May 212018
 

 

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 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. We asked Teddie to introduce herself first, to those of you who may not be familiar with her work:

“I am an Alabama transplant currently residing in the glorious swamp that is New Orleans. Growing up, I regularly went on adventures to photograph the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast and thought I’d eventually pursue nature photography. I’ve always been involved with the arts, whether it be attempting to dance or taking vocal lessons, and fell hard and fast into music photography during a college internship at the local rock radio station. A few years and seemingly hundreds of deafening nights in small bars later and I am an intern at Relapse Records and Earsplit PR and travel regularly to interview and take photos of musicians I adore. I apologize in advance if my tall, camera-hauling self blocks your view or whacks you with a camera during a show.”

And with that preamble, here are some of Teddie’s photos from the first day at Roadburn 2018: Continue reading »

Jan 082018
 

 

In an effort to catch up with new music that appeared last week (or in some cases that I only discovered last week), I’ve resorted to a two-part OVERFLOWING STREAMS post. And for those who haven’t noticed the format of these posts, they’re a form of personal surrender to the flood of new music. I enjoy writing thoughts about what I want to recommend, but in posts such as this one I just let the music speak for itself because there’s so much to recommend that I don’t have time to blurt out my own reactions.

In Part 1 (here), I collected some newly discovered splits. This one is devoted mainly to new advance tracks, some of which just premiered today, with a few full-album or EP streams in the mix. Continue reading »

Nov 212017
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us yet another fascinating interview, and this time a very detailed and in-depth one, with Lasse Pyykkö of Hooded Menace, whose new album will be released in January.)

This year Hooded Menace celebrate their tenth anniversary of spreading darkest death doom in the underground scene. Though some might not tag the band as an “underground” one when their albums have been released on such labels as Relapse Records, Profound Lore, and Season Of Mist.

The last of those labels proclaimed that the new Hooded Menace album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, will be released on January 26, 2018. And if you take a look, you’ll find that the Hooded Menace lineup went through big changes once more, though Lasse Pyykkö remains, as always, its core.

Did these changes influence Hooded Menace’s recognizable sound? How many of the Blind Dead will return from their tombs in the new songs? Lasse gave me answers to these and others questions, I’d like to thank him again for this deep and detailed interview. Continue reading »

Oct 272017
 

 

Happy Friday. And if you actually happen to be happy because it’s Friday, instead of boiling with rage because you’ve just endured four-plus days of bullshit, you may not relish the music you’re about to hear. On the other hand, maybe your preferred means of matching your happiness (or your rage) to music involves abrading your ear drums, losing your mind, and mercilessly kicking open the spigot on your adrenaline glands. In which case, brothers and sisters, you’re right where you need to be — right here.

This is Part 2 of a round-up I began yesterday (here). And even though I didn’t finish this in time to post it yesterday, it’s exactly what I intended to post then. In other words, I decided to close my ears to the flood of other new songs that surfaced between then and now. There’s always time to catch up with that on Saturday, though I have a bad tendency to wound myself with intoxicants on Friday nights, so I ain’t promising nothing.

HOODED MENACE

The fifth Hooded Menace album will arrive on January 26 via Season of Mist, with the title Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed and cover art by Adam Burke, who continues to kill everything this year. The first advance track, “Carnal Reflections“, debuted at DECIBEL two days ago. Or was it three? Continue reading »

Feb 162017
 

 

On New Year’s Day of this year I posted a large round-up of new music that included brief teasers of music from a vinyl split release by Finland’s Hooded Menace and the Canadian band AlgomA. At that point, release of the split by Doomentia Records had been delayed past its originally scheduled November 2016 release date, but it finally became available at the end of January (and the limited-edition splattered-color version of the vinyl is already sold out), and full streams of both songs are now up on Bandcamp.

The artwork for the split was painted by the Italian maestro Paolo Girardi. My own admiration for his work probably appears slavish to regular readers here, but man, what he did for this split really makes me drool. I’ve ordered the split on vinyl just to be able to hold it in my hands, though I didn’t find out about the vinyl release until too late to grab one of these: Continue reading »

Jan 012017
 


Partied hard, smiling big.

