Aug 042015

Ares Kingdom-The Unburiable Dead


I’ve been distracted by a combination of personal obligations and the demands of my fucking day job. As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t post anything on Sunday, which was only the seventh calendar day in five and a half years when that has happened, and we had only two posts yesterday. So great is the daily flood of metal that even a few days of distraction means that we get very far behind in our attempts to keep up with all the new music. Catching up would be a herculean task, but in this post I’ve made a modest effort to round up some (and only some) of the good new music and video streams that have surfaced since the end of last week.

This collection is incomplete, but it’s still a long playlist of recommendations — presented in alphabetical order by band name, with a rare paucity of words from me about the music. Your thoughts about these sights and sounds will be welcome, as always.


Roughly two years after the release of their last album, Veneration, Kansas City’s Ares Kingdom are about to drop a new one. The name is The Unburiable Dead, and the CD release is projected for early September on Nuclear War Now!, with LPs to follow. The album cover, which I think is wonderful, is based on a piece by the German artist George Grosz (1893 – 1959) called “The Pit“. When a friend of the band told me about the cover, he included this quote by the artist, who led a fascinating and tumultuous life: Continue reading »

Jul 272015

Rivers of Nihil - Monarchy


(Austin Weber reviews the new album by a band we’ve been following since early days — Rivers of Nihil.)

While it’s only been two years since Rivers Of Nihil dropped their fantastic debut, The Conscious Seed Of Light, the band are already about to release their sophomore follow-up, Monarchy, at the end of August. It’s been interesting to see the band’s evolution from their more stripped-down beginnings to the truly top-shelf act they’ve become. After even a single listen to the record, it becomes clear that Monarchy is a big step up for their sound, achieving the potential that in some ways they only hinted at on The Conscious Seed Of Life — and I say that as someone who is a massive fan of their debut.

Their growth from then until now manifests itself in different ways, but arguably the biggest change is that the atmospheric quality present in “Mechanical Trees”, “Rain Eater” and “Airless” from the last record has become the direction the band have pursued throughout Monarchy. They have done this tastefully, overall adding an epic extra sheen to the music that contrasts well with whatever segment it’s paired with. Often it lends moments of pure esoteric beauty, not something you’d normally find in furious, technically-leaning death metal. Continue reading »

Jul 082015

Rivers of Nihil - Monarchy


(Andy Synn introduces our premiere of the title track to the new album by Rivers of Nihil.)

I absolutely loved Rivers of Nihil’s debut album, The Conscious Seed of Light. Though it’s not a perfect release, it is very, very good (particularly for a debut full-length), and absolutely packed to the gills with nascent potential.

Potential which they’ve fully realised on their new album, Monarchy.

From start to finish it’s an intensely heavy, stunningly technical (though always in service to the greater themes of the song), and viscerally passionate album, that sees the Reading, Pennsylvania quintet capitalising on the momentum gathered by their debut in order to really expand the scope and breadth of their sound. Continue reading »

Aug 112014

Collected in this post you will find news of three U.S. or North American tours. News about the first two is still somewhat incomplete, and I’m a bit late reporting on the third one. All three are enticing.


Last month news surfaced about a tour to be headlined by Deicide, named after their most recent album, In the Minds of Evil. Last night Inquisition posted an announcement on their Facebook page about the tour, which was interesting because when the tour was announced last month Marduk was named as one of the support bands, but now it appears that Marduk are out and Inquisition are in. In addition, Abysmal Dawn have been added to the line-up. Here’s the complete list of bands:


An updated official tour flyer hasn’t been released yet, so I decided to use a photo of an embryo of the short-tailed fruit bat (embryonic stage 19).

Inquisition also included an initial schedule of dates in their FB post, while noting that more dates will be added. Here’s the schedule so far: Continue reading »

Oct 102013

(In this post guest writer Austin Weber reviews the new album by Rivers of Nihil.  He also took the live photos included with the review.)

For the last few years, Reading, Pennsylvania’s own Rivers Of Nihil have seen their profile continue to rise through a combination of excellent EP releases and a lot of dedicated touring. Last year all that hard work payed off as Metal Blade Records decided to sign them, and now that October is upon us, their full-length debut The Conscious Seed Of Light arrives.

While Rivers of Nihil began as a hybrid of rich old-school and new-school death metal influences, they’ve wisely developed their sound further. On this debut the band have matured and are just as comfortable easing back on the aggression and letting reflective atmospheric moments develop and flourish. Unlike some other bands who have incorporated these kinds of sounds into their death metal framework, Rivers Of Nihil never allow them to become the focus for whole songs. They merely let those moments flavor and enhance parts of most tracks. So in the end you still get the experience of being bombarded by an angry wall of sound, and the songs don’t lose any aggressive appeal. Then, as an added bonus, their sorrowful excursions lend a gnawing melancholy to the music that is quite emotive. Continue reading »

Sep 182013

On October 15 Metal Blade Records will release the debut album by Rivers of NihilThe Conscious Seed of Light — and today we bring you the premiere of the album’s sixth track, “Mechanical Trees”.

