Nov 292012

RXYZYXR and I go back a ways, back to their four-song instrumental demo in 2010 called Geometrical Metal, though I didn’t discover it until first being caught up in the videos they made for two later songs — “Denial of Death” and “Polar Knights” — which I wrote about in July 2011. By that point, the instrumentalists in the band (whose precise overseas locations are still not clear to me) had joined forces with a talented Florida-based vocalist named Tommy Wills.

Earlier this month RXYZYXR finally released a full-fledged debut album, and by full-fledged I mean 13 songs and nearly a solid hour of music, including those two songs that first grabbed me back in 2011. Continuing to shun vowels, the band have named the album LMNTS, and it’s available on both iTunes and Bandcamp.

When I first heard the band’s music, I began comparing them favorably to the likes of Textures and CiLiCe, whose vocalist Daniel de Jongh moved over to Textures and made his debut with that band on 2011’s wonderful Duality. Having now heard LMNTS, the comparison is even more apt, and yet RXYZYXR have integrated more stylistic variety into their music than even those comparisons would suggest.

At the core of RXYZYXR’s music is the kind of Meshuggah-influenced polyrhythmic pummeling that fellow blogger Angry Metal Guy once delightfully termed “high-IQ-riffage”. The unpredictable, unstable rhythms are heavy as lead and yet bound and dart like cheetahs in a high-speed chase. Continue reading »

May 312012

I saw this album cover. It’s for the next album by DysrhythmiaTest of Submission, which Profound Lore says they will be releasing on August 28. No test is needed . . . I am ready to submit.

I also saw that Be’lakor has just put HD versions of all the songs from their terrific new album Of Breath and Bone up on YouTube. Find those tracks here. Read Andy Synn’s review of the album here. (And thanks to NCS reader Daniel for the tip on this news.)

I also saw that Doris Yeh from Chthonic is on the cover of a fashion magazine called FHM.  I no longer have to wonder what she looks like naked. Continue reading »

Jan 212012

This is so massively cool I just had to share. That pic up there is Arsafes (on the left) and Anton of the most excellent Kartikeya sporting the NCS “Fucking Good Pancake” tour shirt in Moscow. How did this come to pass? Therein lies a story . . .

The story begins with RXYZYXR, a band we’ve featured multiple times at NCS, most recently here. They started out as an instrumental band whose members were based somewhere in Russia. But then they later decided to add vocals, and hooked up with Florida-based Thomas Wills. His mix of clean and harsh vocals has been a positive addition to what was already some pretty fuckin’ amazing music.

Fearless dude that he is, Thomas was an early requester of the now-infamous “Fucking Good Pancake” tour shirt that we gave away starting back in August of last year. For latecomers to NCS, the Fucking Good Pancake tour was total fiction and featured bands who don’t exist but should exist — bands such as Massive Wall of Penis, Thor’s Uterus, and Trollcock Fetish. Also, Cephalopodic Sperm Packets. (These names were created by NCS readers in a series of demented comments that kind of took on a life of their own.) But the shirt — created free of charge by the awesome Dan Arena — is completely real.

Thomas went to Russia not long ago to do RXYZYXR-related things, including performing live shows in St. Petersburg and Moscow on January 18 and 19 with none other than Sweden’s  Vildhjarta [thall]. Guess what Thomas took with him, somehow smuggling it past the vigilant Russian security apparatus, which has been on a state of high alert to prevent this shirt from infecting Russian culture? Continue reading »

Oct 242011

It’s shaping up to be a very metal week. On top of everything else we’ve done so far today, I’ve discovered new music and videos from three bands whose music I admire, and so I’m just going to stitch them together in this post, and then wait to see what else comes our way before the day is over.

First up is a brand new official video from Darkest Hour, for a song called “Your Everyday Disaster” off the latest album (The Human Romance, reviewed by our own Andy Synn here). I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve witnessed a Darkest Hour live show, but I never get tired of it. Those dudes never fail to bring it, with a blast of high-intensity energy. The strobe-like editing of the video (which includes “backstage” clips as well as live shots) captures something of that adrenaline-charged experience.

After that, I’ve got a new song from a Hungarian band called Meankind, whose free debut EP TheMadIsraeli reviewed here. That review, by the way, includes a speed-chess video for a Meankind song called “Incomprehensible Appetite”, which is still one of my favorites this year. The new song is called “Mantrap”. It’s more speedy, hard-hitting Meankind death metal.

And last, but not least, we have the latest offering from RXYZYXR. The last time we featured this multinational group (here), we were having fun with a new video for a song called “Nonzero” — still a blast of a video to watch and a blast of a song to hear. Now, the band have put up for streaming a re-worked version of a song called “Fractal Scout”, which originally appeared on their instrumental-only, four-song debut EP, Geometrical Metal. The new version includes vocals by Thomas Wills, who became part of this project after the EP was first released. Thomas’ vocals include lots of cleans, but we’re making an exception to our usual rule, because we like this song.

All these goodies are after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Aug 242011

Well, the old fuckin’ day job, which persists in being a jealous mistress, has got me traveling again. That will put a crimp in my output for the next few days. Fortunately, other folks are stepping up to provide the content. And you know what happens when you put a crimp in a garden hose and then let it go.  Just wait ’til I get uncrimped!

But, as crimped as I am, I had to make time for this new video. You remember RZYZYXR, don’t you? Sure you do! We featured them here only 6 weeks ago. How could you forget an eye-catching, palindromic name like that? I’m still not sure exactly how to pronounce the name. I’m just calling them sexy, because listening to their music is like . . . well, you know.

We’ve been waiting eagerly for their new music video for a song called “Nonzero”, and I got an eagerly awaited e-mail from the band this morning with news that it’s finally out. The verdict? Well, let’s just say that groups like Textures and CiLiCe need to move over and make room, because they’ve got some blazing new company.

Unlike the first video, it appears that for this one the instrumentalists in the band (who are overseas — Russia, I think) managed to get in the same room with their talented Florida-based vocalist Thomas Wills. The only unfortunate part about that is it appears they killed him. Back to the drawing board! I’ll tell you what — this song is fuckin’ killing me, too! It’s just unadulterated awesomeness. Watch it after the jump. Continue reading »

Jul 032011

Time to get your tech-metal on. Pick your metaphor: A cocktail blender set to puree, with your brain in there along with the crushed ice; a centrifuge whipping around at max-speed, with your mushy grey matter stuffed into the tubes; a jet engine whining at full-power, with your head sucked into the front end like a wayward goose who couldn’t get out of the way.

Those will all do, but this morning I prefer a breakfast food metaphor: Whipping up your brain with a little milk into a nice froth and then scrambling the mix in a hot pan with some diced onions, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sliced jalapeños.  Yum yum!

You’ll have to supply the ingredients, but Quarter the Villain and RXYZYXR will supply the scrambling action via two music videos we’ve got for you.


We first encountered Florida’s Quarter the Villain last October through one of our MISCELLANY expeditions, and the song we featured back then was called “Frontier Justice”. And then just yesterday, I saw that QTV had uploaded an official video for the same song. So all I need to do here is repeat what I wrote before: “This is the soundtrack of daily life in the asylum. It’s got the over-the-borderline insanity of grind, coupled with mind-boggling technical picking, but anchored by a recurrent rhythmic theme executed expertly by the bass and drum lines.” And now we’ve got something pretty cool to watch while we listen to the tech-grind craziness. Continue reading »