Jan 312016
 

Rearview Mirror

 

We missed out on a Rearview Mirror post last Sunday, so I thought I’d double-up for this Sunday’s edition. As usual, we’re looking back at metal from past years, and in this case providing a bit of music from two bands that no longer exist (though one of them still officially seems to be “on hold”). The careers of both bands overlapped, and both were favorites of mine while they lasted.

HIMSA

Himsa were founded in Seattle in 1998, taking as their name a Sanskrit word that means “harm” or “violence”. In June 2008 they announced their demise, and in August 2008 they played their last show. In between the beginning and the end, the band released four albums and two EPs on such labels as Revelation Records, Prosthetic Records, and Century Media. Continue reading »

Oct 312013
 

In July of this year, Chimaira released their seventh studio album, Crown of Phantoms, and NCS writer TheMadIsraeli reviewed it here. Recently he got the chance to interview Chimaira’s main man Mark Hunter via Facebook chat, covering such topics as Crown’s place in the Chimaira discography, the band’s most recent line-up changes, what Hunter listens to when he’s not in Chimaira mode, action movies, and more. Here we go:

 

Mark Hunter: Hello! I am here and ready when you are.

TheMadIsraeli: Alright so, to be brief with this, this conversation is going to be completely unedited except for typos and I might format stuff to make more sense.  I don’t like censoring shit or leaving shit out so…

MH: Sounds good to me.

 

TMI: So let’s get the Chimaira related shit out of the way, I’d like to make this more of a general interview about metal in general as well as other stuff.  Crown of Phantoms. How do you feel about where it sits in the Chimaira discography?

MH: I am extremely proud of the album. The entire recording process was a blast and I learned a lot. I hear sonic trademarks that ensure the name “Chimaira” is represented well, and I also think the songwriting as well as musicianship is at its finest hour. I’m excited to write more as I feel we only cracked the surface. Continue reading »

Nov 122010
 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post comes to us from Dan, who apparently is now called The Artist Formerly Known As Dan. Dan is an American temporarily transplanted to Adelaide, Australia. He has a list for you.]

So, I realize it’s cliche to make one of these lists (and maybe a bit premature?), but they’re usually useful for several reasons.  Firstly, it allows me to shamelessly plug the bands I like and push my agenda on you.  Secondly, it allows you to post lists of the records I forgot and tell me why my first list was wrong.  I can then subsequently go back to the records I may have forgotten or never owned in the first place.  Everyone should theoretically win here, since there is always music overlooked or forgotten about throughout the year.  So, let’s begin.

10. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza – Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events

Technical, but so brutal.  A perfect recommendation for someone who listens to too much vanilla-breakdown deathcore (and, for some of you, “too much” implies listening to any deathcore at all).  I highly recommend seeing them in concert; they bring tons of energy.  Yippie-Kay-Yay-Motherfucker.

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 312010
 

Another month has passed. Summer is waning. It’s still as hot as the ninth circle of Hell in most parts of our country, but here in the Pacific Northwest, the air is already beginning to feel like fall. And because fall in Seattle lasts about one week, winter is already what we’re thinking about, because winter means getting soaked with rain. In the dark.

Where were we? Oh yeah, another month is over. And here at NCS, that means it’s time for another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, a forge being the old name for a place where a blacksmith heats metal and works it into the shape of something useful. We thought it sounded literary.

Another name for “forge” is “smithy.” As in, “the blacksmith works in a smithy.” But “smithy” doesn’t sound literary, and METAL IN THE SMITHY just sounds fucked up. METAL IN THE FORGE is a little fucked up, too, the more we think about it, but not as fucked up as METAL IN THE SMITHY.

Where were we? Oh yeah, at the end of every month, we update the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or updated info about some of the previously noted releases.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Perhaps needless to say, these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site — the kind that would like to tear your head off.

So, after the jump, in alphabetical order, you’ll find our list of cut-and-pasted items from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and, if you’re really obsessive like we are, put reminders on your calendar. Continue reading »

Jul 042010
 

Fair warning: This will be one extended session of spittle-flecked frothing at the mouth, because we haven’t been this blown away since stumbling into a full-fledged Seattle windstorm last winter. So get the safety glasses on and strap on sanitary masks if you got ’em.

The subject of our enthusiasm is Nothnegal. They’re a band from The Republic of the Maldives that now includes two non-Maldivian heavyweights — drummer Kevin Talley from Dååth and keyboardist Marco Sneck from those Finnish swamplords Kalmah. They’ve got a four-song EP to their credit called Antidote of Realism and they’ve just signed with Season of Mist for the release of their debut album early next year.

Oh yeah, they’re also playing with Arch Enemy this month and touring Europe in the fall with the likes of Rotting Christ, Samael, and Finntroll.

And we’d wager that most of you have never heard of them. Until earlier this week, we hadn’t either. But this band shows all the seismic signs of an impending Vesuvius-sized eruption onto the scene — and based on the band’s output to date, it would be well-deserved.

If you like technically immaculate, headbangingly compulsive, Scandinavian-style melodic death metal played at autobahn speed, stay with us after the jump. Among other things, we’ll stream all four tracks from that EP and we’ll show you how to download a cut from Nothnegal’s forthcoming debut album. Continue reading »

Jun 012010
 

We’re now five months into 2010, and it’s time for another monthly update to the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.)  Below is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or updated info about some of the previously noted releases.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get ’em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

THE ACACIA STRAIN: “Western Massachusetts’ chuggernauts The Acacia Strain, have completed work on their new album, which will be released July 20th in North American and August 2nd in Europe via Prosthetic Records.”

ATHEIST: “Reactivated seminal technical metal pioneers ATHEIST will enter LedBelly studios in Atlanta, Georgia on July 5 to begin recording their long-awaited, as-yet-untitled fourth album. Engineering the session will be Matt Washburn. Additionally, the band has secured the services of one of metal’s most significant talents of the past decade, Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, CHIMAIRA, DEVILDRIVER), to handle the mixing of what promises to be a modern classic from the pioneers of technical metal. . . . ATHEIST‘s forthcoming album is tentatively scheduled for a late 2010 release and will be followed by a world tour in 2011.”   (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 092010
 

Cerebral Metalhead is a blog we like to visit because it often turns us on to new music we don’t encounter elsewhere and because the album reviews are so well-written. On our latest visit, we read a glowing review of a self-released album called Monolith by an unsigned Atlanta prog-metal band named From Exile. So we quickly got the album, and we gotta agree — this is an amazing piece of work, and we feel compelled to help spread the word.

At its core, From Exile are two very talented guitarists — Eric Guenther and Ben Wetzelberger. On Monolith, they are joined on drums by the ever-awesome Kevin Talley from Daath. And the Daath connection doesn’t stop there. Eyal Levi co-produced the album with Guenther, handled the mixing chores, and provided a guest guitar solo on a song called “In the Faded Silence.” And the Daath connection still doesn’t stop there: Guitarist extraordinaire Emil Werstler added another guest guitar solo on “Apparition.”

Basically, with magnificent help from Talley’s accomplished drumwork, Monolith is a 32-minute treatise on guitar metal. If you found yourself on Pandora with nothing but an electric guitar and you were trying to explain it to one of those blue Na’vi, we imagine the conversation would go something like this: “Yeah, that neural thing you got on the end of your braid is pretty cool, but this thing is a fuckin’ electric guitar, and if you wanna know all the sounds it can make, slot your braid into my iPod and listen to Monolith.” (read more after the jump, and listen to a track . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 232010
 

We’re now almost two months into 2010, and it’s already time for our second update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here and the first update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last update about a month ago — and there’s a lot of them.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last month about forthcoming new releases:

1349: “Prosthetic Records will release the brand new album from Norwegian black metal legends 1349 in North America via an agreement with Indie Recordings. The new CD, which promises ‘a return to the band’s more traditional, raw-yet-technical black metal sound,’ is due on April 13. In support of the yet-to-be-titled record, 1349 will embark on a North American tour in April and May as the support act for CANNIBAL CORPSE (alongside SKELETONWITCH and LECHEROUS NOCTURNE).”

ABACABB: “ABACABB are currently out on the road headlining the Hot Dice On Black Ice Tour featuring Upon A Burning Body!. The tour just hit Texas and will be in California this weekend. Following the tour ABACABB will enter the studio with producer Will Putney at Machine Shop in New Jersey and will have a new album to be released sometime this summer.”

AEON: “Swedish death metallers AEON have set Path Of Fire as the title of their third album, due later in the year via Metal Blade Records. The CD was recorded in September 2009 at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden and was mixed the following month at Mana Recording Studios in St, Petersburg, Florida by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE). The mastering was handled by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (CONVERGE, HATEBREED, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) in New Windsor, New York.”

AMORPHIS: “AMORPHIS will release its first-ever live DVD, Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes, in early June via Nuclear Blast, in time for the band’s 20th anniversary. The filming took place on November 20, 2009 at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland, where AMORPHIS was supported by STRATOVARIUS and BEFORE THE DAWN. In addition to the full-length live show, the anniversary DVD will include plenty of bonus material documenting the band’s impressive career.”   (much more after the jump . . . ) Continue reading »

Jan 282010
 

We didn’t start this blog site until Nov 23 last year.  So when metal bands were releasing albums earlier in 2009, we weren’t around to publicly flap our gums about them. We’ve been trying to make up for lost time by occasionally writing about bands whose 2009 releases really made an impression on us.

Today we’re writing about a band from Toulouse, France called Eryn Non Dae, and their striking 2009 full-length debut, Hydra Lernaïa — an album unlike anything else we heard last year and one of our favorites.

The band was also kind enough to participate in an interview by e-mail, and we’ll run that in Part 2 of this post tomorrow. We tried to come up with some unusual questions, and what we got back was consistent with the music these dudes create.  They didn’t just dash off the first thoughts that popped into their heads — they took their time, and their answers are thoughtful, intelligent, thought-provoking and far from run of the mill. Definitely come back here tomorrow and check it out.

In the meantime, if you’re not familiar with the band, allow us to introduce you to them and to the unique album they dropped on an unsuspecting world last year. (continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 282009
 

This past weekend we finished dribbling out our list of the Ten Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of 2010. Here’s the final line-up:

1.  Asphyx: Scorbutics

2.  Mastodon: Crack the Skye

3.  Amorphis: Silver Bride

4. Goatwhore: Apocalyptic Havoc

5.  August Burns Red: Meridian

6.  Pelican: Ephemeral

7.  Scale the Summit: Age of the Tide

8.  Daath: Wilting On the Vine

9.  Molotov Solution: The Harbinger

10. Revocation: Dismantling the Dictator

Yes, the list is finished — and for your listening pleasure, we’ve added a playlist of the listed songs to our MySpace page — with one slight alteration:  we couldn’t find Scale the Summit‘s “Age of the Tide” on MySpace, so our playlist includes another of our favorites tracks off Carving Desert Canyons.

Even though we finished the list, your NCS Co-Authors had some infectious favorites that didn’t survive our final negotiations — but they just missed by a nose. So we’re going to roll those out later this week. It’s the next best thing to just reneging on our commitment to make this a list of the Top Ten and instead renaming it the Top Fourteen.