May 092013
 

Dark Tranquillity’s promised official video for the song “Uniformity” has just premiered at Metal Hammer. It’s the third song to be unveiled from Construct, the new DT album that will be released on May 27 via Century Media Records. The video was filmed by Patric Ullaeus.

The song is the second of the three released so far that to my ears has a doom vibe. It’s mid-paced, extremely melodic — even dreamy — and half the vocals are cleanly sung. I’m enjoying the song, but I have to say that I prefer the last single, “The Science of Noise” (featured here), which was a more high-energy track closer to DT’s traditional sound.

Anyway, check out the video and the music right after the jump and share your reactions in the Comments. Continue reading »

Apr 272013
 

Here are some things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that gave me a lift.  Mayhaps they will lift you, too.

KVELERTAK

I liked Kvelertak’s first album, but I haven’t heard the new one, Meir. But Badwolf has, and he raved about it: “[T]hey throw parties to which their music is the soundtrack, and I cannot think of better party music”. Yesterday they premiered a video on various web sites for one of those new songs, “Kvelertak”, and today it went up on YouTube.  It’s an interesting name for a song.  In a subtle way it reminds me of the name of the band. It also reminds me of why I like rock music, because it fuckin’ rocks balls.

The video is also really good. Director Stian Andersen traipsed along with the band for a handful of shows on their recent tour of Europe, and he and his crew filmed parts of the ones in London, Cologne, Paris, and Oslo, plus some off-stage stuff, too (eg, shower scenes). And then he edited all that footage beautifully. Asses will be kicked by this; mine is black and blue. Watch it: Continue reading »

Apr 152013
 

As previously reported here in late March, the new album from Sweden’s Dark Tranquillity, Construct, will be released by Century Media on May 27 in Europe and May 28 in North America. At the time of our last report, we only had a snippet of music from the album as part of a video trailer, but it sounded pleasingly vicious. In the last half hour, however, the band have premiered the first complete cut from the album — a song named “For Broken Words”.

It’s mid-paced, dark, doom-y, atmospheric, with a mellow, melodic instrumental segment, a catchy drumbeat, and nasty, cracked-ice vocals for contrast.

I suspect this song is going to draw very mixed reactions as a choice for the first full track premiere. It’s neither galvanizing nor particularly vicious and it may be closer to doom than to DT’s usual style of melodic death metal. But I’m liking it, and I suspect the album is going to be musically varied, with “For Broken Words” being merely one kind of taste of what’s coming.

Have a listen after the jump. Continue reading »

Mar 272013
 

Dark Tranquillity were one of my first loves as a budding fan of extreme music, and you never forget your first loves. And so although I was not as thoroughly bowled over by their last album as I wish I had been, I’ve still been eager to hear their new one. Entitled Construct, it’s due for release via Century Media on May 27 in Europe and May 28 in North America.

In addition to that welcome news, today also brought the first taste of music via an album trailer. In addition to ambient orchestration, the trailer includes a snippet from a new song, and I’m really liking what I hear — because what I hear sounds downright vicious. Increased viciousness from Dark Tranquillity happens to be just what I want.

You’ll also see variant artwork for the different formats of the album, and they all look damned cool to me.

Check out the trailer right after the jump, and feel free to share your thoughts about what you hear and about whether this band still gets your motor running. Continue reading »

Jan 142013
 

(Here’s a newsy post from DGR.)

Normally Islander is like a sponge when it comes to a lot of the news that is happening around the web; however, like a lot of us he has a job outside of the website (some of you may have already met him!) so some stuff may have flown by him that happened throughout the week. Well not anymore, as I present a round up of stuff that caught my eye that unfortunately never got yacked about here on NCS.

We’re running through a glut of all sorts of things this week from music videos, lyric videos, free tuneage (almost typed this as free tuna! – didn’t want to overpromise to you folks, we’re not that rich…yet), to album announcements, to a limited-time charity deal if you like electronica-rock, to the ever-lovely melodrama of a band as members leave and use the loveliness of Facebook to get those last few barbs in. Have your coffees at the ready to slam into your face as we work our way through the stuff we missed that might be of interest to you.

Aborted

Aborted (above) rang in 2012 pretty early with the release of Global Flatline and that disc quickly became a favorite around NCS. It appeared on a couple of our lists and really reminded people why we all thought Aborted were a great band. Late last week the group released a lyric video for the song “Vermincular, Obscene, and Obese” that animates their cover art for Global Flatline in the background so you can actually see what the heck Sven is saying when he growls out the closing lines of each sentence. Continue reading »

Sep 062012
 

(Our UK-based writer Andy Synn made the trek to Germany for this year’s edition of the SUMMER BREEZE festival, and provided us with a review of the bands whose performances he witnessed.  We’ve divided the review into two parts. In this post, Andy covers the festival’s first two days, and tomorrow we’ll have his impressions of Day 3. We’ve also collected videos of many of the performances at the end of the post.)

So… German festivals go Thursday – Saturday, not Friday – Sunday… who knew? Well apparently everyone else in the world except for us, when we booked an overnight stay in Cologne on the Wednesday night! Still, Cologne was awesome, and only a mere four hours drive away…

Anyway, on reaching the site (after a desperate last minute rush to the petrol station – seriously, make sure you fill up before you reach the Dinkelsbuhl exit guys and gals!) we joined a surprising, infuriating, queue of cars, followed by an interminable security check… time was ticking away and Be’lakor (one of my primary reasons for going to the festival) would soon be taking the stage! So with some slightly rushed stunt driving (I’m pretty certain I went down that grass verge as much sideways as I did forwards) and a breathless scramble… we made it. Just.

DAY 1

Justifying our desperate, occasionally slightly risky, efforts to get to the festival on time, Be’lakor were undeniably awesome. Live, the Agallochian overtones of the music come through a lot more, a melding of misty melancholy with swells of oceanic heaviness giving the band a more distinctive and individual live presence. The group’s image is a little difficult to reconcile with the music though, encompassing a host of short haircuts, laid-back Australian accents, and inappropriate t-shirts! Shame on you guys!

The next band I was dying to see also happened to be one of my favourites, my loyalty to Darkest Hour forcing me to choose them in an unfortunate clash with Glorior Belli. And though it pained me to do so, I’m glad I did. Darkest Hour never disappoint, their punky, hyper-energetic take on melodic death metal fitting perfectly with the blazing sunshine and free-wheeling atmosphere of the festival. Plus, I was still yet to see them live with either the new material or the new line-up, and both absolutely killed it live. Continue reading »

Feb 232012
 

With only the briefest of introductions, this is a round-up of new videos, music, and artwork I saw yesterday that I thought were worth sharing. There’s a lot here, and I could have broken this up into multiple posts, but . . . I didn’t. So there. Here’s the herd I rounded up:

New songs from: Allegaeon (Colorado), Fester (Norway), and Autopsy (Florida)

New official video from: Dark Tranquillity (Sweden)

New album cover from: Necrolord and HeXeN (L.A.)

ALLEGAEON

Last time we checked in with Allegaeon, guitarist Greg Burgess was playing some mean tango (bitches). Before that, TheMadIsraeli reviewed their debut album, Fragments of Form and Function, as part of his Melodeath Week series last August. At long last, Metal Blade has scheduled the release of their second album, Formshifter, for May 8, and yesterday we got the song “Tartessos: The Hidden Xenocryst”. It’s smokin’ hot. Continue reading »

Nov 072011
 

(Andy Synn ventures outside his usual meat and potatoes with this one. I’m not objective, of course, but this post includes many observations that ring true to me, and maybe will to you as well. Also, this post includes a heavy cargo of highly-worth-watching videos.)

I’ve been looking at doing some shorter pieces on various topics for a while now, spreading myself a little more widely and letting the material do most of the talking for me, and Islander’s sabbatical seems like the perfect opportunity to do so.

So I wanted to bring your attention to a couple of music videos which you may have overlooked, and highlight why I like them and what I think makes them a good example of the video “art-form”. Equally, however, the success (relative or otherwise) of these videos highlights some of the regrettably common failures of most metal videos!

Now bear in mind that most metal videos are a missed opportunity. I’m a fan of a good solid performance video, this is true, be it live footage (purpose-shot or amalgamated) or the traditional warehouse/barren-field performance, as long as it gives you a sense of the intensity and power of a band really getting into their music and their instruments. However, this is where most of them fall down, simply giving us a general shot of “hey look, this is what we look like when we’re playing” rather than any sort of “feel” for the intensity of the experience. And I’m not saying this is easy, far from it.

I do, however, want to highlight the issue that for so many bands (and most recently I’m looking at the plethora of metalcore/deathcore/djent bands) videos become merely a case of being SEEN without actually SAYING anything with the opportunity they’ve been given. Just because you’re moving/jumping/posing does not mean you’re coming across as doing anything more than singing into a hair-brush in front of the mirror.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Sep 232011
 

Today, Dark Tranquillity and Century Media posted to YouTube a new official video for a new song called “Zero Distance”. The song will appear on a special tour edition of the We Are the Void album, which was originally released in 2010. The special tour edition will be released in Europe on October 24. Here’s a statement from DT’s Niklas Sundin:

“Zero Distance” was recorded at the same time as the “We Are The Void” album, but due to its different nature we decided to keep it for later use. The time is now right to unveil the song, as well as the other rare/bonus material recorded at the same time, in a massive “We Are The Void” tour edition package. In addition to the added songs and liner notes by Mikael, there’s also a live DVD capturing some special moments during the 150-and-counting gigs in support of the album.”

The music video for “Zero Distance” is the first produced by Aduro Labs (www.adurolabs.se), which is a new film/production enterprise co-founded by DT’s own Niklas Sundin. The video is fun to watch, and the song is . . . well, it’s Dark Tranquillity, but you should just listen to it for yourself. The video is right after the jump, along with a track listing for both the CD and the DVD within the tour edition of We Are the Void. Continue reading »

Jun 202011
 

Surely, I’ve done stupider things here at NCS than I’m about to do, though I can’t remember when.

So, in catching up with metal news this morning, I found a whole bunch of shit that peaked my interest. To decide whether it was all worth sharing with you, I needed to listen to some music. I reached for my trusty iPod to get the earbuds and plug them into my laptop, and . . . no fucking iPod. No fucking earbuds.

I’m in Texas visiting my mother and brother, and I think I left my iPod at my mom’s place yesterday, but at the moment I’m earless (and my hearing is too shot to make out very much from the tinny, crappy little speakers on my laptop). But I decided, fuckit, I’m going to share the items I’ve found with you even though I haven’t heard most of them. Maybe you’ll tell me whether it was worthwhile.

Here’s the line-up: Chimaira has debuted two new songs from The Age of Hell album, which is due for release in late August by Long Branch Records in Europe and eOne Music in NorthAm. One is streaming exclusively at MetalSucks (here) and one at Revolver (here). You can buy both of them at iTunes right now. As I said, I haven’t heard them, though I’m a Chimaira fan. I hope they’re good. I bet they will be. If you haven’t already heard, the new Chimaira line-up includes two of the dudes from DaathEmil Werstler (on bass!) and Sean Z. (on keyboards!).

After the jump . . . performance videos from Mayhem and At the Gates at festivals this past weekend, plus news about full-album streams from In Flames and The Devin Townsend Project. Continue reading »