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Greetings and salutations, acolytes. I would imagine that many of you are not unlike myself, in that you like to receive things for free. It is almost as though you are being given a gift, independent of one’s birthday or any major commercial holiday. This especially applies to music, and of course now the internet makes it easier than ever to acquire new music for free. In that frame of mind, you might then think of me as being not unlike an amalgamation of Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and your mother (there is no patron saint or mythical figure associated with birthday gift-giving, so I am improvising here), as I am a bearer of musical gifts for you all. Today’s presents may not be adorned in bows and shiny paper, but it is my hope that you take the same joy in unwrapping them anyway.


Our first bit of musical goodness comes from NYN, the solo endeavor of Carthage guitarist Noyan Tokgozoglu. If that name sounds familiar to you all, then you may not be surprised to discover that Noyan is also a writer for our brethren at Heavy Blog Is Heavy. Where Carthage’s music has some deathcore leanings, NYN is pure modern death metal, shot through with melody and technicality without leaning too heavily on either. It is notable that Noyan plays all of the instruments himself and provides vocals, excluding the contributions of bass on one track and a guitar solo on another by his Carthage cohort Tre Watson, who also produced this EP. This is an impressive debut, make no mistake, and it speaks to the impressive talents of this young musician, with regard to both instrumental skill and songwriting. The EP is topped off by an excellent cover of In Flames‘ “Jotun“, which is a departure from the EP’s sound, but is skillfully executed and makes for a fine bonus.


If the name and album art were not a already a strong indicator, Witch Ripper play stoner metal, packed full of filthy riffs and gravelly vocals. Like most bands in the genre, there isn’t a lot here that is particularly surprising, musically speaking, although some interesting details begin to emerge once you examine the band’s heritage. You see, friends, the project’s mastermind is none other than Curtis Parker of the now-defunct Iron Thrones. Parker has apparently relocated to Seattle and is looking to round out the project, but in the interim, he has released this EP with the help of his former bandmate Pete Clarke on drums. With that in mind, and given enough familiarity with Iron Thrones’ excellent work, you begin to notice fibers of that band’s sound woven into the tapestry that is Witch Ripper, although the strongest comparisons are still to the likes of High On Fire, Bison B.C., and Mastodon.

While Witch Ripper does not exactly break new ground, stoner metal is not a genre one oft seeks out for innovation. In that respect, Witch Ripper show great promise, and bear worthiness of future scrutiny.


I conclude with something of a curveball in the form of a new single from Supercommuter, the chiptune-based nerdcore rap trio featuring the vocals of former Optimus Rhyme frontman Wheelie Cyberman, a man who bears the distinction of being one of my top two or three favorite rappers. “I Like It!” also features guest vocals from nerdcore luminaries MC Frontalot and Beefy, and the song itself is a bit of an oddity even for these artists. The single features two versions of the tune, with the backing track comprising the difference, but both versions are quite enjoyable and provide a fine example of why I love these artists as much as I do.