Jan 092014

Welcome to Part 3 of my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (more or less) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.


When the members of the NCS staff got the chance for an advance listen to Soilwork’s 2013 album The Living Infinite, it was greeted by the sound of bodies falling off chairs and hitting the floor. Before hearing it, I think it’s fair to say that we were all highly skeptical. It was, after all, a double-album from a band whose recent track record had not inspired tremendous confidence in their ability to create two albums’ worth of high-quality music. Man, were we wrong. Continue reading »

Sep 022013

(Our roving reporter Andy Synn was fortunate enough to take in the 2013 edition of the Summer Breeze open air festival in Germany last month and has prepared a multi-part review accompanied by videos that he shot during the festival. Today we bring you Part 1 of his write-up.)

Apologies to anyone who might have been waiting for my SB review this year. The trip to Seattle took up 99% of my time since, so I didn’t really have much chance to write things up before now!

Let me tell you though, leaving your house at 1am and driving to Dinkelsbuhl (where the festival is located), arriving at around half 7 in the evening, is a LONG drive. I did the first stretch in one relatively unbroken 10 hour stint, but after that it was a case of frequent stops to rest every time I started feeling my eyes getting heavy. Urgh.


As it was, though, I made it to the festival in time to see Vader… well, some of Vader. Because one minor issue with having the opening night festivities situated in the 3rd stage tent is that you end up trying to pack an entire festival’s worth of people into a venue that, while large in itself, was definitely not designed for that purpose! Thus my Vader viewing experience became a curious mix of long-range appreciation and video-screen voyeurism. Continue reading »

Apr 262013

As we have explained in multiple reviews, Soilwork’s new double-album The Living Infinite is one of their best ever. This morning Metal Hammer premiered the band’s official video for “Spectrum of Infinity”, which appears on that album. It’s an all-CGI creation, and it’s damned cool to watch. Apparently, it is visually reminiscent of Bioshock, though I wouldn’t know.

So, watch it after the jump. The song rocks hard, too. Continue reading »

Apr 062013

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, we’ve already published multiple reviews of The Living Infinite, but this isn’t exactly a new one. This is what DGR cooked up when he ran his own review, originally published on our site here, through Gizoogle.net. He gizoogled the Comments on his original review, too. They’re at the bottom of this thing. I’m thinking that henceforth we’ll just do this with all of DGR’s reviews before we publish them the first time.]

(In dis post we present DGR’s take on tha freshly smoked up double-album by Sweden’s Soilwork.)

When it was initially announced dat Soilwork would be releasin a thugged-out double mixtape I be thinkin dat a pimpin’ phat chunk of our asses metal bloggin morons did a cold-ass lil collectizzle half groan all up in tha prospect of dat much Soilwork noize hittin all up in tha same time. With they last two mixtapes – Sworn To A Great Divide n’ Da Panic Broadcast – it seemed dat tha crew had become tha straight-up paragon of consistency. Yo ass could put on either disc n’ catch a gangbangin’ few pretty phat joints yo, but most either felt as if they had been freestyled entirely fo’ tha choral hook part or came off as interchangeable.

Not dat dis was some sort of wack atrocitizzle yo, but you can peep how tha fuck there would be a sense of burnout up in some quartas whenever tha group’s name was brought up – especially since you can’t fault tha band’s work ethic when it seems like a freshly smoked up Soilwork disc hits every last muthafuckin two muthafuckin years like clockwork, no matter what tha fuck chizzlez happen within tha band.

Imagine then our erection when Soilwork busted out “Spectrum Of Eternity” as tha lead-off cold lil’ woo wop from Da Livin Infinite. It was exciting. Not only did tha crew sound rejuvenated yo, but there was some seriously heavy noize goin on there – suttin’ dat previously had just been reserved ta a lil’ small-ass batch of joints like “Blind Eye Halo”. It was weird n’ refreshin as a muthafucka ta do suttin’ dat our crazy asses hadn’t done up in a incredibly long time, which was ta move a Soilwork release high up on da most thugged-out anticipated mixtapes list. Continue reading »

Apr 042013

(We’ve previously published DGR’s review of Soilwork’s new album, but now Andy Synn and TheMadIsraeli are getting into the act, collaborating on the following review, as Andy explains in his introduction below.)

So… here’s the thing… with The Living Infinite being announced as a double-album, it seemed only right that the NCS review of the album be split between two people – mainly myself and TheMadIsraeli. But then life got in the way. Israel suffered a serious computer crash and lost a load of material, and I’ve been in the process of moving house… so we fell behind, and made slow progress… and then goddamn DGR ambushed us with his review!!!

So yes… we’re pissed… and yes, there will be a reckoning… but in the meantime we thought, why let all our hard work go to waste? TLI is a pretty big album, a pretty ambitious statement, so it’s only fair that you get a couple of different points of view.

