Feb 022017
 

 

(New Zealand-based writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises) returns to NCS with this review of the new album by New Zealand’s Into Orbit, which will be released on February 3 — and we have a just-released full stream of the album as well.)

Countless bands try to grab our attention with an enticing vocal hook. Hell, even in the world of extreme metal, where vocals are frequently an indecipherable blur, words and lyrics still play a crucial role in imparting meaning. At the other end of the spectrum though, instrumental bands seek to convey meaning without any lyrical or vocal cues, and that’s obviously a tougher task. When it all goes well, audiences can decipher meaning from moving songs, and that forges a connection between fans and bands. But when it all goes wrong, because a band is technically proficient but emotionally sterile, instrumental music is simply tedious background noise. Elevator music, at best.

It’s rare to find an instrumental band that manages to transmit its message evocatively. But the music of New Zealand instrumental duo Into Orbit has received rousing applause at home for doing just that. In some ways, Into Orbit are building on a legacy established by New Zealand bands such as Jakob or Kerretta –– both guitar-led instrumental groups with fan bases in Europe and the US. Jakob and Kerretta have gained international recognition because they make truly gripping music, and there’s no question that Into Orbit’s superb new album, Unearthing, is filled with captivating music too. Continue reading »

Jul 092016
 

ADE-Carthago

 

If you’re reading this, it means you survived another week. Congratulations. That seems like good cause for celebration, since about 155,000 people die every day on average.

To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of new music I sifted from the never-ending torrent of new metal over the last 48 hours, presented in alphabetical order by band name.

ADE

The Italian death metal band ADE, whom we last mentioned in these pages almost four years ago, have a new album headed our way on July 15 via Spain’s Xtreem Music. Like its predecessors, Carthago Delenda Est again draws upon themes from ancient Roman history, and the title suggests that its focus is on Rome’s efforts to destroy the North African city-state of Carthage in the Punic Wars. The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us: Continue reading »

Jan 282016
 

Criminal-Fear Itself

The flood of new metal, which has been especially torrential over the last 10 days, continues unabated. We’re really not even keeping our heads above water, despite posting a slew of round-ups since the weekend, but I think we’ve at least got our nostrils in the air.

With welcome help from Grant Skelton on today’s second item, I’m again collecting lots of very good and very diverse metal discovered over the last 48 hours. A second part of the collection will appear later today.

CRIMINAL

There’s a really long, twisting and turning story behind the name Criminal. I’m sure it’s a name well-known to many of you, so I’m going to severely truncate the history lesson before moving to what really counts — a new song from a new album. Continue reading »

Nov 022014
 

 

(New Zealand-based metal writer and broadcaster Craig Hayes brings us something very special — the premiere of an album-length video, preceded by the following introduction.)

New Zealand instrumental duo Into Orbit released their debut album, Caverns, to rave reviews at home earlier this year. The band’s guitarist Paul Stewart, and drummer Ian Moir, craft vast and dynamic soundscapes that combine post-metal and post-rock with elements of progressive, drone, and ambient-rock. Caverns featured both tranquil and thundering passages, and plenty of soaring six-string detonations and crashing percussion too, but what the album brought most of all was a sense of epic journeying.

Caverns conjured up imposing landscapes, took deep dives into microscopic worlds, and befitting Into Orbit’s moniker, launched into the wonders and mystery of galaxies overhead. Of course, it’s one thing to summon all of those visions via the mental imagery of the mind’s eye, but Into Orbit have gone one better and released a full-length video, covering the entirely of Caverns tracks. That’s 40-plus minutes of mesmerising optical and audio journeying, and No Clean Singing is proud to be streaming the debut of Caverns right here. Continue reading »