Jan 062012

We first made the acquaintance of Mickael André in the early days of this blog when we developed a fascination for the French metal band of which he is the bassist — Eryn Non Dae.. I counted, and we’ve posted about them seven times since 2010, most recently here. The band’s own description of their music is one I would endorse: “Complex and brutal structures, black and apocalyptic moods, an obscure music where dissonant compositions carry an in-your-face, aggressive vocal style… A trip into the depths of the soul.”

I asked Mika if he would share with us a list of the metal he enjoyed most during 2011, and he responded with a list, which I’ll come to eventually. But this post also gives me an excuse to feature music from the many projects in which Mika is involved. Eryn Non Dae. is only one of those projects, though it’s Mika’s main one. The latest news from END. is very sweet news indeed — they are now beginning to record their second album. Their 2009 Metal Blade release, Hydra Lernaïa, was a remarkable debut, and I’m really curious to hear what the band will come up with next.

But END. is not Mika André’s only musical project. He’s also the guitarist for an instrumental band called Nojia (that’s their photo at the top of this post), who recently released a fascinating debut album called Solarchitect. (available here).

The album starts with a 6-minute overture and then proceeds through four long songs, ranging from 11 to 18 minutes in duration. It was recorded live, with all the musicians performing together in the studio — and when you hear the range and complexity of the music, you’ll appreciate even more what that means. I’ve embedded a music player later in this post that will stream the entire album — listening is an intense, mesmerizing experience. Continue reading »

May 052010

Back in January, we interviewed Mika André, the bass player for one of our favorite French metal bands, Eryn Non Dae. We asked him to recommend some other French bands we might not have heard about, and one of the names he gave us was Zubrowska. At that time we were able to hear a handful of songs Zubrowska had recorded for a forthcoming album.  We really liked what we heard, and wrote about it here.

Yesterday, we got a message from Zubrowska’s talented guitarist Jon Rauzy with some news we want to pass along: The band has now made the entire new album (Zubrowska Are Dead) available for streaming at this location. The album is still not officially released — that will happen in September — but at that same location you can pre-order it now. It will be distributed in the U.S. by Debello Records and in Europe by the band’s own label, Bollocks Records (nice name, huh?).

Those songs we heard in January were sweet — and so are the rest of the songs you can now stream. Some quick impressions follow after the jump, plus one of the songs for you to hear without leaving NCS . . . Continue reading »

Jan 312010

Last week we ran a look-back at Eryn Non Dae‘s striking 2009 album Hydra Lernaïa, and then followed that with an interview of the band’s terrific bass player Mika André. In the interview, we asked Mika if he would recommend some other French metal bands that we might not know about here in the U.S. of A. He obliged, and of course we had to go check them out. Two of his choices hit us in the sweet spot. You might dig ’em too, so here goes:


DOPPLeR (pictured above) is a three-man band that hails from Lyon and appears to have been playing since 1998 — and their years of experience show in the music. The line up is Yann Coste on drums, Xavier Amado on bass, and Yoann Brière on guitar/vocals. Their latest album, Songs to defy, was released in the fall of 2008 by SKrecords. So much for the hard data. What do they sound like?

Here’s a string of genre labels, all of which roughly suit some of what’s going on in Songs to defy: progressive, experimental, noise rock, hardcore, punk, tribal. But while you can slap a genre label on some bands and that tells you about all you need to know, it doesn’t work here because, as the album title suggests, these songs defy labels.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 292010

As part of our periodic look-backs at 2009 and the albums that really grabbed us by the throat, we wrote yesterday about Eryn Non Dae and their mind-bending 2009 release, Hydra Lernaïa. The band also graciously agreed to answer some of our off-the-wall interview questions by e-mail.

They also generously agreed to my request for a plane ticket to Toulouse so I could see them play live on February 18. And all I have to do is buy them tickets to fly back with me to the U.S. so they can play here. Such a deal!

Bass-player Mika André was the designated hitter for our curve-ball questions, and he responded to them just as you would expect based on END’s music: No rushed, off-the-top-of-the-head answers, but responses that reflected some serious thought, effort, and intelligence. Not your typical metalhead interview — just as END is far from a typical band.  (read the full interview after the jump . . .) Continue reading »