May 232018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here. Continue reading »

May 212018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. We asked Teddie to introduce herself first, to those of you who may not be familiar with her work:

“I am an Alabama transplant currently residing in the glorious swamp that is New Orleans. Growing up, I regularly went on adventures to photograph the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast and thought I’d eventually pursue nature photography. I’ve always been involved with the arts, whether it be attempting to dance or taking vocal lessons, and fell hard and fast into music photography during a college internship at the local rock radio station. A few years and seemingly hundreds of deafening nights in small bars later and I am an intern at Relapse Records and Earsplit PR and travel regularly to interview and take photos of musicians I adore. I apologize in advance if my tall, camera-hauling self blocks your view or whacks you with a camera during a show.”

And with that preamble, here are some of Teddie’s photos from the first day at Roadburn 2018: Continue reading »

Nov 062017
 

 

(This is Wil Cifer’s review of The Dusk In Us — the recently released ninth album by Converge.)

Twenty years ago a friend of mine said to me, “There is this band you would like called Converge, they are like if Sunny Day Real Estate was metal-as-fuck hardcore”. Over the course of those 20 years things have changed for the band. They got a new drummer and put out this album called Jane Doe that turned heavy music on its head. Their guitarist Kurt Ballou is now a highly sought-after producer. With their guitarist behind the mixing board for The Dusk In Us, you might expect to be hit by a wall of guitar. This is not the case. Instead you get guitars with a warm organic sound that sit back in the mix like they are just running straight into their amps. Even in the album’s more experimental moments it retains a very organic sound.

“Eye of the Quarrel” makes it pretty clear that their punk side has not gone anywhere. Bannon’s vocals are not screamed with the same emotional tumult of earlier albums. You can actually understand what he is yelling. They do return to the kind of grit I want from them on “Under Duress”. The chorus is almost sung in a throaty bellow, with the drummer throwing in angular accents and odd-timed punches. Continue reading »

Jul 272017
 

 

Because this is our first round-up of news and new music this week I’m including some items that you may have already noticed elsewhere. But to increase the chances of surprising you with a new discovery, I’ve also included a few excellent new songs from more obscure names. I’ve also chosen them from among a very big list of new releases with the aim of providing diversity of sound. Before we get to the music, I have a couple of news items to share.

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER

Two days ago The Black Dahlia Murder posted that photo at the top of this post on their Facebook page, with no comment. It shows the hand of the esteemed Kristian Wåhlin, aka Necrolord, nearing completion of a very eye-catching piece of red artwork.

Putting two and two together, we can deduce that this will become the cover art for a new album by The Black Dahlia Murder, the existence of which was disclosed in June. In addition, more recent disclosures indicate that the album will be called Nightbringers and will be released on October 6. Continue reading »

May 042016
 

Roadburn-2016-OfficalArtwork1

 

The 2016 edition of the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is now in the history books. It was the first edition of the festival to be presented at the newly renovated 013 venue, and it boasted a typically impressive and diverse line-up of bands. While none of the NCS scribes was on hand for this year’s event, we do have beautiful photos of many of the performances, thanks to Kris T. Therrian of 17 seconds photography.

We’ve divided these photo collections into four parts, one for each day of the festival, and we’re rolling them out on successive days here at our site. You can see photos from Day One here and Day Two here. The remaining installment will appear tomorrow. Many thanks to Kris for letting us share these memories with you. For more info about her work, visit these links: Continue reading »

May 042015
 

 

(BadWolf reviews the Seattle date of the Decibel Magazine 2015 Tour, accompanied by exclusive photos taken by Madison Leiren, except where noted.)

This is the third of four annual Decibel Magazine tours that I’ve reviewed for No Clean Singing (I missed the third installment, featuring Napalm Death headlining, due to Maryland Deathfest. I’m not sorry). At this point in time, the mechanics of the tour itself — the way it interacts with coverage in the magazine, the way that the lineup is formed over time, and the way it is presented artistically — are becoming apparent to me.

Rather than simply assess the show I saw itself, it’s important to discuss these deeper factors, because Decibel Magazine wields a lot of market power in the United States, and the US remains the biggest music market in the world even though metal remains relatively unpopular here. In that respect, however, the tour is operating in an easy middle ground between what I would call respect for profits and respect for the metal zeitgeist. They do that by locking in headliners that already have clout and draw, but aren’t going to pursue metal as a full-time activity, and slotting openers who intend to make a career out of music. At least that’s how it’s worked for the past two years.

It seems as though 2014 was a prototype and 2015 was the first successful rollout of a set Decibel Tour formula. The recipe is as follows: Continue reading »

Oct 202014
 

According to reports here and here, the 2015 edition of THE DECIBEL TOUR will include At the Gates, Converge, and Vallenfyre, plus one more band yet to be announced. This news was apparently divulged by Richard Christy on Saturday night on stage during the “Decibel Takes Manhattan” show, which featured Amon Amarth, Sabaton, and Vallenfyre.

I haven’t seen any more information than what is reported above, but this is exciting news. I’ll now have my fingers crossed, except for those rare occasions when I need those fingers for something else, that this thing will stop in Seattle.

That is all.

UPDATE: The tour schedule has now been announced. Here it is (I can un-cross my fingers): Continue reading »

Nov 112013
 

Here are three new recommended videos that premiered in recent days, two of them this morning. Recommended by me, because I like them.

SATYRICON

When Andy Synn reviewed Satyricon’s self-titled 2013 album for us, he wrote this about the song “Phoenix”: “Instantly divisive, seemingly designed to be hated, its clean, almost bluesy vocals (courtesy of Sivert Høyem) and ringing guitars initially like a step beyond all bounds of the group’s history. But look closer. Those drums, those slow-blooming riffs, they retain the essence of the band. Listen to what the song represents. They have rediscovered their spark, their fire, and their roots – but not perhaps in a way that they, or any of us, would have thought. It’s strange. It’s unexpected. It’s provocative… It’s Satyricon through and through.”

On September 8 Satyricon performed “Phoenix” as part of their concert with the Norwegian National Opera Chorus in the Norwegian Opera House in Oslo. That performance has now become the first official music video from the new album, and it again features Sivert Høyem on vocals. I love this song (and yes, I know it’s nothing but clean vocals), and the video is damned cool, too. Watch it next. Continue reading »

May 232013
 

You may remember that last August Converge and Napalm Death released a split, both digitally and as a 7″ vinyl record. (If you missed that, it’s still available here.) Converge contributed two songs to the split, a song called “No Light Escapes” and a cover of Entombed’s masterful “Wolverine Blues”. The cover song included a multitude of guest vocals. It turns out that when Converge created the cover track, each of the guest vocalists recorded a full version of the song, which Converge then used to compile the final version included on the split.

Today, Converge released a digital EP entitled Pound For Pound: The Wolverine Blues Sessions, which includes the complete mixes of each guest vocalist’s recording (as well as Jacob Bannon’s and Nate Newton’s), presented as five unique versions of the song, to wit:

1. Wolverine Blues w/ Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom, etc)
2. Wolverine Blues w/ Jacob Bannon (Converge, Wear Your Wounds)
3. Wolverine Blues w/ Kevin Baker (All Pigs Must Die, The Hope Conspiracy, etc)
4. Wolverine Blues w/ Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom, etc)
5. Wolverine Blues w / Tomas Lindberg (Disfear, At The Gates, etc) and Kurt (Converge, etc)

Check out a full stream of this unusual EP right after the jump. You can get it here.  Cool cover art, too. Continue reading »

Jan 302013
 

Welcome to Part 21 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least 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 three I’m announcing today, click here.

All good things must come to an end, and this seemingly endless list will end tomorrow with Part 22, going out in a blaze of death metal glory. Today’s three songs, however, are another set that don’t come from the same genre of metal. If they have anything in common besides my belief in them, it’s that all three are heavy as hell.

HIGH ON FIRE

Our friend and fellow blogger Professor D. Grover the XIIIth reviewed High On Fire’s 2012 album for us (here), and I think it’s fair to say that he had mixed feelings about De Vermis Mysteriis, which he viewed as a bit of a step backward compared to the step forward represented by 2010’s Snakes For the Divine. I had the opposite reaction. Where the Professor viewed Snakes as HoF’s crowning achievement, I enjoyed De Vermis Mysteriis more than anything I’ve yet heard from the band.

I preferred the grimier, grittier tone that Kurt Ballou’s production brought to the sound and the utter darkness that suffused so much of the music. The standout track for me — a song that has gotten a shitload of play since I first heard  it — is “King of Days”. Continue reading »