Dec 042018
 

 

As part of our annual NCS LISTMANIA extravaganza we re-publish lists of the year’s best metal that appear on web sites that appeal to vastly larger numbers of readers than we do — not because we believe those readers or the writers have better taste in metal than our community does, but more from a morbid curiosity about what the great unpoisoned masses are being told is best for them. It’s like opening a window that affords an insight into the way the rest of the world outside our own disease-ridden nooks and crannies perceives the music that is our daily sustenance.

One of those sites is PopMatters. It has been in existence since 1999. In its own words the site “is an international magazine of cultural criticism and analysis” with a scope that “is broadly cast on all things pop culture”, including “music, television, films, books, video games, sports, theatre, the visual arts, travel, and the Internet”. PopMatters claims that it is “the largest site that bridges academic and popular writing in the world”. Continue reading »

Dec 032018
 

 

In Blinding Presence is the debut album by the German black metal band Veiled, who refer to themselves as (The True) Veiled in an effort to distinguish themselves from other groups who have veiled themselves in the name of Veiled — though as you’ll discover, the music itself sets them apart.

The album will be released on January 7th by Into Endless Chaos Records, and today we present a track from the album named “Selfchasm“. That title, along with the album title, will seem like inspired choices once you’ve heard the music. Continue reading »

Dec 032018
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by the Swedish band Memfis, which was released through all digital platforms on November 30.)

Exactly one week from today I plan to commence my annual Year End Round Up, kicking off with my traditional three-day binge of “Disappointing”, “Good”, and “Great” albums, which will primarily serve as a way for our readers to catch up on, or to reassess, various things they may have (dis)missed over the course of the last twelve months, followed by the publication of my highly-anticipated (by me, anyway) “Critical” and “Personal” Top Ten lists at the end of the week.

That doesn’t mean I’m done writing/reviewing just yet though. In fact I plan to spend the rest of this week highlighting a couple of new (or, at least, new-ish) albums, and will be following up next week’s listrionics with a few articles aimed at giving certain hand-picked artists some extra, post-list coverage.

So, without further ado, allow me to (re)introduce you to proggy metalloids Memfis, and their brand new album Imperium. Continue reading »

Dec 032018
 

 

(Vonlughlio reviews the new fourth album by the brutal death metal band Abdicate, which will be released by Sevared Records.)

This time around I’m very fortunate to be doing a small write-up for the new album by Abdicate entitled Reborn in Dyspathy, set to be released via Sevared Records in the upcoming weekd.

This project came to life back in  2008 in Rochester, New York (where I used to live in that same time), and released their debut EP Relinquish the Throne that same year. It showcased the talent and potential that could be developed in upcoming releases. Continue reading »

Dec 022018
 

 

Against my expectations I found time to do some further listening while on vacation, and to write this column. As in the case of yesterday’s round-up, I haven’t been able to cast the listening net as widely as usual, but nevertheless found some very appealing music to recommend, including a just-released new album, which is the first item in today’s collection.

STILLA

Preview: Synviljor is the new fourth album by the Swedish band Stilla, which was released by Nordvis Produktion on November 30th. Continue reading »

Dec 012018
 

 

The effect of my vacation on this Saturday round-up is a good-news/bad-news story. The bad news is that I haven’t had time to sift through as many new songs and videos as I usually do before making my selections. The good news is that I found a lot to like anyway.

SAHON

In May of this year we had the great pleasure of premiering a song called “Faith of Savagery” from the hell-raising fourth album by the South Korean thrash band Sahon. The album was subsequently released by Transcending Obscurity Records on July 15th, and now Sahon have just released a music video — and it happens to be for the same great song we premiered.

If you’re feeling sluggish, sullen, spiteful, or have an itch in your brain that you haven’t figured out how to scratch, this video is what the doctor ordered. Continue reading »

Nov 302018
 

 

On December 5h Cyclopean Eye Productions will release the new EP by the Sri Lankan noise terror trio Konflict, and today we present a full stream of all six brain-mangling body-mutilating tracks.

Crafted as “a blood-curdling retaliation against their homeland’s perpetual degeneration,” Trigger Universal Conflict is a dystopian sonic nightmare, a remorseless assault of harsh noise, grindcore, and black/death metal with devastating consequences. It lasts only 18 minutes, but long enough to leave a listeners shivering in fear, with heartbeats hammering and lungs gasping for air. Continue reading »

Nov 302018
 

 

(In this November edition of The Synn Report, Andy combines reviews of the four albums released to date by UK devastators Spearhead, including their new album Pacifism Is Cowardice, released one week ago by Invictus Productions.)

Recommended for fans of: Vader, Witchery, Goatwhore

Pulling no punches and taking no prisoners, Spearhead have been weaponising their particular brand of Blackened Death-Thrash for almost fifteen years now, and have produced four utterly ferocious albums during that time, the most recent of which – Pacifism Is Cowardice – came out just one week ago, following a seven-year gap between records.

And while the quartet – now made up of founding bassist/vocalist Barghest, long-time guitarist Invictus, and new members Typhon (drums) and Praetorian (guitars) – clearly have a deep, abiding affection for the classic, old school style(s) of Extreme Metal, you’ll soon see/hear that their latest record in particular aims for more of an ageless, enduring sound than some sort of uninspired throwback.

So gird your loins, brothers and sisters, and follow me once more into the breach! Continue reading »

Nov 302018
 

 

(Today we premiere a full stream of the new album by Cosmic Atrophy from Biloxi, Mississippi, preceded by an introductory review by Vonlughlio.)

As you, my dear readers, already know by now, my small reviews usually focus on bands in the Brutal Death Metal genre (one of my favorites). Nevertheless, I do like other genres as well, such as Death, Black, Black/Death, and Doom Metal, just to name a few. But when given the opportunity to write for NCS,  I wanted to focus on a genre that could use more exposure. Also, Islander and the team of writers do a fantastic job in promoting/writing about all the main genres here.

With that being said, in my time here at NCS I have written about some non-BDM such as Mournful Congregation, whose release last year I was privileged to write a few words about.

This time around I am very fortunate to do a small write up for Cosmic Atrophy‘s sophomore album The Void Engineers. Simply put, it is for me how Progressive Death Metal should sound, and it has impacted me immensely. Continue reading »

Nov 292018
 

 

We’re now about to enter the final month of 2018, and that begins the final countdown to the end of the year (and the strengthening onslaught of the annual holiday season). In the world of metal, this month we’ll also start seeing more and more lists of the year’s best releases.

Back in 2009, when this site was just a few days old, I wrote a post about year-end lists and why people bother with them. The best reason still seems to be this: Reading someone else’s list of the albums they thought were best is a good way to discover music you missed and might like.

We don’t do an “official” NCS year-end “best albums” list. However, we publish the picks of each of our regular staff writers as well as a group of guest writers (which we’ll start doing in December).

Every year we also invite our readers to share their lists and we’re doing that again right here, right now. Continue reading »