Jan 032019
 

 

(Here’s the fourth installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. The concluding Top 10 will appear tomorrow.)

A confession: For a long time the only words in this whole writeup prior to me breaking the whole thing into five parts and actually listing the bands was just a whole bunch of swear words. Even though I’ve been doing this for nine years now I still will occasionally try things I learned in writing classes over the years or even some things I’ve read about since then. Stream-of-consciousness writing is one of those, but the only thing I’ve learned from doing that in the context of talking about albums of the year is that I’ve assembled a pretty neat collection of permutations of the word ‘fuck’ that I’ve gathered from popular culture over the years.

It was at this point that I began going back through our review archives so that I could even remember what came out this year. Metal-Archives is also a tremendous help in that regard, since I often can’t remember what I talked about in January unless I’ve listened to it since then. It’s also one of my favorite things to do because I get to have a laugh at how far back I have to go in the segment tagged ‘Reviews’ on the site. I know that we’ve missed more than a few albums, but as it stands now,  our first review of something from 2018 is about forty pages back. And there can be anywhere between five to fifteen albums per page of results — depending on how we grouped them for each article.

I know that’s just reflective of the ‘relentless march of hashtag content’ that the internet has become, but it still makes me smile. If I ever need a reminder that heavy metal is — somehow, despite all the odds and all the editorials about rock music dying — a lively as all hell genre, that’s enough for me. I guess there will always be room for cathartic release via loud instruments, or the various experimentations outside of the tradional music sphere to which this genre loans itself. Continue reading »

Nov 242018
 


Gorod (in Prague, not Birmingham)

 

(Andy Synn spent last night at the Asylum in Birmingham, England, enjoying performances by Beyond Creation, Gorod, and Entheos, and has quickly provided the following report and videos.)

Despite how stultifyingly stressful this week has been for the most part, yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day all in all, as things at work took a major turn towards the positive, while the evening found me taking a trip over to Birmingham to catch three (out of four) great bands of the “technical” persuasion. Continue reading »

Oct 312018
 

Benighted

 

(As Andy Synn did before him, DGR seems to be making a late-season effort to get caught up on planned reviews before year-end LISTMANIA drowns us all. Three reviews today, and some undisclosed number of further ones ahead.)

What you are reading is the beginning of a feature that has taken way too long and gotten way out of control. Meant to be like its older band-roundup-review siblings in the shorter review realm, the reviews in this post become the subject of a whole lot more talking and yapping since I found so much to enjoy on each release. As a result, the finish line continually moved further and further back.

In fact, the Beyond Creation review was about half-written by the time our own Andy Synn posted his (alongside his review of Gorod’s Aethra for those who missed out) and almost wound up being deleted so as to not commit the NCS “Sin” of double-talking over each other. But pride won out on that front, because I was waaaaaay too fucking proud of the opening paragraphs to let it go, which naturally meant one needed to run his mouth for another….ten. You can see how this is playing out.

Needless to say, there are a few other reviews forthcoming that will have us traveling the world, hopefully to catch us up with all of the music that has washed over us in the past few months (not likely! there’s been so much!) in the form of big name releases, celebratory collections, even an alternate universe debut album from a local Sacramento group. What you’ll find here, therefore, is only the start, beginning with some late-September/early-October releases and carrying on from there. Continue reading »

Oct 222018
 

 

(Andy Synn has packaged two reviews into this post, addressing the new albums of Beyond Creation, released by Season of Mist on October 12th, and of Gorod, which was released on October 19th through OverPowered Records.)

When I initially wrote and published “A Tale of Two Albums”, comparing and contrasting the most recent Arsis and Revocation records, I had absolutely no intention of ever writing a sequel or follow-up.

However, in conversation with my friends/bandmates recently we got to chatting about the new Beyond Creation and Gorod releases, and I realised that these two would also make great fodder for a co-feature of their own, not only because both bands are going to be on tour together very soon, but also because both Algorythm and Aethra find their respective creators making an effort to expand and redefine their sound… although one of the two albums is certainly more successful than the other in this regard. Continue reading »

Aug 022018
 

 

Good morning ladies and germs. Or good afternoon. Or goodnight. Time zones are hobgoblins. Anyway, wherever and whenever you are, I have a couple of new songs to recommend. Not more than a couple because time is a hobgoblin, just like time zones. If I can tame it temporarily, I might have a couple more songs to foist upon you later today after I get some other things finished that I also hope you’ll enjoy.

