Feb 142014

At last we’ve arrived at the final installment of our list of 2013’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I could have gone on, but since we’re half-way through February it seemed time to stop and spend more time on what 2014 is bringing us.

I want to thank my fellow NCS writers and our readers for suggesting songs from albums that I missed last year; this list has included a lot of those recommendations. I also beg your forgiveness for not including other recommendations, and for otherwise omitting or simply overlooking other great songs from last year.

On Monday I’ll have a a post with a few more concluding thoughts and a complete list of every song in this series, collected in one place. (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 songs I’m announcing today, click here.)


I suppose there’s some irony in my choice of this next song (and the one that follows it) for our concluding installment — it includes a lot of clean singing. Beyond that, it is one of the more mellow, more pop-oriented songs DT have ever done (of the gothic/doom variety), one of the songs on 2013’s Construct that links arms with the style that DT explored in Projector. But Mikael Stanne’s clean singing is emotionally resonant, and the song also delivers his equally emotive harsh growls, along with some hammering Gothenburg riffs. Continue reading »

Aug 212013

Not long ago we received this announcement: Beginning early next year  Dark Tranquillity will be mounting a North American tour in support of their new Construct album, and they will be joined by Finland’s Omnium Gatherum. Both of those bands turned in superior albums this year, with OG’s Beyond being a particular favorite of this site.

The third band on the tour is a California outfit named Exmortus. It appears we will have to investigate their music.

The tour begins on January 31 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before moving to the actual North American continent in Atlanta on February 1. It’s scheduled to conclude in Philadelphia on March 2. I know you will be thrilled to learn that, in between, it will stop in Seattle so that I may see it. These are very accommodating bands.

The entire slate of dates follows the jump. Tickets are already available for purchase at this site: Continue reading »

Jun 132013

Here are a trio of things I spied on the web this morning. The first two are in the nature of coincidental follow-ups, since our last post was a review of Dark Tranquillity’s new album, and since yesterday we frothed at the mouth over the newly announced North American tour involving Exhumed (headlined by Dying Fetus and also featuring Devoured and Abiotic). And then the last item is a semi-obligatory check-in with Finnish metal.


The August issue of DECIBEL magazine (order-able here) includes yet another installment in the magazine’s Flexi-Disc series, and this one is a previously unreleased song by Dark Tranquillity entitled “Sorrow’s Architect”. The song was recorded during the sessions that produced the band’s new album Construct. DECIBEL kindly began streaming it today on SoundCloud.

To my ears, it sounds much in the vein of the more “experimental” songs on Construct, predominantly mid-paced and moody, with dreamlike, synth-assisted instrumental passages that add a dark ambience to the song (nut no clean singing). I do like it. Go HERE to listen. Continue reading »

Jun 132013

(DGR reviews the new album by Sweden’s Dark Tranquillity, with all four officially released album tracks to stream at the end.)

When a band has become as storied as Dark Tranquillity, new releases can pose a bit of a challenge. It seems that at some point pretty much everyone in the metal community has crossed paths with these melodeath veterans, and their opinion of them has largely been marked by that experience.  Reviewing a new release by a band such as this one is also difficult; you don’t want to spend a whole review comparing a newer work to past albums because you tread a very thin line between either sounding informed or accidentally painting the new disc as derivative and making yourself look like someone who can’t let go of past glories.

Construct, which saw release at the end of May, is a tale of two albums. It is an album that feels a bit like a career retrospective, yet it also includes some of the most daring work the guys have gotten up to in a while. Construct is the furthest that Dark Tranquillity have spread their wings in their career.

On We Are The Void it really felt like they had pushed the style that they had used on Character and Fiction – a sound that is more straightforward melodeath and really represented a more refined Damage Done. The crazy part about Dark Tranqullity’s career arc, however, is that they also produced a couple of slower, mid-tempo, synth-filled affairs in Haven and Projector, and until now, those albums had represented the points at which the band had most changed things up.

If you were to put Dark Tranquillity’s discs on a spectrum, then, Construct would lay closer to the Haven/Projector side of things. However, if you’re spooked by that mention, then you need to stick around – because Construct is one of those times where almost every experiment works really well. Continue reading »

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.


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 (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 »