Jan 162014

Welcome to Part 6 of our list of the year’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. To see the selections that preceded the three I’m announcing today, click here.

You can think of this latest group of songs as the “comeback” edition of the series. All three songs come from bands who made incredibly exciting returns to the metal scene during 2013 after extended absences, ranging from to 8 years to 17 years. Their 2013 albums surely must rank among the strongest comebacks in metal history, and they have also been widely recognized as three of the best albums of last year. They’re presented here in alphabetical order.


Did any metal album of 2013 draw more attention than Surgical Steel (reviewed by us here)?  It was so highly anticipated that if it had been merely good, massive disappointment would have been the inevitable result. Yet Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, and Dan Wilding pulled off a tour de force that left all but the most hide-bound doubters smiling. Continue reading »

Dec 162013

For various reasons, including a long vacation, a buttload of work and work-related travel that confronted me in my day job upon returning from said vacation, and the dedication of space to our ongoing year-end LISTMANIA series, I’ve not been doing a very good job of spreading the word about new music and videos. Much new music and videos of interest have been accumulating. I’m collecting five of the recent videos and one new song in this post. Many of them lean more toward hard rocking that the kind of extreme metaling I usually feature in these round-ups, but it’s all good stuff.


Red Fang have consistently produced videos that are sure-fire chuckle fests. Their new one is no exception. Directed by Whitey McConnaughy, it’s for “Blood Like Cream”, one of the songs on the band’s latest album Whales and Leeches. It’s a twist on the zombie theme. These undead monsters want PBR instead of brains — but it is fuckin’ Portland, so that’s not a total shock.

Yeah, there’s clean singing in the song, but it’s crunchy, it rocks out, and it gets its hooks in your brain meat. Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug. Continue reading »

Sep 282013

Happy Saturday motherfuckers (and of course I mean that in the nicest possible way). You haven’t asked what I’ve been listening to this morning, but I’m going to share that with you anyway, because sometimes people want things that they don’t know they want, and I feel sure this is such a time.


In listening to the kind of albums I, Voidhanger releases, I’m used to getting my brain pureed in a blender or torn apart by black hurricanes of harrowing noise. But this morning I listened to the first song on a forthcoming I, Voidhanger album that takes a different turn. The album is Incendiary Serum by a Danish band named Phantom, and it’s scheduled for release before the end of this year. The opening track is “Ghostly”, and it is ghostly (and ghastly).

The aura of the music is still very black and bleak, still filled by vocal vomit, but it’s slow, crushing, and melodic. Powerful degraded riffs stomp and moan, twisted tremolo trills flit through the murk, minor-key piano melodies sing the songs of dead, homeless souls. You can headbang, and you can sink into a state of melancholy bereavement. This is an excellent melding of doom, death, and black metal. I, Voidhanger does not disappoint. Here’s “Ghostly”: Continue reading »

Sep 252013

We’ve been way light on the content today. I don’t mean to imply any misgivings about Andy Synn’s Otargos review, but we’re way past mid-morning here on the West Coast of these United States, and on a typical day we would have three or four posts up on the site by now. However, I was out listening to live metal last night (a review is coming), didn’t get home and to bed until nearly 3 a.m., and am only now dragging myself into the world of the living (hail satan that I didn’t have to go to work at the usual hour this morning).

I do have a new post in the works, but it will take me a while longer to finish it. In the meantime, enjoy “Zochrot”. That’s not the name of a foot fungus. It’s the name of a “B-side” track recorded by Carcass that isn’t on their new album Surgical Steel but instead was included as part of DECIBEL magazine’s Flexi-Disc series. Subscribers to the magazine got a copy with the August issue. Everyone else is shit out of luck because, at least for now, it isn’t being released in any other format.

However, today DECIBEL did start making the song available for listening on Soundcloud. It’s got a bouncy groove (definitely not the deathgrind side of Carcass’ personality) and a couple of nice solos. Not a bad way to pass the time while I get my shit together. You can hear “Zochrot” by visiting this page (DECIBEL didn’t make the song embeddable): Continue reading »

Sep 102013

Painstakingly selected from among the detritus that litters the interhole and the NCS in-box, here are items of interest that appeared over the last 24 hours.


If you need more darkness in your life — and who doesn’t? — then you should listen to Vermis, the new death metal monstrosity by New Zealand’s Ulcerate. The album won’t be released in North America until September 17 (a day earlier in the UK and September 13 in certain European countries), but yesterday Metal Sucks began hosting an exclusive stream of the album. Ulcerate are one of those rare death metal bands who are pushing (or dragging) the genre in new directions. The music of Vermis is harrowing and inhuman, but it exerts a powerful attraction. You should hear it.

THIS is the link for the stream.


The new Carcass album, which we reviewed here, is due for release on September 16. I have a feeling that anyone interested in hearing the new Carcass album has already heard it, but just in case, it’s now streaming in full, too. Nuclear Blast has uploaded the entire album to YouTube. Obviously, it’s one of the biggest releases of 2013, and it also happens to be a fine album. You can hear it next.  (thanks Daniel for the tip) Continue reading »

Aug 192013

(BadWolf reviews the new album by Carcass.) 

My age was in single digits the last time Carcass released new material, but Surgical Steel does not feel like a comeback album. Carcass never exited the zeitgeist. Their first four albums have remained fresh and relevant since their release, and remain touchstones to which all other extreme metal releases are compared. 1988’s Reek of Putrifaction may still be the best overall grind album on the market. 1991’s Necroticism is one of the only technical death metal albums I can name that boasts actually memorable songs. 1995’s Heartwork—praise it—is one of only a handful of melodic death metal records that still sounds good after puberty’s end.

Carcass will never leave the market—since I’ve been interested in extreme metal, their work has been rereleased and re-rereleased in increasingly indulgent and deluxe packages. The most mainstream of extreme metal acts—The Black Dahlia Murder, for example—routinely sing Carcass’s praises in the pages of glossy print ‘zines.

Keeping that in mind, calling Surgical Steel a comeback album rings false. It’s just an entree I ordered at a popular and crowded restaurant that took a long time—17 years long—to cook. So long I forgot ordering it. Well, I’ve eaten my long-delayed entree. It came to my table still piping hot. The waiter is getting a 50% gratuity. I’m going to walk into the kitchen and congratulate the chef—The Master Butcher—personally. It’s fucking delicious. Continue reading »

Aug 012013

This seems to be a day for tour announcements.  In addition to those we’ve already posted about, Carcass have now announced that they will be playing a select group of “intimate” shows in North America this September in support of their forthcoming album Surgical Steel. I like the tour’s name — Colonial Irrigation — though I wonder if maybe it should have been “Colonic Irrigation”. I also enjoyed bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker’s statement about the tour:

“Well we thought we’d play a few small key shows, kinda like the vibe we had in London earlier this year.  Maybe we’re being a bit optimistic thinking we can fill these venues? Well to make sure we do we’re bringing along some old friends & bands who will probably blow us away. We’re too much of a bunch of tight wads to throw a record release party so this is the closest you’ll get – come on down, and bring your receipt with the new album purchase and demand a refund!”

Those old friends he referred to? Macabre, Immolation, and Exhumed. Not too shabby.

There’s only one problem: Unless you live in the vicinity of Calgary, Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, you’ll miss out on this deliciousness (that’s right, there is a Calgary date even though it’s not on the tour flyer above — it’s at the Noctis Festival, which has a stunning line-up). Maybe there will be a more widespread tour later on. Here are the tour’s confirmed dates: Continue reading »

Jul 152013

I love our European brethren and sistren so much that I’m belatedly sharing this news even though it makes me slightly bitter. Okay, more than slightly bitter. More accurately, it makes me want to bite you in my bitterness.

This fall Amon Amarth and Carcass are linking horns in a tour called DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH IV, and they’ll be joined by UK’s Hell. The flyer you see up above just spotlights the UK dates on the tour, where Bleed From Within will also join the tour. But many other countries will be visited as well.

That’s really all I have to say about this. The complete tour dates can be seen after the jump.  Bastards. Continue reading »

Jul 102013

I mentioned in today’s first post that I was cut off from the interhole most of yesterday and missed lots of stuff that should have been the subject of yesterday’s posts. So I’m catching up. I’ve found so many interesting developments from both yesterday and this morning that I’m going to hold my verbiage to a rare minimum and let the music speak for itself.


The band’s first single (“Captive Bolt Pistol”) from their new album (Surgical Steel) proved controversial. (The song appeared on a CD exclusively sold with the 85th issue of the German “Legacy” Magazine in order to promote the Party.San Metal Open Air festival, and someone uploaded it to YouTube from there). The haters (I’m not one) seemed primarily to be those fans who think Carcass jumped the shark after Necroticism, and therefore they’re disappointed in the Heartwork-style stylings of the new song.

Yesterday brought us another taste, an official video teaser that appears to be a playthrough of an instrumental part of another song. Haters will still hate. I am still not one of them; I still like what I hear. You can listen to the teaser after the jump. But today also brought us the very cool album cover for Surgical Steel, which you can see above. It was created by British photographer Ian Tilton, who also did the cover for Necroticism. Now, here’s the teaser: Continue reading »

Jun 302013

In terms of headline-making news in the global world of metal, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything with more ooomph than the news that the legendary CARCASS will be releasing a new album this year, their first in 17 years. The album, Surgical Steel, will be released by Nuclear Blast this fall.

Today, the first track from the album leaked. It surely won’t be up on YouTube for very long, so you might want to catch it ASAP. The name is “Captive Bolt Pistol”. I doubt I can completely separate my reaction from the fact that this is a new Carcass song, but it sounds sweet to me. It’s more on the Heartwork end of the band’s musical trajectory, which is to say melodic death metal, and that might disappoint some really old-school Carcass worshippers, but it’s still got a cutting edge and I do like that guitar solo.

Listen fast . . . after the jump. Continue reading »