Jun 132013

If bands and record labels needed any more reasons to set up shop on Bandcamp, they just got another one as of this morning. Bandcamp has just unveiled a group of new customizable music players that can be used to embed music across the web. Not only can bands and labels use the new players on their own web sites, but bloggers like me (and anyone else who creates pages on the web) can do it, too. And people who already have their music on Bandcamp don’t need to do anything to take advantage of this new functionality — it has automatically become available on all Bandcamp music pages.

I’m going to show you exactly what I’m talking about. And I’m picking the new EP by Sweden’s Vomitous (reviewed here) as a guinea pig, in part because it includes amazing album art by New Zealand’s Nick Keller. First, here’s a large player that doesn’t include a track list (I’ve customized the background and link colors, which you can also do with these new players):

Next, here’s the large player with a track list: Continue reading »

May 312013

Deep down at the filthy core of all good brutal slamming death metal are riffs — atonal, palm-muted monstrosities that produce a visceral, physical effect, the kind that get your guts churning. Effective vomit vocals are important, too. You want them cavern-deep and gruesome; you may or may not want them to sound like a mess of puffed-up bullfrogs competing for sex on a wet night. A healthy serving of percussive obliteration, you want plenty of that, too.

You get all of that in Empires of Great Enslavement, the new EP by Sweden’s Vomitous. But you get more, too. To begin, you have the brilliant cover art by one of our favorite metal artists, New Zealand’s Nick Keller. We featured the cover in one of our daily artwork posts at the NCS Facebook page back in March and have been looking forward to the music it would house ever since.

Empires encompasses six tracks, one of which is a short, atmospheric introduction and two of which appeared on a 2012 demo. The band tend to launch the songs with a barrage of sonic obliteration, all rapid-fire riffing and thundering drums. But the music is rhythmically dynamic, sometimes slowing into massive, skull-caving slam segments, the most convulsive of which occurs in “On the Column of Insignificance”, and sometimes exploding in a flurry of jabbing, pneumatic riffage (as in “Infectious Urethral Re-Leakage”).

The songs are also occasionally spiced with squealing pinch harmonics (“Atrocities of Unspeakable Magnitude”), grisly tremolo leads (“Scorched Earth Apocalypse”), or even the kind of groaning, fret-sliding chords that remind me of what Gojira has popularized (“Scorched Earth”, again). And kudos for the distorted vocal sample at the end of the title track, an excerpt from Lovecraft’s eloquently frightening poem “Nemesis”. Continue reading »

Mar 222012

(We’re pleased to welcome guest columnist JJ “Shiv” Polachek, the vocalist for both 7 Horns 7 Eyes, whose debut full-length Throes of Absolution will be released on April 24 by Century Media, and Ovid’s Withering, whose debut EP we recently reviewed here. In this first of what we hope will be many posts, Shiv gives us some slamz.)

So I’ve been given an opportunity to stand on a soapbox and deliver a brain dump to you faithful readers of NCS, and I’m gonna utilize it to aware you all of something that the major metal news and media sites always seem to overlook: SICKASS NEW SLAMZ.

I’m not talking about artsy-fartsy stuff like Deeds of Flesh, Disgorge, Blasphemer, or the new Condemned (even though I love all those bands). I’m talking about good old-fashioned, blue-collar, working-class SLAM. Bands that make a conscious decision to not get too out-of-the-box because that would take away from the crushing sickness throughout, and they don’t have time to worry about luxuries and privileges like “counterpoint” and “polyrhythms”. As a direct result of this, they always kick infinite ass 100% of the time. I could wax pretentious like any typical Internet Metal Nerd, but these jams speak for themselves. I’ll still write about them though, I guess, whatever:



Continue reading »