Sep 052017



(DGR has again stepped forward for round-up duty and has pulled together 9 new songs and videos that caught his eye between last week and yesterday.)

Last week saw a tremendous on-rush of heavy metal news, and of course, since many people knew that we here in the States (or at least many of us) would get a long three-day weekend, a lot of it hit in the back half of the week. As the site’s resident hoover vacuum, I’ve compiled an itemized list of nine… items… that caught my interest over the course of the week that we didn’t get a chance to cover that I will now lovingly shove right into your faces.

If you’re a big fan of death metal and its chugging ilk, this roundup is mostly for you, as it seemed like a large chunk of what I found came from that sphere of influence. There’s definitely the requisite world-traveling element as well, as we go from England to Canada to Italy to the States to Greece to Sweden (twice), and you can see where this is going from here. So let’s quit goofing off and get to the fun stuff. Continue reading »

Jun 272017


(DGR once again takes over round-up duties at our metallic fortress, presenting news and new music from six bands.)

This weekend was glorious if you were in a death grind sort of mood, as it felt like Friday was the first crack in a dam about to burst from a small handful of bands. Austria’s Distaste put out a new EP entitled Todt (which is curently name-your-own-price), and Belgium-based grinders Leng Tch’e and their fellow countrymen in the restless Aborted both began streaming new songs from their upcoming releases.

In fact, in compling this roundup I felt I had to temper the blade a little bit by tacking on something that wasn’t just raw fury from front to back, so Samael find themselves paired up alongside an EP announcement for Australian tech-death wonders The Ritual Aura and an ambient teaser that, were we not aware of just how heavy those guys can get, would be fairly calming. So, if you were looking to start your day without a massive pile of non-stop guitar batterings, relentless drumming, and vocals fired at the speed of a machine-gun, my friend…you’ve come to the wrong place. Continue reading »

Jan 182017


(The UK-Ireland Tour of Meshuggah and The Haunted rolled through Nottingham, England, on the night of January 14, 2017, and our man Andy Synn was there — and files this report, with video evidence.)

Why do we go see live music? That’s a question which I’ve been pondering, cogitating on, and generally wondering about for many, many years.

After all, in one sense all that’s going to happen is that we’re going to hear some songs we already know, played with (potentially) more mistakes, in a venue where the sound quality is always a question mark, whilst packed in cheek-to-jowl with a plethora of ne’er-do-wells of dubious morality and questionable personal hygiene.

But, often when we go to see a band and they play TOO perfectly… the reaction is generally just as bad as if they’d played terribly. So it’s clearly not just a case of going to see a band to watch them reproduce the music from their albums wholesale.

I don’t have an answer to that question above by the way, it’s just something that’s been on my mind for a while. If you think about it, the whole process of going to see live music is a little odd after all.

Though I suppose if you think about anything too much it starts to seem a little weird. Continue reading »

May 312016



Riket (a Swedish word for “The Kingdom”) is the name of a new band, but its three members are metal veterans. The band was founded by vocalist Johan Nephente Fridell and guitarist/bassist Tobias Jakobsson, both of whom are members of the band Netherbird (whose last album we reviewed here), and they were joined in this enterprise by drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates, The Haunted), who was himself also a member of Netherbird at one time. Riket’s debut EP, Avarter, is being released today in digital form, and we bring you a first listen for all four songs.

There is a story behind the EP, as told by Nephente, that’s worth reading if you want to understand what inspired this project and how the songs were recorded, and so I’m including it here before spilling a few words of my own about the music. Of course, no one would blame you if you decided to start listening to the songs while you read — because they’re damned good. Continue reading »

Feb 192015

Agostino Arrivabene – “Vanitas In Refraction”


(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli presents his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks appear in this post, and the remaining five will appear in Part 2 tomorrow [here].)

This particular list is something that’s going to piss some people off and perhaps spark some sarcastic comments.  It would probably do that regardless of the contents. When you don’t include anything by The Big Four, of course you don’t understand the roots of the genre and are dissing genre-defining classics.  But if you do pick anything from The Big Four, you’re unoriginal, have no underground cred, etc., etc.

Thrash is a style of metal that gets taken pretty fucking seriously, as opposed to others where there definitely seems to be a more “you like what you like” mentality.  In my observation, It’s also the sub-genre of metal where the recognition and respect of the eldership are most likely to make or break your credibility as a fan of the music.  The thrash community is almost zealot-like in the way it can ostracize you because you don’t think Metallica and Megadeth were the pinnacles of the style.

I’m gonna be one of those guys who has nothing from The Big Four on his list, so I’ll be expecting the hipster comments for sure.  My list, as per usual, is not numbered in any kind of order that denotes anything. Continue reading »

Sep 212014

I haven’t had much blog time available since last Thursday because of job-related travel and activities, so I’ve fallen behind in posting about new songs and videos that I think you might enjoy. To catch up, I’m including a giant fuckload of them in this two-part post. And in a rare display of brevity, I’m letting the music speak for itself.

I’ve also salted this post with a smattering of older music that I discovered only recently. Part 1 of this large collection can be found here. Beginning with that post and continuing through this one, the music is presented in alphabetical order by band name.


New video: “Eye of the Storm”
Album: Exit Wounds
Label: Century Media
Band location: Sweden Continue reading »

Sep 102014


(Here’s DGR’s writeup about the new album from The Haunted. I think it’s finally time to suck it up and rename the site NO SHORT REVIEWS.)

Exit Wounds has been out for a week plus by now, and I am still consistently surprised by how The Haunted are one of the few bands out there who can do anger and aggression incredibly well. It’s hard to believe that a group lucked into having two incredibly distinct and different frontmen, both of whom were able to help elevate the band with a sense of utter malice — whilst directing it toward two different things. There’s always been an essence of conviction to the band’s reason for yelling, when so many other groups out there have a sort of toothless aggression, metal and brutality for their own sake and feeling like it was done paint-by-numbers style. The Haunted have always had bite, where other bands have felt like being gummed to death by the world’s angriest toddler, full of energy but not a whole lot getting done.

When the band effectively hung up their hats, it was a bummer, because although there are people out there who will relentlessly bitch about Unseen, it was a progression in one of the two ways that the band could have followed after The Dead Eye. It was joyfully demented, but not necessarily as sharp and pointed as The Haunted usually are. That said, it’s not like the band haven’t done a “return to form” before; it seems to be The Haunted’s calling card, but listening to the group talk, maybe it just wore on them a little bit too much. Which made the sudden re-formation both surprising and exciting. Two of the group’s members decided to stick it out, and on top of that the band filled in the empty spaces with Haunted members from the past, as well as recruiting a hell of a weapon in the form of Feared guitarist Ola Englund.

Exit Wounds, released September 2nd here in lovely North America (and a week earlier in Europe), is the result of the group’s new lineup, one for a band who may have found themselves with a lot to prove this go ’round. It’s a common narrative: re-formed band with a new lineup and a new album, scrappy as hell, and coming off of a divisive as hell previous disc. The crazy thing with Exit Wounds is that it also feels partially like an unintentional comeback tour, especially after pulling back musicians who haven’t associated with the band for some time. So, flag planted, line drawn in the sand, foot on the ground, pancake on head, robe and wizard hat donned, various other metaphors for standing your ground and facing opposition — just how well does Exit Wounds make the case for The Haunted’s continued existence? Continue reading »

Aug 262014

I haven’t written one of these round-ups since late last week, and much has happened on the metal front since then, so I’m cramming quite a few items into this post that I thought were worth sharing. It’s a jumbo-sized playlist that should appeal to many tastes (and I still didn’t include every good thing I found!).


In late July, the super-talented drummer of Vancouver’s Baptists, Nick Yacyshyn, gave an interview to CVLT Nation in which he mentioned that he had recently spent a week writing, rehearsing, and recording with Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, and Isis [the BAND, ferchrissakes]. He also posted a photo of Aaron Turner’s drum kit on his Facebook page, and he further mentioned that Brian Cook of Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, and Botch was also involved in the project.

This juicy piece of news wasn’t widely reported, but yesterday brought further details via a Facebook announcement by Profound Lore. According to that announcement, the project’s name is Sumac; its core members do indeed consist of Yacyshyn, Turner, and Cook; and Profound Lore will be releasing Sumac’s “monumentally heavy debut album” in early 2015.

I’d call that some hot shit news. Continue reading »

Feb 232014

(Andy Synn shares some thoughts about bands who change their sound over time, with two contrasting examples.)

Here’s something I’ve noticed, and I don’t doubt you will have, too. Pretty much anytime a reviewer (or a commenter) sees fit to question a band for changing their style – whether it’s a legitimate question or not is almost irrelevant – someone’s panties get in a bunch and they feel the need to hit back with an accusation that:

“You guys just want everything to sound the same! I applaud this band for changing and progressing! You just want everything to sound like Cannibal Corpse, etc, etc…”

What’s interesting about this is that – whether consciously or not – it’s reframing the terms of the argument, not addressing the original issue. It’s cleverly saying that anyone who questions a band’s decision to change its sound is clearly closed-minded and of limited intelligence. And while that’s probably true of a certain percentage of the metal community, it still doesn’t say anything about the band in question. Continue reading »

Jan 202014

Last June we were delighted to report that The Haunted’s founder Patrik Jensen had succeeded in breathing new life into the band by convincing two former members — vocalist Marco Aro (The ResistanceFace Down) and drummer extraordinaire Adrian Erlandsson (At the GatesParadise Lost) — to come back to the fold along with original bassist Jonas Björler, and by recruiting young guitar wizard Ola Englund (FearedSix Feet Under) to join the  line-up. They have recorded a new three-song “single” entitled Eye of the Storm, which will be released by Century Media on January 21, and today they premiered the title track.

Jabbing riffs and swirling lead guitar arpeggios erupt over a deep, grumbling bass line and an immaculate drum track. A beautiful but all too brief guitar solo flies by, and Marco Aro howls the  lyrics in fine, caustic fashion. Feel free to debate whether the band have recaptured their past greatness, but at a minimum, this is a catchy, head-bobbing number that’s got me smiling. Listen after the jump. Continue reading »