Dec 202013
 


(Here’s TheMadIsraeli’s belated review of the latest release by Sweden’s Vildhjarta.)

THALL

 

Now that that’s out of the way…

It’s a shame I’m only just now reviewing this.  Vildhjarta are easily one of the most important bands in the whole djent/prog-groove scene.  Måsstaden was a masterpiece in the way it interwove djent, deathcore, and doom into a cohesive atomic sonic clusterfuck of sainthood.  This EP, Thousands of Evils, sees a band already known for strange sounds and strange ideas experimenting even more.   It’s cool, if for nothing else, that this is a band who are unafraid to put their mere fucking around out there and see how it’s received.  The results are, as one would expect from these guys, dimension-opening.

All of the elements that made the band are still here: The relentless dual vocal assault, the guitar tone that sounds like a nuclear fallout, and of course Daniel Bergstrom’s brand of “how in the fucking fuck did he make that noise with a guitar?” style of riffing.  What is impressive about Thousands of Evils is how balls to the wall it is, and how little of a fuck it gives for cohesion.  Instead, it aims to achieve simply the most extreme reaches of whatever parts of the spectrum they hit.  The heavy parts are gargantuan in stature, the clean ambient moments soul-cleansing. Continue reading »

Sep 102013
 

Painstakingly selected from among the detritus that litters the interhole and the NCS in-box, here are items of interest that appeared over the last 24 hours.

ULCERATE

If you need more darkness in your life — and who doesn’t? — then you should listen to Vermis, the new death metal monstrosity by New Zealand’s Ulcerate. The album won’t be released in North America until September 17 (a day earlier in the UK and September 13 in certain European countries), but yesterday Metal Sucks began hosting an exclusive stream of the album. Ulcerate are one of those rare death metal bands who are pushing (or dragging) the genre in new directions. The music of Vermis is harrowing and inhuman, but it exerts a powerful attraction. You should hear it.

THIS is the link for the stream.

CARCASS

The new Carcass album, which we reviewed here, is due for release on September 16. I have a feeling that anyone interested in hearing the new Carcass album has already heard it, but just in case, it’s now streaming in full, too. Nuclear Blast has uploaded the entire album to YouTube. Obviously, it’s one of the biggest releases of 2013, and it also happens to be a fine album. You can hear it next.  (thanks Daniel for the tip) Continue reading »

Sep 082013
 

Way back in April we reported that Sweden’s Vildhjarta were almost finished with their new concept EP, Thousands of Evils, which will be released by Century Media. They had already unveiled the wonderful cover art and had previously released three teasers on YouTube with snippets of the new music (which can be heard here), and at that point bootleg videos had begun to surface with entire songs from the new EP performed live at the Thallium Festival in Minsk, Belarus. Now, at last, a new studio track from the EP by the name of “Dimman” has made its appearance.

It comes on a Sunday, without warning or fanfare, and I’m guessing it’s a leak. Hell, I’m not 100% positive it’s the entire track. But hey, I listened to it anyway.

“Dimman” is instrumental-only. It descends with an extended acoustic/synth intro that’s both snappy and spacey (and of course there’s a burly bass line booming away, too). Electric guitar joins in for a few healthy measures, and then the thall begins. My colon is still reverberating, even from only a minute and a half of it. Listen next if you’re interested in seeing what Vildhjarta have gotten up to, but listen fast because I doubt “Dimman” will be on YouTube long. Continue reading »

Apr 262013
 

Sweden’s Vildhjarta are almost finished with their new concept EP, Thousands of Evils, which will be released by Century Media. They’ve previously unveiled the cover art, which as you can see is stunning. They’ve also previously released three teasers on YouTube with snippets of the new music (which can be heard here).  But now, bootleg videos have surfaced with entire songs from the new EP.

The performances were filmed at the Thallium Festival in Minsk, Belarus, on April 23, 2013. So far, I’ve seen three videos. The first two have very good picture quality, though the sound could use more bass pick-up . . . because it’s fuckin’ Vildhjarta, and you need to feel all that thall reverberating deep down in your colon. The third one includes one of the songs from the first video, but shot by a different fan from a different angle and with a bit more low-end oomph in the sound.

I don’t yet have a release date for the EP — apparently the band are still tweaking things, as they’ve been doing for many months. But based on what I’m hearing in these videos, the music sounds like a worthy follow-up to the band’s ridiculously successful debut album Måsstaden. Check out this new shit after the jump.

Thall. Continue reading »

Sep 262012
 

Yours truly is on the road again, and by “road” I mean in airports and on airplanes and therefore spending hours of tedium separated from the internet. As a result, the postings between now and Monday are going to be scattered and probably fewer than normal. I did have time last night and this morning to survey what’s been happening over the last 24 hours and found the following nuggets of interest.

ITEM ONE: DYING FETUS, ET AL – “THE BLOOD OF POWER TOUR”

I started posting about this tour when there was no official announcement and just a few dates had surfaced, because I was so fuckin’ excited about it. Yesterday it became official. I saw on Metal Sucks (which is co-sponsoring the tour) that Dying Fetus, Cattle Decapitation, and Cerebral Bore will indeed be touring the U.S. in November and December.

But this official announcement has revealed something I didn’t know: Malignancy will be taking the place of Cattle Decapitation during the last week of the tour. The two bands are very different, of course, but they’re both just excellent at what they do. If you want a taste of Malignancy’s forthcoming album (which is amazing), check out this post. Tour dates are right after the jump. Continue reading »

Apr 262012
 

As explained yesterday, I’ve been kind of off my game here at NCS recently and I’m now trying (hurriedly) to make up for lost time. While investigating the many things I’ve missed in the world of metal over the last week or two, I’ve found a shitload of things I think are worth sharing — both news items and new music. I’m collecting some (but not all) of them in this “Catching Up” mini-series. Here’s Part 2, and there will be one more installment coming.

MISERATION

This is a news item, which is the most recent part of this post.  This morning, Sweden’s Miseration revealed the cover art (above) for their next album (on Lifeforce Records), Tragedy Has Spoken. The artwork is by the ubiquitous and dependably awesome Pär Olofsson. I thoroughly enjoyed this band’s ass-blasting last album, The Mirroring Shadow (2009), and have high hopes for the new one. Conceptually, it’s described as an exploration of the nature of tragedy, both man-made and the result of natural disasters.

The new album was also recorded with 8-string guitars and get this: According to Lifeforce, it also incorporates “folk instruments such as the Indian harp Esraj, the Persian hammered dulcimer Santur, sawblade, organ, mandolin and piano, as well as Mongolian throatsinging”!!! I think we have many “what the fuck?” moments in store for us. Continue reading »

Mar 072012
 

Your humble editor’s fucking day job has stripped away almost all free time over the last 24 hours, and will continue to strip, strip, strip throughout today, and it’s not sexy. What that means is that my own poor contributions to NCS today will be skimpy. In fact, this is probably the only post I can contribute.

This will be greeted with applause in some quarters. But I’m sure that in many more quarters — many, many more — it will be greeted with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes. Also, please send quarters so I can quit my fucking day job.

Yesterday, I saw two new videos featuring the music of two very different guitarists — from two different generations and two very different styles of shredding. The first is an “album sampler” of music from the new album by ex-Nevermore member and all-around widely worshipped guitar wizard, Jeff Loomis. The second is a guitar play-through by Vildhjarta’s Daniel Bergström, who is himself a Grand High Wizard in the Exalted Order of Thall.

JEFF LOOMIS

On April 10, Century Media will release the new solo album by Jeff Loomis, titled Plains of Oblivion. To enhance the Seattle connection (and another reason why we’re paying so much attention to this album), it was produced by Aaron Smith of 7 Horns 7 Eyes, who themselves have a new album on the way. The album includes an array of tantalizing guest appearances.

