Jun 252018
 

 

(In this post Andy Synn discusses the phenomenon of metal bands releasing remastered or re-recorded versions of older albums, and recommends two recent examples of the practice, by Vader and Hetroertzen.)

For all that we’re supposedly in another “Golden Age” of television, I know there are quite a few people out there (thousands upon thousands of them) who are becoming a little tired of the seemingly constant stream of reboots and remakes of supposedly “classic” (and some not-so-classic) shows from previous eras, under the assumption that some sort of ingrained sense of nostalgia will help sell them more than something like, say, quality writing or a new, interesting premise, would.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of these new versions of older shows are absolutely fantastic, and benefit greatly not only from the new and improved technology of today, but also a greater freedom to reimagine things which comes from a more modern idea of what television can be, when given the chance to do more than simply entertain. It’s just that, as you might expect, the number of lazy remakes vastly outweighs the more creative ones.

The same sort of thing goes on in the music world too, particularly in the Rock/Metal world, where artists with long-running, wide-ranging careers often feel the need to at least remaster, if not entirely re-record, material from their early days, if only because they feel that the technology or budget available to them at the time simply wasn’t sufficient to allow them to properly capture what they were really trying to convey.

And, let me tell you… I’m not entirely against this process. Continue reading »

May 312017
 

 

That photo up there shows the sight that greeted my eyes on Monday night while waiting for my ferry boat home after returning to Seattle from Maryland Deathfest 2017, but it also accurately represents my glowing impressions of this year’s fest in Baltimore.

Like many, I was disappointed to learn that MDF would be “downscaling” this year, eliminating the Edison Lot venue and having all the shows indoors at Rams Head Live and Soundstage. I also saw some grumbling on the internet (imagine that! grumbling on the internet!) that the line-up wasn’t as strong as in many past years; on top of that, Nightbringer was a last-minute no-show because of an airport outage in the UK.

Despite those misgivings, my own strongly held view is that this edition of the festival was a rousing success. (Part 2 of this post can be found here.) Continue reading »

May 242017
 

 

(Andy Synn (and other fiends here at NCS) is attending Maryland Deathfest XV, which begins a bit later this week, and here he names the five bands whose performances are highest on his list.)

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a little event called “Maryland Deathfest” happening this week, and I’m lucky enough to be attending for the second year in a row.

As a result, my contributions to NCS are going to be somewhat… minimal… until next week (though I do have a little something blast-tastic lined up for Friday for you all), while I do my best to develop and nurse a cumulative five-day hangover/bangover.

In recognition of this momentous occasion, however, I thought I’d put together a quick list of the five bands I’m most looking forward to seeing at MDF this year – although thinning it down to only five definitely wasn’t easy! Continue reading »

Dec 162016
 

collage500

 

( The end of the year approaches, and to commemorate the death of 2016 our Norwegian friend Gorger has prepared a gargantuan installment of his series highlighting releases that we have overlooked.  To find more of his discoveries, type “Gorger” in our search bar or visit Gorger’s Metal.)

LISTMANIA is well under way. I still have some 2016 releases that deserve a mentioning at least. And that’s what I intend to do. Inspired by Islander’s overflowing-streams I’ll settle for a short conclusion of my own initial write ups. It’s not going to be easy, as I just don’t know when to shut my mouth. You probably got better things to do with your life than listen to me jabber, chatter, and preach all day anyway.

During December, I’ll probably gather enough material for a 20th round of this here series. When such a post will be published, is still up in the smoggy air. Continue reading »

Sep 072016
 

Vader-Iron Times

 

(In this post DGR reviews the new EP by the Polish legends, Vader.)

It’s not too often that we review an EP ahead of a full disc, but Vader’s Iron Times is one that I’ve been privately intending to get around to, especially since I would hazard to say that for metal fans, Iron Times really is a “fun” listen — and I’ll explain what I mean by that.

Iron Times came out in Mid-August, which is about the time I got in my first listen,  and with four tracks, two of which are covers, Iron Times is an unassuming release, one that is quietly understated with its album art — but the moment you press “play”, Iron Times tells a much faster, heavier story. However, it was Vader themselves revealing the album art to their new album The Empire, which is due out in early November, that triggered this review, especially since the two songs on Iron Times that are not the cover track or a brief Panzer X resurrection will be present on the full album. Continue reading »

Aug 252016
 

Ulcerate-Shrines of Paralysis

 

DGR volunteered for round-up duty while the oaf who usually does this was furiously scribbling introductions to premieres over the last 48 hours. Said oaf is now working on his own round-up contribution, which will become Part 2 of this post later today. Meanwhile, here are DGR’s picks for noteworthy new songs and videos that emerged in recent days.

ULCERATE — EXTINGUISHED LIGHT

If you heard an immense boom recently and had to look around and wonder what the fuck was that?, it was likely due to the release of a new song by abyss-dwelling death metallers Ulcerate, from their October 28th album Shrines Of Paralysis. Continue reading »

Dec 192015
 

Vader-Future of tyhe Past II

 

Obviously, we have been in the throes of LISTMANIA, and a lot more lists are coming next week. Between working my gnarled fingers to the bone getting all the lists ready for posting and writing about songs and albums we premiered last week, I haven’t had as much time as usual to peruse new songs and videos. But I did some of that yesterday and this morning, and of course I found a lot of new things I thought were worth throeing your way — excuse me, throwing your way — so much, in fact, that I’ve divided these recommendations into two parts. The second one will come later today. I’ll also have a Shades of Black post for you on Sunday.

I will tell you at the outset that I haven’t heard all of the albums featured below, only a few songs from each one. I’m writing about them now because I fear I’ll never get around to writing a full review. Also, there’s faster stuff and slower stuff collected in this two-part post, and I decided to arrange the music so you go back and forth between the two speeds.

VADER

In 1996, Poland’s Vader released an album entitled Future of the Past. That was the third album for a band that had already been in existence for more than a decade, and it included covers of 11 songs by other metal bands whose names are household words. Now, nearly 20 years after the release of that album, Witching Hour Productions has just released Future of the Past II – Hell in the East. It’s a musical celebration of what Vader refers to as “the biggest bands of the Polish metal underground of the ’80s and ’90s”. Continue reading »

May 272014
 

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the forthcoming new album by Poland’s Vader.)

Can we just agree at this point that Vader is the Clint Eastwood of death metal? Clint Eastwood, in all of his films where he has appeared as an actor, has basically put out nothing but awesome movie after awesome movie. They have only varied in degrees of how good they are, but if I were to think in terms of a personal one-to-ten scale, Eastwood has never scored below an eight, even at his worst, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that his on-screen persona rarely changes very much. I view Vader in the same way; they have that Clint Eastwood trait of never changing dramatically, merely showing different shades and sides of themselves.

I mean yeah, the band have had their The Bridges of Madison County (The Beast in their case, which strayed into some slightly different territory), but the fact remains that Vader have been a band who are metal, war, and imperialism incarnate. They’ve done this consistently for years with inhumanly good results.

At this point, that history also makes Vader albums pretty difficult to review. Not because they are hard to describe, but because “It’s a Vader album” tells you what you need to know. It’s almost as if there is no point in reviewing their music any more because it has proven itself so remarkably consistent in quality, and it’s not as if they’ve ever taken a huge step outside of their box either. With that said, though, I’m enthusiastically rabid for Tibi Et Igni. It has been on never-ending repeat since we got the promo for it. Continue reading »

May 162014
 

Lots of new songs appeared today. I picked six to play for you, despite the fact that I could maintain alliteration for only two groups of them. In a rare display of concision, I will be concise. If you don’t find at least one thing to like in here, there may be no hope for you.

VADER

I’m borrowing Axl Rosenberg’s introduction to the new Vader song at Metal Sucks because it made me laugh:

Vader have released a new song, “Triumph of Death,” which you can stream below. It’s a visceral track which, believe it or not, may make you tear up a bit, as its subject matter is one to which we all relate: a metalhead is forced against his will to go see the (Hed)P.E. and SOiL tour, but he ultimately manages a bittersweet victory when he kills himself mid-show by inhaling next to a guy in a Primer 55 shirt, thereby attaining sweet release. The metal community has lost too many good men and women that way, and I commend Vader for calling attention to these tragedies.

Continue reading »

Apr 182014
 

Between pulling my hair out two days ago because our site was down and then frantically trying to catch up yesterday with posts we had promised to do on the day the site was down, I haven’t been as on top of new happenings as I’d like. So, to catch up a bit, here are a trio of new-ish things I’d like to share. There will be another round-up later today.

FUCK THE FACTS

My NCS comrade Austin Weber sent me the photo you see above. Hiding behind that absurdly large, absurdly metal mask is Mel Mongeon of Canada’s Fuck the Facts, putting on her metal face for a show in Chicago last night.

If you don’t know, the band have just begin a North American tour. Even without a mask of such epic qualities, Ms. Mongreon,  Topon Das, and their brothers in arms will still shake you to your core. Here’s the tour schedule as it now stands: Continue reading »