Nov 302012

I didn’t get a chance to pull together at the end of yesterday what I found in my daily web crawl and e-mail excavation, so I’m doing that this morning. And because I waited so long to patch together this round-up, there are quite a few items of interest in here:


This item comes first because it’s the kind of news that shakes the earth. Late yesterday Blabbermouth reported: “Reactivated British extreme metal legends CARCASS are rumored to be putting the finishing touches on their first studio album in 17 years with acclaimed producer Colin Richardson (FEAR FACTORY, MACHINE HEAD, NAPALM DEATH, SLIPKNOT, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE). The band has yet to secure a label home for the effort, which is expected in early 2013.”

As previously disclosed in assorted interviews, guitarist Michael Amott and drummer Daniel Erlandsson, who toured with Carcass following the announcement of their reunion in 2007, are no longer involved with the group due to scheduling conflicts with their main band, Arch Enemy. Blabbermouth reports that original guitarist Bill Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker are actively involved in the studio for the new CD recording sessions, along with drummer Matthias Voigt of Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn.

According to the report, Carcass is also in the process of booking a number of live shows for 2013, including the previously announced appearance at next year’s Maryland Deathfest and Chile’s Metal Fest. Continue reading »

Jul 142012

Yesterday I started putting up short posts during brief windows of time permitted by my fucking day job, just trying to spread the word, for your entertainment and edification, about new videos, new music, and news that I’d seen yesterday. I got two of those posts up on the site and ran out of time before I could finish the third one. So here it is, a day late but no dollars short.


I saw on the Terrorizer web site that this Norwegian duo have finished recording their next album, the first one since 2010’s Circle the Wagons, and that it’s scheduled for release later this year. You can bet that it will make waves and draw lots of attention, because it’s Darkthrone. What I wouldn’t venture to predict is what it will sound like, except it won’t be black metal, because Fenriz has kind of a “been there, done that” attitude about the band’s musical roots. The Terrorizer report did quote guitarist/vocalist Nocturno Culto, as follows:

“The album will be called The Underground Resistance. I can’t speak for Fenriz, but I think he’s going for more epic lyrics. I can only speak for myself and this time around they are very personal lyrics. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried this and it’s difficult to do it nicely and put it into good words. There was a lot of hate and people trying to ruin your day and I had stuff to say for my sake.”

Of the album, he adds: “Our music now is basically just metal, it will be a step away from the last album as usual.” Yup.

While I’m on the subject of Darkthrone, I’ll mention that the Peaceville label has re-issued the band’s 2001 album Plaguewielder as a special 2-CD set, with the second CD consisting of lengthy track-by-track commentary from Fenriz. It also includes new cover artwork by the amazing Zbigniew M. Bielak, which is right after the jump, big as life. Continue reading »

Jan 092012

Man, what a morning this has been so far. First, we had a brief glimpse of a new Cannibal Corpse song before YouTube yanked it at Metal Blade’s request — and now we have a new Goatwhore official lyric video provided by Metal Blade. The Goatwhore track is called “Collapse In Eternal Worth”, and it’s from the new Goatwhore album Blood For the Master, which will be released on February 14 in North America and is one of my “most anticipated” records of 2012. The song is a slash of black thrash ‘n’ roll that will get your blood pumping. (Thanks to byrd36 for the tip on this one.)

But we’re still not finished with what has made this a sweet morning (for a fucking Monday). When I added “New World Shadows” to our ongoing list of 2011’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, it was a tough choice, because I was also powerfully drawn to another Omnium Gatherum song — “Soul Journeys”. This morning I was reminded why the choice was so difficult, why “Soul Journeys” is such a great song, and why Omnium Gatherum is such a great band.

What reminded me was a cool video of the band playing the song live at their last show of 2011 — on December 16 at Kerubi in Joensuu, Finland. And for Omnium Gatherum geeks, here’s a bit of trivia: When Jukka Pelkonen steps back and pulls the bass-player forward to take the lead during an instrumental section of the song, the guy who steps up Eerik Purdon, who was with the band when they recorded their last album before New World Shadows, The Redshift (2008).

There’s something about this song and about the positive energy that comes through this performance that just makes me feel (briefly) that all’s right with the world, even when all is very much not right. Watch and listen after the jump — to both the Goatwhore and the Omnium Gatherum. Continue reading »

Dec 302011

This is Part 5 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

It’s no secret that we have a special aFINNity for Finnish metal at NCS, and the two songs that are the subject of today’s feature are from Finnish bands who’ve made their own distinctive marks in the genre of melodic death metal. Both Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum released wonderful albums this year, both of which were loaded with powerful, memorable songs. The hard part was not deciding whether to include these two bands on this list. The hard part was deciding which of many appealing songs on those albums should be included.

Insomnium’s album One For Sorrow made many of the “Best of 2011” lists we’ve published over the last few weeks, and Andy Synn hit the nail on the head when he summed up the album this way in his NCS review: “A poignant reminder of love and loss, and the pain of those left behind. An emblem of grief that cannot, yet somehow must, be borne, and of the strength we find within ourselves to carry on. Through all the tears shed in silence, for all the rage and sadness, One For Sorrow is at its heart an album of meditative melancholy and strength not yet subdued. Grace under pressure. Happiness and heartache in equal measure. One for sorrow, two for joy.”

Insomnium have a gift for writing songs that intricately combine power, immersive atmospherics, and irresistibly infectious melodies. Particularly because of Niilo Sevänen’s incredible harsh roars (among the best in the business), Insomnium continue to create that pairing of beauty and the beast that make their melancholy take on melodic death metal so enticing. Continue reading »

Dec 152011

(This is the fourth in Andy Synn’s week-long series of posts looking back at albums released this year. Andy previously provided his lists of the year’s Great albumsthe Good ones, and the most Disappointing ones, and tomorrow we’ll have his Personal Top 10. Today, we have his list of “The Critical Top 10”. For more explanation of what all this means, plus Andy’s picks for the year’s best EPs, visit this location.)

So here’s the penultimate list of the week, the first of two ranked top-tens. This list will include the albums that I think are the very best of the best, the ones that best combine creativity, artistic ambition, song-writing, and performance. Regardless of my personal feelings and preferences, these are the albums that I think are critically superior to others. Though the ranking of them was difficult (as it always is when trying to compare artists and albums across metallic sub-genres), I’ve tried my best to give a sense about the critical and objective factors that led to each record earning its respective position on this list.

Although the potential candidates for the list were unavoidably influenced by my own listening tastes — I do, after all, only really tend to select the albums that I feel best qualified and most inspired to review – I have done my best to keep personal preference as far away from these judgements as possible, something that I hope will become clear when you see tomorrow how different the list of my top ten “favourite” albums of the year is from today’s list.

So here are the ten releases I think best represent the year critically. The ten that, ultimately, would be my choices to represent the year in metal music for posterity. Some of them have appeared quite commonly on other lists, albeit perhaps weighted differently, while others have largely been ignored by other sources thus far. Enjoy . . . Continue reading »

Jan 032011


Look what we just found! It’s a brand new video for a brand new song from a forthcoming brand new album! It’s all just brand new, just like 2011! And it’s from Finland’s Omnium Gatherum. They’re not brand new, but they are fucking good.

And this song? It’s the best new song we’ve heard in the New Year. Granted, the New Year isn’t even 3 days old yet, but we’ve got a feeling that 362 days from now, this song will still be one of our 2011 favorites — it’s that strong.

This is melodic death metal done right. It hits hard, it makes you wanna headbang, but it’s catchy, and it has a surprising — and surprisingly dreamy — interlude in the middle with clean singing, of all things.

The album will be called New World Shadows, and as we explained when we featured Omnium Gatherum in our Finland Tribute Week series (here), it was produced by Dan Swanö and it includes guest vocals from Mr. Swanö. In fact, that’s probably his voice during the middle interlude of this song. What a fucking coincidence, seeing as how we wrote about Mr. Swanö just yesterday (here).

Enough of our blather. Watch the video. You won’t regret doing it. Fucking awesome song.

Jan 012011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Did you see what we did?  We had to change the logo for this edition of SICKNESS.  Because 2010 is behind us, and the new year lies ahead.

We spent the last 30 days, as we’ve been doing for the last year, collecting news blurbs and press releases about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order.

All of our previous monthly updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages, and because we’re not keeping a cumulative list, you might want to check the last couple months of these posts if you want to get a full picture of what’s coming. The list that follows, in alphabetical order, are albums we didn’t know about at the time of our last installment when November ended, or updated info about albums we’d previously heard were on the way. And be forewarned: This is a really long list. There’s a massive slag of new metal coming our way, and man, does it look hot.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. See if there’s anything on the list that makes you moist, or tumescent, or just generally slobbery.

ABORTED: “Good news is that we are starting pre-productions for our upcoming record on January 4th. This means we will demo all the songs for the record, make sure everything sounds good and make the necessary adjustments to make sure they are all more lethal than a chainsaw in Mr. Leatherface’s hands. We’re all very excited about the material thus far and can’t wait to get this over with and proceed to the actual recordings later this year. Expect a fall 2011 release through our culprates in mayhem Century Media.”

AGNOSTIC FRONT: “The Godfathers of New York Hardcore, Agnostic Front, have just finished recording their highly anticipated follow up to their 2007 release, Warriors. The yet to be titled album features 13 new powerful and anthemic songs laid down by Erik Rutan (Madball, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse) at his Mana Recording Studio in Tampa, FL under the watchful guide of producer Freddy Cricien of Madball. The record was mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, Mastodon) and will be released in Europe of March 4, 2011 and in North America on March 22, 2011.”

(the list continues after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »

Dec 142010

We’ve learned a thing or two about Finnish metal in the course of writing this series. For example, we learned about two home-grown bands who were especially influential in the progression of metal in Finland, even though they are no longer active: Sentenced and Stone. Those are two of the bands we’re focusing on today. (In other words, it’s time for all Finnish metal nerds to geek out.) The third is a somewhat more recent player in the scene that your NCS co-authors really, really like: Omnium Gatherum. (We are not geeks — at least not all the time.)


Sentenced released their debut album in 1991. In the decade and a half, or thereabouts, that followed, the band produced seven more albums before announcing in 2005 that The Funeral Album would be their last. They played their final show on October 1, 2005, in Oulu, and the concert was filmed and later released on DVD under the title Buried Alive.

Guitarist and founding member Miika Tenkula died less than three years later, his premature death brought on by a congenital heart condition. The surviving members of Sentenced have continued their careers in other bands, including Poisonblack, KYPCK, and The Man-Eating Tree.

Particularly in their earlier years, Sentenced played an important role in the creation of melodic death metal, paving the way for bands like Children of Bodom by conjoining death-metal aggression with irresistible melodic (and often melancholy) passages. And yet, many people would say (and have said) that their 1995 album Amok is the band’s crowning achievement, and it’s debatable whether “melodic death metal” is a fitting label for it.

(more after the jump . . .)

Continue reading »