Sep 212019
 

 

I had originally planned to post most of this collection (all but the opening song) nearly two week ago. I obviously didn’t get it finished then, and other obligations and ideas have kept pushing it side in favor of other posts since then. As the days have passed, a couple hundred other interesting songs have surfaced, from which a more “hot off the presses” round-up might have been assembled. But I decided just to pull this one off the shelf instead, brush off the light coating of dust, and present it on this Saturday.

In different ways, the second through fifth songs in this collection are off the usual beaten paths here at NCS, different in different ways from the kinds of music we usually focus on. The first one, which is more recent, is more in the main line of our usual interests, but I’m so excited by it that I didn’t want to defer recommending it. It’s also surprising, and not completely out of place in a post devoted to deviations from the mean.

STRIGOI

It’s not an overstatement, at least among those of us who toil at NCS, that whatever groups Greg Mackintosh becomes involved in (in addition to Paradise Lost) will be worth checking out, sooner rather than later. With Vallenfyre now ended, he has turned to Strigoi, a group he created with the aid of Extreme Noise Terror and Vallenfyre bassist Chris Casket, and so far, no one else aside from drummer Waltteri Väyrynen, who did studio session work on Strigoi’s first album. That band name, we’re told, refers to “the troubled spirits in Romanian mythology who could rise from the grave and assume an entirely different form”. Continue reading »

Jul 042019
 

 

I have mixed feelings about the Fourth of July, especially this year, and I’m not the only American who’s feeling torn today. While there are migrants in the midst of a humanitarian crisis on the southern border, the country’s most famous Independence Day celebration has been turned into a taxpayer-funded militaristic political rally for a man who not only could care less about what’s happening to people in Texas detention camps, but actively tries to score extra political points among his supporters by doubling down on the prisoners’ misery. And that’s just today’s most visible one-two punch to the nation’s ideals. There will be more battering tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.

On the other hand, I still feel fortunate to have been born here, and still take pride in much of what the country has achieved, and in much of what it stands for when it’s at its best. I also recognize that even though I’m not feeling particularly celebratory today, the Fourth is for many Americans a day of joy, even if it’s just because the day is a good excuse to be in the company of good friends or family, to gorge on comfort food and too much beer and booze, and to watch pretty explosions in the night sky. To all those people, I wish them a fantastic fucking day. Continue reading »