Thursday, August 31, 2006

Arsis Has Two New Videos Of Live Songs Posted Online

Two new songs from the upcoming Arsis album “United In Regret” have been posted at with Arsis playing them live.

“The Hopeless Truth”
“The Cold Resistance”

“United In Regret” will get released October 24th through Willowtip Records

Arsis is a highly recommended band in the field of melodic death metal. While there seem to be many bands playing this style of metal, being heavily influenced by bands from Sweden, Arsis actually has a very different and original sound.

Arsis At Willowtip Records

Checkout Counter: Zatokrev

There’s been a pleasant growth of the genre inspired by Neurosis. At this point in time, the BNR Metal Pages define this genre as “atmospheric hardcore”, and Decibel Magazine has referred to it as “metalgaze”. I’ve also read publications which refer to this genre as a form of “post-hardcore”. Zatokrev is a Swiss band who fits right along with those bands inspired by Neurosis, with the focal point on being very heavy as well as building an atmosphere of emotion.

Earache Records

Norma Jean Post New Track Online

You can hear the new track “A Small Spark Vs. A Great Forest” by Norma Jean for their upcoming album over here. It sounds decent and entertaining. The band’s new album “Redeemer” will get released September 12th through Solid State.

On a personal note, I used to always get Norma Jean mixed up with Nora all the time. There was a point in time I used to get The Red Chord confused with Scarlet (because they’re both similar colours if you want to know!).

Link To New Streaming Song
Norma Jean
Norma Jean At Solid State Records

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Checkout Counter: Blinded Colony

I would describe Blinded Colony as being inspired by “Reroute To Remain”/“Soundtrack To your Escape” era In Flames and newer Soilwork.

Blinded Colony
Pivotal Recordings

Neurosis To Enter The Studio

The forefathers who have essentially created their own genre which is currently growing in popularity will enter Electrical Audio studio in December. The effort will be produced by Steve Albini, who has produced such bands as Nirvana, Zao and Mogwai.

The BNR metal pages have dubbed the genre created by Neurosis as “atmospheric hardcore”, while Decibel Magazine has called it “metalgaze” on at least one occasion.

Neurosis At Relapse Records
Neurosis At Neurot Records

Checkout Counter: The Damascus Intervention

One could describe The Damascus Intervention as christian deathcore. The sound is based heavily around death metal and brutality the majority of the time, with some other standard metalcore parts thrown in. While not an absolute must-get, the songs provide a high degree of entertainment, and a lot more focus as the genre of deathcore seems to grow and settle in.

The Damascus Intervention
The Damascus Intervention At Tribunal Records

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is Technicality The New Trend To Bash?

I recently reviewed the latest Anata album. Previous to gaining a copy myself, I had read about the new album, and the band from a few sources. I’ve heard and read Anata described as technical death metal. I generally dislike the tags of technical, as that description used to be a way of describing a band someone likes, and a reason why they are inherently good. Certain things that sound “technical” aren’t always hard to do, and certain things that sound easy can require some dexterity.

Why am I going through such a preface? Well, I grew up in the 90's when things such as “technicality” and guitar solos were considered by many in more popular forms of rock genres to be the enemy of creativity. At the same time, some of the more underground crowds sometimes touted their beloved genres and bands as being superior due to being “technical” and/or having guitar solos.

Right now we seem to be seeing a reversal of roles, with certain bands labelled as being “technical” or “progressive” gaining a degree of popularity. I’m also witnessing a growing backlash against what’s being labelled as “technical death metal” and technical music in general. The reason behind the lash out against “technical death metal” was put simply by one lasher, they stated it was the next trend. It wasn’t the current trend, but the next trend coming up.

Could it be in fact that trend bashing is in and of itself, a trendy thing to do? Some people of course look for trendy things to do before everyone else, to be the one there to do it first. In theory someone could begin searching for that thing about to become big and beat up on it.

I’ve said many times that I feel that this new millennium is one of the best musical times we’ve lived in. One reason is for diversity, as now if you want to create something that simply breaks the rules, you can make some rule-breaking music and get signed, and tour. Sure, there are bands who base some of their sound on being technical, some to the point of eschewing creativity almost completely (a few guitar heroes come to mind). On the other hand there’s a slew of new bands with a different idea. Many raw black metal, the genre inspired by Neurosis, and some instrumental bands have their sound completely based on song writing and simplicity. The genres of these bands is growing, as is the popularity of certain figure heads of those genres.

So, in ending, if you’re one of those people worried about trendy people practising really hard on guitar to get good just to become followers, the yin to their yang is in fact already here.

Album Review - Anata: “The Conductors Departure”

Describing the sound of Anata can be difficult, as death metal has become such a broad term. With all the variations on the genre, simply labelling something as death metal is no longer enough.

Anata contains many melodies roaming up and down the guitar neck, and sometimes in some strange time signatures. Not quite poppy enough to fit with your typical melodic death metal bands, not quite nasty enough for Suffocation to use. These roaming melodies feature lots of interplay between the two guitarists, with harmonies moving in and out, to landing on some intentionally dissonant harmonizations, to some delayed style effects. Other twin guitar attacks are used as well, but not quite to the extent of the aforementioned styles. Throw all that on top of many double bass and blast beat drums and harsh vocals, and Anata gives us a pretty unique package.

It’s these same roaming melodies also pose a problem. Many feel quickly whipped up. While the experimentation with guitar interplay on said melodies afterwards does provide a good deal of entertainment, the base melodies seem to have little substance themselves. Only a few songs feature something resembling a good hooking melody within the guitar lines. Some of the songs don’t do a very good job of building to a crescendo with the structure either, sometimes feeling like a mere collection of said roaming melodies.

All those downsides offer only a portion of detriment though. The intensity of the music and the general concept and originality lift "The Conductors Departure" out of tedium.


Earache Records

Mastodon Post "The Wolf Is Loose" Video Online

This video showcases that Mastodon haven’t completely abandoned the harsh vocals. Considering their on a major label now, you’d expect a video and/or single to push a lighter, more accessible side to Mastodon (which I’ve seen happen with other video and/or singles). Both the video, and the music supporting the video for “The Wolf Is Loose” look and sound good so far.

Take a look at the video here.

Mastodon At Relapse Records

Monday, August 28, 2006

Former Napalm Death Guitarist Jesse Pintado Passes Away

Various sources are reporting that over the weekend, Jesse Pintado died in hospitalization in Holland.

Jesse Pintado has been a part of Grindcore legends Terrorizer, as well as spending his life in the 90's as one of the guitarists in the genre forging Napalm Death. Jesse also did a major side grindcore project with bassist Shane Embury of Napalm Death, Nick Barker, the drummer of Dimmu Borgir/Cradle Of Filth fame called Lock-Up, featuring Peter Tagtren of Hypocrisy of vocals, then later Tomas Lindeberg of At The Gates doing vocals for the project.

Jesse Pintado will be missed by many.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Album Review - Dismember: “The God That Never Was”

Unwavering and unfaltering, Dismember are one of the founding fathers of old-school European death metal. Other bands who got their start at the same time either changed to another form of death metal, don’t play death metal at all any more, or broke up. With death metal coming back, Dismember is now doing a lot more touring as well.

The dead giveaway to old school European death metal is that signature buzzin’ guitar sound. Known as the “double distortion” or “sun studio” guitar sound, nothing lets you know quicker than that guitar sound. When the vocals are going, the music is typically about brutality, but when the vocals aren’t going on and it’s time for an instrumental break, you’ll get the treat of hearing Iron Maiden inspired harmonies and guitar solos, to thrashier moments of good old 80's thrash inspired solos. The more melodic and harmonious moments give Dismember that feeling of being in a transitional period of going from old school European death metal to melodic death metal, without ever actually finishing the journey. It’s actually pretty interesting when you think of it like that, as most bands wouldn’t want to try and nail a transitional period in their career. In fact, it’s as if they were starting to progress, then stopped.

Of course with all the old school European death metal out there, as well as the absolutely huge amount of general death metal to choose from, it begs the question if this is an essential release. Or even a required release. Sure, “The God That Never Was” does everything the right way, properly executed in every way, but you’ve heard this variation on death metal done better before, even by Dismember.



Regain Records

Lamb Of God Reviews

Well, it seems that most reviewers are saying that Sacrament is all things from decent to really good. I guess my lash about Lamb Of God possibly selling out could have been premature. To be honest, the song “Redneck” does come off like a single. I will probably pick it up, but Sacrament will more than likely not get reviewed here at Nile River due to it’s popularity. There’s already lots of good reviewers to make a comment about Sacrament.

Here are some of the places that Sacrament got reviewed at:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Checkout Counter - Textures

Textures hails from the Netherlands. Many people make the comparison to Meshuggah as the prime example, and many other oddities thrown into the mix of their sound.

Textures At Listenable Records

The Banner Breaks Up

More info about their breakup can be found here. The Banner could be described as hardcore with a touch of raw black metal, especially hanging around in the guitar sound.

The Banner
The Banner At Ferret Music

Monday, August 21, 2006

End Of The Year Candidate: All Shall Perish - “The Price Of Existence”

When I heard the mp3s offered up by All Shall Perish for their new album “The Price Of Existnce”, I thought at first that it sounded like they had essentially improved upon what they had done on their previous album “Hate.Malice.Revenge”. I was actually surprised in a good way that “The Price Of Existence” not only improves upon what All Shall Perish has already done, but the other unexpected elements that have been added truly make them more than the sum of their parts.

The three biggest aspects from their previous album “Hate.Malice.Revenge” are still heavily present on “The Price Of Existence”, that being the merger between brutal death metal, the Gothenburg sound and hardcore. As “The Price Of Existence” starts off, it’s as if every element on their previous album has been amplified. The drums with many death metal style beats are faster, the melodies catchier, the breakdowns are more brutal, the vocals even wider in variety now even including well placed gang vocals. One item not present on the previous album that manages to find it’s way into everything is the inclusion of a new lead guitarist. While not every song has guitar solos, lead runs pop up in well placed areas, as well as some slightly flashier melodies and harmonies being played on top of the crushing rhythms.

As the album progresses, other unexpected musical nuances come forth naturally as well, such as the well placed light interlude with acoustic guitars, to a piano introduction in another song. One song brings forth a black metal influence without being as obvious as so many other bands do. Featuring high raspy vocals one moment, then going into a slower, more spoken word portion where the vocals are more of a growled whisper. Even the moment with clean singing on the final song is done just right.
“The Price Of Existence” is an album where every song works together in the order their played. When going through “The Price Of Existence” from front to back, one feels more as if they’ve listened to an audio version of an epic summer movie. I was expecting an album worthy of an 8 out of 10, but “The Price Of Existence” surpassed my expectations, and is truly more than the sum of its parts.


All Shall Perish
All Shall Perish At Nuclear Blast Records

Checkout Counter: Intronaut

Intronaut has been gaining lots of great critical attention lately. The mp3s I’ve heard from their EP titled “Null” and new full-length release “Void” have been outstanding.

A description of their sound is a difficult thing to do. They certainly fit with bands such as Mastodon, Neurosis, Isis, Converge and Swarm Of The Lotus without sounding like them. The music created by Intronaut keeps growing beyond expectations.

Goodfellow Records

Negativa Featuring Ex-Gorguts Members To Enter The Studio

This is great news for those who’ve mourned the loss of Gorguts. The 1998 album “Obscura” has left a lasting impression in the world of death metal for being a very strange, and very focussed modern classic. Negativa seems to be almost a Quebec supergroup of sorts, since not only are Luc Lemay (vocals/guitar) and Steeve Hurdle (vocals/guitar) both in Negativa, but Etienne Gallo who used to play drums for Augury and Miguel Valade who used to play bass for Ion Dissonance are in the band as well. So far their just working on a Mini CD, lets hope they’ll do a full-length soon afterwards. Expectations are high.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Checkout Counter: Tristwood

A band name such as Tristwood doesn’t quite conjure up the audio image of what they play. I would say that Tristwood does a very interesting take on very extreme industrial with a mixture of black metal and/or death metal (it’s a little hard to pinpoint exactly). The songs posted are very different than what you might expect. An enjoyable and recommended listen.

Tristwood At Sound Riot Records

Isis New Album Info

One of our favourites here at Nile River is getting ready for their new album very soon. I’ve heard reports from Decibel magazine that the new album will be heavier and contain such things as double bass, which would seem to be bucking the typical musical transformation these kinds of bands. The new song posted online seems to amazingly go two directions at once, seemingly lighter than past Isis material, but it does contain said double bass moments. You can find that new song here.

The new album is due out on October 31st through Ipecac Records. You can see the cover art here.
Here’s the tracklist for “In The Absence Of Truth” by Isis-
"Wrists Of Kings"
"Not In Rivers, But In Drops"
"Over Root And Thorn"
"1000 Shards"
"All Out Of Time, All Into Space"
"Holy Tears"
"Firdous E Bareen"
"Garden Of Light"

Isis At Ipecac Records

Checkout Counter: The Human Abstract

I’d describe The Human Abstract as starting with a melodic metalcore base, some emo added, and many technical moments abound. There are some other odd moments thrown into the mix which tend to be much lighter than typical heavy music. The end result actually sounds different compared to many melodic metalcore/emo bands. A few people have made comparisons to Between The Buried And Me, and while that’s not too far off, I would say that Between The Buried And Me is much more daring in their sound.

The Human Abstract
Hopeless Records

The Death Of Jon Nödtveidt

Sorry I haven’t made any posts for the last few days, I had a very busy weekend and couldn’t get to a computer.

People have been reading the metal news recently probably know a lot of information about the whole Jon Nödtveidt/Dissection frontman suicide.

When Jon Nödtveidt was released from prison, he soon reformed Dissection with an all new lineup, and quickly put out the EP "Maha Kali", which it seemed many people did not like. "Reinkaos" seemed to suffer the same fate as "Maha Kali". I think the biggest reason why people didn’t like the two new releases was because they were a departure in sound for Dissection, especially since his first releases are considered modern classics. I have “Storm Of The Lights Bane” and “Where Dead Angels Lie”, and I would very much like to have “The Somberlain” as well.

Jon Nödtveidt was convicted of murdering a homosexual in 1998 and went to prison for 6 years. I believe he was considered an accomplice to the murder, although I’m not totally sure. I’ve noticed that there seems to be two definite opinions on that situation, people who feel his sentence wasn’t enough, and yet I was surprised about the amount of people who don’t seem to put up much fuss about what he did.

Different countries have different laws, and many people can interpret the punishment of certain crimes as not fitting the situation. We here at Nile River are under the opinion that Jon Nödtveidt was properly convicted by Swedish law.

Many people consider the early work of Dissection to be melodic black metal, and I would generally agree that it’s a fairly good description of the sound. The cold stark guitars, high raspy vocals that echo, and the occasional blast beat would have many place Dissection in the camp of black metal. The production sounds like a very high quality low-budget job, so Dissection sounds very tight, and none of the instruments are drowned out. The visuals of the band seem a bit different though. Dissection never dressed up in the “corpse paint” get up of many black metal bands, but they did wear much of their satanic beliefs out in full view. Unlike most black metal bands, the band members used their real names instead of pseudonyms.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The End Begin Recording New Album

When most people hear the Ontario band The End, they typically compare them to Dillinger Escape Plan. After every listen though, The End seems less related to Dillinger Escape Plan, and instead seem to have a very unique, intense, dissonant sound.

In the world of underground music (and just about any indie music as well), more than a two year gap between albums can feel like a very long time. We here at Nile River have been looking forward to a new album from The End for quite awhile.

The End
The End At Relapse Records

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Album Review: Demiricous - One (Hellbound)

I decided that since I won’t review the new Slayer album “Christ Illusion”, I’d take a look at this years next best thing, being the debut album from Demiricous.

I can sum up the sound of “One (Hellbound)” in one word, Slayer. Slayer with a different vocalist who has mid range/high sort of rasp. Of course to some people that’s not quite a good enough description, maybe you want to know what bits and pieces have been taken, or which album they sound most like. Well, pretty much all the songs have the familiar verse/chorus format, and pretty much stay the same tempo throughout the entire song, so it’s not quite the hurricane of broken glass that “Reign In Blood” is. There’s also no experimentation with slow songs or clean guitars either, so it’s not quite “South Of Heaven” or “Seasons In The Abyss”.

For many, “One (Hellbound)” is a fun throwback with some modern touches upon Slayer. It feels as though it’s played by an energetic youthful bunch. It’s unfortunate that most of the songs sound similar to each other, though not quite sounding exactly all the same. The youthful energy produced by the band has created twelve mid paced/quick songs that never reach ultra fast speeds, nor do they exhibit the experimentation by trying to compose slower songs. Nor do they throw any creative left turns. All that being said, the album is a fun ride while you’re there, with some slightly memorable moments.

I will say that this is a band to watch, and that expectations are high for their next album. The big wish from me of course is that they create faster and slower songs, mix up the structures, and throw the odd creative left turn.


Demiricous At Metal Blade Records

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Prelude To Selling Out? - Roundup Article

Recently I took a look back in time at what’s been posted here on the pages of Nile River, and I noticed every month so far there’s been one band where we’ve asked “Is this a prelude to selling out?”. Although you readers may not believe me, the timing of the article is unintentional, we don’t actually try to pose the question if a band is selling out every month, we simply post what might be something some people might see as “selling out”. As always, here at Nile River, we always say it’s not our place to judge. Take a look for yourselfs and make your own conclusions.

Previous “A Prelude To Selling Out?” Articles
It Dies Today
Lamb Of God

It Dies Today - A Prelude To Selling Out?

On their previous album “The Caitiff Choir”, we were presented with a standard yet entertaining Gothenburg with breakdowns meets screamo sound. The first thing I said when I heard the song from the new It Dies Today album was “Ouch, that’s nu-metal!”. Now, don’t get me wrong here, it’s not my place to scorn an entire genre, and I also don’t throw the term “nu-metal” around as a simple way to insult a band (shame on those who do).

The beginning of the new It Does Today song, as well the majority of it contained a lot of lowest-note strumming and quite a bit of string slack. The vocals also threw in quite a bit more singing then usual, and before you know it, it was done. Simplistic and over with really fast. It also seemed to lack some intensity, feeling almost as if It Dies Today were slowing themselves down, and sounding bored while doing it.

Now, for all we know it could be a demo, a pre-production song, an edit, or a single not truly representing the rest of the new It Dies Today album. As always, I advise all readers that it’s not my place to judge.

In a way, I feel sorry for the generation of today. Underground metal, hardcore, and even emo when it was in it’s infancy were not created with the intention of such things as rock stardom, landing on Ozzfest or selling lots of albums. Many people, myself included have watched some of their favourite bands lave their roots behind for the allure of cash. Those who know what the music biz is really like also know that “selling out” is a big gamble that doesn’t always pay off as expected, even when record sales go up for a period of time.

You can here the new It Dies Today song titled “Sacred Heart (Sacre Coeur)” from their upcoming album titled “Sirens” here. The release date is set to be October 3rd.

It Dies Today
It Dies Today At Trustkill Records

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Converge’s New Album “No Heroes” To Be Released On October 24th

To describe Converge is difficult. To say that they started off on hardcore and punk and added some metallic elements would be a true statement, but it really doesn’t give a good description of their sound. Nile River highly suggests Converge as they’ve made extremely good albums with high levels of artistic creativity,

Their new album “No Heroes” is scheduled to be released on October 24th through Epitaph Records. Here’s the track listing:
01. Heartache
02. Hellbound
03. Sacrifice
04. Vengeance
05. Weight Of The World
06. No Heroes
07. Plagues
08. Grim Heart / Black Rose
09. Orphaned
10. Lonewolves
11. Versus
12. Trophy Scars
13. Bare My Teeth
14. To The Lions

Converge At Epitaph Records

Album Review: With Passion - In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil

Still worried about the amount of melodic metalcore out there? I have a feeling this problem will right itself over time.

On their debut release, With Passion provides us with yes, more melodic metalcore. The variations they put on it offer an entertaining ride while you’re there. One major variation you’ll notice is the use of keyboards. While Children Of Bodom may have popularized the use flowing keyboard runs, most North American bands use them in a much simpler fashion, like simply doing chords. With Passion seems to make some different use with their keyboards when compared to similar North American melodic metalcore bands. The keyboards are used off and on rather than all the time. When they are used, they’ll often sound like other instruments, such as piano, which makes it very nice to hear a decent piano run in the middle of a song.

Other musical aspects with melodic metalcore also include the breakdown. The breakdowns of the “chugga” variety are rarely used, and are often hidden below the melodic and often harmonized guitars, run instead by the drums. This really keeps the breakdowns buried underneath the song, which makes for something that’s made to listen too, while at the same time can also work in a live environment. The drums also provide a break to the typical metalcore fare, offering the famed blast beat every now and then, and on the rare occasion some super fast moments, which for a brief time offer an attempt to rival some of those ultra fast death metal drummers. It’s too bad they don’t feature more of those super-fast drum moments.

