Feb 042016

Tombs-All Empires Fall


This is called Part 2 because it follows another round-up that I posted on Tuesday. I intended to post this second half either later that same day or yesterday, but my fucking day job shoved those plans aside without so much as an “Excuse me, asshole”.

In the meantime, of course, I found more stuff that got me excited, making this post longer than originally planned and also providing fodder for a further follow-on post. Barring another rude interruption, I’m hoping to get that ready for tomorrow (it might come under the heading “Shades of Black“). As for the length of this one, just bookmark the motherfucker and make your way through it as time permits. You really ought to sample everything here.


This is one of the songs that reared its head after I had originally planned to post this collection. Actually, it didn’t just rear its head — it kicked down the door, busted up the furniture, and then set the place on fire.

Feb 042016

Mantar-Ode To the Flame


Those who set their clocks by the appearance of our first morning posts are going to be late all day today, because we’re getting a late start on this Thursday. In fact, I’m still not finished with what I had planned for our first post. But to tide us over until I’m finished, I have something else of great interest to share:

The German band Mantar have completed a new album named Ode To the Flame that will be released by their new label Nuclear Blast on April 15. As you can see, they decided to go in a very simple direction with the cover art, especially by comparison with the eye-catching and indelibly memorable cover art for their debut album Death By Burning. They do have an explanation for that:

Feb 032016

Sacrilegium-Anima Lucifera


Twenty years is a long time between albums. In such a span of time, musicians grow and mature as people, and inevitably the lives they’ve lived and the changes in their thinking will work their way into their music. That doesn’t mean the history no longer matters — for some bands it’s still a living, breathing part of who they are now, as people and musicians.

Twenty years ago the Polish black metal band Sacrilegium released their debut album Wicher, and on March 18 of this year, Pagan Records will release their second full-length, Anima Lucifera — a title that refers to a line from a poem by Leopold Staff (excerpts of which have also been used in the new Sacrilegium tracks). Leaving aside a single from the album that appeared last year (“Angelus“), it’s the first new music from the band since about 1999.

What we have for you today is a sign of where Sacrilegium stand today, a reflection of their past and their present, as we premiere a song from the album called “Venomous Spell of Fate“.

Feb 032016



Altarage come from Bilbao in the Basque Country of Spain, a region of the country with a rich and fascinating history. Metal-Archives lists 138 active metal bands from the Basque Country, including such names as Virulency, Cerebral Effusion, Extirpation, Horn of the Rhino, The Rodeo Idiot Engine, and Knives — to name a few I know of and have written about. But I don’t know of any who sound like Altarage. And even when you leave that land far behind and lift your eyes to farther horizons, Altarage still stand out.

Their debut 7″ EP, MMXV, was released by Iron Bonehead last September, and even at only two songs long, it was an impressively powerful eye-opener. To sum up what I thought about it when I heard it last summer: “This is primitive, poisonous, electrifying music from a band that’s now squarely on my radar screen for the future.” We didn’t have to wait long for more. In just a few weeks, Iron Bonehead will be releasing the band’s debut album, NIHL, and we now have a track from the album named “Batherex” that embraces world-eating destruction with a voracious hunger.

Feb 032016

Temisto cover


In the middle of last month our writer Allen Griffin pounced like a panther on the self-titled debut album by Sweden’s Temisto, reviewing it with early enthusiasm using words such as these: “Temisto seem to simultaneously channel both pre-Entombed Morbid and Nihilist while also invoking more technical acts such as Atheist. At their fastest and most brutal, Temisto nearly reach Angelcorpse levels of kinetic violence.”

Allen’s review also made clear the reach of Temisto’s ambitions and the breadth of their musical scope, from the evocatively atmospheric to the utterly savage. In the latter category, he praised “Succubus“, a multifaceted song that he claimed might be the album’s most balanced track and might also prove to be its most satisfying. We’re fortunate now to give you a listen to precisely that song.

Feb 032016

Defeated Sanity tour


(Austin Weber provides this review of performances by Defeated Sanity, Iniquitous Savagery, and Iniquitous Deeds in Louisville, Kentucky, on February 1.)

Seeing as this was the first metal show I was able to attend in 2016, I figured I should cover it. While I didn’t have my usual NCS photographer pal Nik Vechery with me, or a borrowed camera as I’ve used before, the photos my friend and I got of a few bands at least gives you something to look at. I mainly just wanted to discuss my impressions and thoughts about my two favorite bands of the night.

I had to pick up a friend on the way, so we ended up missing Abominant and most of Cryptic Hymn. I know NCS contributor Grant Skelton is really into Cryptic Hymn, and I thought they sounded pretty good live! But I didn’t get a picture of them either. So the review will sort of start with the third band to go on, Iniquitous Deeds.

Feb 022016

Camel of Doom-Terrestrial


Since the founding of the UK band Camel of Doom by Kris Clayton almost 15 years ago, the band’s sound has evolved, though its iron backbone has remained doom. The results of that continuing growth and exploration are now reflected in the band’s most recent album, their fourth, which will be released by Solitude Productions on February 8.

Entitled Terrestrial, it’s a massive undertaking, with four songs ranging from almost 12 minutes to more than 14, along with four shorter tracks. Today we bring you one of those leviathan excursions, a song called “Pyroclastic Flow“.

Two of the song’s building blocks manifest themselves right away — distorted, pavement-cracking riffs; and a trippy bit of electronica that flickers in the background and is as intangible and strange as the riffs and drumbeats are physically dismantling. As those riff monsters continue to clobber our heads, Clayton cries the lyrics in a high yell, like a street-corner prophet announcing the end of the world.

Feb 022016

Fleshgod APocalypse video


I’ve been gorging myself in newly released (or newly discovered) songs and a few EPs over the last 24 hours. If music were food, I’d be this guy by now — just one more bit of song and I’d explode. To make matters worse (i.e., better), I liked a large percentage of what I saw and heard. So that I can begin getting some of the music up on the site, I’ve divided the collection into multiple parts. More might come today, but definitely tomorrow.

By the way, if you’d like to hear full-album streams of the new Urgehal and Obscura albums, go here and here, respectively.


Fleshgod Apocalypse have been teasing about a new video, and we’ve been speculating internally about which song from their new album (King, reviewed here) would provide the subject matter. Now we know, because today FA premiered their new video for “Cold As Perfection”. Before you watch it, here’s a statement about the video by drummer Francesco Paoli, who also directed the clip along with  filmmaker and photographer Salvatore Perrone. The video, by the way, is NSFW.

Feb 022016

a beautiful vintage mirror


(Comrade Aleks is back, and brings with him a snake, or rather an interview with Snake McRuffkin, vocalist of the Dutch band The Spirit Cabinet, whose members come from other well-respected extreme bands and whose debut album appeared last August.)

Can you imagine that could happen if you gathered in one rehearsal place a guitarist from a black/thrash band (Zwartketterij), a drummer from a doom metal band (Hooded Priest), a bass player from a black metal band (Cirith Gorgor), and a vocalist from another black metal band (Urfaust)? Okay, here’s the answer – bloody impressive heavy doom metal with influences from all the above-mentioned bands and damned good dark lyrics on spiritualistic topics.

The Spirit Cabinet consists of four members – Erich Vilsmeier, Cromwell Fleedwood, Johnny Hällström, and Snake McRuffkin — who came to an understanding of what they wanted, and their first full-length record Hystero Epileptic Possessed was born in a pretty natural way just a year after they gathered for the first time.

It saw the light with the help of Ván Records, and I feel myself inspired and enlightened enough to bring the Word of The Spirit Cabinet further to those who thirst for knowledge and some mental pabulum. During a midnight séance Snake McRuffkin shared his experience of playing in this band.

Feb 022016

NCS Best of 2015 graphic


(The word “procrastination” is one with which I am intimately familiar — it’s like a close personal friend. And therefore, I could hardly say no to posting this one further year-end list from our friend Leperkahn despite the fact that we wrapped up our 2015 Listmania series in mid-January, and despite his ugly and uncalled-for reminder that I still haven’t finished the 2015 Most Infectious Song list….)

Hey guys. As you might have guessed, that headline is completely satirical, since I meant to write some version of this in early December more or less, and it’s now currently the front-end of February. My only saving grace is that Islander hasn’t finished his rollout of his Most Infectious Songs list either.

I obviously wrote much less here in 2015 than in years past – I blame that partially on school and other time-fillers, but it mostly has to do with my truly award-worthy levels of procrastination, with a pinch of laziness adding a complementary garnish. That said, I still listened to a ton of great music, and lurked with mostly banal comments on probably 70% of NCS’s posts, indicating my continued existence and enjoyment of the fare here.

I’m going to try and focus on some releases that I don’t think got as extensively covered here either throughout the year or during the Listmania blitz, but inevitably that won’t happen. That said, here’s an incomplete list of some of the ones off the top of my head that I wholeheartedly agree with:

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