Nov 042015



In the near term, the forecast for our site is cloudy. Early this morning I left Seattle for Alaska again, where I’ll be spending the next 10 days on a project for my fucking day job. Like most of these out-of-town adventures, I’ll be working day and night and unable to spend much time on NCS.

I do expect I’ll have enough time to post what our other writers send me, and maybe time to write a few things myself (such as one post I’ve planned for tomorrow). Things should get back to normal during the week of November 16, but until then the volume of our daily posts will probably decline.

But the forecast gets brighter after the next 10 days.

Oct 292015

Goatwhore 2014


(If you read your humble editor’s earlier post today, you’ll know that I wasn’t expect to post anything by any of our other writers today… and then Andy Synn stepped up with this installment of favorite things that come in fives.)

Here he comes to save the day…

Ahem. Anyway, after Our Great And Most Glorious Leader’s post earlier today about having nothing to hand for the site for once, I took it upon myself to quickly bash something together in order to help uphold our nigh-unimpeachable record of journalistic quality and integrity.

Or, something like that.

Either way, it’s a good enough excuse to jam out some fat and filthy blackened riffs whilst picking and choosing five of my favourite songs by everyone’s favourite cloven-hoofed courtesans of Satan.

Deep breath…

Altogether now…


Oct 282015



(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the month that’s about to end.)

It’s been 10 months now that I’ve worked on this column and I always wondered how others kept track of what was released each month.  I simply take a notebook, write down a month on each page, and then when I get a promo, I download it and hand-write it in the release month.  That’s as low-tech as you can be (and sometimes semi-dangerous if the baby gets her hands on it and goes to town).  So does anyone have any better suggestions?  What do you do?

Anyways, we are fast approaching the end of the year and October has been quite the eclectic month, probably the most so far, as you’ll see from my selections.  Let us know what else wet your whistle in the comments below.

Sep 282015

My Dying Bride-Feel the Misery


(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

I screwed up last month.  And not just a minor oversight, but in a fairly big way.  It wasn’t until after August’s column was posted that fellow contributor/friend Dan Barkasi messaged me that he was surprised I didn’t have Wolfheart on my list.  My response was, “the album comes out in September”.  Then I checked and realized I was wrong.  URGH.  I’m gonna assign partial blame to Mr. Saukkonen though, since he sent me a copy of the album many months in advance and mentioned September as the release date.  Assuming his infallibility (based on his musical pedigree), I never bothered to double-check and learn that the label would change it.

So how do I address this grave misdeed?  I was going to include it as part of this month’s Top 5, but that really wouldn’t make sense or be fair to the other releases.  I’ll simply say this:  Shadow World eclipses the debut.  It’s another masterstroke in the arsenal of Tuomas the Finnish Freeballer who simply seems to be able to mine the same well and keep extracting new and exciting sounds from it.  Would it have been the Number 1 album last month?  It certainly would have been a toss-up between that and Majestic Downfall.

Aug 312015

Majestic Downfall--When Dead


(Here’s the latest installment of KevinP’s series in which he runs down his list of the best releases from the preceding month.)

August was been absolutely stacked with quality releases, which caused me to make a few hard choices (i.e., cuts).  A few albums worth your time that didn’t make the list were from:  Krisiun, Ogotay, and Sources of I.   Also, I went back and forth on the ranking between numbers 2-5, and really, depending on my mood, I could change them up, that’s how much I enjoyed all of them.  This month’s numero uno though was head and shoulders above the rest, and released by a perennial NCS favorite.


5.  CreepingRevenant

This is the third full-length by this New Zealand trio and the first one I’ve heard by them.  Why exactly are these kiwis not more well known?  That kinda baffles me.  Black doom with a healthy dose of death metal goodness thrown into the mixture.  It’s grimy, it’s dark, and it’s just a visciously good album.

Jul 292015



(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

As I prepared to write this month’s column, my initial thought was:  the lack of releases in July as compared to the rest of the year.  I quickly realized that I had listened to 30 albums, and what a ridculous notion that was.  If I “only” listened to 30 per month (normally it’s somewhere in the 40+ range), that would equate to 340 per year, which is borderline insane.  Ok, on with the festivities….

Jul 202015



(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

June is long gone, but alas, there’s music that needs some light shed upon it!

Apologies for the delay on this one. Life finds a way – to get in the way of my getting this done faster. Thanks, Dr. Malcolm, for the line!

How good was June? It was loaded like a politician’s rhetoric, but not vomit-inducing. In other words, lots of audible goodies! A lot of styles represented, too, possibly being the month with the most diversity thus far.

Let it begin!


Chaotic as they are potent, Abyssal’s third album displays a band who continue to hone their craft to devastating effect. This sublime combination of black, death, and doom metal is so crushing that it gives a dinosaur a run for its money. There’s also a little bit more melody than the previous two discs, which is used to great effect.

Jul 152015

Okazaki Fragments-Abandoned


(In this multi-part post, Austin Weber brings us his recommendations for some of the best albums released during the first half of the year.)

We are gathered here today, to become willing devotees to the aural alchemism presented below in various forms. While the words per band write-up may be sparse due to a lack of time, the music speaks volumes in terms of creativity; and in terms of literal volume as well!

I figured now would be a good time to post about a bunch of killer releases I’ve failed to find time to write about.  And not just because I found them to be decent or somewhat enjoyable, but because these are some of the best of this year that you within our beloved metal community need to know about. They range across such genres as tech-meth, R&B-infused grindcore, Nu-core wave of heavy 2 the core metal, Classical punk-bop,  Blackened post-folk, SludgEDM, Southern Acoustic DJENT, and Rollercoaster deathpolka (a curious after-writing search led me to  find out that someone has a band named deathpolka, bitching!).

Expect several more installments of this 2015 “best of” feature coming soon.  I hope. Maybe?

Okazaki Fragments

First on today’s list of recommendations is Abandoned, the headspinning debut by the Canadian death machine known as Okazaki Fragments. This Calgary-based group’s moniker, in a nutshell, can be boiled down to the growth process of new DNA. As an analogy for what their music has in store, it’s a damn fitting name for the unique music they’ve created.

Jul 012015


(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

Half the year has come and gone.  Yeah, it’s beyond cliche to say “that was fast”, so I won’t.  But what got me thinking was how people like to compare different years and judge which ones were better for metal releases.  Since 2012 I’ve been doing Best Of lists here at NCS and I’ve been very happy each year with the plethora of releases I’ve been fortunate to hear.  I can’t really say any one year has been “off” or “poor” for metal.   Nor can I say one year was better than the next.  So on that token, here’s 5 more great albums of 2015.

Jun 162015


(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Here we go again! With May long behind us, there was a lot of material to sift through, along with a hell of a time at Maryland Deathfest to remember. All good things!

Overall, May wasn’t the best month this year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some gems to uncover. Quite a good amount, actually, with the selections coming from a broad spectrum. Hey, that’s why I’m here – to give you the goods from all over! I try to deliver. Maybe not as exciting as the pizza delivery guy bringing carb-loaded goodies, but I do what I can!


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