Sep 022011
 

(TheMadIsraeli delivers the next installment of his Melodeath Week series.)

Now we get into the real meat and potatoes. This is the shit I LOVE out of this list. So without further ado…

The Absence is pretty easy to sum up. Mix At The Gates with early In Flames and you have this band in a nutshell. From Your Grave, for a debut, was vicious, sharp, and aiming for the throat. This band was obviously out for blood at the time, having the problem to overcome of being an American melodeath band.

From Your Grave is fast, technical, and memorable in all the right ways. Somehow The Absence found a way to take the brutality and dark riffing of At The Gates and counterbalance it with In Flames sense of guitar harmonies and emotive melodies. As the album’s intro plays, with that somber sole riff in the distance and the harmony coming into it, you’re being lured you into the assault of the official opener “A Breath Beneath”.

This album is full of riffs. Chock-fucking-full. You’ll remember every single one of them and want to hear them on repeat. Guitar duo Patrick Pintavalle and Peter Joseph perform with each other as if they’re one entity. It’s rare to hear two guitarists who write dual guitar parts THIS seamless. Picking the harmonies at the right time is a huge thing for me on this album.  In fact, everything occurs at the right place, at the right time.

Most of you will already know this band, but if you don’t, learning about them now might serve you well. These guys BLEED melodic death metal. Listen after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Apr 292011
 

(I swear this was a coincidence. I wrote a post that went up earlier today on metal covers based on a single by Anachronaeon we received yesterday, and then our UK contributor Andy Synn delivered this special edition of THE SYNN REPORT about . . . covers. This is the kind of occurrence that sends me back to the dictionary once again to figure out the difference between synchronicity and serenditpity. Or maybe it’s both.)

Covers are a strange breed of song – they’re the equivalent of a parallel universe, an alternate history, a What If? Comic, an adaptation of your favourite book starring an unexpected actor, a Shakespeare play set in an average American high school…

Seriously though, they have a huge amount of potential, both to be intriguingly inventive and woefully horrendous. Their success (or lack thereof) depends on many factors, but mainly on the song-choice itself – is it a natural fit for the band? Do they have the intelligence to re-work it in a distinctive manner? Or is it simply enough to tear through it in their own inimitable style, making few changes, but relying on sheer power to see them through?

I have chosen 15 artists who have produced some of my own personal favourite covers, showcasing a variety of approaches, some fully traditional takes on the original, others totally reworked variations. If there’s one thing that these covers show however, it is the subtle threads that inter-link all different sub-genres of rock and metal, which allow bands to re-work them organically. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Sep 242010
 

Well, fuck it. This is clearly new-video Friday. Seems like about every hour of the day so far a new video has popped up on our radar screen. And there’s really no reason why we should stop with those Animals As Leaders videos we put up earlier today. We’ll just continue putting up videos for as long as we see new ones to put up. How ’bout that?

Just tell your boss or your teachers or whoever is attempting to control your lives today to just fuck right off, get yourself a big ol’ fucking bag of popcorn, and just veg out and watch metal videos all day. Because at this rate, we’ll find a dozen more new ones before we call it quits today.

So, here’s what we’ve got so far: A brand new video for the title track from the new album by The Absence (“Enemy Unbound”); a brand new performance video from August Burns Red off their forthcoming live CD/DVD (the song is “Barn Burner”); and a new video from a California black-metal band called Valdur (the song is called “Vicious Existence”). Get the popcorn and go see ’em after the jump . . . (and don’t get faked out by our screen capture up at the top — clicking on that arrow won’t start the video, which is after the jump). Continue reading »

Sep 212010
 

A few days ago we published a post about a Chicago band called Demolisher that unexpectedly led to a wide-ranging discussion in the comments that was far more thoughtful and interesting than the post itself. As often seems to happen at this site, the discussion in the comments veered off in directions that couldn’t have been predicted from the subject of the post. We started off talking about breakdowns and bass drops, and by the end we were talking about banjo music — specifically, metal songs that include the banjo.

One reader (byrd36) referred to the banjo intro in a song by Virginia’s King Giant, which is the subject of a brand new video that we included in one of our MISCELLANY posts two days later. Another reader (Andy Synn) thought of a second metal band that had included the banjo in one of its songs.

That was about all it took to send our impulsive selves off in search of more banjo-infused metal, and today we’re sharing the results of our search. Even though my posts usually tend to run on and on (since “wordy” is one of my middle names), this post will require even more of your time than usual, because we’re including five songs. But we hope you’ll hang with us, because there’s some good shit in here, and it just reaffirms what a few of us thought in that earlier comment discussion: Metal needs more banjo!

After the jump, we’ll repeat that King Giant video (cuz that’s where this all started) and follow it with music from The Absence, an early Zakk Wylde project called Pride and Glory, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones.

Okay, we cheated there at the end — Béla Fleck’s music isn’t metal, but do keep an open mind, because the music is still stunning. In fact, it may be the most interesting and instrumentally impressive of all the songs we’re featuring today. Continue reading »

Jan 012010
 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF A NEW DECADE, AND A BRAVE NEW WORLD AWAITS!

So, why did you get so hammered last night? Is it really right to start off a new decade sleeping off a bender?  Well, I ain’t your mama, so my answer is:  Of course it is.

If you’re like me, today may not be the best day to pound your head with metal — unless of course you haven’t gone to sleep yet, in which case metal is exactly what you need. Because if you go to sleep now, that means you’ll wake up feeling like toad shit.  So, as your doctor, I advise you to listen to metal and don’t go to sleep.  Ever.  Be like that dude played by Christian Bale in The Machinist.  Except eat more.

Now, where was I?  Oh yeah, the new year.  As we gaze into the bright new future, we’re thinking about all the extreme music that’ll be coming our way in 2010.  We pulled together from various trade sources and internet prowling a list of extreme bands that have promised new releases in 2010, and then over the Christmas holiday your three NCS Co-Authors each picked the ones we’re most looking forward to hearing.

There were 21 bands that got at least 2 votes from the 3 of us, and that list is below.  Not that we think you really care deeply about what the three of us are stoked to hear, but our brains are too fogged today to do anything but post lists.  So here’s our list, and after the jump you can see the complete line-up we compiled of extreme bands who’ve promised new releases in 2010.  (If you know of bands we missed, let us know!)

A Life Once Lost
The Absence
Acacia Strain
All Shall Perish
Arsis
Carnifex
Dark Tranquillity
Decrepit Birth
Devin Townsend Project
Ion Dissonance
Living Sacrifice
Meshuggah
Necrophagist
Nervecell
Neuraxis
Rotting Christ
Soilwork
Through the Eyes of the Dead
Veil of Maya
Whitechapel
Wintersun

There’s one band that isn’t on this list that deserves special comment — PIG DESTROYER. They’re missing for only one reason: Although there have been widely circulated rumors (which seem to trace back to this report) that Pig Destroyer will be releasing a new album next fall, we haven’t seen any confirmation from the band or their label. But we definitely hope the reports are true.

And now, after the jump, you can see a complete list of NCS Metal bands that have announced 2010 releases. Continue reading »