Jun 192018
 

 

(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Colorado’s Khemmis, which will be released on June 22nd by 20 Buck Spin in North America and by Nuclear Blast everywhere else.)

I’m more than happy to admit that I’m a very late joiner to the Khemmis train.

Oh, sure, I’d heard the name around, I knew they were pretty well liked and that there was a fair bit of hype building behind them, and had even caught a glimpse of their eye-catching artwork here and there, but – for whatever reason – I’d just never found the time to actually listen to one of the band’s songs/albums.

Thankfully, their brilliant performance at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest made me an immediate convert to their cause, and I’ve spent the time since then immersing myself in the band’s back-catalogue and catching up on everything which I’ve been missing, just in time for Desolation to drop into my inbox with a resounding (digital) boom. Continue reading »

May 212018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. We asked Teddie to introduce herself first, to those of you who may not be familiar with her work:

“I am an Alabama transplant currently residing in the glorious swamp that is New Orleans. Growing up, I regularly went on adventures to photograph the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast and thought I’d eventually pursue nature photography. I’ve always been involved with the arts, whether it be attempting to dance or taking vocal lessons, and fell hard and fast into music photography during a college internship at the local rock radio station. A few years and seemingly hundreds of deafening nights in small bars later and I am an intern at Relapse Records and Earsplit PR and travel regularly to interview and take photos of musicians I adore. I apologize in advance if my tall, camera-hauling self blocks your view or whacks you with a camera during a show.”

And with that preamble, here are some of Teddie’s photos from the first day at Roadburn 2018: Continue reading »

Mar 082018
 

 

(An NCS fan who we’ll call Barbarian Mike turned in this guest review of the presentation of DECIBEL Magazine’s 2018 tour in Seattle, Washington, on March 6, 2018.)

Whether you consider yourself a fan or not, it’s impossible to deny the status and reverence Enslaved has earned within the community of heavy music. Over a span of 27-years and 14 studio albums – barring live-show DVD’s, splits, and demos – it’s hard to imagine any band as capable as this one in maintaining a passionate fan base and consistently sold-out live performances.

In spite of this success, Enslaved are a band who don’t rest on their laurels, or coast on their hits of yesteryear. In fact, they appear to be continually invigorated by the challenge of creating something new, to pursue new ideas and sounds. It only makes sense that they would headline one of the bigger tours within heavy music – the DECIBEL Magazine 2018 Tour. Needless to say, I was excited to attend the event at Seattle’s own El Corazon. Continue reading »

Feb 042018
 

 

I almost never watch anything available through on-line streaming services like Netflix. I don’t watch multi-part TV series available through cable networks like HBO either (I’m one of four people in the U.S. who has never seen a Game of Thrones episode; the other three have been in a coma since 2010). It’s not that I’m uninterested. It’s a question of time, and choices among what I’d have to sacrifice in order to make room for all the hours of viewing. But I made an exception last night.

My wife is out of town visiting one of her sisters. Time with my wife, who has no interest in watching the kind of shows referred to above, is one of the things I’d have to sacrifice if I watched more TV. Time with NCS is another one. But with my wife gone and with my NCS post for today (not this one, the next one) at least planned out in my head, I decided to start watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. The first season became available on February 2nd.

The book of the same name, by Richard Morgan, is an old favorite of mine; I’ve read every other sci-fi book he’s written, too, but I always thought it would be great if someone turned Altered Carbon into a movie or TV series. So, with some extra time on my hands, this was a temptation I couldn’t resist. Continue reading »

Oct 072016
 

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

 

The rise of Denver’s Khemmis into the upper echelons of doom has been nothing short of meteoric, thanks in large part to the enormous appeal of their 2015 debut album Absolution. Since that album’s release, Khemmis have confronted what always comes with stellar debuts — the pressures and perils of high expectations by fans for a follow-on album. In two short weeks, that testing time will arrive as 20 Buck Spin releases the second Khemmis album, Hunted. By one measure, Hunted has already met and exceeded expectations — Sam Turner has again created one hell of a metal album cover, with the Khemmis wizard on an armored steed, flanked by death dealers you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. As it turns out, the music meets and exceeds expectations, too.

In 2015 we had the pleasure of premiering a song from Absolution, along with one of the most interesting and entertaining band interviews we’ve ever published. We now count ourselves lucky that we also get to bring you the premiere of a song from Hunted in advance of its October 21 release. Its name is “Beyond the Door“. Continue reading »

Aug 132016
 

Migration Fest poster

 

Here I am on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Olympia, Washington, still pinching myself to make sure what I’ve been experiencing isn’t some kind of fantasy (or more likely, incipient dementia). Yesterday was the first day of Migration Fest, and the night before that was the unofficial start of the party with a three-band pre-fest show. In a nutshell, it’s been an absolute blast so far. More words (and amateurish photos) to follow.

This is, of course, the first edition of what by all rights should become a never-ending tradition, a labor of love jointly organized by Adam at Gilead Media and Dave at 20 Buck Spin, with support from a whole bunch of their tireless friends and family members. They assembled a stellar line-up of bands, and based on what I’ve seen so far (at least from a fan perspective), they’ve been executing on the plan like a well-oiled machine. Continue reading »

Jul 272016
 

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

 

I have a confession to make: I’m a political junkie. For the good of my mental and emotional health, I wish I could cut back (there’s no point in trying to quit), but right now I probably couldn’t get clean if my life depended on it. I’ve been glued to the Democratic Party convention coverage the last two nights, which explains why we haven’t had the usual volume of posts since the weekend. Things aren’t likely to get back to normal until after this particular circus comes to an end.

I did manage to pull this round-up together this morning, as well as a hell of a premiere earlier  today — and a bit later we will have another Neill Jameson post about black metal. I’ll start with two citing news items and then move to some new song streams.

KHEMMIS

I still remember when I first heard the music of Khemmis at the Denver Black Sky festival in the summer of 2014. It was a real eye-opening experience. Even someone as half-witted as me could tell they were something special. Lots of other people figured that out last year when they heard the band’s debut album, Absolution. And now we have a second album to look forward to, as revealed in an announcement late yesterday. Continue reading »

Feb 102016
 

Khemmis-Absolution

 

It’s conceivable that there are people out there who actually noticed that notwithstanding my earlier promise about posting one of these installments every day this week, I failed to do that yesterday. In between other posts that were more urgent and interference from my fucking day job, I just couldn’t manage it. So, to keep on schedule, I’m posting two installments today!

In case anyone happens to stumble on this post with no idea what I’m talking about, this is my year-end list of 2015’s “Most Infectious Metal Songs”, which will come to an end on Sunday, and there are 20 previous installments you can inspect via this link.

KHEMMIS

I am so damned happy that Khemmis‘ 2015 album has been so damned successful. Lots of people knew how good they were before I had my first taste of their music at the 2014 Denver Black Sky festival, but I still like to think I was at least hanging around the launching pad before the rocket took off. Continue reading »

Jun 222015
 

 

I don’t have a crystal ball, just some experience and a willingness to make guesses, but my prediction is that with a little word of mouth and the increasing exposure of their music, Denver-based Khemmis are going to blow up. They’re excellent songwriters, they’re accomplished musicians, they pour their souls into their music — and their music is righteous. They also have a tube-assisted wizard for a mascot.

In the wide-ranging interview that accompanies the song we’re about to premiere from their debut album, “Ash, Cinder, Smoke“, I unfairly asked the band if they could sum up their sound and style in a paragraph or less for people new to their music. They did it in six words — “Like a doom metal Iron Maiden.” Continue reading »

Jun 032015
 

 

Once again I find myself awash in new music discovered over the last 24 hours that I want to share with you. I’ve picked three new songs to feature in this collection, and you know I must really like them since I have to send you to other sites to hear two of them.

HATE ETERNAL

Every death metal fan worth his or her salt has to be salivating over the prospect of a new Hate Eternal album — and that’s what we’re about to get. The new record is named Infernus and it’s set for North American release by Season of Mist on August 21. In addition to the fact that it will contain Hate Eternal music, it’s also adorned with painted cover art by the masterful Eliran Kantor. And now we also have a new song to hear. Continue reading »