Jan 022019


(Here’s the third installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

Now that I’ve broken it out from the tremendous bulk of the rest of my year-end collective, I’m amused by how much world traveling this specific subset of the list does. It spends a surprising amount of time in France (which has done very well for itself these past few years), some time in the States, some time in Australia, and even manages to touch base with both Canada and Sweden for a few. It is also probably the most varied intsallment so far — the tech-death crews make a strong play here, but you’ll also start seeing some of the prefix-core resurgence that happened recently, as well as some ugly-as-fuck grind (on two fronts). And then there’s however in the hell Author & Punisher might be described.

Oh, did I spoil that Author & Punisher is making an appearance here? Whoops. Well too bad, Beastland is fucking killer but if you want to know why you’ll have to read on and see just where the San Diego noise-engineer found himself. There’s still a lot of list left to go, and knowing me, at least two-thousand more words of intro paragraph left to be written somewhere so let’s get the third chunk of this motherfucker going. Continue reading »

Mar 192018


(The Canadian death metal wizards in Augury will be releasing a new album on March 30 via The Artisan Era, and today we present DGR’s extensive review of this eagerly awaited new work.)


This first third of 2018 is proving to be an insane time for groups coming back from the obscure voids of space to which they had retreated, and the angular prog-tech-death madness that Augury specializes in is the latest example of that trend. Prior to the March 30 release of the band’s upcoming album Illusive Golden Age, the gap between their previous two releases Concealed and Fragmentary Evidence was a little under five years. When Illusive Golden Age sees the light of day via The Artisan Era, that previous gap will have been eclipsed, as Illusive Golden Age comes sailing in at a little under nine years since Augury’s last disc.

Through Illusive Golden Age’s eight songs, Augury basically pick up right where they left off. By the opening notes of its title song, there is absolutely no need to make guesses about whether this is an Augury disc or not — everything is served up on an incredibly dense plate from moment one, and from there Augury zig-zag through an increasingly complicated obstacle course, purpose-built to leave its listeners with the equivalent of auditory whiplash. Continue reading »

Feb 172018

Augury – photo by Mélany Champagne


I made a resolution last night: I resolved that henceforth I will post no more than two premieres a day, and only one per day if it’s a full album stream. During the week just ended, I posted 14 premieres, and two of those were full albums.

I might not care about the volume if I could be content to write little more than, “Here — listen to this!”, and then just provide the music stream. But where’s the fun in that? Besides the fun, I feel a compulsion to include reviews with the premieres, even if only the bands or labels might pay attention to what I write. Given that mindset, working on a big flood of premieres tends to constrict my ability to do anything else — such as compile round-ups like this one.

Full disclosure: I’ve made resolutions like this one before, and couldn’t stick to them. Did I mention that we’ll have another premiere tomorrow? It’s really good!

Anyway, as you can see, this is a two-part round-up. I decided to collect some older arrivals in this first part, organized alphabetically. My colleague DGR suggested all of them for a newsy post that would have been timely if I’d been able to get it done when he made the suggestions. Maybe some of these will still be news to a few of you despite the delay. They also involve higher profile bands; I’ve got some lesser-known groups for Part 2. Continue reading »

May 262012

There are times when I catch myself about to say that Quebec is the current tech-death capital of the world, and then I’m reminded by things like the new song from Nile which premiered yesterday that such a claim would be an overstatement. But not by a lot. Quebec seems loaded up with excellent tech-death bands — including Cryptopsy, Gorguts, Neuraxis, and Beyond Creation — and Augury is certainly near the head of the pack.

Their first two albums, Concealed (2004) and Fragmentary Evidence (2009), were both true mind-benders of progressive technical metal, dazzling in their complexity and ever-changing styles, both imminently memorable and satisfyingly brutal.

I had the great pleasure of seeing the band perform twice in 2010 (and reviewed those performances here and here), once on The American Defloration Tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and again on the Panic Over North America Tour with Soilwork. Vocalist and co-lead guitarist Patrick Loisel was especially impressive, perhaps even more so because he’s older than your average death metal frontman and in his day job he teaches history and science.

