Apr 032017


(Wil Cifer reviews the new album by Royal Thunder.)

This Georgia band have never actually been metaI. They have toured with metal bands, some of their members have been in metal bands, and they certainly came pretty close on Crooked Doors. I really loved Crooked Doors. I wore it out. This means the bar is held pretty high here.

Going into the album there was uncertainty when hit with the slow droning riff that accompanies the more circular chant of the first song. They don’t come out swinging like they did on the previous album. I went back and gave this song another listen after hearing the entire album, and it made a little more sense, but didn’t really grab me. Continue reading »

Jan 212015

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth


I’ve commented before about the enormous flood of stream premieres, new album announcements, label signings, and other metal news that has been unleashed since the beginning of the year. But yesterday may have reached new heights of ridiculousness in terms of the number of noteworthy things I saw in a single day.

In fact, yesterday brought so damned much cool stuff that I’d either have to write a half-dozen posts or do what I’m doing here instead — just funneling streams, links, artwork, and news blurbs your way with a minimum of commentary. The bands are presented in alphabetical order — all 18 of them. In most cases, you can enlarge the cover art and photos by clicking on the images in this post. Continue reading »

May 222013

(DGR bears witness to the May 18 performances in Sacramento of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Royal Thunder, and Journal.)

It’s been a bit of an odd concert season so far this year. I heaped tons of praise on the Sacramento music scene last year because it seemed like there was show after show, after show, hitting within the span of a few months, to the point that between seeing local bands and bigger acts I actually wound up doing something like seven shows in one month – which was fucking awesome. This year though, work has overtaken a lot of what I’ve been up to. The year has just devolved into an endless stream of overnighters on the job, which have insured that in the span of five months….I’ve seen a whopping three concerts.

This one in particular was very exciting because it meant I’d get to see The Dillinger Escape Plan again. I’d seen them once before with Mastodon, which was a very weird experience. That time it seemed like a lot of people were there because they wanted to hear that one song that Mastodon had on the radio, so something like Dillinger was going to sail right over folks’ heads. This time though, you had a crowd who really wanted to see them and were enthusiastic as hell about it — and no band can create a feedback loop of energy quite like Dillinger can.

Of course, there were other groups on the bill, and whilst I had no idea what I was in for with Royal Thunder outside of the basic description from their Facebook, I did want to see Journal (again) and The Faceless for the first time on this end. Continue reading »

Mar 012013

(In this post, guest contributor The Uncool Guy Down the Hall gives us a show review with photos.)

I thought while Islander is off working on his Evil Super-Science project this would be the perfect opportunity to break the NCS rules and present an all clean singing review. And while I know Islander did provide a review (here) of Ancient VVisdom and Royal Thunder along with Pallbearer when they supported Enslaved, the focus of that review was (understandably) more on Enslaved. I’d like to put the focus on Royal Thunder and Ancient VVisdom for this review, as well as perhaps introduce Backwoods Payback to the NCS readers who may not have heard of them.

First off let me talk about the venue a little bit. The Fed Live is located in downtown Harrisburg, PA, a city well known around the Commonwealth not only for being the location of the state capital, but also for having filed for bankruptcy. This, combined with the fact they were hosting three metal acts, did not give me high expectations of the place.

Turns out, the bar/restaurant portion of venue (The Federal Taphouse) is a rather upscale place featuring a tap room of over 100 craft/micro brew beers and a respectable food menu. Getting there pretty early and having time to kill, I indulged in both the food and beer offerings, feeling a bit out of place mixed in with the after work suit and tie clad business types and/or legislators, but the food and beer were both excellent. Continue reading »

Feb 132013

On February 11, 2013, the night before Enslaved received their seventh Norwegian Grammy nomination, I had the pleasure of seeing them perform in Seattle at a bar called The Highline, which is rapidly becoming my favorite place in town to hear live metal. Somehow, despite its very small size, it’s booking some really amazing tours. It’s a clean, cozy, comfortable place with cool people working there (Dylan Desmond from Bell Witch was behind the bar this night, and I’m pretty sure I saw his bandmate Arian Guerra helping out, too), and they make some good cocktails.

Enslaved weren’t the only draw for what turned out to be a jam-packed audience. Three bands who had breakout years in 2012 were also along for the ride: Arkansas’s Pallbearer was the direct support, preceded by Ancient VVisdom from my hometown of Austin and Atlanta’s Royal Thunder.

I was somewhat familiar with Ancient VVisdom’s music (having featured them in this post at the end of 2011), but I must be the only metal blogger in creation to have missed Pallbearer’s critically acclaimed 2012 album Sorrow and Extinction, and I think I’ve previously heard a grand total of one song by Royal Thunder. So yeah, I was pretty much there for Enslaved.

Nevertheless, I and my friends got to the Highline early enough to grab places to sit on a raised area that runs down the left side of the floor against the wall. We were so far forward that we were almost — but not quite — on the side of the stage, as you’ll see from the angle of the photos I took. And yes, I’m sorry to tell you that this review, as usual, will include a lot of my amateur concert pics. Continue reading »

Nov 162012

(Guest contributor Kaptain Carbon is getting a head start on year-end listmania with a most amusing review of albums he missed earlier in the year. Despite the fact that I laughed out loud on numerous occasions, I haven’t forgotten that the Kaptain owes me a Russian Nesting Doll. Some things you don’t forget.)

Well, I am now a guest in another person’s house. I should take my shoes off and pretend I eat with my pants on. No Clean Singing put out a call for entries and usually I would be hosting board game night in my basement over at Tape Wyrm but now I am here. What a lovely house you have. I really love your collection of Russian Nesting Dolls. Oh dear, I think this one may be broken. I’ll set it down right here.

2012 is almost done and we will soon all be judged before the great cosmic eye. Before our fate is weighed on the gilded scales at an altar of ivory and blood, we all have to go through our end of the year lists. Yes, before the inevitable reckoning, where December is consumed in an omnipresence hellfire, we have to make our top 10s of 2012. Now, we all know it will probably go to the new Marilyn Manson record, but there is also the matter of the stacks of records which now make a castle on your coffee table. Look at this mess. Look at all of this stuff you said you were going to listen to but never did. You are a horrible human. I found this Abigail Williams record in the vegetable crisper.

I recently went through my library and pulled out all of the 2012 records I meant to review but never got around to doing so because I am a terrible metal-hating human being who secretly loves everything which you hate. I just want to make sure I did not miss anything, so I am going to go through this pile of laundry and rifle through its contents before throwing it back on the ground. Sure, things will still be messy, but there was production involved.

It is time to revisit the forgotten, at least by me, and the never-heard of 2012. Sure, No Clean Singing is giving me a wonderful opportunity to share some of my work with you, but let’s be honest, I woke up late and I am doing my homework while running to class. Thank you No Clean Singing for this opportunity and fuck you, you motherfucking stupid cocksucking alarm WHERE ARE MY KEYS? Continue reading »