Jul 072012

I apologize to all of our faithful readers. I usually put our first-of-the-day posts to bed the night before, so that I can sleep like a disgusting sloth with mouth open and drool oozing like alien slime while people in some time zones even earlier than mine read what I wrote the night before.

BUT, tonight there’s a catch to those best-laid plans: I’m too fucked up to write much on this Friday night, but I still intend to sleep like someone in cryosleep a century from now on their way to Alpha Centauri.

Which means I just have a few quick pieces of metal, some news that involves free music, and very few other words. And with luck, my wife won’t wake up in the night and decide the time has finally come to string me up by my ankles and bathe in my gore, and I’ll be able to correspond with you again on the morrow. And if there are no more posts on Saturday besides this one, you’ll know my luck ran out.


Not long ago we featured the dark, eye-catching artwork for the new album by Vancouver’s Auroch. Today (or from the perspective of you as you read this, yesterday), they or their label chose to premier a track on Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, which as far as I can tell didn’t even give them their own unique post, instead including their track in a player that begins with Testament. Who am I to question such decisions? Continue reading »

Apr 052012

In a year that has already delivered enough superb tech-death releases to give frenetic-metal addicts a month’s worth of wet dreams, we now have one more from a remote locale: South Africa. But the debut album by Bloodbeast is not the precision music of accelerated, machine-like aliens. It has no avant-garde injections of jazz fusion. It isn’t the musical equivalent of a chalkboard crammed with the formulas of quantum mechanics.

No, Bloodlust is the maniacal fever dream of ghouls, a canvas sprayed with blood splatter, a landscape decimated by a lurching horde of the electrified undead. It’s a technically masterful fusion of death, grind, and thrash that takes no prisoners and wants to drink your spinal fluid. I was fortunate to get an advance listen to the music, but thankfully, the album has now become available for everyone on Bandcamp.

Bloodbeast is a new band, but its members are veterans of the S.A. metal underground. The band’s leader, Van Zyl Alberts (aka Van666), was also the guitarist and co-vocalist of Architecture of Aggression, a long-running progressive death metal band we’ve written about several times at this site (e.g., here). The other members have paid their dues in outfits such as Bile of Man, Fuck the Corpses, and Demented Martyr. Joining together in Bloodbeast, they’ve clearly found a musical vehicle that suits their interests and successfully integrates their talents. Continue reading »

Dec 202011

(Architecture of Aggression is a South African band who’ve been creating massive, bone-grinding, head-spinning, technically inventive, progressive death metal for more than 16 years (check out this post if they’re a name you don’t recognize). I asked one of the band’s co-founders, Van Zyl Alberts (aka Van666) to contribute to our year-end series of posts on 2011’s best metal, and here’s his list of recommendations.)

1. Pestilence Doctrine

Brilliant, epic, powerful, technical, and catchy, with great crushing riffs, and jazzy bass lines and guitar solos. A modern Classic. Like a slow cancer that consumes your body, Pestilence reminds everybody that playing as fast as humanly possible, which is the modern trend, doesn’t necessarily make you more heavy. For fans of Old School Death Metal. Continue reading »

Sep 132011

I’ve been writing an irregular series on South African metal, relying largely on recommendations from South African metalheads to pick the bands. So far, I’ve managed three installments covering 9 bands. I’ve made some very nice discoveries, and I do plan to do a fourth installment sometime soon.

Architecture of Aggression were one of the widely recommended bands who were the subject of the third installment (here). Formed by two brothers, Van Zyl and Anton Alberts, they’ve been in existence for 16 years, creating their first demo album (Under Destruction) in 1997. That was followed by another demo album in 1998 (self-titled), a further demo in 2000 (Cruci-fiction), a 2004 EP (Manifest Destiny), and two albums:  Democracy: Consent to Domination (2006) and Acts of God – 4000 Years of Phallusy (2009), the last of which is the album I sampled for the third installment of the SA metal series. To crib from what I wrote about AOA previously:

As for the music, think of a heavily armored tank propelled by a couple of jet engines. It’s massive and bone-grinding, but at the same time it flies. The riffing is technical and varied, the rubbery bass is bounding, the un-triggered drums are crushing, and on top of all that you get a variety of agile guitar solos that sometimes sound downright jazzy.

This is complex, technically demanding, and amazingly inventive death metal. Think of Necrophagist, Autopsy, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Hate Eternal, but with avant-garde bursts of instrumental extravagance, and you’ll begin to get a sense of what AOA is all about.

With that background, here’s the reason for today’s post: AOA has uploaded their EP and two full-length albums to the Bandcamp platform, at this location: https://architectureofaggression1.bandcamp.com. (more after the jump, including song streams . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 152011

When it comes to NCS, I have trouble making plans and sticking with them, because I have an impulse-control problem. I get distracted easily, which is a serious weakness for someone like me who enjoys a broad swath of metal. Every day, new music appears, often from unexpected sources, and I’m easily carried off in some unintended and uncharted direction. I offer this confession as a feeble excuse for allowing almost three months to pass since Part 2 of our series on metal from South Africa. I’ll go ahead and say right now that there WILL be a Part 4 — and I have no fucking clue when it will appear.

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s move forward with Part 3 before I lose my concentration and fly off again. As many of you longer-term readers know, we didn’t intend to create a series on SA metal. It just happened. We ran a post in April about three SA metal bands. That led to lots of recommendations about other bands, so we added a second post about three more bands, and that led to more recommendations, and so here we are.

In this installment, we’re focusing (in no particular order) on Riddare av Koden, Warthane, and Architecture of Aggression. I picked these bands in part because I got very enthusiastic recommendations about them from SA metalheads and partly because they’ve got songs that you can go get for yourself instead of being stuck solely with YouTube clips or other music players that keep you tethered to your computer if you want to listen. I also happen to really like what I’ve heard from all three bands. So, here we go . . . after the jump. Continue reading »