Aug 252014


(Our man BadWolf interviews Jeff Lohrber of Enabler; he also took the photos in this post at Enabler’s show in Detroit at The Loving Touch on June 10, 2014.)

In the months since Inquisitiongate (can we agree on that as the formal term?), it seems like virtually any extreme metal band could come under fire for suspicion of racism—Dragonforce and Bölzer have both come under fire as of late, and rebuffed those accusation with varying degrees of success.

Let’s scratch one band off the suspicion list: Enabler are not racist. In a brief conversation with Jeff Lohrber, guitarist/vocalist of the three-piece crust outfit, he made that much perfectly clear, alongside talking about his love of classic rock and breaking down my favorite track on what very well might be my favorite record of the year, La Fin Absolue Du Monde.


To begin, things I didn’t notice at Maryland Deathfest: not only do you have a Today is the Day tattoo, but you have an Ohio knuckle tattoo.



What’s up with that?

Well, I’ve been in Today’s the Day three times now. I’m currently the drummer for the band, and I grew up in Ohio.



Around Dayton. I actually live back in Ohio again. We were in Milwaukee. We started in Milwaukee but we’re based out of Ohio now. We have one member who lives in Milwaukee still.


Where do you live, Dayton?

No, I live in the middle of nowhere. 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 »

Dec 072011

(The METAL SUCKFEST that took place in NYC on Nov 4 and 5 was a milestone event — the first U.S. metal festival organized and co-sponsored by a metal blog, and Metal Sucks pulled together a fucktastic line-up to boot. So, NCS decided to document the event up-close and personal by sending two emissaries — NCS writer BadWolf and photographer Nicholas Vechery.  They returned intact, and this is BadWolf’s report of the festival’s first day, along with Nick’s photos. BadWolf’s Day Two report will be tomorrow, and we’ll have interviews to come after that.)

Blogs will control the entertainment industry within our lifetimes (if the industry lasts our lifetimes). TMZ will overtake Entertainment Tonight. In some ways, Pitchfork has already taken Rolling Stone’s place.  Case in point: MetalSucks just threw the first (to my knowledge) blog-driven extreme music festival on US soil, Suckfest, and NCS was there to cover it.

On November 4, 2011, suckalos—yours truly included—flocked to the Grammercy Theater in Manhattan for seven hours of thrash. NCS photographer Nicholas Vechery and I rolled in sleep-deprived and sore after a 20+ hour bus trip from Ohio. The venue –the Grammercy Theater—was indeed a theater once and remains dark and sparse.

Initially, I thought the Grammercy would be too small to fit a decent crowd, but the first day was poorly attended.  Attendees shouted “Occupy Grammercy!” between songs, but otherwise behaved themselves too well by my standards. New York headbangers seem more reluctant to mosh than when I lived in the Big Apple. I smelled a division between lineup and audience—the first day’s bands all shared a background in hardcore punk, but in general MetalSucks caters to a more technical/progressive metal loving audience. The lineup was strong, but perhaps suited for a more intimate venue. After all, who wants to see Magrudergrind behind a security barrier?

Audience aside, the first day’s bands exploded over the lower-east side with white-knuckle intensity. Continue reading »

Aug 292011

The two-day NYC metal festival called SUCKFEST that’s being sponsored by our friends at Metal Sucks has caused an emotional war among my schizophrenic selves. On the one hand, the ugly green-eyed monster part of me is jealous that they’re pulling this off when the only tour we’ve sponsored to date is a figment of my imagination. On the other hand, my metal-blogger self is really proud that MS is able to pull of something like this. And on the third hand, the fanboy part of me is genuinely excited by the line-up that’s been announced so far — Municipal Waste and Cynic as the two headline acts, with The Red Chord, Obscura, and Rosetta on the bill as well — and 15 more bands yet to be announced.

Now, I’m having yet another internal warring conflict over this festival. Compared to the bad old days, when about 20 people read our site (most of whom were our institutionalized relatives), we’ve become more responsible. Usually (usually), we no longer try to steal other people’s thunder by “premiering” songs from unreleased albums without permission or tossing up unauthorized song downloads, and we try to maintain standards of high journalistic integrity, which means we now only make up about 50% of the news stories we report here.

But we’re not completely house-broken yet, and so I can’t resist the impulse to report a rumor that Today Is the Day and Magrudergrind are also going to be playing at the SUCKFEST on the first day (Nov. 4), headlined by Municipal Waste. I sure as fuck hope this is true, because those two bands are among my favorites. Today Is the Day is nothing short of legendary, and Magrudergrind may well be the heir-apparents to Pig Destroyer.

All wishful thinking aside, I do consider my source of this info to be reliable, or I wouldn’t be sticking my neck out to report this. So, with apologies to Metal Sucks, Today Is the Day, and Magrudergrind for a bit of thunder-stealing leakage, I’m goin’ with it. And if I’m wrong, well fuckit, it won’t be the first time.

Aug 172010

Pristina‘s first full-length album, The Drought (Ov Salt and Sorrow), is fascinating in its diversity. It crushes like a slab of granite dropped from a high place, and it’s also searing in its unbridled, hardcore ferocity. It’s salted with unnerving vocal samples and electronic noise, and it also delivers galvanizing riffs. It grinds like a lumbering, blood-drenched tank through a landscape of sludge, and it erupts like an out-of-control flamethrower.

The Drought is raw and uncompromising, and it’s one of the most riveting collections of music we’ve heard this year.

The album consists of only five songs. Four of them range in length from about 3 1/2 minutes to about 8 1/2 — and then there’s the closing title track. It’s a 23-minute piece of mind-bending inventiveness that overcame our instinctive trepidation about songs of that length: It neither drones nor drags nor bloats its length with instrumental wankery. It is instead an ingenious, multi-phased beast that’s worth every minute of attention it demands.

The opening track, “Moonshiner”, begins with an extended sample from one of Henry Rollins’ spoken word albums, accompanied by the repetition of crushing chords and a methodical drum rhythm. Following that bruising yet hypnotic intro, Pristina erupts with Brendan Duff’s acidic screams and shuddering jackhammer riffs. The crusty sludge of those opening minutes and the more febrile blasts that replaced it then alternate, with brief interludes of acoustic guitar sandwiched in between.

That opening track sets the stage for what follows. It’s drenched in fuzzed out distortion, anchored by a dominant rhythm section, and propelled by remarkably inventive, expertly executed drumming.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »