Aug 182013

(photo credit: Jessie Rose)

I read a couple of things recently that I thought were worth passing on. One is funny, one is thought-provoking and a bit surprising. One is about a band who unexpectedly broke up, one is about a band who just keep going and going. We’ll start with the latter one first.


This piece is the funny one. Melvins were formed way back in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne, bass-player Matt Lukin, and drummer Mike Dillard, who were all schoolmates in Montesano, Washington. Dale Crover came on board in place of Mike Dillard in ’84, though Dillard came back to the band more than 20 years later and he will be appearing on their 30th anniversary album Tres Cabrones, which is due in November (with Crover moving over to bass for that record).

The band have had a changing cast of bass players. I count six since the band performed, with Jared Warren being the most recent, and that’s not counting about six more who have toured with the band but weren’t present on recordings. Yet with Osborne and Crover in place for nearly 30 years, Melvins are one of those rare bands who’ve stayed the course through life’s ups and downs.

A few days ago Dale Crover revealed the secrets of Melvins’ longevity for a Portland (Oregon) publication called Willamette Week. “Top Five Tips For Keeping A Band Together 30 Years” is a short read, so I’m going to paste it right here: Continue reading »

Jun 302013

All yall muthafukkers can shoot me later, but I’m playing these songs first. The trigger-finger impulse may come from the fact that not all these songs are metal.

About 10 days ago I found myself in mixed company, getting fucked up in an apartment late at night with some friends and everyone taking turns playing music from YouTube on a big-screen TV. And by mixed company I mean that I and one other person were metalheads and the other two weren’t. But I liked some of the not-metal songs I heard, and they’re in this post. Every other song in here is a metal song I’ve heard recently that I really liked, songs I hadn’t heard before.

Hey, this is what people do when they have a blog. It’s better than telling you what I had for breakfast or about my last bowel movement.

That photo up there has got nothing to do with any of the music. It’s a photo of Canada’s WEAPON. It’s up there because my NCS comrade Andy Synn notified me this morning of the extremely sad, breaking news that Weapon is disbanding. According to a statement on their Facebook page, “There is no drama surrounding this decision: it is time for us collectively, and more importantly, as individuals, to move onwards and upwards towards other paradigms.” Thanks for the metal, dudes.

Let’s start with some metal. The song is “Spectral Visions of Mental Warfare” from the 2011 album of the same name by a German band called NARGAROTH. First song I’d ever heard by them, but I thought it was downright beautiful, and it includes throat singing, which is a rarity and a big plus in my book. Continue reading »

May 082013

I was just about ready to call it a day here at our metallic island, but then I discovered two songs that have just gone up for streaming, and they hit me so hard upside my head that I just had to put together one more post.


I really fuckin’ enjoyed this multi-national band’s last album, 2011′s Occult Spawned Premonitions (reviewed here). The band includes an extraordinary extreme female vocalist named Vanessa Nocera whose many projects I’ve covered so zealously here that suspicions of stalkerism wouldn’t be out of place. But that’s not all. The band also includes  Roger “Rogga” Johansson of Ribspreader and Bonegnawer fame (and about 100 other projects, too), and as far as I’m concerned Rogga is death metal royalty.

So, needless to say, I’ve been watching Skeletal Spectre pretty closely as they move forward toward the release of their next album, Voodoo Dawn. I’ve previously posted about the album’s stunning cover art (Adam Geyer), as well as a track called “Bone Dust” that became available for listening late last year. But today brought yet another song. This one’s named “Black Augury Hollow”. If you’re lucking for truly ghastly, pestilential, maggot-infested, beautifully executed, old-school death metal that stomps and romps with an infusion of d-beat energy and a lot of chainsaw distortion, you really need to hear this. Continue reading »

Jan 222013

Today has brought us new official videos from two infernally good bands: Canada’s Weapon and L.A.’s Lightning Swords of Death.

Weapon’s video is for the title track to their excellent 2012 album Embers and Revelations, a seething but quite memorable fusion of black metal and death metal. The LSOD video is also for a title track, in this case the band’s third album Baphometic Chaosium, which was released today by Metal Blade. To learn more about that album, check out Andy Synn’s detailed review, which we posted earlier today at this location.

Given the subject matter and the genres in which the two bands toil, it’s not terribly surprising that both videos are built around Satanic rituals. Both also briefly include nudity, so be forewarned if you plan to watch these in a public setting. Also, goats, skulls, and the quaffing of unseemly fluids. Continue reading »

Nov 022012

I was all set to go with this post, all set to call it “BRUTALITY!”, because that was the unifying theme of the new music videos I found from Weapon (Canada), Unfathomable Ruination (UK), Antropofagus (Italy), and Katalepsy (Russia). And then I saw a new official live video from Dordeduh (Romania) — not really brutal, but it still grabbed me. So I’m including it at the end and dropping the “BRUTALITY!” post title.

There are so many videos I want to share in this post that I’m doing my goddamned best to pare down my own verbiage. Here we go . . .


Weapon’s new album Embers and Revelations is out now on the Relapse label. We haven’t reviewed it yet, but it’s well worth your time — a fusing of first wave black and death metal with melodic touches that recall the Bangladeshi origins of the band’s leader, Vetis Monarch.

Yesterday Relapse premiered a lyric video for a brutal Weapon track named “Crepuscular Swamp”. Here it is: Continue reading »

Sep 142012

One last post for this Friday, with a focus on recently announced U.S./Canada tours.

First, it was announced today that Nachtmystium will be headlining the Dawn Over the Ruins of America tour, which also includes Jarboe (featuring Baleyyg) and Canada’s Weapon. All of the dates have not yet been released, but the ones that have are after the jump. Also, although I know Jarboe used to be in Swans, that’s about the extent of my knowledge about her work, and I know zip about Baleyyg. So if anyone has any insights, leave a comment. Nachtmystium and Weapon, of course, are must-see bands for yours truly. (Thanks to Utmu and Vonlughlio for the tip about this one.)

Second, Boston’s mighty Revocation will be headlining a tour, and A Life Once Lost and KEN Mode will be along for that ride. I’ve almost lost count of how many times I’ve seen Revocation, because they tour like there’s no tomorrow, and every damned show has been killer. And if you saw tomorrow’s earlier post about ALOL, well, you know how I feel about them. KEN Mode is another band I am very interested in seeing. Those dates are also after the jump.

Third, Lambgoat is reporting that Dying Fetus will be touring late this year with Cattle Decapitation and Cerebral Bore in tow. There’s been no official announcement, but Lambgoat has ferreted out three venues where this line-up has been announced so far. I’ll just sum up my thoughts about this tour as follows: HELLS FUCKING YEAH! Continue reading »

Aug 192012

As a genre term, “blackened death metal” is imprecise, which of course doesn’t distinguish it from all other genre terms. For example, I’ve seen it used to describe the two subjects of this post, despite differences in their sound. I happen to be thinking about these two bands because of new things I’ve seen from both of them in the last 24 hours. I’ve also been thinking about the fact that Western Canada and New Zealand seem to be breeding grounds for many of the best “blackened death metal” bands on the planet — hence, my use of the word “axis” in the post title. More thoughts below . . .


As previously reported, this excellent band from Edmonton, Alberta, have a new album entitled Embers and Revelations due for release by Relapse Records on October 9 (pre-orders are already being fielded here). I first discovered them in December 2010 (and wrote about them here) through a tip from NCS patron SurgicalBrute. The band was started by frontman Vetis Monarch in Bangladesh before his eventual migration to Canada, and since then Weapon have become consistently stronger with each new release.

Obviously, the backing from Relapse is going to help spread this band’s name around at an accelerated pace, and I have a feeling that fans are going to eat up this new album like famished wolves at a fresh kill. What I’ve heard from it so far are a teaser clip that we featured in a post earlier this month and now the title track from the album that got its premiere at Pitchfork. Continue reading »

Aug 092012

Due to a combination of morning-long work commitments and another 5-hour flight home without wi-fi, this will likely be the last NCS post of the day.  Things should be more (ab)normal tomorrow.

In this post, I’ve quickly collected a variety of items that caught my eyes (and ears) last night.


Cattle Decap posted this status on their FB page last night: “We sodomized the city of Budapest, Hungary tonight. On Thursday we spill our seed upon the citizens of Czech Republic at Brutal Assault. Bye, bye fuckers”  At times like these, it’s fun to imagine the reaction of people outside metal if they knew how our bands showered gratitude on their fans. We, of course, only laugh.


I included news of this tour in a post on July 10 when only 13 dates had been announced. Now, a more complete schedule is available. I’m so fucking pleased to see a Seattle stop on the list. Septic Flesh . . . Krisiun . . . Melechesh . . . Ex Deo . . . Inquisition . . . wow . . . Continue reading »

Mar 142012

I somehow missed this announcement when it first appeared, but by waiting, I have a few more details to add.

The news is that Sweden’s Marduk is headlining a North American tour that begins on June 2 at The Sonar in Baltimore and concludes on June 20 in San Diego. Along for the ride will be Norway’s 1349, Withered from Georgia, and a Canadian band called Weapon. All of these bands are excellent — that is, if you enjoy being sonically assaulted without mercy. And who doesn’t?

Weapon is the least well-known of this foursome, but we included them in a MISCELLANY post back in December 2010. Their frontman Vetis Monarch is from Bangladesh and the band’s blend of melodic black metal and death metal is influenced by his origins. There’s an official video of a live Weapon performance after the jump for those of you who haven’t discovered them. (Their Facebook page is here.)

Withered is another band worth getting to know if you don’t know them yet. I’ve also included one of their tracks after the break. From some quick web snooping, it seems that both Weapon and Withered are at work on new albums.

I’m presuming that Marduk and 1349 need no introduction. This will be 1349’s first visit to the continent since 2010. All the dates and locations are also after the jump. Continue reading »