Oct 202012

I think I’m back home after a week of being here, there, and everywhere. I woke up disoriented, jet-lagged, and thinking about the lyrics to “Once In A Lifetime” (Talking Heads). Was that my beautiful wife in bed next to me? Is this my beautiful house I’m in? Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down. Letting the days go by, water flowing underground. Into the blue again . . .

I’ll get my shit together before the day is out, but at the moment the shit is kind of scattered and incoherent. After a week of having not much time to call my own, I’m also way fuckin’ behind on the metal. A lot of catching up to do, a lot of new music to hear, a lot of gibberish to write. But I ought to make a start right now, shouldn’t I?

For example: Yesterday our friends at The Monolith turned on the site and made it go live. If you haven’t checked out that site, you should give it a whirl. A couple of very good dudes who’ve been slumming here at NCS after The Number of the Blog shut down — groverXIII and DGR — will be writing over there now, as will a bunch of other folks from other blogs who we’ve gotten to know and admire since we started NCS. We wish all of them much success with the new venture.

I also heard some new tracks that I thought you might enjoy, from ILSA, Devolved, and Rage Nucleaire.

To begin, I saw that CVLT Nation has started streaming a new ILSA track from their new album Intoxicantations (to be released by Baltimore’s A389 Recordings on Nov 23). I fuckin’ love the artwork for the album, which was created by ILSA’s drummer, Joshy: Continue reading »

Aug 302012

This is a review of Reprisal, the fourth album by Devolved. In writing it, I feel conflicted. On the one hand, I’m delighted that the band have given me the chance to hear the album in advance of its release. On the other hand, I feel a sense of guilt because it is so far in advance that our beloved readers won’t be able to share in the full awesomeness of the music until November 20, 2012, which is something like 80 dog years from now. It’s so far in advance that I can’t even feed you a link for pre-orders.

Obviously, my sense of guilt hasn’t stopped me from forging ahead. I just want to be clear that it’s not because I enjoy torturing you. Except, of course, those of you who enjoy being tortured, and you know who you are, and to you I say, “Happy to be of service!”

And yes, Reprisal is awesome, Devolved’s best album yet, and one of the year’s gems. It benefits significantly from the changes that founder/lyricist/drummer John Sankey has made since the band’s last album, taking greater control over the songwriting process and bringing on board two new performers — Mark Hawkins (guitars and bass) and Mark Haggblad (vocals) — both of whom are simply superb. Between the three of them, they have constructed an unstoppable killing machine.

The music delivers cold, mechanized power with almost inhumanly fast, ridiculously precise drumming and riffing. The rhythms have an industrialized quality — jabbing, hammering, jolting, in a start-stop flurry of pneumatic, piston-driven blows, with the drums, guitars, and bass often tightly in sync. The sound conjures mental images of some giant robotic factory in overdrive, fabricating ominous ranks of weaponized cyborgs ready to begin crushing and blasting our frail humanity. Continue reading »

Dec 132011

We originally featured this unsigned Melbourne, Australia band with the mouthful of a name back in March 2010, focusing on a 2007 demo called The Aurora Veil. We checked in with them again in October, having learned that they had completed their debut album, Portal of I — a 7-track behemoth with a total run-time of more than 1 hour 11 minutes. In October, the band also released one of the new songs for streaming — “And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope” — which fuckin’ floored me. It’s a long, but remarkably multi-faceted piece of music.

We heard from the band yesterday with a bit of news. As reported on their Facebook page, the band has parted ways with their drummer, Dan Presland, who was involved in recording both the Aurora Veil demo and the forthcoming Portal Of I album. The band is already rehearsing with a new drummer, and we hope the loss of Presland (who’s quite good — he won the Australian finals of the World’s Fastest Drummer competition) won’t be a setback. At least it won’t delay the release of the album, since that’s already finished.

In an offsetting bit of good news, the band’s lead guitarist Benjamin Baret has been allowed to return to Australia after protracted wrangling over obtaining a visa. Baret lives in France, and his imminent return to Australia on Thursday of this week appears to be the prelude to release of Portal of I and touring in support of it. The band is still in discussions with labels, and so we’re not yet able to provide a specific release date — but you can be sure we will as soon as that’s set.

So, why are we spending time with this bit of news? Go past the jump and listen to “And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope” and you’ll understand (or be reminded, if you’ve heard it before). It’s not like anything else I’ve heard this year — and it makes me so damned curious to hear the rest of the new songs when the album drops next year. Also after the jump, a scorching new track from Devolved . . . Continue reading »

Jun 062011

(Our man Israel Flanders checks in with a few glowing words about the new album from those Australian/Californian metal marauders in Devolved — plus another convenient way to hear this excellent music for yourselves — and he starts with a song . . . .)

[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/06.-Wretched-Eyes-Of-God.mp3|titles=Devolved – Wretched Eyes Of God]

……………….I just got my ass kicked by that song.

So, Devolved is awesome, with their style of spastic, djenty, Fear Factory brand of industrial death metal. I probably don’t need to tell you that, since the other guys here at NCS have been singing their praises for a while (here and here, for example), but I really think you may need to have it beaten into your skulls. This is a brutal band and one really worth the investment of your time.

I’m briefly reviewing the band’s new album Oblivion, and the title just about sums up the music here. This is intense, cold, brutal, scathing, clinical, utterly soulless industrial death metal performed with machine precision. (more after the jump . . . including a download opportunity) Continue reading »

Apr 172011

Surgical Brute’s first post of our NCS Saturday included songs from five bands, and Misha served up another one today, all of which are well worth hearing. So I’m probably pushing my luck by adding this post with still more songs. I do realize there’s a limited amount of time you’re going to spend listening to new music in a given day, and I also realize we’re not the only metal site most of you visit. But I just can’t resist. There’s probably some psychiatric name for inability to resist impulse, but whatever it is, I’ve got it.

Usually, there’s some organizing principle behind the music collections we feature in a post, even if it’s nothing more than “these songs will flambé your brain.” But today there’s really no rhyme or reason to what I picked, except I came across all three of these offerings in the last 48 hours and just felt compelled to share what I found.

Two of these bands I know well and I’m a big fan of both. The third is a new discovery. What I have for you, then, is a high-quality video of Anaal Nathrakh laying waste in a live club performance; a video for a brand new (and somewhat surprising) song by Australian/California tech-death band Devolved; and a new, crushing re-recording of a song by another tech-death band, UK’S Cyanide Serenity, which features their new lead singer Travis Neal (Divine Heresy). And to top it off, we’ve got the schedule for a just-announced Anaal Nathrakh European tour . . . after the jump. Continue reading »

Apr 022011

Technically, we should have posted this yesterday, but yesterday was April Fool’s Day, and people might have thought we were making up some of this shit. But it’s all true, and nothing happens on April 2 to plant doubt about truth. Except for what causes doubt to be planted about truth on any other day of the year.

Here we are at the beginning of the second quarter of 2011 — the time when for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring is supposed to spring.  Where I live, spring has apparently been victimized by a brutal street mugging and is hospitalized at the moment.  A few plants have been deluded into thinking it’s spring, but for the rest of our local world, it’s still fucking winter.

Fortunately, the change of the seasons have fuck all to do with the release of metal. What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 31 days) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming New Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. There’s some awesome shit on the way. Dive in after the jump. Continue reading »

Jan 232010

NCS likes math metal. In fact, we likes it a lot. Which is why we were stoked to learn that Devolved was planning a new album for 2010 and that, to build some buzz, the band’s new label would be releasing a re-mixed version of their last full-length, 2004’s Calculated. And guess what? The new version of Calculated arrived in our mailbox earlier this week. And guess what? We like it!

The Background: Devolved started in Australia in 1996 and the band released a demo in 1998, and then a full-length in 2001 called Technologies. The Roadrunner Records-affiliated mag Outsider named Technologies Austrialia’s metal abum of the year.

Numerous line-up changes ensued, and eventually Devolved released Calculated in September 2004, with vocals supplied by Nik Carpenter. In early 2005, the band left Australia and moved to Los Angeles. More lineup changes followed, including the addition of vocalist Kyle Zemanek (ex-Five Finger Death Punch and Deathsett).

Then last May, the band signed with Unique Leader Records, and word is out that a new album is projected for release late this year. And as noted above, Unique Leader has now re-released Calculated. Except, the re-issue has been re-mixed and re-mastered and this time includes Zemanek’s vocals instead of Carpenter’s. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »