May 162012

I wasn’t planning to write any more posts for our site today, but then I had one of those synchronicity/serendipity moments that often make me think cosmic forces are trying to send me a message (and I’m not talking about the alien microwave transmissions, because all the foil I’ve used to cover the walls blocks those).

While taking a break from the work I’m supposed to be doing in order to justify my salary, I saw a a link from a friend on Facebook to a Jucifer video I hadn’t seen before. And then soon after that, I got word that Dukatalon had posted another video in their “Zimmer” sessions series. Both videos and both performances exploded my eggshell skull, wadded up the remains, and tossed them into a dimension where happy riff addicts go to smile away the hours.

But in addition to both of them being happily skull-rending, these two videos share another trait: They demonstrate that a massive amount of metal might can be created by (almost) nothing more than one talented guitarist and one talented drummer (and a fuckload of distortion). The fireball shred is icing on the cake.


I’ll wager that those of you who ever have seen a live show by Gazelle Amber Valentine and her husband Edgar Livengood have become Jucifer fans for life. It only took me the one time. Oddly, it spoiled me so bad that I don’t listen to their recordings that much, because they fall so far short of capturing the live experience. It was, with no exceptions I can think of at the moment, the LOUDEST metal show I’ve ever attended, and it was also one of the most riveting/crushing/satisfying shows I’ve seen; at the same time as they’re inflicting a gigaton of sonic trauma, they have a magnetic stage presence that rivets your attention. Continue reading »

May 142012

I think it’s fair to say that I have eclectic taste in metal. I enjoy a wide range of music (as long as it has little or no clean singing, of course), and I make a conscious effort to cover a broad spectrum of genres/sub-genres in my own contributions to NCS. But that’s not to say I like everything to the same degree, and I certainly don’t claim to be well-educated in everything metal has to offer. Of course, as is true of most fans, there’s a connection between the intensity of my liking for certain styles and the extent to which I feel knowledgeable about them.

Sludge — and particularly doom-heavy sludge — is an example of a genre style that I’ve consumed only rarely, and consequently I don’t claim any expertise in the area, nor any legitimate basis for saying what’s best and what isn’t. I tend to prefer faster, more explosive music, and I’ve yet to fully appreciate the beauty of being dragged at a crawling pace through sucking tar, particularly when the music doesn’t provide the relief of at least a momentary glimpse of light or a lungful of air.

HOWEVER, I’m a riff addict, and I do love a big, heaving, massively distorted guitar-and-bass tone. I also often enjoy really ugly music that feels like an alien larval parasite eating its way through my chest and eventually exploding in a spray of blood and soft tissue. And so today, after that long wind-up, I bring you music from Dukatalon (Israel) and Cowards (France).


I also enjoy eye-catching album art, and (as you can see above) Orion Landau created a real winner for the debut album by this three-man Israeli band, 2009’s Saved By Fear (which was later re-issued by Relapse Records after they signed Dukatalon). What, you may ask, am I doing writing about an album that’s two and a half years old? And the answer is: Last week Dukatalon released a music video of a live performance of a song from that album called “Vagabond” that really grabbed me. Continue reading »