Jan 212018
 


Robert Venosa: “Ayahuasca Dream”

 

(DGR has stepped into the round-up void left by our editor this past week and has produced a three-part collection of recent songs and videos. Parts 1 is here; Part 3 will be presented on Monday.)

 

Three weeks into January, and judging by the handful of massive Seen and Heard and Overflowing Streams posts we’ve had to put up, you could say that we’ve managed to the get ourselves into gear as our beloved musical genre has already offloaded numerous news bits upon us in the new year.

I, your ever-faithful servant, have also been doing my best to go along with my ragged fish net and catch everything that might’ve slipped by us — which in the case of this post dates back to last week and then some. Continue reading »

Jul 282014
 

(DGR wrote this review of the new album by Toronto’s Tyrant of Death.)

One glance at the track lengths of Tyrant Of Death’s new release Ascendancy should tell you everything you need to know about this album. With each song exceeding a ten-minute run time, Ascendancy is an intimidating as hell disc. Tyrant Of Death has released a few longer tracks in its time on this earth, but has never before collected a bunch of them in one location. At first glance without listening, it looks like Tyrant Of Death gone prog.

Ascendancy is the fifteenth (!) Tyrant Of Death release, with a time gap of about a year since last year’s Nuclear Nanosecond, an album that itself emerged after a longer gap of time compared to Tyrant Of Death’s more prolific days when three or four albums a year would hit. It’s not Senmuth numbers, but this project has a lot of material out there, which has meant that with every release the band has had to work insanely hard to differentiate itself from the pack, not only from other musicians but also from its own huge slab of work.

Ascendancy is the grandest attempt at that yet, with its longer track run-times and a bevy of guest musicians from throughout the circle of bands with whom project owner Alex Rise has long associated — meaning that four of the five songs on Ascendancy have vocal tracks as well as a guest guitarist or two. Ascendancy is an ambitious disc — one that moves from the industrialized chaos of Anaal Nathrakh to the oblivion of blasts and science fiction influences that have long worked their way into the Tyrant Of Death formula. And almost all of it moves at a breakneck pace, with almost no room to breathe until the album’s closer, “Biomechanical”. Continue reading »

Jul 122014
 

It was a rare Friday night for your humble editor, in that your humble editor didn’t get completely shit-faced. This means that I was able to listen to music on this Saturday morning without experiencing severe brain pain and heaving waves of nausea. I made my way through a long list of new songs and videos I had collected over the last few days, from which I’ve sifted a still pretty long list of things I commend to your ears and eyes, presented in alphabetical order with a minimum of words. But before getting to those, here’s a piece of somewhat older news I only discovered recently.

DAWN

Over the years since I began getting into metal I’ve done a lot of deep diving back into music that was released before I wised up, but I didn’t know about Dawn until just a few days ago. They were formed circa 1990 by guitarist Fredrik Söderberg (Cranium) and recorded a smattering of demos plus two albums (1994’s Nær Sólen Gar Niþer For Evogher and 1998’s Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy)) before disbanding for nearly a decade. They’ve reactivated, and the line-up now includes, in addition to Söderberg, original vocalist Henke Forss (Retaliation) plus drummer Tomas Asklund (Gorgoroth, ex-Dissection, ex-Dark Funeral) and bass player Philip von Segebaden (ex-Afflicted, ex-Cranium). That’s a hell of a line-up.

Beginning in April, Century Media has reissued the band’s discography from the 1990s on vinyl, and Dawn have also been working on a new album. A “semi-official rehearsal track” has been up on YouTube for a while, though the song title apparently isn’t correct. Here it is, followed by a full stream of Slaughtersun: Continue reading »

Dec 162013
 

(Alex Rise, the man behind Tyrant of Death and also a member of Psychotic Pulse, kindly agreed to tell us about his favorite listening during 2013. As you’ll see, not all of it was actually released this year.)

Though an aficionado of musical extremity and heaviness, I can’t really express thoughts about these bands I’m about to list in a professional, representative manner. I do enjoy listening to them often and think about mass murder on a subway, bus, or WHENEVER when I do! I know one thing: when they arrive in this miserable city called Toronto, I shall drink and mosh with these fellow bastards when they come over. One, please excuse my terrible English. Two, lets get started with this fucking list. Continue reading »

Aug 272013
 

(DGR provides this review of the debut album by Toronto’s Psychotic Pulse.)

At some point, I would love to see someone try to take on a collection of discs that they feel absolutely nail the opening minutes, especially from bands where it was some of their first output. There is nothing to be denied about the strength of a strong intro track working, and when it is some of the first music anyone has heard by a band, that strength amplifies exponentially.

Personally, I’ve encountered countless examples where the best song by a band has been within the opening minutes (right after an obligatory intro track), and that ‘best song’ usually holds on to that title for an excessively long time. Case in point: Soilwork knew exactly what the hell they were doing by putting “Spectrum Of Eternity” as the second song on The Living Infinite — because that song locks you in. It’s so strong that you’re even willing to forgive a couple of the less individualistic mid-pace stompers that lie in wait about halfway through disc two.

All this rambling is prompted by the song “Asylum” off of Toronto, Canada-based group Psychotic Pulse’s 2013 self-titled release. They’ve previously done one small release called Handcrafting The Apocalypse that hit in 2010, but my first experience with the band lay in this year’s collection of music, and one of the songs that really locked me into their industrial death and groove brand was the song “Asylum”, which comes right after the intro guitar bit of “Diagnosis”. It was enough to sink its teeth into my brain and sit me down for what would be a hammering, heavy, almost piston-like percussion-filled disc of high screams, fast grooves, and enough adrenaline-rushing tempo to make one yearn nostalgically for the days of everything extreme being spelled sans letter ‘e’ and capital X. Continue reading »

Aug 072013
 

(DGR reviews the 2013 album by Tyrant of Death.)

Tyrant of Death is easily one of the most prolific guitar projects out there. At one point it seemed like every Wednesday we were posting something from it, and at one point the ToD project managed to crank out three albums in one year. The artist behind the project, multi-instrumentalist Alex Rise, has toned it down since then, but we still have managed to see at least one Tyrant Of Death project a year. Because of this, I have spent an inordinate amount of time with this project as well, having come across it around the time he released the Blood Lust disc.

It’s been an experience, as each release has improved upon the last, and it’s seemed like we all learned as he did. Compositions got more complex, guitars got more violent, and the drumming remained as insane as ever without moving into the realm of seeming inhuman.  I have found that across the Tyrant of Death catalog there are some very distinct moods, and they tend to create a pretty solid venn diagram of where future releases may land.

There’s the sort of loud, crushing, machine-like death metal insanity of discs like Dark Space and Macrocosmic Lunacy, albums that can at times sound like instrumental or heavily industrialized Anaal Nathrakh, and then there’s the moody, almost dirge-speed and heavily electronics-filled discs like General Bliss and Connect. A few discs have sat in between those, but overall this project tends to shift between one of those two, so you likely will know within the first song or two what sort of experience you’re going to be in for. Both approaches have worked incredibly well, alongside a very loud wall-of-sound production style that tends to scratch the itch for the part of me that worships at the altar of Strapping Young Lad’s Alien. Continue reading »

Jun 162013
 

(DGR provides this round-up of artwork, new music, and new videos.)

Apparently nobody else got the memo that last week was E3 week and, goddamnit, that I was going to be away from the computer, because holy crap did the news updates come fast and furious throughout the week of June 10th. A lot of these bands are going to look very familiar to readers of the site because a lot of them are in fact the same groups featured in my last round-up. However, here at NCS we try to stick with really substantial stuff since a tracklisting usually means dick to the reader unless it has something attached to it.

This week, these bands delivered in spades – some with cover art, most with new songs or videos, one with a whole new release. Regardless, it was a smattering all across the board if you love music and love shit just being heavy as hell. I’ll attach my thoughts along the way, of course…otherwise this article is going to look all sorts of wacky.

MECHINA

That picture you see above is artwork for Mechina’s upcoming Xenon release, which the group stated in this here post would be hitting on 1/1/14. Continue reading »

Jun 062013
 

(Here’s a newsy round-up by DGR.)

You may recognize a lot of these names because I have personally written about each group a ton of times here at NCS. Instead of infecting other news posts with my bullshit, though, I figured I’d do you guys a favor and lock them all up in one news post that I’d reserve for myself. That way if you have musical tastes similar to mine, then you can jump on this post and enjoy its spoils (with the exception of the Conducting Kickstarter, that’s almost charitable), and if anything in this post interests you but you haven’t heard the rest, maybe do yourself a favor and check out the other bands!

Now I know that some of you may be wondering why these groups have been popping up so much lately, and it’s because they’ve been releasing substantial updates at a pretty consistent clip and they’ve all been very busy. I’ve tried to archive a bunch of the news that may have been drip-fed into this big post as well, to really bring people up to speed.

CONDUCTING FROM THE GRAVE

You’ll remember that late last week we posted news about the plans of Sacramento, California’s Conducting From The Grave to launch a Kickstarter to help cover the physical/merchandising aspect of their new disc, with a goal set of $15,000 – which has been the common goal for bands that have been doing these as of late. The group had posted a video – the same one they would be using as an intro to the project – in order to get the word out as well as share a new song entitled, ‘Honor Guide Me!’. Consider this an additional update, as the group’s Kickstarter has finally launched and we can now see whether they were on the right track with this idea and what some of the rewards for ponying up “that cheddar” may be. Continue reading »

Oct 062012
 

Here’s another round-up of new musical discoveries from the last 24 hours. NCS writer DGR delivered the first two of these items to my in-box, for which I bow down in gratitude. NCS reader Austin S-K brought me the third one, for which I bow down in gratitude. I came up with the fourth one on my own, but I’m now unable to straighten up so you could bow down in gratitude to me. Not as limber as I used to be. I’ll be spending the rest of the day staring at the floor. And headbanging.

CAUSEMOS

Causemos are a Finnish band who yesterday released their debut album, Infinite Event, as a pay-what-you-want (or pay nothing) download on Bandcamp. (I suppose you might also call this an EP, since the songs only total about 25 minutes of music.) Causemos brand their music as “cosmic space metal”, which is not a bad description. I would elaborate on that description as follows:

Causemos weave together symphonic keyboards and technically demanding melodic death metal, with vocals that move seamlessly between brutish howling/growling and really nice soaring cleans that reminded me a bit of Dave Hunt’s clean ceiling-busters for Anaal Nathrakh. The music is intricate and vitally dynamic, ranging from bombastic hammering to astral streams of progressive ambience. The music has a grandiose and sometimes spacey quality, but not at the expense of headbanging rhythms or infectious melodies — of which there are many. Continue reading »

Aug 212012
 

(In this post, DGR reviews the latest release from Toronto’s Tyrant of Death.)

The Tyrant Of Death name should probably be familiar to a lot of you by now, especially since I’ve started making appearances at the lovely NCS. Tyrant Of Death is an industrial death machine that occasionally drifts into grind-filled territory, made up of two musicians. One provides the vocal work and the other, by the name of Alex Rise, handles the musicianship and most of the footwork.

For a long time Tyrant Of Death was an instrumental guitar project. Some of the releases (and there have been a ton) have come to include a lot of vocal work provided by musician Lucem Fero. Lately they’ve seemingly rotated, one instrumental, one more vocals-based. Also, until recently, the Tyrant Of Death stuff has been free (and occasionally still is) as a show of good faith. That changed with the last disc, ReConnect, which I thought was a good album but not necessarily the best of their work.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that the Tyrant Of Death project is still prolific, releasing a flood of material, although not quite at the breakneck pace of previous years. Only five months have passed since ReConnect, yet here we are again with another album called Cyanide. This one is largely instrumental, with the occasional vocalization (if you can even call it that) to provide atmosphere. As such, it’s something of a return to previous sounds and at the same time a combination of many older elements into something new.

Because of this I have to apologize that this review may be shorter than what I usually write (I know some of you are already looking for the nearest razor) due to the fact that Cyanide is Tyrant Of Death boiled down to its very essence. It is a disc consisting of a giant wall of loud guitars, relentlessly fast drumming, and eerie-as-hell song structure. Continue reading »