At the time of those tours, Augury was playing without fretless bassist Dominic ‘Forest’ Lapointe and drummer Étienne Gallo, both of whom were members of Augury when the band recorded Concealed and Fragmentary Evidence. Lapointe had left in February 2010 to focus on another band, Montreal’s Beyond Creation, whose amazing 2011 debut, The Aura, we reviewed here. If you want to have your mind blown by some six-string fretless bass shred, check out this video we featured at NCS of him doing a playthrough of Beyond Creation’s “Omnipresent Perception”. Continue reading »

Feb 012011

The first month of the year has come and gone. January brought those of us in Seattle some typically ass-sucking winter weather, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as the brutality dished out by the weather gods on our metal brothers and sisters in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. And of course, our readers ins places like Russia, and Finland, and Sweden are probably laughing their asses off reading our complaints about our winter weather. So, we’ll just shut up about that.

Besides, January brought all sorts of great new metal to our tender ears, so who gives a shit about the weather anyway? And you know what else January brought? It brought news of still more metal goodness on the way — great bursts of audio sunshine in our collective futures that will part these winter clouds and leave them whimpering in cloudy tatters.

Okay, maybe we should leave poetry to the poets and just get on with this next monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, where we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones:

AJATARRA: “AJATTARA — the Finnish band featuring former AMORPHIS frontman Pasi Koskinen (a.k.a. Itse Ruoja Suruntuoj) — will release its seventh album, Murhat (“Murders”) on February 2 via Osasto-A Records. Murhat is available for streaming in its entirety on the AJATTARA Facebook page.”  (much more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 292010

Soilwork is in the midst of a headlining tour in support of its recent album The Panic Broadcast, and the three perpetrators of NO CLEAN SINGING were in the audience when the tour blew through El Corazon in Seattle on July 27.

The bands on this tour are an interesting mix. No two of them play the same style of metal. We had Soilwork‘s melodic metalcore, Death Angel‘s supercharged thrash, hyper-technical death metal from Augury, Mutiny Within‘s aggressive power metal, Swashbuckle‘s pirate thrash, and melodic death metal from Seattle’s Deathmocracy.

It was also a long night, and those (like us) who were there from start to finish got their money’s worth: Deathmocracy took the stage at about 7 p.m., and Soilwork finished a 90-minute set at 12:30 in the morning. In a nutshell, we got thoroughly deep-fried in a vat of molten metal.

In this post, we’ll give you some brief notes on the performances and a collection of our reliably half-assed photos of each band — after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 182010

Hot off the presses — and we do mean hot! Soilwork has just announced a headlining North American tour this summer with some truly mind-blowing support from Bay-area thrash legends Death Angel and tech-death destroyers Augury. Also on the tour: Mutiny Within and Swashbuckle.

Not too fucking shabby, huh? Particularly because they’re coming to Seattle. For a list of dates and venues for the other perfectly decent cities where they’re going, read on after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 112010

It’s not uncommon that when we see a national tour on its Seattle stop, there’s one or two bands that caused us to shell out for the tickets and one or two that we can pretty much take or leave — or worse yet, that we simply have to endure, as part of the price paid to see who we really want to see.

But that sure as hell wasn’t our reaction when we first heard about The American Defloration Tour. Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura, Augury, and HateSphere. We would have paid to see any one of those bands. To see them all on the same bill was just a fucking bonanza!

So when that stellar line-up took the stage at El Corazon on the night of March 9, all three of your NCS Co-Authors and our entourage were there to bear witness to the awesomeness, and we now file this report, along with a few photos (for which we apologize, because we forgot to bring the good camera and used a borrowed camera that hadn’t been charged and ran out of juice and, well, shit happens).  (read on after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 052010


One week ago, on another day that wasn’t a Monday, we published a feature called Math Metal Monday about four technical metal bands whose albums we really enjoyed during 2009.  And then, within a matter of days, I realized we’d left off three bands we listened to repeatedly in ’09 that well and truly belonged on that list: Soreption, Obscura, and Dismal Lapse. Shit!  What were we to do?

And then it hit me.  There would be another Monday!  In fact, another Monday would come pretty damn quick!  Man, was I relieved.

OK, you’re thinking, why is this dude so impressed with himself in figuring out there would be another Monday? It’s not like he invented the electric light, or some shit like that. But what I’m thinking is, I’ve so shredded my brain with all the metal I listened to over the holidays that I’m lucky to remember there’s even a day called Monday. Unfortunately, I still can’t remember what day Monday is.

Anyway, please read about those three overlooked bands after the jump. Continue reading »