May 182012

(Andy Synn rides to the rescue of a site without much content ready for today with an opinion piece.  Limber up your fingers for some comments, please.)

Just a short, stream-of-consciousness piece here for today, since Islander’s been inundated with responsibilities to his life outside of the site (and honestly, who really needs a life outside of this site I ask you?), putting down some of my thoughts, in brief, on the ever contentious topic of metal and its place (or lack thereof) in the mainstream. This certainly isn’t a new topic, though hopefully I’ll be able to offer some interesting observations from my own point of view.

[Note here that whenever I use the word “we” in this article I am purposefully generalising – maybe certain points don’t apply specifically to everyone, but if you get a large group of people together they always come to be more strongly generalised than they would individually]

To start with, let me say something controversial: A huge proportion of the metal scene craves recognition/acknowledgement from the mainstream. And I’m not talking your Linkin Park’s or your Limp Bizkit’s, no, I’m talking about bands, fans, and journalists who are truly interested in the more legitimate forms of metal, yet are exceedingly sensitive to any instances of mainstream exposure. Even they have an underlying craving for acceptance. We claim not to care about such things, but the second a “real” metal act gains some chart success we’re out there trumpeting to the world in a strange mix of superiority and attention-craving.  It’s why every third-rate deathcore or metalcore act does a generic Katy Perry or Lady Gaga cover. It’s why djent failed to achieve its initial promise, falling prey to the same pitfalls of hype and ill-advised pop covers as nu-metal, albeit with more bedroom technicality. The mainstream is insidious in its influence, and permeates even the most underground of metal genres. Continue reading »

Nov 082011

I haven’t been keeping tabs on metal news while mellowing out here in cloudland. But I have been checking my e-mail every now and then, and e-mails have brought news, so I’ve pulled together a few items in this post, just to keep my hand in, y’know? I’m starting with the really important news.


Thanks to Jeimssi, who’s in Finland, I have a link to a news article about a brawl. This has probably been picked up by other metal blogs already, but I have something they don’t have. I have a Google Translate rendition of the report about the incident that appeared in the Finnish press. And we know from past experience that there are few things funnier than what Google Translate produces when you let it work on the Finnish language. So, without further ado, here’s the “translated” report about British metal band bandwagon-jumpers Bring Me the Horizon and their scuffle with members of the crowd in Helsinki a couple days ago. The original article appeared here, and there’s a video clip at the end.

The British band Bring Me the Horizon guitarist raged in The Circus gig at a restaurant on Sunday evening.

A man upset the audience came herjasta fists and stormed up to fight among the general public. Who was on the viewer says that the first stage guitarist rose to the security fence on top of the audience and tried to tear him down.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 222011

I’ve never been entirely sure about the point of metal news releases about music you can’t yet hear, albums you can’t yet buy, and tours for which you can’t yet acquire tickets, but people still seem to be interested in this kind of shit. Not me, of course. I’m so fucking zen-like in my outlook that these kinds of pointless cock-teasers just flow over me like a soft summer breeze, barely ruffling my hair. My pulse rate doesn’t move a beat from its normal, slothlike resting state. I remain as steady and unmoving as a hummingbird.

Wait, that didn’t end right. Okay, well maybe it did. Truth is, I am metal-nerd enough to get excited about this stuff, though I can’t provide any rational reason why. In keeping with our unintentional Finn-centric theme of this week’s posts, several of these items focus on Finnish metal.

So, here’s the top-level summary of news for this post: Announcement of two new European tours — one featuring Gorgoroth and Vader and the other headlined by Machine Head; a progress report on Insomnium‘s new album; word of an all-star album (and the label “all-star” is no bullshit) in the planning stages from Finland’s Spinefarm Records; and perhaps the most glaring example I’ve seen in months of an interviewer failing to ask a follow-up question (in this case, about Opeth‘s new album).

While I’ve got your attention, I might as well also throw in some music you can actually hear right now — high-quality footage of Suicide Silence performing a song from their forthcoming new album.  (all that stuff after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 312010

Another month has passed. Summer is waning. It’s still as hot as the ninth circle of Hell in most parts of our country, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the air is already beginning to feel like fall. And because fall in Seattle lasts about one week, winter is already what we’re thinking about, because winter means getting soaked with rain. In the dark.

Where were we? Oh yeah, another month is over. And here at NCS, that means it’s time for another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, a forge being the old name for a place where a blacksmith heats metal and works it into the shape of something useful. We thought it sounded literary.

Another name for “forge” is “smithy.” As in, “the blacksmith works in a smithy.” But “smithy” doesn’t sound literary, and METAL IN THE SMITHY just sounds fucked up. METAL IN THE FORGE is a little fucked up, too, the more we think about it, but not as fucked up as METAL IN THE SMITHY.

Where were we? Oh yeah, at the end of every month, we update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or updated info about some of the previously noted releases.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Perhaps needless to say, these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site — the kind that would like to tear your head off.

So, after the jump, in alphabetical order, you’ll find our list of cut-and-pasted items from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and, if you’re really obsessive like we are, put reminders on your calendar. Continue reading »

Mar 312010

We’re now a full three months into 2010, and it’s time for our third update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here, the first update here, and the second update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last two updates — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ANAAL NATHRAKH: “U.K. extreme metallers ANAAL NATHRAKH have commenced work on material for a new album, tentatively due before the end of the year.”

ANNIHILATOR: “Canadian thrash metal veterans ANNIHILATOR will release their 13th, self-titled album in Europe on May 17 via Earache Records, in Japan through Marquee and in Australia via Riot Entertainment.”

ARISE: “A two-minute video trailer for The Reckoning, the fourth album from Swedish death/thrashers ARISE, can be viewed below. Due on March 22 through Regain Records, the CD features guest appearances by Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, ex-CARNAL FORGE), Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQUILLITY) and Jake Fredém (NOSTRADAMEUS).” [NOTE: the album is now scheduled for release on April 6.]

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »