Jun 232016

Lord of War-Suffer


Next month Unique Leader Records will release the second album by San Diego’s Lord of War. It’s an 11-track, 45-minute affair entitled Suffer, adorned by the cover art of Colin Marks. Today we’ve got the premiere of a playthrough video for the album’s third track, “Embryo“.

The video features the performance skills of the band’s two guitarists, Alex Walshaw and Daniel Richardson. With heads down, they devote themselves to the task of both bludgeoning listeners like buildings marked for destruction in a demolition zone and generating the queasy, pestilential atmosphere that shrouds the song.

Jun 232016

Necroptic Engorgement cover

New York’s Necroptic Engorgement are on the verge of releasing a new EP — in fact, tomorrow is the appointed day. Entitled Realms of Incessant Bloodshed and featuring the distinctive cover art of Mark Cooper, it will be delivered by Manifest Records, whose personnel will no doubt be wearing body armor as they attempt to distribute this piece of weaponized mayhem. If you’ve got any body armor lying around, you might want to get strapped in yourself before you press play on our premiere of a full stream below.

As a title for this new release, Realms of Incessant Bloodshed provides truth in advertising, because that’s the landscape you’ll be entering through the portal of these six songs (which include such other titles as “Endless Malevolence”, “Bound Gagged and Gutted”, the tender ballad “Sandpaper Masturbation”, and a song about a brain-eating amoeba named “Nagleria Fowleri”).

Jun 232016

Grace Disgraced-Lasting Afterdeaths cover


Tomorrow — June 24 — is the official release date for Lasting Afterdeath, the third album by Moscow’s Grace Disgraced. Today we’re helping spread the word about the release by premiering a full stream of the album.

The music is, of course, the paramount factor in deciding whether to add Lasting Afterdeath to your collection, but this is one of those albums that offers a lot of visual enticements, too. The accompanying booklet includes separate eye-catching artwork for each song, as well as gatefold cover art, by Velio Josto. And so before we get to the music, here’s a view of the full cover as well as the art for two of the songs:

Jun 232016

Krieg-Photo by Hillarie Jason


(Neill Jameson (Krieg) returns to our site with some remembrances about under-appreciated albums from a formative period.)

Recently I did a piece for Invisible Oranges about discovering Alice in Chains and Nirvana as a young boy stuck in the shitty Pittsburgh suburbs in the late 1980s, and that got me to thinking about that period of time for music and how there’s some really great records that almost never get mentioned because people’s tastes generally stick to what they hear about, akin to how so much great early ’90s black metal is missed because of a lack of a controversial narrative to them.

So I figured I’d share a few records that never really got their due from that era in my continuing mission to be on your newsfeed as often as possible without it being for exposing myself at a playground. And we’re off!

Jun 222016

Dysrhythmia-photo by Johnny DeBlase
photo by Johnny DeBlase


We’ve posted so many “Seen and Heard” collections this week that I decided to give that heading a break, though that’s what this post really is: another collection of somewhat randomly observed news and new music that I thought was worth spreading around. And because we’ve posted so many of these collections recently, I decided to cut back the volume of this particular one, too — though I do think the selections I’ve made here make nice complements to each other.


Guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bassist Colin Marston could be resting on their laurels after their standout work on the new Gorguts EP, Pleiades’ Dust (not to mention Marston’s performances on the new releases by Withered, Krallice, and his own Indricothere project) , but instead they and drummer Jeff Eber are bringing out a new Dysrhythmia album. Entitled The Veil of Control, it’s the band’s seventh studio full-length and their first since 2012’s Test of Submission. According to today’s announcement by Profound Lore, it will be released on September 23.

Jun 222016

NCS The Best of 2016 graphic


We’re almost at the halfway point of 2016, measured according to the Gregorian calendar. If you want to be precise, we will reach the halfway point at midnight on July 1; because 2016 is a leap year, there are 366 days in the year. and the 183rd day is July 1. It’s a completely arbitrary point for taking stock of what the year has delivered so far, and because I’ve already started seeing other music sites spreading around lists of the best releases for the first half of the year (such as this one at Metal Injection by our collaborator Austin Weber), I decided to just go with today.

