neurosis, Blue Oyster Cult, Pentagram, Hawkwind, Entombed, The Secret, Dismember, Trap Them, Black Sabbath, and Nick Cave. To stream all the music and to download the mixtape, visit the CVLT NATION page via this link. We’ve also included the full track list after the jump. Continue reading »

Aug 192011

I’ve decided that the best time to write a concert review is as soon after the show as possible, when the experience is fresh, when the emotions are immediate, when the music is still ringing in my head. The only downsides I can see are (a) I’m half-baked as I write this, and (b) I’m really fuckin’ tired. On the other hand, I’ve convinced myself that these may be pluses.

I saw THE POWER OF THE RIFF tour at a club called Neumos in Seattle tonight with some friends. The driving force behind this tour, which I think only has four West Coast stops (and somewhat different line-ups at each stop), is LA-based Southern Lord Records. It was a long night, and I didn’t see every band. Among other things, because tomorrow is a work-day, I couldn’t stay to see the headlining band, Winter, because they weren’t scheduled to start until well after midnight. But of the bands I saw, these made the strongest impression, in this order: All Pigs Must Die, Noothgrush, and Pelican.


Superior armageddon grindcore. Overheated and smoking, but even at their fastest, absolutely pulverizing with a compulsive groove. And it ain’t all speed. They downshift into lower gear in almost every song, and your throat seizes up, gasping for air, as they detonate sludge-bombs and then light things up again with grind rocketry. The band is as tight as a vacuum seal in outer space, and their vocalist is a magnetic presence, wielding the mic stand like a baton. I thought for sure he would cave in someone’s head before they finished their set. As one of my friends said, “it isn’t metal until someone gets hurt.”  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »