Jul 182018


On Monday of this week we completed a three-part post providing photographic memories of Northwest Terror Fest 2018, thanks to the artistic eye and skilled technique of New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor. Today we begin another three-part photo retrospective featuring Teddie’s photos, and this time the focus is on another NCS co-sponsored festival that took place earlier this year — Austin Terror Fest — whose organizers and staff also played integral roles in helping us successfully put on the second edition of NWTF in Seattle.

The second annual installment of ATF took place in the heart of Texas on June 15-17 and featured performances by 30 bands from around the U.S. (and outside it). A small number of those overlapped the line-up of NWTF, but most did not. By all accounts, it was a great event, and the energy comes through in Teddie’s photos. Work has already begun on the 2019 edition of this Texas-based festival.

Teddie’s westward trip from New Orleans took longer than expected, and so the following montage of her pics from ATF’s first day includes only the final four bands who played on June 15th, at the Lost Well venue. We’ll have complete photo spreads of the second and third days in the following days here at NCS. Continue reading »

Jul 182018


Ennui from Tbilisi, Georgia, are an old favorite of this writer, sort of like a fondly but frighteningly remembered ghost that lives the attic, an ancient and towering haunt that’s itself deeply haunted and that occasionally emerges from its sunless gloom to blot the sun from our own changing seasons. As Ennui say in a statement about the mammoth new song we’re hosting today: “None of us will ever see the gleams of light in silent dawn. None of us will even know, that our shadow was already gone.”

Three years on from their very fine last album, Falsvs Anno Domini, the Ennui duo of David Unsaved and Serj Shengelia are ready to emerge again, once more to draw us inexorably into their own deep shadows with a new album named End Of The Circle, which is set for a September 5 release by Non Serviam Records.

Ennui never hurry through their songs — their withering spells take time to unfold, to deepen, and to flourish, and especially so on this new record, whose three sagas range in length from 20 minutes to more than 30. And two of those are parts of a conceptually unified musical tale. “The Withering Part I — Of Hollow Us” is what we have for you now. Continue reading »

Jul 182018


(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Skeletonwitch, which will arrive on Friday of this week via Prosthetic Records.)

By this point, with the album’s release but a few scant days away, you’ll likely have seen and read a number of different reviews and opinion pieces about the new Skeletonwitch, some of it positive, some of it negative, some of it… a little hard to follow.

But if all that confusing, back and forth coverage has got you turned upside down, to the point where you just don’t know what to think, then fear not! I’ve got you covered with what promises to be the definitive take on the album. Continue reading »

Jul 182018


Consumed By Oblivion is both the name of the debut EP by the Minneapolis band Void Rot and a synopsis of the atmosphere created by the band’s titanic, soul-consuming brand of death/doom. When the title track surfaced earlier this month, it seemed to capture the sensation of being swallowed by a cold, hungry void and allowed to slowly rot. Massive and monstrous, heavy enough to crack bedrock and sickeningly morbid enough to sink all your hopes, it also transformed into a spine-shaking, head-hammering, skin-scissoring marauder, laced with buzzing riffs and squalling leads that sounded like pure evil.

That was a tantalizing (and mortifying) teaser for this new record, and today we have another, as we premiere a song called “Ancient Seed” in advance of the EP’s joint release on August 3rd by Everlasting Spew and Sentient Ruin. Continue reading »

Jul 182018


Here are four songs, two of which come with videos, from forthcoming albums that I’m pretty excited about. A slew of other songs have appeared since late last week that I’m also excited about, and no doubt more will appear today. The thorny garden of metal is riotously fecund. We poor harvesters with bleeding fingers and bleeding ears can’t keep up, try as we might.


Ohio’s Plaguewielder made an eye-opening debut with their 2015 album Succumb To Ash on Dullest Records. They followed that last year with a single named “Writhing In Mental Torment“, which I had some positive things to say about, and just a few days ago they released another new single, “In Depths of Cold Hell“, which is a prelude to a new album entitled Surrender To the Void that will be released on August 12th. Continue reading »

Jul 172018

photo by Shani


(We are delighted to present Comrade Aleks‘ extensive interview of Sharon Bascovsky, founder and mainstay of the ground-breaking Pittsburgh death/doom band Derkéta.)

