Apr 172015


Antru Kald is the name of the new three-song EP by the Portuguese/Dutch band Israthoum. Ever since discovering their phenomenal 2012 album Black Poison and Shared Wounds, Israthoum has become a favorite of this site, and today we have the privilege of premiering one of the new songs from Antru Kald: “Alleviate, Elevate”.

Antru Kald is a conceptual creation, one that has been gestating for many years, and it was recorded over a multi-year period as well, with help from Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues and Cloak of Altering (whose projects also happen to be favorites of this site). Mories also created the EP’s cover art.

Apr 162015


Exactly two weeks ago our Norwegian friend Gorger provided us with a glowing review of the debut album by London’s Crom Dubh. Lo and behold, now we have the chance to share with you a full stream of Heimweh.

I could stop there and simply let the music speak for itself, but some of Gorger’s words of praise deserve repeating, because this album genuinely is unusual — and unusually good:

“Someone put the band in the black cubicle on Encyclopaedia Metallum. I can only acknowledge this as long as we add that the band has torn down the decayed walls to some adjoining cubicles. Crom Dubh is a band that must be heard. The music the band plays is founded in black metal, but with so much more to offer. The sound has a dirty dissonant touch, and a certain timbre that is unique in itself. The band mixes atmospheric, melodic, and folk-metallic elements, but with a complete lack of respect for genre conventions….

Apr 162015


The creative flames that light the imagination of black metal bands in Greece seem to have become bonfires over the last year, as we have been the beneficiaries of one stellar release after another from that country — and now one more is on its way: The Athenian dragon cult Serpent Noir are poised for the release on Walpurgis of their second album, Erotomysticism. It will be delivered via Daemon Worship Productions, and today we present to you the premiere of one of the new rituals, a song named “Al Runa“.

Serpent Noir have crafted this new album through a Draconian collaboration, following the Left Hand Path — the path of the Red Dragon — through gateways into other worlds of spiritual freedom and hidden potential. When you listen to “Al Runa”, you do get the sense of participating in a ritual, and of a gateway opening.

At the beginning, the pace of the song is stately, the deep bass tones and measured drum beats providing the rhythm of a processional, the dissonant guitar harmonies preparing the way forward, the chanted words providing the incantations. But soon enough, the music catches fire — the riffs begin to writhe and the drums to hammer as the intensity of the music grows. The chants don’t disappear entirely, but they’re joined by echoing, inflamed exhortations and the piercing voice of a shimmering lead guitar, which creates eerie melodic traceries, like spiraling smoke in a vaulted cavern.

Apr 162015


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a full stream of Perdition, the debut album by Italy’s Necrosy.)

In recent years the Italian metal scene, and specifically the death metal scene, has been taking the metal community by storm with a never-ending barrage of top-notch releases and a seemingly endless supply of new bands popping up all the time.

Here at NCS, we’ve kept our eye on this region and have written about it countless times, from the country’s most well-known powerhouse acts to its plethora of new talent. In the spirit of our love affair with the rampaging and vicious death metal that Italy churns out with ease, we bring your attention to an up-and-coming new band called Necrosy, with this early stream of their soon-to-be-released debut full-length, Perdition.

Apr 152015


At the end of this post we bring you the premiere of a multifaceted song named “Harrowing Winds” from the self-titled third album by California’s WRVTH, which will be released in June.

WRVTH (pronounced “wrath”) were once known as Wrath of Vesuvius, and this new record follows a 2009 EP (A World In Peril) and two previous albums, Portals Through Ophiuchus (2010) and Revelation (released by Mediaskare Records in 2013). But even if you are familiar with the band’s previous efforts, the new album reflects some changes in musical direction, along with that alteration in the band’s name — and “Harrowing Winds” is a signpost to those changes.

When I first heard the opening minute of the video clip for the song, I was having trouble squaring it with the little “Unique Leader” logo in the bottom right of the video frame. The shimmering, reverberating guitar harmony is tranquil, even transcendent. But as the song evolved, that Unique Leader connection became more understandable, just as the song became darker, more extreme, and more unpredictable.

Apr 152015


Those with long memories may recall that last October we reviewed two tracks that had surfaced from a forthcoming demo by the Swiss band Antiversum. Since then the Irish label Invictus Productions has arranged for the release of the demo — entitled Total Vacuum — and we now bring you the premiere of all four of its songs, in all their horrifying glory.

The demo is well-named in one sense: Total Vacuum creates an atmosphere of bone-freezing gloom, summoning immense vistas of a heartless, malignant cosmos. The demo begins and ends with eerie ambient sounds that include deep groaning tones and piercing electronic shrieks, effectively summoning sensations of dread and implacable menace. But in between those chilling bookends, Antiversum embark on a void-faring excursion that’s loaded with harrowing encounters. There is life in this vacuum, even if it is utterly alien and frighteningly voracious. And unlike a vacuum, it’s massively heavy and disturbingly oppressive.

Apr 152015


(Andy Synn reviews the forthcoming sixth studio album from the Ukrainian band KrodaGinnungaGap-GinnungaGaldr-GinnungaKaos — and we also have for you the premiere of the album’s fourth track, “Чорні Хребти Карпат” (Carpathian Black Spines).

There are some albums you just never really get on with. Not that they’re necessarily bad, but albums you just don’t “click” with, for whatever reason. Where the pieces just don’t seem to line up properly and the overall package just seems lacking.

Then there are albums that you fall in love with instantly, where even their tiniest flaws seem to have a necessary place in the grand scheme of things.

This is one of those albums.

Apr 142015


One of the most marvelous things about music, of any kind, is that it’s an inherently interactive experience. No two people will hear music in exactly the same way, because what we hear is necessarily influenced by who we are, by our own life experiences, by the turn of our own imaginations, by the entire complex of ingredients that make up our own unique identities. And what we hear may not be entirely consonant with what the creators of the music were feeling or intended when they made the music.

There’s a reason why I’m starting this post with those thoughts, and I’ll come back to it at the end. But for now, let me tell you some other things about the new (third) album by Chicago’s FINThe Furrows of Tradition — and about the song from the album that we’re premiering today: “Bliss Apparition of Sunlight”.

Some black metal albums are rightly described as icy cold. The Furrows of Tradition is hot-blooded. It’s a boiling inferno, overheated to the point of running a life-threatening fever. To mix my metaphors (which I have a tendency to do when carried away by an album), it’s a rip-roaring black metal hurricane that rushes by with torrential speed and power and leaves you breathless in its wake.

Apr 132015


Reviews are useful, but there is no substitute for listening. Six days ago I gave very high marks to Below the Hengiform, the stunning new EP by Malthusian, and although I’m going to remind you of why I’m so enthusiastic about this release, the main purpose of this post is to give you the chance to hear all of it for yourselves.

First, the reminder: Below the Hengiform represents a large step forward for a band who had already made a striking debut with their 2013 demo. In addition to creating a powerful atmosphere of imminent catastrophe and generating overwhelming maelstroms of violent sound, Malthusian are doing what few practitioners of blackened death metal are able to do:  They are crafting memorable songs.

Apr 132015


(TheMadIsraeli introduces our premiere of a song from the new album by Mendel, the solo project of Aborted guitarist Mendel Bij de Leij.)

Mendel, as some of you may be aware, is Aborted’s current lead guitarist.  For a while now, he’s also been doing guitar-centric instrumental solo material that is quite good, and for me has been elevating him into the ranks of players like Jeff Loomis and Paul Wardingham.  He plays a purely neoclassical style of metal drenched entirely in modern aesthetic, which puts a new spin on this approach to guitar exhibitionism.

The guy not only has chops, he has phrasing, borderline poetic, and knows how to write a central motif unlike many others I’ve ever heard.  His new album Oblivion will be released May 17th, and we’ll be streaming it on or before that date.  Today, I’m presenting the first single, the album’s opener “Discover”.

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