Jun 172012

Javier Reyes with Vicente Sanchis Classical guitar

When it rains, it pours.

As many of you already know, Animals As Leaders guitarist Javier Reyes was arrested by Boston police following a show on May 27 in what appears to have been a gross abuse of authority, and he’s having to deal with the legal ramifications of that. For more details, and to sign a petition urging the Governor of Massachusetts to get involved on Reyes’ behalf, GO HERE (at this writing, almost 25,000 people have signed the petition).

But now there’s even more bad news from the AAL camp. This message appeared on the AAL Facebook page last night:

“Hey guys.
We’ve got some pretty terrible news to report. Upon returning home to our house in LA we discovered that we’d been robbed while were out on tour. The thieves were able to get away with Javier’s Chevy Blazer and all of the equipment we didn’t have on tour with us. 10 guitars in total. This includes many of our one of a kind custom instruments (Stranberg, Rick Toone ) as well as amplifiers, PA equipment and personal items.

This is beyond devastating. We know so many of you have been beyond supportive with Javier’s legal troubles. We may need more of your help now to potentially find some of these one of a kind instruments that may pop up on Ebay, Craigslist, pawn shops, used music stores etc.

We’re adding an album containing photos and detailed descriptions of the stolen gear to our profile. Please take a look and keep your eyes open for anything that looks close to this stuff. I truly think that with your help we have an exponentially better chance of tracking some of this down.

Tosin, Javier”

To see those photos, GO HERE.  One of them is at the top of this post. Also, after the jump, I’ve added the rest of the photos for those of you not on FB, along with a few more thoughts. Continue reading »

Sep 232011

Today seems to be a day for song and video debuts from bands we like here at NCS. As long as they continue rolling out, we’ll continue putting them up.

The most recent advent comes from those brilliant instrumentalists in Animals As Leaders, whose sophomore album Weightless is coming our way in November via Prosthetic Records. The song that debuted in full today is called “Isolated Incidents”, and it’s a blast to hear.

The song begins with an inventive but almost placid passage, which is hardly preparation for the sledgehammer blows that follow it as the song kicks into high gear. Tosin Abasi is in fine, fine form, mixing a host of different guitar instrumental styles as the song weaves its way through the maze of its progressions, and his compatriots Navene Koperweis and Javier Reyes stay right with him. Coolness. Listen after the jump. Continue reading »

Sep 242010

Not long ago, we posted a video retrospective of the meteoric career of multi-instrumentalist Navene Koperweis. When we did that, we had trouble finding a decent performance video of Animals As Leaders — the band in which Koperweis plays drums with the godlike Tosin Abasi on guitar. Now, METAL INJECTION has remedied that problem.

They were on hand when AAL played the Sonar in Baltimore on the SUMMER SLAUGHTER 2010 tour and filmed some of the band’s performance using multiple cameras. The video quality and the sound quality are both far superior to any other videos currently available of AAL playing live.

The one at the top of this post is the song “Tempting Time”, and after the jump, we’ve got a second METAL INJECTION video of “Wave of Babies”. If this doesn’t make you come, then it’s possible you were neutered in your sleep last night.  Plus, when’s the last time you saw a metal guitarist playing in a polo shirt and white shorts? Continue reading »

Sep 072010

We’ve splashed our admiration for Navene Koperweis across these pages enough times that it’s verging on stalkerish. If somehow you missed one of our many posts in which we dropped his name, he’s a self-taught drummer from California who’s also strikingly adept at playing all sorts of other instruments, too.

He used to blast the skins for deathcore band Animosity. Now, he plays with Tosin Abasi in the stunningly good Animals As Leaders, and he’s the creative and instrumental force behind Fleshwrought (with Job For A Cowboy’s Jonny Davy on vocals).

It’s not like we think about him all the time, which would be kind of creepy. But a few days ago, we saw a Facebook post by one of the dudes in FXZero that linked to a four-year old video of an Animosity song called “The Black Page” that we’d never seen.

And there was Navene Koperweis, pummeling the crap out of his drums and looking much younger than when we saw him with AAL on the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour a few weeks ago (see our photo above).

So, we thought, what the fuck — let’s put together a little audio-video montage of this dude, then and now. You can see how he’s grown in his playing and his musical interests, and all the songs happen to be fucking great, too.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 072010

I guess this MISCELLANY thing is turning into a weekly installment. I do have fun with it, and I hope you continue to find it worthwhile, too.

For new readers, it’s a record of how I spent my time on a recent morning (in this case, yesterday), checking out music I hadn’t heard before. The process is pretty random. I see something that looks interesting — whether from an internet post somewhere or an e-mail we receive here at NCS or a MySpace friend request or something that shows up in the mail.

I’m still hoping our cat will bring me a new CD someday, thinking it’s a mouse. That would really be random, but it hasn’t happened yet. I try to explain what I want, but he just looks at me like that rare Sri Lankan loris over on the right. Except he’s a cat. I wouldn’t want a loris for a pet because they have hands. That would worry me.

Anyway, this MISCELLANY post is a record of what I heard, not knowing in advance whether it would be good, so you’re kind of taking pot luck right along with me. As usual, there’s an international flavor to what I found. And as it happens, I had amazingly good luck on this most recent excursion. Not 100% satisfaction, but pretty fucking close.

The performers whose new music I heard (or whose new videos I watched) were: Navene Koperweis and Alex Rudinger (U.S.), Sole Remedy (Finland), The Red Shore (Australia), Apocalyptica (Finland), and The Autumn Offering (U.S.) — with a little bonus from The Crown (Sweden).

You can hear the music and watch the vids after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Jan 022010

About a week ago we finished posting our list of the Ten Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of 2009. Finishing the list turned out to be a bit of a struggle because your NCS Co-Authors had more favorites than we had open slots on the list.  And each of us had some infectious favorites on our short lists that didn’t survive the final negotiations among us — but they just missed by a nose. So we’re going to roll out those songs now. It’s the next best thing to just reneging on our commitment to make our list a “Top Ten” and instead renaming it the “Top Fourteen.”

LAMB OF GOD:  In Your Words

Lamb of God enjoys such a hallowed place in the pantheon of extreme metal that thousands wait with bated breath for each new release — and then, when it comes, promptly engage in vociferous debate about whether it compares favorably or not to the monster hits of the band’s past.  Wrath was LOG’s first release in over two years, and predictably generated a war of words about whether LOG had lived up to its fans’ stratospheric expectations, and about what it signified about the band’s future trajectory.

We won’t engage in comparisons of the album to LOG’s ground-breaking work of the past: Considered on its own merits, it’s a well-engineered, riff-filled barrage of headbangery by some brilliant song-writers and musicians.

“Infectious” is Lamb of God’s middle name, but our most infectious favorite from Wrath is the first song that appears on the album after the (very cool) instrumental intro.  “In Your Words” launches with an insistent, immediately headbangable riff, followed by an extended scream from the almighty Randy Blythe (whose versatile vocals throughout the album are superb) and a crushing drum attack – and we’re off to the races.  At about  the 2:30 mark, the song defuses into a pounding breakdown and then culminates in an extended cascading wall of pulsing, groovy, tremolo-picked melody.  So damn cool!  See for yourself and then continue reading after the jump for our last three finalists:

Lamb of God: In Your Words Continue reading »