Jul 052014

Happy Fourth of July Hangover Day. Hope none of you American readers lost any fingers in a gunpowder accident, put out an eye with an errant sparkler, or lit off a bottle rocket in your ass. I have some news items and new metal for you that I spotted over the least 24 hours. This is a big collection, but what else have you got to do?


Striker are from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Metal Archives says they are a power metal band. This means the odds are very high that I won’t be able to stand their music. However, the cover art for their new album City of Gold is so goddamned awesome that I may be forced to listen to at least one song whenever the first advance track appears. You can click the image above to view a larger version of the piece, which is by one of my favorite metal artists, Berlin-based Eliran Kantor.

The album is due from Napalm Records on September 9 in North America (Aug 29 in Europe, September 1 in the UK). If anyone can give me a reason to bury my prejudices and listen to a Striker song, I will try to keep an open mind.

https://www.facebook.com/strikermetal Continue reading »

Mar 142014

As we confront the brink of the weekend, what I have for you here are three new songs that are a hell of a lot of vicious fun for your earholes.


Today CVLT Nation premiered five tracks from an album by a Melbourne, Australia band named Black Jesus. I’m not sure whether the album includes more tracks and I have no idea at the moment when or how the album will be released. But I started listening to it as soon as I saw this description: “The Black Jesus sound is a melting pot of 80’s Punk/ Hardcore & D-Beat pioneers Discharge, meets From Enslavement to Obliteration era Napalm Death and Entombed’s Left Hand Path. It is entirely unpretentious, completely exhilarating, and has a nasty ‘f* off’ attitude to match.”

I was in kind of a rush to get this round-up done, so I haven’t listened to all the tracks that are streaming, but I sure as fuck like what I’ve heard so far. Take the title track, for example. It puts a charge into the old brain stem right from the get-go with a mess of sawing riffs, scalding vocals, and delicious drum swarms. You definitely do get that Discharge / Entombed feel, but when the song passes the 2:00 mark it turns into a freight train chugfest that will give you some serious neck sprain. Damn, this is a blast. Continue reading »

May 102013

That flyer up above is the latest one I could find for the 9th edition of the Euroblast Festival, scheduled to occur on October 11-13, 2013, in Cologne, Germany. However, it doesn’t show the most current listing of bands. For example, yesterday the Euroblast organizers announced that Arsis will also be appearing (hell yes), and Threat SignalAliases, and Der Weg einer Freiheit are also recent additions to the line-up.

And today brought the exciting announcement that Sweden’s Deathember and Russia’s Kartikeya have been selected to appear. We reviewed Deathember’s new album earlier this week (here), and of course Kartikeya has been a frequently mentioned NCS favorite for years.  Congrats to both of those bands.

And after the jump you can see the complete line-up as it now stands. Many more bands will be announced in the coming months, but the line-up already includes a large number of bands we really like around here. For more info, visit Euroblast’s web site or their Facebook page. Continue reading »

May 072013

I certainly don’t pretend to be an historian of “groove metal” as a genre. But when I think about it at a high level, two evolutionary pathways come to mind. One line runs through bands such as Pantera and perhaps, in a more extreme vein, early Sepultura, encompassing music that’s primal, relatively stripped-down, visceral, generally mid-paced, and melodic. That line detoured through things like nu-metal and, in the more modern era, runs through bands such as Lamb of God.

I think of the second line as one that started with Meshuggah, a more rhythmically complex, highly syncopated, speedier, and less melodic kind of music that in the modern era branched off into sub-genres such as djent and the less easily classifiable kind of metal created by Gojira.

Sweden’s Deathember proudly carry the “groove metal” flag in their debut album Going Postal, but they represent an intersection of those two lines I’m hypothesizing. They tap into the infectious, primal appeal of the first line, but their music also incorporates unusual rhythmic patterns and technically demanding instrumental interaction of the kind that’s closer to the second line. It’s definitely not djent or any other form of overt Meshuggah worship, yet it’s highly percussive music, grounded in the power of beat and rhythm, while also incorporating infectious melodies. It’s a very appealing combination. Continue reading »

Mar 292013

Time for another round-up of new music. What grabbed my attention this morning were the following new songs from Shade Empire (Finland), Deathember (Sweden), and Moss (UK), plus a small video announcement by Behemoth (Poland).


Shade Empire are a Finnish metal band whose massive, 74-minute-long fourth album — Omega Arcane — will be released by Candlelight Records on May 3 in Finland, on May 6 in the rest of Europe, and  sometime in June in North America.

June is so far away that it might as well be Pluto, but although patience will be tested, I’m absolutely convinced the wait will be worthwhile. Why? Because Shade Empire have just released an official video for an edited version of the album’s first single, “Ruins”, and it’s really impressive.

