Nov 202019
 

 

(Andy Synn authored this review of the eagerly anticipated new album by Cattle Decapitation, which is set for release on November 29 by Metal Blade Records.)

As every amateur gambler knows, you never quit when you’re on a hot streak.

As every real gambler knows, however, hot streaks are an illusion, and it’s only the utterly naïve, or the foolhardy, who like to think that lady luck has, for some reason, taken a special interest in them.

Californian crushers Cattle Decapitation have been on their own little hot streak ever since 2009’s The Harvest Floor, with both the breakthrough/breakout release of Monolith of Inhumanity and it’s arguably even better follow-up, The Anthropocene Extinction, earning them a guaranteed place on pretty much every End of the Year list that mattered.

But what goes up must, inevitably, come down, and every bubble has to burst sometime.

So the question is, can Death Atlas continue the band’s winning ways, or is it time to cash out? Continue reading »

Sep 072019
 

 

I’m always reluctant to do what I’m doing in this post, i.e., just inserting videos and song streams without any commentary.  Trying to describe music I want to recommend, and to explain why I’m recommending it, is a continuing challenge, but I must admit it’s also fun for me (and cathartic to get my feelings about the music  off my chest). Unfortunately for me, if not for you, I don’t have time for that today. Still, I think there might be some value in the filtering/selection-process itself, and in alerting people to things they might have overlooked on their own.

Even though I’m keeping quiet, I hope you’ll feel free to share your own reactions in the Comments. And with that, here we go… Continue reading »

Dec 132018
 

 

(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)

 

Dysmorphic – An Illusive Progress

It honestly looked a little shaky for French tech-death band Dysmorphic. Some may remember way back in ye olden days of 2013 I actually reviewed the group’s first release via Unique Leader, A Notion of Causality, at this here very web site. In the five years since, the band have gone through periods of relative radio silence and some serious lineup changes, with a new drummer and guitarist, and also including the return of a vocalist who had left the band prior to that first release.

Late November would finally see the realization of all that effort, when five years after A Notion Of Causality, Dysmorphic were able to put out their sophomore followup in the form of An Illusive Progress, a more focused, vicious, and blue-and-green-hued album than their previous release and one that sees them bringing themselves very much in-line with many of their fellow tech-death compatriots with ten tracks of head-spinning tech-death…and one intro. Continue reading »

Nov 012017
 

 

As explained in Part 1 of this gigantic mid-week round-up, I’m trying to catch up on the flood of new videos and songs that were released on Halloween and the few days leading up to it (although a few of the items I’ve selected are a bit older than that).

Because there are so many things I want to throw at your eyes and ears, I alphabetized everything by band name, beginning with Apophis and ending with Watain, and divided the list into three parts. I’m posting them as fast as I can get them ready to go. And because there are so many songs and videos, I’m resorting to a tactic I’ve used occasionally in the past: Although I may dribble a few words here and there, I’m mainly presenting everything with just basic release info and no reviews. Onward to Part 2:

CATTLE DECAPITATION

Cattle Decap put up a video for “Prophets Of Loss” last week, mostly a live performance video using a bunch of tour footage from the group’s recent European run. Great song from a great album. Random comment by my comrade DGR: “It looks like their bassist has cut his glorious mane of hair…. This is most unfortunate. RIP really tall bassist guy’s hair.” Continue reading »

Feb 052016
 

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(Year-end lists… you just can’t kill em’. But Andy Synn has made a habit of crowning our annual LISTMANIA series with one final offering — his selection of the last year’s top songs — and this year is no different.)

Did you REALLY think I was done with lists? Are you really that naive? Oh, how foolish are those who are most willing to be.. umm… fooled. Or something.

Yes, it’s no secret I enjoy making lists, and as such have a particular fondness for the end-of-year period here at NCS, not just because it lets me indulge my numero-erotic list-making proclivities in full (and in public, no less) but also because I sincerely enjoy reading and debating all the other lists we publish and reference and, in the process, discovering bands I’d otherwise overlooked.

The hardest list to pull together though is the list of my favourite songs of the year. Not because of any hard-fought pretence of objectivity (there’s none of that here), but because there’s simply so many options to choose from, with my initial list coming in at well over 100 entries, each drawn from albums across the length and breadth of my Great/Good/Disappointing lists of last year.

But, finally… finally… I managed to whittle it down to the ten selections you’re about to encounter.

I’m not suggesting these are the definitive “Best” songs of the year by any means, they’re just ten tracks which have burrowed their way under my skin and into my brain the deepest.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Dec 272015
 

Alkaloid-The Malkuth Grimoire

 

We have arrived at the fourth installment of our 2015 list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Like the first three, this one includes three songs. All three of these are types of death metal, but certainly not the same type. It’s also kind of hard even to slap a genre label on any of them individually, other than the broad one to which I just alluded.

If you’re new to this evolving list, go HERE to see the songs we’ve already named to it and to learn what we mean by “most infectious”.

ALKALOID

The debut album of this German “super-group” drew a lot of attention from us this year, including a premiere of the song I’m now adding to this list. culminating with my comrade Andy Synn naming The Malkouth Grimoire both to his list of the year’s “Great Albums” (here) and to his list of the year’s “Critical Top 10” (here) — anointing it “the No. 1, ‘best of the best’ album of 2015” and lauding its “sheer creativity, mind-blowing instrumental prowess, ball-busting heaviness, and esoteric, progressive melodies”. Continue reading »

Sep 172015
 

Cattle Decapitation vidclip-2

 

(Here’s Part 2 of Leperkahn’s massive round-up of new music and videos for this Thursday. Part 1 cane found here.)

