Sep 192022
 

(Earlier this month Bloodbath released their sixth album, and their first on Napalm Records, and today DGR has some thoughts to share with you about it.)

The thing reiterated with Bloodbath time and time again is how the group have always existed as partial tribute act, partial throwback, and definite lovers of the phrase “playing for the cheap seats”.

They were formed in a time when the wave of death metal throwback wasn’t yet even a cogent idea to a lot of people, with some of the groups that Bloodbath sought to emulate only just hanging their hats up to go quiet for a decade or so — only to return as the old school death metal revival hit full swing. At the time it made logical sense since they became a bastion of old school chainsaw guitar and ethos, likely exposing waves of people to the genre for the first time, boosted by the popularity of its various members’ other projects. It would feel like a lie to say that the gateway to Bloodbath at that time for a lot of people wasn’t a starting point with Opeth and Katatonia.

What’s been interesting for Bloodbath is that they’re in a weird spot now, as the revival and throwback movements have now long been factors within the genre, which means they’ve no longer the flag-bearers for a style that has waned in popularity. Instead, they’re now at the forefront of an active movement within death metal and one that often asks the question, “well how hard can you throw us backward in time?” Continue reading »

Aug 112022
 

 

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That well-known saying attributed to the Chinese sage Laozi (but sometimes erroneously attributed to Confucious) came to mind today as I gazed bleakly at the massive backlog of new songs and videos that would provide the source material for this roundup. Getting through it feels like a journey of a thousand miles, but that old adage encouraged me to make this first step. Will I be able to make another one tomorrow, or instead trip and fall on my face? Time will tell….

BLOODBATH (Sweden)

I know Bloodbath need no help from our fetid little corner of the interhole, but I’m beginning with a lyric video for their grisly new song “Carved” anyway. It’s just too damned much hellish fun to ignore, and Luc Lemay makes a guest appearance on it too. Continue reading »

Jul 162022
 

“Pocket” is a Mozilla app that you can easily install in Mozilla’s Firefox browser. When you do that, a small Pocket icon shows up in the toolbar of Firefox. Wherever you happen to be on the web, if you click that icon it saves the page to your Pocket list. When you then navigate to your Pocket list, you see all the links you’ve saved, along with thumbnail images of the linked pages. Even better, you can access that list from any device that includes the Firefox browser.

This is not an ad for Firefox or Pocket. I mention it because it has made my work for NCS on these Seen and Heard roundups much, much easier.

I used to make endless lists of band names with links to their new songs and videos that I was interested in checking out. Even just typing band names into an online document and copy/pasting the links was time-consuming, since I was usually adding more than a dozen per day, or much more if I fell behind. Not to mention that I kept dozens of tabs open in my browser until I had time to write those lists. Now I use Pocket, and don’t have to type a word or copy any links or keep any tabs open. Continue reading »

Jan 112019
 

 

After yesterday’s digression into obscure blackened realms, today I’m returning to death metal with two more additions to our list of Most Infectious Songs. I’m also again indulging in the delights of pairing up songs that seem to belong together, in this instance one from the old guard and one from some relative newcomers who are definitely kindred spirits, sonically speaking.

To check out the previous installments in this evolving list, they’re collected behind this link, and to learn what this series is all about, go here. We’ll have other posts at the site this weekend, but I’m pausing this series until Monday while I try to figure out what to add to the list next week.

BLOODBATH

Surely it will come as no surprise that I’m including “Bloodicide” on this list. If you read my comrade DGR’s review, or the column in which he put The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn at No. 14 on his year-end list, you know that he loves that album but is “absolutely smitten with the sheer gall it took to name a song ‘Bloodicide'” — in addition to considering it one of the better tracks on the record. And I feel much the same way.

It’s a prime example of how much ridiculous fun Bloodbath must have had in writing and recording the album, and it proved to be (by my lights at least) the most infectious song on the track list, in part because of the joy that comes from yelling out “Bloodicide!” along with Nick Holmes (at least inside my head). Continue reading »

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 232018
 

 

(Here are DGR’s thoughts about the new album by Bloodbath, which was released on October 26th by Peaceville Records.)

There’s always going to be a certain amount of charm in being self-aware about how “dumb” your music can get sometimes, and glorying in it. There’s an attractive confidence in that when it seems like many bands have to play up how serious they are about how brutal their branch of death metal is, how heavy and violent their noise-unleashing can be. However, when you’re Bloodbath and are a long-established throwback act you can find joy in just how “ridiculous” all of this can be at face value. Continue reading »

Oct 182018
 

 

I think this must be a first — for five days in a row I’ve had enough time to compile a round-up of new songs. Doesn’t mean I’m anywhere close to catching up with everything I’d like to recommend, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Today, I chose the first four good songs I found when I began scrolling through the morass of e-mails that had arrived at NCS overnight and this morning. Not exactly the most thorough method of making a selection, but it had the coincidental benefit of presenting some pleasing variety, as you’ll see….

BLOODBATH

Chainsaw Lullaby” is a clever and amusing title, and of course it makes no secret about the meat of the sound. But before we get to this new song off Bloodbath’s forthcoming album, The Arrow of Satan is Drawn, let’s here from Anders ‘Blakkheim’ Nyström about the track: Continue reading »

Sep 132018
 

 

The flood of new metal continues unabated. Since yesterday’s round-up, I’ve accumulated more than a dozen new tracks (not to mention newly released EPs and albums) that I’m itching to hear, on top of all the others I didn’t have room to include yesterday. In an effort to keep at least my nostrils above water, I’ve picked three new ones (two of which come with videos) to quickly launch at your heads today.

BLOODBATH

Those who live under rocks are unaware that Bloodbath have a new album coming out next month. Everyone else knows. Now there’s a first single to be consumed, the name of which is “Bloodicide“. And guess what? It includes guest vocal appearances by Jeff Walker (Carcass), Karl Willetts (Bolt Thrower/Memoriam), and John Walker (Cancer). Before you enjoy the song, enjoy these quotes from two of the guests: Continue reading »

Aug 172018
 


photo by Steve Brown

 

Despite the fact that we had a two-part round-up of new music yesterday, metal stops for no one, and so there’s a bunch more stuff, most of which surfaced over the last 24 hours, that has prompted yet another round-up today. And of course, what you’ll find below isn’t nearly everything I’d like to foist upon you, but it will have to do for now.

P.S. I’m in a hurry, and so I’m afraid I’ll have to dispense with my usual impressions of the music I’ve included here. Even more unusually, the first item in this collection includes no music at all, but it seemed sufficiently newsworthy that I’m including it anyway.

BLOODBATH

Today’s torrent of e-mails in the NCS in-box included an announcement by Peaceville Records that a new Bloodbath album has been set for release on October 26th, the name of which is:  The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn. Which is a very promising title, as are these excerpts from the press release: Continue reading »

Jan 022015
 

 

Today we resume the rollout of our continuing list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

The songs I’m adding to our list today come from the two most high-profile “comeback” albums of 2014. Both generated a lot of overheated discussion everywhere metalheads congregated to opine and pontificate. Both generated controversy, and in both cases the controversy stemmed from the inevitable comparisons with each band’s own previous landmark works. By now, everyone has chosen up sides. I’m on the side that thinks both albums are very good, and worthy additions to each band’s storied discography. And they both include some of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs.

AT THE GATES

Few bands have ever made as indelible a mark on the history of metal as this one. In four straight years they produced The Red In the Sky Is Ours, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, Terminal Spirit Disease, and of course Slaughter of the Soul. And then almost 20 years passed before At the Gates delivered their fifth album, At War With Reality (reviewed here). Many bands who have resurrected their careers after a long hiatus would have been better off leaving us only with memories. In this case, we are lucky that At the Gates have come back. Continue reading »