Dec 302015
 

Integrity-Orgasmatron cover

 

Like a lot of people, I spent most of my music-listening time yesterday with Motörhead. For the hell of it, I also spent time listening to metal bands covering Motörhead songs. A lot of bands have done that. Out of the many covers I listened to,  damned few of them are quite as good as the originals, and at least to my ears, none of them is better.

However, having invested the time hunting for covers that breathed some kind of different life into the classic originals, I decided to put them all here — the good ones and the so-so ones — by these bands: Satyricon, Sepultura, Ringworm (with guest vocals by Barney Greenway), Korpiklaani, Sodom, Machetazo, Avulsed, Overkill, Metallica, Horna, Kvelertak, Warbringer, and Krisiun.

But before I get to those, I’m starting with one that’s definitely a success. It’s a cover  of “Orgasmatron” that Integrity released just yesterday on Bandcamp (here). Continue reading »

Jun 012015
 

 

(In this post our man DGR reviews a Sacramento performance by Sepultura, Destruction, Arsis, Boris the Blade, and Micawber.)

Two shows in two days can sometimes be a difficult prospect, especially when you’re used to working those evenings. When you’ve barely recovered from one, dragging yourself to another can feel like a herculean labor. You don’t have the ‘holy shit I’m here’ adrenaline of being at a festival, it’s just two separate events on two different days, and as it would turn out, on two fairly different scales.

The previous night before this show, I wind up seeing Anaal Nathrakh in a venue the size of a fairly large kitchen (that show reviewed here), and this time I was slated to see Sepultura at Ace Of Spades — a venue that I have lavished many loving words over, mostly in hopes that they keep booking metal shows because they have a knack for bringing bands that normally wouldn’t roll through to Sacramento. Of course, you have to keep in mind that this show was a fairly large cultural icon at this point, with both Sepultura and Destruction being long-running international bands at about thirty years a piece. Hell, this was a Sepultura thirty-year anniversary tour, all things considered. (While we’re on the subject, Boris The Blade turned out to be from Australia, meaning this was quite the international tour.) Continue reading »

Feb 202015
 

 

(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli completes his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks, along with an introduction, appear in this post.)

VI: Sepultura – Arise

It takes a lot of restraint for me not to declare this the greatest thrash album ever created.  Sepultura’s Arise is THE epitome of everything I love, need, and want in thrash metal and it’s so immaculate in its execution that attempting to quantify it is nearly impossible.  It’s brutal, it’s fast (so fucking fast), it has dynamics in the songwriting. Andreas Kisser knew how to write some of the most unique solos in the entirety of thrash metal, and Max and Andreas wrote some of the most intense, drama-filled riffage while keeping things savage and merciless.  Whenever Sepultura breaks into frantic, demon-slaying speed from a mid-paced stomp, as in “Desperate Cry”, provides me an adrenaline rush that knows no equal.  It would be fair to say I’ve listened to Arise more than 10,000 times and I’m still not sick of it.

Seriously, this album is the very definition of savagery. Continue reading »

Dec 052013
 

(In this guest post, Booker identifies works of literature that he was inspired to read as a result of metal, along with the specific music that provided the push. If you’ve had similar experiences, we’d like to hear about them in the Comments, along with any thoughts you might have about Booker’s post.)

Well, if you’re reading NCS, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that metal is one of mankind’s greatest creations. When I’m feeling generous I’d even expand that to music in general. You know what one of human beings’ other greatest creations is? Sending humans to an orbiting lunar body in specially controlled atmospheric craft and protective suits? Pfft, no! Using a modified virus to evoke lasting immune responses to deadly diseases? Meh.

What I’m talking about is writing. That’s right, writing, without which those other achievements wouldn’t even be possible. When you think about it, it’s pretty mind-blowing that we can scrawl lines on paper, and now digital displays, and someone else can look at those hieroglyphics and almost instantaneously discern meaning, enabling us to convey ideas and thoughts to someone else without even talking to them! From one side of the planet to another, or even from one mind to another across the abyss of time and the divide of death. Think about that after smoking a few pipes (oh my god, it’s like there’s people reading my mind!… over the internet!… and I’m reading some thoughts from someone who’s dead!… woooaahh).

And with writing came literature (and humorous toilet graffiti).  Not surprisingly, given the vast array of ideas and storylines conveyed by literature, some of those works have in turn inspired musicians to craft musical works covering the same themes, and when metal musicians do it you get what I’d call a veritable orgy of humanity’s greatest creations – metal meets literature, all getting off over each other. That’s what I’m talking about! But what I’m going to cover here is taking this one step further – not just metal albums inspired by literature, but albums/songs/bands that have in turn inspired me to go back to the source and read the inspirational literature in question. Continue reading »

Dec 032013
 

(Andy Synn reviews the seventh studio album by Sepultura.)

Talking about a new Sepultura album is surprisingly difficult.

The politics, the media attention, the factions, and the infighting – both between the band and ex-members, and between the fans of various eras – mean that getting any sort of clarity of feeling or judgement can be a tricky business. It’s very easy to be biased or prejudiced, one  way or the other, when it comes to a band with so much contentious history.

It’s a bit unfortunate that this is the case, as The Mediator… (as it shall henceforth be referred to for brevity’s sake) continues what I see as a pretty damn fine run of form for the modern incarnation of the band, a group who simply refuse to rest on their laurels or let their legacy continue to be defined solely by past glories. Continue reading »

Oct 252013
 

The subjects of this post are three full-album streams now available for listening.

The first is Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls by the French band Glorior Belli. It will be released on November 12 by Agonia Records. Our man BadWolf gave it a favorable review here. Three of your five regular NCS writers consider it one of the year’s best albums (and the other two haven’t weighed in). The full stream premiered yesterday at Stereogum, but you can also listen to it here, after the jump.

The second is a full stream of the new album by Sepultura, The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must be the Heart, which will be released in NorthAm by Nuclear Blast on October 29. In the US, the album is streaming exclusively at Metal Sucks, so you’ll need to go here to listen.

In light of certain accusations leveled at Nuclear Blast for not playing nice with web sites who don’t favorably review their releases, I thought it interesting that MS was selected for this stream, since their reviewer didn’t treat the album very well. We haven’t reviewed the album yet, and I haven’t heard it. But it’s Sepultura, and I thought that fact alone made the stream newsworthy. Here, by the way, is the album cover: Continue reading »

Jul 192013
 

The last few days brought many new discoveries that I thought were worth sharing. However, I haven’t had the chance until now because I’ve been dealing with the fallout caused by some asshole who smashed in a window on my car on a downtown Seattle street and stole a bag that contained my laptop and other valuables. Fuck that guy, and fuck me for being dumb enough to leave the bag in the car. Enough with the whining, onward with the metal . . .

SEPULTURA

This morning brought further news about the next album by Brazilian heavyweights Sepultura. Its title was inspired by Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film MetropolisThe Mediator Between the Head and Hands Must Be the Heart. It was recorded by Ross Robinson, who also produced the band’s equally classic Roots album, and in an effort to cement the connection to past glories guitarist Andreas Kisser had this to say:

“The album is brutal, fast and straight to the point, I feel this is the best SEPULTURA ever, no bullshit. To work with Ross Robinson again was a privilege, one of the best producers out there. He has a strong connection with nature, the human heart, with life in general. We did an album that is alive, no fake studio tricks, we were jamming together in the room exploding in an energy so strong you could grab it.”

Of course, we wouldn’t expect him to say, “the new album is going to be a mediocre rehash and one of the lamest things ever to be released under the Sepultura name”, even if it were true. Yet the fact that he’s stuck his neck out there with this kind of a statement provides some reason to be hopeful. The album is due in October. Continue reading »

Aug 282012
 

(Our NCS comrade Andy Synn has recently been making me green with envy by attending summer metal festivals on the other side of the Atlantic, which for me might as well be on the other side of the solar system.  However, gentleman and scholar that he is, he didn’t just go and have a ridiculously good time. He also sent back this review of his jaunt to the UK’s BLOODSTOCK festival on August 10-12, 2012. We’re dividing it into two parts, with Part 2 coming up tomorrow [now posted here].)

Ah, Bloodstock. Always an interesting festival, caught between its early power/trad-metal roots and its steady expansion into a more rounded, extreme/non-mainstream metal festival. This year’s line-up was pretty enticing, but circumstances and finances looked set to prevent my attendance. But fate and serendipity stepped in (thank you Sahil!) and on Friday 10th of August I found myself once more pulling into the festival’s parking lot, with a song in my heart and a shiny guest wristband on my arm.

 

FRIDAY

Carefully timing my arrival to coincide with that of Moonsorrow, I wasn’t disappointed, the band utterly on fire, despite the occasionally washed out sound. It helps that the set-list comprised some of my favourite Moonsorrow tracks, I’ll admit that, but the performance itself was brilliant either way. The only downside is that, due to the length of their material, it always seems like too few songs

Sepultura put on a damn good show, their new drummer certainly doing his best to live up to Igor Cavalera’s enviable legacy, while the triptych of Derrick, Paulo, and Andreas showed again and again why they stuck with the name – they just do it all better. The new material sounded great live, while the quartet give the old stuff, including a brace of Beneath The Remains-era material, new life and vigour. Props as well for the welcome, but unexpected, guest slot from Tim “Ripper” Owens on “Territory”.

Dio Disciples were, in many ways, something of a curiosity for the festival. Essentially Dio’s band with a different singer (and a few guests), it’s hard to judge them on merit alone, as their appearance was due to far more than just an ability to play the songs well. This was a tribute to one of the genre’s legendary figures, and while it would be churlish to say it was simply a well-received cover set (the downright dedication to this band’s slot bordered on the fanatical), one can’t help but be moved by this show of respect, and by being reminded of the sheer quality of the material on display. Continue reading »

Jul 192012
 

We’re all toiling away here at NCS on various projects, none of which are quite yet finished for this morning. Actually, to be brutally honest, I was sleeping instead of toiling away, and before that I was fucking off. I have no idea what the other idiots who work here have been doing, and I use the term “work” loosely, since nobody gets paid shit for scribbling about metal at NCS. Actually, I do have an idea what they’ve been doing, and it’s called “life”, which is bullshit because having no life is one of the key qualifications for “working” at NCS, and they all checked the “has no life” box on the NCS “employment” application, so what’s up with that?

Anyway, I haz nothing at the moment, so I’m doing this: I’m playing for you two excellent old songs plus some covers of them that I found this morning. I love these songs, and so it goes without saying that you love them, too. So we will all feel the love this morning, and then we can all do what we do when we feel the strong love, which in most cases will involve some kind of autoerotic satisfaction (and yes, you may take photos, but you may not send them to me because I don’t want to spoil my appetite before breakfast).

The first song is “Slave New World” by Sepultura, and I’m talking old-school Sepultura, from 1993’s Chaos A.D. You, of course, know this song and love it as much as I do, because it is such a great fuckin’ metal song. I think you will also like the cover of the song that Norway’s Dead Trooper did back in 2010, because I like it a bunch. I like it better than the cover Trivium did (also in 2010), though their cover still sounds good, because the riffs in this song are so damned compelling. I just like the original Max Cavalera vocals and the Dead Trooper vocals better.

The second song is “Forhekset” by Satyricon, from their 1996 Nemesis Divina album. It’s another great song, though I’m guessing many people would pick “Mother North” as the best song on that album. But anyway, today I saw a new video by a Québec band named Haeres performing a cover of “Forhekset” live back in March. I really like the cover — it’s not a carbon copy of the original, and it sounds really good. Continue reading »

Feb 102012
 

Thanks to Black Shuck for the tip on this news item. I’d seen the news about this tour last week before any details were available, but now we’ve got the schedule.

Three-quarters of this line-up get me hot and bothered — the quarters that consist of Death Angel, Krisiun, and Havok. I’ve been lucky enough to see Death Angel before, and I can testify that they are a blast to hear and watch. Krisiun is, well, Krisiun — some death metal heroes of mine that I’ve been hoping to see for years (and who ought to be at the top of this tour instead of a “support” act). And Havok is one of the few new thrash bands whose music doesn’t make me yawn after a while.

And that leaves Krisiun’s countrymen in Sepultura. If this were the Sepultura of the Cavalera brothers at their peak, the band that created albums like Arise, that would be one thing. But it’s not. I was so underwhelmed by A-Lex (2009) that I didn’t even listen to last year’s Kairos. Maybe that was a mistake, because I’ve since heard that it was a big step up (was it?). So, while I may not yet be hot and bothered by the idea of seeing Sepultura, I’m at least interested, and this tour will give me an excuse to see what Kairos is all about before it hits Seattle.

Yes, it’s coming to Seattle, and to 18 more cities in the U.S. and Canada (though it seems to be spurning the entire southern half of the U.S.). The schedule is after the jump. Continue reading »