Nov 132017


(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the new fourth album by The Faceless, which will be released on December 1 by Sumerian Records.)

Talk to any writer worth their salt and they’ll tell you that, no matter how long they’ve been writing, the temptation to be the first to review something, to get your opinions out there before anyone else, never fully goes away.

But while there are certainly times where first impressions can be useful, it’s often better to let your thoughts marinate for a little while before committing them to paper (or, at least, to digital ink).

Now I’ve been lucky enough to have this album in my possession for a few months, meaning that I’ve had more time than most to digest the music contained therein. And while this doesn’t necessarily make my opinion “better” or more authoritative than anyone else’s, it does mean that I’ve been able to take a bit more of a long-term perspective, and so you can be sure that what you’re about to read is much more than just my first, fleeting impressions of an album that comes laden with a heck of a lot of baggage and some serious expectations to live up to. Continue reading »

Nov 012017


As explained in Part 1 of this gigantic mid-week round-up, I’m trying to catch up on the flood of new videos and songs that were released on Halloween and the few days leading up to it (although a few of the items I’ve selected are a bit older than that).

Because there are so many things I want to throw at your eyes and ears, I alphabetized everything by band name, beginning with Apophis and ending with Watain, and divided the list into three parts. I’m posting them as fast as I can get them ready to go. And because there are so many songs and videos, I’m resorting to a tactic I’ve used occasionally in the past: Although I may dribble a few words here and there, I’m mainly presenting everything with just basic release info and no reviews. Onward to Part 2:


Cattle Decap put up a video for “Prophets Of Loss” last week, mostly a live performance video using a bunch of tour footage from the group’s recent European run. Great song from a great album. Random comment by my comrade DGR: “It looks like their bassist has cut his glorious mane of hair…. This is most unfortunate. RIP really tall bassist guy’s hair.” Continue reading »

Jun 152017


(DGR takes over our round-up rodeo for this Thursday, with a mix of news and new music from 8 bands.)

By the time you are reading this, I will likely be hiding like a coward underneath a fan set on incredibly high as this region of California experiences its first legit summer heatwave of one hundred plus temperatures. Considering that I am a soft wuss who has somehow survived many of these prior, you’d think that attempting to lose weight so that I may one day fit in my freezer with the door closed wouldn’t be the go-to gameplan, but alas, here we are.

You may have noticed by our recent slowdown post that a good chunk of the NCS crew plans to spend the weekend cooped up in a handful of venues in Seattle for the Northwest Terror Fest, enjoying a smattering of different groups. So in order to offset that I’ve made a hefty collection of new music and some album artwork that has slowly been cropping up on the web in recent weeks that have floated by us recently, to be caught in the patented super-porous DGR news net. At the very end I’ll even toss in an album that I came across recently for all of you to enjoy.

So let us sunder forth so that I can quickly go back to attempting to stuff myself onto the second shelf of the freezer next to the frozen lasagna boxes. Continue reading »

Mar 012017

Dyscarnate in the studio…


(Andy Synn shares a list of his most anticipated releases of 2017… along with musical reminders… and a request for your own most-anticipated releases.)

Somehow, even though it’s only March, I’m already well behind in terms of covering new and upcoming releases. Partially that’s due to how many albums from last year I still had left to catch up on during January/February, but it’s also a testament to the sheer number of killer albums which have been released already in this year.

Now it was around this time last year (in fact, I just checked, and it was almost exactly one year ago) that I published a list of five albums whose impending release had me afroth with anticipation, including two albums (Death Fortress, Khonsu) which ultimately proved to be two of my absolute favourites of the year… although another two, Nidingr and Decrepit Birth, ended up being delayed until 2017, with the latter still not having a confirmed release date even now…

So, in a vain bid to get ahead of the curve a little, here are five six seven upcoming releases which I’m extremely stoked/jacked/hyped to hear this year, starting with… Continue reading »

Oct 092013

(DGR took in the live performances of Between the Buried and Me, The Faceless, The Contortionist, and The Safety Fire in Sacramento on Oct. 1, 2013, and here’s his review of the show.)

I consider myself somewhat lucky in that I’ve gotten to see Between The Buried And Me three times, and each time has been during an era of the band that I enjoyed. I first saw them as part of the Ozzfest 2006 tour package, and then would later see them again after Parallax I came out, and they were playing that as a chunk of their set. I have an up and down history with the band and will fully own up to getting a bit tired of them during The Great Misdirect. However, I think the Parallax Hypersleep works have been some of the best material they’ve created by far, so hearing that they were doing the second one all the way through pretty much sold me on the show no matter who would be opening for them. Throwing The Contortionist and The Faceless into the mix made the deal ever so much sweeter, with the added bonus of of exposure to some new music through The Safety Fire – whom I had never heard prior to the show.

