Aug 202015

Thy Catafalque- Sgùrr

I haven’t had time to compile a round-up of new music since Monday. I enjoy posting premieres and accompanying reviews when I like the music, and we’ve had a lot of those this week (more are coming later today), but they do tend to cut into the time available to search out other new songs worth recommending. When three or four days pass without a round-up, it’s not possible to cover everything I’d like to cover — too much good music comes out every day. So this is just an initial group of things I’d like to recommend for now; with luck I hope to prepare another round-up for tomorrow.


There are few bands whose music I admire as much as Thy Catafalque. Thanks to praise about the band I first read at The Number of the Blog back in early 2011, I discovered the wonders of Thy Catafalque’s discography and began writing about the music, which in turn led me to make the acquaintance of the band’s remarkable mastermind Tamás Kátai. And then later that same year I was simply blown away by the band’s newest album, Rengeteg. I’m terrible at making narrowed lists of things I like, but if I were to attempt to make a list of my 10 favorite metal albums of all time, I know it would be a strong contender. Continue reading »

Apr 122013

(Occasional NCS contributor Mike Yost has kindly allowed us to re-publish this recent piece he wrote about the importance of metal on long road trips.)

Denver, Colorado to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  About 1,638 miles.   That’s 2,882,880 yards of asphalt.  Burning through almost 200 gallons of diesel fuel.  Passing what must have been over 1,000,000,000 fucking construction cones.  The vehicle:  A 22 foot-long Penske moving van with a dolly towing a car.  12 foot, 7 inch height clearance.  Ten tires on the road.  Total weight of about 30,000lbs.

Yes, this was (dare I say) an epic trip.  And an expedition of this magnitude required tunes.  Lots of tunes.   Lots of metal.  With almost 30 hours of drive time, silence for that long would have driven me into a bridge.   Or rather, I would have driven willfully into a bridge, laughing manically while beating my head against the steering wheel.

Combine the claustrophobia of a truck cab, the inability to sleep while occupying such a contraption, the stomach aches from eating shitty gas-station sandwiches made with meat shaved from the hind-end of a decaying maggot-infested human carcass laying out back, the traffic jams in the middle of fucking nowhere due to construction, the congested cities you must fight your way through, and just the general mind-numbing tedium of miles and miles of road rolling out in front of you—endless and without mercy or conscience—then you understand the function and importance of metal to sooth nerves and subdue the urge to suddenly veer into oncoming traffic. Continue reading »

Jun 072012

Really, I swear, this isn’t going to become a regular feature, despite the fact that this is the fourth time I’ve done one of these posts in the last week. And the proof is that I’m not using the same name for this post as I did for the last ones. I’m calling it something different. You can see that.

Anyway, here are some things I saw and heard yesterday and last night, and at the end of the post I’ll have an update on our experiment in paying to promote our Facebook posts. Here’s a disgusting hint: It works.

I saw an announcement by Century Media that Swedish death metal icons Grave (in their leather finery up above) will release their 10th studio album, Endless Procession Of Souls, on August 27th in Europe and on August 28th in North America.  I’m already beginning to get the stench of rotting corpsemeat up inside my nose. I’ll probably stop bathing soon, just to get myself fully attuned to the reek by August. We previously reported that Grave will be touring NorthAm with Dark Funeral (and some band named Morbid Angel) this September and October.

And speaking of grisly old-school Swedish death metal, I received through the ether an electronic copy of a new EP from Mexico’s Zombiefication called Reaper’s Consecration. I’ve only listened to two of the five tracks so far, but it is a fucking brain assassin, and the EP includes this sweet cover art designd by the band’s vocalist Mr. Hitch: Continue reading »

Jan 102012

This is Part 16 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

Today’s first song was an early and easy pick for this list — hands down, it’s one of my favorite songs of 2011. It’s only emerging as an addition to the list at this late date because I first wanted to finish a review of the album from whence it comes — which I finally accomplished as of today. The second song was also an early favorite, but I’ve had it in my head to pair these songs together, for reasons I’ll try to explain. Here we go:


There’s not much I need to say here about this band’s 2011 album Rengeteg, because earlier today I posted a detailed review of it. In a nutshell, it was one of my favorite albums of 2011 — maybe even my most favorite. It’s an odd feeling to have, because the vast majority of the singing is clean and many of the songs are not what anyone would consider “extreme metal” — but that’s my honest reaction to the music. Continue reading »

Jan 102012

I listened to a lot of albums in 2011, most of them new releases. I made mental lists and written lists of the ones I wanted to review, not because I think I’m particularly good at it, but because I want to do my part to help spread the word about music I admire and to support good bands so they’ll continue making music that makes me happy ( yes, it all comes down to selfishness in the end).

Of course, I fell down on the job miserably. I just didn’t get around to reviewing everything I wanted to praise in 2011. With the new year under way, I know that psychologically I’ll feel motivated to focus on new releases this year instead of trying to catch up on writing about 2011 albums.  But if I never write about another 2011 album, there’s one I cannot leave unheralded — Rengeteg.

If this 2011 album from Thy Catafalque consisted of the 9 minutes and 20 seconds of “Fekete mezők” and 51 minutes of mind-numbing elevator music, I would still be happy. “Fekete mezők” is one of my favorite songs of the year. But that song is just the beginning of an album’s worth of musical marvels — and no two of them are alike.

The songs flow into each other without pause, pulling the listener along with them as they cross a constantly changing landscape of sounds and emotions. The idea of crossing a landscape isn’t just the feeling conjured by the movement of the music. It also emerges from the lyrics.

The words are in Hungarian, but they’ve recently become available in English translations, and I found them interesting to read while listening to the album (for the umpteenth time). If there’s a concept I can discern, it is one about the unity of life and matter, about the connectedness of human beings to the Earth, and more than the Earth, to the star-spawned matter of which we and it are made. Continue reading »

Dec 192011

(Tamás Kátai is the man behind a Hungarian band called Thy Catafalque, whose fifth album Rengeteg is one of my favorite recordings of the year,  for reasons I’ll be explaining in a forthcoming review. Also, a song from that album will appear soon on our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. So of course, as part of our Listmania series, I asked Tamás to contribute his list of the year’s best albums — and here we have it.)

10. Baaba KulkaBaaba Kulka

A Polish band with early Iron Maiden covers up to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album. Why it’s interesting and worthy of note is that they handle the task with exceptional freedom and taste. My faves are the trip-hopish “Aces High” and the beautifully low-key “Flight Of Icarus”. True Warriors Of Heavy Metal keep out!

Continue reading »

Oct 052011

Oh baby, did yesterday bring some titillating musical teasers. Actually, only two of the four teasers featured in this post are actual music. The other two are simply forecasts of music that will become available shortly.

By the way, I’m writing this in a hurry because I’m about to leave for the airport. The old fucking day job is sending me to the East Coast for a couple of days. I’ll tell you, the life of a coke mule isn’t as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be. The prospect of parking my tender, balloon-filled butt in a cramped airplane seat for 5+ hours isn’t appealing. But it comes with the territory, y’know? Anyway, when I ignore all your comments until tonight, it won’t mean I don’t love you.


This talented Hungarian band has already teased us about their new album on Season of Mist, Rengeteg, which won’t actually see the full light of day until November 11 and fucking January 10, 2012 in North America. Yes, last month we got some snippets of music (featured at NCS here) — not even a full song, but certainly enough to stir our loins in anticipation. Now we have a full song, the first to debut from the new album. It’s called “Fekete mezők”, which means “black fields”. And guess what? Season of Mist has made it available for free download HERE. Listen up (right after the jump): Continue reading »

Sep 192011

I’m beginning to think that the Geneva Convention should be amended to prohibit album teasers, unless the music sucks like a toothless meth whore, in which case, y’know, the sooner it’s over the better. But when the music sounds awesome, it’s torture to be given just a few seconds of tease and then be left tumescent and unsatisfied.

I used to think Tamás Kátai and his band Thy Catafalque were great. I’ve been singing their praises recently (here, for example). What a fool I’ve been. I’ve learned the hard way that they’re just a bunch of teases. I wake up this morning, bleary eyes still crusted with sleep and belly badly in need of caffeination. I stumble over to the computer and check the e-mail to see if any of my supposed African benefactors have actually made arrangements to provide the bags of gold dust and multi-million-dollar wire transfers they promised in return for my personal details, and what do I see instead but a note from Tamás about the dose of torture at the top of this post.

Yes, it’s a fucking album teaser. Just long enough to produce a swelling sensation in my pants and then . . . silence. It’s an especially heartless thing to do since the new album (the band’s first on Season of Mist) won’t be released until November 11 in Europe and fucking January 10, 2012 in North America. I bet dollars to donuts that they’re not finished with the torturing either. I bet they’re going to release a song sometime between now and then followed by more tumescence and then more . . . . . . . . . . waiting.

I am one of those people who believes that my own suffering will be ameliorated if I cause other people to suffer in the same way. Don’t you just love people like that? So, listen to the teaser, won’t you? It’s after the jump. Continue reading »

Sep 072011

Here’s another daily round-up of news and new music that I noticed today. All of these items perked me right up, so I thought I’d share them.


Compared to other metal blogs, we’re late to the Thy Catafalque party, but we’re making up for lost time because the unique music of this Hungarian band has been a cool discovery (you can see our first post about them here).  We knew that the band had recently signed with the dependable Season of Mist label, but this morning we got a message from Tamás Kátai with further details.

Specifically, the band seems to have finished 60 minutes worth of new music (10 songs) that will be released on November 11 in Europe and on January 10, 2012 in North America. It will be entitled Rengeteg, and you can see the cover art up above, which is the result of a collaboration between Tamás and Portuguese photographer Ruy Luz. The art seems connected to the meaning of the album’s title, which is an obsolete Hungarian word referring to a vast, trackless forest. We’ll be all ears when this album becomes available for listening.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 142011

Just catching up on news here. But I’ll throw in some new music I heard this morning, too. The bands featured in this post: Thy Catafalque (again), GireThreat Signal, SolaceRedScream, and Deicide.


Just a few days ago, we posted a short feature that included this two-person band named Thy Catalfalque as a result of my first serious effort to get into their music — and man, have I gotten into it. I get more out of it the more I listen, like peeling back the proverbial onion, except without the watering eyes. To my good fortune, this led to a few e-mail exchanges with the band’s principle creative force, Tamás Kátai.

To date, Thy Catafalque have produced four albums and a demo, with a new album to be released in the future by Season of Mist. The last two albums (the ones I’ve been listening to) were released by Epidemie Records and have become a bit hard to find, at least if you want physical copies, though Epidemie will be re-releasing Róka Hasa Rádió on November 30, but this time in a jewel-case edition with an 8-page booklet (versus the original, nearly sold-out digipack version).

Thy Catafalque isn’t Tamás Kátai’s only musical project. He also handles keyboards, programming, lyrics, and more for another long-running Hungarian band called Gire, who have six demos to their credit plus a 2007 self-titled debut album (which features that eye-catching album cover above). The Gire debut album is also hard to find, but Tamás helpfully pointed out that it can be downloaded from this location — so, of course, I did that.

I’ve only just started listening, and I have a feeling that, as on the albums from Thy Catafalque, no one song on this album is going to tell you very much about the rest of them. But of the tracks I’ve heard so far,this is a mixture of eviscerating death metal, catastrophic sludge, industrial red-lining, and meteoric, experimental guitar extravaganza. I’m deadly serious. This is a stupendous head-check. (more after the jump . . . .) Continue reading »