Aug 122015

Fear Factory-Genexus


(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Fear Factory.)

I’m a pretty standard Fear Factory fan. Soul of a New Machine, Demanufacture, and Obsolete are the best albums; Digimortal was a nu-metal sellout with some keeper tracks; and everything Dino-less is awful.

Mechanize was a monster comeback record, seeing Burton Bell and Dino Cazares return with fucking Gene Hoglan, and it rivaled their early material while bringing in the more thrash and melodic edge of Dino’s other band Divine Heresy.

The band’s last record, The Industrialist (which ONLY involved Bell and Cazares, according to the only album credits I can find) was good, but I didn’t find it living up to the momentum Mechanize had. Continue reading »

Feb 272013

As previously reported, your humble editor’s blog time is being squeezed mercilessly by the old fuckin’ day job. There is no relief in sight yet. The consequence is that I can’t spend as much time as usual checking out new music and news. But I did make a quick survey of my typical sources last night and saw and heard many things of interest. Details about 3 new tours and 2 cool live videos are in this post, and I’ll have more goodies in a second one later today.


In Tourism news I saw the following report on Metal Injection: The Death To All tour, which pays tribute to the late Chuck Shuldiner is returning for another run in 2013. The tour had its first run last year and featured an all-star lineup of former members of Death, “but was later plagued with drama surrounding the financials of the event, with some musicians not getting paid by one of the promoters.”

Unlike last year, the 2013 tour will feature one line-up, the Humanera lineup consisting of guitarist Paul Masvidal, bassist Steve DiGiorgio, and drummer Sean Reinert. In addition, Metal Sucks is reporting that Max Phelps, Masvidal and Reinert’s bandmate in the most recent line-up of Cynic, will be providing the vocals. The tour will focus on Human, and the three Death albums that came before it, Scream Bloody Gore, Leprosy, and Spiritual Healing. Hell yes. Continue reading »

Oct 262012

Yesterday we devoted our last post to videos, and now two more new ones have premiered, one from Pig Destroyer and one from Fear Factory. One is “The Diplomat”, one is “The Industrialist”. Plus we have a fantastic Evil-Dead-goes-claymation video (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and a brilliant animation from The Netherlands (“The Origin of Creatures”) that puts a post-apocalyptic spin on the Tower of Babel parable. The music for these two isn’t metal, but the videos sure as fuck are.


Book Burner, the latest album from the almighty Pig Destroyer, came out in North America via Relapse on Monday of this week. Today saw the premiere of a new music video for one of the longer songs from the album, “The Diplomat”.

When this song had its debut in September, lyricist/vocalist JR Hayes said (here) it was “about the origins of human conflict and how if you look back through history, we’ve never really gotten along.” He explained: “You’re always wrapped up in the time that you’re living in, and right now there’s war and suffering and despair and economies collapsing, but if you look back in history, that’s the way it’s always been.” Can’t really argue with that, can you?

As for the sound of the song, Scott Hull used an opening riff that he had originally written for his other band Agoraphobic Nosebleed five or six years ago, and as he has noted, “The pace of the riff informs the tone and the tempo of the whole song.”

As for the “squawkier” and “angular” riffs toward the end? He was listening to a lot of Gorguts.

The song itself is excellent — and so is the new video. It was directed by Phil Mucci from Doomsday Entertainment, who also directed High On Fire’s killer “Fertile Green” video, as well as many others. It’s an allegorical tale that puts a different spin on the opening of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a gray-suited, arms-dealing motherfucker in place of the monolith. The colors are amazing, by the way. Watch it right after the jump. Continue reading »

Jun 122012

(Here we have a review by TheMadIsraeli of the ninth studio album by Fear Factory.)

Time for some of that brutal-ass machine-tight cold-as-titanium machine-gun palm-mute and double-bass assault SON.

Mechanize was the shit.  The Industrialist is the love child of the band’s seminal albums Demanufacture and Obsolete.  This album could’ve been released in the 90’s and dominated just as much as the rest of their work did.  It dominates even now, in this saturated market of clean vocals all over the place and weak-sauce composition that is critically lauded somehow as “progressive” and all that cockamamie horse shit because the bands can do basic syncopation and play riffs on eight string guitars while only using two of them.

Fear Factory have never really sprinkled their music with this bullshit.  They are honest about what they do, and what they do is kickass brutal industrial-tinged metal that is dedicated to being simply crushing above being technical, progressive, or similar buzz words in the popular parlance.  They’ve generally been practicing the same sound their whole career (although it’s obvious that for some fucking reason, as stupidly simplistic as his riffs are, there is something about the way Dino Cazares writes as opposed to Christian Wolbers that just hits right), and it hasn’t ever really gotten stale for me.

This is classic Fear Factory at its best.  Machine-gun riffs, excessive double-bass assaults with technical wizardry up top, and well-incorporated electronic and symphonic flourishes.  Mix this with Burton C. Bell’s legendary battle cries combined with his baritone, almost inhuman clean voice, and it’s just a thoroughly absorbing experience overall. Continue reading »

May 282012

(Here’s a round-up of recent news and music from DemiGodRaven about Katatonia, Æther Realm, Fear Factory, Shadows Fall, and The Browning.)

Katatonia’s new album: Dead End Kings (August 27th)

Over the past two weeks Katatonia have done a pretty interesting publicity bit on their Facebook page by putting up a picture of what looked like a dead tree branch in some snow and then slowly adding letters and more to the branch, eventually revealing that it was something more of a dead shrub and that the letters would spell an album title and release date for the group’s new upcoming disc.

Now they’ve completed the whole picture, and yes, it’s got branches on it alright, but it is something more than that. It’s looks like a dead bird wearing a crown, and the album title for their new disc will be Dead End Kings. It has an August release date, appearing a day later in the US than in Europe, but the difference of a day really isn’t that huge when you have the internet essentially spreading everything around at light speed. The moment anything from this album is out I’m sure it’ll be all over youtube, so if you have to wait a day you can find solace in at least streaming the songs that way. The image for you folks to check out is above, all Facebook banner-styled. Continue reading »

Apr 262012

As explained yesterday, I’ve been kind of off my game here at NCS recently and I’m now trying (hurriedly) to make up for lost time. While investigating the many things I’ve missed in the world of metal over the last week or two, I’ve found a shitload of things I think are worth sharing — both news items and new music. I’m collecting some (but not all) of them in this “Catching Up” mini-series. Here’s Part 2, and there will be one more installment coming.


This is a news item, which is the most recent part of this post.  This morning, Sweden’s Miseration revealed the cover art (above) for their next album (on Lifeforce Records), Tragedy Has Spoken. The artwork is by the ubiquitous and dependably awesome Pär Olofsson. I thoroughly enjoyed this band’s ass-blasting last album, The Mirroring Shadow (2009), and have high hopes for the new one. Conceptually, it’s described as an exploration of the nature of tragedy, both man-made and the result of natural disasters.

The new album was also recorded with 8-string guitars and get this: According to Lifeforce, it also incorporates “folk instruments such as the Indian harp Esraj, the Persian hammered dulcimer Santur, sawblade, organ, mandolin and piano, as well as Mongolian throatsinging”!!! I think we have many “what the fuck?” moments in store for us. Continue reading »

Mar 022012

For a change, I actually remembered on the second day of the new month that that the preceding month had ended; usually takes longer than that. My creditors would be happy, except I think their bills need to age a while longer. But yes, February is history — and that means its time to post our usual monthly round-up of news about forthcoming albums. Today’s list is a little more comprehensive than the half-assed job I did at the end of January, which means it’s about three-quarters assed. One of these days it will be fully assed.

Here’s how this round-up usually works: In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, I collect news blurbs and press releases I’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like at NCS (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, I cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — THIS ISN’T A CUMULATIVE LIST. If I found out about a new forthcoming album earlier than the last 30 days, I probably wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier.

Having said all that, please feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us (me and your fellow readers) what I missed when I put this list together, because I’m abso-fucking-lutely certain that I missed all sorts of shit. So let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about, even if you don’t see them here! Continue reading »

Aug 282010

Saturday mornings have to be the least memorable mornings of the week. If you remember anything about Saturday mornings, it’s usually just the fallout of whatever you did on Friday night, and the fallout usually isn’t worth remembering. In fact, sometimes all you want to do is forget.

If you’re like me on a Saturday morning, your ass is dragging and your brain feels like it’s swimming through a pool of rapidly cooling tar. All you want is to be left alone until you recover your senses in the fullness of time.

Well, fuck that shit. You may think that’s what you need, but your friends here at NCS are trained medical professionals, and we know better. We have a prescription for what ails you on this Saturday morning. We think what you need is the aural equivalent of a stun gun to the back of the head. Y’know, something that will jolt you into the world of the living.

Of course, if you really outdid yourself partying last night, this prescription could seriously fuck you up. That’s why we’re taking a page from the playbook of the pharmaceutical companies that run those obnoxious TV ads for drugs you don’t need: We’re giving you a warning:

In rare cases, people who listen to the music you’re about to hear on a Saturday morning will bleed from the ears and nose, develop uncontrollable convulsions, experience explosive diarrhea, and/or fall into irreversible comas. If you’re pregnant, listening to this music may lead to spontaneous abortions or cause your child to come into the world with its eyes permanently crossed. Do not listen to this music while driving, or while sitting, standing up, or laying down. If you are in the middle of a vicious hangover, you should induce vomiting now, in the privacy of your own bathroom, instead of risking a spew down the front of your shirt once the music begins.

By clicking past the jump to listen to the music that follows, you and your heirs and assigns agree to irrevocably release and hold harmless NO CLEAN SINGING from all resulting claims of damage, past, present, or future, whether currently known or unknown, anticipated or unanticipated, minor or fatal, and you assume all risk of paralysis, impotence, rectal bleeding, facial boils, hair loss, necrotizing fasciitis, seeping mouth ulcers, and chronic ventricular dysrhythmia.

Continue reading »

Jan 232010

NCS likes math metal. In fact, we likes it a lot. Which is why we were stoked to learn that Devolved was planning a new album for 2010 and that, to build some buzz, the band’s new label would be releasing a re-mixed version of their last full-length, 2004’s Calculated. And guess what? The new version of Calculated arrived in our mailbox earlier this week. And guess what? We like it!

The Background: Devolved started in Australia in 1996 and the band released a demo in 1998, and then a full-length in 2001 called Technologies. The Roadrunner Records-affiliated mag Outsider named Technologies Austrialia’s metal abum of the year.

Numerous line-up changes ensued, and eventually Devolved released Calculated in September 2004, with vocals supplied by Nik Carpenter. In early 2005, the band left Australia and moved to Los Angeles. More lineup changes followed, including the addition of vocalist Kyle Zemanek (ex-Five Finger Death Punch and Deathsett).

Then last May, the band signed with Unique Leader Records, and word is out that a new album is projected for release late this year. And as noted above, Unique Leader has now re-released Calculated. Except, the re-issue has been re-mixed and re-mastered and this time includes Zemanek’s vocals instead of Carpenter’s. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 242009

Those gun-jumpers at Decibel magazine are at it again. Not content to select their list of the Top 40 albums of 2009 in about October (see our previous post about that), the issue that just hit my mailbox (optimistically dated February 2010) includes a feature called “The Top 25 Most Anticipated Records of 2010.” At least Decibel‘s writers poke fun at themselves in the intro that precedes their many following pages of prognostications:

“Decibel‘s always been about more than more past and present: Our powers of clairvoyance increase exponentially with each new day.  Hell, our grip on the future is such that we’re thinking about covering the coming decade’s 100 best metal albums before summer, just to get them out of the way.  As for the list below, remember this: We’ve heard — and utterly endorse — everything on it . . . including the stuff not yet written.”

To be honest, we were thinking of putting together our own list of bands whose new albums we’re stoked to see in 2010.  Might still do that if holiday laziness doesn’t completely gobsmack us. And we really do enjoy reading Decibel every month. But still, just can’t resist poking a little fun.

And in the poking-fun vein, we also came across Decibel‘s 2010 Media Kit. This is the sales piece that the mag provides advertisers to convince them how much folding green metalheads have to spend (yeah, right) and how all you gotta do to collect it is advertise in Decibel. Lot’s of amusing stuff in there, which you can peruse here. There’s a page of demographic data about Decibel‘s audience that’s especially juicy.

So, after the jump, we’ll show you the bands that Decibel has pegged for the The Top 25 Most Anticipated Releases of 2010. We’ll highlight the ones that prompted us to say “Fuckin’ A!” Our reactions to the rest are some combination of “maybe,” “huh?”, and “Uh, no.” And just for kicks we’ll show you that page from Decibel‘s 2010 Media Kit that provides potential advertisers with demographic data about Decibel‘s readers. Enjoy. Continue reading »