A lot has happened in the metalsphere over the past few days. It’s certainly tough to keep up – some might even say it’s impossible. But here at NCS, we’re nothing if not delusional dreamers, and thus we maintain the resolve to attempt to cover all that we can, even if we still fail miserably to come even somewhat close to covering everything. Come join us in our delusions.

CATTLE DECAPITATION

I’m absolutely adoring these hometown heroes’ new full-length The Anthropocene Extinction – it’s similar to Monolith of Inhumanity, yet feels like it has a dose of Swedish Shining-esque black metal in it, from the extra bite of some icier riffs to vocalist Travis Ryan’s downright psychotic live persona (not to be confused with his face…).

Ahead of two months full of touring, first on a headline run with King Parrot, Black Crown Initiate, and Dark Sermon (rolling through Chicago (!) with Temple of Void (!) as an opener), and then supporting Cannibal Corpse with Soreption, the band have released a playthrough video for the mammoth track “Mammals of Babylon”. It shows off just how insanely talented these dudes are, as Dave McGraw is capable of inhuman speeds behind the kit, and Josh Elmore shows off some mammoth chops, and deceptively complex riffs. Continue reading »

Aug 062015
 

Cattle Decapitation-The Anthropocene Extinction

 

(DGR provides this typically in-depth review of the new album by Cattle Decapitation.)

We begin by stating the obvious, which has always been a strong suit of mine during my tenure here at NCS. I’ve brought you such hits as “Napalm Death are an important band” and “such and such disc is really good”, without any real qualifications as to why — so I figure why not continue with my trademark and just float this out there:

Monolith Of Inhumanity was a hell of a disc and it did a ton to elevate Cattle Decapitation’s stature. Cattle Decapitation were by no means a newcomer when Monolith Of Inhumanity hit, but it did seem like the disc where everyone finally took notice of them — which was hilarious, because it felt like a solid third of the reaction consisted of other people screaming, “You see? I fucking told you so! I’ve been saying this since Karma Bloody Karma came out!”.

They’re right too, but Monolith Of Inhumanity’s approach of basically being a hurricane of sound, with the band ramming everything and the kitchen sink genre-wise into its runtime and somehow managing to reign it all in so that it could be composed into songs, made the album an intense and incredible experience. It also made it an album that is nigh-impossible to replicate. Many bands didn’t even try to edge close to it, whereas others went chasing after the quickly homogenizing tech-death scene.

By being seemingly everything, Monolith Of Inhumanity became the Ur-Album, and damn near impossible to describe. It was one of those times where the old axe of ignorance being bliss truly applied, because if we had tried to make a thorough effort to capture the music in words, we’d still be stumbling over ourselves, going, “Well, it’s a death metal disc…kind of, it’s got grind elements…kind of”, as our unfortunate victims’ eyes quickly glazed over as they fell into a comatose state.

With essentially no one making a grab for Cattle Decapitation’s crown, they remain at the forefront of metal, but that also means that The Anthropocene Extinction — the group’s new album — has a lot to live up to. With essentially no competition, it means that Cattle Decapitation’s biggest competitor is, well, …themselves. In that context, The Anthropocene Extinction is especially interesting because it doesn’t feel like the band set out to compete with Monolith Of Inhumanity but have instead learned from it, adapted many of its sounds, figured out what parts they like, and experimented with their sound even further. Continue reading »

Aug 042015
 

Ares Kingdom-The Unburiable Dead

 

I’ve been distracted by a combination of personal obligations and the demands of my fucking day job. As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t post anything on Sunday, which was only the seventh calendar day in five and a half years when that has happened, and we had only two posts yesterday. So great is the daily flood of metal that even a few days of distraction means that we get very far behind in our attempts to keep up with all the new music. Catching up would be a herculean task, but in this post I’ve made a modest effort to round up some (and only some) of the good new music and video streams that have surfaced since the end of last week.

This collection is incomplete, but it’s still a long playlist of recommendations — presented in alphabetical order by band name, with a rare paucity of words from me about the music. Your thoughts about these sights and sounds will be welcome, as always.

ARES KINGDOM

Roughly two years after the release of their last album, Veneration, Kansas City’s Ares Kingdom are about to drop a new one. The name is The Unburiable Dead, and the CD release is projected for early September on Nuclear War Now!, with LPs to follow. The album cover, which I think is wonderful, is based on a piece by the German artist George Grosz (1893 – 1959) called “The Pit“. When a friend of the band told me about the cover, he included this quote by the artist, who led a fascinating and tumultuous life: Continue reading »

Jul 022015
 

 

I haven’t compiled one of these round-ups in three days, and so of course I’m now awash in news, new music, and new videos that I think are worth your time — too much to stuff into one post. Rather than become paralyzed with indecision about what to foist upon you now and what to save for later, I drew names out of a hat. Here’s what emerged…

SKEPTICISM

Thanks to a tip from Grant Skelton, I saw yesterday’s announcement that Finland’s venerable and venerated Skepticism have a new album named Ordeal set for release by Svart Records on September 18. For me, the band’s performance at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was one of the event’s true high points, so I could hardly be more thrilled about this news — especially since seven long years have passed since the band’s last full-length.

And to add even more intrigue, the band recorded the new album live before an audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and captured the performance on film. Continue reading »