Aug 062010

Man, have we got some breaking news for those of you who occasionally enjoy the sensation of leaving the caves where you live and spending a night in a different kind of cave — one that’s filled with really loud, skull-splattering metal and other cave-dwellers like yourselves.

We’ve just gotten confirmed dates for two new tours that make us gleeful with anticipation. Bet you can’t guess which ones.

Oh, wait. I guess you can guess which ones.

Well, bet you can’t guess the dates and places where these two tours will descend in order to lay waste to paying cave-dwellers. S’okay, you don’t have to guess, because both tour schedules are laid out in all their glory after the jump.

In our humble opinion, these will be two of the fall’s best tours. Not that it matters to you, but we’re particularly stoked because they’re both coming to a cave near us — way the fuck up here in the Northwest corner of the U.S. And there are Canadian dates on one of them, too.

(check it out after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 262010

Earlier today we posted an album review without naming the band or any of the songs. Standing alone, that was a pretty useless act. What good is a review if readers don’t know who the fuck we’re talking about? But we did have a reason.

The band whose album we reviewed is Impending Doom, and some people tend to love them or dismiss them not because of the music but because they’re a Christian metal band — not just a band whose members happen to be Christians, but a band whose songs are inspired by their faith and who tour in order to spread the message.

The consequence is that you can’t read a review of their music without half the review being about the fact that they’re an unabashed Christian metal band — which is probably just fine with them.

But here at NCS, we don’t love em or detest ’em because of that fact. We focus on the music and the performances, and we happen to dig both. So we thought, just for the hell of it, we’d see what kind of reactions you had from our review without having those reactions influenced by the fact that this is Impending Doom.

Now that the mystery has been resolved, we’ll run our review again with all the camouflage removed. If you read the earlier review with the identity concealed and aren’t interested in reading it again, even with some details revealed, we’ve added something new at the end of the post (after the jump) under the heading “NEW STUFF”.  As always, feel free to flame or praise or yawn in the comments . . . Continue reading »

May 182010

As time has passed, we’ve found ourselves listening less and less to metalcore bands that really made a big impression on us a few years back. You could chalk it up partly to changes in our musical tastes and partly to our feeling swamped by the flood of generic metalcore bands trying to capitalize on what used to be the latest fad by combining chug-heavy riffs and growling with rancid emocore clean singing. In fact, we started this blog in part out of frustration with that phenomenon.

But listening less and less doesn’t mean no listening at all. There’s still something about metalcore (done right) that triggers the same positive feeling we had when the genre first emerged.

As I Lay Dying is one of those metalcore bands whose albums have consistently struck a chord with us — and in fact, we’re probably doing them an injustice with the metalcore label, because it’s become something of a bad word in our vernacular.

So, we’ll just toss that label aside and say this: The band’s new album, The Powerless Rise, is song for song their best one yet, and we’re really digging it.

The cool album cover by J. Bannon features a red-eyed skull exploding from below, and a similar image is on the fold-out CD insert, but with the explosion coming out the top of the skull. It’s a fitting image, because The Powerless Rise includes some serious skull-exploders — some of the most intensely aggressive music As I Lay Dying has yet produced. Take off your neck-braces and prepare to injure yourselves all over again, because this album overflows with music that will compel you to bang yo heads.  (more after the jump, including a track to stream . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 102009


Resurrected death/thrash band Living Sacrifice has just released a new single, “Rules of Engagement” in advance of their forthcoming CD, The Infinite Order, due for release on January 26. It’s streaming on the band’s MySpace page, it’s available on iTunes, and it kicks ass.

This Arkansas band originally formed in 1988, broke up in 2002, and reunited in 2008 with a six-week US tour (“Stronger Than Hell”) headlined by Seattle metalcore band Demon Hunter. I had lost sight of the band during their hiatus and had not paid any serious attention to them even before the break-up — frankly, because of preconceptions based on their categorization as Christian metal. But I caught the “Stronger Than Hell” tour when it passed through Seattle, and their performance that night was one of the best I saw that year.  Hell, one of the best in many years. They totally tore up the place, and a worshipful packed crowd at El Corazon went crazy over them. So did I. Continue reading »