Jan 152018


In 1983 the U.S. Congress passed a bill by a veto-proof majority, subsequently signed into law by President Reagan, establishing Martin Luther King Day as an American federal holiday. It’s being observed here today in the U.S., though one wonders whether such a law would have been passed by the current Congress or signed by the current President, what with all the talk about shitholes and such.

Here in our own metallic shithole we’re conducting our own kind of observance, the kind that doesn’t depend on Acts of Congress or presidential largesse, but only on the continuing brain-blasting creativity of metal musicians, which seems never-ending. The torrent of new music since shortly after New Year’s Day has been kind of staggering. I may have to try to do one of these round-ups every day this week in an effort (one doomed to failure) to keep up.


My colleague Andy called Venom Prison’s debut album Animus “nothing less than a neck-wrecking explosion of audio ultra-violence that fans of Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy, and Cattle Decapitation should already be salivating over”. Roughly 18 months after that all-killer, no-filler advent, Prosthetic Records will reissue the album on February 23rd. To pave the way, the band released a new video late last week (via Revolver mag) for a track off the album called “Immanetize Eschaton“.

Jan 152018


Here at our putrid site we’re currently in the midst of rolling out our list of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal songs, but we’re also now beginning to assemble candidates for a 2018 list… and the song you’re about to hear vaulted onto that candidate list immediately. It succeeds on many levels, but the primal power of the song’s rhythmic drive and the catchiness of its supremely menacing melodies are among its notable achievements.

The song is “The Day of the Lord” and it comes from Poisoned Atonement, the ravaging new album by Italy’s Demonomancy, which will be released by the esteemed Invictus Productions on February 23rd.

Jan 152018


Welcome to the 4th installment of my evolving list of infectious songs from last year. I’m continuing to have fun re-listening to tracks from 2017 on my massive list of candidates, and also having fun deciding which picks to group together.

Today, for example, I decided to group these three tracks together not only because I find the songs to be highly infectious but also because listening to them back-to-back is a very effective way of blowing my brain to smithereens. And who doesn’t enjoy that? In addition, all three of these tracks debuted with videos that are quite entertaining to watch.


Well, we’ve been worshipfully prostrating ourselves to Vallenfyre for years at NCS, from the very beginning straight through to the band’s latest album, Fear Those Who Fear Him, which might be the end (see this interview). And so, it should come as no surprise that I’ve picked another Vallenfyre song for another Most Infectious Song list.

Jan 152018


Norse mythology has been a rich vein of lyrical themes and musical inspiration for heavy metal bands to mine, and not just for groups who were spawned in Scandinavian lands of ice and snow. Last Legion roam the boroughs of New York City rather than the frost-bitten northlands across the Atlantic, but the ancient and timeless tales of Norse paganism fuel the fires in their music, which is a particularly savage brand of melodic death metal.

Last Legion’s new album, Muspelheim, is being released today via Gravel Entertainment, and to commemorate the event we’re premiering an official video for the album’s sixth track, “God Ov Chaos“, which takes the travails of the trickster god Loki as its subject matter.

Jan 152018


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Norway’s Horizon Ablaze, which will be released on February 17th by Leviatan/Diger.)

Ever since Emperor first semi-reformed for their ongoing series of reunion shows people have been asking them about the possibility of a new album. And while this, in itself, isn’t all that surprising, the band’s forthright comments about how that’s never going to happen have been rather refreshing.

As Ihsahn himself has said multiple times, any new album would have to be a product of both his and Samoth’s different writing styles, and the two of them have since diverged so much – one leaning more and more towards pure Prog, the other delving ever deeper into more deathly waters – that finding some sort of consensus or common ground that still actually represented the Emperor sound, would be almost impossible.

But… if they ever did produce a sequel to Prometheus I would imagine it wouldn’t sound a million miles away from the extravagant, expressive extremity of The Weight of a Thousand Suns.

Jan 152018


(Comrade Aleks brings u this interview of Tim Preston, guitarist/vocalist of the UK band Damnation’s Hammer.)


Damnation’s Hammer is a strange beast. They’re usually tagged as “death doom”, but despite this label this UK project is strongly influenced by the late Celtic Frost sound. As the band’s founder Tim explains, “The vision of the band has always been to create dark, doom-laden metal incorporating surreal atmospherics”.

Tim Preston (guitars, vocals) has been in the underground scene since the early ’90s, so he knows for sure a few things about how to play dark and heavy, and the band’s second album Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres was recorded with a new, though experienced, lineup.

And yet despite the new blood in the veins of Damnation’s Hammer, the sound of this album is very close to the debut record, Disciples Of The Hex. What new things did Tim and his crew incorporate into the band’s sound? Let’s ask Tim.

Jan 142018


There won’t be a SHADES OF BLACK column today. I’ve had a very busy but fun-filled weekend with Ms. Islander, one of her sisters, and my brother-in-law, whooping it up in Las Vegas. Lacking the time to write any more than one post for this Sunday, I felt it would be better not to miss another day on the rollout of this list. I’ll try to do some catching up on new music tomorrow.

But although there won’t be a SHADES OF BLACK column today, I did decide to focus on black metal for this episode of the Most Infectious Song list.


I’ve been a big fan of “Carried By Lucifer’s Wings” since I listened to it the first time before agreeing to premiere the song last August. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s one of eight tracks on Potestas Magicum Diaboli, the debut album by Asagraum, a band whose line-up (as of the time of this recording) consisted of Dutch guitarist/vocalist Obscura and drummer T. Kolsvart, who is Canadian but lives in Norway.

Jan 132018


(Here’s a personal list by Andy Synn identifying eagerly anticipated forthcoming 2018 albums.)


One week ago Islander published a list of upcoming albums expected to be released over the course of the next twelve months, and also solicited comments and recommendations from our readers concerning which albums (and EPs) they were most looking forward to.

Well, as successful as that endeavour was, now it’s my turn to talk up some of my most anticipated album scheduled for release in 2018.

Jan 132018


No sooner than I started this series and quasi-promised that there would be a new installment every day than I missed the second fucking day. Let it serve as a reminder that this NCS gig isn’t a job for any of us here, just a passion that occasionally gets de-railed by other obligations and distractions.

Anyway, welcome to the second installment of our list of Most Infectious Songs from 2017, the length of which is now unknown, but which I hope will be fun for you to experience, even if neither I nor you quite knows where it’s going.


Portrait of A Headless Man” was the first song I heard from the 2017 album from SepticFlesh. Since I’ve made a point of not showing my own head in social media photos, the title had a certain immediate appeal. But the appeal of the song went well beyond its title.

Jan 122018


There’s a possibility that at this late date I might still receive a year-end list or two that I’ve forgotten were coming, but with those possible exceptions our 2017 edition of LISTMANIA has concluded — or at least close enough that I’m ready to provide this wrap-up.

Once again, we had an extensive series of year-end lists. As usual, some of them were re-postings of lists that appeared at “big platform” web sites and print magazines, and others were prepared by our own stable of stable geniuses. But once again the largest group of list posts came from invited band members and assorted other guests, including fellow metal bloggers/writers. Plus, we’ve also received valuable, extensive lists in reader comments on THIS POST (and new lists are still being added there).

In this article I’m collecting links to all of the 2017 year-end lists that we published, divided into categories and listed within each category in the order of their appearance. For people who are looking for the best metal that 2017 had to offer, these lists provide a tremendous resource, as they have in past years.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to 2017 LISTMANIA and to everyone who made time to read what we pulled together.

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