Sep 022013

Because of The Great Seattle NCS Confab, coupled with a bit of day-job grind, I largely missed happenings in the world of metal over the last 10 days. I made an effort to go back and find news and new music worth recommending from that stretch of lost time, and felt overwhelmed. I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of catching up and have decided to start fresh — with this round-up of five new videos that debuted this morning.


Fans of Devin Townsend are aware that September 30 will bring the release of a new DVD/CD entitled The Retinal Circus which captures the stunning three-hour show of the same name that took place in October 2012 at London’s Roundhouse venue (reviewed by our own Andy Synn here). The show featured a full choir, a theatrical cast, and enough visual and sonic bombast to mimic the blitz in WWII.

We previously featured the first publicly released clip from the DVD — the show-stopping performance of “Grace”. Today, DT premiered a second clip, for the song “War” from his third solo album Infinity. Watch and listen next. Continue reading »

Jul 242013

I’m still in catch-up mode on new things I haven’t been able to write about over the last few days. So, despite the fact that I already posted one round-up today, here’s another one, collecting three recommended new videos and one new song. As usual, the music is quite diverse.


On October 27 of last year Devin Townsend put on a tour-de-force live musical retrospective at The Roundhouse in London, which he called “The Retinal Circus”. Our own Andy Synn was there and wrote an evocative review, which we illustrated with photos and video clips. The performance was recorded for later release on both DVD and Blu-ray (via InsideOut Music).

Almost one week ago, DT released a clip from the DVD, the performance of “Grace” that closed the show (but for the encore), but I missed it until this morning. If you’ve seen any of the video clips of the show that previously surfaced, then you know this was a visual extravaganza. But the DVD excerpt of “Grace” is a taste of the pro-shot, multi-cam rendition that the DVD will deliver, and it’s awesome.

I’ve loved this song from the first time I heard it, and I got chills all over again when it transitioned from Anneke Van Giersbergen’s opening vocals into the hevy. I got more chills later. Is it too emo for me to say that? Well fuck it, I’m just being honest. The video is next.

Continue reading »

Oct 292012

(UK-based NCS writer Andy Synn delivers these thoughts on “The Retinal Circus”, Devin Townsend’s tour de force show on October 27 at the Roundhouse in London, with video clips at the end — including a high-quality stream of the entire show.)

Steve Vai. Metaphysical musings. Harold. A gospel choir. Anneke Van Giersbergen. A white suit and top hat. Sexy cat-people. Angry monkey men. Religion, War. Flame-throwers and angle grinders. Ziltoid. The 6th Dimensional Planet Smasher (and his hot slave girl).  Mrs Ziltoid. Giant green vaginas. Baby Ziltoid!!! Vampires, drink, and drugs. Clown-midgets. Aliens!!!

[Takes a breath]

Unexpected acoustic ballads. Shameless hippy sing-alongs. Lighters in the air, arms-waving stadium-rock. Steve Vai’s abusive, talking skull. Jed Motherfucking Simon. STRAPPING YOUNG LAD.

Cherry blossom trees and proposals of marriage. Life. A wedding soundtracked by an utterly stunning rendition of “Kingdom”. Devin’s inner demons. Aerial acrobatics. Love? Fan-waving and pole dancers. Torrents of confetti. Going from Heavy to Big. Glorious “Grace”. A down-home finale with couches, bearded ladies, and a miniature marching band like some sort of off-the-wall take on the end of Lord of The Rings.

That was The Retinal Circus. Continue reading »

Oct 212012

THis news is way too fucking awesome to wait until tomorrow for posting. Thanks to Lambgoat, I’ve just seen the news that Gojira, The Devin Townsend Project, and The Atlas Moth are teaming up for an early 2013 tour of North America. And I used to think men couldn’t have multiple orgasms.

I’m still sort of in disbelief that someone was smart enough to pull these three bands together on a single tour. It’s clearly going to be a huge profile upgrade for The Atlas Moth to be tagging along with the likes of Gojira and DT, and it will likewise be a boon to the many fans who’ll get a chance to hear them for the first time.

And the opportunity to see Gojira and DT sharing the same stage . . . well, that’s something I’ll spend the next three months salivating about. Given how much I drool on even a normal day, this is going to be embarrassing.

The tour was apparently exclusively announced during Full Metal Jackie’s show Saturday night (October 20), and tickets are supposed to go on sale October 26 and 27.

The dates and places as reported by Lambgoat are after the jump. I haven’t yet seen any other official announcements. Continue reading »

Sep 132012

Yeah, I decided to go back to the “Seen and Heard” title for these morning round-ups. I know Phro will be disappointed that I didn’t go with his latest suggestion — “A Nice, Hot Cup of Morning Cum” — but I worried that not everyone would find that as appetizing as he does. Though maybe a dash of nutmeg on top would help. Regardless of the title, the idea is the same: things I saw and heard yesterday that I thought were worth passing on.


Valdur are a three-man band from Mammoth Lakes, California, who I first came across (and wrote about) more than two years ago following release of their excellent second album, Raven God Amongst Us. Yesterday I learned that Valdur have finished writing their new album and will begin recording it on November 12. I also learned that earlier this summer they self-released a limited two-song EP entitled The Hammer Pit, which consists of “rough version” of two new songs.

I was curious to hear The Hammer Pit, since I know that this past spring a new vocalist/guitarist (“Samuel”) joined the band, and his work is reflected on the new EP. I was able to find a Bandcamp page where Valdur are streaming one of the EP’s tracks — “Conjuring the Fire Plagues” — and it’s available for a “name your price” download. It’s a damned killer of a song. Continue reading »

Sep 092012

On the night of September 4, 2012, a group of friends and I were on hand at Studio Seven in Seattle to take in the first show of a North American tour featuring Katatonia, The Devin Townsend Project, Paradise Lost, and Stolen Babies, and I brought my fancy camera, which I still haven’t learned how to work very well. And yes, that means there will be a bunch of amateurish photos scattered around this write-up.

Two of us had bought VIP tickets, which gave us the chance to attend a “meet and greet” with DTP in advance of the show. As instructed, we arrived at the venue at 5:45 pm, and eventually a group of about a dozen of us were brought inside, given swag bags, and escorted to Studio Seven’s balcony bar, which was empty except for staff people getting ready for the night — plus Devin Townsend and two members of his live band, drummer Ryan van Poederooyen and guitarist Dave Young.

We spent the first 10 or 15 minutes talking with Ryan, who couldn’t have been more friendly and humble (and who clearly was in love with the songs DT had written for Epicloud). Eventually, we wandered over to where DT was holding court with the rest of our group of admirers, and he seemed very much the same person as he does on stage — full of energy and humor, making jokes and funny faces, and enjoying talking with all of us mostly tongue-tied well-wishers. If there’s a big rock star ego anywhere in his personality, it’s well-hidden. (We had talked earlier with one of the venue’s security guys who we know, and he confirmed the impression — that DT has always been outgoing and nice to all the staff people every time our friend has worked one of his Seattle shows).

We had our photos taken with DT and then were escorted back out of the venue to wait for the doors to open along with everyone else (though our swag bags contained VIP laminates that allowed us to get back in first). The goodies inside the bag also included a signed copy of the Epicloud CD, which hadn’t yet been released as of the time of this show. Continue reading »

Jun 162012

Friday’s are often slow news days in the world of metal, but yesterday brought a bunch of goodies, and now we bring them to you for your amusement and edification. Stylistically, this metal is all over the fucking place, because so are my tastes.


The new Dying Fetus album, Reign Supreme, is so damned fine — one of the finest brutal death metal albums of 2012 in your humble editor’s opinion. It’s due for release on June 19. A few tracks have already premiered, including “From Womb To Waste”, which we featured here last month. It’s one of those songs that’s likely to remembered as much for the highly quotable audio sample at the beginning as for the rest of the song.

Yesterday Relapse released an official video for the song. It’s a splicing of live performance clips. It seems there is headbanging and moshing at Dying Fetus shows. Watch it after the jump. Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I’ve been doing actual paying work all morning. I took a break not long ago and cast my baleful eye around the interhole and my NCS e-mail box to see what there was to see and hear. And these are things I thought worth passing on.

First, that cover you see above is for a tribute album to Emperor called In Honour of Icon E, which will be released on June 25 by Metal Swamp. It’s a very nice piece of art, created by Wolkogniv of Folkingrimm Art.

It also looks like it will be a very nice album, with Emperor covers by the likes of Demonical, Helheim, Horna, Taake, and Setherial. I’ll give you the full tracklist rundown after the jump, but the news for today is that the album has gone up on Amqzon for pre-order, which means you can hear snippets of each song here. Continue reading »

Nov 202011

Since returning from my vacation late Friday, I’ve been catching up (sporadically) on metal developments while I was away. Quite a few of them turned out to involve Devin Townsend. He is as multi-talented and as exuberantly creative as anyone working in metal today, and as I’ve learned again recently, his live shows are also fan-fucking-tastic. So, I pay attention when I see anything new about him, and I’m collecting in this post all of the recent items I saw — though DT is both so prolific and so unpredictable that I may well have missed something.


The first item is captured in the poster above. No sooner did DT finish his four-night series of special shows in London last week (one of which our own Andy Synn reviewed here) than he announced another very special London show — though this one is nearly a year off in the future. This one he’s billing as the biggest show he has ever done and the culmination of his entire career. It will involve “an art exhibition, actors, Ziltoid, stilt walkers, fire breathers” and a host of guest musicians “playing music that has never been attempted due to the size of the songs and the need for certain things“. The extravaganza will happen on October 27 at the Roundhouse, and tickets went on sale last Friday. Details are available here.

By the way, for poor schmoes like me who are too distant from London to make this show, it will be filmed for DVD.

After the jump, I’ve got three more items, and all of them are listening experiences. Continue reading »

Sep 232011

Just minutes ago I received an urgent message from NCS writer TheMadIsraeli, worded as follows:  “Trippy as fuck music video just released for this song.  I don’t even know what I’m watching.” Accompanying the message was a link to the just-released official music video for “Juular”, one of the amazing songs on The Devin Townsend Project’s amazing 2011 album, Deconstruction (reviewed here at NCS).

I thought the new video we featured in our last post — the one for Dark Tranquillity’s “Zero Distance” — was visually interesting to watch. But I’m afraid it has been blown out of the water by this “Juular” video. In fact, this video blows everything out of the water. Words fail me. Watch it after the jump. Continue reading »