Feb 212022


(Our friend Justin Collins  is the author of the following review of the latest album by the Oregonian band Eight Bells, which is scheduled for release on February 25th by Prophecy Productions.)

It’s been a little while since we’ve been graced with an Eight Bells release. As is probably the case with many people, I’ve lost all sense of time because of the pandemic, but it’s been 6 years since they released Landless. Granted, life sometimes gets in the way. Injuries, lineup changes, and the need to make a living get in the way of artists who make music off the beaten path, but luckily Melynda Jackson, the constant of this group, has soldiered on to create Legacy of Ruin with two new band members, Matt Solis (Cormorant) on bass and vocals, and Brian Burke (Cave Dweller) on drums. Continue reading »

Jan 162022


This weekend hasn’t been conducive to my NCS plans. I didn’t have time yesterday morning to post a round-up of new songs and videos, only time enough to share some artwork and news. During Saturday afternoon I plowed through a lot of new tracks and videos that mostly surfaced over the last week, and found a whopping 23 of them that I enjoyed to varying degrees.

Obviously, that’s way too many to post about, even for an OVERFLOWING STREAMS type of round-up. Some sifting was required. But sifting takes time, and for reasons I won’t bore you with it turns out that free time has been in very short supply this weekend. What to do?

Well, what I decided to do was just to say Fuck It and foist all 23 of those songs and videos upon you, with almost no commentary about the music and not even the usual links and artwork, just a small amount of info about the releases that include them. Even with that approach I’m dubious that I’ll get everything ready to go before I have to depart my computer for the rest of the day. So I alphabetized everything by band name and cut the group into two parts.

Part 2 might come tomorrow instead of later today. Sadly, I won’t have time for a SHADES OF BLACK column, though there is some black metal sprinkled through this giant collection, along with music across a big range of other sub-genres. Continue reading »

Jan 232014

(We welcome the return of guest writer Alain Mower and the third in his series of interviews of women in metal. In this edition, he talks with two members of Portland-based Eight Bells – Melynda Jackson and Haley Westeiner — whose 2013 album The Captain’s Daughter turned a lot of heads.)

This series is dedicated to creating discussion and awareness by expressing the observations, thoughts, and opinions of current prolific metal musicians who, in their spare time, also happen to be women. This began as a direct response to the few stragglers in the community who think that there is still a place for misogyny in metal.

If this results in you punching some loud-mouth, drunk sexist at the next show you go to or calling someone out when they question the attendance, attire, or musical capabilities of a woman at a show, then that’s all I could ever ask, and then some. Continue reading »

Jul 142012

Agalloch’s current North American tour kicked off on July 11 in Portland and I saw the show when they moved up to Seattle the next night. That pic up above is the awesome poster created by Stevie Floyd for the tour. I intended to buy it at the show, but lost my mind at some point during Agalloch’s set and forgot.

They played at The Crocodile, a venue that was a fixture of the Seattle music scene (Nirvana played their first live show there, for example) for 16 years before it closed in 2007. It reopened under new ownership in 2009 after extensive remodeling, but this was the first time I’d been there (they don’t book many metal shows). Nice place — a big open floor with a full bar in the back and a small balcony area to the right. By the time Agalloch started (well after 11 p.m., unfortunately), the floor was jammed with people all the way from the front of the stage back to the bar.

Preceding Agalloch was another Portland band named Eight Bells (who aren’t part of the full NorthAm tour) and then Taurus (a two-woman band, also from Portland, that includes the afore-mentioned Stevie Floyd from Dark Castle). I enjoyed Eight Bells’ post-rock instrumentals, but the tag-team vocals of Melynda Jackson and Haley Weiner were too often off-key, and I confess that I gave up after the first three songs and went outside and spent the rest of their set catching up with Ryan Yancey and James Furrow from Blood and Thunder, a hard-working, hard-playing band we’re big fans of, who are forging ahead despite a couple of recent line-up changes. They’ll be opening for Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Tyr, and Metsatoll in Seattle on September 8, and I’m tremendously stoked for that show. Continue reading »