May 282015


(DGR reviews the new album by Disarmonia Mundi.)

It’s likely that this horse has been beaten to death so much that the goo on the ground is hardly recognizable as a biomass — but it remains true that a six-year gap is a long time to wait between discs. The situation is more common than people think, and some bands will make you wait far, far longer — although by a certain point it’s pretty clear that a group is on “hiatus”. Disarmonia Mundi has provided one of the few times when I’ve personally gotten to be part of the esteemed club of fans desperate for any word.

The two-piece that is the core of Disarmonia Mundi have certainly kept busy, with a whole array of projects that cover the whole spectrum of metal — production work and otherwise, including the Princess Ghibli project and The Stranded. However, even though The Stranded veered far closer to Disarmonia Mundi’s brand of melodeath than likely even its members intended, it’s still not Disarmonia Mundi proper, still not the band that gave us one of my personal favorite melodeath albums of the last decade with 2009’s ugly-artwork-bearing hook-machine that was The Isolation Game.

Cold Inferno, the group’s soon-to-be-released new album, has a lot to live up to and already marks a bit of a shift from the previous disc with a track list slimmed down to ten. Cold Inferno’s appearance may have seemed sudden but this is a disc that has been cooking for a while. Was the time worth it though? Can Disarmonia Mundi prove themselves to still be a melodeath powerhouse already halfway through another decade? Have I jokingly made light of the fact that I’ve been waiting six years for this album? Continue reading »

May 272015


(DGR wrote this round-up of new music while I was away at MDF, and I rewarded his helpfulness by posting it days later after I got back home. You’re welcome, Dave.)

While most of the goofballs who inhabit this site are off fucking around somewhere in Maryland, one of us has to pick up the slack and bring you yesterday’s news tomorrow, otherwise we wouldn’t be fulfilling our mission statement of always being just behind the curve — but with more words to make up for the delay.

This edition is going to be a little heavily biased toward my tastes, which means we’re probably going to be on the lighter fare of the metal scale, but there was still some damn good music to happen within recent weeks, and most of the bands you folks will be familiar with. There were a couple of interesting discoveries on that front, as a couple of different artists decided to release new songs out to the world, and then in the other two cases, they’ve been out for a bit but we’re doing our best to keep them from flying under the radar. Continue reading »

Mar 172015


I got enough of a break from my day job over the last two days that I was able to listen to some new music, and I’ve collected some of what I heard in this post. I knew the previous work of some of these bands and therefore wasn’t surprised by the quality. Other songs came as complete surprises — and very nice ones.


I had lost track of this Italian duo. The last time we wrote about them was two and a half years ago. Of course, that was around the last time they released any music, and their last album was 2009’s The Isolation Game. Thanks to Andy Synn, I made the happy discovery yesterday that they have a new album coming out in June on Coroner Records named Cold Inferno. There’s a big head on the cover. Continue reading »

Aug 112012

As much as I like working on this blog, it has changed my listening habits. One of our missions is to stay abreast of song and video premieres and new albums, sifting through the flood of new metal to find things we believe are worth recommending and reviewing. So I spend almost all my listening time nowadays checking out metal I’ve never heard before. The cost, unfortunately, is that I rarely listen to what’s in the library of albums I’ve accumulated over the years. No more “oldies but goodies” for me.

But yesterday, on a whim, I decided that I’d spend the time walking to and from my job listening to what was on my iPod already, and I used Shuffle to pick what I heard. My iPod Classic is full. It has 22,331 songs on it, and almost all of the shit is metal. To put a new album on there requires that I delete another one, which is horribly painful to do. That process has made the library more top-heavy with newer music over time, which may explain why most of the Shuffle choices turned out to be of relatively recent vintage.

Anyway, it turned out to be a blast, because the first five songs that Shuffle picked were all really good and really beastly. The next couple weren’t as killer, so I decided to just go with the first five in this post. Oddly, two of the five turned out to be from Japanese bands.


Fuckin’ Dismember! What an auspicious way to start the Shuffle medley! I didn’t need reminding about how completely amazing Like An Ever Flowing Stream was — and still is — but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve listened to “Skin Her Alive”. What a thoroughly skin-flaying, meat-grinding experience. Continue reading »

Jun 252012

(In this post, DGR reviews the debut album by The Stranded, which is available on Coroner Records.)

