Jul 232019


(A Seattle-based writer who we’ll call Gonzo ventured to Denmark for the 2019 edition of the Copenhell festival, which ran from June 19th through June 22nd. Beginning today, and continuing for the next three consecutive days, we’re sharing his entertaining stories from that adventure — though as you’ll discover, the Day One coverage didn’t turn out as planned.)

Summers in the north are great, right up until you want to get some fucking sleep.

I pulled into Copenhagen at around noon, after the requisite transatlantic flight that forced me to stay awake for almost 24 consecutive hours because no way can I ever sleep in a pressurized fart tube at 35,000 feet. It’s been almost 7 years since I’ve been here – the last visit was basically a fly-by on the way to do completely stupid shit to my liver in Munich. So, my recollection of being here is admittedly not great.

Why have I returned, you ask? There’s a festival I’d been curious about for a while called Copenhell that happens every summer in Copenhagen, billing itself audaciously as “the wildest party in the north.” Admittedly, my partying days aren’t quite on the level they used to be, but like some kind of suicidal cat with a tendency to find itself haphazardly swinging from a chandelier after getting into the stash of catnip hidden on top of the fridge, curiosity gets the better of me a bit too often. And why not? I have long fantasized about going to a proper, full-on European festival, and the metal gods seemed to all but conspire this year to usher me to this magical place. Continue reading »

May 202019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the first album in 10 years by Rammstein, which was released on May 17th.)

It seems like every year, if not every six months, the Metal Media ™ is overwhelmed with a glut of articles declaiming the imminent “death” of the scene, and asking “who will be the next Metallica?”

Yet amidst all the pontificating, prognosticating, and populist predictions – will it be Trivium (no, despite their best efforts), will it be Slipknot (I hope not), will it be Five Finger Death Punch (dear god no…) – one name seems consistently omitted and overlooked, despite the fact that they’re already quite capable of filling arenas and selling umpteen records without even breaking a sweat.

That band, as the more astute of you might already have guessed, is Rammstein. Continue reading »

Apr 152012


I’m still trying to get my head fully back into metal, but this isn’t exactly the re-introduction I was anticipating. My friend Ian sent me a link to this video. The performance is by a band called Children Medieval Band, whose members are Stefan (10) – vocal, guitar, violin; Olga (8) – keyboard; and Cornelia (5) – drum, harp. They were trained using EarPower software. They have put their 21st Century training to use by covering . . . Rammstein.

The uploader of the video explains: “Rammstein has some amazing compositions, likeable to younger kids.” I’ve thought the same thing! Just wait ’til these kiddies run Rammstein’s “Pussy” through that EarPower software. They’ll be humming the refrain for days and days.

But maybe their parents should wait until the kids are older before exposing them to the wonders of the uncensored “Pussy” video. Y’know, until Cornelia gets to be 9 or 10 years old.

In case the video of the kids getting medieval with Rammstein’s “Sonne” has whetted your appetite for the original, it’s after the jump. Continue reading »

Feb 162012

Can you guess that I’m still feeling bitchy?  Those posts about Whitney and Quorthon and the mis-constructed festival line-ups didn’t succeed in exorcising the bitterness I feel, so I just decided, fuckitall — I’m gonna wallow in it for the rest of the day!

I guess there’s a common thread to those first two posts and this one. To quote a comment from our own Andy Synn, about the Whitney/Quorthon meme (surely, he wasn’t talking about moi):

“It epitomises one of the inherent contradictions present in a lot of metal-fandom: look how much better our musical heroes are, they’re REAL artists, you should be praising them . . .except don’t, because we don’t need YOUR approval” . . . So, what is the point? Lots of self-righteous huffing and puffing that only serves little purpose except self-aggrandisement of one’s own “superior” elite music tastes.”

I plead guilty on almost all counts. I am not afraid or ashamed to admit that my musical tastes ARE superior, that my dead heroes ARE better than their dead heroes (and death does not make them equal), that extreme metal doesn’t need or care about the approval of the unwashed and tasteless masses, that the Golden Rod award nominations ARE (with very few exceptions) a WTF laughing stock of a joke, and that I DO feel better by huffing and puffing than by seething in silence.

As I said in answering Andy’s comment, this isn’t about being consistent or interesting or insightful, it’s about VENTING!!

After the jump, there is the complete, unedited, unexpurgated list of the nominees for this year’s edition of the Revolver Golden Rods award. Read it and feel superior. Oh, and I also have a new video after the jump from one of the nominees for Best International Band. Continue reading »

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 242009

So you thought we had finally reached the end of year-end “best of” lists for 2009, right? Nope. Yesterday was metal mag day here at NCS. Not only did we find the new issue of Decibel in the mailbox (see the post before this one), but cuddled right next to it was the new issue of Revolver, which includes Revolver‘s list of “The Top 20 Albums of 2009.” Like the new issue of Decibel, this copy of Revolver boasts a cover date from the future (Jan/Feb 2010), which is further proof that Revolver has access to the same quantum wormhole used by the rest of the magazine industry to send copy back in time. If only they’d told me something potentially remunerative, like who won the Super Bowl.

Lots of bands on Revolver‘s list are exactly what you’d expect. But there are some peculiar choices too. For example: Rammstein.  Best of 2009? Really?

To see Revolver‘s list of “The Top 20 Albums of 2009,” continue reading after the jump. And because we had fun in the preceding post showing you the demographic data Decibel uses in selling ads, we might as well show you the same kind of data Revolver uses to describe its audience. Continue reading »