May 292018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here, Day 2 here, and Day 3 here. Continue reading »

Mar 072017
 

 

Well, for those of you who actually pay attention to such things, I obviously failed to post Part 2 of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK column, which I began (here) on Sunday and said I would continue on Monday. And in the meantime, of course, more new metal in a blackened vein has appeared, and it happened to be new music that I really like. So I’ve adjusted my plans (i.e., I’m making this up as I go along so what else is new).

Part 1 of this feature included full album streams, and my intent for the original Part 2 was to focus on individual advance tracks I’d picked from forthcoming albums. I still intend to do that, except that has become Part 3. What I’m doing here is focusing on the new tracks that grabbed my attention yesterday.

ENSNARED

I’ve been very curious to hear Dysangelium, which is the debut album of Sweden’s Ensnared. Dysangelium will be jointly released by Invictus Productions and Dark Descent on May 12. The first track, which debuted yesterday, is very promising. Its name is “Apostles of Dismay“. Continue reading »

Jul 222012
 

I saw two of these live videos yesterday and one this morning. They involve three of my favorite bands. They are all from S Nations — Sweden, Singapore, and Scotland. I feel compelled to share them.

In the first one, Sweden’s Wolfbrigade throws down hard at the D.I.Y. Fest in Gdynia, Poland, on July 14, 2012. These dudes have been crushing skulls and kicking asses since the mid-90’s (with a break-up in 2004, followed by a revival in 2007), and it’s clear that they still know how to bring it on stage. Their new album, Damned (on the Southern Lord label), is one of my 2012 favorites (reviewed here). To quote myself (always the right way to go), it’s “a boiling stew of d-beat drums, swarming chainsaw guitars, slamming rhythms, and molten guitar solo’s that come for you like grasping alien face-huggers that are a shitload stronger than you are.”

Apparently, one of the factors leading to the band’s dissolution in 2004 was the fact that frontman Micke needed surgery for vocal chord problems and couldn’t sing for at least a year after that. I’d say he’s fully recovered. The sound quality on the new fan-filmed video isn’t pro-quality, but you don’t need that to feel the power of this performance.

The second video is Singapore’s awesome Wormrot performing at the Obscene Extreme Fest in the Czech Republic, also in mid-July (Wolfbrigade performed there, too). This video captures the band’s entire 30-minute set. It will grind your pointy heads down to a nub.

And finally, I have a last-minute addition to the post: video of Scotland’s Cerebral Bore playing at the first show of SUMMER SLAUGHTER 2013 at L.A.’s House of Blues on Friday night. Vocals by Som, always surprising. Continue reading »

Apr 232012
 

Tomorrow, April 24, Damned will be released in North America by the increasingly can’t-miss Southern Lord label. It’s the latest riptide to be unleashed by a venerable Swedish band who haven’t lost the reflexes or the bloodlust that inspired their first music in the mid-90’s. Wolfbrigade remind us about the vital contribution of punk to death metal, but Damned is no history lesson. It’s an explosive, immediate, vibrant album that’s a hard boot to the ass.

I’ll come back to the rest of the band in a minute, but I have to start with what infected me from the beginning of this album: The vocals of Micke. His voice sounds like it’s been regularly bathed in a concoction of napalm, sandblaster grit, and pure grain alcohol from a backwoods still. It’s abrasive, pissed-off, and bleeding from a dozen raw wounds. It’s all smoke and shrapnel, and it lights up this music like a free-fire warzone at midnight.

The vocals suit the music, because Damned is one raw skin-scraper after another, and they leave no time to breathe — 12 songs in under 35 minutes. The majority of the tracks are a boiling stew of d-beat drums, swarming chainsaw guitars, slamming rhythms, and molten guitar solo’s that come for you like grasping alien face-huggers that are a shitload stronger than you are. Continue reading »