Feb 262015


As I announced a few days ago, we’ve launched a new series at NCS in which we’re inviting readers to submit pieces for publication with the goal of putting the spotlight on lesser known bands from the towns, cities, and regions you folks call home — whether in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world. For details about this project, go HERE.

Yesterday we posted the inaugural piece in this series by Grant Skelton (who had the idea for the series in the first place). Hot on the heels of that, I received a submission by Seattle resident Eric Bauer (who has his own blog — “High Defamation” — here). As it happens, Eric’s piece puts the spotlight on a Seattle band that’s one of my favorites — and they’re also a group of very cool people on a personal level.

But I thought, in keeping with Grant’s original idea, that a “Local Focus” piece on Seattle ought to include a few more bands, and so with Eric’s permission I’m adding three to this post following his own feature. Continue reading »

Aug 102014

Last weekend (August 2-3) I spent two beautiful days in Denver attending the Denver Black Sky Festival. For someone who had never attended a metal festival of any kind before this year, I’ve had three great experiences in a row — MDF in May, Gilead Fest in July, and now Black Sky in August. I’d like to say I deserved it, but who would I be fooling?

The festival took place at The Gothic Theater and at Moe’s BBQ, both located in the same block on S. Broadway. I made the trip with three compatriots from Seattle, and we met my NCS comrade Badwolf from Toledo in what became an MDF reunion (and an unanticipated turning point for BadWolf’s life). We spent Saturday and Sunday at The Gothic, and missed some bands we ideally would have wanted to see at Moe’s, but had to make some tough choices.

The Gothic is a very cool, spacious, multi-level, vaulted-ceiling venue, with a wrap-around balcony on the second level, a big floor, and a great main stage with good lighting. The festival organizers set up a second stage opposite the main one, just in front of the bar at the rear of the floor. They called it “In the Round”, because its location enabled the audience to stand all around the stage; you could stand behind the second stage as well as in front of it (and you could also look down on it from the balcony above). Continue reading »

Sep 102013

Because of reasons, I haven’t had time to finish any reviews in weeks, but I will have one tomorrow even if it means I have to stop going to the bathroom and begin soiling myself (again). What I have had time to do is browse and listen randomly to new things. Here are a slew of goodies I found today. I promise, they will keep you off-balance.


This is almost becoming embarrassing. Three new songs and/or videos have premiered from the forthcoming album by this Norwegian band and I’ve featured every one of them. That’s saying something, because we don’t do this with every damned thing that emerges on a daily basis. The news and new music we choose to cover as compared to everything happening each day is something like the ratio of a gnat’s ass to an elephant’s ass. Yet I’m strangely attracted to all of the strange new music I’ve heard so far from The Tower.

Today’s new piece of vulturization comes in the form of a music video for “Lost Among Liars”. It starts with a saxophone and ends with the strumming of acoustic guitar, and in the middle Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen’s unusual vocals weave dark spells over a moody guitar melody. At least as attractive as the song is the wonderful animated artwork of  Costin Chioreanu Continue reading »