We’ve been following this Reading, Pennsylvania band since January 2012, close on the heels of their second EP, Temporality Unbound. We didn’t know for sure what the future would hold in store for them, but the potential was undeniable. And, as things turned out, that potential blossomed into a contract with Metal Blade last December and then an intense recording session in St Petersburg, Florida, with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) at his Mana Recording Studio in March. And now we have the results.

The Conscious Seed of Light began with the idea that it would be the first of four albums, each one reflecting a particular season of the year. Vivaldi meets death metal? Bassist/vocalist Adam Biggs explains that this debut album “is intended to be representative of Spring and explores various themes concerning new beginnings, growth, and an attachment to the natural world in a post-human Earth.” That’s right — post-human. It is a death metal album after all, one graced by the cover art of Dan Seagrave, which isn’t exactly the typical imagery of spring. As guitarist Brody Uttley observes, “What we see on the cover is a landscape of a world that doesn’t need mankind, we are relics here, and the sun is the only true master.” Continue reading »

Aug 132013

Here are a few things I saw and heard last night that I thought might be of interest.


We’ve been following Pennsylvania’s Rivers of Nihil since all the way back in January 2012. Last December we reported that they had signed to Metal Blade Records and would be recording their full-length debut for the label with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) at Mana Recording Studios in March. We also streamed a demo version of a new song that will appear on the album named “Rain Eater”.

Yesterday we got a good look at the album’s cover by veteran metal artist Dan Seagrave, and it’s quite the eye-catcher, don’t you think? We also got the album’s name (The Conscious Seed of Light) and the release date: October 15.

On July22 , the band played one of the new tracks — “A Fertile Altar” — live at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, and it was caught on video. The sound quality is good and the song rocks hard. Check it out next. Continue reading »

Jun 222013

Happy fucking Saturday to one and all. In this post I’ve collected information about a random assortment of new tours that have recently been announced. But first, I have to mention a tour that it seems was announced a bit prematurely.


Two days ago it was announced that Fleshgod Apocalypse would be leading ‘The Lords Of Extremity Tour‘ in the UK this October, with support from Anaal NathrakhBound By Exile, and Scordatura. There were press releases, official-looking poster art, and sponsorship by the likes of Nuclear Blast and Terrorizer. And who in their right mind would miss the chance to see Fleshgod Apocalypze and Anaal Nathrakh on the same bill?

There was just this one little problem. Here’s a statement that appeared on Anaal Nathrakh’s Facebook page about 3 hours ago:

“For anyone hoping to see us in the UK in October: It appears we have been announced for a string of UK dates with Fleshgod Apocalypse in October. We did NOT agree to play these shows. Repeat: at no point have we ever said that we would play these dates, or that Mick would even be in Europe at the time. Continue reading »

Jun 122013

UPDATE: This tour has now been confirmed. After the jump you’ll find the official flyer and all the dates.

I guess you could call this gun-jumping, since I’m posting it in advance of any official announcement. Not long ago I noticed a series of coincidences: Dying Fetus, Devourment, Exhumed, and Abiotic — four ass-kicking bands I follow on Facebook — all posted similar statuses.  For example, Dying Fetus posted: “major tour announcement 4pm EST today”.  And Abiotic posted: “Check back here at 4pm EST for a HUGE announcement! \m/”

Being the impatient sort, I googled those four bands’ names plus the word “tour”. And lo and behold, what I discovered were three widely separated venues in the US and Canada offering tickets for a show involving those four bands. Using the superior deductive skills for which I’m widely known, I deduced: NORTH AMERICAN SKULL-FUCKING TOUR!

Actually, I don’t know for sure that it will be called the SKULL FUCKING TOUR, but that really should be the name. Here are the dates and places I’ve found so far: Continue reading »

Dec 102012

We were first introduced to Pennsylvania’s Rivers of Nihil by NCS guest writer The Baby Killer (who still needs to stick his head back in our lair). The focus of his post back in January was not only the band’s ripping recorded music but also their ability to play a fire-breathing brand of technical death metal with immaculate skill on stage, stirring the shit out of the pit while delivering spot-on execution of their complex music. More recently, we featured the band’s official music video for an ass-blasting song called “(sin)chronos”, which appeared on their 2011 EP, Temporality Unbound.

Today, we learned the happy news that Rivers of Nihil are now signed to Metal Blade Records and will be recording their full-length debut for the label with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) at Mana Recording Studios next March. And today we also got a demo version of a new song that will appear on the album — “Rain Eater”.

I had the volume on my computer turned up a tad too loud when I started streaming “Rain Eater”, and I think it blew some of my brains out my nose. I lost a little blood out of my eyes, too. It’s a roaring blaze of tech-savvy death metal with a flurry of progressive guitar and bass flourishes (and yes, I’m still a sucker for the prominence the bass enjoys in this band). Very nice.

Check out the new song after the jump, after you check your volume controls. Continue reading »