Derkéta was formed in Pittsburgh in 1988 by Sharon Bascovsky (vocals, guitars) and Terri Heggen (drums). Influenced by bands like Sepultura, Death, Massacre, and Bathory on the one hand, and by bands like Black Sabbath and Candlemass on the other, they worked out their own low-tuned and a bit slowed-down death metal, which later transformed into something that was labeled as death/doom metal. Two demos and one EP (1990’s Premature Burial) was all the band recorded before they split up in 1991.

Sharon tried to resurrect Derkéta in 1997, then in 1999… It’s a long story, but finally, the full-length album In Death We Meet was recorded in 2012. Sharon played a few shows with a new lineup, then came a single, Darkness Fades Life in 2014, and then… Actually it wasn’t even clear if Derkéta were still an active band until I wrote Sharon and asked her all the questions I had accumulated through a few years. Continue reading »

Jul 172018


You may not know it, but right now you’re in the path of a wrecking machine. It’s growling and rumbling, eagerly waiting for you to push the arrow in the player below so that it can run you over and drag you behind it like so much roadkill.

With that introduction, you’ve probably figured out that despite their name, Crawl aren’t some turgid, sludgy doom band bent on relentlessly lowering your body temperature and suppressing your pulse rate in a semblance of death. No, their music is an amalgam of Swedish-style death metal, crust/punk, and hardcore thats capable of striking with explosive power, as you’ll discover in the song we’re bringing you today, which proclaims “Reject the Cross“. Continue reading »

Jul 172018


The Greek black metal band Burial Hordes began working to bring their hellish visions to life in 2001, and over the 17 years since then have released three albums (with a fourth one on the horizon), along with many shorter releases. Their hate-fueled dedication to misanthropic philosophies of opposition has been unwavering, but their music has been an evolving and continuing source of intrigue, leaving us to wonder where their dark creative impulses will take their music from album to album.

The new Burial Hordes record is entitled ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ ΑΙΩΝΙΟΣ (The Termination Thesis), and it will be released by Folter Records in September of this year. One song from the album (“Thrownness and Fallenness of Being“) seized our attention when it was revealed last month, and it’s now our privilege to present another one, which is the new album’s chilling opener — “Human Condition (Isolation-Meaninglessness-Mortality)” — through an official music video. Continue reading »

Jul 172018


(This is DGR’s review of the comeback album by the Bay Area’s Light This City, which is out now via Creator-Destructor Records.)

We’ve been having a lot of fun with it lately but there seems to be a legitimate concerted effort to resurrect the mid-aughts musically, with a handful of groups that gained prominence during the early metalcore and deathcore explosions coming back after multi-year hiatuses and breakups, deciding that 2018 was going to be the time they all returned. They’re obviously not the only bands to do so this year, but it sure does seem like 2018 has been designated the year of the comeback.

We have to be on something of a ten-year cycle for groups breaking up and re-uniting, because that is one of the few ways I can explain how so many bands who were content to hang it up about seven-to-ten years ago all came back at once. If you’ll allow us to pull the curtains back a bit, it seems like my recent review work slate consists entirely of groups returning from my first few years of community college – – particularly the three-pack of Bleeding Through, The Agony Scene, and Light This City, although Into Eternity coming back and local Sacramento groups Journal and Jack Ketch both also joining the fray are part of the phenomenon, with the last two admittedly a likely the reason I’m pounding away at this theme.

As mentioned, Light This City are one of these groups, calling it quits after the release of their 2008 album Stormchaser and from then on reuniting sporadically only for a small handful of live dates (coincidentally the only times I had seen them up until July 1st of this year) — until this year, which saw the late-May release of the group’s newest album through Creator-Destructor Records, Terminal Bloom. Continue reading »

Jul 162018


For the second year in a row, NCS was proud to co-present Northwest Terror Fest, which took place this year on May 31 – June 2 in Seattle, Washington. Several of us in the NCS family helped organize and present the fest, and I guess that makes us a bit biased, but we’re not the only ones who thought it was a fantastic event. The feedback from bands, fans, and the venues has been uniformly very, very positive — so much so that we and our co-conspirators are already at work planning the third installment of NWTF for 2019.

We will of course be bringing you news about next year’s fest when the time is right, but now we want to take one more look back at NWTF 2018. And to do that, we’ve been fortunate to present some of the amazing photos that New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor took while the festival was in progress. You can see her pics from Day 1 here and Day 2 here, and what follows are shots of the performances on the festival’s final day.

P.S. As of today, full pro-shot videos of almost all the performances at NWTF 2018 are now live, thanks to our ally Max Volume Silence Live, and you can find all of them HERE. Continue reading »