Feb 242018


Two nights ago on my way home from a late meeting in Seattle I hit a patch of black ice less than a mile from my house. My car skidded off the road, rolled over, and landed on its side in a deep ditch. I missed hitting a telephone pole by two feet, but did destroy a mailbox and probably my car as well.

On the other hand, I’m unharmed, just a bit sore in a few places. I spent three hours sitting in a police car with a very decent officer while we waited for and then watched some remarkable tow-truck guys figure out how to get the car on its wheels and out of the ditch, in 20-degree weather in the middle of the night. The cop finally drove me home at 4 a.m. yesterday morning.

That scary incident fucked up my plans for a round-up yesterday. I’m afraid to go back and read the premieres I wrote after a sleepless night and in an addled frame of mind, but I sure didn’t feel up to writing anything I hadn’t already committed to do.

Anyway, the past week was another blockbuster in terms of new metal, and I’ve left a lot of stuff out of this post — which is still pretty long. I picked the music of the following five bands to provide a wide spread of different genres.


So far, the Irish troubadours in Primordial have released videos for two singles from their new album, Exile Amongst the Ruins, the second one appearing last week. Both songs will likely be surprising in some ways to Primordial fans, although Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill‘s remarkable voice is still front and center in both.

Feb 232018


Last month we ushered into the world a music video for a track named “Patiently Waiting”, which will appear on the new album by Slumlord from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. That album, Preview of Hell, will be released on March 7th, and now we have another Slumlord track to hurl at your head, this one for the album’s fourth song, “Into Bone“.

There wasn’t anything patient about “Patiently Waiting,” and Slumlord weren’t holding anything back either. The song is a take-no-prisoners onslaught of pure fury in which these metallic hardcore brawlers mixed blazing drumwork and heavy, harrowing chords; brute-force, stop-start jolts and ravaging riffs; vocals that are raw and rampant in their uncut rage; and a breakdown that’s hard enough to cause severe neck trauma. The new song doesn’t show any mercy either

Feb 232018


The black metal band Aetranok was spawned in the high desert of New Mexico in the small town of Aztec, but from the sound of their music you’d think they dwell in one of the lower levels of Hell. Their second album, Kingdoms of The Black Sepulcher, is set for release on April 26th by Symbol of Domination (Belarus) and Death Portal Studio (U.S.), and today we present the premiere of a lyric video for the song “Ov Precipice and Bestial Purity“.

The lyrics of the song proclaim that “the mantra of ruined angels vibrates the heavens to rubble,” and they celebrate the advent of an immaculate oblivion. “Here lies the abyss,” the vocalist shrieks in scorching tones, and the music matches all these words.

Feb 232018


(In this post Andy Synn reviews three 2017 releases, by Coraxo (Finland), Deadspace (Australia), and Succumb To Demise (Kentucky).)


Despite the fact that I’m already overwhelmed by new and upcoming releases – next week alone I have Slugdge, Ancst, and Rites of Thy Degringolade lined up to review – I’ve decided to take some time out of my busy schedule to catch up on three albums which were released late last year and which, as a result, didn’t necessarily receive the coverage they deserved.

Feb 222018


We first encountered the Orlando-based progressive death metal band Monotheist through their impressive 2013 EP, Genesis of Perdition, which followed an hour-long debut album (Unforsaken) that had first appeared roughly six years earlier. The band delivered a single in 2016, and at last a second album has now been completed. Entitled Scourge, it will be released through Prosthetic Records on March 16th.

The new album continues to feature the eclectic interests and creative guitar performances of founder Michael “Prophet” Moore as well as the vocal ravages of JJ “Shiv” Polachek IV (7 Horns 7 Eyes, ex-Ovid’s Withering) and the drumming of Cooper Bates, but the line-up also now includes new participants: bassist Jose Figueroa (who we’re told is a rising star of the Orlando jazz scene) and second guitarist/vocalist Tyler McDaniel (ex-Gigan) from DeLand, Florida.

The first side of Scourge begins with “The Grey King” (which premiered here and includes a guest appearance by Christian Älvestam) and “The Great Chain At the Neck of the Earth”, and then it moves into a two-part composition. The first part, “Mark of the Beast I: The Image” functions as a two-minute prelude to the song we’re premiering today: “Mark of the Beast II: Scion of Darkness“.

Feb 222018


The yearning for death on a mass scale horrifies most people, and these days that yearning is for most people probably associated with the kind of psychosis that leads to the detonation of suicide vests, the use of delivery trucks as guided missiles plowing through packed bodies out for an evening stroll, the massacre of children in their schools with easily bought weapons of war. We can, of course, remember instances of human slaughter on unimaginably larger scales; it’s probably happening again somewhere on earth right now.

But the desire for death made real in instances such as these pales in their scope when compared to the extinction-scale invocations of anti-cosmic extreme metal. Only a tiny sliver of humanity outside such circles would comprehend the attraction of such philosophies. The fraction is probably only slightly larger even within the ranks of metaldom. Yet the concept of vast, terrifying forces entering our dimension from nightmarish shadow realms and consuming all life — and being invited to do so — has animated powerful forms of death and black metal, challenging their creators to attempt to capture such daunting conceptions in sound, with results that have attracted the allegiance of many thousands of listeners.

Feb 212018


When you listen to the new Scumpulse album — and you damned well should — you won’t have time for any deep breaths. But the music is such a high-powered, adrenaline-triggering rush that you won’t miss the oxygen. Hyperventilation will take care of that for you. You can rest later.

The name of the album is Rotten, and it will be released by Gore House Productions in just two days, but you can listen to it today. You will find this Scottish band’s attack to be relentlessly pulse-pounding, but although its feral ferocity is indeed capable of taking a listener’s breath away, the band have packed the music with turn-on-a-dime changes, creating a genre-hybrid that’s a serious eye-opener.

Feb 212018


(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the new album by the Ukrainian band Devildom.)


In my line of work I encounter a lot of bands straddling the Black/Death divide, often pulling from the same pool of influences – Dissection, Dark Funeral, Morbid Angel, Behemoth, At The Gates… the list goes on – and often, for the most part, sounding relatively competent but largely interchangeable.

Every now and then though I stumble across a band who do it just that little bit better, with just that little bit extra style and panache.

A band like Devildom.

Feb 212018


In the first part of today’s two-part round-up of recommended new music I selected songs that included clean as well as harsh vocals. In this one, it’s all unmitigated savagery… but the savagery comes in varied exciting forms. I really, really like all six of these tracks, and hope you’ll get just as fired up about them as I have.


The Finnish grind merchants Rotten Sound, who are favorites around our crumbling domain here at NCS, have a new EP named Suffer to Abuse slated for release by Season of Mist on April 13th in Europe, and on May 18th in North America, because the bastard step-children must apparently wait their turn. Fortunately, we were served at the same time as everyone else with the EP’s first single, “Harvester of Boredom“.

Feb 212018


I don’t know if I’ll manage to follow through, but my plan for today is to post two round-ups of new music, this one being the first. As the post title suggests, I carved these songs away from the others and pulled them in here because the vocals in each of them aren’t solely of the kind that would suit the (demonstrably porous) rule in our site’s title. That’s right (gasp), there are some clean-sung melodies in these tracks… combined in each song with harsh ones.

Of course, to my ears the tracks have many other things to recommend them or I wouldn’t have asked you to listen. But the varied voices in these tracks are part of what made them stand out to me.


In April of last year I came across and wrote about a song from a two-track demo by a Bay-area band named Ails, whose line-up included two former members of the sorely missed Ludicra — vocalist Laurie Sue Shanaman and guitarist/vocalist Christy Cather — as well as guitarist Sam Abend (Desolation, Abrubt, Scurvy Dogs), drummer Colby Byrn (One In The Chamber, 2084, Aequorea), and bassist Jason Miller (Apocryphon, Cretaceous, Phantom Limbs). At the time, Ails was in the process of mastering their full-length debut and were seeking label support — and they got it, to no surprise of mine or anyone else who heard that demo.

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