Feb 112015


I would actually like to review an entire album. Or even an entire EP. And I harbor hopes of finishing the rollout of our Most Infectious Songs list for 2014. But on a daily basis I continue to find new songs that I feel compelled to say something about, and so here we have another round-up of such discoveries.


I first came across Voice of the Soul four and a half years ago via a MISCELLANY excursion. The band’s vocalist/guitarist Kareem Chehayeb was then based in Kuwait, with other band members spread around other locations in the Middle East. When I reviewed their 2011 EP, Into Oblivion, I found that it represented a large leap forward, or more like a stretching of wings — by a rapidly maturing raptor with big claws that could do some damage, and an even more impressive ability to take flight on the wings of some very memorable melodies. Since then, Kareem Chehayeb and guitarist Monish Shringi relocated to Dubai in the UAE, and recorded the band’s debut album, Catacombs.

Guest writer Gorger reviewed the album for us last October and gave it high marks. But despite his praise and my own history with the band, I stupidly didn’t dive into it. Too many other distractions, I suppose. And then yesterday I watched and listened to the band’s new lyric video for a song from the album named “Defiled”, and holy shit. Continue reading »

Oct 142014


(Our Norwegian guest contributor Gorger, whose own blog is here, returns to NCS with the third and final Part of an entertaining post in which he recommends music we’ve overlooked — with a couple of conclusions at the end.)


Welcome to my last installation of stuff I’ve enjoyed these last months that has not been covered on NCS. The previous posts are here:

Part I
Part II



The difference between demos and self-released EPs can be rather minimal. Endzeit defines this as an EP, and the music is mature enough by all means to justify this. Negativity is about as popular here on NCS as clean, high-pitched singing performed by castrated power vocalists. Nevertheless, I have to address just this one negative aspect: Soundwise, there’s a somewhat unfinished feel. The sound is slightly flat and tame, whilst this music feels as if designed for a bombastic sound with a violent punch. The sound is by no means completely lifeless, though.

Endzeit is from Finland and was initially conceived as a one-man band by guitarist Polaris in 2012. This original intention was, however, quickly discarded as Black (vocals and guitar), Samuli (drums), and Pyry (bass) came along. The EP was written the same year and contains 22 minutes divided over five tracks. The guys have come up with a lyrical concept about a doomed, future-less world where decay has gone too far to be reversed. The inspiration is the city of Detroit, where large blocks/precincts are characterized by urban decay and vacancy. Condemned buildings allegedly serve as rat’s nests for criminals. Continue reading »

Aug 192011

I’ve been looking forward to Voice of the Soul’s new EP (the band’s third release) since hearing one of the songs from it that was included on a compilation released in July (discussed here). The new EP is now available. It’s called Into Oblivion, and VOTS is offering it for download at a “name your price” option on the handy Bandcamp platform at this location.

I was impressed with the band’s last EP, 2010’s Eyes of Deceit, and I said so. But honestly, Into Oblivion represents a large leap forward, or more like a stretching of wings. What was once a fledgling predator is now a rapidly maturing raptor, with big claws that can do some damage, and an even more impressive ability to take flight on the wings of some very memorable melodies. That’s what solid melodic death metal should do, and it’s what VOTS achieves on Into Oblivion — a combining of sharp-edged aggression and streams of melody that swirl in your head.

The first two songs on the EP, “Immolation” (with its beautiful piano-and-strings intro) and “Guardians of Genocide”, establish the fundamental elements of the band’s sound. Up-tempo, thumping rhythms and rolling, distorted riffs provide the foundation, but what makes the songs memorable are the reverberating guitar solos.

I was explaining in one of yesterday’s posts that after years of listening to metal, even whiz-bang bursts of shred, standing alone, aren’t enough to carry the day for me any more. For a guitar solo to impress, it needs to be an organic part of the song as a whole and it needs a lot of soul behind it; that’s more important than rampant speed and even technical brilliance. The soloing in these songs (as on all the rest) meets those tests. The solos aren’t usually pyrotechnical, but they’re beautifully done, with a warm, clean tone and a strong emotional core. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 172011

Loucifer Speaks is a U.K.-based metal/rock webzine and forum. Earlier this week, I saw the news that they had released a music comp for free download called The Louciferian Gathering. What really caught my eye was the fact that the comp includes a brand new song from Voice of the Soul called “Cast Away in Betrayal”.

I got into Voice of the Soul last October through one of our MISCELLANY excursions and wrote about them here. Back then, I listened to a four-song EP called Eyes of Deceit and was really impressed. The band is a mini-United Nations, consisting of a Lebanese, an Iraqi, an Indian, and a Persian, who are currently living either in the United States or various locations in the Middle East, and guitarist/vocalist Kareem Chehayeb is an NCS reader.

Despite their geographic separation, the members are still collborating on the cretion of new music. They’ve got yet another EP in the works (their third) and now, courtesy of The Louciferian Gathering, we’ve got that new track, “Cast Away in Betrayal”. Stick with us past the jump, and you can hear the song — which is most certainly worth hearing. Continue reading »

Oct 142010

Yes, as promised, we have back-to-back MISCELLANY posts, still trying to catch up on bands we haven’t heard that for different reasons we put on our running list of music to check out. But it appears that even after running faster, we’re still pretty much in the same place. Between yesterday’s post and this one, we’ve cleared six names off the list. But since last weekend we’ve also added six more.

But do we care? Fuck no! Because taking pot luck with the music of new bands isn’t a chore, it’s an adventure! We have little or no idea what the music will sound like before we embark on a listening excursion, so it’s almost always a surprise to find out. Doesn’t mean it will be a happy surprise. It could be the kind of surprise you get when you find out your cat has thrown up in your bed (as happened to me last weekend).

And that’s the way MISCELLANY works: What we hear, we write about, even if it turns out to be cat throw-up.

Yesterday’s post and this one were based on a random selection of six bands we plucked off our list. I listened to a song from each band, in the order described in these two posts. Yesterday, we covered the first three listening experiences — all of them bands from the U.S. Today, we have a more international flavor. The subjects of today’s post are:

Vomit the Soul (Kuwait/U.S.), Deathember (Sweden), and Excrementory Grindfuckers (Germany).  (listening notes, and the songs we heard, follow after the jump . . .) Continue reading »