May 192011

(NCS contributor Israel Flanders steps up with his nominations for the year’s two best albums of the year to date. Agree or disagree in the Comments, won’t you?)

Let’s just address something here . . . A ton of kick-ass new music has been unveiled in the year thus far, but some of the new releases have obviously been better than others.  While my choices are controversial, I’m going to talk about, IMO, the two most essential albums of 2011 to date:  Sylosis‘s Edge Of The Earth and Xerath‘s II.

I know, you’re asking me, “No TesseracT!?  No Devin Townsend!?”  Believe it or not (given my tastes), I liked Deconstruction, but it just felt like Devin repeating himself and starting on the path to self-parody, and I love One, but it was too little too late, on top of suffering from a syndrome of repetitiveness.  With that said, let’s dig into these two albums shall we?  I’m not going to go into real depth here; instead, I’m gonna let the songs I’m providing speak for themselves.  I will give a brief overview of what you are getting yourself into, though, so let’s get started.


This is the best melodic metal you’re going to hear all year.  Sylosis has been well on the way to taking their place amongst the metal greats, but this album surely will seal the deal. What we have here is a combination of old school metalcore, early Metallica, and Forbidden that provides a stunningly vicious, thrashing melodic assault.  This band doesn’t play around one bit, wasting no time in laying down the punishment with a plethora (and I do mean a HUGE ASS plethora) of riffs — every single one of them memorable, every single one of them hitting hard with technicality and tasteful execution. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Apr 142011

As expected, I haven’t had the time lately to do anything in-depth for NCS (and thanks again to all our guest post-ers for bailing me out) but I still do have time to put together quick items every now and then, just to keep the new metal flowing along its molten path from our ears to yours.

My original title for this post was “A Trio For Thursday”, because I’d heard new songs from three bands over the last 24 hours that got me excited. But then, as I was finishing this up, I came across a brand new fourth one that I just had to include. Not wanting to abandon my affinity for alliteration, I tried to think of a word beginning with “T” that means four of something.Voilà! In geometry, a tetrahedron is a shape composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex — like a pyramid.

So, here we go — four songs, and I can guarantee you’ll like at least one of them, or your money back. The first is yet another new track from the UK’s Xerath from their forthcoming album II. The second is another track from Malfeitor, a Swedish death metal band whose new music we’ve already featured more than once recently. The third is a song by a group of Norwegian death-thrashers called Exeloume. And last, but not least, we’ve got a new song from a UK band called Detrimentum who we’ve been pumped about for a while.

Feast your ears on the tunes after the jump. Or, more accurately, allow the music to feast on your ears. Continue reading »

Mar 012011

Xerath is one of our favorite UK metal bands. Their 2009 release was called “I” (that’s a Roman numeral one). We liked that album so much that we’ve written about Xerath here, here, and here in the past. If you haven’t listened to Xerath before, here’s their own description of what they do (which is pretty accurate): “Xerath is a modern cutting-edge orchestral metal band – combining crushing metal riffs and grooves with cinematic symphonic arrangements.” For short, they call the sound “orchestral groove metal” or “chug-score”.

Think of an amalgamation of Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, and Dimmu Borgir. Think of the kind of syncopated guitar rhythms that make djent fanboys slobber combined with meaty melodeath riffs and epic keyboards.

Xerath has finished work on a new album, entitled “II”. It’s due for release by Candlelight Records on May 3. And the reason for this post is that yesterday Xerath made the first track from that album available for streaming, plus they revealed the cover art for the album, which is an eye-catcher. We’ve got the song and the artwork after the jump . . . Continue reading »

Aug 062010

As you know if you’ve been reading our earlier posts this week, we’ve been feeling kind of bleak. But there’s only so much dwelling on the sadder things in life that we can get away with and still have anyone bother to read what we’re writing.

So, we’re moving on to brighter topics. And in fact, we do have some bright, metal things to write about. That’s one of the many reasons why we listen to extreme metal. It crowds into your space like a giant hairy thing, glowering at you with red-eyed, dripping-fanged, predatory hunger, panting with hot breath. But it does scare all of your worrisome cares into running straight for the exits.

First, we’ve got details on two mouth-watering fall tours that — wonder of wonders — will be stopping here in The Emerald City (that would be Seattle, not Oz). That was the subject of our first post today.

Second, two of our favorite bands just released new videos. One of those bands — Boston’s Revocation — will be on one of the new tours we mentioned in the earlier post. The other, Xerath (from the UK), is hard at work on their second album, which is very welcome news.

The 2009 releases from both bands just knocked our fucking socks off. They were among our favorite albums of that year. Both of the new videos are for tracks off those 2009 albums.

Both videos only show you the bands playing the songs, and in the case of Revocation’s, it’s a live performance. Nothing as mind-blowing as the animation in Heaven Shall Burn’s latest video, but nothing as stupid as the kind of unconnected or poorly executed imagery we see on most metal videos either. And besides, the songs themselves are hot shit.

(See the videos, plus a few more details about the news from each band, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Feb 202010

This post is about Rush, “YYZ”, and Xerath (pictured above), in that order, and includes a video that will make you smile and maybe even laugh. Most likely you have no idea what we’re talking about. But look, it’s Saturday (for most of you). What else have you got to do while you’re recovering from whatever damage you did to yourself last night?

Rush is a 3-man Canadian rock band that’s been around for more than 30 years. There was a time when it would have been unnecessary to explain who they are, but times change.

Over the course of their career, they’ve accumulated 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (three of them multi-platinum). They rank fourth – behind the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith – for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Industry sources have estimated that worldwide, Rush has sold more than 40 million units.

Apart from being wildly popular for a long time, Rush has also been musically dynamic and inventive and has influenced many metal musicians over the years, including bands such as Dream Theater, Primus, and Symphony X.

Rush’s best-selling album of all was 1981’s Moving Pictures, which was certified quadruple platinum. The album was full of pop-friendly prog rock that got lots of radio play and greatly expanded Rush’s audience. It included one instrumental song called “YYZ” that sounds remarkably fresh today, after almost 30 years. (stay with us — more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 312009

Alan McFarland (Man Must Die)

As 2009 draws even closer to the end, we’ve continued to think back about albums we really enjoyed this year.  Among them were releases from five UK bands that could loosely be classified as death metal, though they sound almost nothing alike.  Four of them — Man Must Die, Viatrophy, Ignominious Incarceration, and Xerath — turned out killer new albums in 2009, and the fifth — Theoktony — was a prodigiously talented band we only discovered this year, though sadly its future is in doubt.

We don’t pretend that this post is a comprehensive review of the best UK death metal of the year, because we’ve no doubt there are awesome 2009 releases we simply haven’t heard.  The five we’re covering here are simply albums that happened to grab our attention  — and didn’t let go. Continue reading »

Nov 232009

So you all have probably read some things by the author islander, but there’s a new girl in town! I’ll be writing about the music I love and things I’m passionate about. Here is the music I love Continue reading »

Nov 232009

Top 40 Hits

A couple days ago, we reported on Decibel magazine’s (premature) publication of its “Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2009” and gave you the list of 40.  Many more “Best of 2009” metal lists will soon be appearing on the netz and the newsstands.  Why do people create these kinds of lists and why do we read them?  Music is a matter of personal taste.  These lists represent the personal tastes of particular critics and fans, no more or less valid than my favorites or yours.  So what’s the fucking point?  I’m not sure there is a fucking point, but I’ll make a stab at it. Continue reading »