Jun 212012

At NCS, we follow Moscow’s Kartikeya like hawks, because their music is excellent, because they don’t sound quite like anyone else, and because they don’t stand still. The band are at work on a new album, to be called Samudra, which we understand should be ready for release later this year, and they’ve been teasing their fans about a new single from the album to be released June 22.

Well, it may only be June 21 in the U.S., but it’s June 22 in Russia — and so the song is ready for release now. And to our very happy surprise, we get to premiere it!

The single is called “The Horrors of Home”, and the artwork features the photography of Greg Shanta. The song itself also includes some noteworthy guests, in addition to the members of Kartikeya: NCS favorite Keith Merrow, who contributes a winding, rippling guitar solo, and vocalist Aleksandra Radosavljevic.

“The Horrors of Home” may be the most multi-faceted piece of music that Kartikeya have yet created, combining complex hammering rhythms, passages of ethnically-influenced dreamlike ambience (made even more otherworldly by Aleksandra Radosavljevic’s wordless vocals), a soaring chorus, sections that put me in mind of the dark melodic death metal of bands such as Insomnium, and maybe even a flavor of Devin Townsend and Machina-era Smashing Pumpkins. And the male vocals on the album really provide an array of tones — from bestial death metal howls to blackened shrieks to rousing cleans.

Do listen to this piece of dark, transfixing music right after the jump . . . and then we’ll tell you how to get it for yourself. Continue reading »

Jun 122012

I’m thinking about having the words “Kartikeya Pimp” tattooed on my forehead. I’d have to convince my wife that Kartikeya is the name of a Russian metal band instead of a middle school cheerleader with a budding crack habit, but other than that it should be clear sailing, don’t you think?

I’m just trying to be honest, because we do write about this band a lot at NCS, and for good reason. They put the BAD in badass and the ASS in ass-kicking. Their latest release is the Durga Puja EP, which emerged last fall. It included two rewritten songs from the band’s debut album, two outstanding covers, and one new original song — the EP’s title track.

Yesterday, TheMadIsraeli tipped me to the fact that the band’s main man Arsafes had uploaded a video of himself performing a guitar playthrough of “Durga Puja”. It’s a reminder of how great that song is, and it’s just fun to watch Arsafes extract such beastly rhythms in the flesh.

The video is after the jump. It will tide us over until June 22, when Kartikeya has promised delivery of their next single (“Vayu”), which we presume (though we’re not sure) will appear on their next album, Samudra, and which will include guest appearances by NCS favorite Keith Merrow and Serbian vocalist Aleksandra Radosavljevic.

While I’m on the subject of Kartikeya, I want to mention that the band has now made all of their releases available for streaming and download on Bandcamp, which you can find via this link.

And while I’m on the subject of Arsafes, I also want to provide an update about one of his other bands — Above the Earth, which last week released their first single, “Trapeze”. Continue reading »

May 292012

What a nice way to start this new day . . . seeing a video of Kartikeya rehearsing a new song called “Vayu”.  No vocals yet, but man, this sounds very fucking nice.  It appears that this will be released as a single on June 22, and will feature guest appearances by Keith Merrow and Aleksandra Radosavljevic. Should be interesting, to say the least.

Check out the video after the jump.  And if, by some remote chance, you don’t know about Kartikeya already, click this link and read one of our 5,000 previous posts about the band. Continue reading »

Jan 212012

This is so massively cool I just had to share. That pic up there is Arsafes (on the left) and Anton of the most excellent Kartikeya sporting the NCS “Fucking Good Pancake” tour shirt in Moscow. How did this come to pass? Therein lies a story . . .

The story begins with RXYZYXR, a band we’ve featured multiple times at NCS, most recently here. They started out as an instrumental band whose members were based somewhere in Russia. But then they later decided to add vocals, and hooked up with Florida-based Thomas Wills. His mix of clean and harsh vocals has been a positive addition to what was already some pretty fuckin’ amazing music.

Fearless dude that he is, Thomas was an early requester of the now-infamous “Fucking Good Pancake” tour shirt that we gave away starting back in August of last year. For latecomers to NCS, the Fucking Good Pancake tour was total fiction and featured bands who don’t exist but should exist — bands such as Massive Wall of Penis, Thor’s Uterus, and Trollcock Fetish. Also, Cephalopodic Sperm Packets. (These names were created by NCS readers in a series of demented comments that kind of took on a life of their own.) But the shirt — created free of charge by the awesome Dan Arena — is completely real.

Thomas went to Russia not long ago to do RXYZYXR-related things, including performing live shows in St. Petersburg and Moscow on January 18 and 19 with none other than Sweden’s  Vildhjarta [thall]. Guess what Thomas took with him, somehow smuggling it past the vigilant Russian security apparatus, which has been on a state of high alert to prevent this shirt from infecting Russian culture? Continue reading »

Jan 112012

This is Part 17 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

We’re winding our way down to the end of this list. I’ve set a self-imposed deadline of Friday to finish this — not because I don’t have enough songs to keep going, but because you can’t really call something a list if it has no end. Can you?

The catch-phrase of today is “Welcome to K-mart!” Not because we’ve decided to ditch metal and open up one of those stores, but because the names of both bands whose songs we’re featuring begin with “K”. “K” as in “Kick-ass” or “Killer”.


Kartikeya is a Russian band we’ve mentioned quite often at this site (use the search box on this page and you’ll see what I mean). They’re very popular among those of us on the NCS staff, and they seem to be popular among our readers and other contributors, too.They play an unusual (and unusually appealing) style of heavy-grooved melodic death metal that incorporates elements of black metal as well as traditional Indian music. Continue reading »

Dec 182011

Kartikeya is a Russian band we’ve mentioned quite often at this site (use the search box on this page and you’ll see what I mean). They’re very popular among those of us on the NCS staff, and they seem to be popular among our readers and other contributors, too (e.g., see Trollfiend’s list of the year’s best albums posted earlier today). They play an unusual (and unusually appealing) style of heavy-grooved melodic death metal that incorporates elements of traditional Indian music.

The leader of Kartikeya is a dude named Roman “Arsafes” Iskorostenskiy. Quite by accident, while doing some webernet research on Kartikeya for a forthcoming post, I learned that Arsafes is involved in other musical projects besides Kartikeya, and this morning I quickly checked them out.

One is a Russian pagan-metal band called Nevid (Невидь). Nevid have produced four full-length albums, the most of recent of which is 2011’s Agarta, and it appears that Arsafes has been the composer and guitarist for that band over the course of the last two albums. I’ve only listened to a couple of tracks from Agarta, but man is it good. There are some traditional pagan/folk instruments in the mix, but also some of those Meshuggah-esque, Kartikeya-style riffs and really catchy melodies. Nice, harsh, growly vocals, too.

Arsafes has also created a solo EP called A New Way of Creation that appeared in 2010. It includes an instrumental at the start, five original songs, and a cover of “Relentless” by Strapping Young Lad. I haven’t listened to the entire EP either, but what I’ve heard so far is also . . . aces. It’s a blast-furnace combo of progressive death metal with industrial overtones, sweeping melodies and Meshuggah-style hammering, and a mix of bestial death-metal roars and clean vocals. Reminiscent of SYL, Fear Factory, and the afore-mentioned Meshuggah, among other influences. There are some free download links to be found at this forum.

After the jump I’ve got sample songs from each of these two releases, both of which are quite different from each other — and different from Kartikeya, too.  Continue reading »

Oct 242011

(We’ve run several features about the new EP from Russia’s Kartikeya, but haven’t yet reviewed it. TheMadIsraeli fills that gap today — plus, he’s arranged for us to bring you a download of the EP itself.)

My review of Kartikeya’s sophomore album Mahayuga was only the beginning of a love affair with this ethnic death metal band for us at NCS.  With that album, this Moscow outfit proved that there was more than just a little life left in death metal, providing an insanely eccentric take on the genre that incorporated heavy Vedic instrumentation and themes.  Now Kartikeya have unleashed a new EP upon us in the form of Durga Puja, and once again it displays the high quality they’ve already become known for in their short time as a band:  One totally new song, two totally rewritten songs from their debut The Battle Begins, a live track, and two top notch covers.

Durga Puja opens with the track of the same name.  The song really strikes a chord of Roots-era Sepultura (an album I love and one that was shamefully derided to begin with), but with the ethnic elements all over the place in classic Kartikeya fashion.  The mood of this song builds upon the more tribal-sounding aspects of their ethnic influences, creating a syncopated, metal-might-filled war dance of a track.  Probably my favorite part of this song is the breakdown, with chanting that is perfectly in sync with the guitar rhythm and the violin section that precedes it.  Very cool song and a bit different for Kartikeya.

“Enter My Dome” is one of the rewritten songs off their debut The Battle Begins.  Anyone who listened to that album will know that the music was great, yet underdeveloped.  This song now feels truly complete and truly Kartikeya in body and soul.  Transposed to 7 string guitars, made faster, with heftier grooves and epic new synths, this song blasts and brutalizes away.  This is definitely my favorite track on the EP.  (more after the jump, including music . . .) Continue reading »

Oct 162011

In late September, we reported that on October 1, a label called Grailight Productions would be releasing a new limited edition “single” from the amazing Russian ethnic-metal band Kartikeya titled Durga Puja, which would include the amazing artwork of Mstibog once again. Up above is the cover, depicting the ten-handed war goddess Durga. When we made that report, we had one track available for streaming — a sick Kartikeya cover of “Triangular Tattvic Fire” by Melechesh.

In my usual back-assward fashion, I let October 1 come and go, and then more days came and went, and I totally missed the fact that the single is not only out, but also that additional tracks from it have surfaced on the interhole. Thanks to TheMadIsraeli, I’m now better informed. So, what I can now stream for you are two additional songs: The title track from Durga Puja, which is a new original song from the band that was mixed/mastered by producer Logan Mader (Soulfly, Gojira, Divine Heresy, W.A.S.P., DevilDriver, etc.), and a cover of “Arise”, which may be my favorite Sepultura song ever (and is certainly one of TheMadIsraeli’s favorites). If you’d enjoy having all the hair singed off your head, then stay with us past the jump and give these scorched babies a listen.

The new single also includes re-recorded and re-arranged versions of songs from Kartikeya’s first album The Battle Begins, plus a live version of a song called “The Path”. As for how to get a copy of the EP, I’ve searched that Grailight Productions site to which I linked above, and as best I can figure out, you would need to e-mail the label to request a copy — which I’ve now done. The address shown on the site is: demether@yandex.ru

This single is a limited release, so I’m not even sure physical copies are still available, and I haven’t found the single in digital distribution yet. If I get more info, I’ll update this post. Now, do jump past the jump and check this shit out. You’ll be glad you did. Continue reading »

Sep 262011

In May of this year, NCS writer TheMadIsraeli introduced us to a Moscow band called Kartikeya, and included links for downloads (here). Apart from the stunningly good (and quite different) death metal to be found on the band’s latest album, Mahayuga, that album also featured remarkable artwork by a Russian artist, “Mstibog” Kirenkov. We included a lot of his album art with TheMadIsraeli’s review.

Yesterday I found out that on October 1, a label called Grailight Productions will be releasing a new limited edition Kartikeya “single” titled Durga Puja, and it will include the amazing artwork of Mstibog once again. Up above is the cover, depicting the ten-handed war goddess Durga.

The new single will include covers of songs by Sepultura and Melechesh, re-recorded and re-arranged versions of songs from Kartikeya’s first album The Battle Begins, a live version of a song called “The Path”, and a brand new song, “Durga Puja”, which was mixed/mastered by the producer Logan Mader (Soulfly, Gojira, Divine Heresy, W.A.S.P., DevilDriver, etc.). After the jump, you can see the track list.

Also after the jump you can hear Kartikeya’s cover of “Triangular Tattvic Fire” by Melechesh. It’s a blowtorch blast of wonderfully vicious, hard-charging, eastern-tinged, blackened death metal and it sounds fantastic.  I’m really looking forward to this single. Continue reading »

Jul 012011

(NCS writer Israel Flanders bravely sticks his neck out with his list of the best albums released during the second quarter of 2011 — April, May, and June.)

So I’m back. Been out of it for the last week or so and just decided it was time to take some lazy days, but it’s time to get back to the fuckin’ metal and the fuckin’ headbanging action. It’s now the end of the second quarter of 2011 and I figured I would continue my top ten of every quarter series, which I started at The Metal Register. So, just for refreshers sake, let’s take a look at what I picked for Q1. In no particular order I had…

SylosisEdge Of The Earth
EradicationDreams Of Reality
Born Of OsirisThe Discovery
Rotten SoundCursed
Amon AmarthSurtur Rising
CrowbarSever The Wicked Hand
Paul WardinghamAssimilate/Regenerate
Times Of GraceHymn Of A Broken Man
DeicideTo Hell With God

So now we move on to the list for Q2. I know people are going to complain, bitch, moan, and otherwise cry at me through the comments on how often I didn’t pick your favorite tech-death band that sounds like rejected Psycroptic demos, but if I haven’t heard it, I’m not gonna pick it. Now let’s get to the albums shall we?  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »