Aug 022012

In a year that has delivered a hearty helping of very good old-school, Swedish-style death metal produced by a phalanx of newer bands, the tenth album by Grave is still the one I’ve been most eagerly anticipating. Not that the newer bands can’t grasp and execute on the basic blueprint, but after all, Grave helped draw the blueprint in the first place more than 20 years ago and they’ve been turning out solid albums ever since.

Only Ola Lindgren is left from the original line-up that gave the world Into the Grave in 1991, but he ‘s been the heart and soul of the band for such a long time that it doesn’t much matter. On Endless Procession of Souls, which marks the band’s return to the Century Media label after a two-album dalliance with the now-defunct Regain Records, Lindgren is joined again by drummer Ronnie Bergerstål, who’s been the hitter since 2008’s Dominion VIII. Two new faces round out the current line-up — second guitarist Mika Lagrén and bass-player Tobias Cristiansson.

Together, they’ve created 10 new songs that will cause most die-hard fans to salivate, though it may not be without controversy for some. For my money, Endless Procession of Souls is one of the best old-school death metal albums of 2012 and a worthy addition to this legendary band’s evil discography. 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 »

Jun 222012

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I suppose people in our community have as varied a set of tastes in artwork as the rest of society at large, but when it comes to album art in particular, we’re off in a world unto ourselves. What we find “beautiful” in album art tends to fall on the ugly side of things. I think that’s because we look for album art that represents the dissonant, frequently voracious, often bleak sound of the music.

But even within the realm of extreme metal album art, there’s good and bad. Today I came across a collection of new artwork for forthcoming albums that I’d put on the good end of the scale . . . plus some works in progress by a well-known metal artist for album covers that are in the making.

The first example is the one you see above. It’s the just-disclosed artwork for the next album by long-running Swedish death metal band Grave, who happen to be one of my perennial favorites. The next album will be their 10th and is titled Endless Procession of Souls. It’s due for release in Europe on August 27 by Century Media. The artwork is by Costin Chioreanu, who also created the art for Grave’s last two albums. If you know anything about Grave’s music, you’ll appreciate how perfectly appropriate this creation is for their style of music. Beautiful. Continue reading »

Jun 072012

Really, I swear, this isn’t going to become a regular feature, despite the fact that this is the fourth time I’ve done one of these posts in the last week. And the proof is that I’m not using the same name for this post as I did for the last ones. I’m calling it something different. You can see that.

Anyway, here are some things I saw and heard yesterday and last night, and at the end of the post I’ll have an update on our experiment in paying to promote our Facebook posts. Here’s a disgusting hint: It works.

I saw an announcement by Century Media that Swedish death metal icons Grave (in their leather finery up above) will release their 10th studio album, Endless Procession Of Souls, on August 27th in Europe and on August 28th in North America.  I’m already beginning to get the stench of rotting corpsemeat up inside my nose. I’ll probably stop bathing soon, just to get myself fully attuned to the reek by August. We previously reported that Grave will be touring NorthAm with Dark Funeral (and some band named Morbid Angel) this September and October.

And speaking of grisly old-school Swedish death metal, I received through the ether an electronic copy of a new EP from Mexico’s Zombiefication called Reaper’s Consecration. I’ve only listened to two of the five tracks so far, but it is a fucking brain assassin, and the EP includes this sweet cover art designd by the band’s vocalist Mr. Hitch: Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I’ve been doing actual paying work all morning. I took a break not long ago and cast my baleful eye around the interhole and my NCS e-mail box to see what there was to see and hear. And these are things I thought worth passing on.

First, that cover you see above is for a tribute album to Emperor called In Honour of Icon E, which will be released on June 25 by Metal Swamp. It’s a very nice piece of art, created by Wolkogniv of Folkingrimm Art.

It also looks like it will be a very nice album, with Emperor covers by the likes of Demonical, Helheim, Horna, Taake, and Setherial. I’ll give you the full tracklist rundown after the jump, but the news for today is that the album has gone up on Amqzon for pre-order, which means you can hear snippets of each song here. Continue reading »

Sep 112011

I am looking forward to September 16 for a couple of reasons, but one of them is that Grave will be playing in Seattle that night, along with Blood Red Throne, Pathology, Gigan, and more. It will be my first time to see all of these bands. I’m expecting a slaughterifically stupendous night of metal.

On September 7, this tour stopped in Cleveland, Ohio for a show at Peabody’s. When Grave played “For Your God”, it was filmed in 1080p high-definition using multiple cameras by Ken Kitt and Kim Schleeper. The edited result is in the video clip above.

Grave, of course, is fronted by Ola Lindgren, the inventor of The Lindgren Diet, which we’ve been promoting here at NCS (most recently in this post). We’re due for a diet plan update soon. I’ve been on the diet, and I still don’t look like Ola Lindgren, but I’m being patient. Enjoy the video, and of course, the rest of your fucking day as well.

