Jan 232012

We goat-throwers do like our guitar wizardry. We like other things, too, but bands who bring the shred generally light up our pasty white faces with a beaming glow. If you listen long enough and widely enough, of course, mere speed and dexterity no longer give you quite the same rush as they did in your listening infancy. You look for more — you look for creativity, a certain tone, a certain feel, some heart and soul, even . . . dare I say it . . . intelligence — along with the ability to trigger the headbang reflex, of course.

When a band is able to marry that kind of guitar talent with song-writing ability, performance skill at the other positions, and a knack for fusing diverse musical styles, you get something special. Revocation’s David Davidson and company pulled that off when they made their first serious splash in the scene during 2009 with the release of Existence Is Futile. I think we’re about to get wet from a similar splash on January 26, when Bloodshot Dawn releases their self-titled debut album.

This UK band features two lead guitarists — Josh McMorran (who is also the lead vocalist) and Benjamin Ellis (who also contributes backing vox). When you cut right down to the bone, the songs on the album really serve as platforms for them to strut their stuff. That’s not to say that the rest of each song is composed of filler — far from it. But what makes the album such a stand-out, and each song such a kick in the head to hear, is the space it gives these two to show what they’re made of. And what they’re made of is win. Continue reading »

Sep 222010

Here at NCS, our minds are disorderly and usually afflicted with attention deficit plague. Occasionally, though, we find a strangely calming influence from notions of symmetry and connection.

For example, we started the week with a post on an Italian brutal-tech-death band called Blasphemer whose just-released EP was produced by Rome’s Stefano Morabito and his 16th Cellar Studio and whose songs lyrically focused on serious themes. We followed that yesterday with a piece on, uh, banjo metal. Today, we decided it would be pleasing to put a bookend on this side of the banjo-metal post with a piece on Mass Obliteration — another Italian death-metal band who have also recently released an EP, also produced by Stefano Morabito, and also lyrically focused on serious themes. We feel strangely calmed.

But not calmed by the music. The music makes us feel jittery and slightly deranged. It’s a deep throwback to early-90’s death metal, with powerful connections to albums like Incantation’s debut, Onward to Golgotha, or the early works of Immolation and Grave. Are you ready for “a grinding onslaught of rotten anarco-death metal”? If so, then Mass Obliteration is just the ticket for you.  (more after the jump, including a track from that EP . . .) Continue reading »