Sep 192022

This was supposed to be “Seen And Heard On A Saturday (Part 3)“. Even when I mentioned the idea for it on this past Saturday I knew in my heart of hearts that the odds of getting it done were vanishingly small. Completing two parts was tough enough. At least this time I didn’t toss the idea in a mental dustbin, never to be recovered.

The idea for this one originated last Friday night, with most of it taking shape during a regular Zoom confab among metal writers that I sometimes drop in on when my spouse is out having fun without me. I can’t exactly reconstruct how all these songs popped into my head during that conversation. Free-flowing gin might have had something to do with that, both the surfacing of the songs and my inability to explain how it all happened.

I’m also not sure this assemblage of music is going to connect with anyone else (it begins with some new things but then tunnels far back in time), but fuck it, worth a try. Continue reading »

Jan 062011

If you’ve been a regular reader of NCS since August, then you’ll know there was no way we would finish this list of “most infectious” songs without including today’s two additions to the list. It seemed like the whole month of August at NCS was devoted to these two bands — and with good reason: The music just grabbed us by the throat, the back of the neck, and other body parts that will go unmentioned, and wouldn’t let go.

Neither band has yet achieved the level of global visibility captured by most of the other bands whose songs are on this list, but that’s simply a sign of how much good metal is being created that, for one reason or another, hasn’t yet made the kind of big cannonball splash that the music deserves. We count ourselves lucky that we found these bands. We hope we’ve done our picayune part to expand their audience. Selfishly, we hope they continue to create the kind of music we’re featuring here today.

If you happen to be tuning into this series for the first time and wonder what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. To see the 18 songs we named to the list before today, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010. And to read more about the next two songs — and hear them, if you haven’t already — follow us after the jump for todays’s songs from Canopy and Incarnia. Continue reading »

Aug 262010

Because of our trip to Portland last weekend to take in the awesomeness of the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour (for the second time), I didn’t have time for my usual weekly foray into the interwebs looking for new metal.  I’ve been catching up since then and I’ve made enough headway to warrant another installment of this MISCELLANY series.

For new readers, here’s how this thing works: I randomly follow up on e-mails we get here at NCS, or MySpace “friend” requests, or demos that come in the mail, or tips we get from readers, or blurbs that catch my eye on metal sites like Blabbermouth — and I listen to the music or watch a video. Most of the time, I don’t know in advance what the music will be like, or whether it will be good, bad, or just meh.

And then, in this post, I dutifully write up what I found, without filtering out anything. I’m usually pretty lucky in finding new music that’s worthwhile, but there are no guarantees, for me or for you if you choose to read along.

Today’s grab-bag of listening and watching included offerings from Enos (UK), Nightfall (Greece), Anachronaeon (Sweden), Against the Plagues (multinational), and Shades of Dusk (Canada). It’s kind of a long post, but here’s a top-level hint — the music is divergent in style, but everything I heard was very sweet. No filler, all killer. So stay with me.  (explanations, music to hear, and videos to watch, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 142010

With apologies for the delay in finishing this post and getting it up on the site, here’s another installment of MISCELLANY. If this happens to be your first visit to NCS, here’s what MISCELLANY is:

About once a week I browse around the webz checking out music from metal bands I’ve not heard before. Picking them is mainly a random process, based on things like news items we’ve seen or e-mails we’ve received or MySpace friend requests that come our way or promos that show up in the mail. And in these MISCELLANY posts, I just describe what I heard and/or what I saw, pretty much as it happened, and provide the music or the videos for you to check out, just as I did.

Because I haven’t heard the music of the bands when I start browsing, I have no certain idea whether it will turn out to be good or just a waste of time. So, no guarantees for me — or for you. But most of the time, it turns out these explorations reveal at least a few gems. And that certainly happened today. Today’s finds, which once again have an international flavor: Canopy (Sweden), Purified in Blood (Norway), Man-Eating Tree (Finland), and Pristina (U.S.).


