Jul 072011

While feverishly trying to finish a few reviews and features I’m way late on, I still can’t help but listen to new songs as they pop up on the NCS radar screen, and I heard two head-smashers over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth sharing — from Halo of Gunfire (U.S.) and I Chaos (The Netherlands).

Actually, we don’t have radar at NCS, though we do have a foil-lined room designed to pick up alien transmissions from space. I think that’s where I received the subliminal instructions to listen to these songs, along with the instruction to paint my face green before going to work today. I always follow the instructions I hear in that room. I don’t wanna risk more rectal probing in the mothership that periodically hovers over the NCS Island. I couldn’t sit down for a week after the last session.

Actually, I haven’t been feverish either. If I worked feverishly, I might make more headway in completing the various writings I’ve started. I think a more accurate adjective for my work-pace would be fitful. Or maybe somnolent.

Where was I? Oh yeah, new head-smashing songs. Both of them deliver a technically exuberant form of modern death metal that I’m starting to classify in my own mind as “smash with flash” — music that melds technically demanding performance with untrammeled aggression, yet not as atonally brutal as the music of bands like Necrophagist or Hate Eternal; music that’s not part of the increasingly saturated (and often soulless) technical genre of “djent”; music that has progressive and even jazz tendencies but doesn’t feel compelled to wimp out with frequent injections of clean singing. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »