Aug 062018
 

 

(DGR steps in for round-up duty to begin our posts for this new week.)

In case you missed it, one of the recurring themes around the NCS corner of the interwebs is that if the Comments section doesn’t come for us, then it’s the day job that will. Such was the case this weekend when our esteemed editor (who is likely back home by now) found himself on the self-described whirlwind trip to New Mexico for a few days. As will inevitably happen, of course, that means there is going to be a massive blast of new music that we’ll likely catch a good amount of, but not all of, and so those of us who are able to will step into the role of news person.

And so the metal sphere gathered up four very big names and decided that this weekend would be a fucking fantastic time to jam out a whole bunch of news and try to catch us off-guard. Well not us, I say… at least we’ll get to it on Monday maybe. So I’ve gathered up the aforementioned four very large news stories from bands with albums upcoming (one of which actually came out last Friday!) for you folks to start the week off with, all in one handy post that… as is standard…is pretty fucking heavy on the death metal. Continue reading »

Jul 262018
 

 

(DGR delivered a tome of reviews so massive that we decided to serialize it throughout the week so as to avoid fracturing your spine beneath its weight. This is the 4th and final part of the series.)

On occasion we find ourselves backlogged with albums that we want to write about but seem never able to find the time to do so. Sometimes this results in multiple review ideas getting tossed and never revisited, and at other times you get posts like this one as we deseperately try to hammer out a whole bunch of reviews about EVERYTHING that we’ve been listening to.

In this case that means 13 different releases, unsorted by genre and from all varying walks of all things heavy. So, with the floodgates now fully open, let us wade further forth into the rushing waters of heavy metal to recommend some stuff that perhaps might have flown by you.

Jack Ketch – Ashes Of Vesuvius

You may have caught it in the opening of my Light This City review, but a lot of bands who’ve been silent for the better part of a decade have decided that 2018 would be a good time to come back. Maybe it’s just the general sense that the world is on fire right now, but a bunch of groups are now putting stuff out as if they’ll never get another chance to do so. Among the increasing number that are returning to us are two local Sacramento acts, one of which released a new album I reviewed yesterday (Journal) and the other of which is Jack Ketch, whose new EP The Ashes Of Vesuvius is a stunning turn of events from the band’s previous material. Continue reading »

Jul 252018
 

 

(DGR delivered a tome of reviews so massive that we decided to serialize it throughout the week so as to avoid fracturing your spine beneath its weight. This is Part 3.)

On occasion we find ourselves backlogged with albums that we want to write about but seem never able to find the time to do so. Sometimes this results in multiple review ideas getting tossed and never revisited, and at other times you get posts like this one as we deseperately try to hammer out a whole bunch of reviews about EVERYTHING that we’ve been listening to.

In this case that means 13 different releases, unsorted by genre and from all varying walks of all things heavy. So, with the floodgates now fully open, let us wade further forth into the rushing waters of heavy metal to recommend some stuff that perhaps might have flown by you.

LiK – Carnage

Every once in a while I pull the curtain back to reveal what the reveiw-writing process is like on this end, and Lik’s newest album Carnage provides the occasion for one of those times. It has been exceedingly difficult for me to review this album, not because Carnage is bad but because I have a very hard time with albums that are very clear about what they are trying to be, and when they nail that note so specifically and so well, it’s hard to talk about them without coming off as being on some sort of high horse. Continue reading »

Jul 242018
 

 

(DGR delivered a tome of reviews so massive that we decided to serialize it throughout the week so as to avoid fracturing your spine beneath its weight. This is Part 2.)

On occasion we find ourselves backlogged with albums that we want to write about but seem never able to find the time to do so. Sometimes this results in multiple review ideas getting tossed and never revisited,  and at other times you get posts like this one as we deseperately try to hammer out a whole bunch of reviews about EVERYTHING that we’ve been listening to.

In this case that means 13 different releases, unsorted by genre and from all varying walks of all things heavy. So, with the floodgates now fully open, let us wade forth into the rushing waters of heavy metal to recommend some stuff that perhaps might have flown by you.

Infraction – Poshumous Release

It’s rare that we ge to type such a phrase but that’s the fun of writing about music, so here we go: You can blame Gadget for this one.

Continue reading »

Jul 232018
 

 

(DGR delivered a tome of reviews so massive that we decided to serialize it throughout the week so as to avoid fracturing your spine beneath its weight.)

On occasion we find ourselves backlogged with albums that we want to write about but seem never able to find the time to do so. Sometimes this results in multiple review ideas getting tossed and never revisited,  and at other times you get posts like this one as we deseperately try to hammer out a whole bunch of reviews about EVERYTHING that we’ve been listening to.

Our own Andy Synn is particularly good at this, I, however, am not. Thus, in an effort to clean up the 11 different text files I had sitting on my desktop of half-written reviews seemingly going nowhere before I got distracted by the next thing that would wind up half-written before I made a vain effort to go back to an earlier review in order to finish that up, we find ourselves with a collection of shorter and sweeter reviews. I’ll still attempt to deep dive on the discs, but overall this is just a collection of every awesome thing I’ve been listening to that we haven’t taken the time to fully discuss yet.

In this case that means 13 different releases (rather than 11), unsorted by genre and from all varying walks of all things heavy. So, with the floodgates now fully open, let us wade forth into the rushing waters of heavy metal to recommend some stuff that perhaps might have flown by you. Continue reading »

Jul 172018
 

 

(This is DGR’s review of the comeback album by the Bay Area’s Light This City, which is out now via Creator-Destructor Records.)

We’ve been having a lot of fun with it lately but there seems to be a legitimate concerted effort to resurrect the mid-aughts musically, with a handful of groups that gained prominence during the early metalcore and deathcore explosions coming back after multi-year hiatuses and breakups, deciding that 2018 was going to be the time they all returned. They’re obviously not the only bands to do so this year, but it sure does seem like 2018 has been designated the year of the comeback.

We have to be on something of a ten-year cycle for groups breaking up and re-uniting, because that is one of the few ways I can explain how so many bands who were content to hang it up about seven-to-ten years ago all came back at once. If you’ll allow us to pull the curtains back a bit, it seems like my recent review work slate consists entirely of groups returning from my first few years of community college – – particularly the three-pack of Bleeding Through, The Agony Scene, and Light This City, although Into Eternity coming back and local Sacramento groups Journal and Jack Ketch both also joining the fray are part of the phenomenon, with the last two admittedly a likely the reason I’m pounding away at this theme.

As mentioned, Light This City are one of these groups, calling it quits after the release of their 2008 album Stormchaser and from then on reuniting sporadically only for a small handful of live dates (coincidentally the only times I had seen them up until July 1st of this year) — until this year, which saw the late-May release of the group’s newest album through Creator-Destructor Records, Terminal Bloom. Continue reading »

Jun 052018
 

 

(This is DGR’s review of the new album by Fractal Gates, which was released on May 12th through Naturmacht Productions.)

Five years between discs is on the long end of the “should I just stop checking to see if this band is doing anything or move on” segment of the waiting scale for fans. It actually may be the darkest part of said scale, where you wind up quickly moving through the five stages of grief about letting a group go, yet being thankful at the same time for all the music you do enjoy from them while clinging to the hope that if something new does pop up in the future it will serve as a pleasant surprise. It’s an odd yet freeing type of emotional whiplash, and one that many fans of France’s prog keyboard-heavy melodeath crew of Fractal Gates had likely started going through as the time passed since the release of the group’s 2013 album, Beyond The Self.

The musicians in Fractal Gates have certainly kept busy during that time, particularly vocalist Sebastien Pierre, who has become part of a variety of projects including Enshine, his solo work through Cold Insight, his various Mass Effect cover songs and reimaginings, and even some work with Monolithe — but those who enjoyed the up-tempo, keyboard-heavy work of Fractal Gates finally got their own taste of new material this year with the group’s new, densely packed album The Light That Shines, a disc that has absorbed five years worth of experiences into its own introspective formula. Continue reading »

May 312018
 

 

(DGR reviews the new album by Dead Wretch, released on April 27th by the Albuquerque label Ipos Music.)

