Jun 272011

(Andy Synn reviews the new album from The Black Dahlia Murder.)

Well here it is, the latest and much-hyped release by Michigan melodic death metal heavyweights The Black Dahlia Murder. And let me tell you now, it seems the hype may well be fully justified. This is indeed a stunning album, all its parts fitting seamlessly, all its cogs and gears working in perfect synchronicity. Ignore those who claim that this is a sequel to Unhallowed – it isn’t. That’s a woefully limited view of things. Though those people may wish to believe that statement, having never got past the simple pleasures offered by the group’s debut, in truth this record serves to drastically further the progress that the band have shown ever since their inception.

With Ritual the group deliver an ambitious expansion of the sound of Deflorate, whose more overtly melodic twists and turns were themselves an expansion of the renewed focus and extremity of Nocturnal (still their best for me), which in turn expanded on the mix of hooks and crushing brutality found on Miasma, itself a clear step forward from the (relatively) primitive song-writing and tenebrous melodies of their debut. The lines of progression and growth are clear, and while the record remains tied to the sound that began with Unhallowed, it is far more than a rehash of old ideas, far more than a return to older times. It is a new vision that retains the identity of the old while looking boldly toward the new.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 072011

At the risk of swamping you in too much music for a single post, I’m collecting four items here that I discovered this past weekend. The unifying theme for this collection is blackness.

Black, as in Black Dahlia Murder covering “This Mortal Coil” by Carcass, with Jeff Walker on guest vocals. Black, as in a good-quality video of Anaal Nathrakh performing “Do Not Speak” at a club in Paris on May 31. Black, as in news about a tribute album to Enslaved, featuring 20 bands (plus the schedule for a fall North American tour by Enslaved along with Ghost and Alcest). Black, as in another quality performance video — of Belphegor vomiting forth satanic spew in Denver on May 16. Without further ado …


For some reason, I continue to receive my copy of DECIBEL magazine way early. I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I’m complaining a little. I’ve had the July issue for a week now — the one with Trey Azagthoth and David Vincent of Morbid Angel on the cover and a big feature inside about their new album Illud Duvinum Insanus — which has already generated an insanus amount of controversy in the web-world (much of it among people who haven’t even heard the album yet).

Because I received the issue early, that means I’ve had a week to stare at the “flexi disc” inside — the recording on a piece of plastic of Black Dahlia Murder covering “This Mortal Coil” by Carcass. I’ve been staring at it because listening isn’t an option — since I don’t own a fucking turntable. I’ve been waiting semi-patiently for someone to transfer the music to digital and put it up on YouTube, which has now finally happened. The digital transfer didn’t happen seamlessly — you can hear some of the imperfections on the flexi-disc — but the BDM cover is a slayer.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 112011

Give up? The answer is: They’re all bands who are signed to Metal Blade, they all have new releases on the horizon, and they all have new songs that Metal Blade has packaged together in a digital stream emanating from SoundCloud.

Here’s the line-up of music:

Black Dahlia Murder: “Moonlight Equilibirum” (album: Ritual)
Job For A Cowboy: “Misery Reformatory” (album: Gloom)
Behemoth: “Slaves Shall Serve” (album: Abyssus Abyssum Invocat)
Barn Burner: “Keg Stand and Deliver” (album: Bangers II: Scum of the Earth)
Sister: “Hated” (album: Hated)
Faloner: “Svarta Ankan” (album: Armod)
Gentlemans Pistols: “I Wouldn’t Let You” (album: At Her Majesty’s Pleasure)

All of these albums are scheduled for release on June 7, except the first and last ones, which will be released June 21.

There is good news and bad news here. The good news is that we can listen to these 7 songs right here, right now. The bad news is that these are the only songs from the albums that we’ll be able to hear, because the Rapture is coming on May 21.  (more after the jump . . . including breaking news about the end of the world) Continue reading »

Apr 292011

I have a sneaking suspicion that among our readers we have more than a few fans of The Black Dahlia Murder. So, this seemed newsworthy. Actually, “newsworthy” is a very restrained way of saying, “Holy fuck, have we got some shit that will engorge your erogenous zones!” Or something like that.

Newsworthy/Erotic Item No. 1: The Black Dahlia Murder’s new album, Ritual, will be released on June 21 in the U.S. and in Europe on other dates in June. The album is up for pre-order on Metal Blade’s site (here).

Newsworthy/Erotic Item No. 2: Metal Blade has premiered a new song from Ritual called “Moonlight Equilibrium”. I’ve heard it. I like it a lot. It’s a blaster, with a sweet groove and some invigorating shred. You can hear it, too, right 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 112010

I bet the title of this post got your attention, didn’t it? And I bet that if someone does a Google search for “haggis and bong” in the next day or two, we’ll be one of the first returns. Of course, I can’t imagine why anyone would do that — unless you live in South Africa or you stumbled on this news at Blabbermouth:

South African Metal Festival Aims To Set Record For ‘Most People Headbanging Simultaneously’ – Jan. 10, 2010: 21 of South Africa’s top metal bands will perform at the MotherFUDD festival, set to take place March 12-14, 2010 at Malonjeni Guest Resort, South Africa. The event will also host what it claims to be “the first-ever official Guinness World Record for most people headbanging simultaneously” on March 13.

Following the above intro was a list of those 21 bands scheduled to play at the “MotherFUDD” festival, including — you guessed it — Haggis and Bong. (more 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 »