Aug 272014


Here are a couple of news items and new pieces of album art that caught my eye. I don’t have much to add to the information sent to us in press releases — other than to say I am tremendously interested in both of these albums (which happen to come from the same label), and you should be, too! (Click the artwork to view larger images.)


Today Debemur Morti revealed the cover art (above) for the new album by Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry. It was created by Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin (EMPEROR, BATHORY, DARK FUNERAL, DISSECTION, and many more), and it’s wonderful. The layout was conceived by Dehn Sora (known for his work for NEUROSIS and ULVER, among others).

The label further announced that the album has been scheduled for an October 10th release and will be available on Digipack CD, Gatefold 12″ LP, and a digital download version. Here’s the track list:

Aug 262014

I haven’t written one of these round-ups since late last week, and much has happened on the metal front since then, so I’m cramming quite a few items into this post that I thought were worth sharing. It’s a jumbo-sized playlist that should appeal to many tastes (and I still didn’t include every good thing I found!).


In late July, the super-talented drummer of Vancouver’s Baptists, Nick Yacyshyn, gave an interview to CVLT Nation in which he mentioned that he had recently spent a week writing, rehearsing, and recording with Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, and Isis [the BAND, ferchrissakes]. He also posted a photo of Aaron Turner’s drum kit on his Facebook page, and he further mentioned that Brian Cook of Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes, and Botch was also involved in the project.

This juicy piece of news wasn’t widely reported, but yesterday brought further details via a Facebook announcement by Profound Lore. According to that announcement, the project’s name is Sumac; its core members do indeed consist of Yacyshyn, Turner, and Cook; and Profound Lore will be releasing Sumac’s “monumentally heavy debut album” in early 2015.

I’d call that some hot shit news.

Aug 242014

Black metal today comes in so many shapes and textures that’s it’s almost as diverse as “death metal”, its original thorned orthodoxy having blossomed into a garden of unearthly delights. In this post I’ve collected the diverse music of five black metal bands who I discovered last week. If there’s one thing they do have in common, it’s a skill in crafting melody (of all things).


Misþyrming (“Mis-thyr-ming”) are an Icelandic band whose name came my way in rapid succession from an e-mail by NCS supporter eiterorm and an Eistnaflug-themed article by Kim Kelly. According to Kim’s article, “The Reykjavik-based project started out as a one-man endeavor and expanded when founder D.G. added drummer H.R.H. (also of Carpe Noctem) on drums.” I’ve written admiringly about Carpe Noctem before, so that kind of made three reasons to go exploring.

Misþyrming’s debut album Söngvar elds og óreiðu will be released in a collaborative effort by Fallen Empire and Terratur Possessions, and two of the songs are on Bandcamp now. The music is incendiary — perhaps the most destructive music of the five bands in this post — but when they back down from the flame-spewing they cast mesmerizing riff spells. And they do a damned fine job of flame throwing (with eerie ambience), too.

Don’t forget this band’s name — I’m confident it’s going to spread. Brilliant stuff.

Aug 222014

(Sometimes NCS contributor Leperkahn is going to his first metal festival and is looking for companionship. We do expect a full report.)

Leperkahn is going to a festival

First of all, I want to apologize for not writing here since roughly the Middle Ages (specifically, late April). I could come up with excuses (the surprising amount of things that went into high school graduation, a trip to Scandinavia, getting a job as a pizza delivery guy here in San Diego), but really it comes down to me being a lazy piece of shite, as I’ve spent equal amounts of time marathoning Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies.

Anyway, I’m finally back, for the time being – I start college a month or so from the time I’m writing this, which will be a whole new can of worms to open, and, more pressingly, I’m filling some of the time in between (since I’m on a quarter system, I start really late, and thus most of my friends will be gone by the end of this week) with a trip to Paris, through a UChicago program called September in Paris.

Much of this wouldn’t mean much for anyone else in the NCS-sphere if my trip didn’t engulf the weekend upon which the inaugural Fall of Summer Open Air is happening in Torcy, France (just a short train/bus ride outside of Paris, or 30 minutes-ish by car).

Aug 222014


Here are a trio of new songs that I heard this morning that I enjoyed. Perhaps you will enjoy them, too. Obviously, I couldn’t resist grouping these three S bands together. Cool album covers for all of them, too.


Scar Symmetry’s sixth album is on the way. The title is Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity). It has a cool album cover, don’t you think? Today the band released a lyric video for a single from the album named “Limits To Infinity”. The announcement came with these quotes from band members:

Per Nilsson: “I thought to myself… am I allowed to fuse death metal with AOR, and go extreme in both directions? I didn’t ask for permission, I just went and did it, and I’m pretty excited to hear what people are gonna think about it.”

Henrik Ohlsson: “‘Limits to Infinity’” unveils the malevolent plan of the elite, the hidden hand, and their discoveries regarding the secrets of the universe. The lyric elaborates on the decision makers’ long-term plan to merge with machines and colonize other planets.”

The music is a high-powered combination of jolting riffs/rhythms and catchy melody, deliciously ugly growls and soaring cleans, tumbling drums and a flickering solo. It hammers and it glides and I don’t think you’ll be able to remain still while it does its thing.

Aug 212014


We have three music premieres coming your way today, but before we begin rolling them out, here are a couple of quick notes that caught my eye this morning.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that Sweden’s At the Gates have recorded a comeback album entitled At War With Reality that’s due for release by Century Media on October 27th in Europe and October 28th in North America. Today the band revealed the cover art for the album (above), which was created by one of our favorite metal artists, Costin Chioreanu ( As for the relationship between the art and the album, and how Chioreanu came to be involved in the project, we received a press release that included these statements.

From AtG vocalist/lyricist Tomas Lindberg:

“The concept of At War with Reality is based on the literary genre called ‘Magic Realism’. The main style within this genre is the notion that ‘reality’ is ever-changing, and needs to be constantly re-discovered and re-conquered. We felt that Costin’s artwork style would be the perfect visual contribution to this album, so he became the natural choice…”

Aug 202014

Photo by Guðný Lára Thorarensen and Guðmundur Óli Pálmason

Here’s a quartet of things I saw and heard over the last 24 hours that I thought were worth your time. I could have sub-titled this “The Exception to the Rule Round-Up”, because the vocals are almost all of the clean variety.


I’ve written about every advance track that has appeared from Sólstafir’s new album Ótta, which will be released by Season of Mist on August 29 in Europe and September 2 in North America. So I guess it stands to reason that I’m going to write about the full-album stream that premiered yesterday at Noisey.

I love the album, but I’m not sure were going to review it. We didn’t get our promo copy of the album from the label until less than 24 hours before the stream went up (and only about 10 days before the European release date), and I do sometimes wonder what the point is of writing a review when everyone can hear the album for themselves, especially when there are so many other albums whose music is less accessible that are also worth praising. There’s always a point to bringing music to the attention of people who might not be aware of it, but anyone who regularly visits our site couldn’t possibly remain unaware Ótta.

Anyway, whether we write more about the album or not, you really should go listen to it. Among the previously unreleased songs, “Non” in particular has been getting repeated spins among our staff. The goddamn riff at the end is just glorious. Go here — you’ll be glad you did:

Aug 182014

Minutes ago the organizers of Maryland Deathfest XIII announced the third and final round of confirmed bands for next year’s event (whose names have now been added to the flyer you see above). Without further ado, here’s the list, as copied from MDF’s Facebook page:

AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED – First ever live performance!
AMORPHIS (Finland) – Playing the ‘Tales from the Thousand Lakes’ album in its entirety. Exclusive US appearance!
BLOODBATH (Sweden) – First time in the US and first live performance in 5 years! Exclusive US appearance!
CEPHALIC CARNAGE – Playing songs from the first 3 albums!
CONAN (UK) – Exclusive US appearance!

Aug 182014


Not long ago we posted Part 2 of Ty Lowery’s list of personal favorite album covers for 2014 to date. And then about 5 minutes later, I saw THIS ^^^^!!!

It’s the cover art for Citadel, the new album by Australia’s Ne Obliviscaris. The artist goes by the name Xen, (aka Xenoyr) who is the band’s lead vocalist and lyricist, and whose Facebook page is here:

And wow, isn’t that a fantastic cover?

We have very high hopes for the music on this album, too. It’s set for release through Season of Mist on November 7 (November 11 in the U.S.).

And since Ne Obliviscaris is on my mind, I think I’ll just put this music stream of their debut album right here:

Aug 172014


This is a collection of new (or newish) songs I heard yesterday that I wanted to recommend. The music is quite diverse, yet each song contains elements of black metal — hence the “Shade of Black” title. Lots of creativity on display in what you’re about to hear — and a few things that will hit you like a semi-truck with the pedal all the way down.


San Antonio’s HOD will release their new album Book of the Worm, on September 9 via Arctic Music. The cover art, which I like a lot, was created by Jon Zig. Earlier this week Revolver (Revolver???) premiered a song from the album, and I finally caught up with it — or more accurately, it caught up with me and rode me down into the mud.

The song is “Where Are the Demons”, and the answer is — right here, in this song. It’s one of the best things I believe I’ve ever heard from HOD  — a slashing, galloping, ravaging powerhouse assault, loaded with writhing, head-whipping riffs, frenzied chord progressions, and blistering percussion. It’s a hellish inferno with tremendous surging power, but a very interesting and technically impressive  song at the same time. And the vocals will bring the grizzlies down from the hills.

The album can be pre-ordered here. A previously released track can be heard at this location. And this is where the demons are:

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