May 072012

(DemiGodRaven checks in with this review of the Sacramento stop of the THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS tour, featuring All Shall Perish, Carnifex, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Contortionist, and more.)

First off, before I really begin, I need to give a huge shout out to the folks at CapitalChaos and RockHardLive. Whilst at the moment they are both competing with each other at least in one sense, we’re all able to reap the rewards because they both had people out at this show recording it, and as a result we have some decent live videos on both ends. Check out both the Capital Chaos and Rock Hard Live youtube pages, because both of them have been doing more for Sacramento than anyone could imagine. Believe me, if a band has played here recently, there’s a pretty good chance the live footage you see pop up on youtube is because of one of those two groups. They deserve far more credit and love than what they get.

Now then. I arrived at the show late. I actually had it planned where I would get there around 6:30, believing that since the doors opened at 5:30, there would be about an hour delay (as has been standard fare at the other shows at Ace that I’ve been to) so I could get there right as things were kicking off. This provided me an opportunity to enjoy some fine 20-year old hooch that my friend’s Grandfather had made at his Dad’s birthday. Meanwhile, my friend is over in Japan teaching. I am nothing if not an appreciator of weird social situations.

I was looking forward to this show for a few reasons. I’d finally get to see The Contortionist. (Okay, I’ve actually seen them before, but it was at something like 1 am in The Boardwalk. I was so fucking tired I actually found myself dozing off in the corner of the venue. I couldn’t believe it, you could’ve been blasting grindcore in my face and I still would’ve dozed off.) I’d finally get to see All Shall Perish, and as part of a touring cycle for an album I enjoy the hell out of. I’d get to see Conducting From the Grave on a larger stage than The Boardwalk’s.

Oh, and Fleshgod. Did I mention Fleshgod? Because I’d finally get to see Fleshgod Afuckingpocalypse in a live setting. I could’ve listened to two hours of Hare Krishna bullshit as openers if it resulted in me getting the solid forty or so minutes I did of Fleshgod on stage. Continue reading »

Jan 262012

(DemiGodRaven helps catch us up on metal news.)

Hey folks, I’ve planted my ass in the underworld for a brief period of time in order to round up all the smaller (and maybe not so small) news stories that may have fallen through the cracks in one way or another. Some of them are simple things like album streams, others are album teasers, there’s some tour news, and hey, occasionally you’ll even get a free song or two, ya hear? Also, if you aren’t reading this in a 50’s news reporters voice after seeing the picture of the hat above YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. First up is a pretty simple album stream, and then we’ll go on from there.

Lamb of God’s latest album Resolution saw release recently, and so they decided to run a full album stream over at AOL Music to give people a chance to get in a good listen before they decide whether to buy or not. I’ve enjoyed this release much more than Wrath, but it is still largely iterative on the sound that they started building in Sacrament.

It’s a good listen all the way through, but I can imagine it would be pretty dull if you picked a random song instead of the five or six really great ones. In other words, this is not an album built for Ipod shuffle like Amon Amarth’s stuff usually is (for example), so you’ll have to be in a really Lamb of God mood in order to really get into this one.

Also, they used the shotgun blast sample again. The same one they used on Sacrament. I was just waiting for the GOD-DAMN before it. Full review incoming soon. In the meantime, while you wait for me to validate your opinion and tell you how awesome of a metal listener you are, you can stream that fucker over here. Continue reading »

Oct 012011

September is behind us. Here in Seattle, it was such a beautiful month that it seemed like nature’s compensation for how late the summer started. Unfortunately, with September’s end, we’re on a short track to the onset of winter, which means about six months of short, cold, grey, ceaselessly wet days. Ain’t that just fuckin’ great?

Well, bitchin’ about the winter ahead won’t change one fucking thing. I prefer to think instead about the deluge of new metal that’s headed our way and try (momentarily) to forget about the deluge of rain on the horizon. Which brings us to the latest monthly edition of METAL IN THE FORGE.

You know the drill:  In these posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album before August, we wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. As usual, also feel free to tell us about how we fucked up by omitting releases that you’re stoked about. Continue reading »

Sep 232011

We’ve been dribbling out new songs and videos today, and I thought we were through, but we’re not — because I just got a press release about a new lyric video from Carnifex. It’s for a song called “Dead But Dreaming”, which will appear on the band’s next album, Until I Feel Nothing, scheduled for release by Victory Records on October 24. I have a couple of quick reactions, and then I’ll let you go watch and listen to the video.

First, the song is a fucken crusher. Massive, groaning chords set the stage, and then the band rip into high gear with pounding riffs, grisly vocals, artillery-style drumming, and well-placed bass drops. Fans of the band’s deathcore roots will welcome the return of brutal breakdowns, and I enjoyed the juxtaposition of almost dream-like ambience here and there in the song.

Second, the lyrics aren’t half-bad, and certainly an improvement over the misogynistic ranting that filled so many of the band’s earliest songs.

I’m guessing we’re going to get more straight death-metal in the new album, continuing through on the transitions that began on Hell Chose Me, but as deathcore goes, this song proves that Carnifex have still got it.  The vid is right after the jump, along with some Carnifex tour info and a link for album pre-orders. Continue reading »

Aug 242010

This is the second part of a two-part post about the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour’s performances in Seattle and Portland on August 20 and 21. In Part 1, we gave our impressions about the music and posted photos of about half the bands performing in Seattle.

Today, we have a random assortment of observations about our two days of metal in the Pacific Northwest, plus photos of all the bands at the show in Portland.

None of us here at NCS know what the fuck we’re doing with a camera. We like to justify our ineptitude by telling ourselves it’s just like the DIY ethic of underground metal. We also like to make excuses that divert attention from our complete lack of training, such as the constantly changing or almost non-existent light, the non-stop motion on stage, the distance from which we’re taking the photos, and — most important — the fact that we go to shows to listen to the fucking music, not to take photos, so there’s a limit to how much time we’re going to spend snapping away like a fucking tourist.

But, despite our manifold shortcomings as photojournalists, we think these pics are just barely good enough to share, so we’re sharing them — a lot of them, since 11 bands played in Portland and we didn’t miss out on any of them.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 232010

This year’s edition of THE SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour was a celebration of death metal in some of its more brutal and technical flavors — and one out-of-place wild card that stole the show. In this case, “stealing the show” is a relative term, because the line-up of bands was so strong.

In fact, with allowances for the extremity of our musical tastes here at NCS, this was as consistently solid a line-up, from start to finish, as any tour in recent memory: Vital Remains, Animals As Leaders, Carnifex, Decrepit Birth, Cephalic Carnage, Veil of Maya, The Red Chord, All Shall Perish, The Faceless, and Decapitated.

In fact, we were so stoked about this tour that we decided to see it both in Seattle last Friday and again in Portland the next day. The tour’s last show is in San Francisco tonight, so we were catching the bands near the end of a long summer haul that no doubt wore them out. But you couldn’t tell that from the way they played. If we didn’t have day jobs and were closer to SF, we’d be tempted to take in a third performance — it was that good.

As usual, we took a crapload of photos at both performances. And in fact, most of them are crap. But we’ve been painstakingly sorting through them to find the least crappy ones that we wouldn’t be too embarrassed to share.

So, today, we’ve got some high-level reactions to what we heard from all the bands, plus photos from the Seattle tour stop. Tomorrow (now at this location), we’ll have some random observations about the scene and the crowds and a few other thoughts that aren’t really in the nature of a review, plus the best photos from the Portland show (which are a bit better than the ones we’re posting today).  (continue after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 062010

Man, have we got some breaking news for those of you who occasionally enjoy the sensation of leaving the caves where you live and spending a night in a different kind of cave — one that’s filled with really loud, skull-splattering metal and other cave-dwellers like yourselves.

We’ve just gotten confirmed dates for two new tours that make us gleeful with anticipation. Bet you can’t guess which ones.

Oh, wait. I guess you can guess which ones.

Well, bet you can’t guess the dates and places where these two tours will descend in order to lay waste to paying cave-dwellers. S’okay, you don’t have to guess, because both tour schedules are laid out in all their glory after the jump.

In our humble opinion, these will be two of the fall’s best tours. Not that it matters to you, but we’re particularly stoked because they’re both coming to a cave near us — way the fuck up here in the Northwest corner of the U.S. And there are Canadian dates on one of them, too.

(check it out after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Apr 162010

The official line-up for the Summer Slaughter Tour 2010 has now been confirmed (by Metal Sucks).  Here it is:


That is one mouth-watering band list of extreme metal awesomeness, isn’t it?

But as you scan your greedy eyes over that list, which band doesn’t exactly fit with the rest? If you’re like us, your eyes probably came to a halt at Animals As Leaders. Wonder how they came to be included. Mind you, we’re not complaining at all. We saw Tobin Abasi and his mates play in Seattle last week (and wrote about it here, with photos), and they are gobsmackingly good. But it’s an interesting choice.

Tour dates and places aren’t available yet. You can be abso-fucking-lutely sure that if this tour comes anywhere near Seattle, we will be there.

Feb 212010

The day before yesterday I flew from Seattle to my hometown of Austin, Texas, to visit family and friends. Yet another reminder that air travel basically sucks ass. One of the few upsides for me when I do it is the opportunity to catch up on new metal releases – and man, they’ve been piling up like snow drifts since the first of the year.

But all good things come at a cost, and the price I paid on this plane trip was being subjected to an almost non-stop attack of farting. Seriously, my section of the plane was Fart Central for more than three hours. I don’t know who the perpetrators were, though I have my guesses. All I know is that I was enveloped in a noxious miasma, one wave after another, for most of the fucking trip.

If you travel by car with friends, or you’re in a metal band touring by van, and a fellow passenger cuts one, you can roll down the windows, or in case of a particularly vicious attack, you can get out of the car — preferably after it’s come to a full stop.

Those options aren’t available at 30,000 feet. You’re trapped like an animal with its leg in a bear trap. You’ve heard how wolves caught in a trap have been known to chew through their own leg to escape? That’s how I felt. Probably not as bad as being water-boarded, but if given the choice, I probably would have swapped tortures.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that Immolation, Miseration, Meshuggah, and Carnifex didn’t intend their new releases to be heard under these conditions. Let me tell you, it’s a big fucking distraction. You start getting into the music – and that’s some mighty fine music I was cranking out – and then your nose hairs start to burn, and you might as well be listening to Lady Fucking Gaga.

Anyway, forgive me. I had intended to have a review of one of these awesome albums prepped and ready to roll out today, but I really gotta have a do-over on the listening experience. Meanwhile, I’m thinking that whatever they pay flight attendants, it ain’t enough. And I’m thinking of wearing a ski mask for the return flight to Seattle. It might actually be worth the body cavity search I’d get from TSA at the security checkpoint.

Have a very metal day. We’ll get back to music tomorrow.

Jan 262010


See those pictures above? In descending order, that’s Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Dragonforce, Dez Fafara, Carnifex, Axl Rose, and the late great Dimebag, all flipping the bird. This is a pretty random selection. If we’d had more time, we could have made this photo gallery a lot longer. For every metal band you’ve got on your personal music player, odds are that somewhere there’s a photo of them giving the finger.

Who are they flipping off? Is it the photographer? Is it you, their adoring fans? Is it the world in general? And why are they doing this?  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »