Jul 312015

Wagakki Band video


Before I saw the video by the Wagakki Band that you’re about to see, I was at work on a big round-up of new music for later today. And then our Tokyo-based pal Phro messaged me about the video, and I watched it — and felt compelled to get it up on our site without delay.

I counted, and this makes the sixth time we’ve posted about the Wagakki Band at NCS, and they deserve all that attention because they are awesome. This most recent video is for a new song named “Akatsukino Ito”, which will appear on a forthcoming album entitled Yasou-emaki. I want to quote an excerpt from Phro’s post about it at RocketNews24:

“The music features the band’s trademark mixture of rock and traditional instruments, with thundering drums and furious strings that compel the soaring vocals ever higher. The song is almost like a battle cry, which manifests in the video as the members draw swords to face off against a dragon flying through the sky.”

Continue reading »

Jan 182015

I’m feeling kind of under the weather, thanks for asking. And by “under the weather”, I mean that I got shit-faced last night in Houston, went to bed really late, woke up less than four hours later — hungover as fuck — in order to make a flight back to Seattle, and am now sitting on that airplane gamely fighting waves of nausea with the outcome still too close to call. How’s it going with you?

Apart from not exactly being at the top of my game, I’m also impaired by my inability to easily stream music on this airplane wi-fi, so I haven’t been able to listen to anything new since the plane took off, but in addition to some news items I do have a couple of videos and a song in here that I saw and heard yesterday before getting shit-faced.

Also, I’m thinking about ordering a copy of that book up there. Do you think it would help me the next time I get in my current situation? Continue reading »

Jul 292014

I haven’t managed to compile a round-up of noteworthy new things in a few days, so this one is largish, though still not large enough. I’ll try to keep my own verbiage to a minimum so you don’t lose interest and drift away like hyperactive children, or like me when I hear a firetruck going by. I’ll begin with a trio of news items and then move into the music.


Yesterday came an announcement that Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica, and Battlecross will tour North America together beginning on October 4 in Denver and ending on November 1 in Hollywood. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Machine Head’s new album on Nuclear Blast should be out around the time of this tour. I can’t honestly say that I’m very lathered up about this tour, but if you are, please send photos of yourself. Here are the dates (continued after the jump):

10/04/2014 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
10/05/2014 Aftershock – Merriam, KS
10/06/2014 House Of Blues – Dallas, TX
10/07/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
10/09/2014 Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
10/10/2014 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA Continue reading »

Mar 112014

I have a lot of new discoveries from the preceding 24 hours that I want to share with you today in between the two premieres we have scheduled. I’ve divided them into two of these “Seen and Heard” posts. In this first one I tried to mix things up. Some of what’s here isn’t metal, but it’s all good.


As I previously reported in these pages, Agonia Records will be releasing the 10th studio album by Belgium’s Enthroned on April 15. The title is Sovereigns, and it’s now available for pre-order at this location. Earlier, I featured the first advance track from the album (“Of Feathers and Flames”), and today Noisey premiered another one — “Of Shrines and Sovereigns”. This one is ravaging and rapacious, but it also includes  a somber interlude, something similar to Gregorian chant that transforms into a black metal processional, and it really makes the song.

Enthroned’s Facebook page can be accessed through this link. Here’s the new track: Continue reading »

Feb 052014

Here are a couple of quick update items about Japanese bands we’ve written about in the past.


Long-time readers of the site know that we have a thing about Baby Metal. A non-pervy thing, I hasten to add. If you’re new to the site, you can find all our prior blathering here. The breaking news is that Baby Metal, at long last, have announced they will be releasing an album. Entitled BABYMETAL, it will become available on February 26 via iTunes and assorted other sites (for CDs), which you can find via the band’s FB page or their web site.

The band have released a trailer for the album. It’s mainly just a string of clips from previous videos, but I’ll stick it up here anyway: Continue reading »

Oct 192013

Since Thursday I’ve been away from Seattle at a “retreat” with most of my co-workers hosted by the business I work for. Between the planned daytime and nighttime activities and staying up ’til 4 a.m. the last two nights while engaged in assorted unplanned and self-destructive activities, I’ve not had much time for NCS.  And my laptop has been very lonely.

This afternoon I decided to get online and at least quickly check my messages, and there I found one from our old Tokyo-based pal Phro. After being a frequent presence at this site and then eventually starting his own fiction blog, Phro now has a professional writing gig for a site called Rocket News 24. Phro’s message drew my attention to one of his recent articles, which was about a Japanese group named the Wagakki Band.

The Wagakki Band are unusual in at least two ways. First, they record covers of vocaloid songs. I didn’t know what vocaloids were, but The Font of All Human Knowledge explains that a vocaloid is software that enables users to synthesize singing by typing in the lyrics and information about the melody. I guess you could call it a digital vocalist. Apparently, vocaloid music has a big following in Japan, though it seems mostly unknown in the West.  Continue reading »