Feb 212012

Songwriter and guitarist Tre Watson is a talented dude. He also can’t sit still for very long — a quality I’ve noticed in most talented people, except for those (like me) whose principal talents are sleeping and waiting for someone else to entertain them.

One of Tre’s many musical projects — the one that seems to be the vehicle for putting some death and hardcore in his metal — is a Baltimore-based band called Carthage, which also includes vocalist Eric Hendricks, guitarist Ian Starks, guitarist Noyan Tokgozoglu, bassist Robby Gossweiler, and drummer/vocalist Billy Berger.

Last fall, TheMadIsraeli reviewed the 2011 debut EP from Carthage here, but the band is already at work on a new album called Salt the Earth, which will be available for pre-order soon. At midnight last night, the band put up a new song from the album called “Blackout”. It’s a real genre-bender. There’s a foundation of bruising, pulsing, funky riffage and a hardcore vibe generated by swarming, pissed-off vocals, but the song also includes a Midi-style intro, swirling guitar leads, a brief jazzy interlude, and a sweet little solo right before a metric shift near the end.

I guess one might say it’s an interesting hybrid of hardcore, prog, and pneumatic metal. It makes you want to body-slam your neighbor while dropping into a head-nodding groove at the same time. Hot stuff. Check it out after the jump. Continue reading »

Oct 202011

My good friend Tre Watson is a very busy man who’s up to pretty much everything you can imagine in the world of music.  He’s either recording and producing someone else, writing and recording his own music, or playing with his band Carthage.  I’m reviewing not only the debut EP of Carthage, but also Tre’s recent solo EP called Gravestones.

Carthage plays a style of less-is-more and simple-is-best deathcore with “a little of everything” thrown in, as he put it.  This is pretty accurate, as the music has very small doses of thrash, melodeath, traditional hardcore, and death metal thrown into the mix to keep it varied despite the music’s simplistic approach.

Listening to the EP is like getting smashed over the head with boulders repeatedly.  There is undeniable, consistent groove here, combined with moments of melodeath riffing, deathcore and djent syncopated chugs, tremolo riffing, and badass lead-work everywhere.  I really like what’s going on here — it’s worth checking out.  It’s only a tiny bit underdeveloped, but that’s to be expected with even the best of first EP’s.  The potential is bursting at the seams.  You can stream the entire EP at Bandcamp, or right here at NCS after the jump. Continue reading »

Aug 202011

(TheMadeIsraeli has an urgent message for you . . .)

My friend Tre Watson finally got the EP of his band Carthage put out today.  Progressive deathcore that brings in a lot of interesting influences and is worth checking out for sure.  Head over to their bandcamp before midnight tonight; until then, this EP is “pay what you want,” meaning yes, you can get it for free.  Once it hits midnight, it goes back to 5 dollars.  Expect a review of this soon.


Follow Carthage on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Carthageband

Nov 172010

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Our temporarily Australian correspondent The Artist Formerly Known As Dan has another list for you today. He left out a few activities. We sure hope the comments fill in the holes . . .]

If you are like me (read: a nerd) then you tend to categorize everything, especially music.  Whenever I hear something new, I’m very quick to make a judgement about the overall sound and what type of music it is. Only, I’m not filtering it into one of those sub-genres that are constantly argued about on the internet. I’m thinking about if I like the music enough to listen to it again. If the answer is yes, then I think about when I would listen to the music again, and what the associated activity might be (don’t ask me how or why I do this – I probably have a problem).

Anyway, the point is, I think about music as something to augment my life and its associated activities, like some kind of bizarre “soundtrack to life.” For example, I really really enjoy gaming to Dagoba. I’m not positive how it started, but I think I was playing Guild Wars and I played the entirety of Face the Colossus and it was just fucking awesome.

This post is mostly meant to stimulate discussion, so what is your favorite music to xxxxx to?  I’ll list some examples below of some activities and what I like to hear while doing them.  (after the jump . . . including music to hear) Continue reading »