Hug Division Dead Wretch may be the fastest I have ever gone from clicking around with the Random Band button on Metal-Archives to purchasing an album.

Hug Division Dead Wretch is the first full-length for Dead Wretch, a one-man project belonging to musician Daniel Jackson based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, that at one point counted amongst its ranks fellow band member “Definitely Not A Copy Of EZDrummer”. It is a tongue-in-cheek black/death/grind project that despite its less-than-serious origins has grown into something that not only has an acidic sense of commentary but also the musical bite to back it up. Having spent a few years launching EPs and a handful of joking singles, Dead Wretch released its previously mentioned first full-length this year, comprising mostly new songs and three tracks re-done from the project’s first EP, the tersely titled fuck it.

While most projects like this tend to make use of the plug-and-play nature of grindcore, Dead Wretch performs a much more difficult act — that of skewering various specific subjects (at one point claiming to be from Minot, North Dakota, so they too could seem more exotic) but also offering righteous indignation and social commentary (check out “Eat Shit” for an immediate example) while backing it up with excellent music. Continue reading »

May 212018
 

 

(The Finnish grindcrushers in Rotten Sound released a new EP via Season of Mist on May 18th, and DGR gives it a detailed review here.)

Rotten Sound’s 2016 album Abuse To Suffer is one of the better examples of a neatly packaged album of grind out there to date, with the band having seemingly found a near-perfect length for their latest vitriolic blast-beast to unleash upon the world. Like many of their songs, Abuse To Suffer ends almost as suddenly as it begins with an almost perfunctory pop of the snare to finally send things off, neatly tying off the near half-hour you get with the Finnish speaker destroyers. Which means that the group’s latest EP — Suffer To Abuse — makes for an interesting proposition, arriving nearly two years after its predecessor and picking up right where the band left off, as if the Rotten Sound crew just couldn’t let go of that disc just yet and so dished out another eleven minutes (spread across seven songs) of hyper-fast and ultra-precise grindcore, leaning heavily on the circle-pit aspect of the -core sound.

The limited edition EP, which saw a staggered release between Europe and North America (for whatever nightmarish reasons, and not the first group this has happened to this year — Centinex also had a month between continents with their disc Chaos Manifesto), can be neatly summed up as exactly what you want you from the group — another quick expulsion of sound that remains relentless throughout, with just enough sludge around the edges to add a little dirt to the group’s latest sweat-fest. Continue reading »

May 012018
 

 

(DGR wrote this review of the new album by the Italian death metal band Order Ov Riven Cathedrals.)

Göbekli Tepe, the recently released full-length follow-up to last year’s Order Ov Riven Cathedrals EP The Discontinuinity’s Interlude, takes absolutely no prisoners from the moment its first real song kicks off. Following a similar format to last year’s EP, Göbekli Tepe basically has an intro for ambience and then spends the rest of its time with you going as fast as feasibly possible — in line with many of their Italian hyperfast blast-heavy death metal kin — and making almost no compromise in favor of breathing room.

The mysterious two-piece behind Order Ov Riven Cathedrals continue their science fiction and mythological bent nearly a year later, this time amplifying just about every aspect of last year’s EP, making it feel like The Discontinuity’s Interlude really was laying out a blueprint for them to follow. Order Ov Riven Cathedrals not only wring just about every ounce of highly accelerated  death metal they can out of their time, but also bring along a bevy of familiar movie and media samples (how many albums out there have a sample from Breaking Bad on them these days?). These include metal’s recent obsession with Oppenheimer’s television interview wherein he utters “I am become death, destroyer of worlds”… although the Riven Cathedrals crew mix it up a bit by using it in reverse and closing out with, “A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent”. Continue reading »