Apr 162016

Solstafir-Legend live


As you may have discerned by now, I enjoy not only recommending new music in these round-ups but also selecting items for them that don’t all come from the same genres of metal. For this Saturday collection of recent discoveries, however, there’s perhaps more variety than usual because I’ve partially gone outside the realms of metal. This is always a risky maneuver because I so rarely listen to anything that isn’t metal. I don’t know how dependable my metal tastes are, but when I veer off those pathways I’m pretty sure my taste isn’t dependable at all. Self-doubt has never held me back, though, so here we go….


More than two years ago I wrote (here) about a split release by two Icelandic bands, Sólstafir and Legend, in which each of them covered a song originally recorded by the other. In Sólstafir‘s case, they put their stamp on a Legend song called “Runaway Train”.

Yesterday the two bands released a video in which members of both groups joined together last fall for a live performance of that same song from the split (which they had earlier recorded together at Studio Neptunus). The performance occurred in an abandoned industrial factory and was filmed by Brynjar Snær Þrastarson and edited by him and Frosti Jon Rúnólfsson. Continue reading »

Apr 182013

Yesterday turned out to be a banner day for new music videos, and unfortunately I didn’t have time to write about all of the good ones I saw. So I’m making up for lost time by collecting them in two posts, this one being the first. Herewith, for your listening and viewing pleasure, are new videos from Legend (Iceland) and Deathchain (Finland).


I found out about this Icelandic band’s new video via a Facebook post by Sólstafir, who are apparently friends of the two men who make up Legend — Krummi Björgvinsson and Halldór A Björnsson. I confess that neither Legend nor those two gents were familiar to me, and the music isn’t metal, but the song and the video have hooked me right through the gills.

The song is “Benjamite Bloodline” and it’s from the band’s most recent album Fearless. The music is a building swarm of electronica that eventually unfolds into a thunderous beat, with vocals that are mainly clean but ultimately caustic. The strange video is as interesting to watch as the music is to hear — though I make no attempt to describe it. It’s next . . . Continue reading »

Nov 262010

Legend is a metalcore band from Michigan whose debut album, Valediction, we reviewed in June (here). At that time, the members of Legend included vocalist Chad Ruhlig (ex-For the Fallen Dreams), bass-player Joe Ellis (also ex-FTFD), and guitarist Aaron “Bubble” Patrick (ex-Bury Your Dead). In the space of the last five months, the line-up has undergone a thorough revision. Ruhlig is still on vocals (thankfully), but Ellis and Patrick are gone, and the new line-up consists of Devan Dickerson (guitar), Matty Harrah (bass and vocals), and Dylan Shippey (drums).

Today’s update was prompted by the revised Legend’s hot-off-the-presses release of a new song called “Proven”. It’s a hot song — heavy as fuck, obliterating as a jackhammer with a mind of its own, synaptically convulsing, and fueled by Chad Ruhlig’s wonderful hardcore howls and death-metal growls. The production has got just the right mix of muddiness and clarity for a brutally downtuned song like this. And to put some sweet icing on this dense cake, Legend’s label (Rise Records) is making the song available for free download at the band’s Pure Volume site (here). We don’t know how long the free download will last, so don’t delay — go get it.

Now, even though it only takes seconds to download this song, you may still want to hear it before allowing it to occupy the precious storage on your hard drive. We can handle that. We can let you hear the song first. And we can even do better than that. We can play you the song while at the same time allowing you to see a time-lapse video of Josh Schroeder, a.k.a. “Metal Josh,” creating new merch artwork for Legend. Josh also runs a professional recording studio (called Random Awesome), and he happens to be the dude who recorded this Legend single (in addition to recording albums for Dagon, For Today, Beneath the Sky, Hester Prynne and many others). Multi-talented people make us insecure.

So, while creating the artwork that you see above, Josh kept the camera rolling and then speeded it up so you can see the creation of the art from beginning to end while you listen to the song. Seriously, it’s so much fun to watch. So, continue past the jump and watch it! Continue reading »

Jun 092010

If you’re a baseball fan, you’re familiar with the term “stuff.”  And if you’re not? Well, inarticulate baseball players, managers, and fans (like us) use that term to refer both to what pitchers are capable of throwing and how they actually perform in games. It can refer to the speed of the ball, the location of the pitch as it crosses the plate, the guile of the pitcher in varying the pitches from batter to batter — basically, everything that goes into keeping hitters off balance and generating outs.

When a pitcher is on his game, keeping batters off the bases and cruising through a low pitch count, the manager or some teammate will be quoted as saying, “he had good stuff tonight.”  And when a pitcher gets shelled and removed without going at least five innings, you can bet someone will say, “he didn’t have good stuff.” Hey, they don’t pay those dudes for their public speaking skills.

So, you might ask, what the fuck does that have to do with metal? And we would answer: If you’re a metal band and you pick the name “Legend,” you better have the “stuff” to back it up. And in the case of this metalicized hardcore band from Michigan and their recently released debut album Valediction, they abso-fucking-lutely do.

We’ve written before about our disappointment in Bury Your Dead‘s change in musical direction since the departure of vocalist Mat Bruso and his replacement by Myke Terry. We were further chagrined to learn that BYD bassist Aaron “Bubble” Patrick left the band last fall. And we were equally disappointed by the defection of band members from another repeat-play favorite of ours, For the Fallen Dreams.  (more after the jump, including a song and tour dates . . . ) Continue reading »

Mar 312010

We’re now a full three months into 2010, and it’s time for our third update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here, the first update here, and the second update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last two updates — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about 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 mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ANAAL NATHRAKH: “U.K. extreme metallers ANAAL NATHRAKH have commenced work on material for a new album, tentatively due before the end of the year.”

ANNIHILATOR: “Canadian thrash metal veterans ANNIHILATOR will release their 13th, self-titled album in Europe on May 17 via Earache Records, in Japan through Marquee and in Australia via Riot Entertainment.”

ARISE: “A two-minute video trailer for The Reckoning, the fourth album from Swedish death/thrashers ARISE, can be viewed below. Due on March 22 through Regain Records, the CD features guest appearances by Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, ex-CARNAL FORGE), Mikael Stanne (DARK TRANQUILLITY) and Jake Fredém (NOSTRADAMEUS).” [NOTE: the album is now scheduled for release on April 6.]

(more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 242010

We don’t listen to much hardcore music here at NCS. It’s not that we don’t like it. It just doesn’t rattle our cages as much as other kinds of extreme metal. But in recent years certain metal- and death-metal influenced hardcore bands have infiltrated our music players and fought an effective behind-the-lines assault on our brains.

Over the last few days we’ve come across some news items about a few of those bands that we’d like to share with you, along with some of their songs: The Contortionist, Monument to Thieves, Legend, and The Last Felony.  They’ve all got new music on the way that we’re pretty hot to hear. They don’t sound alike, but the one thing they have in common is the ability to write powerful, passionate songs with infectious grooves, and some dynamic variations from the norm to accompany the breakdowns.

(By the way, we’d rather call these bands “core-metal” instead of “metalcore” or “deathcore” because nowadays those latter terms trail along a bunch of baggage that we don’t think fits these bands.)


The breaking news about this Indianapolis-based band is that they’ve signed with Good Fight Music and will be entering the studio this spring with producer Ken Susi (Unearth‘s guitarist) to begin recording a debut album for a mid-to-late-summer release.

Good Fight Music is the label division of Good Fight Entertainment, which was founded by industry veterans Paul Conroy and Carl Severson, who were former partners at Ferret Music, Warner Music, and ChannelZERO. (more to come, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »