Apr 192018


I’ve been meaning to do this for about a week, and finally found time. I came across all of the following music in the course of surveying new releases for a SEEN AND HEARD round-up here at our putrid site, and thought it would make sense to package them together for extra catastrophe.

The music ranges from catastrophic funeral doom to catastrophic death metal with a heavy doom component, to something doom-centric but less easily describable at the end. I arranged the music in a way that would provide a bit of back-and-forth flow, so your blood doesn’t completely congeal and your heart doesn’t completely slow to a stopping point.

While I was writing this I thought about Andy Synn telling me that he’d come across a metal forum in which NCS was criticized by one or more idiots people for concentrating on “mainstream” metal. Yeah, right. Mainstream this right up your bungholes:


I’ve written frequently about this German band, who’s usual stock-in-trade is an amalgam of sludge and black metal (and some other ingredients). But for their latest EP, null., they decided to give the funeral-doom treatment to two of their previously released songs, and I’ll be damned, it turns out they’re just as strong in this other genre as they are in their main line. Continue reading »

Apr 172018


And with this I bring to a close today’s four-part round-up of new and newly discovered music. Unlike the pairings in the first three installments of this column, there’s not much that ties these two together, other than my own liking for them.


I liked the hell out of this Oakland band’s last album, 2015’s Wound Empire, so much so that their new one, Cinereous Incarnate, has been high on my eagerly-anticipated list. I had been holding off writing anything about it until there was a full song that I could share (which is supposed to become available sometime next week), but what the hell. I might as well make sure this is on your radar, because it has the earmarks of something stupendous — and at least I have a video album trailer created by Chariot of Black Moth if you haven’t caught it yet. Continue reading »

Apr 172018


I’m continuing today’s four-part round-up of new and newly underground sounds with two more selections — two bands widely separated in geographic terms but both very adept at putting a megawatt charge straight into your spine.


I first encountered the music of Seattle’s Oxygen Destroyer early last fall, when their single “Vanquished by the Unrelenting Devastation of the Celestial Behemoth” sucked the air out of my lungs with the speed, ferocity, and obliterating power of its assault. As I reported then, they were at work on a debut album, and now it’s out, having been released on April 5th. Its title is Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death, and it’s one hell of a rocket ride. Continue reading »

Apr 172018


We shall now have a block of Scottish noise.


Sectioned have been releasing singles from their new album Annihilated, each one with its own separate photographic cover portraying images of decay and abandonment. They’re up to three singles now, the most recent of which is “Release“.

The appearance of these songs has been sort of like landmines going off. You’re walking along, minding your own business, and the next thing you know pieces of you are rocketing in all directions, enveloped in obliterating sound. “Release” is a particularly explosive experience — electrifying drumwork; punishing riffs you can feel in your bones; crazed string flurries; maniacal vocals. It savagely ravages, brutally pounds, and sprays blood like a hellish firehose. Continue reading »

Apr 172018


Let’s take a quick tour through the underground, shall we? Just to see what kind of carnage is happening down there right now, where the sun don’t shine and no one sleeps easy in their beds.

I collected music from 8 bands for this round-up. Normally I would have put all of it together in one humongous post. Today I decided to split it into four parts and scatter the parts around today in between the other things we’ve planned, which include a review and a bunch of premieres).


If you have any kind of anxiety disorder, extreme fear of the unknown, clinical depression, or deep-seated paranoia, you probably shouldn’t listen to this first song. It’s such a brutally grim, tension-creating, tension-ratcheting, frightful experience that you’d better have your emotional moorings firmly in place before going into it. Continue reading »

Apr 112018


I’ve been away from home since last Friday morning, mainly working on the things I do when I’m not throwing music at your heads at NCS, but having some fun here and there. I shudder to think what havoc the loris horde have wrecked at the NCS compound while I’ve been gone. I’ll find out tonight; I’ll be leaving for the Philadelphia airport, bound for Seattle, as soon as I post this hurried collection.

The huge list of new songs I had created before leaving Seattle torments me; I’ve grown more tormented looking at what popped up in my e-mail and web-surfing last night and this morning. Just too damned much intriguing metal being vomited forth every day. This is a tiny fraction of what I found most recently.


White Noise and Black Metal is the name of the new album by the long-running Swedish black metal cult Craft, their first one in seven years. The release date, through Season of Mist, is June 22nd. Continue reading »

Apr 042018


We almost never just post stand-alone news announcements, but we’re making an exception here — and to cut to the chase, Panopticon has now released its eagerly awaited new album, The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II).

Austin Lunn shared the album with a few select friends, but requested no reviews before the release of the album. And so you won’t see one in this post, but you will see one tomorrow, simply because the album inspires too many thoughts and reactions that might cause me some kind of internal damage if I don’t get them off my chest and out of my mind.

For now, I just want to share the stream and links to the places where the album can be downloaded and ordered in physical editions (my own vinyl order should be arriving any day). But first, here is a statement from Austin Lunn that appears on the Bandcamp page where it can be downloaded: Continue reading »

Apr 012018

photo by Max Rossi (Reuters)


The Pope says there is no Hell. Or so reported 93-year-old journalist Eugenio Scalfari of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Thursday after a private conversation with Francis, both of whom have become friends with each other. “Souls are not punished,” the Pope was quoted as saying in the Repubblica piece. “Those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and go among the ranks of those who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot be forgiven disappear. There is no hell — there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

The Vatican tried to walk this back, but some words can’t be unspoken, especially from such an authoritative source on Heaven and Hell. And for some of us in the metal community, the denial of eternal hellfire comes as a crushing blow. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


Here we are just past hump day for this week, and I have a big mountainous hump of music to choose from for this round-up. Much has been left on the cutting room floor, but this particular collection of recent songs and videos by seven bands felt like a good musical trip, one with changing moods and varied forms of intensity, and of course I quite enjoyed all of it. If you find just one thing that gets you excited, then my time here will have been well spent.


Who Is The Konsortium?” That was the title of a post I wrote back in May of 2011 after coming across a striking track named “Lik Ulven” by a mysterious Norwegian group whose line-up included guitarist Teloch (from Mayhem and Nigingr) but was otherwise masked and shrouded in secrecy. I still didn’t know who was in the band when I reviewed their self-titled debut album the following month, but the music spoke for itself in quite charismatic tones.

Roughly a year later, still masked, The Konsortium played Inferno Fest in Oslo, and yesterday I enjoyed re-reading Andy Synn’s comments about their performance: Continue reading »

Mar 222018


On each of the last three days I intended to post a round-up of new music and videos that I thought were worth your time, and each day I failed. I would have run out of time again today if I hadn’t managed to throttle my usual verbosity. In fact, I’ve resorted to sentence fragments rather than complete sentences in order to get this done.

As the days passed, of course, some of the items in this post have become a bit dated, and the volume of selections has swelled with newer discoveries.


After more than 20 years of musical activity, Blut Aus Nord finally released their first-ever music video a few days ago. The chosen song is “Metanoïa“, which appears on Deus Salutis Meae, which I reviewed here, accompanying our premiere of the first publicly revealed track from the album. Continue reading »