Apr 102012

Hey, you don’t have to tell me. I’m well aware that this site is like life-giving oxygen to our readers, and I know the air has been getting thin. You’ve been gasping because our daily output of posts has diminished in recent days. It’s just one of those rare times when all of us who write for NCS have been distracted or diverted by one thing or another, all at the same time.

In my case, the diversion was a happy one: Over the last three days I was distracted by events surrounding a long-time friend’s out-of-town wedding, including getting there and getting back and getting hammered in between.

She is now off on her honeymoon and I am now mostly recovered from the celebration and have been trying to figure out what I missed while I was whooping it up and bearing witness to the joyous union. Among other things, I discovered three new music videos for three not-so-new, but excellent songs. The videos are reminders of how good the songs are (I’ve loved all three since I first heard them), but they also add new dimensions to the songs.

The music and the videos have a few other things in common. The first two were produced with backing from Scion A/V, and the production values are quite high. The first two also involve candles. The third is creatively self-produced, making do with Creative Commons footage, but it shares this element with the other two more ambitious projects: You can drown yourself in the audio-visual experience, because there’s a powerful intensity to all three songs, and the visuals suit them well.

So, after the jump, the new videos for “Your Calm Waters” by The Atlas Moth, “Passageways” by Tombs, and “Shadows” by Embers. Continue reading »

Oct 122011

NCS reader SurgicalBrute has turned me on to many excellent bands, and I’ve come to trust his tips. Recently he sent me a new batch of recommendations, and so I decided to just pick three of them for this edition of MISCELLANY. I may do the other three another time.

The way MISCELLANY usually works: We keep a growing list of bands whose music we haven’t heard but who look interesting. The list includes all the bands who contact NCS asking for a review (as it happens, one of SurgicalBrute’s recommendations is also a band who contacted us). Unfortunately, I’ll never be able to get through that list, but when I can, I grab a few names off of it at random, listen to a song or two, write up my impressions, and then stream the same music for you.

This time, of course, I’m using SB’s list instead of the NCS list, and the bands I picked are: Bones (US-Chicago), Embers (US-Oakland), and Undead Creep (Italy). To begin:


Here’s what SurgicalBrute had to say about this first band: “Crusty death metal, and one of my favorite releases this year. They get a lot of comparison to Chicago’s Usurper.” The Usurper comparisons are inevitable: The band is composed of three ex-Usurper members. They released their self-titled debut (on Planet Metal) in July, recording the album live in the studio with production help from Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium). SurgicalBrute sent me a YouTube link to a track called “Bloodlust”, and that’s the song I listened to first.  Continue reading »