Oct 202016



Well, here we are on a Thursday and this is our first new music round-up of the week. I suppose it goes without saying that, four days into the week, I now have a very long list of songs and videos I’ve found that I like enough to recommend — but don’t have time or room to mention all of them.

I’ve made some choices that range far and wide in their musical styles, but because I have a hard time making choices, this is still a big post despite the fact that I haven’t been able to include everything. Stay with me though, because there’s a lot of good music below.


I first heard of Wędrujący Wiatr through an enthusiastic recommendation by Austin Lunn, the man behind Panopticon. When he first told me about the band, word had surfaced that a new album would be coming out this fall, but no music was yet available;  Austin‘s enthusiasm was based on the band’s debut album, 2013’s Tam, gdzie miesiąc opłakuje świt, and after I listened to it, I understood his passion for the music.

Well, now we have a song from the new album, and it’s pretty magnificent.

Oct 142016


(This is the second part of a multi-part post prepared by Austin Weber putting the spotlight on recent releases, and today he focuses on music from these three bands: VIII, Shioya, and Cyprus. To check out Part 1, go here.)


For all the things in modern society we blame on social media, the flip side is how much good comes from using it as a tool to spread and share new music and other art forms. Without it, I would never have heard of VIII, a strangely named Italian black metal group whose new album Decathexis continues to blow my fucking mind.

Oct 142016



I nearly decided to call this round-up “Overpowering Audio Carnage” or “Your End Is Near”, but decided those headlines wouldn’t quite suit everything I’ve collected here — though they would suit most of it.

I guess I’m in a bloody frame of mind, and these songs struck the right chord, some of them because they’re fucking bloody and cathartic and some of them because they turned my fevered mind in other appealing directions. I’m going to start with the especially nasty and destructive stuff.


I’ve been meaning to check out the music from Hierophant’s new album Mass Grave and finally took the plunge when CVLT Nation premiered a track from it yesterday (thanks to Utmu for pointing me to it). I’m glad I was sitting down or it would have knocked me flat.

Oct 122016



Yes, there are quite a lot of names in the headline of this post, but what follows isn’t quite as daunting as you might think. The first two items consist of news and art for forthcoming releases, but no music yet, and the last two items are just brief teasers of new music. In between I’ve sandwiched four full songs and videos, and I’m quite happy with what I’ve chosen, not only because the music is very good considered in isolation but also because collectively they make for a nice, varied playlist (and the two videos and album covers are quite eye-catching, too). At least it should be nice for people who have eclectic tastes. Here we go….


That’s a hell of a metal album cover up there, isn’t it? It was disclosed yesterday by Italy’s Hour of Penance and Prosthetic Records, who will release the band’s new album Cast the First Stone on January 27, 2017. The cover was created by Gyula Havancsak, whose work we’ve praised before in these pages.

The announcement was accompanied not only by a quote from our site (yay!) but also by the following statement from the band’s vocalist Paolo Pieri concerning the concept of the album, which revolves around the idea that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”:

Oct 122016



(Austin Weber prepared this multi-part unearthing of new music, and today he focused on releases from three bands — Buckshot Facelift, Omnea, and The Conjuration — while also urging you to go spend your time at another site!)

While I’m not quite egotistical enough to think anyone who reads this site has missed my multi-part underground music articles, I can at least speak for myself and say that I’ve missed doing them! With that in mind, there will be at least three or four more editions of this article to come. So prepare thyself for both weirdness and madness, because a heaping shitload of both will be covered by the time this article wraps up.

For the sake of brevity, I’m going to refrain from covering any obscure stuff I’ve covered or helped stream early through my other gig at Metal-Injection. But in spite of that, I urge you to peruse what I’ve covered there in 2016 so far through the following link here. You might be surprised at the stuff you uncover that hasn’t been covered here at NCS to date! Now onto the first installment of some new gems you absolutely must give a listen to.

Oct 092016



This is the second installment in a big collection of mostly new black metal that I listened to yesterday, making my way through a list of music I had compiled during the last week as I saw things in our e-mail and my Facebook feed. The following collection includes further tracks from some releases I’ve written about before in this column, plus two new discoveries — one for a forthcoming release and one that appeared earlier this year. To listen to the music collected in Part I of this post, click this link.


Two Sundays ago I wrote about a 2015 EP named Travesty of Light by the Finnish band Kyy, plus excerpts from a couple of tracks that will appear on their forthcoming debut album Beyond Flesh – Beyond Matter – Beyond Death, which is due for release on November 4 through Saturnal Records. Now we’ve finally got a full track stream to share with you from the album.

Oct 092016



Over the last week, as I sporadically checked our e-mails and scanned my Facebook feed, I made a growing list of new black metal songs and a few full releases that I wanted to check out this weekend as candidates for this Shades of Black series. As seems to happen fairly often, I found so many excellent tracks when I worked through the list that I couldn’t bring myself to leave many of them behind. And so I’ve got another two-part Shades of Black for you. It’s a grey, dank day outside here in the Pacific Northwest, so the odds are that I’ll be able to get Part 2 written and posted later today.


Four years on from their last album Cold of Ages, California’s Ash Borer (whose members have also kept themselves busy with many other musical projects) now have a third one on the way. The new one is The Irrepassable Gate and it’s set for release by Profound Lore on December 2, adorned by excellent cover art created by Glyn Smyth (Stag & Serpent).

Oct 082016



Happy Saturday. At least I hope it’s happy for you. I’m feeling a little woozy from the usual bout of end-of-week inebriation, amplified by a celebration of what is surely the final nail in Donald Trump’s maggot-ridden coffin. Surely it is, isn’t it? (And yes, I hear you saying, “Don’t call me Shirley”.)

I spent basically the entire past week writing reviews to accompany premieres, of which we had a shitload of good ones (and one more is coming tomorrow). What fell by the wayside were Seen and Heard round-ups of recommended new music. I now have vastly more on my list than time or room to cover all of them. I’ve moved some into tomorrow’s usual Shades of Black feature, and these four I sifted from that giant list in part to provide variety and in part for… well, I don’t know what the other part is.


I’m pretty sure that I first discovered Dublin’s Vircolac through a 2014 year-end list on our site by the Siberian musician “B” (of Station Dysthymia, among other groups), who said of Vircolac’s debut demo Codex Perfida: “Very nuanced and dynamic release! Vircolac has to be one of the most organic black/death hybrids I know, not so much switching between as seamlessly fusing the parent genres.”

As you’re about to find out, Vircolac have become even more adventurous and adept at organically fusing musical elements together, and they’re not limited to the trappings of black and death metal.

Oct 062016



(Norway-based Karina Cifuentes usually brings us interviews (such as the one yesterday with Saor), but today she introduces three underground bands to your ears — though one is accompanied by an interview.)


This time I wanted to introduce some underground bands here. So I have selected some thrash bands. When it comes to thrash I tend to prefer it mixed with some other genre. This is because I really like variety and complexity just to keep it interesting.So the first one will be Infant Death from Trondheim (Norway), the city where the infamous The Mysteriis dom Sathanas cathedral is located.

Oct 052016



(Grant Skelton steps in for round-up duty today with a trio of features.)


Is it just me, or does every funeral doom band just hang out in cemeteries in the autumn? Their promo photos would lead one to that conclusion. But that’s fine by me, as I enjoy autumn, cemeteries, and funeral doom. And why not partake of all 3 together?

Enter Treurwilg from Tillburg, Netherlands. The band’s name is Dutch for “weeping willow.” Just listen to their new song “As His Final Light Is Fading” and you’ll see just how well that name fits the music.

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