Jan 122012

This is Part 18 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

I am willing to confess here publicly that I do have certain primal urges. Just to be clear, those urges do not include tentacle porn or donkey dicks. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has urges for such things. Okay, to be brutally honest, which of course is the only kind of honest we know how to be here at NCS, I do know one person who has such urges. But we’re not talking about him, we’re talking about me, myself, and pay no attention to those who say I have a fractured personality.

No, my primal urges include the kind of base needs satisfied by today’s two additions to this list. Yes, I am base, and all your base belong to me, and I belong to Byfrost and Bury Your Dead. And this is my list, and therefore my will is yours. (goddamn, am I full of shit or what?)


When I first heard Byfrost’s 2010 debut album, Black Earth, I thought most of the tracks sounded like marching songs and battle music for orcs — the inexorable stomp, the headlong charge, the baring of oily teeth, the spiked maces held high. I included a song from that monster of an album on the MOST INFECTIOUS list last year — in fact it was the first song. And 2011 brought another Byfrost album, and it also brought another Byfrost song for this year’s list. Continue reading »

Nov 042011

I like vacations. First, there is very little working. Very little working is a good thing. I would be very happy with very little working from now until the end of time as I know it. Second, there is very much eating, drinking, and sleeping. These are also good things. I could do them until the end of time as I know it, until I become one of those people who gets so enormously fat and atrophied that emergency workers have to bust down the wall of the house and use a crane just to remove the corpse after the last filthy breath of life has passed the lips.

Third, if I am a good boy and play my cards right, there may be carnal activity with Mrs. Islander in between bouts of eating, drinking, and sleeping. Fourth, there will be beautiful clouds, of which I will take many photos during the few hours when I am awake, some of which I will share with you, because having your head in the clouds is a good thing and should be experienced more frequently.

Fifth, vacations are an excuse for me to solicit guest posts for NCS, of which I have received many already. You’ve seen some of them already this week, even though I have not yet left on vacation but instead have been working like a fucking orc under the heavy whip hand of the Dark Lord of Mordor. But what you’ve seen this week is just the tip of the iceberg — there are some juicy ones coming your way in the weeks ahead (in addition to new material from Andy Synn, BadWolf, and TheMadIsraeli). And by the way, there is still time to send me guest posts, so don’t be bashful.

Yes, I will still have some limited time for blogging activity, such as the time necessary to format and post guest pieces and maybe even to write some quick things myself. However, I am not going to push my luck with blogging time between now and my return to the NCS metallic island on Nov 18 (see note above re being a good boy, in hopes of carnal activity with Mrs. Islander).

So, with this post I bid you all a fond farewell.  Before this day is out, I will be winging my way to a distant land where life is sloooooow and there will be eating, drinking, sleeping, clouds, and perhaps carnal activity. I leave you with a random collection of music I missed while working like an orc over the past week: After the jump, new/newish videos from Vildhjarta (Sweden), Bury Your Dead (U.S.), and Exhumed (U.S.), and a new song from GoreGazm (South Africa). Continue reading »

Jul 292011

As long-time readers of this site know, our genesis and growth have been intertwined with the fortunes of Bury Your Dead.  When we decided to start this blog, it didn’t take me long to think of the name, because at the time I was still royally pissed off about the departure of Mat Bruso from BYD, his replacement by Myke Terry, and the conversion of the band’s music into near-generic metalcore with way too much clean singing. The old BYD had the ability to crank out some incredibly catchy hooks, grooves, and melodies without coming untethered from a solid center of hardcore fury. The “new” BYD wouldn’t have scared a kitten.

Thankfully, this interlude in the band’s history was finite. Bruso is back, and the band’s sound has reverted to what it was before, ie, the kind of galvanizing, crowbar-to-the-head rhythms guaranteed to stir up the pit into a fine froth, and plenty of brawling attitude. Next week, we’ll see the official release of BYD’s return-to-form album, Mosh ‘N’ Roll, and the title pretty much tells you all you need to know. In the run-up to the album launch, a couple of tracks have debuted — most recently “Deadeye Dick”, which appeared within the last week — and today we have the first official video, for the song “Slaughterhouse Five”.

The song would have been right at home on Beauty and the Breakdown — an atonal, downtuned, groovy gut-puncher of a song, rolling like an avalanche of rebar rods clanging down concrete steps. The video suits the music, too — the kind of fun that leaves you looking for your teeth on a beer-stained floor and picking glass out of your scalp the next morning. Check it after the jump, and then after the video we’ve also got the song released erlier in the week — “Deadeye Dick”. Continue reading »

May 242011

Well, fuck yes. If we had any doubt that Bury Your Dead had shaken off the detritus of melodic metalcore and gotten back to their fuckin’ hardcore roots, those doubts are dead, gone, cremated, and the ashes scattered to the winds — because as of about 45 minutes ago, the band uploaded their first new song since Mat Bruso rejoined BYD.

Most of our current readers won’t know this, but the really old-timers will: We started this site, and picked the name NO CLEAN SINGING in protest over what happened when Mat left BYD, when Myke Terry stepped up as the new vocalist, and when the band thereafter went right off the rails and into metalcore no-man’s land.

So, you can imagine how stoked we were to find out that Mat was coming back to BYD. Actually, you don’t have to exercise your imaginations, because we laid out our feelings pretty clearly in this post. Since then, we’ve been waiting patiently for new music — for confirmation that BYD was back in the nasty, brutish land of no clean singing. Actually, we really didn’t need proof — for fuck’s sake, Mat now uses “nocleansinging.com” as the web site URL in his Twitter account (“@SoAloneSoAlive”) — which is just too cool for words.

But need it or not, we’ve now got our confirmation. The new song — “Slaughterhouse Five” — is a fuckin’ jaw-breaker, a badass sledgehammer of hardcore and metal, a fine sign of what’s to come on that new album. Go past the jump to have a listen, and get some more news about the album and BYD’s touring plans. Continue reading »

Feb 112011

Here at NCS, we cater to all kinds of literary tastes. For example, if you visited us yesterday, you could have read Andy Synn‘s sophisticated, eloquently written, detailed analysis of an entire discography of music created by a great band (Iskald), including a review of the band’s new album. On the other hand, now that I’ve got my claws back on the tiller, the good ship NCS is running aground on the sandbar of this post about . . . dog balls.

Usually, you’d have to threaten rectal impalement to get me to watch a video about a metal band’s recording sessions. You know what I mean — those kinds of videos are usually pretty awful. For me, what counts is the music that comes out at the end of the process, not the process itself or the commentary that usually accompanies the process. I’m just not rabid enough in my fandom to watch every fucking thing that band members say and do just because they’re in a band whose music kicks ass.

But, there are exceptions to every rule, and one of my exceptions is Bury Your Dead. That’s because what happened to that band a couple years ago was the trigger event that caused us to launch this site. For fuck’s sake, the replacement of vocalist Mat Bruso with Myke Terry is what caused us to name this site NO CLEAN SINGING. And if you have no idea what I’m babbling about, read this.

So, you better believe that we’re going to cover the saga of Mat rejoining BYD and the recording of BYD’s next album in excruciating detail — including recording-session videos that begin with images of big hairy dog balls. And that may not even be the worst thing you’ll see in this video (which you can watch after the jump, unless your personal standards have already sent you off to another web site). Continue reading »

Jun 092010

If you’re a baseball fan, you’re familiar with the term “stuff.”  And if you’re not? Well, inarticulate baseball players, managers, and fans (like us) use that term to refer both to what pitchers are capable of throwing and how they actually perform in games. It can refer to the speed of the ball, the location of the pitch as it crosses the plate, the guile of the pitcher in varying the pitches from batter to batter — basically, everything that goes into keeping hitters off balance and generating outs.

When a pitcher is on his game, keeping batters off the bases and cruising through a low pitch count, the manager or some teammate will be quoted as saying, “he had good stuff tonight.”  And when a pitcher gets shelled and removed without going at least five innings, you can bet someone will say, “he didn’t have good stuff.” Hey, they don’t pay those dudes for their public speaking skills.

So, you might ask, what the fuck does that have to do with metal? And we would answer: If you’re a metal band and you pick the name “Legend,” you better have the “stuff” to back it up. And in the case of this metalicized hardcore band from Michigan and their recently released debut album Valediction, they abso-fucking-lutely do.

We’ve written before about our disappointment in Bury Your Dead‘s change in musical direction since the departure of vocalist Mat Bruso and his replacement by Myke Terry. We were further chagrined to learn that BYD bassist Aaron “Bubble” Patrick left the band last fall. And we were equally disappointed by the defection of band members from another repeat-play favorite of ours, For the Fallen Dreams.  (more after the jump, including a song and tour dates . . . ) Continue reading »

Mar 242010

We don’t listen to much hardcore music here at NCS. It’s not that we don’t like it. It just doesn’t rattle our cages as much as other kinds of extreme metal. But in recent years certain metal- and death-metal influenced hardcore bands have infiltrated our music players and fought an effective behind-the-lines assault on our brains.

Over the last few days we’ve come across some news items about a few of those bands that we’d like to share with you, along with some of their songs: The Contortionist, Monument to Thieves, Legend, and The Last Felony.  They’ve all got new music on the way that we’re pretty hot to hear. They don’t sound alike, but the one thing they have in common is the ability to write powerful, passionate songs with infectious grooves, and some dynamic variations from the norm to accompany the breakdowns.

(By the way, we’d rather call these bands “core-metal” instead of “metalcore” or “deathcore” because nowadays those latter terms trail along a bunch of baggage that we don’t think fits these bands.)


The breaking news about this Indianapolis-based band is that they’ve signed with Good Fight Music and will be entering the studio this spring with producer Ken Susi (Unearth‘s guitarist) to begin recording a debut album for a mid-to-late-summer release.

Good Fight Music is the label division of Good Fight Entertainment, which was founded by industry veterans Paul Conroy and Carl Severson, who were former partners at Ferret Music, Warner Music, and ChannelZERO. (more to come, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 102010

Bury Your Dead used to be one of my favorite bands. In fact, when Beauty and the Breakdown came out in 2006, I put the CD in my car’s CD changer and it’s still there. I’ve rotated other CDs through the remaining five slots over the years, but Beauty and the Breakdown hasn’t moved. Still dig that shit mightily.

And BYD‘s 2005 DVD Alive is still one of my favorite metal DVDs. Great live performance footage of a band that really ripped it up on stage.  And talk about metal — you get to see vocalist Mat Bruso take one in the head on-stage from one of those windmill guitar spins by Eric Ellis, the blood starts really pouring, and Mat just keeps on going — finishing nine more songs. (We’ll show you the clip of that literal head-banging after the jump.)

After the live set is over, the DVD shows the trip to an emergency room and the stapling of Mat’s head (12 staples) — and all the while he’s just yacking away as if nothing unusual has happened. Pretty cool dude.

And then in 2007, everything more or less started going downhill. In January of that year, Bruso left the band. BYD released a statement reporting that Bruso “has come to a point in his life where he must focus on more important things like going back to school to become a teacher and his upcoming marriage.” (I’ve seen a report that he’s currently working in a special education classroom at a middle school in Maynard, Mass.) BYD replaced Bruso with Myke Terry, and, as if to announce to the world that the band was starting over, the next album was self-titled Bury Your Dead. (more after the jump, including some before-and-after video . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 302009

Dawn in Portland

No, I’m not talking about the weather.  This time of year it blows just as hard in Portland as it does here in Seattle.  I’m talking about recent releases from two passionate Portland bands that are most definitely worth checking out:  Siberian Nightmare Machine from American Me and An Awakening from Those Who Lie Beneath. Both bands are signed to Rise Records, both are hot shit, and both are playing at Portland’s Club Satyricon on Dec 2.  Today we’ll talk about American Me and tomorrow we’ll cover Those Who Lie Beneath. Continue reading »