Sep 212012

Sifting through what the interhole brung me this morning, here are things I saw and heard that I thought were worth sharing with you. Fair warning: musically, this shit is all over the place, including places outside of metal (gasp!).


This band have a new album set for release in Germany on October 26, in the rest of Europe on October 29, and in North America on October 30, just in time to scare the shit out of small and adult-sized children on Halloween. The album is named Honor Found In Decay. The band themselves are calling it “their pinnacle studio effort”, which scares me. I witnessed a live Neurosis performance last year for the first time, and for the first time in my life I wanted to kill myself by the end of it. Do I want that feeling again?

That was a rhetorical question. Though I’d rather not have that feeling again, I can’t help but be drawn to this new album, especially after hearing the track that NPR premiered this morning. Its name is “At the Well” and it’s mesmerizing. It falls down on your head with cataclysmic impact and it shimmers with ethereal light and it rumbles and rolls like an avalanche. It’s agonizing and it grooves and it’s loaded with interesting synthesized sounds. It did not make me feel suicidal.

It’s very much worth hearing. Go to THIS PLACE to do that. Continue reading »

Dec 062011

Yesterday, in a post called “Humbled”, I expressed dismay and confusion over the fact that a post I wrote nearly two years ago as a joke — an insignificant piece of news about Elize Ryd, Amaranthe, and Kamelot — has turned out to be the third most popular post we’ve ever run at NCS, measured by page hits on that post, proving that completely lame-ass bullshit sometimes drives traffic.

This prompted some of you to ask which posts hold the No. 1 and No. 2 ranking in popularity at this site since we started the thing. Here’s the answer:

The most popular post — with nearly 11,000 page views, and counting — is Andy Synn’s review of Deconstruction by The Devin Townsend Project. In fact, if you google “devin townsend deconstruction review” today, you’ll see Andy’s post as the No. 6 search result.

A few things about this are interesting. First, this piece only appeared less than seven months ago, so it’s built up quite a following in a relatively short amount of time. Second, it’s one of the longest posts we’ve ever published, but that hasn’t seemed to deter readers from checking it out (though, to be brutally honest, I have no good way of knowing how many people have actually read the whole thing). Third, the hits on Andy’s review continue to roll in. I remember there was a big surge shortly after the review appeared, because Devin Townsend posted about it on his Twitter feed and on Facebook, but even over the last 30 days it ranks No. 20 in terms of page views at NCS. And fourth, this tends to prove that not only does completely lame-ass bullshit drive traffic, quality drives traffic, too.

Ironically, although Deconstruction is one of the year’s best albums in the estimation of nearly all of us who write regularly for NCS, I haven’t yet seen it appear on a single “Best of 2011” list published by the bigger blogs that cover metal.

Now, on to our second most popular post ever . . . Continue reading »

Jun 172011

The Black Crown is the third album by Suicide Silence, scheduled for release via Century Media on July 11. I’ve started listening to it, and so far, so good. I’m especially enjoying a song called “Smashed”, which features the inimitable Frank Mullen (Suffocation) on guest vocals.

We’ll get around to reviewing the album eventually, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about a remix of one of the album’s songs called “Human Violence”. That was the record’s first single, released for streaming on May 13. What we discovered yesterday is that Cameron “Big Chocolate” Argon has remixed “Human Violence”, and the remix is available for free download.

Big C has done this before, remixing a Suicide Silence single called “Disengage” about a year ago (we featured that here). You probably remember that he also collaborated with Suicide Silence frontdude Mitch Lucker on a project called Commissioner. Now he’s brought his remix skills to bear again — and what he’s done with “Human Violence” is a fuckin’ kick in the head.

Big C brings a fluctuating industrial vibe to the original song while preserving the screaming, groovy fury of the original. It will make you want to bounce, careen off walls, punch things, whip your head all the way around. Check it out after the jump, and then we’ll let you know how you can download the thing for yourselves. Continue reading »

Dec 272010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Back in November when I was away on an undeserved but still enjoyable vacation and unable to blog, lots of good people stepped up and contributed posts of their own so that NCS wouldn’t have to go dark while I was gone.

One of those contributors, The Artist Formerly Known As Dan, took a running head start on year-end album lists and became one of the first writers in metal blogdom to stake out a position on the year’s best metal (here). That post scored a massive number of hits, no doubt due in part to the fact that it was featured on MetalSucks.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, we asked Dan if he had made any revisions or additions to the list he prepared a month ago. What we got from him was this.]

So, I hope all the NCS readers aren’t bored with me after my first list. I thought my picks for the best of 2010 were pretty solid, but reading lists can get old, so now I’ll try to focus my attention on one subject. That subject is potential musical recommendations for my NCS brethren that are outside the realm of metal.  I have a pretty wide range of tastes, but I thought that at least some of my “other” music might interest a few of you, specifically because it generally follows the NCS manifesto:

-it’s not pop music

-it has at least one or more of the following characteristics: fast, punishing, cathartic, dark, powerful, crushing

-there is no clean singing

So let’s get started.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 032010

Suicide Silence is one of those lightning-rod bands. They came out of nowhere not so long, riding the new tide of internet-driven popularity to become one of the premier icons of deathcore. With their latest album, No Time To Bleed, they moved further into straight death-metal territory, but they’re still a lightning rod for fans/critics who get their shorts in a bunch over the tsunami-sized popularity of the band.

Most people who follow extreme metal will have an opinion about the band — you’ll either love ’em or hate ’em. We’re in the love ’em category, and we suspect the hate ’em crowd wouldn’t care nearly so much if they weren’t so fucking meteorically popular with the kids.

If you’re in the love ’em category with us, or if by chance you don’t even know what we’re talking about, the band has just released “Disengage”, a brand new video that was filmed on February 19 in the Los Angeles area with director Thomas Mignone (MUDVAYNE).

In our humble opinion, not only does the song kick the holy hell out of a placid Saturday, but the video is also a refreshingly straight-forward vehicle for the delivery of the music. There’s no stupid story line, no gratuitous T&A, no special effects — just a well-edited, multi-angled film of these dudes hammering the shit out of a good song against a pristine white background. Soak it up — or skip it — as your tastes may incline you.

And while we’re on the subject of “Disengage”, we recommend that you go back to a post we put up more than a month ago that featured the Cameron Argon (“Big Chocolate”) remix of this song. It makes a nice bookend to the original, with your squashed brain in the middle. Here’s the link.

May 222010

In yesterday’s post, we focused on recent news about Cameron Argon (a/k/a “Big Chocolate”), a dude that our bonded-in-blog bros over at Metal Sucks aptly called a “Renaissance Man.” What prompted our feature was Argon’s separation from Burning the Masses, a death-metal band with whom he’d recorded a forthcoming album and toured throughout Europe earlier this year. But at the tail-end of yesterday’s post, we also mentioned that in his “Big Chocolate” persona, he had remixed a Suicide Silence song called “Disengage”.

Century Media has released that remix, along with the original song, as a “single.” It’s available in two formats — as a digital download from iTunes and as a 7″ blue vinyl from CM Distro. Joshua Andrew Belanger created the cover art for the single, which you can see above.

Off and on yesterday, we listened to the original song and the remix back-to-back. The more we listened, the more we got into both versions of the song. The original Suicide Silence track shifts back and forth between a pulsing distorted riff and a dissonant, squealing guitar lead, and then up-shifts the tempo before crashing the pace down into a broken-down crawl. Following the breakdown, the tempo continues to shift back and forth, and throughout the song Mitch Lucker growls and shrieks mercilessly until the track finishes with 15 seconds of solitary drums.

In the remix, Big Chocolate has done more than separate and reshape the sounds present in the original. He’s applied a variety of electronic effects to distort and change the vocals and instrumentation, injected samples, added scratching and electro drums, messed with the rhythms so that they generate more of a dance-beat, and done a hundred other things that we’re not expert enough to figure out or describe.

The resulting music is drenched in wild sound effects, more aurally dense than the original, but still recognizably “Disengage” and still recognizably metal. I don’t listen to electro house or dubstep, but one of my collaborators (IntoTheDarkness) is getting into those genres and I’ve heard a few things he’s recommended. Snatches of the “Disengage” remix sound like those styles, but I really don’t think a genre name has yet been invented for the results of what Big Chocolate did with the Suicide Silence material. Anyone out there have a suggestion?

Ater the jump, you can listen to both songs back-to-back. And then after that, we’ve got a “mixtape” for you that was inspired by “Disengage”. Continue reading »

May 212010

Back in mid-February, we enthusiastically reported the blessed union of the remarkable Cameron (“Big Chocolate”) Argon and the also-remarkable San Diego death-metal band, Burning the Masses.

The exciting news back then was that Argon was joining BTM as its vocalist, adding his talents not only to the recording of BTM’s next album but also joining the band for an ass-kicking European tour with Suffocation, Annotations of An Autopsy, Nervecell, and Fleshgod Apocalypse. We called it “A Marriage Made in Hell,” because, you know, all involved are hella good.

You can read that extended report, which included an interview with Cam Argon, at this location.

Cam did indeed join BTM, he did indeed track the vocals on the band’s forthcoming release, Offspring of Time (which is scheduled for a July 20 release on Mediaskare Records), and he did indeed front the band on that European tour.

But on May 18, he put up a blog post stating that he would not be performing with BTM on the band’s 3-month, nationwide summer tour — which began the next day. We got in touch with Cam to get more details, and his answers to our questions appear after the jump.

If you’re a fan of Big Chocolate, Burning the Masses, Suicide Silence, Disfiguring the Goddess, or Abominable Putridity, you’ll want to read what he had to say because he touches on all those projects. And if you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s time you found out!  Oh yeah, Cam also talks about a mysterious new musical collaboration he’s got going on with Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence (continue after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 142010

If you’re a follower of Cameron Argon (a/k/a “Big Chocolate”), Disfiguring the Goddess, and/or Burning the Masses, we’ve got treats in store for you today: breaking news updates, a mini-interview with Big C that includes some info we haven’t seen anywhere else, some hot-shit music to stream, and a cool tour poster. If none of these names means anything to you, but you like innovative, brain-cleaving death metal, then stay the fuck with us and expand your musical horizons!

THE BACKSTORY: Back in 2008, we stumbled across a 6-song DIY EP (still available on iTunes) by a “band” called Disfiguring the Goddess. It immediately grabbed us by the throat and wouldn’t let go — a raw, distorted vortex of brutal, slamming death metal marked by some truly distinctive vocals. We hunted around for more info and discovered that DTG was pretty much the alter ego of a young dude named Cameron Argon.

Since the EP, Argon has generated a handful of additional DTG songs with ex-Misericordiam blaster Phil Cancilla on drums and Joe Broodle on guitar. (We wrote about DTG‘s most recent output back in early December in a post you can find here.) All the music is absolutely cool shit, and it has spawned a cult following based largely on the vocal work of Cam Argon, who the inimitable Sergeant D over at Metal Inquisition has called “quite arguably the best guttural death metal vocalist on the planet.”

Lots of DTG‘s devoted followers have wondered when the band would actually release an album, and others have wondered if Argon would hook up with some other, more established band in need of a vocalist. That speculation was fueled at one point by Argon’s decision to join the Russian brutal slam metal band Abominable Putridity for some live shows in Moscow last summer, and he appears to have recorded one-off vocals for some other bands, including this one for unsigned Indiana blasters Dissever the Tyrant. But Argon has been in no hurry and seems just as dedicated to finishing his education as expanding his death metal horizons. (continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »