Mar 222019


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the British Columbia death metal band Gomorrah, which is being released today.)

While I definitely could have written about this album long before now (seeing as how the band’s representatives were kind enough to send me an early promo copy on request), I decided to wait until today to publish my review as I wanted everyone reading it to be able to listen to (and, ideally, purchase) the full record straight away.

Because while I can’t guarantee that all our readers are going to fall in love with Gomorrah (the band and/or the album) as much as I have, chances are that the band’s bombastic, blast-tastic brand of high-yield, high-octane Death Metal will appeal to an extremely wide cross-section of our regular audience. Continue reading »

Mar 222019


I guess this week has been like every other week: It brought a flood of new metal. Unfortunately, it was a week when the job that pays the bills left me no time for round-ups. It was a mad scramble just to get everything else done around the NCS compound. Confronted with a list of way too many new songs to write about, most of which I haven’t even heard yet, I made completely impulsive choices from among those I have heard, three of which are videos.

Not sure how much further catching-up with new music I’ll manage in the posts this weekend, but I’m going to try. We’ll see how that goes…


I had to lead off with this new song from Full of Hell because it’s just such a shrieking, roaring horror. One of those things that makes you sit bolt-upright and prevents you from thinking about anything else, which was a blessing, given my scrambled state of mind when I first heard it. Continue reading »

Mar 222019


There’s an entire generation, and probably more than one, for whom Swedish melodic death metal was a gateway into extreme metal, ushered into a new world of musical experiences by the likes of At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquillity. For a stretch of years, a certain golden age, it seemed to rule the underground, and eventually some of the surface world. And then, as always happens with a sound that strikes such widespread sparks among audiences, the genre became saturated with lesser lights and then overtaken by the next new thing, and the next.

It isn’t what it used to be, but as in the case of Mark Twain’s rumored demise in 1897, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Undeniably, it’s enormously more difficult for a band to succeed with this style in the current age than when the sound was in its infancy, and seemed like a revelation. But as daunting as the task may be now, it’s not impossible, and Bleeding Utopia from Västerås, Sweden, have proved that with their new album Where the Light Comes To Die, which is being released today by Black Lion Records.

They succeed (in spades) in part because they’ve brought some other ingredients into the mix, and in part because they’re just so damned good at what they’re doing — so good, in fact, that one could imagine this album also being a gateway of its own to a new generation, in addition to being a great reminder of this music’s appeal to those of us who were led down the path by those legendary progenitors. Continue reading »

Mar 222019


(This is DGR’s review of the new album by the Finnish icons Children of Bodom, which was released on March 8th by Nuclear Blast.)

Fathoming what a “return to form” by Children Of Bodom would sound like is an exceedingly difficult task. It seems that every new album from the Bodom crew is referred to as a “return to form”, and yet what “form” the group are returning to is never fully explained.

If anything, for better or worse, Children Of Bodom have been one of those groups who have been the very hallmark of consistency. You could throw on any of the group’s ten main albums (including their latest, the one discussed here) plus a few of their EPs and have a generally good time with the guitar-shred and keyboard-cheese therein. Yet within that consistent discography there have absolutely been different eras of Children Of Bodom songwriting.

You can begin with the thrashier form of Something Wild, then move to the neo-classical hybrid that the band would become in the Hatebreeder/Follow The Reaper/Hatecrew Deathroll era that is a high-point of the group’s career (which one would guess is the “form” people are often saying they’re returning to), to the chunkier and Americanized-groove of Are You Dead Yet? and Blooddrunk, and on to the group’s most recent three, which have been all over the place stylistically. Continue reading »

Mar 212019


Let’s be clear up-front: The End of an Era | Rebirth is not a reissue. A mere reissue of Inferi’s 2009 second album, The End of an Era, would have been welcome for those who relish physical editions of music they feel passionate about, and those are almost impossible to find these days. But as the name suggests, The End of an Era | Rebirth is a great deal more than a re-printing of the original CD.

During 2018, in addition to releasing their latest album, Revenant, and engaging in extensive tours, Inferi also found time to re-record The End of an Era. It thus features not only new performances by the band’s current line-up (which is significantly different from the one that recorded the original album), captured with more robust production techniques, but also presents changes in the bass-guitar and drum contributions to the music. And on top of all that, the revised album includes eye-catching new cover art by Helge C. Balzer.

One track from Rebirth has already surfaced, and today, in advance of the album’s April 12 release by The Artisan Era, we present another one through a lyric video (which is itself loaded with wonderful artwork): “Quest For the Trinity“. Continue reading »

Mar 212019


True to the band’s name, the music of The Flaying will slash the skin from your face in paroxysms of blood-spraying savagery. But it does more than that. It will also suck the air from your lungs, boil the brain, and hammer your bones into fragments fine enough to blow away in the wind.

The second album by these death-dealers from Quebec City, the name of which is Angry, Undead, will be released by PRC Music on March 22nd. It comes recommended for fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, Deicide, Archspire, Suffocation, and Cryptopsy — all of which are indeed good reference points for what you’re about to hear in our album premiere — and it was Cryptopsy’s own Chris Donaldson who produced, mixed, and mastered this rampant barrage of brutalizing barbarity at The Grid in Montreal. Continue reading »

Mar 212019


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the black metal band Csejthe from Quebec City, which was released on March 13th.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, never underestimate the power and importance of good artwork.

Honestly, it still boggles my mind to see that album art – which is, in many cases, the first thing people will ever experience and associate with your music – is so often treated as a mere afterthought, something to be skimped on or left to the very last minute.

After all, why wouldn’t you want to present your music in the best way possible? Wouldn’t you, shouldn’t you, want the visual aesthetic to match and (ideally) complement the sonic side of things?

Case in point, I was initially drawn to L’Horreur De Čachtice by the distinctive design and unusual colour palette of the album’s cover art (by Ovezt Alia), only to discover that what I’d stumbled across was some fairly ripping Black Metal from the cold, wintry wastes of Canada, which was more than good enough to justify a feature here at NCS. Continue reading »

Mar 212019


Ascension MMXIX will take place on June 13 – 15, 2019, in Mosfellbær, Iceland, about a 20-minute drive or half-hour bus ride from the city center in Reykjavik. Over those three days 30 bands from a dozen countries will perform at the Hlégarður venue. The impressive line-up includes not only Sólstafir and the best-known names from the vanguard of red-hot Icelandic black metal but also such U.S. bands as Akhlys, Drab Majesty, and King Dude; Antaeus and The Order of Apollyon from France; Auroch and Mitocondrion from Canada; Mgła from Poland; Sweden’s Tribulation; Akrotheism from Greece; Jupiterian from Brazil; and the Belgian band Wolvennest.

Ascension is the spiritual successor to the widely acclaimed Oration Festival, which ran for three years (from 2016 through 2018) in Reykjavik. Like Oration, Ascension is the brainchild of Stephen Lockhart, who is the owner/operator of both the Icelandic record label Oration and of Studio Emissary, where Lockhart has been responsible for recording, mixing, and mastering an extensive list of great metal releases since the studio’s founding in 2010. The bands with whom Lockhart has worked through the studio have formed the nucleus of both Oration and now Ascension, but the appeal of the festivals to performing bands obviously extends much further. Continue reading »

Mar 202019


April 19th is the date set by Iron Bonehead Productions for release of the debut album by the Spanish black metal band Deathwomb, Its title, Moonless Night Sacraments, conveys the band’s devotion to resurrecting a certain primitive and primeval form of ’90s black metal that combines a cold, wraithlike mysticism with brutish depravity. These wolves hunt their prey in the pitch-black, and the light that gleams from their eyes comes from another world.

These references still don’t fully exhaust what Deathwomb have accomplished in their music. As revealed by the song we’re about to premiere, “Moloch’s Domain“, their musical toxins syphon from the brutishness of death metal and the dismal ghastliness of occult doom to create an experience that’s blood-freezing as well as heart-pumping. Continue reading »

Mar 202019


Prepare to feel the fear of being nailed into a coffin and the adrenaline rush of trying to claw your way out before your pumping lungs exhaust all the oxygen.

Trapped In A Coffin” is the name of the song we’re about to present, and as the name suggests, it summons those desperate sensations — through music that rampages and romps in a vicious, head-hammering fury. It comes from A Whisper of an Horrendous Soul, the new fifth album by the Venezuelan death metal band Nocturnal Hollow, which will be released on March 29th by Redefining Darkness Records in the U.S. and by Raw Skull Recordz in Europe. Continue reading »