Apr 082010

We don’t know of any poker games that allow you to raise your own bet without an intervening raise by another player, but here at NCS we make up our own fucking rules as we go along.

So this game began when our friends at Reign in Blonde posted a ridiculous album cover by Kivimetsan Druidi (here). Which prompted us to raise with the ridiculous album cover above by the non-metal band Florence and the Machine.

Now, if you keep your eyes open, you’ll see ridiculous new album covers every week. So this game conceivably could go on, well, forever.  Who knows, maybe it will. But we’re at least going to continue the game for one more day by raising our own raise, not once but twice, courtesy of a Canadian rock trio called Danko Jones and a French “power metal” band called Heavenly.

The new Danko Jones album, scheduled for a May release, is called Below the Belt. Danko Jones recently opened for Guns N’ Roses and Sebastian Bach at a tour of hockey arenas across Canada. Which pretty much guarantees their music blows large hairy balls.

Heavenly’s latest album (December 2009) is called Carpe Diem. Their music’s not our style either. But we’re grateful to both bands, because their album covers allow us to keep this ridiculous-album-cover game going for one more day.  (to see these covers, you’ll have to click past the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Apr 022010

This morning, our she-friends at Reign in Blonde posted the Kivimetsan Druidi album cover above with a one-word review of the cover: “SRSLY

By coincidence, when going to the log-in page for our MySpace home this morning, this lovely photo greeted our eyes (along with all sorts of other promotional crap foisted on us by MySpace):

Maybe she brought the flowers to get the duck in the right mood, but it looks like she’s starting to lose her patience. Feel free to insert your own funny photo caption.

Don’t know what you would have done, but we couldn’t resist clicking on this thing to see what the hell it was about.  Could it be a new PETA ad? Nah. Turns out, this is the front-woman (the one in the dress) for a non-metal band called Florence and the Machine. And here’s the cover of their new album, which we think gives that Kivimetsan Druidi cover a run for its money.  (you’ll have to click past the jump to see it . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 022010

No, we’re not talking about the swine flu, or the avian flu, or the next animal virus that decides humans would be a nice host environment upgrade. We’re talking about new metal that has the potential to be sick.

On the first day of the New Year, we posted a round-up of new extreme metal albums forecast for release 2010, along with our list of the 21 we most wanted to hear.

One month has now passed, and we’ve discovered some forthcoming releases we didn’t know about on January 1. Seems like a good time for an update! So, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about forthcoming albums from bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that fit the profile of music we cover on this site (with a couple of Exceptions to the Rule).

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last 31 days about forthcoming releases we missed in our January 1 list:

AGALLOCH: “So what can we expect from the band’s long-awaited follow-up to Ashes Against the Grain? According to an interview songwriter John Haughm gave to German TV last May, ‘expect the unexpected.’ Haughm says that the next release will be ‘completely different’ from its predecessors — ‘a bit darker,’ closer to black metal, but with the same kind of dynamics that Agalloch is known for.  As for when we can expect the new album, Haughm said that he hoped it would be out by May 2010.”

APOCALYPTICA:  “Finnish rock cello quartet APOCALYPTICA has entered Sonic Pump studios in Helsinki to begin recording its new album for a spring/summer release.” [This is one of those Exceptions to the Rule.]

APOSTASY: “Four new songs from the Swedish black metal act APOSTASY are available for streaming on the band’s MySpace page. The tracks will appear on the group’s forthcoming third full-length album, Nuclear Messiah, which will be released later in the year.”  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 032010

I knew this would happen.  On New Year’s Day, we put up a long list of extreme metal bands who reportedly will be releasing new albums in 2009, and then carved from that list the 21 bands we especially want to hear in the New Year.  We tried to be complete in compiling the master list, but of course we’re already hearing about bands we left off.

So far, three overlooked bands, in particular, deserve mention: Kivimetsän Druidi, Portland’s own Agalloch, and Mors Principium Est. These bands may not be as widely known as others that made “forthcoming” lists in various trade publications, but we’re psyched to hear that new releases are in the works.


Kivimetsän Druidi (pictured above) is a Finnish symphonic folk metal band whose name appears to mean “druid of the stone forest.”  The band released their Century Media debut CD “Shadowheart” in late 2008 and followed that with a cool video, shot in Finnish Lappland, for a song sung in Finnish called “Jäässä Varttunut.”  It appears the song title, loosely translated, means “Grown Up Within Ice,” as in, “The white steel that has been grown on ice will clot the blood with its strike.”

I saw the video, was impressed, tracked down the CD, and remained impressed. It’s a fast-paced, dramatic combination of symphonic death metal, celtic folk stylings, savage gutteral vocals from Joni Koskinen, and soaring sopranos from crystal-voiced Leeni-Maria Hovila. Heavier than you might expect, with memorable melodies and plenty of hard-driving riffs.  (more after the jump, including that video. . .) Continue reading »