Jul 192012

Still plagued by the annoying intrusions of non-metal life (fuck non-metal life), your stupid friends at NCS have nevertheless found time to gather a few recent items of interest for your amusement and edification.


First item is above, presented to you as a public service, rather than because of my usual self-centered interests, since this tour isn’t coming remotely close to Seattle. But any U.S. tour involving both Primordial and Cormorant is by definition newsworthy. I don’t know While Heaven Wept, but they must at least be interesting or they wouldn’t be along for this ride.

Do pay close attention to the little asterisks, since not all bands will be at all dates.


The next item is also a tour announcement that also happens to be in September and also happens to include Cormorant (look closely at the dates for Sept 16-20 on the following poster) and also happens to be by-passing Seattle. On this tour, the headliners will be YOB and a band called Norska, which features YOB bass player Aaron Rieseberg and his brother Dustin and is described as a “progressive tech-sludge rock band.” Continue reading »

Mar 262012

Earlier this month, Andy Synn passed his 18-month anniversary as a writer for NCS. His first post was a review of Dimmu Borgir’s Abrahadabra album. In all that time, Andy has rarely mentioned that in addition to writing about metal, he is also the vocalist for a UK metal band called Bloodguard. Maybe it’s that famous British reserve, or perhaps it’s because Andy is a gentleman and a scholar in addition to being a writer and a howler. I, however, am not limited by good manners or any sense of humility, and I have some news about Bloodguard that needs to be spread like the plague.

First, the band have now set the official track-listing for their debut album, Patterns In The Infinite, and this is it:

1. Eye Of The Paradox
2. Vanguard
3. Footsteps (Of The Dead)
4. Our Lady Of The Flood
5. Black Math Ritual
6. Panopticon
7. Final Prayer
8. Bridgeburner

After the jump, you’ll find an album preview video that will give you a taste of what the songs sound like in their unmixed form, although the order of the samples in the video doesn’t match the track-listing. But first, there’s even bigger news, because I’ve discovered from Andy the identities of five guests whose talents will be enhancing Bloodguard’s new album — and it’s quite an exciting list: Arthur von Nagle (Cormorant), Michiel Dekker and Ivo Hilgenkamp (The Monolith Deathcult), Seth Hecox (Becoming the Archetype), and Demonstealer (Demonic Resurrection). Continue reading »

Dec 222011

(Yesterday, BadWolf revealed 19 of his Top 20 albums of 2011. Today, he unveils his No. 1 album of 2011 and interviews the top band’s vocalist/bassist/lyricist, Arthur Von Nagel.)

Cormorant’s Dwellings secured my Album of the Year status on the first listen. It’s a staggering achievement, one I’ve already covered in depth on this site [here].

In the following celebratory interview, Cormorant bassist/lyricist/vocalist Arthur Von Nagel broke down a few of Dwellings’ tracks, talked about Cormorant’s future, dished about his recent engagement (congratulations!), hinted to Cormorant’s touring(ish) future, and even dropped some super-kvlt metal recommendations.

BWHow are you, my man?

Cormorant:  I’m doing very well, yourself?  I’m on cloud nine this whole week.

BWI bet you are, you lucky dog. Successful engagement, oodles of critical acclaim. You’re having ‘the best week ever.’

Cormorant:  The engagement was beautiful.  And yeah I’m really glad that so many people are enjoying the album.  The band Timeghoul just wrote to us to congratulate us on the album and then I died happy. These dudes are my heroes, you know?  It’s really an honor.  And then NPR list us with all these bands we look up to and have been influenced by.  It’s just fantastic and I can’t thank everyone enough for the kind words and support.  This album was a labor of love.

BWYou can totally hear that. On both of them, I think. Well, know not think.

Cormorant:  Haha, well Metazoa was a different animal.  It was a more hopeful and excited record. Dwellings is just bleak in comparison. Continue reading »

Nov 292011

(NCS writer BadWolf provides this review of the new album by Cormorant, which is still streaming at NPR, and which BadWolf calls “the album of the year.” )

These times are trying. The throat of winter is upon me here in the Midwest as my country prepares to enter its third year of depression and poverty, its eleventh of war. I drive home from work, NPR has nothing but bad news, and the only metal I can find on the radio during daylight hours is The Devil Wears Prada on the local Christian station. It was just Thanksgiving, what have I got to be thankful for (besides my family, friends, and relatively good health)?


When these Bay Area wunderkinds released their debut, Metazoa, it was an amazing experience lost amidst a bumper-crop of instant-classics. Cheers to the underdog, the completely independent album that fought for our attention against heavyweights like The Way of All Flesh, ObZen, Crack the Skye, Watershed, and Blue Record.

Three years later, the follow-up, Dwellings, has arrived.

For those who are unaware, Cormorant’s music fuses narrative drama and melodic riffage. They borrow techniques from nearly every metallic subgenre, as well as folk and even classic rock, but don’t adhere to a single school of heaviness. This is the mixed martial arts of extreme music—Amon Amarth riffage into Ved Buens Ende weirdness. Their songs can be long, short, or anywhere in between. Those people put off by Opeth and Enslaved’s new records should find Cormorant to be a more than worthy successor. Continue reading »

Nov 282011

Thanks to Metal Bandcamp and MaxR, I discovered yesterday that Cormorant has made its new album, Dwellings, available for pre-order on Bandcamp (here). This supplements the now-closed exclusive pre-order option that the band offered earlier in the fall through their blog page.

As MaxR reported, you can choose between 7 different packages ranging from the download-only for $7 up to a bundle that includes the CD, a t-shirt, a zip-up hoodie, and the album download for $50 (plus shipping). The CD comes in a 6-panel Digipak, which includes the hand-drawn vertical panorama cover artwork by Alice Duke, full-color on-disk design, and a 12-page booklet containing lyrics and liner notes.The pre-orders will ship on December 7, which is the day after the official album release.

Maybe best of all, for people who are as impatient as I am, if you make a pre-order, you get an immediate download of three tracks from the album. Like MaxR, I went with the shirt+CD option and got me that immediate download in the bargain. The band is also now streaming those three tracks on their Bandcamp page. You can find two of them streaming elsewhere (“Junta” and “The Purest Land”), but as MaxR noted, the third one didn’t seem to be currently available anywhere except at Bandcamp.

That third song is called “The First Man”, and it’s now available for purchase all by itself for $1. A few words about the song, plus the song-stream, follow the jump. But as of this morning, the whole album is now streaming at NPR, whose writer Lars Gotrich had this to say about the record: “Dwellings is, far and away, the best metal record of 2011: an emotionally and musically complex album which wrestles with our desperate and sometimes violent attempts to secure a place in history.”

By the way, speaking of the fantastic Dwellings album cover by Alice Duke, you should check out her on-line portfolio here for more fantastic-ness. Also after the jump: the full vertical piece of artwork, of which the cover is only a part. Continue reading »