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.


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…


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 »

Jun 192015

photo by Tim Flach

Greetings from the lovely Shreveport Regional Airport in northwest Louisiana. The project on which I’ve been slaving away in East Texas all week has ended and I’m now beginning to make my way back to Seattle after a late night of partying and an early morning of packing.

I’m feeling seriously metal-deprived, especially during the last week when I had almost no time to listen to anything or write about it. I’m going to start making up for that with a road trip to Vancouver on Sunday to catch Bolt Thrower, and then I think things will start getting back to normal around our putrid site on Monday or Tuesday, though I do have some thoughts for posts on Saturday and Sunday. Continue reading »

May 202015


Guess what? There’s a new Cattle Decapitation song, the name of which is “Manufactured Extinct”. It comes from the band’s next album The Anthropocene Extinction, which Metal Blade has scheduled for worldwide release on August 7. And you can see the delicious artwork for the album up above, created by longtime Cattle Decap collaborator Wes Benscoter.

I don’t have anything more to say about the song, because I’m at 40,000 feet at the moment, flying to Baltimore for Maryland Deathfest, and though there is wi-fi on this plane, it ain’t good enough to stream music. But I can embed the song for you to hear, and I can embed the lyrics right after the song, and I can ask you to tell me how awesome it is… and so I will do all those things right after the jump! Continue reading »

Aug 102014

Last weekend (August 2-3) I spent two beautiful days in Denver attending the Denver Black Sky Festival. For someone who had never attended a metal festival of any kind before this year, I’ve had three great experiences in a row — MDF in May, Gilead Fest in July, and now Black Sky in August. I’d like to say I deserved it, but who would I be fooling?

The festival took place at The Gothic Theater and at Moe’s BBQ, both located in the same block on S. Broadway. I made the trip with three compatriots from Seattle, and we met my NCS comrade Badwolf from Toledo in what became an MDF reunion (and an unanticipated turning point for BadWolf’s life). We spent Saturday and Sunday at The Gothic, and missed some bands we ideally would have wanted to see at Moe’s, but had to make some tough choices.

The Gothic is a very cool, spacious, multi-level, vaulted-ceiling venue, with a wrap-around balcony on the second level, a big floor, and a great main stage with good lighting. The festival organizers set up a second stage opposite the main one, just in front of the bar at the rear of the floor. They called it “In the Round”, because its location enabled the audience to stand all around the stage; you could stand behind the second stage as well as in front of it (and you could also look down on it from the balcony above). Continue reading »

Jul 292013

The day is still young out here in the Pacific Northwest, but it has already brought us a handful of notable premieres. We started with a new Gorguts song, and we now follow that up with an official music video for a song from . . .


The song is “Your Disposal”, which appears on the band’s latest album, Monolith of Inhumanity. This one was again directed by Mitch Massie. Let’s see what frontman Travis Ryan says about it:

“Director Mitch Massie has presented us all with a bizarre retelling of the story of Adam and Eve using themes from our latest album Monolith of Inhumanity. Here we see Eve giving birth to humanity, a living, breathing piece of primordial meat birthed into the dirt making its way through the Garden of Eden, hellbent on destruction… A clean and conscious monolith foretelling what could be possible given the fact that humans exhibit superior traits of intelligence, instead the earth is flooded with technological fallout and debris by the hands of man. This video is very much a prequel to our other videos ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’ and of course, ‘Kindgom of Tyrants’.” Continue reading »

Dec 292012

This is Part 2 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. 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 introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two we’re announcing today, click this link.

Picking the songs for this list is hard, but deciding how to pair them for these daily posts is a bit of a kick. It provides an opportunity for some small amount of creativity, which is the amount that I have. A small amount.

Sometimes, my creativity may be reflected in nothing more than pairing two bands who happen to be from the same country, or whose names begin with the same letter (see above re small amount of creativity). Sometimes, the two songs may be paired because of the musical contrast between them. And sometimes, they might be grouped together because there’s some kind of kinship the music shares — and that’s what’s going on today.


As in the case of our first two song selections, this one comes from an album that was a big hit at NCS (see our review here). Of course, it was a big hit just about anywhere you looked this year, and it’s now popping up on tons of year-end lists, including our own. To quote from our latest list posted earlier today, Monolith of Inhumanity is “a bona fide classic”. Continue reading »

Oct 152012

WARNING: The video you are about to watch is incredibly gory, violent, and features strong sexual violence including rape and sexual assault. Bloody-Disgusting does not endorse or condone any of the actions seen in this video. It is to be viewed as entertainment only.”

That’s the warning that appeared in advance of Bloody Disgusting’s premiere not long ago for the new official video by Cattle Decapitation for “Forced Gender Reassignment”, a track off their decimating 2012 album Monolith of Inhumanity. And that warning appeared after the site explained that the video had been rejected by both YouTube and Vimeo.

I took all this with a grain of salt. I mean, let’s face it, we live in a culture totally stuffed with hype, because hyperbole sells. Having now watched the video, I’m here to tell you: The warning is not hype. Mitch Massie has made something utterly foul and disturbing, with explicit scenes of torture and rape and the brutalization of human flesh. It’s so NSFW that you’re probably not even safe watching it in the same city where you work. Continue reading »

Sep 262012

Yours truly is on the road again, and by “road” I mean in airports and on airplanes and therefore spending hours of tedium separated from the internet. As a result, the postings between now and Monday are going to be scattered and probably fewer than normal. I did have time last night and this morning to survey what’s been happening over the last 24 hours and found the following nuggets of interest.


I started posting about this tour when there was no official announcement and just a few dates had surfaced, because I was so fuckin’ excited about it. Yesterday it became official. I saw on Metal Sucks (which is co-sponsoring the tour) that Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Cerebral Bore will indeed be touring the U.S. in November and December.

But this official announcement has revealed something I didn’t know: Malignancy will be taking the place of Cattle Decapitation during the last week of the tour. The two bands are very different, of course, but they’re both just excellent at what they do. If you want a taste of Malignancy’s forthcoming album (which is amazing), check out this post. Tour dates are right after the jump. Continue reading »