Apr 092010

Anger plays an important role in extreme metal music. It’s a motivating force in the creative process of many bands. It works its way through the lyrics of many songs. And even when the lyrics don’t reflect anger, a lot of the music just sounds pissed-off. A while back, we got a comment on one of our posts from a guy who described himself as “an old fart.” He wrote this:

“The whole scary-metal scene is confusing to me. You all seem like very literate and intelligent folks, yet you seem to find pleasure in art that celebrates darkness and pain. Do you do it to be ironic or to make a point about how you feel that you have been treated by the world? I saw the word cathartic used – is this music a way of healing some pain that you feel?”

We wrote our own answer to those questions following his comment here, but we don’t pretend to speak for all extreme metalheads. We will make a few other points now: Some bands are angry and probably don’t know exactly why. Some bands pretend to be angry, on the theory that being über bad-ass is one of the keys to success. Some bands are angry about shit that really doesn’t matter.

And some bands really are fucking pissed about important shit, they use the sound of their music to express those feelings (as only extreme music can do most powerfully), and they write lyrics that articulate what they’re angry about.

And then some bands do all that in an even more nuanced way, joining to their anger feelings of rebellion, remorse, resignation, compassion, and solidarity.  Monument to Thieves is one of those bands, and their new self-titled album is worth hearing.  (read more after the jump, and listen to a song . . .) 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 »