Sep 012011

Earlier this week, we introduced you to a revolutionary new holistic health regimen for metalheads that we’ve dubbed “The Lindgren Diet”. This isn’t just a formula for shedding unwanted pounds. It’s a magical recipe for mental well-being and overall physical health that will produce a “new you”. Developed by Ola Lindgren, the frontman and guitarist for Grave, the legendary Swedish death metal band, it’s taking the world by storm — and rightly so.

Eating right has never been easier — and it won’t leave you feeling hungry or deprived. There’s no need to count calories, carbs, portion sizes — or anything else. It’s just that easy! Ola Lindgren shows you how. Drawing on his own experience maintaining the physique of an Olympic swimmer despite the demands of the extreme metal lifestyle, he has crafted an easy-to-follow diet program that doesn’t require hard-to-find ingredients or long hours in the kitchen. Let other people do the preparation for you! All you have to do is consume — and then watch yourself be transformed.

I’ve been on the diet since Monday, and I can tell you that I’m already feeling the burn! I’m sleeping better, feeling more energetic during the day, and experiencing greater mental acuity. And that’s just from following the first daily intake regimen that Ola rolled out when he launched his blog, “Lindgren’s Health Blog 666”. But now Ola has given us the next installment in his recipe for whole-body perfection. I can’t wait to work this meal plan into my daily routine! Check it out after the jump. Continue reading »

Aug 302011

If you’re like me, you could stand to shed a few unwanted pounds. You get in the habit of drinking a few too many beers on a regular basis, you let your diet go to hell, you sit on your ass for too many hours every day, and before you know it your previously sleek self with the body that made members of the opposite sex, or the same sex, pant after you like dogs in heat has become something that causes you to get rid of all the bathroom mirrors.

But don’t abandon hope! You, too, can have a body like Ola Lindgren, the only constant member of Grave, the legendary Swedish death-metal band. Lindgren is somewhere in his 40s and undoubtedly has decades of crap food and heavy drinking behind him. But that hasn’t stopped Lindgren from staying in fighting trim, with sculpted abs and the kind of body-fat percentage that would make a marathoner jealous.

Some of you would probably guess that Lindgren stays in shape by burning thousands of calories performing on stage in a rigorous touring schedule. But that would be wrong. You don’t have to be a popular death metal musician and vocalist to stay in shape. All it takes is the right diet.

And now, for the first time, Ola Lindgren has revealed the secrets of staying trim in the underground metal scene, with daily diet regimens that will take off those unwanted pounds and keep them off! Yes, you too can have a body like Ola Lindgren’s, and all you have to do is subscribe to “Lindgren’s Health Blog 666”. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 222011

Pathology is a brutal death-metal band from SoCal. I’m a fan, partly for reasons that don’t have much to do with the music. Jonathan Huber, Pathology’s vocalist, used to be the frontman for Seattle’s I Declare War, and I had fun watching that band rise up from their starting days playing local gigs to their current prominence on the deathcore scene. I also had fun watching Jonathan periodically destroy himself in one Seattle mosh pit after another.

Pathology’s new album, Awaken to the Suffering, will be their first since Huber joined the band. It’s scheduled for release on September 13 via Victory Records. Yesterday, courtesy of a tip from NCS reader Utmu, I discovered that the band has now released the cover art for the album, created by the awesome Pär Olofsson. I couldn’t resist posting about it. Just feast your eyes on the grisliness above — and imagine the feasting that those monsters are about to enjoy.

After a festival in California and a few headline dates in Texas beginning August 26, Pathology will start a nationwide tour as support for Grave and Blood Red Throne, and Gigan is also on the bill. That will be a grisly, blood-drenched, head-busting extravaganza. The schedule is after the jump. Continue reading »

Aug 012010

This is really the fourth installment of MISCELLANY, but I like my photo caption better as a title than “Miscellany (No. 4)”.  And actually, seeing the photo up above was part of my morning’s journey around the webz, so it’s a legitimate part of this post.

The eye-catching image at the top is a new addition to the photo albums on Grave’s Facebook page. I don’t know whether the person executing the autograph is a member of Grave or another band, but his penmanship is amazingly good, under the circumstances. (To see our review of Grave’s new album, go here.)

The rest of this post is a log of my morning’s browsing around the internet, randomly checking out music from bands I’d never heard before. The way this MISCELLANY thing works, I have no advance idea whether the music will be good, bad, or indifferent, so I can’t offer you any guarantees either. I just dutifully set out what I found, and presume you’ll be interested.

Here are the bands I checked out this morning: Drudkh, Sickening, Psycho Enhancer, and Infinite Tales.

Oh yeah, as icing on the cake, we’ve got a stupendous Gojira video to close out this post.  (all this shit, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »