Nov 202012

I stayed home from work yesterday. I picked a bad day to do that. Yesterday afternoon we lost power on our island due to a really nasty day-long storm that raged through the Puget Sound area. We got the generator going, but the DSL service in our area went down at the same time the power did, and it didn’t come back before I went to bed. This morning, the power and the DSL were both back.

The experience vividly demonstrated how obsessive I’ve become about this fucking blog. Being disconnected from the internet for about 12 hours prevented me from keeping up with what was happening in the world of metal. I experienced feelings of anxiety and intense frustration. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

It got so bad that I drove in the darkness  through the driving wind and rain to the ferry terminal, where the power was on and an internet connection was available. I sat there for about 30 minutes, getting this morning’s first post ready to appear automatically and doing a bit of web surfing, and then decided I shouldn’t leave my wife alone in our powerless house any longer and went home. Fucking sick, that’s what I am. I need help of some kind.

This morning I spent hours catching up on what I missed while the net connection was down. I found dozens of interesting-looking things. Even after winnowing out the ones that turned out to be less interesting than they first appeared to be, I still have more shit to share than would manageably fit in one post, so I’m dividing them into three posts, of which this is the first. I’m going to cover the new music and videos in alphabetical order.

But before diving in, here’s one piece of breaking news: Year-end listmania is almost upon us, and it begins with DECIBEL magazine selecting All We Love We Leave Behind by Converge as its Album of the Year. Here’s the proof, as it appeared on the Converge Facebook page: Continue reading »

Sep 082012

Introducing people to new music from the underground and eye-catching cover art are two of the things we enjoy most at this site, and today we get to do both. Acrania are a band from southeast UK who are on the verge of releasing a split (Galactic Infections) with California’s Blue Waffle, and today we give you the exclusive premiere of Acrania’s contribution to the split: “Susceptible To Retinal Based Reprogrammability”.

Yes, that song title is a mouthful. The music is also a brutish slug in the mouth — and a flurry of heavy-booted kicks to the head. Acrania inflict severe bodily damage with slamming rhythms, a seething hive of buzzing riffage, rapid-fire percussion, and vocals that span the range from grisly gurgling to unhinged shrieking. It’s brutal, but it’s also groovy. You may feel inclined to bust up your abode while you listen, but you can bang your head while you take the sledgehammer to your walls.

As you can see, Acrania and Blue Waffle also have good taste in art. The cover for their new split is graced by the grisly renderings of Ken Sarafin of Sarafin Concepts, whose work we’ve featured at NCS more than once (check out these posts, for example). Acrania also have a debut EP in the works that will feature cover art by NCS favorite Pär Olofsson, and you can take a look at that after the jump.

But first, get some demolition tools ready and check out “Susceptible To Retinal Based Reprogrammability” . . . Continue reading »

Aug 282012

One thing leads to another. In late July, I came across an awesome album cover by Denver-based artist Ken Sarafin (Sarafin Concepts) for a death metal project created by Sarafin called Bunch (and posted about that here). Though it isn’t available yet, the album will be titled Otero.

Then yesterday I saw the amazing artwork you see above, which appeared on the Bunch Facebook page. It’s an alternate cover for Otero (Bunch will eventually have three alternate covers for the album, with the third one coming from Mark Cooper of Mindrape Art — and one day I’ll devote a post to him, too). The artist is Sam Nelson, who’s also in Denver and calls his graphics business Stigma Art.

Well, having seen that killer Otero cover, I had to find more of Sam Nelson’s work, which I did — and holy hell, is he good. Some of his most striking recent works turn out to be covers for forthcoming albums by metal bands whose names were new to me. So of course I had to find some of their music, and it turns out to be worth sharing — and voilà, this post came together!

So, after the jump, feast your eyes on Sam Nelson’s cover art for Stoic Dissention and Kitezh, listen to some of their past music, and also check out a couple tracks from a music project between Nelson and Sarafin called Handsel (yeah, it’s really annoying that these dudes also have musical talent in addition to being fine artists), plus a few more examples of Sam Nelson’s creativity. Continue reading »