Jul 272018

Climate Reanalyzer Global Weather Map – July 27, 2018


(Andy Synn has compiled a collection of songs from seven bands suitable for the hell we find ourselves in.)

Depending on where you are right now in the world, there’s a good chance you’re enjoying/enduring (delete as appropriate) the same sweltering heat and blazing sunshine which is currently scorching us here in the UK, and perhaps you find yourself wondering, as the earth around you slowly returns to its molten, primordial state… what albums provide the best soundtrack to my current situation?

After all, while a lot of Stoner Rock/Metal bands have built a career out of an association with lazy, sun-kissed vibes and hazy, weed-fuelled riffs, the majority of the more Extreme/Underground bands we cover here at NCS tend to be more associated with darkness and shadow… heck, about 50% of all the world’s Black Metal bands are obsessed with snow and ice, regardless of where they actually hail from… and there’s a reason we so often use words like “dank” and “cavernous”, “chilling” and “frostbitten, to describe their music – it just fits!

As a result I had to think long and hard about what albums truly capture the sensation of being trapped and tormented by the oppressive weight of the burning sun in all its torrid and terrible glory, before finally settling on the handful of suggestions you’ll find below. Continue reading »

May 292013

(Andy Synn brings us another edition of THE SYNN REPORT, focusing on the discography of California’s The Funeral Pyre.)

Recommended for fans of: Gorgoroth, Abigail Williams, 1349

The phrase “American Black Metal” is like a red rag to a bull to some people (random fact: bulls are colour-blind, so it’s actually the motion that they’re responding to). Due to an unfortunate combination of cultural xenophobia and musical possessiveness they immediately dismiss the concept with a knee-jerk reaction of ugly contempt, or even outright anger.

And that’s a shame because there is a wealth of black metal talent in the American underground these days. And it’s not all of one uniform sort either. I suppose I could even wax lyrical how the USA has developed its own particularly American brand of the blackened arts (appropriately too, since Black Metal has always been a musical form which builds on cultural nuances and interpretations) but that’s a column in and of itself!

Hailing from La Habra, California, The Funeral Pyre were initially among the more European-sounding of the American Black Metal underground, with a frostbitten melodic attack that at its roots recalled vintage Dissection. Over the years, however, their sound has developed into something far more distinctive, a blazing conflagration of dry bones and dead-eyed malice, burning in agony beneath the pitiless desert sun. Continue reading »

Aug 022010

Just after 5:30 a.m. this morning (Monday), Makh Daniels, the vocalist of Early Graves, lost his life in a highway accident as the members of Early Graves and The Funeral Pyre were driving from Eugene, Oregon, to their next tour stop in Reno. You can read the details in the KTVL.com story after the jump.

I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know Makh Daniels, but I feel ridiculously depressed. I wrote about Early Graves’ music here, and about The Funeral Pyre here. I meant to see both of them when they played Seattle over the weekend, but found myself out of town.

So all I really know about Makh Daniels is the music that he helped to make, and the fact that he was young and talented. I don’t really know, but I would guess that the survivors of this accident from Early Graves and The Funeral Pyre are in rotten shape emotionally, and based on the news story after the jump, some of them were physically injured too.

I don’t think there’s any value in trying to draw lessons from this, because there is no lesson. Pointless deaths happen every day, and there is no rhyme or reason. They are all tragic. They are all fucked up. They are all part of life. Doesn’t make it any easier. Not even a little bit. Continue reading »

Aug 012010

This is really the fourth installment of MISCELLANY, but I like my photo caption better as a title than “Miscellany (No. 4)”.  And actually, seeing the photo up above was part of my morning’s journey around the webz, so it’s a legitimate part of this post.

The eye-catching image at the top is a new addition to the photo albums on Grave’s Facebook page. I don’t know whether the person executing the autograph is a member of Grave or another band, but his penmanship is amazingly good, under the circumstances. (To see our review of Grave’s new album, go here.)

The rest of this post is a log of my morning’s browsing around the internet, randomly checking out music from bands I’d never heard before. The way this MISCELLANY thing works, I have no advance idea whether the music will be good, bad, or indifferent, so I can’t offer you any guarantees either. I just dutifully set out what I found, and presume you’ll be interested.

Here are the bands I checked out this morning: Drudkh, Sickening, Psycho Enhancer, and Infinite Tales.

Oh yeah, as icing on the cake, we’ve got a stupendous Gojira video to close out this post.  (all this shit, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jun 262010


Me: Hey man, can I get a light?

Random Metalhead Outside a Club (“RM”):  Yeah, help yourself.

Me:  Thanks man.  (firing up a coffin nail) So, what did you think of that last band, Early Graves?

RM:  Mayhem, man! Just absolute fuckin’ mayhem!

Me:  Exactly!  It was like bein’ hit by a big fuckin’ truck, wakin’ up with tread marks embedded in your face.

RM:  Fuck yeah! That was some amazingly heavy shit. What the fuck were they playin’?

Me: All those songs were from their new album, Goner.

RM:  Good name for this kind of music, that’s for sure. It’s just, raw, eye-gouging, fuck-it-all shit. It’s like punk rock except with the heaviness dialed into the red zone.

Me: Yeah, I’m with you on that. Kinda reminded me of early Entombed, except faster, Entombed on a grindcore binge. Definitely heavy. That fuzzed-out bass is really up-front in the sound, and the fucking drummer just crushes his shit, absolutely fuckin’ berserk. But you’re right about the punk rock thing. It’s definitely got those punk rhythms and pacing.

RM:  But, you know, it wasn’t all just non-stop scorching. There was that one song that just started grinding down into a sludgy, crusty rhythm. That shit reminded me of this sweet car I used to have, the day the fucking engine just seized up on me. Sounded like the whole fuckin’ thing was coming apart and then it just stopped. Gaskets were just corroded to shit. I had to rebuild the motherfucker with money I didn’t have.

(more after the jump, including a song to hear . . .)

Continue reading »

Jun 202010

The Funeral Pyre describe themselves as: “A metal band with no ambition or hope. We have given up on people and life.” We assume they say this with at least a bit of tongue in cheek, because the band’s fourth album, Vultures at Dawn, was released June 8 on Prosthetic Records. We also hope they’ll postpone their surrender a while longer, because the album is damned good.

The Funeral Pyre’s sound has evolved over the course of those four albums and assorted EPs and splits, becoming increasingly “blackened,” to the point where Vultures at Dawn is charred through and through. On the new album, the band harnesses most of the traditional accoutrements of black metal to produce music that’s dense, foreboding, almost claustrophobic. It’s a torrent of mood-altering sounds that roll forward like a lowering sky, heavy and ominous.

The band’s last album, 2008’s Wounds, was itself a significant shift into the cold depths of non-symphonic black metal. If anything, Vultures plumbs those depths with even more intensity and an even more rigorous adherence to the core elements of the genre. But it’s nonetheless a riveting experience, and in our humble opinion, as excellent as Wounds was, the new album is even better.   (more after the jump, including a track to get lost in . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 232010

We’re now almost two months into 2010, and it’s already time for our second update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1.  (See the original list here and the first update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last update about a month ago — and there’s a lot of them.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last month about forthcoming new releases:

1349: “Prosthetic Records will release the brand new album from Norwegian black metal legends 1349 in North America via an agreement with Indie Recordings. The new CD, which promises ‘a return to the band’s more traditional, raw-yet-technical black metal sound,’ is due on April 13. In support of the yet-to-be-titled record, 1349 will embark on a North American tour in April and May as the support act for CANNIBAL CORPSE (alongside SKELETONWITCH and LECHEROUS NOCTURNE).”

ABACABB: “ABACABB are currently out on the road headlining the Hot Dice On Black Ice Tour featuring Upon A Burning Body!. The tour just hit Texas and will be in California this weekend. Following the tour ABACABB will enter the studio with producer Will Putney at Machine Shop in New Jersey and will have a new album to be released sometime this summer.”

AEON: “Swedish death metallers AEON have set Path Of Fire as the title of their third album, due later in the year via Metal Blade Records. The CD was recorded in September 2009 at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden and was mixed the following month at Mana Recording Studios in St, Petersburg, Florida by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE). The mastering was handled by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (CONVERGE, HATEBREED, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) in New Windsor, New York.”

AMORPHIS: “AMORPHIS will release its first-ever live DVD, Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes, in early June via Nuclear Blast, in time for the band’s 20th anniversary. The filming took place on November 20, 2009 at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland, where AMORPHIS was supported by STRATOVARIUS and BEFORE THE DAWN. In addition to the full-length live show, the anniversary DVD will include plenty of bonus material documenting the band’s impressive career.”   (much more after the jump . . . ) Continue reading »