All the melodies and harmonies on tap don’t all sound ripped off from Gothenburg, indeed, the statement of video games influencing the music come through, with certain points being akin to something you might hear in a Final Fantasy game. The vocals are another vantage towards difference. The vocalist provides a high rasp, similar to something you’d hear in a black metal band.

Sadly all the variations put on melodic metalcore to mutate it into a slightly different beast don’t add up to monumental results. The scale runs made by the guitarists sound as if they’re attempting to play beyond their ability, as well as create some strange time signatures the drummer has a hard time playing in time with. The eight songs in thirty three minutes seems a slight bit short, and may not be enough with two of the songs being instrumental keyboard breaks. That’s not to say the breaks don’t fit, but one more song would help to give the album a much more whole perspective. Certain songs are much catchier compared to the rest of the other songs as well, although the amount of conviction pouring off helps to make up for the filler.

Those who find the traits that culminate within the confines of “In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil” both interesting and compelling are encouraged to give it a try. Those people who feel they already have their fair share of melodic metalcore can be advised that this isn’t a must have.

With Passion could be said to be one of those bands to watch out for. Their next album will most likely step up the level of skill and levels of production, hopefully they’ll be able to perfect what they have on their next album.


With Passion
Earache Records

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Behemoth Preparing New Album

Right now Nergal and his crew are starting the writing process for their new album. Nergal has used all the new album hype when speaking about it, such as heavy, technical, catchy. He also said it’ll be faster, with mid paced and slow songs. While that doesn’t seem to make much sense, what it probably means is that the fast parts will be faster. Considering that drummer Inferno seems to be following the same path as Pete Sandoval in terms of increasing the speed of the drums on every consecutive album, the faster parts could truly be faster. They expect the new album sometime in 2007

I would describe Behemoth as a mixture of black metal and death metal. Some feel that Behemoth has moved away from their black metal roots to become more of a death metal band. I certainly felt that their last album “Demigod” seemed to increase the use of more black metal moments, as well as a few other creative nuances.

I would recommend Behemoth above many in the field of black metal, death metal, or the newly emerging genre that melds the two. I like to call it “The Black/Death” myself because it sounds scary.

Behemoth At Century Media

Friday, August 11, 2006

Suffocation Has Two New Songs Posted Online

The two songs are posted at the Relapse Records page. The two songs are titled “Abomination Reborn” and “Bind Torture Kill” from the forthcoming self-titled album.

So to, to my ears the production sounds like the best production for Suffocation so far. While the majority of the material so far suggests a lot of similarity to the previous album “Souls To Deny” from these two new songs available for streaming, there are portions containing some creative progression.

I would characterize Suffocation indefinitely as death metal. Their focus seems to be on slower songs and breakdowns with slightly grindy tempo changes. Over time Suffocation has incorporated more strange time signatures and more un-harmonious guitar harmonies. I recommend Suffocation over many other death metal bands, as they’re genre leaders and pioneers who have been around for a long time.

Suffocation At Relapse Records

The Haunted Set Halloween To Be The Release Date For “The Dead Eye”

This new album is said to contain “acoustic guitars, congas, strings and weird noise manipulations”. Considering how much I liked the progression they did with last years “rEVOLVEr”, the new instrumentation their suggesting should blend in very well (we hope anyway).

The Haunted has been described by many as sounding like an updated version of 80's thrash. The albums "One Kill Wonder" and "rEVOLVEr" got lots of good reviews. I heavily recommend The Haunted, especially as a genre leader.

The Haunted
The Haunted At Century Media

Year Of Desolation Post New Song Online

Head on over to their MySpace page and you’ll find a new unmixed song for the upcoming Year Of Desolation album. You’ll also find some other songs you can download as well, presumably from Year Of Desolation’s previous works.

If asked to described their sound, I would say that Year Of Desolation is metalcore.

Year Of Desolation
Year Of Desolation At MySpace
Year Of Desolation At Prosthetic Records

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Esoteric Post New Music And Announce Headlining Tour

Don’t confuse The Esoteric with the similarly named Esoteric. The Esoteric is a decent band fitting into the world of Metalcore with some Emo influences, although the new songs on their MySpace page suggest that those emo influences are not in the vocals.

The band simply known as Esoteric plays a form of extreme doom that’s one of the slowest things I’ve heard next to Khanate. Pretty bizarre to, which of course is something we love here at Nile River. The two bands Esoteric and The Esoteric do often get confused.

The headlining tour that The Esoteric is doing will include Mouth Of The Architect. With the amount of albums they’ve put out getting great reviews, and the amount of touring that they’re doing, Mouth Of The Architect are set to become the next big thing in “Atmospheric Hardcore” (the genre name most used by the BNR metal pages).

The Esoteric
The Esoteric At Prosthetic Records

Checkout Counter: Lecherous Nocturne

In the mood for some extremely well-executed death metal? While Lecherous Nocturne don’t quite get up to genre-pioneering or must-buy status, the songs featured on their MySpace page I found were very entertaining. Take a look and see how it stacks up against the other previous Checkout Counter death metal bands.

Also, I have to apologize for not being able to supply any visual aids as of late. Many of the bands featured for the Checkout Counter articles often don’t have a band picture.

