Apr 262017


(Todd Manning wrote this review of a 2016 split release by Indianapolis-based Conjurer and the NY band Kaiju Daisenso.)

A little late to the game here, but I recently had the pleasure of discovering this split from two devastating sludge acts, Conjurer and Kaiju Daisenso. Originally released as a split flexi 7” last November via SMALLHANDFACTORY records, both tracks are now available on Bandcamp as well.

Conjurer are a based out of Indianapolis, and this track marks an impressive follow-up to their formidable full-length Old World Ritual. Under the title “You’re in Here with Me”, Conjurer spill forth burly, mid-paced sludge riffs with moments of psychedelia peeking out through the bile.

Apr 262017


(Here’s Wil Cifer’s review of the new album by Ragana from Oakland, California.)

With the tone of recent world events providing the inspiration for their new album You Take Nothing, the Oakland two-piece have returned with a feral vision of their brand of blackened crust.

The album opens with a deliberate crunch before it turns toward placing more emphasis on atmosphere. Where they part ways with many American black metal bands is in the concise nature of their songwriting. It never feels like you have lost your place in a bloated drone of tremolo picking, and the blast beats always feel as if they are wisely implemented.

Apr 262017


Shameless cronyism alert: Andy Synn, my old friend and steadfast NCS comrade for the last six and a half years, is the frontman for the band that’s the subject of this news announcement — Beyond Grace. With that pesky disclosure out of the way, here’s a synopsis of the news we’re announcing (with more detail to follow): Beyond Grace’s new album Seekers is complete; it will be released in July; it features cover art by Michael Cowell; and it will become available for pre-order on Monday, May 1st.

Now for the details. First of all, the image at the top of this post is only the top portion of the cover art created by Michael Cowell (who has a web presence here). This is what the middle and lower portions look like, along with the complete piece:

Apr 252017


(DGR wrote this review of the new album by Germany’s Torturized.)

Here at NCS, we’re proud of the spelunking we do to find underground metal, in between our fawning over the genre as a whole. We also enjoy helping get folks’ names out there — in my case, especially when it comes to some machine-precise death metal.

The idea of musicians as machinery is one that still proves exciting, and hearing a band execute on that idea to crank out some crushing death metal still impresses. Which is how I wound up at the doorstep of Torturized‘s disc Omnivore.

Apr 252017


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new split by two Canadian bands, Fumigation and The Path To R’lyeh.)

Split releases are a great way to discover more than one new band at once, and even in the digital age, the split-release tradition runs strong in the metal world. So here we are today offering up an early stream of killer Canadian death metal from Fumigation and The Path To R’lyeh, two bands with quite different sounds within the death metal sphere. A yin and yang type release, if you will, one that I hope our readers will enjoy.

Apr 252017

Crypt Rot are a relatively new Ohio band whose line-up includes current and former members of such groups as Homewrecker and Scorched (with whom they’ll be releasing a split later this year). Their debut album Embryonic Devils will be released by Southern Lord on April 28th, and today we’ve got a full stream with which to violate your earholes.

The music on the album is a head-wrecking horror, but the album title could be misleading. These are not embryonic devils. Both Crypt Rot and their songs are full-grown, fully formed devils with a monstrous capacity for spreading pestilence, destruction, and an atmosphere of paranormal terror and derangement.

Apr 242017


Niklas Göransson is a Swedish writer whose impulses and talents have led him to create something very special for serious fans of metal whose interests go beyond the pleasures and enlightenment of the sounds themselves. He named his creation Bardo Methodology.

According to Göransson‘s own explanation of how Bardo Methodology came to be born, he had been intermittently contributing articles to Sweden Rock Magazine, and in late 2015 began the exercise of translating some of his writings into English and publishing them online. In early 2016 he conducted an interview of Deströyer 666, with only two pages allotted to the discussion in Sweden Rock Magazine. And so he “ended up with the vengeful boil in every writer’s posterior; excess material too good to discard.” And as a result, Bardo Methodology was born, as an online vehicle for presenting that interview in full, and one thing led to another.

The site was launched in March 2016 with a collection of translated, stockpiled interviews appearing on the first day. By June, something new was appearing on a weekly basis, and that weekly publication schedule has been followed ever since, like clockwork — here.

Now, Niklas Göransson has taken a further step and has begun publishing a print edition that’s so distinctive I felt compelled to help spread the word about it.

Apr 242017


This marks the fourth time we’ve written abut the music of Seattle’s Vermin Lord. The first time was a review of the project’s excellent 2016 album Anguish, and then we wrote about a single that was released in January of this year, followed in March by our review and premiere of a two-song EP (Visions Of A Cursed Warlock). And now we’re spreading the word about Vermin Lord’s new album Mourning, which is being released today.

Part of what makes Vermin Lord’s music so intriguing (and this is certainly true of the new album) is its unpredictable blending of disparate musical influences. This album in particular brings to mind the term “baroque”, which in one of the word’s dictionary meanings refers to a style of artistic expression “marked generally by use of complex forms, bold ornamentation, and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement, and tension”.

Apr 242017


(Austin Weber brings us the full streaming premiere of the new EP by Blurring, along with an introductory review.)


After the breakup of Brutal Truth, the band’s members have continued on in multiple outfits, one of the finest of which is Rochester, New York-based technical grindcore act Blurring.

Blurring is a new vehicle for legendary bassist Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, former founding member of Anthrax, countless others) and multi-instrumentalist Erik Burke (Sulaco, ex-Kalibas, ex-Lethargy, countless others) on drums, combining their immense talents with other like-minded top-notch musicians to form one of the absolute best grindcore bands currently active.

While the band had some demos and other releases preceding their 2015 self-titled album, it was that release that really got me hooked on their complex and disturbing brand of grindcore. Some of you might have caught my review for it here at NCS; if not, now’s your chance to check out Blurring — don’t fuck up. The band is set to release Cloud Burner on April 28th, a fantastic five-song EP that we’re streaming early in full today.

Apr 242017


This completes the two-part post I started yesterday, collecting music in a blackened vein that I sifted from my discoveries over the last week. Beginning yesterday and continuing today, the music is organized in alphabetical order by band name.


Delusion is the eighth full-length by the Portuguese black metal band Corpus Christii. It will be released on April 28 by Folter Records. In another one of these SHADES OF BLACK editions, I wrote about the album’s powerful first single, “The Curse Within Time”, and now a second one has appeared, which is yet another sign of this album’s excellence.

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