The song is scathing, sweeping, and soaring, a riveting mixture of styles that include elements of black metal, melodic death metal, and doom, with orchestral touches that enhance the drama rather than clog the arteries with cheese. Fans of bands such as Insomnium and In Mourning would do well to pay attention — especially because the video itself is just as magnetic as the music. Beautifully filmed and edited, it’s a badass feast for the eyes. Continue reading »

Feb 032013

Yesterday I featured four new releases that appeared on Bandcamp on February 1. In this post I’ve collected more kickass new music that I discovered yesterday, plus a news item that excited me when I saw it.


I wrote about this Scottish band last October after seeing the news that they’d been signed by Candlelight Records. In that earlier post I included all of the music from the band that I could then find, including a portion of a track called “The Lion of Scotland”. Sometime between then and now, that fragment disappeared from Soundcloud, but in the last couple of days it has reappeared in all its complete glory — and it is indeed a glorious song — along with the cover art for their Candlelight debut, The Giants of Auld.

I could hardly be more stoked for this debut, and “The Lion of Scotland” is an example of why I’m so eager to hear the album. It’s a genuinely soul-stirring song, with a skirling tremolo melody, an epic keyboard overlay, hard-charging rhythms, and passionate harsh vocals. If this doesn’t get your blood racing and your fist pumping, I’ll be surprised. Listen: Continue reading »

Oct 062012

Here’s another round-up of new musical discoveries from the last 24 hours. NCS writer DGR delivered the first two of these items to my in-box, for which I bow down in gratitude. NCS reader Austin S-K brought me the third one, for which I bow down in gratitude. I came up with the fourth one on my own, but I’m now unable to straighten up so you could bow down in gratitude to me. Not as limber as I used to be. I’ll be spending the rest of the day staring at the floor. And headbanging.


Causemos are a Finnish band who yesterday released their debut album, Infinite Event, as a pay-what-you-want (or pay nothing) download on Bandcamp. (I suppose you might also call this an EP, since the songs only total about 25 minutes of music.) Causemos brand their music as “cosmic space metal”, which is not a bad description. I would elaborate on that description as follows:

Causemos weave together symphonic keyboards and technically demanding melodic death metal, with vocals that move seamlessly between brutish howling/growling and really nice soaring cleans that reminded me a bit of Dave Hunt’s clean ceiling-busters for Anaal Nathrakh. The music is intricate and vitally dynamic, ranging from bombastic hammering to astral streams of progressive ambience. The music has a grandiose and sometimes spacey quality, but not at the expense of headbanging rhythms or infectious melodies — of which there are many. Continue reading »

Apr 222012

Yesterday, I pulled together music from three old-school death metal bands who’ve been honing their craft for about two decades each. Today, we’re dealing with death again, but these are much younger bands and their linkage to death comes more from their choice of names than from the style of metal they play. But listen, although it may not be steeped in pus and corpse-meat stew, it’s still mighty tasty.

Both Deathember (Sweden) and Deals Death (Sweden again) are bands we’ve covered before at NCS, and both of them have recently released new videos that are worth seeing and hearing.


We first encountered Deathember in October 2010, featuring a brief review of their first EP in one of our MISCELANNY posts. Last November, they released a second EP with the title of A Thousand Flatlines. It includes six songs and is available via iTunes, Amazon mp3, and the band’s BigCartel site.

Yesterday, they premiered their first music video for one of the new songs — “Scapegoat”. The band and their friends financed and made the video themselves, and especially for a “homemade” project, it’s unusually well done. It’s devoted to the band performing the song, and the performance looks like I imagined it would from listening to their music — a balls-to-the-wall blast of screaming fun. Continue reading »

Oct 142010

Yes, as promised, we have back-to-back MISCELLANY posts, still trying to catch up on bands we haven’t heard that for different reasons we put on our running list of music to check out. But it appears that even after running faster, we’re still pretty much in the same place. Between yesterday’s post and this one, we’ve cleared six names off the list. But since last weekend we’ve also added six more.

But do we care? Fuck no! Because taking pot luck with the music of new bands isn’t a chore, it’s an adventure! We have little or no idea what the music will sound like before we embark on a listening excursion, so it’s almost always a surprise to find out. Doesn’t mean it will be a happy surprise. It could be the kind of surprise you get when you find out your cat has thrown up in your bed (as happened to me last weekend).

And that’s the way MISCELLANY works: What we hear, we write about, even if it turns out to be cat throw-up.

Yesterday’s post and this one were based on a random selection of six bands we plucked off our list. I listened to a song from each band, in the order described in these two posts. Yesterday, we covered the first three listening experiences — all of them bands from the U.S. Today, we have a more international flavor. The subjects of today’s post are:

Vomit the Soul (Kuwait/U.S.), Deathember (Sweden), and Excrementory Grindfuckers (Germany).  (listening notes, and the songs we heard, follow after the jump . . .) Continue reading »