Mar 312017


Medico Peste are human beings (I presume, but cannot be sure) who have mastered the art of creating music that appears to be a gateway for the emergence of inhuman forces.

Discordance and delirium reign on their new EP, Herzogian Darkness. The music seethes with arcane energies, creating an experience that is terrifying and hallucinatory — and so intricate, so different, so highly accomplished, and so unnerving that it rooted this listener in place as if turned to stone.

To help you gauge its on effect on yourself, I’m including a full stream of the EP at the end of this review; it was released just yesterday by W.TC. Productions. Continue reading »

Mar 312017


About 10 days ago we included two advance songs by the Cleveland melodic black metal band Burial Oath in one of our SHADES OF BLACK collections, and now it’s our pleasure to bring you a full stream of the debut album that houses those two, and six others. The album is Beyond the Vale of Shadowlands, and it will be released on April 7.

By way of introduction, I’m going to repeat what I wrote about those two advance tracks, and then add a few thoughts about the balance of this very multifaceted album. Continue reading »

Mar 312017


(Andy Synn brings us a trio of reviews of new releases by The Darkhorse, Mountains Crave, and Ancient Ascendant.)

Ah yes, it’s finally time for the first in what I hope will be several pieces collecting the best Metal which these fair isles have to offer in 2017.

As always, the three bands I’ve selected each offer a very different take on the metallic fundamentals, from the swaggering stomp of The Darkhorse, or the sweeping blackened grandeur of Mountains Crave, to the rifftastic rampage of Ancient Ascendant, meaning there should be something here for everyone (or, at least, for most people) to really sink their teeth into! Continue reading »

Mar 312017


Like many of you, I’m often drawn to explore music based solely on the cover artwork, and that’s exactly what happened in the case of Eruption’s new album, Cloaks of Oblivion. Isn’t that cover art by Alex Boca fantastic? And in this case, the music proved to be a match for the enticing quality of the visual art.

Eruption come our way from Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Cloaks of Oblivion is their third album. It will be released by Xtreem Music on May 2.

The words that leap to mind immediately in thinking about “Sanity Ascend“, which is the song from the new album that we’re premiering, are “explosive” and “electrifying”. Prepare to have the spigot on your adrenal glands cranked wide open. Continue reading »

Mar 312017


Coagulating Darkness is the new album by Hellripper, a one-man band from Aberdeen, Scotland, created by James McBain. The album will be released on April 14 through the German label Barbarian Wrath and the Scottish label Granite Factory Records, and we have for you the premiere of a song from the album called “Demdike (In League with the Devil)”.

This is Hellripper’s first full-length. It follows a debut EP in 2015 (The Manifestation of Evil), a trio of splits, and a compilation released last year (Complete and Total Fucking Mayhem). As you’re about to find out, Hellripper is a name that suits the music very well — because this is black thrash and speed metal that rips hell. Continue reading »

Mar 302017


(We welcome back to NCS Argentinian writer Matías Gallardo, who brings us the following interview of guitarist M.K. and vocalist A.J. of the Icelandic band Draugsól, whose debut album Volaða Land was released in January by Signal Rex and can be streamed in full after the interview.)


It seems ‘Icelandic’ and ‘black metal’ are two terms that work extremely well together. If you have doubts, just listen to Volaða Land, the debut album by Reykjavík-based trio Draugsól. In less than 40 minutes, these newcomers display a unique approach to the vicious sounds we’ve heard coming from the land of eternal ice.

In fact, the mixture between classic Scandinavian black metal riffing, ambient-like passages, and epic melodies sounds extremely personal for such a new band. Now, read what guitarist M.K. and vocalist A.J. has to say about the album that might turn Draugsól into one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Continue reading »

Mar 302017


Resilience is the name of the debut album by Integral from Bergamo, Italy. It will be released on May 5 by Ghastly Music, and we have a taste of the album for you today through our premiere of its first advance track, “Mechanical Existence Construction“, which features a guest vocal appearance by Obscura‘s Steffen Kummerer.

By way of introduction, it may be useful to note that the album is recommended for fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, Beyond Creation, The Faceless, and Gorod — and those do seem like useful references and fair comparisons as you embark upon the experience of “Mechanical Existence Construction”. Continue reading »

Mar 302017


Disorder from El Salvador began the first stirrings of life in the mid-90s as its principal creator Jorge Montesino (M.Q.) began recording songs with an acoustic guitar on his tape recorder at home. The first demo was released in 2001, and the first album the next year. More than 10 years passed before Disorder‘s second album was released (by El Salvador’s Morbid Skull Records), and now the band’s third album is primed for release on April 21 by Symbol of Domination Productions (Belarus) and Morbid Skull. The album’s name is Fuego Negro, and today we premiere a song from the album called “Existencias Paralelas“.

This is the kind of music that ought to appeal mightily to thrash purists. It doesn’t aim to push the boundaries by incorporating progressive flourishes or throwing other genre styles into a blender. But it’s fast, it’s aggressive, and it delivers a big adrenaline surge — and if you like your vocals raw and vicious, Disorder satisfies those tastes as well (the album features guests on vocals and lead guitar, in addition to the talents of the band’s two main members). Continue reading »

Mar 302017


(We welcome back guest writer Lonegoat, the Texas-based necroclassical pianist behind Goatcraft, whose latest album Yersinia Pestis was released in 2016 by I, Voidhanger. In this piece, Lonegoat provides a review of the new double-album by the one-man Australian project Midnight Odyssey.)

Atmospheric metal is made difficult as much of it is mere texture. Most of it is deduced to a worship of texture and a hard limit of production. The long chain of simple but meaningful sounds has led listeners to acknowledge its harmonious preservation from one sound to another and the coalescence thereof.

Midnight Odyssey shows that these are necessary textures, how the mind comes to be furnished by a lush experience and leads to a heroic catalyst of reflection. It derives our internal operations of mind by all of its vibrant tones, simplicity, and often an exuberant usage of repetition, most often to the point of repletion.

Atmosphere in music is not an empirical concept which has been derived by ordinary external experience; it is a prime character in and of itself. Midnight Odyssey exemplifies an inner character much like the dusty plains of eastern classical where its focus is that of an internal expression, whereas western art is an external representation and unites its representations in our consciousnesses (albeit consciousness itself is an epiphenomenon). Tonal action and reaction should be equal in atmospheric synthesis. Continue reading »

Mar 302017


(March nears its last gasps, and Andy Synn slips in under the expiration wire with the 83rd edition of THE SYNN REPORT. The spotlight this month falls on the discography of California’s Dreaming Dead, which includes their just-released third album.)

Recommended for fans of: Death, Arsis, Horrendous

There are some bands who just never get their due. And, in my humble opinion, Californian quartet Dreaming Dead are one of them, as their proficiency in the metallic arts is absolutely second to none, and yet their status as underground underdogs has led them to fly under most people’s radar.

Often tagged, erroneously, as “Melodeath”, it would be more accurate to characterize the band as a furious hybrid of Death and Thrash Metal, with a penchant for brash, technically demanding riffage and a knack for incorporating multiple threads of moody melody without lessening the heaviness or impact of their sound one iota.

Formed in 2006 on the mean streets of LA (note: said streets may not have been as mean as portrayed on TV), the band have undergone a few line-up changes in the intervening years since then, although the core duo of Elizabeth Schall (also of NCS-beloved grindsters Cretin) on vocals/guitar and Mike Caffell on drums has remained constant throughout.

The band having just released their third album, Funeral Twilight, last month, now seemed like the perfect time to wax lyrical about them, and hopefully introduce some new listeners to their signature brand of audio extremity. Continue reading »