Aug 132016
 

Migration Fest poster

 

Here I am on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Olympia, Washington, still pinching myself to make sure what I’ve been experiencing isn’t some kind of fantasy (or more likely, incipient dementia). Yesterday was the first day of Migration Fest, and the night before that was the unofficial start of the party with a three-band pre-fest show. In a nutshell, it’s been an absolute blast so far. More words (and amateurish photos) to follow.

This is, of course, the first edition of what by all rights should become a never-ending tradition, a labor of love jointly organized by Adam at Gilead Media and Dave at 20 Buck Spin, with support from a whole bunch of their tireless friends and family members. They assembled a stellar line-up of bands, and based on what I’ve seen so far (at least from a fan perspective), they’ve been executing on the plan like a well-oiled machine. Continue reading »

Aug 082016
 

Neill Jameson

 

(Krieg’s Neill Jameson recently completed a very well-read three-part NCS series on obscure black metal from the ’90s (collected behind this link), and now he returns to our site with a different kind of mixtape.)

Even though we’re still in the middle of the season where your chances of getting skin cancer AND being irritated at all times is still going strong, I’m attempting to be forward-thinking. Thus to take my mind off the heat, I’ve decided to write about miserable and morose music this time around. I figure if places are trying to shove pumpkin beer up our asses in the middle of summer then I might as well shove some gloomy music up whatever orifice you prefer. I’m trying to be considerate.

As some of these artists have wildly varying styles across recordings I’m just going to hone in on one specific one per, but the majority of these fine and well-adjusted folks have a lengthy resume to choose from, so don’t just take my preference as gospel, which I’m sure no one does anyway. Continue reading »

Aug 012016
 

Krieg-Photo by Hillarie Jason

 

(Neill Jameson (Krieg) returns with the third installment of a three-part post devoted to under-the-radar black metal releases worthy of greater attention. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)

One thing I’ve come to realize while doing this series is my mix tapes in the late ’90s were fucking great and anyone who was forced to drive with me during those times should start a kickstarter to throw me a parade. The other thing I’ve realized is how fortunate I was to come up at a time when all this was actually happening and not a footnote in some elderly man’s rantings twenty years later. The emphasis on performing music you were passionate about versus the current metal scene’s (sometimes) inane need for innovation meant that while you might be getting three dozen variations on the same Darkthrone or Emperor songs, at least they still possessed something special.

The conversation around black metal at the time was easier to digest, too, since it was basically all based on a form of honesty that isn’t really around any more, and there wasn’t someone standing up on a soap box because they were offended you owned a Burzum record. While I value the deeper intellectualism that the contemporary era can bring, it also has its shortcomings, especially in people’s perceptions.

Anyway, this is the final piece of my three-part black metal series. My list is obviously far from complete and I may revisit it someday, but for now here’s six more: Continue reading »

Jul 272016
 

Krieg-Photo by Hillarie Jason

 

(We welcome back Neill Jameson (Krieg) with the second installment of a multi-part post devoted to under-the-radar black metal releases worthy of greater attention. You can find Part 1 here.)

As we slog through the bullshit heat and humidity of the summer one could say the best activity to beat the heat is to stay indoors, shun your asshole friends who think hiking on the surface of the sun is enjoyable, grab a drink and bide your time listening to music. It’s a good distraction and perfect excuse not to go outside and get skin cancer in the name of “fun in the sun”.

This is the second part of my blathering about black metal releases you should listen to because I’m under the misguided impression that I have decent taste. This might turn into a three-part series because I keep thinking of random records at inopportune times like when my boss is trying to explain new vital procedures at work. Continue reading »

Jul 112016
 

Neill Jameson-Black Metal-Part 1

 

(We welcome back Neill Jameson (Krieg) with the first installment of a multi-part post devoted to under-the-radar black metal releases worthy of greater attention.)

While it seems a lot of what’s going around in black metal these days is more driven by aesthetics and shock value than ever, it still has a certain potency that other genres within metal don’t seem to be able to match. That being said, I can’t think of a lot of current bands that I obsessively listen to the way I would when I was younger and potentially more full of shit than I am now at this ripe old age.

Elderly bitching aside, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about records and bands that went somewhat under the radar at the time of release and sit in relative obscurity now, mostly because people have shitty taste (myself included), so I figured I’d use a column or two and shed some light on some records in the genre I’ve never been able to walk away from for whatever reason, the sort of releases that if I ever came into an excess of money I’d love to release on vinyl so that they would sit in my office unsold while people download it along with some weird virus that broadcasts Russian incest porn to their e-mail contacts. Here’s a few to start with: Continue reading »

Jun 022016
 

Krieg-Photo by Hillarie Jason

 

(In this post we bring you another collection of musical recommendations by Neill Jameson (Krieg). To check out the previous post, go here.)

While the rest of you were off at MDF this past weekend and I was stuck working unpaid overtime at a job I hate I had some time to think about the next batch of shit I’d hoist on you for your listening displeasure. Considering I’m both old and opinionated I doubt I’m going to run out of ideas for this column anytime soon, but I did think it would be appropriate to wrap up hardcore as a genre with a few more choices before moving on to whatever batch of shit you’ll probably bookmark but not listen to next. Sound good? No? Great, here we go. Continue reading »

Apr 202016
 

Integrity art

 

(In this post we bring you the first of what we hope will be many recommendations of music at NCS by Neill Jameson (Krieg).)

Over the weekend I saw Nails at Choosing Death in Philadelphia. Much like the previous times I’ve seen them it was the audial equivalent of a bulldozer; aggressive, violent, and most importantly, ugly. It made me remember that their Unsilent Death record was a very important moment in my life, creating and feeding my interest in hardcore as a genre beyond either what seemed to me to be loaded with guys lifting weights and shopping for baseball hats on one side of the fence and old bands like Black Flag and Poison Idea who made some of my favorite punk records on the other. I learned that there was hardcore out there that was negative, dark, and expressed something beyond what seemed like a frat house aesthetic.

In the few years since then I’ve been digging into the genre and finding a lot of really, to me, interesting records that fed the need for the dark and heavy sounds of metal while expressing the sort of negative emotions that are fairly constant in my life. Labels like A389, Organized Crime, Melotov, and Magic Bullet are just some that work within this area and are good spots to check out if you have further interest.

I approached NCS with the idea to occasionally pop in and write about music that’s important to me that other folks into metal might not be familiar with but could appreciate. I figured dark hardcore would be a good place to start. So without giving you more back story you don’t care about, here’s a few bands & records to check out. Continue reading »

Dec 162015
 

NCS Best of 2015 graphic

 

(Once again, we invited Neill Jameson of Krieg to share a year-end list with us as part of our LISTMANIA series, and once again we are very happy to report that he agreed.)

We’re now at that part of the year where everyone sits and jerks each other off in the form of lists of what records industry people are breaking their arms patting themselves on the back for releasing and the inevitable think tank that follows in the comments section complaining that whatever bullshit they like got ignored by the publications they spent the other 364 days of the year saying they hate anyway.

I personally like to use these lists to look into releases that fell through the cracks for me during whatever given year (this is for 2015 I think, I don’t remember anymore) and also when someone is nice enough to want my opinion (sorry in advance) a way for me to show people some bands they might not even know about.

Much like last year I’m going to skip a lot of the more well-known releases from this year, opting to focus on some great recordings you may have never heard but definitely should look into. If you really must know what captured the top slot for the year for me, go listen to the newest Killing Joke record or Leviathan’s Scar Sighted; both records show an energy and focus that both bands have always been capable of, but in a more urgent manner than before. Both are absolutely brilliant and essential. Continue reading »

Mar 042014
 

(NCS writer BadWolf interviewed Neill Jameson of Krieg and Twilight, whose third and final album is due for release in a couple of weeks. To say it’s a wide-ranging, no-holds-barred discussion would be an understatement. You don’t want to miss this.) 

When it comes to the US Black Metal movement, few individual musicians have made as much of a splash as Neill Jameson. He released his first demo tape as Imperial in 1995—just a year after Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. In the nearly twenty years since, Jameson has produced raw and honest “bedroom” black metal as the sole member of Krieg. Many consider his 2004 LP The Black House to be essential USBM listening. There will be a new Krieg album this year on Candlelight, but first Jameson needs to live through the press cycle for the third Twilight album, III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb.

Jameson had his hands full recording III, dealing with a rotating cast of characters. Twilight has been blighted by negative media attention since the arrest of founding member Blake Judd (also of Nachtmystium). Judd is now out of the band, but Thurston Moore of esteemed noise-punk outfit Sonic Youth is in. Alongside them stands super-producer Sanford Parker, as well as Stavros Giannopoulos of The Atlas Moth and Wrest of Leviathan. These five musicians are giving Twilight the swansong the project deserves.

Jameson took time out of his busy schedule as proprietor of a record store (the man’s Facebook posts, often putting his own customers on blast, are among the funniest you’ll read) to talk with NCS about the tumultuous story of Twilight, from beginning to end. Continue reading »