Apr 222014

Here are five items I found yesterday that I thought were worth sharing. The first and last items will tear you a new one. In between those you’ll find some tantalizing news and a song that’s an exception to our “rule” but will rock you all night long.


Miasmal are a Gothenburg death metal band who share members with Agrimonia and Martyrdöd and whose self-titled debut album came out in 2011. Their second album, Cursed Redeemer, is scheduled for a May 13 U.S. release by Century Media (April 28 in the EU). Last month we featured a song from the album named “Until the Last”. Yesterday Noisey/Vice premiered a second track, “Call of the Revenant”. In a word, it’s stupendous (and, as noted, it will tear you a new one).

Seriously, there’s something about this song. On the one hand, it sounds utterly familiar — voracious vocal howling, heavy-drilling down-tuned riff grisliness, death/crust grinding and crawling, punk-inflected Swedeath rhythms. On the other hand, it not only captures this old-school radiance terrifically well, it sounds… vibrant and new. The rapacious, marauding energy is explosive and it begs to be played over and over again. Continue reading »

Jan 142012

It seems like many “best of the year” lists include a category of “honorable mentions”. I don’t know how artists feel about being included in an “honorable mention” list. I would guess they feel pretty meh about it, or maybe even worse than that. The list-maker is sort of saying, “this was good, but not as good as the 10 or 20 albums that I thought were the best.” Thanks a fucking lot, you douchebag!

I have an honorable mention list to accompany our list of 2011’s “most infectious” extreme metal songs, which I finally finished rolling out yesterday. But this isn’t the typical “honorable mention” list. These aren’t songs that I omitted because I didn’t think they were quite as good as the ones on my list. They were on my “master list” of candidates, and I omitted them only because I decided I couldn’t honestly say they were “extreme metal songs”. Maybe some of you will think I already violated that rule with other songs on the list and I’m therefore acting inconsistently. Could be.

Anyway, consistent or not, here are four songs from the master candidate list that I thought were mighty infectious and mighty good, but not extreme enough to make the final cut.


This band’s 2011 two-disc album Svartir Sandar has blown up their profile far beyond the shores of that place of ice and fire they call home. In a word, the album is amazing. It’s full of ice and fire, too, but it also includes slow, melancholy, emotionally powerful songs like “Fjara”. Continue reading »

Oct 182011

(This is Part 2 of a post by BadWolf reviewing the 2011 edition of OGREFEST in Lansing, Michigan. Check out Part 1 HERE.)


Here begin the veteran acts. Wastelander Guitarist/vocalist Xaphan dedicated their set to his 14-year-old daughter, who attentively watched from the side while wearing an Asking Alexandria tee shirt. Ah, the generation gap. She should be proud of her papa; his band is badass.

Wastelander plays to my personal weaknesses with their mixture of black metal, groovy thrash, D-beat/crust punk and just plain ballsy metal-rock with a lyrical focus on post-apocalyptic survival. They sonically recognize Motorhead as the inception of all extreme metal, and play music that would make Lemmy proud, with twists of Amebix, mid-period Bathory, early Venom and NWOBHM-y goodness sprinkled on top. They made me go ‘ooh!’ and headbang from the first second—as they always do.

Growled vocals, big chords, mechanical beats (they used to play with a drum machine) and hairy, sweaty swing made for a compelling forty-five minutes of hair flying. I cannot imagine anyone, be they kvlt-er, beardo, neo-thrasher, or ordinary metalhead, who is immune to the charms of Wastelander. Since then they’re released a split 7” with a band called Abigail. (Their 2010 debut album is Wardrive.)

(more after the jump) Continue reading »

Sep 082011

(NCS writer BadWolf reviews the new album from Chicago’s High Spirits, one of the many projects of Chris Black (aka Dawnbringer).)

As I sit here, there’s a million things I should be listening to: brushing up on my beardo/nerdo metal in preparation for SUCKFEST ’11, putting together my Norwegian Hardcore playlist for Invisible Oranges, and brushing up on my Enslaved for their upcoming tour with Alcest and Ghost, not to mention the loads of promo records clogging my inbox.

None of those has factored in for the past 6 days thanks to Another Night, the debut record by Chicago’s High Spirits. This piece of self-released, Neo-Traditional metal awesomeness has possessed my iPod harder than Pazuzu possessed Linda fuckin Blair.

“The power of ‘Core compels you, the power of ‘Core compels you.” I scream at the little glowing screen… and then I listen to “Full Power” one more time. 45 repeats in 6 days. I need help. Islander—this is my vote for catchiest song of the year.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a one-song record. Hell no. Another Night is a 40-minute nostalgia trip that delivers. No concepts, no conceits, no bullshit. Just good times and hard rocking.

Then again, that shouldn’t come as a surprise—High Spirits is (in studio) a one-man project of Chicago metal royalty Chris Black. This man is an absolute beast. He writes lyrics for Nachtmystium when he’s not writing every instrument for High Spirits and another little project called Dawnbringer. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »