Nov 252013

Are you like me? Do you think packing for a long trip is much more fun if you wait until the last minute and then scurry around like a rat with rabies, thereby increasing the odds that you’ll forget a bunch of things and then feel like a dumbass when you get where you’re going? Yeah, I thought so. Everyone loves to do that. Which is why I’m sitting here banging out this round-up of diverse new items I saw and heard over the last 24 hours instead of packing for my vacation trip, which begins . . . (shit!) . . . in a few hours.


I saw that Profound Lore’s first release of 2014 will be the much-delayed third album by Chicago-based Avichi, Catharsis Absolute, which was recorded by Andrew Ragin (The Atlas Moth) and mixed by Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Twilight). The official release date is January 21. This album will be entirely the solo work of Andrew “Aamonael” Markuszewski (also in Lord Mantis). PL has also begun streaming one of the album’s new songs, “Lightweaver”.

“Lightweaver” is a study in winding the coil and then letting it go. Avichi builds the tension, ratcheting it upward with storming, tremolo-picked scales . . . and then lets the storm break in a rocking beat with a bounding bass line . . . and then proceeds to tighten the spring again. And so it goes, back and forth. And through it all, Aamonael howls like a winter wolf while weaving a trilling (and thrilling) guitar melody, chaining together chaos and something approaching beauty. Listen next: Continue reading »

Apr 062012

Money don’t grow on trees. If you’re not born with it, you have to work for it . . . or wait for an African widow to drop it in your lap before she dies of cancer or her dead husband’s greedy relatives steal it. And when you’ve got a bit of money, you need to save it for life’s essentials, like buying CDs, vinyl, and band merch. So when a band asks for financial help, we know that’s a tough thing for most metalheads to honor. But when the donation is really just a down-payment on killer music, the decision becomes a little easier.

Lots of bands without label backing are now using Kickstarter to help finance their activities. Here are two who deserve your support: Dreaming Dead and Gizmachi.


This story just blows my feeble mind. In February I decided to catch up with LA’s Dreaming Dead in a post called “Lapse”, whining about the loooong wait for their Midnightmares album, which the band had been keeping to themselves for almost a year and a half while searching for a label.  Three days later, they announced that the album would be released on April 20, apparently without label support. And then about 10 days ago, thanks to an e-mail from NCS reader Talvalin, I found out that the band had started begging for money on Kickstarter.

I really do not get it. This band’s 2009 debut album (on Ibex Moon records), Within One, was excellent. The songs from Midnightmares that they premiered over the course of that long label hunt were even better. And they have a photogenic frontwoman (Elizabeth Schall) who can both kick out nasty harsh vocals and shred the guitar like nobody’s business. This is NOT a band who should find themselves in this position.

But here they are . . . trying to raise $5,000 so they can put Midnightmares on CDs and vinyl and sell it themselves. I don’t understand how this could be, but then again, I don’t understand how penguins can fly either. Continue reading »