So with that said, let me turn you over to my esteemed colleague for his take on Disc One: Continue reading »

Mar 202013

(In this post we present DGR’s take on the new double-album by Sweden’s Soilwork.)

When it was initially announced that Soilwork would be releasing a double album I think that a pretty good chunk of us metal blogging morons did a collective half groan at the prospect of that much Soilwork music hitting at the same time. With their last two albums – Sworn To A Great Divide and The Panic Broadcast – it seemed that the band had become the very paragon of consistency. You could put on either disc and catch a few pretty good songs, but most either felt as if they had been written entirely for the choral hook part or came off as interchangeable.

Not that this was some sort of awful atrocity, but you can see how there would be a sense of burnout in some quarters whenever the group’s name was brought up – especially since you can’t fault the band’s work ethic when it seems like a new Soilwork disc hits every two years like clockwork, no matter what changes happen within the band.

Imagine then our reaction when Soilwork released “Spectrum Of Eternity” as the lead-off song from The Living Infinite. It was exciting. Not only did the band sound rejuvenated, but there was some seriously heavy music going on there – something that previously had just been reserved to a small batch of songs like “Blind Eye Halo”. It was weird and refreshing as hell to do something that we hadn’t done in an incredibly long time, which was to move a Soilwork release high up on the most anticipated albums list.

Now that the album has come out I can comprehensively report that what the band teased at with “Spectrum Of Eternity” is in full effect here. On The Living Infinite Soilwork sound like a band full of life and with something to prove, combining all of their best elements as they’ve changed throughout the years into one great cohesive package. Continue reading »

Feb 242013

(After an extended hiatus, TheMadIsraeli revives the Revisiting the Classics series with a look back at an album from a band who are on the verge of dropping their latest bombshell.)

I figured this series needed to make a comeback some time ago; it was just getting the time to do it.  It’s rather ironic that the album I decided to use for this revival was one I selected five or so months before The Living Infinite was even announced.

The Chainheart Machine represents old-school Soilwork at its absolute finest.  The sharp, punctual, technical riffing, the frantic changes in tempo and time signature that occurred on some songs, the bewilderingly virtuoso-caliber shred of guitarist Peter Wichers, the epic melodies — this album has it fucking all if you ask me.  All the instrumentation is impeccable; the mix for its time is just PERFECT for what was going on here (a dense, industrial tone — odd choice for melodeath); and I just fucking love it, back to front.

The thing that really makes this album is the songs as a whole.  Let me explain. Continue reading »

Feb 222013

When I first learned that Soilwork’s new album would be a double disc, I was skeptical. It’s difficult for most bands to create even one album’s worth of solid music at a time, and releasing two at once seemed like an idea fraught with risk — especially because of the unevenness of the band’s last album.

But man, The Living Infinite has confounded my expectations. It’s extremely solid from end to end over the course of 20 songs. That’s not to say that the songs are all of equal quality, but this really is an excellent album that justifies the dual-disc format.

We have kind of an unusual review planned for the album next week, which TheMadIsraeli will tell you about below, along with his own preview thoughts about the album. And then after that you’ll find yet another new song from the album that debuted today: “Long Live the Misanthrope”, from disc 2. Continue reading »

Feb 012013

“Once upon a time, in a rural town in Sweden, in a cozy little home that still has wooden furniture, a bearded aging man finds something from another time that awakens the beast of his own youth within him: a VHS cassette tape featuring the recording studio antics of his fellow countrymen SOILWORK.

“And hey, with streamed digital files, holographic projections, and possible direct electronic transmissions into the occipital lobe of the human brain… who won’t be aching for the simpler times of old?

“Check out the video for the soul-soaring SOILWORK track, “Rise Above The Sentiment,” on YouTube.”

And that’s part of the text I received not long from Nuclear Blast. And after the jump you can watch “Rise Above the Sentiment”, which comes from the band’s ninth studio album (a double-disc), The Living Infinite , which will be released in Europe on March 1, and in North America on March 5. Continue reading »

Jan 182013

Wouldn’t you know it. After whining in the last post about how little blog/metal time my fucking day job has left me this week, I got enough of a break to make a quick sweep through the interhole in search of new things, and to write this little round-up about what I found.


My roving eye came to a fast stop as soon as I saw the artwork featured above. It’s a painting by the great Eliran Kantor for a self-titled debut album by Synesis Absorption, which will be released sometime this year.

I’d never heard of this oddly named band, but man, check out the line-up: Steve Di Giorgio (ex-Death, Sadus) on bass; Mike Smith (Suffocation) on drums; Robbert Kok (Disavowed) providing vocals; and Miloš Batoćanin (Disdained) weaving guitar magic. After seeing the art and this line-up, I went in search of music — and I found some. Continue reading »