So with the halfway point of 2016 fast approaching, let’s talk about the best releases of the year so far. As long-time readers of the site are well aware, I’m terrible at making “best of” lists. I overthink it, I agonize over it, I have great difficulty comparing metal across different genres, and I have great difficulty choosing among albums I like even within a specific genre. When I contemplate making a “best of the year” list, or even a “best of the half-year” list, my brain tends to just lock up like an engine that’s had a hole punched in the oil pan.

Therefore, as usual, I’m not providing a list of my own — and my fellow regular writers Andy Synn and DGR haven’t sent me lists of their own. So I’m afraid it’s up to you.

Jun 222016



(Comrade Aleks interviews Brandon Marcey, who holds down positions in two very good bands.)

Brandon Marcey is the hairy man from Richmond, Virginia, who successfully combines work in two cool bands at the same time. He has played guitars in misanthropic sludge stoner doom cult Cough since 2010; and the band just released their new long-awaited record Still They Pray on Relapse Records. And besides that, he plays guitars and sings in wicked psychedelic doom outfit Sinister Haze, who finished their first full-length album just a month ago; you can find it on CD due to STB Records’ efforts.

It was difficult, but I believe that we managed to balance Cough and Sinister Haze stories here in one interview.

Jun 212016

NOX Formulae-The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy


This is another day in which we have felt compelled to throw more new music at your head than any normal person has time to hear. Many abnormal people (other than us) won’t have time to listen to all of it either. I tell myself this is why I should continue writing some words about the streams we recommend, as a way of helping listeners choose what to play and what not to play, given their own tastes. Obviously, I’m choosing to ignore the likelihood that no normal person has time to read all the words either.

Between Part 1 and Part 2 of today’s round-up, we’ve furnished new or newly discovered music by 10 bands. Five more are featured below.


On the distant future day of September 16, 2016, Dark Descent Records will release the debut album of a Greek black metal collective known as Nox Formulae. The album’s title is The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy. Yesterday I received a Bandcamp e-mail alert that one song from the album had been set up for streaming, a two-part piece named “Hidden Clan NXN – Pt a. Eleven Rays of Sorat, Pt b. Black Magic Assault”, and that’s the first item in this round-up.

Jun 212016

Mindkult-Witch's Oath


I had an amazing listening experience last night. I compiled a list of new music I thought might be worth hearing, drawing upon messages that had arrived at the NCS compound via our intrepid pigeon aeronauts and links I had spotted in my Facebook news feed. And then I plowed through them — and found one gem after another, with nary a single meh reaction from start to finish. Perhaps equally remarkable, I had never heard of any of the bands before (I was interested in a journey of exploration, which is why I assembled the list as I did).

Not wishing to leave behind any of the songs I heard, I’ve divided these recommendations into two parts, which have become Parts 2 and 3 of today’s Seen and Heard feature, following DGR’s post earlier today.


This first song is an exception to our Rule — there are no harsh vocals in it at all, and I thought the clean vocals were quite appealing. They remind me of someone I’ve heard before, but I’ve had trouble placing the resemblance. Yet what really hooked me about the song is the guitar performance; it’s essentially one long, terrifically good guitar solo anchored by a couple of compelling central riffs.

Jun 212016

Vektor-Terminal Redux


(Austin Weber turns in this review of the new album by Vektor.)

Formerly Arizona-based, now Philly-based prog thrash unit Vektor are an interesting sonic experiment, akin to fellow modern thrashers Revocation as far as taking thrash roots mixed with some progressive death metal influences (and beyond) and creating something new and breathtaking. Their first two releases, Black Future and Outer Isolation, showed a group hungry to prove their mettle in an already crowded re-thrash oriented scene and movement. From those initial sparks of brilliance, Vektor have truly become something even greater this time around with Terminal Redux.

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