Lecherous Nocturne At MySpace
Lecherous Nocturne At Deepsend Records

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shai Hulud Sign With Metal Blade Records

I remember hearing about this rumour a long time ago on

Shai Hulud was one of the founding fathers of modern metalcore, with their first release dating back to 1997. Shai Hulud ranks along with Overcast and Prayer For Cleansing as pioneers in the field of metalcore. Many feel that Prayer For Cleansing is the most important band in creating melodic metalcore. Some of the members of Prayer For Cleansing have moved on to Between The Buried And Me.

It looks as though Metal Blade will become even bigger players in the world of metalcore with this new signing of Shai Hulud, as well as recently signing Job For A Cowboy. Expectations will most certainly be very high for both bands.

Shai Hulud
Metal Blade

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Checkout Counter: Birds Of Prey

This band has been gaining a lot of comparisons to death rock. I must say, those vocals really gargle and sound painful, but maybe it’s just me. Oh, and by the way, if it's good enough to grace these pages, that means the band is good enough, so go give it a listen right now!

Birds Of Prey At Relapse Records

Checkout Counter: Ganon

People who know me know I’m a sucker for this sort of stuff. The proliferation of this genre has inspired the author of the BNR Metal Pages to add a new genre list which he’s calling “Atmospheric Hardcore”, which is what Neurosis, Isis, Cult Of Luna, and now Ganon fit under.

Acerbic Noise Development
The BNR Metal Pages (Don’t forget the new Atmospheric Hardcore section under “Genres”)

Checkout Counter: Harlots

What you can expect from Harlots is a generally scathing, grindy mess of noisecore. Entertaining enough to grace these pages, so it’s worth a look.

Harlots At MySpace
Corrosive Records

Checkout Counter: Ken Mode

I’ve heard a rumour that the “Ken” in Ken Mode stands for “Kill Everyone Now”. If you like the more underground and more “artistic” style bands playing that style of noise similar to Mastodon, this Winnipeg trio might whet your appetite.

Ken Mode
Ken Mode At MySpace
Escape Artist Records

Slayer’s Kerry King Interviewed At

Head on over to there to read an interview with Kerry King from Slayer. It’s an interesting read for those who want to kill some time, on the other hand, there really aren’t any special moments either. Typical new album interview.

Kerry King Interview At

Monday, August 07, 2006

Slayer “Christ Illusion” Reviews And More

Over at and, there are reviews of the new Slayer album “Christ Illusion”. Also, there’s some footage of interviews and live songs being played on the Henry Rollins show, and you can hear the entire album “Christ Illusion” in very good quality at a special MySpace page.

I will probably obtain “Christ Illusion”, but more than likely it will not get reviewed here at Nile River. There are many other professional reviews who have and will review “Christ Illusion”. “Christ Illusion” will probably sell very well, and many people will form their own opinion about the album.

The recurring theme I’ve been reading from most professional reviewers is “best Slayer album since Seasons In The Abyss”.

Review Of “Christ Illusion” At
Review Of “Christ Illusion” At
Slayer On The Henry Rollins Show
MySpace Page for “Christ Illusion”

Checkout Counter: Quest Of Aidance

Continuing on with our brutal Swedish death metal theme, we have Quest Of Aidance. Quest For Aidance seem to be more influenced by American death metal (one new trend for new Swedish bands) and present it in a very short, slightly grindy package (grind also becoming more popular with new Swedish bands).

Quest Of Aidance

Review Of “Fallen Man Collection” At
Quest of Aidance At Pulverised Records

Checkout Counter: Torchbearer

Torchbearer could be described as a mixture of black metal and death metal with some more melodic moments. I learned about them recently when reviewed their last album. The sound from these Swedes is decent enough, so give ‘em a try.

Review Of “Warnaments” At
Torchbearer At Cold Records

Checkout Counter: Demonical

Demonical features three members of the now dead Swedish band Centinex. Centinex themselves sounded somewhere between old school European death metal (such a Dismember) and melodic death metal (like At The Gates). Centinex was around for a long time, and I found their work to be entertaining. Demonical actually seems more like an updated version of European death metal, a slight departure from Centinex.

The songs on the Demonical demo are very high quality, it sounds more like an EP than a demo. They're currently looking for a record label and a permanent vocalist (the guitarist did vocals on the demo).


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Checkout Counter - Imperanon

I read a description of Imperanon that said they were “melodic/neoclassical power metal with harsh vocals”. What does that mean to the rest of us? Well, since some consider that to be a perfect description of Children Of Bodom, Imperanon sounds pretty much just like Children Of Bodom. Recent songs have slight differences in comparison to Children Of Bodom. So of course, check them out if you like Children Of Bodom clones, although to be honest, Imperanon only has one full-length out right now, so the future could bring more creativity.

Imperanon At Nuclear Blast

All Shall Perish “The Price Of Existence” Reviewed At

Here’s the first review I’ve found so far for the new album for All Shall Perish, and as predicted the result are very good. From the amount of promotion Nuclear Blast is doing for this album, they probably saw that they have something very good on their hands.

All Shall Perish play what I would describe as starting with a brutal death metal base, adding in melodies, harmonies and guitar solo work, as well as building up to huge breakdowns.

In 2005 Nuclear Blast re-released the album “Hate.Malice.Revenge” by All Shall Perish, which was previously released in 2003. It was a decent, entertaining album.

All Shall Perish
Review Of “The Price Of Existence” At
All Shall Perish At Nuclear Blast Records

Album Graveyard: NonExist - Dues Deceptor

Immediately following his depature from Arch Enemy, vocalist Johan “Liiva” Axelsson joined this side project with Johan Reinholdz. Johan Reinholdz is the current vocalist for progressive band Andromeda, and he played guitar and bass for this side project as well as composing the large majority of music. Playing drums was Matte Modin, the drummer for Dark Funeral.

The music on display in “Deus Deceptor” is thrashy, technical and melodic, every now and then we see moments where strange time signatures have been intentionally inserted, as well as the rare blast beat. The course of the album is held together with a couple of instrumental interludes which re use portions of each other as variations. When he was in Arch Enemy, Johan “Liiva” presented a lower, rougher growl, but here in NonExist, the low end power he displayed before is replaced by a more precise sounding mid-range bark often extending towards some higher screams. Every instrument can be heard well, which adds to a real “band” atmosphere rather than one person running the show. The tones of both guitar and bass can be heard quite well, and have a unique tone that seems to set them apart from many other bands from Sweden.

It’s too bad that neither Johan “Liiva” or Matte Modin wished to continue the project, as what was displayed by NonExist was an astonishing debut where all the songs came together to form a great album that really gave itself just the right amount of distance from some of the more typical Swedish bands without alienating themselves from that same audience.

"Deus Deceptor"
by NonExist was released on Century Media in 2002.


With Passion Preparing New Album

Well, I know they’ve been talking about making a new album for awhile now, the guys in With Passion are certainly taking their time about it. Their last album “In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil” was a decently done melodic metalcore album. Some of the things that really stuck out on that album were the high raspy vocals which could draw comparisons to a black metal style rasp. The other thing that caught my attention was the use of keyboards, more specifically piano runs and the like were used, where in most metal bands these days, the keyboards aren’t quite so busy. Unfortunately With Passion seem to be playing without a keyboard player now.

With Passion is looking at an early 2007 release date through Earache Records. Considering how many of the bigger record labels such as Metal Blade, Century Media, Nuclear Blast and even Roadrunner have taken advantage of both metalcore in general, and also the current rise in popularity of other forms of metal that have been around for awhile, it’s surprising to see that Earache doesn’t seem to be working as hard as the other mentioned labels at signing new bands and promoting the current bands they have. Earache used to be one of the big record labels in extreme music, in a way they still are big. It's too bad to see they aren't working as hard at moving forward.

With Passion
Earache Records

Arsis Complete Recording Of New Album

Considering how the world of melodic death metal and bands heavily influenced by melodic death metal has been becoming increasingly more and more saturated over recent years, Arsis presents us with something special. While most people count Arsis as melodic death metal, the melodies and harmonies give them a unique sound amongst their peers. Arsis has also worked very hard working their way up through lots of touring. I give Arsis a strong recommendation.

In 2004, Arsis released “A Celebration Of Guilt” which was an underground success and gained many positive critical reviews. They released an EP in 2005 titled “A Diamond For Disease” which contained a 13-minute song.

Here is the information I’ve gathered so far -
- The album will be titled “United In Regret”
- Contains nine tracks
- Slated for release on October 26, 2006 through Willowtip Records
- Recorded at Max Tax Studios (Skinless, Stigmata) in Albany, NY and Hairy Breakfast Productions (Misery Index) in Atlanta, GA
- Was produced by producer Eyal Levi (Daath)
- The artwork will again be handled by Mark Riddick


Arsis At Willowtip Records

Friday, August 04, 2006

Leng Tch’e Post New Streaming Songs Online

The term “leng tch’e” is a form of torture, meaning death by a thousand cuts, which I believe is Japanese. The band Leng Tch’e comes from Belgium could be described as old school grind with good production, some grove, a little bit of southern rock sometimes. The vocal styles range from low barks to high screams, and are sometimes harmonized, and the lyrics can be quite humorous at times. The band classifies this as “Razorgrind”.

The two tracks, which are titled "Confluence of Consumers" and "Self-Pity as a Daily Routine" will be featured on a split with Warscars due in September, and released by Bones Brigade. Those two songs can be found on the Leng Tch’e MySpace page, found here.

Leng Tech’e has also entered the studio to release a follow up to the 2005 release “The Process Of Elimination” which was released on Relapse Records. I thought it was a very good grind album with an injection of some very creative musings. Their new album titled “Marasmus” is being recorded at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg Sweden, will be produced by Fredrik Nordström, and is expected to have a release date in March/April 2007 through Relapse Records.

A message on says “Expect longer songs, more intricate rhythms and lots of more variation than on the previous Leng Tch’e records. Mixing up the roots of the band with a new found mature sound, "Marasmus" will become the band's most varied, catchy and definitely most insane blasting effort.” I must admit, the short length of the songs does take away from the depth, and a few of the songs could be considered out of place. Hopefully this will focus their sound.

Leng Tch’e
Leng Tch’e New At
Leng Tch’e At Relapse Records

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Darkest Hour To Have Early Recording Collection Released In October

I wonder how far back they’ll be able to dig for the pre-Victory era Darkest Hour. Darkest Hour has had a lot of splits and eps, and I believe two full lengths before signing to Victory Records. The collection is of course supposed to contain rare recordings, special versions, and songs from hard to get releases. Looking at Darkest Hours back catalogue, digging up all that material should fill two CDs.

