Jun 042012

I’ve got four recent videos for you from four very good bands that are worth hearing and seeing. Without further ado:


We introduced many of you to Talanas through Andy Synn’s NCS review of their 2011 debut album, The Waspkeeper, which you can (and should) read at this location. To borrow a few of Andy’s words, their “fusion of raging death-metal ferocity and moody, gothic melancholy – sprinkled with moments of blackened despair – echoes the eclectic, experimental sounds of Septic Flesh, the unerring power and passion of Novembers Doom and the gothic grandeur of My Dying Bride . . . .”

However, The Waspkeeper was not Talanas’ first release. In 2010, they produced a three-song EP titled Reason & Abstract. In recent days, the band released their second official music video, and they reached back to that EP for the song – “Diaphora”.

Andy’s shorthand description of The Waspkeeper fairly captures the blend of styles on “Diaphora”, too. It’s definitely loaded with raging death metal ferocity, powered by jolting low-end rhythms, flashy guitar workouts, and Hal Sinden’s voracious growls and roars. But there are contrasting sections that feature Hal’s clean vocals and a dark, brooding melody. You know what I generally think about clean vocals in metal, but this juxtaposition works for Talanas. Watch and listen right after the jump. Continue reading »

Oct 232011

The 2010 debut album from California’s Son of Aurelius, The Farthest Reaches, drew an avalanche of critical acclaim and enthusiastic fan response. It made several of the Top 10 lists we published at the end of that year, including one from our own Andy Synn, who wrote this: “Son Of Aurelius have come seemingly out of nowhere with an epic, heroic take on the technical death metal genre, impressing nigh on everyone whom they have encountered. The songs on The Farthest Reaches have a character and individuality not usually found in the sort of music which usually contains technical wizardry of this level.”

So, when Son of Aurelius makes new music available, we sit up and pay attention, like good, obedient bloodhounds. That’s what happened today: Son of Aurelius started streaming a “pre-production” track off their next album. It’s called “Strange Aeons”, and it’s a strange choice as a musical tease for the next album. There are no vocals and no technical “wow” factor. It’s mid-paced, with prominent synthetic keyboards, and drums that sound programmed (though I doubt they are, with a beast like Spencer Edwards in the line-up).

In short, it sounds like a dreamlike mood-piece or instrumental interlude. Perhaps the plan is to add vocals later, but I can’t see vocals fitting with this music. As it is, it’s mildly interesting, but at least for me, nothing more than that. Have a listen after the jump and tell me if I’m a fuck for reacting so placidly.

By the way, is that an ass-kicking piece of artwork up there or what? I found it on SoA’s facebook page, but I don’t know what it is. New album cover maybe? And by the way (again), there’s no news I’ve seen about when the new album will be finished. Continue reading »

Jan 022011

January 1 is a slow day for most people, a day spent sleeping in and recovering from the excesses of New Year’s Eve, a day when many Americans plant their super-sized asses on the couch and watch college football bowl games, a day when normally active human beings become human slugs.

But that was yesterday. Today, most people have got to begin mentally gearing up for the resumption of the shitstorm known as the work week. Yes, for those of us who are students or working stiffs, January 3 means the holidays are over and the usual daily grind begins again (and we’re not talking about Brutal Truth).

So, to help you begin clearing out the mental cobwebs and awaken from the foglike after-effects of your revels and reveries, we’ve got three videos for you. These babies will wake you the fuck up. They’re the musical equivalent of detonating a couple canisters of napalm in your head and just letting all that jellied gasoline burn until it has vaporized what’s left of your brain and left only oily soot behind, which will serve as good fertilizer for new oily, blackened tendril growth that will help you bob and weave with agility when the shit starts flying tomorrow. Sounds fun, huh?

After the jump . . . videos from Demonical, Aeon, and Son of Aurelius. Continue reading »

Mar 242010

We don’t listen to much hardcore music here at NCS. It’s not that we don’t like it. It just doesn’t rattle our cages as much as other kinds of extreme metal. But in recent years certain metal- and death-metal influenced hardcore bands have infiltrated our music players and fought an effective behind-the-lines assault on our brains.

Over the last few days we’ve come across some news items about a few of those bands that we’d like to share with you, along with some of their songs: The Contortionist, Monument to Thieves, Legend, and The Last Felony.  They’ve all got new music on the way that we’re pretty hot to hear. They don’t sound alike, but the one thing they have in common is the ability to write powerful, passionate songs with infectious grooves, and some dynamic variations from the norm to accompany the breakdowns.

(By the way, we’d rather call these bands “core-metal” instead of “metalcore” or “deathcore” because nowadays those latter terms trail along a bunch of baggage that we don’t think fits these bands.)


The breaking news about this Indianapolis-based band is that they’ve signed with Good Fight Music and will be entering the studio this spring with producer Ken Susi (Unearth‘s guitarist) to begin recording a debut album for a mid-to-late-summer release.

Good Fight Music is the label division of Good Fight Entertainment, which was founded by industry veterans Paul Conroy and Carl Severson, who were former partners at Ferret Music, Warner Music, and ChannelZERO. (more to come, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »