Sep 252010

We are so very fucking grateful to Goat the Head. Before we discovered these Norwegian troglodytes in mid-July, we had an aching void in our lives, an unfilled longing for contemporary primal caveman death metal. More than that, we wanted primal caveman death metal played in a contemporary way by cavemen who would be equally comfortable wearing either spacesuits or animal pelts.

And then we found Goat the Head, and it was as if all our feverish prayers had been answered. Suddenly, that void in our lives was filled, and we became complete, at least briefly.

But we owe Goat the Head our gratitude for more than their primal caveman (but contemporary) music. For so many years, we had wondered about the fundamental mysteries of the universe: Where did television come from?  What enabled our primitive ancestors to play the electric guitar?  What causes trailer homes to spontaneously explode?  Goat the Head answered those questions, too.

Thanks to a short but eye-opening documentary film by the band, we now know the answers — and in fact, it turns out that all those questions (and many more) have the same answer: The fucking cube. It all makes so much sense now.

There was only one problem: Back in mid-July, we only had access to two of the songs from a new Goat the Head album (called Doppelgängers) that was then scheduled for release on September 13. It would have to do, but we knew then that only a full album’s worth of material would fully eradicate our painful longing, and hopefully stop our bed-wetting at the same time.

And September 13 came, and as promised, so did Doppelgängers. We have heard it, and it is all we hoped for, and so much more. (our review continues after the jump . . . ) Continue reading »

Sep 082010

Last week, I got a series of attention-grabbing messages from my NCS collaborator IntoTheDarkness. In one, he urged me to check out a band called Yorblind, calling it “one of the best melodeath bands I’ve heard in a loooong time.” In another, he pushed me to hear Fractal Gates:  “Sooo good. In the same vein as Yorblind and Incarnia — new melodeath bands that kick ass. In Flames really was never this good lol.”

“In Flames really was never this good”?  Really?  Well, ITD is sometimes given to overstatement, particularly when he’s trying to get me to pay attention, and I’m sure he didn’t know I would quote him verbatim. On the other hand, when it comes to metal, he’s a lot harder to please than I am. So if his aim was to get my attention, he succeeded.

Oh, and I’m soooo fucking glad he succeeded, because, really and truly, these bands are soooo good. I spent much of the Labor Day weekend using them as a soundtrack to my R&R (what little of it there was), and the music just made everything sharper, more invigorating, more zap-headed. It made me happy all over again that somewhere in the dim mists of the past I started listening to metal.

I started out intending to write about both bands in a single post, but decided that just wouldn’t be right. So today the focus is on Yorblind, and tomorrow will come a few hundred words about Fractal Gates.  (more after the jump, including, as usual, a track to hear . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 292010

Sunday mornings really aren’t any better than Saturday mornings, but we’ve run that riff already, so no more NCS prescriptions about how to get your ass in gear (at least today). Instead, this is just another installment of MISCELLANY.

We did one of these earlier in the week, but we’re still catching up, so we’re doing another one. May have to do even one more before next weekend, because the list of things to check out has grown to ginormous proportions.

To remind you of the ground rules: I randomly check out music I haven’t heard or videos I haven’t seen, trying to stick with bands I’ve never heard before, and keeping my fingers crossed that it will be worth the time. I make a list during the week of things that come our way and then go exploring without much rhyme or reason.

It would be like throwing darts at the list, except I’m not allowed any sharp implements. So I just imagine I’m throwing darts. In my mind, I’ve only put out someone’s eye once.

What’s fun about this game is that I don’t know what I’m gonna find, or whether it will be worth a shit, except (usually) I know it will be metal. Here’s what I heard or saw, in the order of doing it, for this installment of the series: Mytra (Hungary), A Life Once Lost (U.S.), Vulture Industries (Norway), SiC (Faroe Islands), and Loading Data (France?).

Yes, this is a long list, but it’s fucking Sunday. What else are you gonna do today? You can hear and watch what I heard and saw, after the jump . . . Continue reading »