In case you haven’t heard Darkest Hour, their sound is based heavily in the melodic death metal vain taking a large influence from At The Gates. The vocals have a hardcore sound to them, as well as having breakdowns within their songs to get the mosh pit stirring, putting them squarely in the realm melodic metalcore. Darkest Hour has been perfecting and playing their craft longer than most (especially the large majority) of melodic metalcore bands. They execute their style very well.

Darkest Hour
Darkest hour At Victory Records

The Acacia Strain Post Video For “Angry Mob Justice” Online

The Acacia Strain released “The Dead Walk” not too long ago, and damn was it heavy. The sound they do is based around slow to mid paced metalcore with an influence of Meshuggah. I can really only think of one song on “The Dead Walk” that used some harmonies, the rest of it was pretty destructive.

“The Dead Walk” has been placed on “End Of The Year Candidate” status, and the video for “Angry Mob justice” can be found here.

The Acacia Strain
The Acacia Strain At Prosthetic Records

End Of The Year Candidate: Nachtmystium - Instinct:Decay

The majority of new black metal bands coming into existence very rarely come from Norway now. One of the places with heavy interest in black metal is now the US. Could Nachmystium be a band to lead the way for raw styled black metal in the US? It’s difficult to say, but this album may just place them higher among their peers.

One of the main elements that makes a black metal band “raw” is the production. As strange as it is to say, the production fr the instruments is recorded intentionally poorly, making most of the instruments sound weaker, and the overall feel looser. There’s lots of reverb, especially on the garbled vocals. When done properly, raw production can give a different emotive reaction, such as an early band forging a new sound, or transporting the listener to a different time.

The experimentation with spacey sounds, psychedelic solos that could’ve been inspired from the 70's, and rock sounds inspired by the 80's merged with 90's styled blast beat and tremolo picked black metal transports the listener to different time and place. This is one of those times when “raw” styled production helps the experimentation and retro influences give the listener a feeling of a new, undiscovered band forging a new path in the musical landscape.

There are slight down sides, the noisy interludes between songs can be a bit annoying when they go on for too long, and the booklet doesn’t really have much in it except for some snippets of lyrics. The down sides are only minor though, as Nachmystium may have created a new off shoot of black metal for legions of other North American black metal bands to rise with.


Nachmystium At Battle Kommand Records

Himsa Plan Tour And Part Ways With Prosthetic Records

All we know so far is that Himsa has parted ways with Prosthetic Records, so it’s anyone’s guess as to why. Did the contract come to it’s end, or did Himsa perhaps get a better offer from another label? While Prosthetic Records has become quite a large label due to the fact that Metal Blade moved Lamb Of God over to Prosthetic Records before Lamb Of God got signed to Epic. All That Remains seems to be doing well enough that they can get onto Ozzfest. Prosthetic also has a knack for signing some decent bands.

Himsa has had two very good releases with Prosthetic Records, “Hail Horror” which was released earlier this year, and 2003's “Courting Tragedy And Disaster”. Himsa has also become a heavy hitter in the more underground sect of melodic metalcore. I would describe the sound of Himsa as being heavily rooted in 80's thrash with lots of melody. There are fewer breakdowns within their songs, and the breakdowns they do have are rarely of the “chugga” variety. Vocalist John Pettibone sounds similar to Jamie Jasta of Hatebreed.

Himsa will also do a headline a tour titled “West Coast Brodeo” with Becoming The Archteype, Demericous, Parkway Drive and Hell Promise. Here are the dates for that tour:
August 02nd Orangevale, CA - The Boardwalk
August 03rd Bakersfield, CA - Jerry's
August 04th Pomona, CA - The Glasshouse
August 05th San Diego, CA - Soma
August 06th Los Angeles, CA - The Avalon (Himsa only) (Featuring Anthrax, Manntis)
August 07th Victorville, CA - Trilogy Theatre
August 08th Fresno, CA - The Belmont
August 09th San Francisco, CA - The Pound
August 10th Bend, OR - The Domino Room at Midtown
August 11th Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre

Himsa At Prosthetic Records

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sybreed Starts Recording New Album

Sybreed hails from Switzerland, and is often described as having industrial and techno influences, as well as influences from Fear Factory and Meshuggah. They’re currently working on a follow up to their debut album “Slave Design”. Dirk Verbeuren who is currently playing drums for Scarve and Soilwork, and who has done work with Aborted will be doing the drums for Sybreeds new album. Sogs titles so far include "Neurodrive", "Permafrost" and "Technocracy", as well as “Emma Zero” which can be heard at Sybreeds MySpace page found here. The new album will be released through Reality Entertainment.

The track “Bio Active” has also been selected to be used in a Hellboy II trailer, found here (Quicktime Required).

Sybreed News At

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Into Eternity Post New Streaming Song Online

There aren’t too many metal bands from Saskatchewan (Canada) I can think of. I n fact, Into Eternity is the only band from that province I can think of. They have a new album coming out on October 3rd through Century Media titled “Scattering Of Ashes”, and a new song posted on the Gigantour MySpace site titled “Severe Emotional Distress”. You can go to the Gigantour Myspace site here.

I would describe Into Eternity as a creative mix, starting with power metal styled vocals and music, some melodic death metal, and death metal growls thrown in to name a few things. Some people have also made “progressive” comparisons, although I think the term “progressive” has lost some of it’s meaning in music with years and years of abuse.

Into Eternity
Into Eternity News At
Into Eternity At Century Media