May 012013

(In this post we deliver unto you a full-stream of the new album by Sweden’s Means End, which we preface with the following introduction by NCS writer TheMadIsraeli. And yes, it’s an exception to our usual rule . . . the one about singing.)

Yes, it’s that time again.  It’s time for more thall.

Means End are the final link in a triad of bands who are all conjoined by “that word”, mainly because Vildhjarta, Uneven Structure, and Means End have all shared members at some point or another.  Something about this seems to have produced a certain magic that’s undeniable.  All three bands have taken a style of metal that at this point, in other hands, has become trite, overdone, and less appealing than chugging a jug of smegma and rotten milk, and somehow managed to rejuvenate it while establishing distinctive identities for themselves.  Means End certainly have a sound all their own.  Yes, they have recognizable influences (and who doesn’t in this day and age?), but what they do with those influences really shines and stands out.

The Didact is fifty-one minutes of jazzy, funky, rhythm-driven, progressive groove metal with one of the best vocalists in metal right now.  The music is cinematic, enigmatic, but still seething, with fangs dripping in battery acid.  It’s this band’s sense of dynamics, moving between the gorgeous and moments when they bring the hammer of thall down upon you, that really stands out.  The soft parts don’t really feel “soft” per se, because this band’s tendency toward ever-evolving key transitions produces more a sense of unease than a simple break from the heaviness.  However, when the heaviness does hit, it pretty much implodes your intestines. Continue reading »

Apr 272012

As explained previously, I’ve been catching up on what I missed in the metal world over the last couple of weeks while being otherwise occupied. So much happens every day that I can’t include everything I’ve discovered, but I’ve been trying to feature a mix of news and stylistically divergent new music that might have escaped your attention as well as my own. This is the final installment.

Some of what’s in here is VERY recent. And yes, this is long . . . but just treat it like six posts in one. Just pretend that it dribbled out all day long, like posts on some other metal sites that don’t want to tax their readers’ attention spans. Or you could set your alarm to go off once an hour and come read another piece of this as if it had just appeared. Or I could just shut up and get on with it.


Actually, I suspect this didn’t escape many people’s attention, because it’s Nile, after all. Thanks to Metal Sucks and TheMadIsraeli, I found out yesterday that Nile has now released the cover art for their next album (above), At the Gate of Sethu, which Nuclear Blast plans to release in Europe on June 29 and in the U.S. on July 3. The artwork is by Seth Siro Anton of Septic Flesh.

The central figure looked familiar, and after a bit of  research at The Font of All Human Knowledge, I confirmed that it’s the Egyptian god Thoth, which The Font describes as a god who, in the later history of ancient Egypt, “became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes,the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.” Continue reading »

Sep 122011

(TheMadIsraeli fired off this post about a new, free EP from a band based in Stockholm, Sweden.)

This is a short three-song EP from a band only known as Means End, and I strongly suggest you check it out. This is djent of the highest order, taking a step back from modern conventions and going back more to the established sound of Textures and Meshuggah than anything else. The melodic transitions in these three songs are AMAZING and haunting. Never straight-forward and always alien. There are those nice djent grooves we’re accustomed to, but expect more along the lines of Meshuggah’s Nothing then TesseracT’s One.

Check it out. The EP is free, so you have no good reason not to grab this.  (after the jump, some tracks to hear and the download link . . .) Continue reading »