Jun 102019


As you make your way through the new album by Nocturnal Breed, you might get flash after flash of past glories — memory bursts of Nuclear Assault and Accept, of vintage Metallica and Megadeth, of Celtic Frost and Black Sabbath, of Motörhead and Venom, of King Diamond and Iron Maiden. It’s as much a matter of spirit as of sound, the feeling of fire in the blood and steel in the hand, a dedication to metal domination that won’t be diverted or denied. The music rips and rages, and revels.

Of course there’s a difference between trying to clone the music of legendary bands such as those mentioned above and revealing the influences because it’s what you love, because it’s part of your DNA and thus works its way naturally into what you do, without calculation. That’s the feeling of this new record, We Only Came For the Violence, the sixth full-length by this Norwegian speed metal cult in a career that goes back to the mid-’90s. This is a hell-thrasher’s record, but one in which the backbone of thrash is fleshed out in other ways that channel the band-members’ inspirations and interests. The result is a record packed with killer riffs, razor-sharp rhythm-section work, and vocals that send chills down the spine.

It’s also the kind of dynamic experience that gives every song its own character, and we’ve got a prime example of that in the contrast between the first song revealed from the album and the one we’re premiering today. Continue reading »

Dec 252013

I have my own opinions about Christmas and the whole holiday season surrounding it, the kind of opinions that used to provoke an annual rant on this site (such as this one, which still receives new visits at this time of year despite its age). But there will be no rant this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t changed my opinions. However, it has dawned on me that spewing vitriol about the holiday is somewhat inconsistent with what we stand for at NCS. Life delivers more than enough frustration, aggravation, hurt feelings, pain, sorrow, loneliness, parking tickets, and bad food without us adding to the negativity. I like to think that what we’re about at NCS is delivering things that make life better, e.g., some daily metal and generally good-humored prose.

Despite its shortcomings, Christmas does make life better for some people (though certainly not all). Some people hold the holiday as a sacred occasion. It gives some people an occasion to enjoy the company of family and friends. For others, it evokes warm memories of years gone by. Some simply enjoy the pretty lights and the chance to stuff themselves with yummy eats. In general, I think it’s wrong to put down activities that make people happy, as long as they’re not hurting themselves or others in the process, even if such activities don’t do much for me. So, this year I won’t be complaining about Christmas. Continue reading »