Jan 272012

(For the last 5 days we’ve been re-publishing an interview series by Rev. Will that originally appeared at now-defunct The Number of the Blog and that focused mainly on metal bloggers. Beginning today, the series continues here at NCS with new interviews, beginning, fittingly, with the creator of TNOTB — groverXIII.)

Classic metal albums + Metal blogging = ?

When one thinks of that, one will no doubt arrive at 2 answers: Reign In Blonde (the gals must have dyed their hair black, which would explain the inactiveness) and The Number Of The Blog (R.I.P.). When one thinks of anime and metal blogging, one will no doubt think of Full Metal Attorney, since it could possibly be a reference to the wildly popular Japanese anime, Full Metal Alchemist, but I digress.

Blogging about metal (or any other kind of) music is not as easy as many would like to think. If done properly, it can actually start to feel like homework once the commitment starts to kick in. Deadlines? Research? Being constantly “marked” and judged on your worth by others? The similarities are all there, but the big difference is that blogging about music doesn’t really get you anywhere in life like school does (or is supposed to), unless you can turn it into a career like Axl and Vince of MetalSucks.

Frontman and founder Dan Grover of ex-The Number Of The Blog may not like to toot his trumpet, but he sure did contribute a unique voice to the metal blogosphere while The Number Of The Blog was still alive and well. Labeled by some critics and even by themselves (probably in jest) as “hipsters”, the blog was really anything but that. It will always be remembered for its one-of-a-kind daily columns, which had humorous and catchy names, yet dealt with serious as well as playful topics. From underground black metal in “Wintermoon Wednesday” to random, everyday topics in “Sunday Shit Shoot”, there was literally something for everybody. Hell, there was even a Pokemon-obsessed Devin Townsend fanboy contributor called Ziltoid; needless to say, he posted about the vastly varied species of colorful critters on more than one occasion.

So read on folks, if you want to get inside the mind of a hipster metal blogger with a very big and secretive plan to launch something new in the near future. I’m hoping it will be a hydrogen bomb filled with confetti. Continue reading »

Jan 132012

(Are you looking for some twisted, clawing music and some violent, gore-drenched imagery? Well, look no further!  groverXIII has got you covered.)
I used to love nu metal.

I know… that’s not the best way to start off a post. The very mention of nu metal is generally sufficient to earn the scorn of metalheads everywhere, even though a lot of them got started on nu metal just like I did. And to clarify, it’s not like I still listen to a lot of nu metal. I still listen to Incubus’ S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Mudvayne’s L.D. 50 on occasion, but that’s about as far as I go. Still, I have some fond memories for bands that I discovered during nu metal’s heyday. I mean, System Of A Down (whom I refuse to classify as nu metal) are still personal favorites, and I’m still hoping for a reunion album.

Anyway, that brings me to Knives Out!, a band comprised mostly of former members of two now-defunct bands that I discovered in the nu metal era. Knives Out! features Todd Smith and Jasan Stepp, two guys from Dog Fashion Disco (whose Faith No More/Mr. Bungle worship took the style to a totally new level); Dave Cullen, who plays bass for Polkadot Cadaver, the spiritual successor to Dog Fashion Disco, which also features Smith and Stepp; and Tommy Sickles and Tom Maxwell, formerly of Nothingface, who I suppose played nu metal, but put such a psychotic, violent twist on the music that they seemed to transcend the label. (Maxwell is also a member of Hellyeah, in the interest of full disclosure, but I’m going to ignore that for this band’s purposes.) Nothingface’s Violence and Skeletons were personal favorites for quite sometime and still get a listen now and again, and Dog Fashion Disco’s entire discography still finds a place in my regular listening rotation. Continue reading »

Jan 032012

(In this post, The Number of the Blog’s groverXIII provides his lists of 2011’s best EPs, albums, and videos. To hear music from the selected albums and EPs, click on the artwork.)

2011 was quite a year for music. I won’t lie… I’m generally a pretty positive guy when it comes to music, which is how I ended up with 75 honorable mentions (and probably more, if I were to go through my massive “albums I listened to” list with a fine-toothed comb). This list isn’t entirely metal, of course, but rather my favorite albums of the year regardless of genre. I had begun my rundown of the following honorable mentions over at TNOTB, but they were lost in our Viking funeral and I don’t have the patience to redo them, so I’m kicking things off with a simple list, in alphabetical order, of albums that I listened to in 2011 and enjoyed, but didn’t quite make my top 25.

There are a lot of big-name releases in the honorable mentions, and lest you think I didn’t like them, bear in mind that these are albums that I did like. If I were to list every album that I listened to in 2011, well, we’d be here for a long fucking time. Anyway, honorable mentions. BEHOLD. Continue reading »

Jan 012012

This post comes your way from our friend groverXIII (The Number of the Blog).

Over at TNOTB, I talked about Cut Your Teeth with fair regularity. They originally approached us with a video to a song from their self-titled EP, and I became infatuated with their energetic blend of thrash metal and old-school hardcore. Then, this past year they released their first full-length, CYTII, and that infatuation turned into totally heterosexual, not-at-all gay love. (Okay, maybe a little gay.) CYTII made my end-of-year list (forthcoming in the next few days), and their ‘Stallion’ video is one of my favorites of the year, capturing the raw power of these New Yorkers perfectly.

And then, a few days ago, Cut Your Teeth released a new song and video called ‘If It’s Loud’, and it’s fast, angry, thrashy, and, well, loud. It’s not a long song by any means, clocking in at just a hair under two and a half minutes, but it just plain fucking rips, and that’s what it’s all about. With the thrash revival, there are a lot of bands out there playing thrash metal, but with many of them you kind of wonder if they’re just going through the motions. Cut Your Teeth may not be the most talented band in the world, but their intensity and sheer energy cannot be questioned.

Seriously, metal needs more bands like these guys, toiling away in obscurity but still giving it their all. I’d rather have one band like Cut Your Teeth than five bands like Disturbed, Godsmack, All That Remains, or whatever else passes for radio metal these days. There’s no pretension here, no posturing, just good old-fashioned, kick you in the nuts punk/metal. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

‘If It’s Loud’, like all of their material, can be found at their Bandcamp page, and like all of their material, it’s free. Do yourself a favor and check them out. (video after the jump . . .) Continue reading »