Feb 042014

I mentioned in my last post that I didn’t spend much time with new music debuts over the last day or two. I’ve learned the hard way that if I snooze for even 24 hours, I miss a lot of worthwhile stuff. And so I’m hoping to get a couple of round-up posts written for today, because I found a metric fuck ton of worthwhile goodies while catching up this morning. Let’s start with some perty pitchers, shall we?


I saw that dark piece of artwork this morning, the one at the top of this post. Profound Lore Records says it’s the cover for Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical Ambivalence, which is the name of an album due out sometime in April by Impetuous Ritual. The band’s first album, Relentless Execution Of Ceremonial Excrescence, was released back in 2009. This is clearly a band with a pronounced fondness for multisyllabic utterances. I can get behind that.

Impetuous Ritual are from Brisbane, Australia, and their ranks include members of Portal and Grave Upheaval. That makes me interested. This music from their last album also makes me interested: Continue reading »

Apr 222013

My NCS comrades and I follow a large number of bands and labels on Facebook and through other news outlets. Not a week goes by without seeing a report of some new misfortune befalling one or more of them. During some weeks it’s a daily occurrence. Many of the misfortunes involve van break-downs or vehicular accidents while on tour. Others involve theft of gear or money. Sometimes, as you’ll see below, even the weather gods get involved.

The past week saw a string of calamities affecting bands we like quite a lot around here. They’ve all reached out to fans for financial support. This is not exactly a sure-fire means of getting back on your feet, because the average metal fan isn’t exactly swimming in free cash, but what else are you going to do?

We could easily make this a weekly feature: bands who’ve been fucked by human scum or fisted by the fickle hand of fate and who need help. I’m not saying we’re going to do that, but we’re doing it today. Here are stories and appeals for help from A Hill To Die Upon (Illinois), Jeff Loomis (Washington), and Eyeconoclast (Italy). Continue reading »

Mar 212013

We’ve been singing the praises of Eyeconoclast ever since hearing their 2011 EP Sharpening Our Blades on the Mainstream. Now this Italian group of veterans is on the verge of seeing the release of their debut album Drones of the Awakening via Prosthetic Records. Today we’re proud to premiere the lyric video for a new song from the album, “Rise of the Orgamechanism”.

As a sci-fi nerd, I can’t help but applaud the band’s lyrical focus on bio-mechanical co-evolution, but of course it’s the music that really counts, and on that score “Rise of the Orgamechanism” is a winner.  It’s a galvanizing onslaught of technical riffing and fully weaponized percussion. Racing at high speed, the music unleashes a torrent of jagged, jabbing guitar and bass lines, writhing solos, and abrasive vocals. Yet the execution isn’t cold or robotic — this is death metal that’s on fire.

Drones of the Awakening will be released on April 16 and can be pre-ordered here.  The album introduces the band’s new vocalist Giuseppe Di Giorgio (Black Therapy) and it was recorded at Eyeconoclast guitarist Stefano Morabito’s 16th Cellar Studio (Hour of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Inherit Disease). Eyeconoclast’s members also include bassist Paolo “Urizen” Ballarotto (who used to play with Malfeitor), drummer Mauro Mercurio (ex-Hour of Penance), and guitarist Alessio Cosenza. Continue reading »

Mar 092013

Within the shantytown of Blogville, we were relatively early supporters of Italy’s Eyeconoclast, reviewing their 2011 EP Sharpening Our Blades On the Mainstream here. Last July, Prosthetic Records announced that they had signed the band and that Eyeconoclast would be entering the studio to record their first album for Prosthetic. We wrote about that, too.

And now the album is finished. It has a name — Drones of the Awakening — and a cool album cover (by Fabio Listrani), and it’s scheduled for release in NorthAm on April 16. And yesterday Prosthetic released a teaser reel of excerpts from each track on the album. Before offering a few potentially incoherent thoughts about the teaser, I want to make sure you know who is in this band.

It includes former Hour of Penance drummer Mauro Mercurio, bassist Paolo “Urizen” Ballarotto (who used to play with Malfeitor), guitarist Stefano Morabito (who is also a very talented record producer at his 16th Cellar Studios — he recorded the new album), guitarist Alessio Cosenza, and vocalist Giuseppe Di Giorgio (Black Therapy). In other words, Eyeconoclast is loaded with talent. Continue reading »

Jul 112012

If you made your way through today’s earlier post about the first direct observation of Dark Matter, then you know we now have an official definition of “fuckload”: It’s a number that’s equal to the number of miles in 18 megaparsecs, which is (yes, I finally did the math1,126,656,000,000,000,000,000. Conveniently, that’s about 1.1 sextillion of whatever you’re counting, which is why it makes so much sense to just call it a fuckload.

And today there was a fuckload of news about forthcoming albums, with album art and release dates and such, plus a press release about a hellacious new tour. I don’t have time to write about the entire fuckload of news items, so I’m just going to pick the four that got the most “fuck yeah’s!” in a random survey I did of myself.

The bands in question are: Hooded Menace, Eyeconoclast, Cryptopsy, and Obituary.  And then at the end, I’ve got a new song from Grave’s next album, because we always have to have the musics.


We’ll start this fucker off with Finland’s Hooded Menace. Today it was announced that their first album for Relapse Records, Effigies of Evil, will be released on September 11 (it can be pre-ordered in a variety of formats and bundles here). David D’Andrea did the album cover, which is cool. Relapse describes the album as “combining the grooving riffs of Black Sabbath and early Cathedral with the fire of classic Autopsy and Asphyx”. Fuck yeah. Continue reading »

Aug 312011

Three days ago we reviewed the new EP from Italian face-melters Eyeconoclast, Sharpening Our Blades On the Mainstream. Eyeconoclast’s drummer is Mauro Mercurio, and his participation on the EP is one of the things that drew us to Eyeconoclast in the first place. Mercurio was the drummer for a phenomenal Roman death-metal band called Hour of Penance from about 1999 until 2010 and he’s been involved in other projects, as well as doing session work (e.g., he was the session drummer on Oracles (2009), the debut full-length by Fleshgod Apocalypse).

I’ve said before that I don’t know enough about the art of drumming to be a sophisticated critic of drum performances in extreme metal bands. I know what I enjoy hearing and I know when drumming makes an impression on me as I listen to a song and when it doesn’t particularly stand out, but my understanding isn’t much deeper than that. I’m also susceptible to a feeling of awe at sheer, unadulterated speed, especially when the performer is making use of the whole kit at a blazing pace.

Mercurio is one of those drummers who leaves my mouth hanging open, drooling slightly, with a cretinous glazed look in my eyes. I got that gap-mouthed, glazed look this morning when I saw a video that Mercurio put up on YouTube yesterday. It shows him laying down the drum track — in one take — for the title song on that Eyeconoclast EP. According to Mercurio’s note accompanying the video, the tempo of the whole song is 300 beats per minute (bpm). If my math is right, that’s 5 beats per second. This seems very fast to me. The normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Can the human heart beat at 300 bpm without exploding?

Mercurio also notes that in this recording, there were no triggers on the snares or toms and no studio editing on the drum track. Watch this shit after the jump, and in case you missed the song itself when we reviewed the EP a few days ago, you can hear that after the jump, too. Continue reading »

Aug 282011

To recap the rules of this MISCELLANY game for NCS newcomers: When bands or labels write us, or we get reader recommendations, or we see news blurbs about bands who look interesting, we put the band names on a list. We limit this list to bands whose music we’ve never heard, and the majority of the listed bands are unsigned. At irregular intervals, when I’ve got time, I randomly pick a few names from the list and listen to one or two of their songs, and then I write my impressions for this MISCELLANY series. Plus, I make it possible for you to hear what I heard (or saw, if it’s a video).

This exercise is different from our reviews, which we almost always limit to music we want to recommend. For this exercise, like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, we don’t know what we’re going to get. It may or may not taste delicious. But the surprise factor is part of the fun (at least for me). For today’s post, the bands I picked were Eyeconoclast (Italy), Under Eden (US), and Heidevolk (The Netherlands). I actually picked a fourth band, too, but I’m discussing them separately, to keep this thing from growing even longer than it already is.

I’ll go ahead and confess right up front: I cheated on the MISCELLANY rules for all three bands, because their music turned out to be too interesting to assess with just one song. Yes, I even cheated on the last one, too, though it’s not the kind of music I typically embrace. All that cheating means there’s a lot of music coming your way after the jump, but none of you has a real life, do you? Of course not, so you have plenty of time to listen. Continue reading »