Jan 062018
 

 

I had a very busy week, both on and off our site, so busy that I wasn’t able to cobble together a round-up of news and new music. However, I did try to keep abreast of what was coming out, and my list of intriguing tracks that appeared over just the last week is YUGE — so YUGE that I’m afraid I’ll have to resort to an OVERFLOWING STREAMS post on Monday, one in which I don’t do anything but just stitch together new music streams and release details without commentary.

But I decided I would do something for today as a head-start (in addition to working on a SHADES OF BLACK post for tomorrow), and here’s what I’ve done: I picked the latest recommendations from three of my NCS colleagues, and then added one of my own, which happens to be the latest new song premiere that I’ve listened to. But first, a news item…

PANOPTICON

A few days ago the administrator of Panopticon’s official Facebook page posted the artwork you see above, along with these few words: “Slip case cover for the new double album. the scars of man on the once nameless wilderness. Out in March on Bindrune Recordings in the USA and Nordvis in Europe. Art by Hanna Larsson of Sólfjall Design.” Continue reading »

Sep 022016
 

Allegaeon-Proponent For Sentience

 

(Here we have Andy Synn’s review of the much-anticipated new album by Colorado’s Allegaeon.)

So I’ve already seen a few reviews for this album eking their way out onto the interweb, several of which have gone down the desperate, obsequious route of “OMG guys! This is the best album ever! It’s perfect! Allegaeon are the future of metal! Please pay attention me!”

And don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a great album, and I’ve been a big fan of the Colorado quintet myself for quite some time now, it’s just that I fail to see the value in such shameless fawning and bootlicking. Do these people really think there’s some sort of value in blowing smoke up a band’s ass like this? When everything is written about IN BLOCK CAPITALS HYPERBOLE!!! and when every album is given a 10/10 rating… what’s the damn point?

Heck, as much as it must be nice to be praised for your work, the majority of the bands I’ve dealt with and spoken to over the years have told me that they’d rather read one well-thought-out review that offered a balance of creative compliments and constructive criticism than ten sprawling screeds written by people who either clearly have their own agenda to promote, or who are simply unable to write something that isn’t just gushingly saccharine and sycophantic.

Anyway, now that I’ve got that little rant out of my system we can get down to the business of reviewing (and praising) Proponent for Sentience, Allegaeon’s fourth full-length album, and their first with new vocalist Riley McShane. Continue reading »

Jul 202016
 

Heaven Shall Burn-Wanderer

 

In yesterday’s Part 1 of this large round-up, I said I would post Part 2 later the same day. Someday I will learn that part-time metal bloggers who have actual paying jobs and/or families who occasionally need their attention should not make forecasts of what they plan to do on the blog. Not even what they think they will accomplish later the same day, or even in the next hour. That’s just laying the groundwork for stepping on your own crank, so to speak.

Anyway, here’s Part 2, which unlike yesterday focuses on new or newish music that I wanted to recommend rather than simply announcements. One silver lining to the delay is that it enabled me to add the first item in this collection, which appeared late yesterday.

HEAVEN SHALL BURN

Our small band of beleaguered writers at NCS includes some ardent (perhaps even slavish) fans of Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn. I count my own self on the slavish end of the spectrum. And so yesterday was a banner day, because… Continue reading »

Mar 152015
 

 

(In this post Austin Weber updates us with news of forthcoming metal tours.)

Metal Injections Presents: Cryptopsy/Soreption/Erimha US Tour

It’s been several years since Cryptopsy have toured the United States, but now they’re coming back, and they’re bringing along some sick support acts to sweeten the deal. Soreption is definitely a favorite around here at NCS. Their sleek combination of mechanical grooves and technical death metal is incredible, and last year’s Engineering The Void was an amazing effort by the band. US Death metal act Disgorge and Montreal-based black/death group Erimha round out the tour bill. Continue reading »

Jun 302014
 

 

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Colorado-based Allegaeon, which is out now on the Metal Blade label.)

I really fucking like technical melodic death metal. I like melodic death metal in general, but when you’ve also got technical guitar showpieces that call to mind melodic lines written by great classical composers of old, it’s just a trip. Allegaeon have been on top of this particular game, as far as newer American blood is concerned.

I’ve really enjoyed the way these guys have played with their sound since they first began putting out music; the evolution they’ve undergone has been interesting to watch. Their self-titled EP was simply a solid, excellent tribute to the melodic death metal style as a whole, with the band wearing their influences on their sleeves. Their debut Fragments of Form and Function was a technical marvel for the style, while Formshifter took a grittier turn and turned up the focus on groove.

I have to admit, however, that while I loved Formshifter, I was slightly turned off by the heavier groove direction. While the music still had the signature Allegaeon tech-melodeath style going on, that aspect of the music was diminished to accommodate the magnification of groove. Which is why I am glad that Elements of The Infinite now exists. It proves that a band who I had honest fears might be stagnating into groove-driven drudgery were merely revealing a different shade of their sound. Returning with the technicality and full-frontal speed, Allegaeon have stormed back this time, not as a MELODIC death metal band, but as a melodic DEATH METAL band, if that makes any sense. Continue reading »

Jun 182014
 

I haven’t yet listened to all of Allegaeon’s new album (Elements of the Infinite), but my comrade TheMadIsraeli has. He says it’s their best album yet. I’m not going to contradict him without hearing it, especially because the three songs I’ve heard so far tend to substantiate his claim. Those three are “1.618” (streaming here), “Threshold of Perception” (streaming here), and the one that debuted today in video form — “Our Cosmic Casket”.

The video for “Our Cosmic Casket” is Part 2 of a story that began in the video for “1.618”. There will allegedly be two more parts coming our way. Whereas “1.618” brought us the highly amusing Wheel of Sub-Genres, “Our Cosmic Casket” bring us the event horizon of a black hole approaching Earth, with the song’s instrumental pyrotechnics delivering the kind of adrenaline flow you’d get in the final minutes before the atmosphere got sucked into a wormhole, assuming you didn’t decided to beer up for the final cataclysm. Continue reading »

May 072014
 

Here’s the second of today’s planned round-ups of new and noteworthy music and informational items that your fiends at NCS have selectively sifted from the slurry of the interhole for your enjoyment and edification.

BELPHEGOR

It seems to be “Seth Siro Anton” day at NCS. First we helped premiere a new song from his band Septicflesh, and now we have the unveiling of his very recognizable artwork for Conjuring the Dead — the forthcoming 10th studio album by Belphegor. The album was recorded at Mana Studios with Hate Eternal’s Eric Rutan. It’s due for release by Nuclear Blast on August 8 in North America and the EU and on August 11 in the UK and France.

More than three years have passed since Blood Magick Necromance, and so we’re pretty damned hungry for some new Belphegor here at NCS. We’re ready to be fed! As soon as we have music to play for you, you can be sure we’ll do that without delay. To keep tabs on Belphegor, their FB page is at this place. Continue reading »

Jun 222013
 

Happy fucking Saturday to one and all. In this post I’ve collected information about a random assortment of new tours that have recently been announced. But first, I have to mention a tour that it seems was announced a bit prematurely.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – ANAAL NATHRAKH?

Two days ago it was announced that Fleshgod Apocalypse would be leading ‘The Lords Of Extremity Tour‘ in the UK this October, with support from Anaal NathrakhBound By Exile, and Scordatura. There were press releases, official-looking poster art, and sponsorship by the likes of Nuclear Blast and Terrorizer. And who in their right mind would miss the chance to see Fleshgod Apocalypze and Anaal Nathrakh on the same bill?

There was just this one little problem. Here’s a statement that appeared on Anaal Nathrakh’s Facebook page about 3 hours ago:

“For anyone hoping to see us in the UK in October: It appears we have been announced for a string of UK dates with Fleshgod Apocalypse in October. We did NOT agree to play these shows. Repeat: at no point have we ever said that we would play these dates, or that Mick would even be in Europe at the time. Continue reading »

Sep 022012
 

It may be Labor Day Weekend here in the U.S., and although it’s fair to say that I’m fucking off even more than usual with a 3-day weekend to enjoy, I’m also still prowling the interhole in search of new metal experiences worth sharing with our beloved readers, without whom I would just be talking to myself like the average homeless person. And man oh man, did I find some intriguing items yesterday.

I knew only one of these bands before seeing and hearing what I saw — Allegaeon. But we’ve slobbered over them a lot at NCS already, and they’re getting buckets of slobber from fans and critics already, so despite the fact that their new video is indeed awesome, I’m putting them last today. In front of them come three more obscure collectives that deserve the front end of the spotlight.

BROOD OF HATRED

I’m pretty sure that the first and last time I wrote about a metal band from Tunisia was in July 2010, when the subject was a band named Barzakh, in a series on Metal From North Africa. Yesterday I found another Tunisian band named Brood of Hatred, thanks to the wonderful Middle Eastern-based metal blog, Metality. This past March, Brood of Hatred released their debut EP, New Order of Intelligence, which is available for free download on Bandcamp (here). But though I’m now interested in hearing that, what I heard (and saw) yesterday that grabbed my attention was something even more recent.

It’s a brand new video for a new single called “Cacophony In Creation” that will appear on the band’s debut album, Skinless Agony. The song is excellent, both very well written and very well performed.  Continue reading »

May 152012
 

(We’ve been following (and reporting) the news about Allegaeon’s new album very closely, and now we have TheMadIsraeli’s review of Formshifter.)

Melodic death metal has not really flourished in the U.S despite its popularity (which led to the metalcore movement) and ultimately hasn’t seen much action within its territories.  By my lights, only two melodic death metal bands have started in America who have ever been worth a shit — The Absence and Allegaeon.

The Absence have always been decidedly about blatant old-school worship (really fucking good worship) of past heroes, while Allegaeon sought to combine Swedish majesty with American grit, netting them a killer debut EP and an even more musically accomplished album debut, Fragments of Form and Function, which had titanic grooves, ferocious serpentine riffs, and epic melodies all about.  An debut as staggeringly strong as that puts a lot of pressure on a band to succeed the next time around.

Though it’s a cliche to say so, the sophomore release really is the most dreaded album of a band’s career. It is where a band either cement their status as a legitimate musical force or torch their progress to date, then and there.  Fortunately for Allegaeon and their fans, Formshifter is a bewilderingly powerful album that is an essential of the year.

A couple things are different this time around.  The band have switched to 8-string guitars, which often results not only in riffing that’s extremely technical and varied, but also in some of Allegaeon’s most brutal, fat, and consuming moments when the time arrives to throw down in a song.  This particular change has been really positive — with the switch to 8 strings, Allegaeon have written riffs that have quite a bit more majesty, pomp, and circumstance than ANYTHING they wrote on Fragments of Form and Function. Continue reading »