May 292018


The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here, Day 2 here, and Day 3 here. Continue reading »

Jul 202017


As forecast in yesterday’s SEEN AND HEARD post, I’ve accumulated enough new things of interest since the end of last week to justify posting a round-up today and tomorrow as well as yesterday. Because of the delays occasioned by goofing off last weekend, some of the items I’ve gathered together aren’t as “hot off the presses” as I’d prefer, but they still may be new discoveries for some of you, especially as I dig a bit deeper into the underground for Friday’s post.


Dyscarnate was the subject of a SYNN REPORT back in 2016 in which my colleague Andy reviewed their discography as it then existed, culminating in 2012’s And So It Came To Pass. But nothing has come to pass from these death metal titans since that stunning record, until word began to spread last spring that the band were in the studio recording a new full-length (and that news landed them on a list of Andy’s most anticipated releases for this year). Now, more details have surfaced about this new Dyscarnate effort. Continue reading »

Aug 182016

Migration Fest poster


This is a recap of the third and final day of the first edition of Migration Fest, organized by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media and conducted in Olympia, Washington, on August 12-14, 2016. My recap of the pre-fest show and Day One can be found here, and the Day Two write-up is here.

I’m not as prompt in concluding this review of the festival as I was with the first two parts, but other commitments to our putrid site plus inconsiderate intrusions by the routine of daily life have screwed with my time since I got back to Seattle on Monday. On the other hand, the delay enabled me to upload videos of Day Three performances to YouTube, and I’ve collected those at the end of this post. I still intend to add more videos to the other write-ups as well. Continue reading »

Jul 192014


Part 2 of this report is here; Part 3 is here.

The three-day Gilead Fest organized by Gilead Media began yesterday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at one of the three locations pictured above.

The first night was indeed loaded with power, and by the end of the evening there was certainly plenty of work available for a coroner, but if you guessed the Oshkosh Masonic Center, give yourself a pat on the back. Continue reading »

Jul 152013

I love our European brethren and sistren so much that I’m belatedly sharing this news even though it makes me slightly bitter. Okay, more than slightly bitter. More accurately, it makes me want to bite you in my bitterness.

This fall Amon Amarth and Carcass are linking horns in a tour called DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH IV, and they’ll be joined by UK’s Hell. The flyer you see up above just spotlights the UK dates on the tour, where Bleed From Within will also join the tour. But many other countries will be visited as well.

That’s really all I have to say about this. The complete tour dates can be seen after the jump.  Bastards. Continue reading »

Nov 212011

Record Label: Nuclear Blast | Year: 2011 | Genre: Heavy Metal

By Willard Shrapnelspear

Hell thrash Iron Maiden, hands down. Granted, I was never a huge fan of Iron Maiden to begin with, but this record refines the traditional NWoBHM sound so flakkin’ well that they detach the phrase “old school” from the not-so-glamorous connection to phrases like “narrow-minded” and “uncreative”. Unlike Iron Maiden’s let’s-play-safe-and-try-going-a-little-prog approach to their music on The Final Frontier (which somehow gave the record an annoyingly “mute” sound and draggy-as-hell play time; in comparison, this record sounds much brighter and thoroughly interesting throughout the long playtime of 1 hour 6 minutes), Hell have been creatively bold by deciding to incorporate symphonic and power metal elements into their technical brand of Satanic, prosaic heavy metal instead—a timeless move that should be greatly lauded!

Many old school heavy metal bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s had been known to utilize extremely recognizable power metal elements in their music, such as fantasy-oriented lyrics and high-pitched clean singing (e.g., Manowar, Helloween, Gamma Ray), so what’s so special about Hell’s rendition of such a trend in the 21st Century?  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »