May 232017

 

We have a double-premiere for you in this post, both of which have stirred excitement here at the NCS metallic island. The first of these is the stream of a powerful new two-song EP by the Norwegian melodic black metal band Vinterbris, set for release on June 6th, the title of which is Ad Absurdum. And the second, which was inspired by the first, is a time-lapse video of the wonderful Norwegian artist Kim Holm that depicts his creation of the EP’s evocative wrap-around cover art.

In 2014 we wrote repeatedly about Vinterbris‘ superb second album Solace. What first drew our attention to the album even before hearing the music was the artwork that Kim Holm created for that album. In addition to a cover piece, Holm created separate illustrations for each song on the album (which we collected in one place here). Having been lured into the album by this artwork, we found the music to be a treasure as well. We even included a song from Solace on our list of 2014’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

And now we will face the challenge of deciding which of these two new songs to pick for the 2017 edition of that list — because both songs surge with infectious energy, both of them immediately appealing at the first listen, and both of them persistently boiling in the listener’s mind long after they end.

May 172017

 

(Andy Synn once again focuses on recent or forthcoming releases by bands from his native land, this time selecting releases by Belial, Drekavac, and Monolithian.)

Breaking with convention ever so slightly, this edition of “The Best of British” is focussed on EPs, rather than albums, providing you with a hand-picked triptych of short, but oh-so-sweet, metallic morsels to devour at your leisure.

BELIALNIHIL EST

Punishing Deathcore with a pronounced Technical edge, the sophomore EP by these Swindon-based savages is a crushing conglomeration of coiled riffs, convulsive rhythms, and cascading electronics — plus the occasional bone-shattering breakdown – that should appeal to anyone who considers themselves a fan of All Shall Perish, Fit For An Autopsy, and their ilk.

May 152017

 

(Andy Synn reviews the debut EP by the Polish band Loathfinder, released near the end of April by Godz Ov War Productions.)

Never underestimate the power of some eye-catching artwork… I mean, just look at that cover art… the rotten, roughly-sketched lines, the gritty, granular colour-scheme, the subtle suggestion of oozing, necrotic motion… how can you not want to find out more when confronted with an image like that?

May 122017

 

Last fall, Minnesota’s Amiensus signed with Apathia Records for the release of a new EP this spring, and the release of that EP is now fast approaching. Its name is All Paths Lead To Death, and the release date is May 19th. We’ve previously written about the first two singles from the EP, and now we’ve got the good fortune to bring you a stream of the EP in its entirety.

We’re told by the band that “the concept of the album revolves around Hell and different depictions as well”, which ties to the John Martin artwork used on the cover, depicting Satan reigning on his throne in the hall of the Pandæmonium. And the music ties to that concept as well.

May 092017

 

(Todd Manning brings us this review of the new EP by Colorado’s Excommunion, and we also bring you a full stream of the music.)

At this point, it’s no secret that I have been extolling the great state of Death Metal in 2017, and so I wanted to pen a quick missive singing the infernal praises of another powerful release, the new Excommunion album, Thronosis.

I’ve noticed that so much of this great Death Metal is coming from scene veterans, and Excommunion is in that camp. This is the follow-up to 2002’s full-length Superion (with a split in between), and this release finds the group in fine form.

May 082017

 

As regular visitors to our site well know, I’ve been carefully following the releases of Seattle-based Vermin Lord, beginning with the project’s excellent 2016 debut album Anguish. Last Friday brought another new Vermin Lord release, this time a split with the Seattle black metal project Nihtwintre.

Both sides of the split are very good, both of them shrouded in darkness, sorcery, and loss, though musically the two bands are quite distinct from each other. There’s a full stream of the split at the end of this post, preceded by some thoughts about the songs.

May 082017

 

(Austin Weber brings us this premiere of the new EP by New York’s Black Harvest, along with some introductory impressions of the music.)

Some musicians are content to play within traditional sounds and genre boundaries, while others (Devin Townsend comes to mind) see all of music’s many genres as a vast palette that one can draw from and combine in new ways to paint a musical world all their own. This form of vast experimentation lies at the heart of all that Kishor Haulenbeek does, as both an incredibly talented visual artist and also as a musician with multiple musical projects that he has used to explore different facets of his interests, all of which convey an honest emotional feeling yet cover dramatically  different musical terrain.

Last year here at NCS, I finally got around to covering his fantastic mathcore-addled technical grindcore band Crisis Actor, and shoehorned in some coverage of his primary project, Black Harvest, at the same time. Today we’re bringing you an early stream of the group’s fantastic new EP, Attrition.

Apr 272017

 

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new EPs by Mantar, Maré, and Mesarthim.)

So I’ve officially now reached a point where I am so far behind in my writing that the balance has fully shifted into the negative, with more new albums and EPs being added to my review queue – almost on a daily basis – than are being scratched off of it.

What to do, what to do…?

Well, the only answer, it seems, is to hammer out a bunch of quick reviews, and try to make some sort of dent in the ever-growing pile of streams and promos currently clogging up my inbox/mp3 player.

So, without further ado, here’s three great EPs, two from bands we’ve covered before, and one from an entirely new discovery of mine.

Apr 242017

 

(Austin Weber brings us the full streaming premiere of the new EP by Blurring, along with an introductory review.)

 

After the breakup of Brutal Truth, the band’s members have continued on in multiple outfits, one of the finest of which is Rochester, New York-based technical grindcore act Blurring.

Blurring is a new vehicle for legendary bassist Dan Lilker (Brutal Truth, Nuclear Assault, former founding member of Anthrax, countless others) and multi-instrumentalist Erik Burke (Sulaco, ex-Kalibas, ex-Lethargy, countless others) on drums, combining their immense talents with other like-minded top-notch musicians to form one of the absolute best grindcore bands currently active.

While the band had some demos and other releases preceding their 2015 self-titled album, it was that release that really got me hooked on their complex and disturbing brand of grindcore. Some of you might have caught my review for it here at NCS; if not, now’s your chance to check out Blurring — don’t fuck up. The band is set to release Cloud Burner on April 28th, a fantastic five-song EP that we’re streaming early in full today.

Apr 232017

 

I whittled the great limb of blackened music I found over the last week down to a spear, but it was a spear with 10 barbs. I organized the music alphabetically by band name and decided, as I stared at what I’d done, that music from 10 bands was too much for a single post. So, I’ve divided it into two parts, while maintaining the alphabetical ordering. I haven’t finished writing Part 2, so not sure if it will come later today or tomorrow (but probably tomorrow).

ÆRA

Of Forsworn Vows is the debut EP of a two-man project named ÆRA (the creator of all the music seems to be from Chile, the vocalist from Missouri). It was digitally released in February, but it’s now available on tape through Desolated Woods Records, and it appears that Aeternitas Tenebrarum plans to make a CD release (the Bandcamp download has been updated so that the tracks now consist of the CD masters).

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