May 032014

Here are a few new things I found this Saturday morning that I thought were worth recommending for your entertainment and edification. Can you guess what they have in common?


As I’ve said before (without repeating the reasons) I don’t listen to a lot of thrash and would not consider myself a seasoned, well-educated expert in the genre. But I’ve been a fan of Death Angel since seeing them perform live in Seattle 3 or 4 years ago — that was one electrifying set. This morning I saw that they’ve released a video for the title track off their latest album, 2013’s The Dream Calls For Blood (Nuclear Blast), and it reminded me of that show in a good way.

I like this particular song, too. There’s a lot of jolting kick in the music, and compared to what I suppose I’d call “thrash standard”, there’s also some beefiness in the production (which I prefer). On top of that, the song exemplifies the biggest factor that (for me) separates Death Angel from the run-of-the-mill: Rob Cavestany’s soloing, which isn’t just mindless shred. And hey, I’ll also admit that the song makes me want to stupidly yell along with Mark Osegueda: “Dream! Calls For! Blood!” Continue reading »

Sep 302013

(TheMadIsraeli is in catch-up mode, reviewing five albums in this one post. You’ll find music from all the albums at the end.)

Welcome to power hour, the thing I do when I try to catch up on shit I should’ve reviewed long ago. It’s called power hour not because it’s an hour of music, but because it’ll take you a fucking hour to read the shit.

Sometimes we miss things here at NCS, and often enough I feel like an asshole for doing it, especially when I’m the guy who would normally cover the stuff we miss. So this is my attempt to reconcile. Five reviews in one, baby, deal with it.

As such though, I thought I’d make this themed, so it’s the thrash power hour. Let’s start with a relative newcomer… Continue reading »

Sep 182012

(In this post DGR reviews the Sept. 14, 2012, performance in Sacramento, CA, by Death Angel, Testament, and Anthrax.)

This is probably one of the easiest show reviews I’ll ever have to write because the three bands you see on the tour flyer are literally it. No local opener, no smaller band, just three standard-bearers of the thrash scene putting together one of the better tours that have hit recently. I always joke that if you really want to find me at a show then you need to look for the guy with the long hair and the goatee.  This time, however, I probably was easy as hell to find based on that description, and I should’ve told everyone to look out for the balding guy.

I was really excited for this show for a couple of reasons. I’d get to see Testament again for the second time this year. I feel they’re one of the best ‘legacy’ bands out there right now, and the quality of their recent discs is just as good as the older stuff that they’re known for. Another reason was that this would be the first show I’ve attended at Ace Of Spades that was sold out. I’ve been to some pretty big shows there and seen the room filled with people, but never packed to the gills as it was that Friday.

Finally, I knew the place was going to lose its collective mind for these three bands. When Testament rolled through here previously, the venue went completely nuts. If there’s one thing I could rely on, it was that Sacramento’s fans were going to go nuts and I would be there to bear witness to it.

I was lucky enough to find a really great view in the upper bar about fifteen feet from the stage, but perfectly level with the performers on stage, so I grabbed that spot as quickly as I could and just rested on that railing. If you’re not one of those people who is obsessed with being up front on the floor or in the pit, my location was seriously one of the best spots in that whole venue. Not long after I got inside, Death Angel took the stage and the night began. Continue reading »

Feb 102012

Thanks to Black Shuck for the tip on this news item. I’d seen the news about this tour last week before any details were available, but now we’ve got the schedule.

Three-quarters of this line-up get me hot and bothered — the quarters that consist of Death Angel, Krisiun, and Havok. I’ve been lucky enough to see Death Angel before, and I can testify that they are a blast to hear and watch. Krisiun is, well, Krisiun — some death metal heroes of mine that I’ve been hoping to see for years (and who ought to be at the top of this tour instead of a “support” act). And Havok is one of the few new thrash bands whose music doesn’t make me yawn after a while.

And that leaves Krisiun’s countrymen in Sepultura. If this were the Sepultura of the Cavalera brothers at their peak, the band that created albums like Arise, that would be one thing. But it’s not. I was so underwhelmed by A-Lex (2009) that I didn’t even listen to last year’s Kairos. Maybe that was a mistake, because I’ve since heard that it was a big step up (was it?). So, while I may not yet be hot and bothered by the idea of seeing Sepultura, I’m at least interested, and this tour will give me an excuse to see what Kairos is all about before it hits Seattle.

Yes, it’s coming to Seattle, and to 18 more cities in the U.S. and Canada (though it seems to be spurning the entire southern half of the U.S.). The schedule is after the jump. Continue reading »

Jul 292010

Soilwork is in the midst of a headlining tour in support of its recent album The Panic Broadcast, and the three perpetrators of NO CLEAN SINGING were in the audience when the tour blew through El Corazon in Seattle on July 27.

The bands on this tour are an interesting mix. No two of them play the same style of metal. We had Soilwork‘s melodic metalcore, Death Angel‘s supercharged thrash, hyper-technical death metal from Augury, Mutiny Within‘s aggressive power metal, Swashbuckle‘s pirate thrash, and melodic death metal from Seattle’s Deathmocracy.

It was also a long night, and those (like us) who were there from start to finish got their money’s worth: Deathmocracy took the stage at about 7 p.m., and Soilwork finished a 90-minute set at 12:30 in the morning. In a nutshell, we got thoroughly deep-fried in a vat of molten metal.

In this post, we’ll give you some brief notes on the performances and a collection of our reliably half-assed photos of each band — after the jump. Continue reading »

Jul 012010

Another month has ended, and like a drug-resistant strain of sexually transmitted disease, we’re still here.

And because we’re now a full six months into 2010, 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. 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, 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 like us, just stick post-it notes on your forehead. Of course, if your foreheads are the low, sloping kind, you may only have room for a few, so be choosy.

BURDEN OF GRIEF: “German melodic death/thrash metallers BURDEN OF GRIEF will release their new album, Follow The Flames, on July 2 in Europe via Massacre Records. The follow-up to 2007’s Death End Road will contain 10 new songs. The limited-edition version of the CD will include a bonus disc featuring cover versions of eight metal classics.”

CEPHALIC CARNAGE: “Denver, Colorado-based technical death/grind metallers CEPHALIC CARNAGE have set Misled By Certainty as the title of their new album, due on August 31 via Relapse Records. The follow-up to 2007’s Xenosapien was recorded at the band’s own studio with longtime engineer/producer Dave Otero. The CD is described in a press release as a ’50-plus-minute journey into metal’s most extreme realms’ which ‘see[s] these veterans takes it to edge before pulling it back with ‘Repangea’, perhaps their most sprawling and epic work to date.'”

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

May 272010

More than a month has passed since we posted our last update about the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, and we figured it was time to check in again.

Since our last update, Exodus, Forbidden, and Testament have signed on. That’s a heavyweight injection of Bay Area thrash into this floating festival (we’ll give you the complete current line-up of 18 bands after the jump). Plus, in related news, the Swedes have gotten in on the act by putting together their own metal cruise (more on that after the jump too).

If you don’t know what this cruise is, we’ll fill you in: The organizers have chartered a cruise ship (Royal Caribbean’s “Majesty of the Seas”) capable of carrying 40 metal bands (which means they’re still targeting 22 more bands to fill out the line-up) and 2,000 fans, departing Miami on January 24, 2011 for a 5-day, 4-night cruise in the Caribbean, including a stop at the Mexican island of Cozumel.

The 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise has got great potential — both good and bad. It could be a truly awesome experience. It could also be a clusterfuck of cosmic proportions. And there’s no way to know which it will be until that cruise ship limps back into port, probably on fire, at the end of the voyage.

We’ve got some thoughts about what could make it orgasmically good, and what could make it suck big-time. But we’d bet the farm that unless Royal Caribbean is run by metalheads (not likely), they have no fucking idea what they’re about to get themselves into, and that increases the risk of suckage.  (more thoughts, and other related stuff, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

May 012010

We’re now a full four months into 2010, and it’s time for our fourth update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1. (See the original list here, the first update here, the second update here, and the third 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 three updates (or that we’ve found updated information about) — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

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).

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: “Abigail Williams have completed recording of individual performances for their still untitled second full-length. Captured at Conquistador Studios in Cleveland, Ohio, eight new songs were laid down with vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron and engineer Cole Martinez controlling the audio takes. The songs are currently being mixed by Peter Tagtgren (Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Celtic Frost) and are expected to be completed later this month.”

ABYSMAL DAWN: “Los Angeles-based metallers ABYSMAL DAWN will enter Trench Studio in Corona, California in May with producer John Haddad (PHOBIA, INTRONAUT, HIRAX) to begin recording their new album for a tentative fall release via Relapse Records. The follow-up to Programmed To Consume will be mixed by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS, CANNIBAL CORPSE) at his Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.”  (the list continues after the jump .  .) Continue reading »

Mar 182010

Hot off the presses — and we do mean hot! Soilwork has just announced a headlining North American tour this summer with some truly mind-blowing support from Bay-area thrash legends Death Angel and tech-death destroyers Augury. Also on the tour: Mutiny Within and Swashbuckle.

Not too fucking shabby, huh? Particularly because they’re coming to Seattle. For a list of dates and venues for the other perfectly decent cities where they’re going, read on after the jump. Continue reading »