Oct 222011

Because of work-related travel and longer hours than usual this week, I didn’t have time for my usual daily interhole browsing for metal news and new music. So I did that this morning, while listening to the last piece of music in this post. I found a half-dozen items that I thought were well worth sharing, and they’re collected in this post. Almost all of them are new videos, and there’s tremendous diversity in the music. The subjects are Vallenfyre, King Conquer, Devin Townsend (with a new song), Shining, Decapitated, and finally, William Basinski.

And yeah, the meerkats are still secretly controlling the world, according to the NCS lorises. They think they’ve identified the kingpin. I don’t buy this nonsense for a minute, of course, because, really, this one looks way too young to be the kingpin.


In our continuing coverage of Vallenfyre (UK) and their forthcoming album, The Fragile King (due for release on Oct 31 in Europe and Nov 1 in North America), I found a video preview that surfaced yesterday on Metal Injection. It was filmed during the making of a music video for a song from the album called “Cathedrals of Dread” and features comments from each of the band’s members about how this “supergroup” came together and about the genesis of the music. It also includes snippets of the song, which provide further confirmation (though none is needed here) that this album will be a must-hear release.

Our most recent previous posts about Vallenfyre can be found here and here. The video preview is right after the jump. Continue reading »

May 142011

Last night I went to see and hear live metal with NCS co-founder IntoTheDarkness and another friend. The main reason for going was to catch King Conquer and Idols, but we had tunsa fun listening to other bands on the bill, too. Especially for a Friday night, the crowd at Studio Seven was stunningly sparse. Fortunately, that didn’t stop the bands from raging as if the venue were packed to no-breathing-room capacity.

My fucking day job is compelling me to work today, so I don’t have time for a proper review of the concert. But I thought it would be, well — ungrateful — for me to say nothing at all. So, what do you do when you think a band has killed it on stage? What do you do when you get some fucking joy out of listening to a band’s music? What you should do (and I’m really lecturing myself here, not you) is to show some respect, to show some support, and not to be bashful about it even when you’re in the company of people who frown on the genre.

And yes, the genre in this instance happens to be deathcore. We don’t write about bands in that genre very often at this site, though last November we did review King Conquer’s debut album in glowing terms (here) and we also included one of their tracks on our list of  2010’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs (here). I also think most of our readers aren’t into this kind of metal. But it’s like any other genre — there’s bad music in it and there’s good. Particularly when you hear the good bands throw themselves into a live performance heart and soul, then what you should do — what I’m doing — is to be honest about your admiration and show some fucking support. (more after the jump, including music . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 052011

So far, our list of most infectious songs has been heavily weighted with music from European bands. But today we’re adding selections by two bands from the good old U.S. of A (though the word “band” is a misnomer in the case of one of the artists). And if you happen to be tuning into this series for the first time and wonder what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. To see the 16 songs we named to the list before today, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.


Here at NCS, we were latecomers to the musical phenomenon known as Cloudkicker. But late is better than never, and when we had our eyes opened, they opened wide. NCS co-founder and occasional contributor IntoTheDarkness put Cloudkicker’s 2010 album, Beacons, at No. 3 on his personal list of the year’s Top 25 releases, calling it “the best instrumental album all year.”

Our regular contributor BadWolf had it at No. 6 on his list of the year’s best, calling it “one of the first pieces of genuinely brilliant metal-as-art to be released not only outside of the label system but outside of capitalism period.”

And another of our frequent contributors, The Artist Formerly Known As Dan, assigned it to the No. 8 position on his best-of-2010 list, with these words: “He doesn’t need a label because he can already do everything he needs to by himself.  And he’s beyond talented.”  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Nov 212010

Yesterday was the 21st birthday of NCS co-founder and occasional contributor to this site, IntoTheDarkness. I saw him all-too-briefly last night before he embarked on some first-time-legal-debauchery with his buds and bud-esses (all badass, no doubt). I hope he’s alive today to see this tribute to his legal adulthood.

As you regular readers know, ITD is our resident deathcore maven. Though his tastes run in other directions, too (for example, he’s the one who finally pushed me to listen to Cloudkicker and Dan Dankmeyer), he still dearly loves his deathcore and knows the genre pretty damned well. The day before his birthday, as I was on my way back to Seattle from vacation, I got this text message from him: “I might have a new favorite deathcore band. check out king conquer’s new album. HOLY SHIT.” (As I’ve noted before, ITD doesn’t bother with capitalization except for emphasis.)

So, in honor of ITD’s birthday, I did check out the debut album from King Conquer without delay. It will be officially released on November 23 on Mediaskare Records and it’s called America’s Most Haunted. And . . . well . . . holy shit, indeed.

King Conquer are a howling horde of barbarians on a rampage, swinging downtuned axes and blast-beat mallets straight for your head — but there’s more to their musical attack than the usual blunt instruments. This band is one of the most promising new purveyors of hardcore-influenced death metal we’ve heard this year. (more after the jump, including some King Conquer music . . .) Continue reading »