So it came to be that I returned to one of my favorite venues in Sacramento, Ace Of Spades, and stood out front on Tuesday, October 1st. The line grew pretty rapidly, and honestly, it was one of the most impressively attended shows I had seen in Sacramento, especially given that it was on a Tuesday. Even a quarter of the way through The Safety Fire’s set the place was starting to get packed. It would prove to be an exciting show too, as every band absolutely smashed their set and the crowd would feed right into it – and that was even prior to Between The Buried And Me’s massive light show and prog explorations, which would turn the whole place into a massive sweatbox.

I was excited when I spotted the folks from Rock Hard Live setting up because that meant that I would get the opportunity to link out to some of their live footage as soon as it was posted, which is something I haven’t gotten to do in a while. So be sure to check them out, as they do some great work for this city and really do show off that we actually have some good venues out here. Continue reading »

May 222013

(DGR bears witness to the May 18 performances in Sacramento of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Royal Thunder, and Journal.)

It’s been a bit of an odd concert season so far this year. I heaped tons of praise on the Sacramento music scene last year because it seemed like there was show after show, after show, hitting within the span of a few months, to the point that between seeing local bands and bigger acts I actually wound up doing something like seven shows in one month – which was fucking awesome. This year though, work has overtaken a lot of what I’ve been up to. The year has just devolved into an endless stream of overnighters on the job, which have insured that in the span of five months….I’ve seen a whopping three concerts.

This one in particular was very exciting because it meant I’d get to see The Dillinger Escape Plan again. I’d seen them once before with Mastodon, which was a very weird experience. That time it seemed like a lot of people were there because they wanted to hear that one song that Mastodon had on the radio, so something like Dillinger was going to sail right over folks’ heads. This time though, you had a crowd who really wanted to see them and were enthusiastic as hell about it — and no band can create a feedback loop of energy quite like Dillinger can.

Of course, there were other groups on the bill, and whilst I had no idea what I was in for with Royal Thunder outside of the basic description from their Facebook, I did want to see Journal (again) and The Faceless for the first time on this end. Continue reading »

Feb 192013

Not long ago The Faceless released an official video for “Deconsecrate”, a song from last year’s Autotheism album (reviewed here by DGR). I suppose everyone who cares to has already heard the song, with its schizophrenic mix of prog, tech death, and jazz. It’s a song that caught me off guard when I first heard it — and I can’t say I’ve gone back very often to give it more time.

But a strange thing happened to me when I listened to the music in the new video, after having put quite a bit of space between me and it: I really enjoyed it.

I also enjoyed the really well-made video directed by Ramon Boutviseth. If you know the lyrical themes of this album, the story won’t come as a great surprise. However, if you think it’s showing a theft in progress, thing again. Watch after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 222012

Much earlier this month we reported the announcement of the VOICES FROM THE DARK tour of North America, co-headlined by Marduk (Sweden) and Moonspell (Portugal) and including the talents of Inquisition (U.S.), The Foreshadowing (Italy), and Death Wolf (Sweden) (which features members of Marduk). At the time of our earlier report, no dates had yet been announced. Now they have.

I’m gratified to see that it will be stopping in Seattle. I know this will make you happy, because I know you want me to be happy and I am indeed happy about this tour, especially because of the chance it will give me (finally) to see Marduk and Inquisition. Maybe you will be able to see this tour, too. But if not, I will still be happy, and therefore you will still be happy.


2/20 Springfield, VA @ Empire
2/21 Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
2/22 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
2/23 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
2/24 Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
2/25 Toronto, ON @ Wreck Room
2/26 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
2/27 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
2/28 Saint Paul, MN @ Station 4 Continue reading »

Aug 272012

(The new album by The Faceless has generated heated discussion among metalheads, and now its our turn to wade into the fray with this review by DGR.)

It’s hard to believe that we’re four years removed from the last Faceless disc and we’re finally looking at a new one. For a while, the band’s habit of being incredibly quiet became something of a punchline for jackasses like myself, running stories about how there was either no one left in the band because everybody on the planet had quit or, more likely, everyone in California had been added to a list of persons to be moved into the band’s ranks when the next person departed.

Background drama aside though, you can’t argue with the fact that with Akeldama and Planetary Duality, The Faceless put out two incredible albums, so much so that they don’t feel like time capsules. I could listen to either one of those now and it would still sound as good as the day when I first heard it. That helped make the passage of time easier, for sure, so that even the elapse of four years between albums didn’t feel that bad (and we never reached Wintersun levels of delay). However, after taking their dear sweet goddamned time, The Faceless have finally managed to kick out another release called Autotheism, and without revealing too much too soon, man is it a bit of an oddball.

One of the first things people will likely realize when they fire up Autotheism is that this isn’t the same Faceless that they fell in love with. Across the space of only three discs, there’s been a revolving door of musicians, with Autotheism representing a massive lineup shift. Point being, there’s quite a bit of new blood in this particular iteration of the band and only two guys left from the days of Planetary Duality. While I’ll admit that I, too, was pretty hyped for anything with The Faceless’ brand on it after Planetary Duality, as we found ourselves more and more removed from their previous works and as more guys excused themselves from the lineup, my interest in the band changed more from when were they were going to put out another amazing disc to whether anything more would come, and to the even bigger question: what the hell was it going to sound like? Continue reading »