Mar 072019
 

 

Last night, as I made my way through a batch of new songs that I noticed yesterday (almost all of which actually surfaced just yesterday), a pattern began forming in my mind, a bit disjointed at first, but then everything fell together as I began rearranging the pieces (one of the pieces that fell into place came my way via NCS contributor Grant Skelton, who also furnished some words to accompany it). The result is what you now have before you.

In an effort to present this musical pattern in a way that has the pieces falling into place for you as you go along, and because I’m short on time, I changed the usual format of this round-up. You’ll see what I mean (but if you like the usual format, don’t worry, the change isn’t permanent). Continue reading »

Feb 142019
 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a bouquet of black roses for you. Careful with the thorns.

I had originally planned to post this round-up yesterday but ran out of time, so most of the songs and videos I’ve selected have been out in the wild for a couple of days. But you still might have missed them, so I’m forging ahead anyway.

The number of items in this collection is also large enough that normally I would have divided it into a two-part post, but I was so pleased with the stylistic variety represented in what I’d chosen that I decided to keep it all together in one place. Just take a deep breath (or maybe hyperventilate), and try to get through all of it — I bet you’ll find at least one new song you’ll really enjoy.

INTER ARMA

In not much more than three months from now, NCS will present the third annual edition of Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle. We announced the full three-day line-up on New Year’s Day, but of course, as always seems to happen, since then we’ve had a few bands drop out due to circumstances beyond our own control. One of those was scheduled to headline a night at one of the two main stages, but we got lucky and were able to secure a great replacement — Virginia’s Inter Arma, who happen to have a new album coming our way this spring. Continue reading »

Jul 292016
 

Relapse Records Podcast art

 

Relapse Records launched their first podcast way back in February 2010, showcasing both brand new and classic tracks from Relapse artists, as well as exclusive interviews, and it’s still going strong more than six years later. All of the podcasts since that first one are collected at the Relapse Records Podcast site (here), but beginning last month the podcast will now be hosted by a changing array of other platforms. Our friends at Invisible Oranges hosted Edition No. 43 in June, and this month NCS has the pleasure of providing a platform for No. 44 — and it’s especially pleasurable for us because this podcast features an interview with one of our favorite heavy bands, Virginia’s Inter Arma.

This edition of the podcast — which you can stream below and also download for listening at a later time — includes a big group of diverse new songs, including tracks by Red Fang, True Widow, Ringworm, Myrkur, The Album Leaf, Horseback, and Nothing, as well as songs by recent Relapse signees Survive, Integrity, Brain Tentacles, and Sumerlands. It also includes some older songs from the likes of Disembowelment and Human Remains, as well as classic tracks by Don Caballero and Revocation. Continue reading »

Apr 082016
 

Rotting-Christ-band

 

I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon sifting through that massive spew known as the NCS e-mail in-box and then wading through the hip-deep effluent of the interhole, searching for things worth hearing and seeing, so that you don’t have to dirty yourselves doing it. It was filthy work, as it always is, but as always happens I found some chunks of gold gleaming amidst the vast rivers of mediocrity. I actually have a pretty long list of discoveries that I think are worth sharing, but here are a few of them. Perhaps I will have time to include more later today, or this weekend.

ROTTING CHRIST

Rotting Christ delivered a new lyric video yesterday for the song “Les Litanies de Satan“, which includes guest vocals from Vorph’s frontman Samael dramatically reciting (in French) excerpts from Charles Baudelaire’s poem of the same name (from the volume of poetry entitled Les Fleurs du Mal), which inspired the song. The track, which appears on the band’s latest album Rituals (reviewed here), is a majestic, surging hymn to the fallen angel, and the video is interesting to watch as well. Continue reading »

May 062015
 

 

(Guest writer Ben Manzella returns to NCS with this review (and his photos) of performances by Inter Arma, Yautja, and Hornss in San Francisco on May 2, 2015.)

Saturday night in San Francisco; if this peninsula of a city doesn’t already feel crowded during the week, you feel it on the weekends. This weekend was interesting, though, considering that in one Saturday night you had to clearly define whether live music was your priority or instead stay in keeping with the modern culture and hype. Basically, sit at home or in a bar eating overpriced food for an overpriced event that ended up being underwhelming (the Pacquaio-Mayweather fight) or go see a metal show. For me it was never a question, the metal show was always going to win; but then it came down to which one?

See, 924 Gilman (a non-profit, volunteer-run, all-ages club beloved by the punk and hardcore scene) was hosting The Body and Full of Hell along with an assortment of what I assume was mostly local support, including Kowloon Walled City; Septic Flesh and Moonspell were incanting their darkness in Oakland; and then Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco (a bar turned venue as of almost 25 years ago) was hosting Inter Arma and Yautja with local support from Hornss. You see the choice I made. Continue reading »

Oct 082014
 

 

(Leperkahn soldiers on with the round-ups while I’m AWOL from round-up duty. Here’s his latest collection of new things.)

Hello all. This version’s gonna be a bit short on the descriptions, since I have a boatload of Adam Smith to read, and a paper on the The Iliad that won’t write itself. That said, I figured I needed a break from that, and you all needed some wonderful metal in your lives.

SHORES OF NULL

I know I remember seeing some good press behind Shores Of Null’s recent Candlelight-released album Quiescence, and probably even watched one of the earlier music videos they made for one of the tracks. Yet, dunce that I am, I never actually checked out the album, and the just-released video for “Ruins Alive” is proving that was a mistake.

It mixes some doom-y/death-y instrumental work not unlike Insomnium, or something doomier than Insomnium, with Davide Straccione’s absolutely stunning vocals, both his cleans, used heavily and tonally in the vein of Enslaved’s Herbrand Larsen, Extol’s Ole Børud, and Black Crown Initiate’s Andy Thomas (therefore at once stunningly melodic and entrancingly proggy), and his cavernous, funeral doom-y growls. Listening to some of their other music videos, the quality put forth on “Ruins Alive” seems to carry throughout Quiescence. Add that to the long and growing list of albums I need to check out

https://www.facebook.com/shoresofnull Continue reading »

Sep 132014
 

 

I find myself once again with a long list of new items I think are worth sharing but not enough time to write about all of it. I’m beginning to think this is a perpetual state of existence: TOO MUCH METAL. But rather than be stymied by this predicament, I’ll just have to pick a random assortment of new things — something is better than nothing, right? The first three items in this collection first caught my eye because of the visual art — in each case you can see larger versions of them by clicking the images.

ELIRAN KANTOR AND SATAN

There may be a metal artist whose work I’ve featured on this site more than Eliran Kantor, but I doubt it. And yesterday I spotted his latest work, the cover of a forthcoming live album by the long-running British heavy metal band Satan. The new album is named Trail of Fire: Live In North America, and it will be released by Listenable Records. Kantor created the cover for the band’s previous album Life Sentence, and he explained the concept behind this new one as follows:

“As fire sets the tone of the last album cover, I wanted to focus this one on what you usually get afterwards – ashes left behind. Hence the burnt coal frame. The band came up with the title ‘Trail of Fire’ probably referring to being on the road, and it’s symbolized by the judge’s wig morphing into a trail of burning wooden logs, and the trail of fire actually leads to a trial by fire. I wanted the story told on the band’s covers to move forward too – ‘Court in the Act’ was a trial scene, ‘Life Sentence’ showed the incarceration stage, and now we’re witnessing the execution.”

Continue reading »

Feb 042014
 

I was separated from the interhole for most of yesterday and therefore missed a lot of breaking news. While attempting to catch up, one of the first things to catch my eye was the tour flyer you see above, waiting patiently in my in-box like a viper ready to strike. To spell it out, New Zealand’s Ulcerate will embark upon the Vermis North America MMXIV tour beginning in Los Angeles on May 1 and finishing with an appearance at Maryland Deathfest on May 25.

That’s tremendously exciting news, but it gets even better, because Virginia’s Inter Arma will be along for the ride on most of the dates. They will join the tour in Philadelphia on May 9 and continue until the final date  before MDF.

This is Ulcerate’s first appearance in North America since their 2012 appearance at MDF. The entire schedule can be seen after the jump, and I’ve also included album streams for the band’s 2013 album Vermis as well as Inter Arma’s Sky Burial. Both of those albums were among my favorites of 2013. This promises to be one crushing tour. Continue reading »

Jan 212014
 

Welcome to Part 8 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

BEASTWARS

I thought this New Zealand band’s self-titled 2011 debut was stunning. The fact that they managed to top it with their second album in 2013 was genuinely impressive. Blood Becomes Fire (which I reviewed here) triumphs on the strength of Matt Hyde’s utterly dominating vocals and a phalanx of compelling, sludgy Clayton Anderson riffs. Add in James Woods’ bass lines, which mimic the grinding of tectonic plates deep in the Earth, and Nathan Hickey’s bone-breaking drumwork, and you get metal that’s as apocalyptically heavy as it is neck-snapping.

This was one of many albums released last year that had more than one song I thought was deserving of recognition on this list, but after many replays of this album, “Dune” has come out on top. I wrote in my review that “Matt Hyde has soul, and when he sings it sounds like he’s hacking up hot, smoking chunks of it.” You’ll understand what I mean when you listen to “Dune”. It’s also marked by massive chugging, a bass guitar that grinds like giant grit-encrusted gears about to lock up, and riffs that punch and rumble. It’s an intense song, but one that’s also physically compulsive. Continue reading »

Jun 222013
 

Happy fucking Saturday to one and all. In this post I’ve collected information about a random assortment of new tours that have recently been announced. But first, I have to mention a tour that it seems was announced a bit prematurely.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – ANAAL NATHRAKH?

Two days ago it was announced that Fleshgod Apocalypse would be leading ‘The Lords Of Extremity Tour‘ in the UK this October, with support from Anaal NathrakhBound By Exile, and Scordatura. There were press releases, official-looking poster art, and sponsorship by the likes of Nuclear Blast and Terrorizer. And who in their right mind would miss the chance to see Fleshgod Apocalypze and Anaal Nathrakh on the same bill?

There was just this one little problem. Here’s a statement that appeared on Anaal Nathrakh’s Facebook page about 3 hours ago:

“For anyone hoping to see us in the UK in October: It appears we have been announced for a string of UK dates with Fleshgod Apocalypse in October. We did NOT agree to play these shows. Repeat: at no point have we ever said that we would play these dates, or that Mick would even be in Europe at the time. Continue reading »