The Stranded are an interesting proposition from a musical standpoint. They’re a new group, formed by the two men responsible for Disarmonia Mundi, an Italian melo-death/groove metal project alongside keyboardist Allesio NeroArgento and pro skateboarder Elliot Sloan. Elliot plays guitar and bass on this record, with the two DM gentlemen (Ettore Rigotti and Claudio Ravinale) taking responsibility for the vocals, drums and guitars. You can pretty much figure out why I jumped onto this group’s bandwagon early on, considering my deep and abiding love for DM’s Isolation Game release. It has also been close to three years since that disc hit.

The story behind how this band formed has to be interesting. I wonder who contacted whom when this band was just beginning, and how Elliot found himself involved with this specific group of guys. They are still a melodeath band, but the addition of a dedicated key player has brought them closer to what most people are familiar with after listening to groups such as Dark Tranquillity. They announced their formation late last year, and for a while it was a pretty slow drip feed of information. However, we now have a full release from The Stranded, and it is interesting, to say the least.

Survivalism Boulevard is an album that ping-pongs back and forth between various styles, while still staying somewhat familiar at its core. The presence of someone new in a full keyboard position does quite a bit to change things up. Many of the hooks on this album are delivered via the keyboard, a couple of them cheesier than all get out and others fitting in perfectly with the music. They produce the strange effect of making this project sound a little less ‘mature’ (probably a poor choice of words, maybe ‘refined’?) than what the guys in The Stranded are involved in usually. Continue reading »

Apr 302012

(DGR unveils for us a new song by The Stranded off their debut album Survivalism Boulevard, which will be released on July 2.)

Holy crap, I thought I was going to have children before The Stranded finally released their first sample of material. Now all I have to look forward to enjoying for the first time, alongside my by-then high school aged son, is Gojira’s Sea Shepherd EP.

Today the guys in The Stranded (well, late last night, but I’ve bitched plenty about my various night shifts) put up a notification that they had uploaded their first official release off their upcoming disc to soundcloud.  It’s been a long time coming, and if you haven’t exactly been paying the most attention to the ramblings that I submit to this site, this is likely your first chance to hear The Stranded.

Prior to this, you could’ve heard some of the Disarmonia Mundi + Friends (skateboarder Elliot Sloan and keyboardist Alessio NeroArgento) as they covered different Studio Ghibli movie theme songs on the latest Imaginary Flying Machines disc. Of course, as I said in my review there, the material on that disc likely wasn’t going to be representative of what The Stranded would eventually sound like. Hell, their current logo barely signals that either — it looks like it fell off the front of a deathcore disc. Continue reading »

Apr 132012

(I got this post by e-mail from DemiGodRaven, with this message from him: “I’m going to post about heavy metal Japanese movie theme songs. Let’s see how NCS readers handle that. Come at me, bro.” So go ahead, come at him . . .)

Holy crap, they made another one of these.

That’s literally the only way I can describe my sense of somewhat wild bewilderment at the fact that there’s another Princess Ghibli disc after the last one. Princess Ghibli is a project by Imaginary Flying Machines, a moniker taken up by a bunch of different groups in order to release a compilation of metal versions of various Studio Ghibli movie theme songs.

Studio Ghibli is a legendary animation house over in Japan. They’ve made some incredibly beautiful and incredibly popular movies over the years. In some senses they’re a cultural landmark in the same way something like Disney is over here. I studied Japanese for three years in High School (I remember fuck all, don’t ask) and that is where I was exposed to a large chunk of these songs and films.

Given Japanese artists’ usage of hair-metal and glam-metal styled music to open their various anime programs, the concept of something like this isn’t too far of a stretch. Then you actually listen to the first release and you realize the whole “this” is off-the-wall nuts. None of the groups really change their style in order to match the songs; instead, the songs are filtered through each specific band. Thus, you wind up with stuff like Claudio from Disarmonia Mundi screaming a bunch of Japanese at the top of his lungs and having at best, a very rough idea of anything that he is saying. When I interviewed him for TNOTB, he admitted to this, saying the whole project was crazy. That is why I am somewhat shocked that there is another one. Continue reading »

Nov 232009

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »