Jul 262013

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the just-released new album by Misery Signals.)

Misery Signals are an often underrated and even oft-forgotten tidal wave of force within the metalcore realm.  These guys practically (in my estimation) put technical/progressive metalcore on the map as a “thing” and really set a standard with their debut, close to the genre’s stagnation point — the standard being that you had to do what Misery Signals did, or no one was going to give two fucks about your two-step teeny-bopper crooning.  As evidence of this, so many of the metalcore bands who have survived have been ones who took pages from the Misery Signals playbook.  I would even say that many bands in the so-called “tech metal” UK scene (rightfully criticized by my co-writer Andy Synn) owe as much to this band — except Misery Signals left out the bullshit choruses that pine for commercial adoration and they have a much more refined sense of technicality, both in performance skill and as songwriters.

I say all this because despite how significant this band is, they are criminally dismissed all too often. Absent Light is the band’s latest opus, completely funded from an unexpectedly insanely successful Indiegogo campaign, and it shows the band at their most mature, most morose, most technical, and most intense, all at once.  And that’s the thing about Misery Signals, as opposed to other bands who’ve tried to copy them:  They have intensity, a passion that floods every part of their music.  The technicality and chaos aren’t there for the sake of it; they convey the sincerity that these guys have always had behind their material.

Absent Light is really fucking heavy.  Even when the band are engaging in some of the lighter maturations of their sound (the album makes constant references to prog and post-rock) and aren’t beating you to a pulp, they are only ever building up to it.  Their constant use of thrashy rhythms, jazzy, proggy, rich chord progressions and a taste for melody that resides in a weird limbo between introspective and dissonant/depressive drag results in an album that is quite varied, not just song to song but section to section within every song. Continue reading »

Jul 102013

I mentioned in today’s first post that I was cut off from the interhole most of yesterday and missed lots of stuff that should have been the subject of yesterday’s posts. So I’m catching up. I’ve found so many interesting developments from both yesterday and this morning that I’m going to hold my verbiage to a rare minimum and let the music speak for itself.


The band’s first single (“Captive Bolt Pistol”) from their new album (Surgical Steel) proved controversial. (The song appeared on a CD exclusively sold with the 85th issue of the German “Legacy” Magazine in order to promote the Party.San Metal Open Air festival, and someone uploaded it to YouTube from there). The haters (I’m not one) seemed primarily to be those fans who think Carcass jumped the shark after Necroticism, and therefore they’re disappointed in the Heartwork-style stylings of the new song.

Yesterday brought us another taste, an official video teaser that appears to be a playthrough of an instrumental part of another song. Haters will still hate. I am still not one of them; I still like what I hear. You can listen to the teaser after the jump. But today also brought us the very cool album cover for Surgical Steel, which you can see above. It was created by British photographer Ian Tilton, who also did the cover for Necroticism. Now, here’s the teaser: Continue reading »

May 232013

Last night I was talking with my NCS comrade DGR about the fact that we never just copy and paste PR announcements, and about how uninteresting we find most announcements about new music that don’t include actual music. But of course there are exceptions, such as the two featured in this post, where the artwork alone is enough to catch my interest. Also, I’m more inclined to make exceptions when I’ve been out carousing late the night before and have awakened with a hammering hangover and all of today’s posts in various stages of incompletion. Hypothetically speaking, of course. I’m not saying I did that last night. But would you please speak very, very softly for the next few hours?


I have no new music from Revocation to share with you, unless you count the few song fragments that appear in the studio videos I’m going to stick in this post. What I do have is the artwork (above) for their fourth album, which I really like. It’s by Orion Landau, who has created album covers for the likes of Dying Fetus, Obscura, and Nile.

I also have a release date: August 6 (via Relapse). I have the track list, but I don’t know who really cares about song titles. There are ten of them. I also have the album title: its name is Revocation.

And then I have those two studio videos that have been released so far, plus I have tour dates. Most of these dates are for the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour. Come to think of it, I don’t think we’ve yet posted the SUMMER SLAUGHTER schedule, so that might be interesting to some of you. Mainly I’m writing about Revocation because I’m a big fan. Also, could you please try whispering? Continue reading »

May 142013

Last night, Monday, May 13, 2013, at 11:59 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, the indiegogo.com crowd-funding campaign of Misery Signals — which they launched to help pay for the recoding of a new album — officially came to an end. Do you know how much money they raised? I’m not gonna make you guess. They raised $104,295. Let me repeat that: They raised

One Hundred Four Thousand Two Hundred Ninety-Five Dollars!!!

I shit you not.

They started the campaign on April 3, with a goal of $50,000. A pretty ambitious goal, one would think. Yet in less than 24 hours they had received pledges that exceeded half of that amount. On April 9 they met the $50,000 goal. In six fucking days.

But the campaign deadline was May 13, so they just let it keep going. You’d think people would have stopped contributing once the goal was met. Obviously not. Misery SIgnals doubled their money over the last month. Hell, I was watching the money counter at indiegogo last night and people were still contributing thousands of dollars more in the last few hours of the campaign.

How the hell did they pull this off? I’m so fucking glad you asked. Continue reading »

Dec 022011

November is done, and the countdown begins to the end of 2011 and he beginning of the New Year. We’ve been so focused this week on the year behind us, since 2011 Listmania is now in full swing, that we almost forgot that there is a future, and it will be filled with metal.

So, here’s the deal:  In these METAL IN THE FORGE posts, we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month (November) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — THIS ISN’T A CUMULATIVE LIST. If we found out about a new forthcoming album before November, we wrote about it in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier.

This month’s list begins right after the jump. As usual, this list is half-assed rather than comprehensive. So, feel free to leave Comments and tell all of us what we missed when we put this list together. Let us know about albums on the way that  you’re stoked about! Continue reading »

Dec 222009

Here at NCS, we’re putting a different spin on year-end listmania. Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even necessarily our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. Ours is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. We’re talking about songs that produce involuntary physical movement and worm their way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get ’em out (and wouldn’t want to).

We’re not ranking our list from #10 to #1 because that would be too much fucking work (and your co-Authors would still be arguing about it this time next year). So, our list is in no particular order. We’re also dribbling the songs out one at a time because your lazy Authors are still debating what belongs in the remaining slots. Our list heretofore:

1.  Asphyx:  Sorbutics

2.  Mastodon:  Crack the Skye

3.  Amorphis:  Silver Bride

4.  GoatwhoreApocalyptic Havoc

5.  August Burns Red:  Meridian

6.  Pelican:  Ephemeral

And to see our seventh entry on the list, continue reading after the jump. Continue reading »