May 222017


Suffering Hour’s In Passing Ascension is the kind of debut album that makes an immediate positive impact because it so convincingly displays the band’s sure-handed mastery of their own sound, and because it’s a soundscape that’s distinctive rather than a re-treading of long-familiar territory.

At a very high level, the album inventively fuses dissonant black metal and harrowing death metal to create an experience that’s both eerily atmospheric and punishingly heavy, full of fire-storming ferocity and skin-shivering otherworldliness — and it somehow manages to be quite memorable as well as persistently unsettling. It’s our pleasure to bring you a full stream of the album today, in advance of its release by Blood Harvest on May 26th.

May 222017


Originally formed circa 1972, the California heavy metal band Cirith Ungol released four albums between 1980 and 1991 before disbanding, and in the process amassed an ardent world-wide fan following. The band reunited in 2015 for the Frost and Fire festival, and are continuing to forge ahead with festival appearances — and writing new music as well.

Greek writer John Sleepwalker of returns to NCS with this interview of Tim Baker, Greg Lindstrom, Jimmy Barraza, and Rob Garven leading up to Cirith Ungol’s performance at the Up the Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece, on May 27, 2017.


First of all, what made a Cirith Ungol reunion possible after all these years? I think there was quite some interest from Greece too, for quite some time, but the band was very negative until now…

Rob: Jarvis Leatherby from Night Demon lives in our home town and he told me that when they traveled to Europe on tour they would see many fans wearing “Cirith Ungol” shirts, and patches, and many there knew of our band and music. I had sworn a blood oath that I would never play drums again, so I had always told him very politely that I was not interested. Everything changed at the “Frost & Fire” festival in 2015. Oliver Weinsheimer from the very famous and exclusive “Keep It True Festival” had come over for the show. Jarvis and Oliver asked to speak to the band alone.

May 222017


When I first began listening to the music of Parthenope, the debut album by the Neapolitan metal band Scuorn that was released earlier this year, I wrote “It’s a truly eye-opening offering of epic symphonic black metal — majestic, bombastic, ferocious, theatrical, panoramic, richly textured, richly rewarding. I felt like giving a standing ovation at the end.” And the same can be said of the specific album track “Sepeithos“, which is the subject of a music video that we’re helping to premiere today.

The video was directed by Portuguese artist Gullherme Henriques Silva (Belphegor, Noctem, Nargaroth) and filmed by Mirco Condello (Fastforward Filming) during Scuorn’s latest show of the “Parthenope Italian Tour 2017” at Alchemica Music Club in Bologna, Italy.

May 212017


I’m still with family in my old hometown of Austin, Texas, enjoying yet another mini-vacation. Like yesterday, I did have a little time this morning to do some listening, but not enough time to do much writing.

So, as was true of yesterday’s OVERFLOWING STREAMS post, I’m once again recommending the following song streams but including only some basic info about the music. The difference is that almost everything you’ll find below comes from the realms of black metal.

May 202017



I’m in Austin, Texas, this weekend. I didn’t think I would have time to do any NCS stuff, but did find myself with some time this morning — though not enough time to do much writing. What I’ve done instead is just collect a bunch of new song streams and videos and some basic info about each one.

I might be able to do the same thing tomorrow, but probably not more than that. Hope you find some things to like in the following eclectic collection.

May 192017


(Guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, brings us Part 3 of an  interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here.)


The genres you play, black and doom, don’t have much acceptance in Spain, and even in the underground are misunderstood. They don’t have much support, unlike thrash or death, but nevertheless Madrid, the dark (venue), which is more focused on doom and gothic metal, has been a complete success. So, seeing how those styles aren’t very valued, did you think that you wouldn’t succeed in your own country?

Von Päx: That’s a quite complex answer that I could be answering today. Let’s make clear that, in Spain, the most minority styles are black and then doom. That’s a battle that you have already lost. In this country they like blast-beats. If you don’t play fast they are not gonna like you. In addition they also don’t understand shrieking voices. If it isn’t guttural, you also have already lost support.

May 192017


L.A.-based Dylan Furr began making music as a solo artist, releasing two instrumental albums under his own name. For the third album (Juxtaposition) he added his own vocals, but then re-recorded it with new vocalist Elijah Arnold. Because the band is now no longer a completely solo effort, the project has taken on a new name — DFB.

On July 7, Famined Records will release a new DFB EP named Perspective, and what we have for you today is a lyric video for a song from Perspective named “Domino“.

May 192017


Sometimes the name that a band chooses for itself can be a significant clue to the kind of music they make. The name Fractal Generator sounds kind of cybernetic and machine-like, although fractal repeating patterns across multiple scales of size are evident in nature as well as mathematics. But then consider further that the members of this band from Sudbury in Ontario, Canada, identify themselves by number: 040118180514 (bass, vocals), 040114090512 (drums), and 102119200914 (guitar, vocals). And then consider that the name of their debut album is Apotheosynthesis.

The album was originally self-released by the band in 2015, but it has now been embraced by Everlasting Spew Records, which is releasing it on CD and digitally today (May 19th). To help spread the word, we’re bringing you a full stream of the album in video form.

May 192017


The brutish compulsions and unforced vices of daily life pour us like hot clay into forms. We move and solidify into shapes, and twist into shadows. Never quite as solid as stones, but at risk of freezing in our steps. The poison of implacable cell death leeches us from our first breaths, but provides a bargain — there is glory to be found in those breaths, if we can only find it before it is too late.

All of this doom, and all of this potential for exultation… art has ever sought to capture the experience. Probably, the intensity of our creeping and bounding on the edge of the precipice can’t really be captured by art, but Dødsengel come very close. Perilously close.

May 182017


(Guest contributor Pablo Balbontín, editor of the Spanish webzine Subterráneo, brings us Part 2 of an  interview of Vön Pax, vocalist of the Spanish band Barbarian Swords, whose latest album Worms we premiered last November in advance of its release by Cimmerian Shade and Satanath Records. Part 1 is here; Part 3 will appear tomorrow.)


Your relationship with labels, it’s a mess… First of all, you’re signed with Cimmerian Shade Recordings, and then with Satanath Records and The Ritual Productions. Some of them have carried out with the CD version, I think Cimmerian handles the cassette version… Why did you decide to work in this way? What does each one do? Which are their tasks? Perhaps they handle the distribution for some different countries?

Von Päx: This was organized in the underground way. I mean, we are a tiny band. Only a madman can get ahead of our music and invest in it, and we were lucky to find that. Cimmerian Shade Recordings from the USA handles the double gatefold vinyl, the double cassette edition, limited to a red one and a black one, and then a Digipack CD, which is pretty awesome.

On the other hand, Satanath Records from Rusia and The Ritual Productions from Netherlands both produce the regular jewelcase.

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