Sep 182011

Yes, I have been called this name before, but this post isn’t about me. It’s about a new band from Athens, Greece called Lunatic Medlar. The band  is composed of members from other longer-standing collectives: Tardive Dyskinesia, Konkave, Sun of Nothing, and Universe 217. I’m a big fan of Tardive Dyskinesia (most recent post about them is here). So, when I saw a mention of this new band, I checked them out this morning.

Their music turns out to be just what the doctor ordered for a sleep-deprived, slightly hungover Sunday morning here in the Pacific Northwest, where summer is now already a distant memory and it’s wet, cool, and gray (pretty much what every day will look like between now and next July). They’re working on a debut album that will be titled Finely Tuned Machine. Until that baby is ready for birth, the band have recorded five songs in a live performance. The multi-camera videos are pro-quality, and all of them can be streamed on the Lunatic Medlar facebook page.

The music is instrumental metal, featuring the kind of polyrhythmic complexity and heavy groove that first drew me to Tardive Dyskensia, and the live performances are pretty fucking tight. It maketh my head to bang. Check out a couple of the vid clips after the jump. We’ll keep you posted on what’s happening with that album. Continue reading »

Mar 052011

So, yesterday we threw together a hodge-podge of new music and videos that proved very diverting to us, and maybe to you, too. And then, in an awesome display of synchronicity — or serendipity, or kismet, or some other word that’s supposed to signify things that are coincidental but maybe were meant to happen — more new music appeared on our NCS radar screen, as if sent from an all-knowing über-mind that tracks and understands the strange and twisted paths of our neural connectivity.

Here’s how this happened. One of the bands we included in yesterday’s post was Outcast, from France, and their new song “Elements”. The music put us in mind of some other bands, one of which (as we said) was Tardive Dyskinesia — a Greek band whose music we’ve been hooked on for a while. And then the next thing we knew, we got an e-mail from none other than Tardive Dyskinesia giving us (and everyone else in the world) an entire live album to download for nothing, nada, bupkis.  Fuck.

And that was just the start. We then got another e-mail telling us that one of our grindcore gods, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, had put up two new songs from a split they’ve done with a band called Despise You. Fuck.

And then we got another e-mail from Misha, the vocalist/guitarist for Akelei (a Dutch band whose very impressive 2010 debut album we reviewed here) asking us to check out Carceri, a death-metal band in which Misha’s brother Josha is the drummer, and in which Misha also used to play. In his e-mail, he used words like “fast”, “brutal”, “technical”, and made reference to “twisted lyrics”. Fuck. That pushed all the right buttons for me. And there you have the story of how today’s post took shape.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 192010

Near the end of last year, we wrote a feature on math-metal bands that included a short write-up about a Greek band called Tardive Dyskinesia and their new album, The Sea of See Through Skins. Here’s part of what we said:

The band’s 2009 release on Coroner Records, The Sea of See Through Skins, is a fast-paced, infectious barrage of technically sophisticated music played with genuine skill. Yes, you’ll find the abrupt tempo changes and complex time signatures associated with math metal, but the band manages to thread grooves and melody throughout that blazing tapestry. Never boring and quite addictive. These dudes deserve your attention. I wish to hell Greece weren’t so far away — I’d love to see ‘em rip it up on stage.

Our wishes have been granted — sort of. We still haven’t made it to Europe to see their see-through skins in person, and they haven’t made it to Seattle, but Tardive Dyskinesia has just posted a good-quality video of a live performance at the Jammin.G Festival on May 15 in Athens.

If you like the kind of progressive, techy, math-metally, death metal that fires the synapses over on the left side of your brain, and you don’t know about this band, well now’s a good chance to check ’em out.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 292009

Yeah, I know it’s not Monday. I was working on this piece with the intent of posting it yesterday, but got sidetracked on the actual Monday morning by some provocative comments from Elise at Reign In Blonde about my weekend rant on Ke$ha. Still, I like the alliteration in the title, so what the fuck — I’m using it anyway.

And this morning I’m thinking:  Enuf about Ke$ha.  Not enuf about math metal.  Need to fix that.  And voilà! (Doesn’t mean we’re dropping the conversation with Elise.  It’s too interesting to just let it go, and I think there’s more to be said — just not right now. In the meantime, you should read her latest observations here.)

As we draw close to the end of 2009, I’ve been thinking back on some bands we haven’t written about that made the year a great one for extreme metal.  This weekend, in an (unsuccessful) effort to cleanse my mental palate of the polluting effect of “Tik Tok,” I spent time listening again to three European bands that can be classified, for want of a better term, as “math metal” — Textures, Tardive Dyskinesia, and CiLiCe — and a fourth European band I used to classify the same way that has now swum deeper into the prog metal end of the pool — Hacride.

All four have often drawn comparisons with Meshuggah. Occasionally, some writers have even branded them as Meshuggah derivatives. Unfair criticism!  They each have their own sound, successfully blending highly technical instrumental work with melody, and they each produced awesome albums in 2009. [Correction: the Textures album was released in 2008.] (More after the jump — including streaming songs from each band) Continue reading »