Nov 012012

I just received this press release from Nuclear Blast, which floored me:

It is with great sadness and regret this morning that we have to report that Mitch Luckervocalist of SUICIDE SILENCEpassed away a few hours ago due to injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident.

NUCLEAR BLAST would like to offer our condolences to his family, friends, band members and fans worldwide who are affected by this loss.

He left us doing what he loved to do most. He was 28 years old and will be sorely missed.

Fans are encouraged to share their memories, photos of Mitch and condolences on the band’s official Facebook page:

A few more details that I found in a local newspaper report are after the jump. Continue reading »

Jul 052011

(NCS writer BadWolf has a few thoughts about the new album from Suicide Silence.)

The Black Crown is absolutely Suicide Silence’s most enjoyable record, but it appeals in no way to the group’s traditionalist detractors, which is an asset. The band has absolutely no reason to kowtow: If they make a traditional DM record—which would amount to career suicide from a commercial standpoint—the same cadre of tunnel-vision morons would continue ripping them apart for their past, their taste in Justin Bieber haircuts, their love of neck tattoos.

Haters, acknowledge the progress Mick Lurch and co have made as songwriters in four years: Their debut, The Cleansing, was an overstuffed slop-bucket of random note runs pretending to be riffs; its saving grace is a series of youtube-approved sing-along breakdown-choruses.

Fast forward. Suicide Silence is now a full-blown pop metal band. This is an improvement—pop demands the cleanliness and simplicity they lacked. The redeeming quality SS had at the start was precisely what people hate them for; of course they capitalized on their strengths and reforged the aforementioned breakdowns into choruses and easy riffs.

In other words, Suicide Silence have come out of the closet as careerists. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 222011

I’ve never been entirely sure about the point of metal news releases about music you can’t yet hear, albums you can’t yet buy, and tours for which you can’t yet acquire tickets, but people still seem to be interested in this kind of shit. Not me, of course. I’m so fucking zen-like in my outlook that these kinds of pointless cock-teasers just flow over me like a soft summer breeze, barely ruffling my hair. My pulse rate doesn’t move a beat from its normal, slothlike resting state. I remain as steady and unmoving as a hummingbird.

Wait, that didn’t end right. Okay, well maybe it did. Truth is, I am metal-nerd enough to get excited about this stuff, though I can’t provide any rational reason why. In keeping with our unintentional Finn-centric theme of this week’s posts, several of these items focus on Finnish metal.

So, here’s the top-level summary of news for this post: Announcement of two new European tours — one featuring Gorgoroth and Vader and the other headlined by Machine Head; a progress report on Insomnium‘s new album; word of an all-star album (and the label “all-star” is no bullshit) in the planning stages from Finland’s Spinefarm Records; and perhaps the most glaring example I’ve seen in months of an interviewer failing to ask a follow-up question (in this case, about Opeth‘s new album).

While I’ve got your attention, I might as well also throw in some music you can actually hear right now — high-quality footage of Suicide Silence performing a song from their forthcoming new album.  (all that stuff after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 172011

The Black Crown is the third album by Suicide Silence, scheduled for release via Century Media on July 11. I’ve started listening to it, and so far, so good. I’m especially enjoying a song called “Smashed”, which features the inimitable Frank Mullen (Suffocation) on guest vocals.

We’ll get around to reviewing the album eventually, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about a remix of one of the album’s songs called “Human Violence”. That was the record’s first single, released for streaming on May 13. What we discovered yesterday is that Cameron “Big Chocolate” Argon has remixed “Human Violence”, and the remix is available for free download.

Big C has done this before, remixing a Suicide Silence single called “Disengage” about a year ago (we featured that here). You probably remember that he also collaborated with Suicide Silence frontdude Mitch Lucker on a project called Commissioner. Now he’s brought his remix skills to bear again — and what he’s done with “Human Violence” is a fuckin’ kick in the head.

Big C brings a fluctuating industrial vibe to the original song while preserving the screaming, groovy fury of the original. It will make you want to bounce, careen off walls, punch things, whip your head all the way around. Check it out after the jump, and then we’ll let you know how you can download the thing for yourselves. Continue reading »

Jun 022011

Damn, I’m finally able to go outside without shivering and being beaten about the head and shoulders with high winds and rain blowing sideways. That must mean it’s June in Seattle!  And so it is. A largely dismal May is behind us, the Seattle Mariners are astonishingly only a game and a half out of first place in their division (that’s baseball for you outlanders), and the summer lies ahead.

What else lies ahead? A bunch of new metal, of course. And because it’s the beginning of a new month, we’re bringing you another installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, in which we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including occasional updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know their music yet. In this series, we cut and paste those announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

Remember — this isn’t a cumulative list. If we found out about a new album during April or preceding months, we wrote about them in previous installments of this series. So, be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported earlier. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »

May 022011

What the hell is that big yellow thing up in the sky? It looks vaguely familiar, but it’s appeared so rarely here in The Emerald City over the last six months that we’re having trouble placing the name. Well, maybe the name will come to us. The great wheel of the seasons surely must continue to turn someplace, but in Seattle it seems to have been stuck on Winter since, like, forever. In some parts of the world, April showers bring May flowers, but here, April showers will probably bring . . . May showers.

Okay, enough whining. At least we don’t get tornados dropping from the sky like atom bombs and wiping whole towns off the map. And even though the weather hasn’t been our friend, we have metal to make up for the cold shoulder — and there’s a bunch of new metal headed our way.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last month about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. Continue reading »

Feb 012011

The first month of the year has come and gone. January brought those of us in Seattle some typically ass-sucking winter weather, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as the brutality dished out by the weather gods on our metal brothers and sisters in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. And of course, our readers ins places like Russia, and Finland, and Sweden are probably laughing their asses off reading our complaints about our winter weather. So, we’ll just shut up about that.

