Apr 062012

(After a little hiatus, BadWolf rejoins us with a thought-provoking piece and lots of sick music [double entendre intended].)

None of us are angels. In fact, most people commit evil on a daily basis (more often if you’re a politician in America). As Anaal Nathrakh said: hell is empty, and the devils are all here.

I’m willing to forgive most people their sins. In fact, most acts considered ‘wrong” or ‘immoral’ are deemed as such based on the value judgments of hypocritical organizations (what up, Catholic church? Yeah. I went to one of your middle schools. What about it!?). It’s value-judgments all the way down my friends, and as such I’m reluctant to cry (bad)wolf at most people.

Racists are an exception to that rule. I never understood judging people based on race when other factors like economic status factor so heavily into racially charged situations. I mean, which of these makes more sense:

A) some dude robbed you because he is starving, unemployed and addicted to hard drugs from birth


B) some dude robbed you because his skin cells produce more melanin.

…I know, right!? Continue reading »

Feb 212012

Thanks to an article at FULL METAL ATTORNEY, I discovered that today is the 20th anniversary of Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power. I agree that it’s an anniversary worth remembering, and not because it reminds me how fucking ancient I am.

Speaking of which, yes, I was alive and a partially functioning adult when Vulgar Display of Power was released. However, I was not then a metalhead. In fact, although I tolerated a bit of Pantera more than the vast majority of what I thought of as heavy metal back in 1992, I wasn’t a fan. I was still listening to punk and getting into grunge with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, and I brushed off Pantera as knuckle-dragging, simple-minded, cock-swinging mediocrity. There, I said it.

As the years have passed, and I’ve become more knuckle-dragging, simple-minded, and cock-swinging, I’ve come to appreciate Pantera more, though I’m still not a Dime worshipper or a Pantera addict. As for Vulgar Display of Power, it does seem to represent what was best and worst in Pantera’s music, though I’m not sure that makes much sense.

The Full Metal Attorney makes some provocative assertions about the album that I thought might generate some discussion here at NCS. He recognizes that almost as many metalheads despise the album as love it — perceiving it as something that was responsible for “ushering in nu metal, and the bad groove metal of the late 90’s” and blaming it for “the tough-guy posturing of metalcore bands like Hatebreed or hard rock bands like Drowning Pool.” He then goes on to respond to the criticism, arguing that it’s one of the most influential metal albums of all time; that it was one of the heaviest albums released up to that point; that it was an adrenaline rush loaded with dynamism and great songwriting; and that it made its mark in part because it’s not what people expected. Continue reading »

Jul 312010

My, how time flies. Another month is in the history books. However much time you have on earth, you now have 31 days less of it since since the last installment of this post. Drink up!

But have no fear. You’re headed for a better place. That’s right, basically the same existence you had a month ago, but with more new metal ahead of you. Drink up!

And all those physical processes that are inexorably decaying your bodies on the rocky road to your demise, they’re still there and they’re still working on you like termites that have found a rotting log. But hey, you can still bang your head, so . . . Drink up!

Yes, we’re now a full seven months into 2010, and so it’s time for another monthly update to the list of forthcoming new albums we first posted on January 1. (All the other updates can be found via the “Forthcoming Albums” category link on the right side of our pages.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases we didn’t know about at the time of our previous updates, or updated info about some of the previously noted releases.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Perhaps needless to say, these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site — the kind that would like to tear your head off.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted items 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 like us, just stick post-it notes on your forehead. Of course, if your foreheads are the low, sloping kind, you may only have room for a few, so be choosy. 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 072010

I try to stay grymm. This is an extreme metal blog, after all. Brooding and scowling are the order of the day, except when we take a break for attempts at humor — which necessarily have to be tasteless or sarcastic. Problem is, I have a weakness for cats. I have a cat — or to be more accurate, I share a cat. He’s about 17 years old and a big part of my day. That makes me a little insecure, because as pets go, I have this nagging worry that cats aren’t considered metal, not like a Doberman or a pit bull or a wolfhound.

I got a little bit of an ego boost when I read Issue #62 (Dec 2009) of Decibel. It included an article called “The Cutest Kitties in Metal.” The article consisted of seven pages of dudes from metal bands with their cats, with photos and affectionate commentary from the dudes about their cats. That made me feel a little more metal about my own cat thing.

But that was a couple months ago, and I’ve started feeling insecure again about my metalness. Like when I saw the photo above and started laughing. I don’t even know why I’m making that confession.  Lolcats are not metal. I know that. I don’t even know why I’m putting this post together. Trying to justify my cat weakness I guess, at the risk that you readers will think this post is a complete, bullshit waste of space and time.

But fuck it, the die is cast. In for a dime, in for a dollar. Tomorrow we’ll have a post ready on some divergently awesome new music, but today, I’m afraid it’s all catz.

So, the cat above isn’t metal.  But what about this?  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 162009


Your NCS Authors are big Unearth fans, and fans of Pantera too. You may have heard that to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Dime’s death, Metal Hammer magazine brought together a group of well-known artists to record covers of Pantera songs for a CD that ships with the mag. Unearth was enlisted to cover “Sandblasted Skin,” and the band has just now put that song up on their MySpace site for public consumption. “Sandblasted Skin” captures a lot of what Pantera was all about, and Unearth’s cover does it complete justice. Don’t know about the rest of the covers on the Metal Hammer collection, but this one slays.

So, down below, after the photo of Dime, check out a 1996 live Pantera performance of “Sandblasted Skin” and then run over to Unearth’s site and listen to what they do with the song.

Nov 282009


I’m not really sure this post is metal.  You can be the judge.

The Seattle Times reminded me this morning that actor and martial arts icon Bruce Lee would have turned 69 yesterday but for his untimely death in 1973 at the age of 32.  He was born in San Francisco and grew up in Hong Kong, but he moved to Seattle in 1959 and spent 3 years at the University of Washington where he met his wife.  He’s buried in Seattle’s Lake View Cemetery on Capitol Hill.

Next to his grave is the grave of his son Brandon Lee.  Brandon died in 1993 at the age of 28 from an accidental shooting during the filming of The Crow, in which he starred as an undead rock musician bent on revenging his own death and that of his fiancee.  (The Crow is a cool movie, by the way, and featured songs from bands like Pantera, Helmet, Nine Inch Nails, and Rage Against the Machine.) Brandon was to be married 17 days after he died.  His tombstone is inscribed with a quote he liked from the writer Paul Bowles, which had been printed on the wedding invitations:

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless…”

Nov 232009

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »