Dec 052013

(In this guest post, Booker identifies works of literature that he was inspired to read as a result of metal, along with the specific music that provided the push. If you’ve had similar experiences, we’d like to hear about them in the Comments, along with any thoughts you might have about Booker’s post.)

Well, if you’re reading NCS, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that metal is one of mankind’s greatest creations. When I’m feeling generous I’d even expand that to music in general. You know what one of human beings’ other greatest creations is? Sending humans to an orbiting lunar body in specially controlled atmospheric craft and protective suits? Pfft, no! Using a modified virus to evoke lasting immune responses to deadly diseases? Meh.

What I’m talking about is writing. That’s right, writing, without which those other achievements wouldn’t even be possible. When you think about it, it’s pretty mind-blowing that we can scrawl lines on paper, and now digital displays, and someone else can look at those hieroglyphics and almost instantaneously discern meaning, enabling us to convey ideas and thoughts to someone else without even talking to them! From one side of the planet to another, or even from one mind to another across the abyss of time and the divide of death. Think about that after smoking a few pipes (oh my god, it’s like there’s people reading my mind!… over the internet!… and I’m reading some thoughts from someone who’s dead!… woooaahh).

And with writing came literature (and humorous toilet graffiti).  Not surprisingly, given the vast array of ideas and storylines conveyed by literature, some of those works have in turn inspired musicians to craft musical works covering the same themes, and when metal musicians do it you get what I’d call a veritable orgy of humanity’s greatest creations – metal meets literature, all getting off over each other. That’s what I’m talking about! But what I’m going to cover here is taking this one step further – not just metal albums inspired by literature, but albums/songs/bands that have in turn inspired me to go back to the source and read the inspirational literature in question. Continue reading »

Oct 212013

I thought I’d make you aware, if you aren’t already, of a handful of full-album streams that became available in recent days. I’ve heard bits and pieces of most of these albums, enough to believe they’re all worth hearing straight-through. So here goes (and if you know of other recent streams that we should be noticing, leave a link in the Comments):


I’m not nearly as zealous a fan of this band as other people I know, but I’m finding the tracks previously released from their next album — Volition — interesting enough that I think the album as a whole will be worth the time. It comes out on October 29th via Razor & Tie and can be pre-ordered here. Here’s your full stream of the album (via Metal Sucks):

Continue reading »

Oct 042013

You want something new in your ears?  I mean, other than a stranger’s tongue or that bedbug that crawled in there while you were sleeping?  Well then, check out this selection of recommended new songs discovered over the last 24 hours.


I found out about this band (whose name means “Fated Throne”) thanks to a tip from my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli. It’s the brainchild of New Hampshire guitarist Jim Gregory, but it also includes the superb Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve, Bent Sea) on drums, Scarve bassist Loic Colin, and Excrecor guitarist/frontman Jeff DeMarco on vocals. Solium Fatalis released their self-titled debut album just days ago, and it features eye-catching cover art by Septic Flesh frontman/bassist Seth Siro Anton.

Two songs from the album are streaming on Bandcamp. I listened to them last night and they’re really good – a dynamic offering of blackened melodic death metal built upon excellent instrumental performances, a voracious vocal turn, and a well-crafted production that gives the music a sharp, heavy sound. Seductive Eastern melodies flow through the stately but savage “Molecular Devices” and the jolting fury of “The 7th Gate”. I don’t know why I haven’t heard more about this album, but I’m definitely going after it now (it’s available on iTunes and Amazon) Continue reading »

Jun 122013

(Andy Synn is doing a quick last-minute plug for three shows in England that begin tomorrow night and run through Saturday night, featuring his band Bloodguard. Book your flights without delay!)

So this may be a little last-minute, but honestly, I’ve been so busy booking these shows, getting the other bands sorted, practicing, promoting… I haven’t had much time to write for NCS at all, let alone use it as a platform to advertise the show!

Still, I’m taking the chance now, so open your eyes, and your minds, and check out the various bands we’ve got sharing the stage with us over the next couple of days.

If you’re really feeling generous, you should come on down, and drag your friends along too! The more support we get (and the more t-shirts we can sell) the better things will be!

After the jump, all the dates, and links to all the bands! Continue reading »

Feb 042013

It’s not often that you get the chance to spend your money on solid metal and know that you’re making a charitable donation at the same time, but that’s the chance Eye of Solitude and Kaotoxin Records are giving you with the band’s brand new EP, The Deceit, which is now available for download at Bandcamp.

First, a word about the charity. All money raised by this EP before June 1s, 2013, will go directly to Asociaţia Nevăzătorilor din România — the Romanian Association for the Blind and Sight Impaired. The amount raised by June 1 and donated to the charity will be posted on the label’s Facebook page:

Since Eye of Solitude is a UK-based band, you may wonder about the choice of charity, but the connection probably can be traced to the band’s vocalist Daniel Neagoe, who is Romanian born.

And now let’s get to the music. If the band’s name seems familiar, it may be because I’ve written about them before in connection with an official video for a song from their most recent album, Sui Caedere, which is available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp here. The new EP includes three songs, totaling about 18 minutes of music. Continue reading »

Nov 012012

As I always do, I geared up for trick-or-treaters at the NCS headquarters last night. I filled a bowl with nasty death metal band stickers to hand out, because candy is apparently bad for children. To enhance the spooky atmosphere of the night, I bought lengths of pig entrails from an unlicensed butcher and draped them from tree limbs. I shut off all the exterior lights so the kids and their parents would experience the thrill of seeing dozens of large glowing eyes in the loris compound when they hit them with their flashlights.

To provide a full sensory experience, I lit bags of burning dog shit that I’ve been collecting from local parks over the last few months and strategically placed them along the dirt driveway, which has been turned into a mud pit from three straight days of heavy rain in the Seattle area. Above the burning shit bags, I impaled simulated goat corpses on spikes so they would be lit from below and look extra spooky. Cool idea, huh?  I even rigged up a couple of boom boxes outside so they’d start blasting Mayhem when activated by motion sensors.

And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And once again, no trick-or-treaters arrived. I don’t get it. Don’t kids trick or treat any more?

While I waited for those timid knocks on the door, I watched a lengthy series of news reports about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York and got my own Halloween shocks from that. Really awful stuff, seeing the most densely populated part of the U.S. completely fucked, with massive flooding, fires, homes lost, dozens dead, 6 million people still without power, sewage and toxic chemicals floating in flooded streets, and the prospect that storms like this are going to happen more frequently in the years ahead.

To cheer myself up and block out the impatient gibbering from the loris compound, I also watched four new metal videos, to while away the hours while waiting for the non-existent trick-or-treaters. The bands are: Eye of Solitude (UK), Funk Vigilante (Canada), Blast Rites (Poland), and Lokurah (France). Continue reading »