Besides, January brought all sorts of great new metal to our tender ears, so who gives a shit about the weather anyway? And you know what else January brought? It brought news of still more metal goodness on the way — great bursts of audio sunshine in our collective futures that will part these winter clouds and leave them whimpering in cloudy tatters.

Okay, maybe we should leave poetry to the poets and just get on with this next monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, where we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones:

AJATARRA: “AJATTARA — the Finnish band featuring former AMORPHIS frontman Pasi Koskinen (a.k.a. Itse Ruoja Suruntuoj) — will release its seventh album, Murhat (“Murders”) on February 2 via Osasto-A Records. Murhat is available for streaming in its entirety on the AJATTARA Facebook page.”  (much more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 272010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Back in November when I was away on an undeserved but still enjoyable vacation and unable to blog, lots of good people stepped up and contributed posts of their own so that NCS wouldn’t have to go dark while I was gone.

One of those contributors, The Artist Formerly Known As Dan, took a running head start on year-end album lists and became one of the first writers in metal blogdom to stake out a position on the year’s best metal (here). That post scored a massive number of hits, no doubt due in part to the fact that it was featured on MetalSucks.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, we asked Dan if he had made any revisions or additions to the list he prepared a month ago. What we got from him was this.]

So, I hope all the NCS readers aren’t bored with me after my first list. I thought my picks for the best of 2010 were pretty solid, but reading lists can get old, so now I’ll try to focus my attention on one subject. That subject is potential musical recommendations for my NCS brethren that are outside the realm of metal.  I have a pretty wide range of tastes, but I thought that at least some of my “other” music might interest a few of you, specifically because it generally follows the NCS manifesto:

-it’s not pop music

-it has at least one or more of the following characteristics: fast, punishing, cathartic, dark, powerful, crushing

-there is no clean singing

So let’s get started.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 032010

Suicide Silence is one of those lightning-rod bands. They came out of nowhere not so long, riding the new tide of internet-driven popularity to become one of the premier icons of deathcore. With their latest album, No Time To Bleed, they moved further into straight death-metal territory, but they’re still a lightning rod for fans/critics who get their shorts in a bunch over the tsunami-sized popularity of the band.

Most people who follow extreme metal will have an opinion about the band — you’ll either love ’em or hate ’em. We’re in the love ’em category, and we suspect the hate ’em crowd wouldn’t care nearly so much if they weren’t so fucking meteorically popular with the kids.

If you’re in the love ’em category with us, or if by chance you don’t even know what we’re talking about, the band has just released “Disengage”, a brand new video that was filmed on February 19 in the Los Angeles area with director Thomas Mignone (MUDVAYNE).

In our humble opinion, not only does the song kick the holy hell out of a placid Saturday, but the video is also a refreshingly straight-forward vehicle for the delivery of the music. There’s no stupid story line, no gratuitous T&A, no special effects — just a well-edited, multi-angled film of these dudes hammering the shit out of a good song against a pristine white background. Soak it up — or skip it — as your tastes may incline you.

And while we’re on the subject of “Disengage”, we recommend that you go back to a post we put up more than a month ago that featured the Cameron Argon (“Big Chocolate”) remix of this song. It makes a nice bookend to the original, with your squashed brain in the middle. Here’s the link.

May 222010

In yesterday’s post, we focused on recent news about Cameron Argon (a/k/a “Big Chocolate”), a dude that our bonded-in-blog bros over at Metal Sucks aptly called a “Renaissance Man.” What prompted our feature was Argon’s separation from Burning the Masses, a death-metal band with whom he’d recorded a forthcoming album and toured throughout Europe earlier this year. But at the tail-end of yesterday’s post, we also mentioned that in his “Big Chocolate” persona, he had remixed a Suicide Silence song called “Disengage”.

Century Media has released that remix, along with the original song, as a “single.” It’s available in two formats — as a digital download from iTunes and as a 7″ blue vinyl from CM Distro. Joshua Andrew Belanger created the cover art for the single, which you can see above.

Off and on yesterday, we listened to the original song and the remix back-to-back. The more we listened, the more we got into both versions of the song. The original Suicide Silence track shifts back and forth between a pulsing distorted riff and a dissonant, squealing guitar lead, and then up-shifts the tempo before crashing the pace down into a broken-down crawl. Following the breakdown, the tempo continues to shift back and forth, and throughout the song Mitch Lucker growls and shrieks mercilessly until the track finishes with 15 seconds of solitary drums.

In the remix, Big Chocolate has done more than separate and reshape the sounds present in the original. He’s applied a variety of electronic effects to distort and change the vocals and instrumentation, injected samples, added scratching and electro drums, messed with the rhythms so that they generate more of a dance-beat, and done a hundred other things that we’re not expert enough to figure out or describe.

The resulting music is drenched in wild sound effects, more aurally dense than the original, but still recognizably “Disengage” and still recognizably metal. I don’t listen to electro house or dubstep, but one of my collaborators (IntoTheDarkness) is getting into those genres and I’ve heard a few things he’s recommended. Snatches of the “Disengage” remix sound like those styles, but I really don’t think a genre name has yet been invented for the results of what Big Chocolate did with the Suicide Silence material. Anyone out there have a suggestion?

Ater the jump, you can listen to both songs back-to-back. And then after that, we’ve got a “mixtape” for you that was inspired by “Disengage”. Continue reading »