Dec 142018
 

 

(Our Sacramento-based colleague DGR concludes a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with one last write-up today.)

Hey, have you heard of this place called Sacramento?

This one won’t be as much a review as previous pieces as it is a simple heads-up and a chance to reminisce a bit. If you had told me that in 2018 I’d be talking about Sacramento “too metal for the core kids, too core for the metal kids” band Conducting From The Grave‘s first album When Legends Become Dust without having to invent some sort of opportunity to do so, I would’ve laughed. But here we are. Continue reading »

Dec 132018
 

 

(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)

 

Dysmorphic – An Illusive Progress

It honestly looked a little shaky for French tech-death band Dysmorphic. Some may remember way back in ye olden days of 2013 I actually reviewed the group’s first release via Unique Leader, A Notion of Causality, at this here very web site. In the five years since, the band have gone through periods of relative radio silence and some serious lineup changes, with a new drummer and guitarist, and also including the return of a vocalist who had left the band prior to that first release.

Late November would finally see the realization of all that effort, when five years after A Notion Of Causality, Dysmorphic were able to put out their sophomore followup in the form of An Illusive Progress, a more focused, vicious, and blue-and-green-hued album than their previous release and one that sees them bringing themselves very much in-line with many of their fellow tech-death compatriots with ten tracks of head-spinning tech-death…and one intro. Continue reading »

Dec 122018
 


Coffin Birth

 

(DGR continues a week-long effort to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA, with two more write-ups today. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)

 

Coffin Birth – The Serpent Insignia

It’s easy to imagine that Coffin Birth initially grabbed a lot of headlines based on the almost jaw-dropping resumes of the musicians involved: The band are constructed out of a large chunk of the current Hour Of Penance lineup, a foundational pillar of Fleshgod Apocalypse (and a former Hour Of Penance member), and a vocalist whose credits are vast amongst the death metal scene, including Beheaded as well as being credited on Metal-Archives with having appeared on a Hydrocephalic release, which is something I haven’t thought about since that initial 2010 demo hit with Matti Way of Pathology handling vocals. Continue reading »

Dec 112018
 


Sadist

 

(DGR resumes an effort he began last month to catch up on reviews before immersing himself in year-end LISTMANIA. Additional installments of this collection will be added throughout what’s left of this week.)

I think I’ve done it. I think I’m finally free. I think I’ve finally managed to — not really — clear my review slate and can actually start working on the ridiculous exercise that is my year-end list extravaganza.

What follows, in this part and a few more to follow it this week, may prove to be my final collection of reviews, but you never know what we’ll stumble upon after this and find ourselves going, “Wait, we really didn’t cover that?”. Hell, there’s a few of those in this one, but there’s also a group of more recent November releases that were pretty much slammed onto my review desk with such force that they’re currently on the floor below and I have to research how to get a new desk… and replace a hole in my floor.

I guess that’s what happens when your tastes are made brutally apparent over the time spent writing for a site.

As before, this assembly has a whole lot of world traveling in it, but it also lets me return to my own home state for quite a few of them as well. So, if you’re looking for one final collective of death metal across all spectrums, or a few musical digs into a group’s history, then this final wrap-up should have you covered. Continue reading »

Nov 272018
 

 

(In this post DGR reviews the latest album by one of his favorite projects, the two-headed industrial-death monster known as Kunstzone.)

I’ve followed Kunstzone for a long time, having covered them at this site since their debut release — an interest spawned by my having enjoyed its two component musicians’ prior projects: Khaozone and the various messes musician Alex Rise involves himself in, at the time his Tyrant Of Death project.

Half of the fun of following Kunstzone has been witnessing the tug-of-war for the group’s sound on each one of its releases, with one side slowly gaining a victory over the other. If one were to pick apart the industrial death metal group’s sound, one would note the slow favoring of more and more overall extremity on each one of the band’s releases, with the group’s 2017 single Creatures Of Sinew And Lard serving as a bellweather for what the group’s newest album Solarborn was going to subject us all to. Continue reading »

Nov 232018
 

 

(Here are DGR’s thoughts about the new album by Bloodbath, which was released on October 26th by Peaceville Records.)

There’s always going to be a certain amount of charm in being self-aware about how “dumb” your music can get sometimes, and glorying in it. There’s an attractive confidence in that when it seems like many bands have to play up how serious they are about how brutal their branch of death metal is, how heavy and violent their noise-unleashing can be. However, when you’re Bloodbath and are a long-established throwback act you can find joy in just how “ridiculous” all of this can be at face value. Continue reading »

Nov 152018
 

 

(Forging ahead with his multi-part effort to catch up on reviews of albums he has enjoyed before the year expires, DGR today reflects at length about the new album by Irreversible Mechanism, which was released in September by Blood Music.)

Speaking of building blocks and blueprints, we land here with an album where nearly every element of it can easily be traced back to its sources yet is executed so well that it might — from your writer’s standpoint — have stealthily grown on me enough to become one of my favorites of the year.

Immersion, the second album from the Belarus tech-death group Irreversible Mechanism, is starkly different from its predecessor, 2015’s Infinite Fields. It is also one whose DNA is so recognizable that it might as well be a Blade Runner-esque holographic projection high above a neon-lit city. Lying somewhere at an unholy intersection between the post-metal, recorded-in-a-hurricane leanings of Fallujah and the groove-precision of Rivers of Nihil, Immersion exists as a pretty solid example of how Irreversible Mechanism can dish out some monstrously hypnotic and dynamic records and make it seem so natural that it’s bound to spark some jealousy.

Immersion is also a record that is going be a very different experience for quite a few people who may be coming to the band hoping for the high-speed precision and everything-and-the-kitchen-sink method that they employed on Infinite Fields, because if Immersion is anything, it is certainly not that. Were it not for its near-constant all-out assault on the senses, Immersion would have a dreamlike quality to it, and at times it does manage to achieve just that. Continue reading »

Nov 142018
 

 

(DGR continues his Herculean, or perhaps Sisyphean, effort to catch up with reviews before the year-end LISTMANIA typhoon arrives, and today we have his extended thoughts about the new album by The Ocean, which was released by Metal Blade on November 2nd.)

The review nightmare continues on with two more massive releases that could not be more opposite from one another on the metal spectrum, yet are likely to completely wreck the shambles of a top year-end list that I had already written. The first of these two comes today, and the next one tomorrow

The back of the year of our Satan 2018 is proving to be quite bountiful, in a year that was already moving in massive fits-and-starts. I’m imagining the year-end lists are going to be hilariously like 2016’s bloodbath, in that everyone will have moved in so many different directions and found so much stuff to love that there will be fuck-all in terms of overlap. Yet, despite these predictions, the constant battle to “catch-up” and expose our dear NCS readers to newer music continues, and so I present to you the latest in a desperate album review exercise that now has at least five albums I still want to chat about waiting in the wings. Continue reading »

Nov 052018
 

 

(DGR reviews the latest album by an NCS favorite, Finland’s Wolfheart, which was released by Napalm Records on September 28th.)

A quick preface for this one: We’re still hacking away at backlogs here and in case you missed out, that’s meant quite a few ‘shorter’ review archives with a handful of grouped bands together. This review was born of that experiment but unlike the Beyond Creation/Chthonic/Benighted jam that I unleashed upon the world last week, we were quickly able to recognize that the length of the next multi-band review collection was getting out of control, and so we’ve carved this one out to stand alone.

Increasing wordiness tends to happen when it’s a band you enjoy, and even though the short gap between this group’s most recent releases can look scary at first, Wolfheart manage to stick to a very consistent level of quality this time around. Continue reading »

Oct 312018
 

Benighted

 

(As Andy Synn did before him, DGR seems to be making a late-season effort to get caught up on planned reviews before year-end LISTMANIA drowns us all. Three reviews today, and some undisclosed number of further ones ahead.)

What you are reading is the beginning of a feature that has taken way too long and gotten way out of control. Meant to be like its older band-roundup-review siblings in the shorter review realm, the reviews in this post become the subject of a whole lot more talking and yapping since I found so much to enjoy on each release. As a result, the finish line continually moved further and further back.

In fact, the Beyond Creation review was about half-written by the time our own Andy Synn posted his (alongside his review of Gorod’s Aethra for those who missed out) and almost wound up being deleted so as to not commit the NCS “Sin” of double-talking over each other. But pride won out on that front, because I was waaaaaay too fucking proud of the opening paragraphs to let it go, which naturally meant one needed to run his mouth for another….ten. You can see how this is playing out.

Needless to say, there are a few other reviews forthcoming that will have us traveling the world, hopefully to catch us up with all of the music that has washed over us in the past few months (not likely! there’s been so much!) in the form of big name releases, celebratory collections, even an alternate universe debut album from a local Sacramento group. What you’ll find here, therefore, is only the start, beginning with some late-September/early-October releases and carrying on from there. Continue reading »