 

Happy New Year to one and all. I hope you survived whatever you did last night, intact and with only a modicum of blood loss and brain-cell death. I would tell you in detail what I did but I’m not sure you could stand the excitement. Even I was so drained after both putting down the robot uprising and preventing the savagery of the loris horde’s celebration from overflowing their compound, armed with nothing but a few blow darts, that I was asleep by 10:30, stone cold sober and vomit-free.

I’m beginning the new year at NCS the way I ended the old one (here), by assembling a giant batch of the new music I heard in recent days that I thought would be worth your time, plus one older release I came across only recently.

As a trained medical professional (ha!), I’ll warn you that if you did suffer more than a modicum of blood loss or neuronal cell death, you might want to wait another day before exploring what awaits you below. It won’t help your recovery, and it’s no sane person’s idea of a hangover cure. Damned good metal, though.

I’ll also mention that because this post takes the place of my usual Sunday Shades of Black feature, the music is mainly in a blackened vein, though not entirely. Continue reading »

Oct 182016
 

cdf-monday-morning3

Monday morning, Oakland waterfront

This wraps up our coverage of the second installment of CALIFORNIA DEATHFEST, which took place from October 14-16, 2016, in Oakland, California. As was true of my posts on Day One and Day Two, I haven’t written fulsome reviews of the performances I saw on the final day, though this time I have included a few more impressions than in the earlier installments — but I’ve once again included photos and videos I made using my iPhone.

Yes, this is a half-assed way to document a festival compared to what you will probably see from a few of the more well-healed metal publications out there who employed professional photographers and videographers. However, because “Half-Assed” is in fact my middle name, I’m being true to myself. Continue reading »

Nov 032015
 

Hooded Menace-Darkness Drips Forth

 

(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Finland’s Hooded Menace.)

By my lights, 2015 hasn’t been a big year for doom. Doom releases have been sparse, and when I say doom I am not talking retro stoner crap, but something that crushes your spirit in a mournful manner. I am pleased to say that the Finnish Doom merchants of Hooded Menace continue to bring it.

They come from the more deathly school of doom but their riffs still weep blood, so the death metal influence doesn’t bother me here. Speaking of weep, most bands would bore you to tears with a twelve-minute opener, but these guys suspend time and keep you in the moment. They are not afraid of picking up the pace without losing their grasp of darkness by going into a stoner rock boogie. Even when indulging in weird breakdowns they maintain their momentum. Continue reading »

Sep 112015
 

Black Breath-Slaves Beyond Death

 

(Leperkahn steps forward to shoulder round-up duty — and there have been so many noteworthy new songs over the last few days that he’s stepping forward with a three-part post, to which Austin Weber and your humble editor will also be adding a fourth and maybe a fifth before we’re done today.)

I’ve been meaning to get an album review out at some point (don’t have anything written currently, though I will say that you should go and preorder Horrendous’s upcoming album Anareta immediately if you know what’s good for you), but in the meantime an ungodly amount of new tidbits turned up on the web in the last couple days.

Considering that Islander is slaving away in Anchorage for however long his reptilian overlords command him to, I figure I’d take another stab at covering a few of them – and by a few, I mean fifteen. For your sanity (and perhaps mine, though that might be a lost cause), I’ve divided it up into three posts. We’ll go alphabetically, since there’s way too much stuff for me to want to find any other type of pattern. Continue reading »

Aug 272015
 

Mordbrand vidclip

 

One of these days I’ll learn that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers shouldn’t make promises about what they’re going to do. Yesterday I wrote that I would post two round-up’s of new music in an effort to partially catch up on all the new songs that had emerged since the last one I compiled five days earlier, but that obviously didn’t happen.

However, thanks to Austin Weber, we do have two today, with this being the second one. One silver lining to the cloud of my tardiness is that since yesterday I discovered one more item worth recommending to you — and it’s the first one in this post.

MORDBRAND

For those who haven’t religiously followed my scribbling over the last few years, I will confess that I’m a slavish fan of Sweden’s Mordbrand. It’s not that they have any compromising photos of me, it’s because they’ve been so consistently good at what they do. Out of all the outstanding songs they’ve released, perhaps my favorite track is “That Which Crawls” from their 2014 album Imago — and today they released a video for that very song. Continue reading »