My first stop of the day was a Swedish band called Canopy (that’s their photo at the top of this post). Something of a convoluted story about how this band hit our radar screen: Earlier this week, we posted our review of the debut album by a kick-ass Montreal band called Incarnia. That album was released by a Montreal label called Panoptic. Panoptic and a sister label called Disconcert Music are run by a dude named Stéphane Paré (former vocalist for a Montreal melodic tech-death band called Quo Vadis).

I got an e-mail from M. Paré that led me to Disconcert’s web site, and there I found Canopy — and man, was that a good find.  (much more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 132010

Earlier this week we posted our laudatory review of a debut album called Proclamation by a Montreal melodic death metal band called Incarnia. In the review, we featured a song called “Yersinia Pestis”, which in addition to being the name of the song is also the name of the bacterium that causes the black plague. That song got stuck in our heads, and so we tried to decipher the lyrics by listening to the song repeatedly — because we didn’t have a physical copy of the CD with the lyrics and couldn’t find them posted anywhere on the netz.

We did our best, but we couldn’t make out all the words just from listening. And then we got the hare-brained idea to run a little contest. We invited our readers to e-mail us their guesses about the missing words, or to correct the words we deciphered if people thought we got them wrong. As a reward, we promised to send a copy of the Proclamation CD to everyone who submitted a correct guess.

We got what, for us, was a flood of hits on the Incarnia review, but we didn’t get many entrants in our lyrics sweepstakes. Possible explanations:

(a)  Our readers are very shy.

(b)  Unlike us, most of our readers aren’t obsessive enough to listen to the same song over and over and over again in an attempt to decipher a few missing words.

(c)  Other people who listened to the song had just as much trouble as we did figuring out what the vocalist was singing.

But although we didn’t get a lot of submissions in our Incarnia sweepstakes, we do have two winners. After the jump, we’ll reveal their names, along with the correct lyrics to the song, which we got from the band. And because we think Proclamation is such hot shit, we’ll provide one more song from the album for you to stream. Continue reading »

Aug 102010

If you’ve read our earlier post today with our review of the debut album (Proclamation) by Montreal’s Incarnia, you know that we’re hooked on the band. You also know that we’ve been trying to decipher the lyrics to a killer song from the album called “Yersinia Pestis”, which you can hear via our earlier post.

To incentivize you readers to help us fill in the missing lyrics — because it’s driving us crazy — here’s what we’re gonna do: For every reader who correctly fills in one of the missing blanks in the lyrics as they’re currently set out in our original post — or accurately corrects any lyrics that we were wrong about — we will send you a physical copy of the Proclamation CD. Even if some other reader also makes the same correct guess you do, you still win.

Of course, our ability to determine whether you’re right or wrong depends on our success in trying to contact the band and get the actual lyrics. But surely, we will hear from them eventually . . . .

You may ask, “How can NCS make this offer when it doesn’t have any physical copies of the Proclamation CD?” (Because, if we did, we might already know the lyrics.) For the answer to that astute question, and more details about our offer, continue reading after the jump . . . . Continue reading »

Aug 102010

Do you like keyboard-driven, Gothenburg-style melodic death metal that’s catchy as ebola and both beautiful and evil enough to keep a serrated edge on it? Well, if you do, have we got a band for you: Incarnia.

Incarnia is from Montreal, Scandinavia. Okay, maybe Montreal is in Canada (we read that somewhere), but Incarnia’s musical hearts reside in the land of bands like Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, late-stage Hypocrisy, Mors Principium Est, and (more recently) Zonaria.

My sometimes collaborator IntoTheDarkness urged me to listen to Incarnia’s just released debut album, Proclamation (on Panoptic Records). His tastes and mine don’t always mesh, but man, they sure did this time.

For a young band’s debut release, Proclamation is a remarkably assured, remarkably sophisticated offering of melody-drenched melodeath that also triggers the headbang reflex quite nicely. The more we’ve listened, the more massively hooked we’ve become (more after the jump, including a sample track to hear . . .) Continue reading »