Ex-Megadeth members Marty Friedman and Chris Poland make appearances with guest solo’s. Christine Rhoades, who provided guest vocals on the Nevermore track “Dreaming Neon Black”, does a vocal turn on  song called “Tragedy and Harmony”. Hungarian guitarist Attila Voros is in the mix, too, as is guitarist Tony MacAlpine. And last, but most certainly not least, Ihsahn contributes to a song called “Surrender”. Continue reading »

Jan 312012
 

(TheMadIsraeli is on a mission to review or re-review the 2011 albums that were his favorites.)

Alright.  Time for me to return to reviewing or revisiting my top 15 albums of 2011, which I previously listed on this site.  These won’t be as long as my normal reviews (generally half as long), so unless an album requires a longer piece, I’ll be doing these two at a time.  Today’s subjects are the yin and yang, the chaos and order, the good and evil of THALL.

Uneven Structure and VildhjartaFebruus and Måsstaden. First:

“So, I’m not going to dance around the verdict on this album: This thing is the shit.  Listening is like achieving enlightenment through sound, an aural ascension into nirvana, the equivalent of finding true inner peace through heavy-as-fuck, syncopated, gain-soaked djent riffs drenched in waterfalls of absolutely gorgeous ambience with an odd oriental color.” Continue reading »

Jan 092012
 

This is Part 15 of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released this year. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.

This list has included quite a lot of variety so far, which in part is a reflection of the diversity of my own tastes and in part a reflection of the tremendous variety available in metal today. But there’s one sub-genre that hasn’t yet made an appearance. I hate to even use the word, because it’s already getting a bad name in some quarters, due to the saturation of the style by a flood of bands and bedroom projects who seem to believe that atonal Meshuggah-style riffing played with a bit of technical flash is all that’s needed to create a “song”.

I suppose we should have seen that coming, since the label for the sub-genre originated as nothing more than a name for the representative sound or tone made by an appropriately down-tuned guitar. But of course, much more is needed than start-stop pneumatic riffing and polyrhythmic complexity to create something memorable — and infectiousness is what this list is all about. The two songs I’m adding to the list today have got that quality.

TEXTURES

TheMadIsraeli reviewed this band’s wonderful 2011 album Dualism here, and followed that with an interview here. Like him, I’ve been a Textures fan for a long time — they have yet to disappoint me. Back before that “djent” label went viral, I thought of Textures as a “math metal” band, but even that label was too restrictive. They’ve always had a talent for constructing songs that were not only rhythmically complex and physically jolting, but memorably melodic. Continue reading »

Dec 212011
 

(In what must have been one of the high points of his year, NCS writer TheMadIsraeli got the chance to do an e-mail interview of Daniel Bergström, the guitarist and principal song-writer for Sweden’s Vildhjarta and the producer of the band’s massively popular debut album, Måsstaden (reviewed here). In what follows, a discussion about chick-slaying and chainsaws, personal shittiness, gear, and the meaning of That Word. Here you go.)

TMI:  So, here we are: I and you guys, the mighty Vildhjarta, the gods of thallism, the magicians of massive, gravity-intensifying groove. How does it feel to release your first album?

DB:  feels pretty sweet, wasnt sure if anyone was gonna understand it but the reception’s been sehr gut.

TMI:  Is thall truly indeed thall?

DB:  thall

TMI:  Obscure word aside, if we go back and look at your catalogue of songs it’s obvious that your sound underwent a major overhaul for Måsstaden, so much so that it seems intentional. Was this the case or was it truly a natural progression? If intentional, why did you set out to undergo such a change? If natural, do you feel you’ve found your sound, or that this is merely a stepping stone in achieving sonic enlightenment of your identity as one cohesive thall?

DB:  i always want to try new things and see where it goes. i often get bored pretty quickly with the stuff i write so it’s pretty unintentional in that sense i think, everything has to sound new and crazy to my ears. Continue reading »