Jul 012010

Not too long ago, we told you about a Metal Blade summer sampler available as a free download on Amazon.com that includes a remarkably strong line-up of music. Unfortunately, we’ve heard that folks outside the U.S. can’t get the download from Amazon.com — though it’s probably already up on some download site if you look for it.

Yesterday, we found another free summer-oriented comp of music, this time from Canada — and it also includes some hot-shit music from some ass-kicking bands, including NCS favorites Neuraxis, Bloodshoteye, Odium, and The Last Felony, plus music from bands we don’t know but are curious to check out.

Most of the music is from previously released albums, but the comp does include a previously unreleased track from Drudgery and a song from The Last Felony‘s forthcoming new release.

The download is being made available by Sonic Unyon, a Canadian record label, distributor, and online retailer. After the jump, you can see the track listing for the album and info about how to get it (plus we’ll give you a couple tracks to stream right here, just to wet your whistle . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 122010

As I enjoyed Steff Metal‘s guest post from a few days ago and her unusual collection of female black metal and death metal vocalists who can growl and howl with the best of the dudes, something nagged at the back of my mind. Something I’d forgotten. Something about a killer female vocalist whose killer band had a new album coming out.

My mind is like a steel trap (rusted shut), and I knew it would come to me (probably as the answer to some completely different question). And then it hit me (like the car that knocked me out of a crosswalk last year): Bloodshoteye!

We wrote about this band (here) on the day after Christmas when we stumbled across a report that they had signed with Canadian-based label CDN Records for the release of their third album, Expect the Unexpected. We listened to some songs streaming on the band’s MySpace page, we watched some performance videos, and we were duly impressed. And not just because their vocalist, Jessica Desjardins, was an attractive woman who could belt out those broken-glass-gargling vocals we all know and love so well here at NCS.

In that previous post, we noted that the new album was due for a February release and that we would be watching for it. And sure enough the album dropped on February 12. And sure enough, we missed it (“mind like a steel trap,” my ass!). Until it came back to us as a result of Steff Metal’s guest post. So we got the new album, we listened to it, and man is it good! (read on after the jump, and listen to a sample track . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 272009

Yesterday, our post about female-fronted death metallers Bloodshoteye included a comment about the shortage of competent female death growlers howling their wares on the current scene. On the somewhat related but more general subject of last frontiers for female singers, this morning someone sent me a link to a story that popped up in today’s New York Times about a new pop star named Ke$ha and her single “Tik Tok,” which has soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The Times calls it “one of the most successful white-girl rap songs of all time.” Here are a few more excerpts from the article:

This has been a banner year for white-girl rap, as these things go. There was the debut album by the Philadelphia rapper Amanda Blank, the relentless and suffocating “I Love You” (Downtown). On “Boom Boom Pow,” the pummeling Black Eyed Peas hit, the surprise twist was a rapped interlude by the group’s singer, Fergie. Even the country-pop singer Jessie James tried it out on “Blue Jeans,” a song that practically owes a publishing check to Dem Franchize Boyz for appropriating the cadence and concept of their 2004 song “White Tee.”

The white female rapper has been one of the last frontiers in hip-hop, but Ke$ha is reframing the conversation. “Her talky, blonde-y, white-girl rap thing, there’s no one else doing that right now,” said the producer and songwriter Lukasz Gottwald, a k a Dr. Luke, who signed Ke$ha to his imprint and executive produced “Animal.”

. . . “Being that she was willing to do that, and she liked it, I’m in support of it. A whole record of that might get annoying though.”

No shit “Dr. Luke.” But “annoying” is an understated adjective. “Tik Tok” all by itself makes me wanna start clawing off my skin in big hunks like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. Thinking about a whole album of this stuff makes me feel like vomiting until all my internal organs are in a steaming, slimy pile at my feet.

The Times observed that “The very existence of the casually rapping white girl reflects decreasingly stringent ideas about race and gender.” No, what it reflects is the increasing idiocy of popular “culture.”

“A banner year for white-girl rap”? Really, who gives a flying fuck. Yet another reminder, as if I really needed one, that whenever I venture out into the world of what passes for pop music I’m almost always morbidly sorry I did.

Ima go listen to Bloodshoteye again.  Bye.

Dec 262009

Female death metal vocalists are few and far between. Frankly, I don’t understand how dudes can produce those sounds on a regular basis without destroying their voices. I know there’s a secret, I just don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I haven’t yet watched Melissa Cook’s The Zen of Screaming instructional video.

But what I really don’t understand is how any woman can produce those harsh, deep, gutteral, death growls — at all. I could tick off on the fingers of one hand the women who are currently carrying it off reasonably well (if I had a six-fingered hand): Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy, Grace Perry of Landmine Marathon, Elizabeth Elliott of Dreaming Dead, Mel Mongeon of Fuck the Facts, Krysta Cameron of iwrestledabearonce, and occasionally Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist.

As of this morning I need to add a seventh name: Jessica Desjardins of Canadian deathcore band Bloodshoteye.   (More after the jump, including some video) Continue reading »