Sep 062012

I hadn’t planned to post anything else today, but I just read something that’s so wise and so vividly expressed that I just have to pimp it.

It’s an article that just appeared at Metal Sucks by Eyal Levi, guitarist and co-writer of Dååth, co-creator of the wonderful Avalanche of Worms by Levi/Werstler, and a talented record producer with Audiohammer Studios (founded by Jason Suecof). The subject of the piece is creativity and inspiration, and how to deal with the unfortunate reality that inspiration can’t be summoned on demand.

In a nutshell, his messages are as follows: Understand and accept that no one can be creatively inspired 100% of the time — and don’t let the low points throw you; but also understand that creativity behaves like a muscle, and the more you work at it, the more natural it will become to achieve a creative state. This requires you to work hard, to force yourself to create even when the inspiration has deserted you, rather than to sit around and wait for that “elusive fucker” to show up again in its own good time. He writes:

“Treat inspiration like the bitch that it is. Move forward with or without it and you will find that it will tag along more often than not.  If you are in the habit of flexing that creative muscle as often as possible your ruts will be of shorter duration. Your next great idea will be that much closer.”

Levi writes primarily (though not exclusively) from the perspective of a songwriter and musician. I am neither, but I think his observations are just as valid when it comes to writing, or for that matter any other form of creative endeavor. What he says certainly fits my own experiences and my own observations of successful creative people I’ve known in my life. They are messages worth taking to heart. Continue reading »

Mar 092010

Cerebral Metalhead is a blog we like to visit because it often turns us on to new music we don’t encounter elsewhere and because the album reviews are so well-written. On our latest visit, we read a glowing review of a self-released album called Monolith by an unsigned Atlanta prog-metal band named From Exile. So we quickly got the album, and we gotta agree — this is an amazing piece of work, and we feel compelled to help spread the word.

At its core, From Exile are two very talented guitarists — Eric Guenther and Ben Wetzelberger. On Monolith, they are joined on drums by the ever-awesome Kevin Talley from Daath. And the Daath connection doesn’t stop there. Eyal Levi co-produced the album with Guenther, handled the mixing chores, and provided a guest guitar solo on a song called “In the Faded Silence.” And the Daath connection still doesn’t stop there: Guitarist extraordinaire Emil Werstler added another guest guitar solo on “Apparition.”

Basically, with magnificent help from Talley’s accomplished drumwork, Monolith is a 32-minute treatise on guitar metal. If you found yourself on Pandora with nothing but an electric guitar and you were trying to explain it to one of those blue Na’vi, we imagine the conversation would go something like this: “Yeah, that neural thing you got on the end of your braid is pretty cool, but this thing is a fuckin’ electric guitar, and if you wanna know all the sounds it can make, slot your braid into my iPod and listen to Monolith.” (read more after the jump, and listen to a track . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 282010

We didn’t start this blog site until Nov 23 last year.  So when metal bands were releasing albums earlier in 2009, we weren’t around to publicly flap our gums about them. We’ve been trying to make up for lost time by occasionally writing about bands whose 2009 releases really made an impression on us.

Today we’re writing about a band from Toulouse, France called Eryn Non Dae, and their striking 2009 full-length debut, Hydra Lernaïa — an album unlike anything else we heard last year and one of our favorites.

The band was also kind enough to participate in an interview by e-mail, and we’ll run that in Part 2 of this post tomorrow. We tried to come up with some unusual questions, and what we got back was consistent with the music these dudes create.  They didn’t just dash off the first thoughts that popped into their heads — they took their time, and their answers are thoughtful, intelligent, thought-provoking and far from run of the mill. Definitely come back here tomorrow and check it out.

In the meantime, if you’re not familiar with the band, allow us to introduce you to them and to the unique album they dropped on an unsuspecting world last year. (continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 232009

Here at NCS, we’re putting a different spin on year-end listmania. Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even necessarily our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. Ours is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. We’re talking about songs that produce involuntary physical movement and worm their way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get ’em out (and wouldn’t want to).

We’re not ranking our list from #10 to #1 because that would be too much fucking work (and your co-Authors would still be arguing about it this time next year). So, our list is in no particular order. We’re also dribbling the songs out one at a time because your lazy Authors are still debating what belongs in the remaining slots. (Yes, still.) Our list heretofore:

1.  Asphyx:  Sorbutics

2.  Mastodon:  Crack the Skye

3.  Amorphis:  Silver Bride

4.  GoatwhoreApocalyptic Havoc

5.  August Burns Red:  Meridian

6.  Pelican:  Ephemeral

7.  Scale the Summit: Age of the Tide

And to see our eighth entry on the list, continue reading after the jump. Continue reading »