Jun 272011

Our brutha BadWolf e-mailed me yesterday recommending a video he’d just seen. It’s the legendary Converge performing live at Hellfest in Clisson, France, on June 18.

There are love songs and there are songs about love. What you’re about to see wouldn’t be anyone’s definition of a love song, but as Jacob Bannon explains on stage, it is a song about love. The song is called “On My Shield”, and it was self-released by Converge last July as a 7″ vinyl single (with Bannon’s stunning cover art, which you can see above). The song is full of roof-collapsing heaviness, and possibly it sounds even more brutally cathartic in this video. The imperfect, fuzz-distorted quality of the sound suits this song.

If you’ve ever seen Converge perform live, then you know these fuckers leave nothing in reserve — all they’ve got spills out on stage. They drain themselves, and they drain the audience, too. The imagery in this video captures that feeling and includes lots of clear close-ups. I also like the way it captures the glow of the stage lighting at night. But as BadWolf pointed out when he wrote me, maybe the best thing about it is when the fan shooting the video headbangs in sync with bassist Nate Newton, the camera moving smoothly up and down along with Newton. Very nice touch.

Check out the video after the jump, along with the lyrics. The song is a good reminder that in the battleground of life and love, don’t withdraw: It’s better to be carried out on your shield. One more thing: Also after the jump, we’ve added a stream of a brand new Converge song called “Runaway”, which was released on June 21. Continue reading »

May 052010

Back in January, we interviewed Mika André, the bass player for one of our favorite French metal bands, Eryn Non Dae. We asked him to recommend some other French bands we might not have heard about, and one of the names he gave us was Zubrowska. At that time we were able to hear a handful of songs Zubrowska had recorded for a forthcoming album.  We really liked what we heard, and wrote about it here.

Yesterday, we got a message from Zubrowska’s talented guitarist Jon Rauzy with some news we want to pass along: The band has now made the entire new album (Zubrowska Are Dead) available for streaming at this location. The album is still not officially released — that will happen in September — but at that same location you can pre-order it now. It will be distributed in the U.S. by Debello Records and in Europe by the band’s own label, Bollocks Records (nice name, huh?).

Those songs we heard in January were sweet — and so are the rest of the songs you can now stream. Some quick impressions follow after the jump, plus one of the songs for you to hear without leaving NCS . . . Continue reading »