BEYOND CREATION

Yesterday brought the unalloyed joy of a new Beyond Creation song. If you’re a follower of the band’s music, you’ll have a good idea what you’ll get — which is a whole lot of pulse-pushing, eye-popping fun. Continue reading »

Jul 162018
 

 

I’ll make this quick:

First, within the last hour or so, Behemoth announced a North American tour (Ecclesia Diabolica America 2018) with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. It begins on October 20th in Phoenix and ends on November 24th in Los Angeles, and includes stops in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as 18 U.S. States. Here’s the current schedule: Continue reading »

Oct 272016
 

obscura-flyer-sheffield

 

(Andy Synn turns in this review of the live performances by Obscura, Revocation, Beyond Creation, and Rivers of Nihil in Sheffield, England, on October 24, 2016 — along with videos of the performances.)

Our readers in the UK who play guitar or bass will probably have noticed something rather peculiar over the last couple of days. Riffs that they used to be able to play turning into a mangled, lumpen soup of glitches and errors… Fluid solos that they used to rip out with ease skittering away from stumbling fingers… even, in the most extreme cases, a complete inability to even lift their instrument anymore, as if they were no longer “worthy” to wield its power.

And I know why.

You see on Monday night I was there when Obscura, Revocation, Beyond Creation, and Rivers of Nihil selfishly used-up the entire country’s supply of notes and riffs, leading to a crisis of near biblical proportions amongst the string-slinging section of the UK metal community.

Thankfully, however, I’ve been informed that a fresh shipment is being piped in from the mainland, and so normal proceedings should be resumed by the weekend or thereabouts. Continue reading »

Feb 182015
 

 

A lot of exciting things have happened in the world of metal over the last 48 hours, despite the fact that I haven’t had time to write about them. Yes, amazingly, it’s true: When trees fall in this forest, they make a sound even if you don’t hear them (or read about them) on this putrid blog. I will mention a few of the occurrences in this post, and then collect more for a post tomorrow.

RELAPSE RECORDS: 25 YEARS OF CONTAMINATION

Yesterday Relapse Records released a digital sampler that, at least in my memory, is the most humongous collection of songs yet released in a digital format. And on top of that, it’s a “pay what you want” offering.

It’s part of the label’s celebration of its 25th year in business, and it includes more than 180 tracks, one from almost every band that has released an album or EP on Relapse since 1990. The sampler can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp at this location: Continue reading »

Feb 112015
 

 

I have NCS scribe Austin Weber to thank for pointing me to the two videos in this post. Both of them are playthroughs by phenomenal musicians. Both of them appeared yesterday. Both of them should put a big grin on your face. Austin introduces the first one, and I scribbled something about the second.

FELIX MARTIN

Written by: Austin Weber

Venezuelan two-handed eclectic and exotic tapping machine Felix Martin is back at it again, melting minds across 14 strings and two separate fretboards. In between his recorded material, he often posts interesting concept videos where he tries new things. This latest video shows him exploring various Meshuggah-style polyrhythms and coming up with some absolutely wild stuff. The second half of the video in particular continually builds and spirals into a dense labyrinth of undulating thick grooves. Continue reading »

Oct 152014
 

 

As I write this I am sitting on an airplane at about 40,000 feet somewhere over the Rocky Mountains. I am having to fly across the country because of my fucking day job, and once I get where I’m going, I will have to fucking work — pretty much day and night until I make it back to Seattle on Saturday night.

I tell you this not to pique your curiosity — because I can’t tell you what I’m doing, or I could, but would then have to kill you — but as an explanation of why there will be some scarcity in our posts between now and Sunday. Also, the “Seen and Heard” title is only half true:

The wi-fi on this plane isn’t good enough to let me stream music, so I actually haven’t heard anything — other than the guy sitting next to me snorting his phlegm every 10 minutes, the dude in front of me snoring, and the dull roar of the engines. Also, I have to fucking work on the plane beginning pretty damned soon.

Well, enough of my whining. Here are some things I’ve seen in my scampering through the inter hole this morning, and some things I would like to hear when I have the chance. Continue reading »