Oct 262016



(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of the new album by Michigan’s Thoren.)

A number of different factors explain the rising popularity of instrumental metal of all stripes. Some say it’s because not everyone likes “extreme vocals”, others say it’s because groups like Animals As Leaders and Chon (among many others) have helped prove that you can be popular in the metal scene without having vocals. Whatever the reason, I support it as a long-time fan of instrumental metal dating back to the early days of Spastic Ink and other groups.

With that in mind, we’ve got an early stream for you today from the Sterling Heights, Michigan, group Thoren, an instrumental metal act that falls less on the bright and melodic side, and more on the dissonant and chaotic side.

Oct 262016



Earlier this month we had the pleasure of premiering a video for a song from Lunaris, the new album by the Polish black metal band Arkona, and today we have the chance to bring you a second song from the album in advance of its November 4 release by Debemur Morti Productions. This one is named “Śmierć i odrodzenie” (death and rebirth).

For those who missed our earlier premiere and may not be familiar with Arkona, they must be considered among the pioneers of Polish black metal, with demos that date back to 1994 and a first album (Imperium) that was released in 1996. Lunaris is the band’s sixth full-length in that long career, and the second one following a span between 2003 and 2014 when the band only participated in a few splits. This is their first album on the Debemur Morti label.

Oct 252016

From the Vastland-Chamrosh


(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Cifuentes brings us this interview with Sina, the man behind From the Vastland, whose new album Chamrosh was released last month by Immortal Frost Productions.)

You are from Iran, but moved to Norway, tell us about how did this happen?

Yeah, true. Well, it is a long story, but to make it short I can say I had another band when I was in Iran, and back in 2007 one of my albums was released on vinyl here in Norway, and then I got an email from the producer of the documentary film Blackhearts and he told me about his project and how he discovered my band by that release, and then everything started from that point when I got the chance to come to Norway and play my show at Inferno Festival. Later in 2014 by help of the Safemuse organization I moved to Norway to continue my music works here.

Oct 252016



Way back in May we had the pleasure of premiering a mammoth, intoxicating song called “Wander” from the debut album Forlorn by Sweden’s Seedna. The album was released in July and has racked up a long list of reviews extolling its many virtues, but some folks still may not have explored Forlorn, and so today we provide a further inducement as we premiere a video of the band’s live performance of the song “Frozen“.

While “Frozen” is anchored by enormous, hammering grooves that will get your head moving (as the band do their best to crack it open), the atmosphere of the music is also chaotic and hallucinatory, distraught and deranged.

Oct 252016



(Our long-time supporter and occasional contributor Booker returns to NCS with this review of the new album by Norway’s Wardruna.)

Wardruna are an exception to the rule here. On the one hand, because of the singing, which is not only “clean”, but is often chanted, whispered, or spoken-word, as well as being in a language few of us would understand. And the foreign-ness of it means that the significance of the vocals – the message, or meaning — is simply the rhythm and emotion the vocals produce, rather than the what the words signify – arguably, in that respect, perhaps not too far off a lot of the metal we listen to.

But they’re an exception, too, as you won’t find any distorted guitars here, nor any traditional drum kits, blast beats, breakdowns, or sounds belonging to the mosh pit. But what’s on offer will hopefully move and entice you all the same.

Oct 242016



We’re about to invade your eyes and ears, and through them your soon-to-be-quivering brain, with a ritualized video that’s as hallucinatory and nightmarish as the music it accompanies. The music is a creation of The Black Scorpio Underground called “She Who Cannot Be Saved“, off T.B.S.U.’s forthcoming album Necrochasm.

Some of you may have heard the track before, since it had a premiere (sans visuals) at CVLT Nation in September. For those who haven’t, and who know nothing about T.B.S.U., there are no riffs in this piece, very few beats, and no melodies you’ll carry around in your head — though you’ll be carrying around something formless, shadowed, and frightful in there after you listen to it.

Oct 242016



(New Zealand writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises) returns to NCS with this review of the forthcoming second album by NZ’s Winter Deluge.)

Changes within a band can lead to creative uncertainty or even outright artistic collapse. But that’s clearly not an issue for New Zealand black metal outfit Winter Deluge. Last time we heard from the group was back in 2012, when they released their hate-fuelled full-length debut, As the Earth Fades into Obscurity. Since then, Winter Deluge have cycled through a few bassists, and lost and gained both a guitarist and a vocalist. But none of those changes has dented or derailed Winter Deluge’s malevolent mission in the slightest.

Oct 242016



Chiral is the solo musical project of a man named Matteo “Teo” Gruppi from the countryside near Piacenza in northern Italy. The project began at the end of 2013, and since then Chiral has recorded two demos, two splits, and two albums — and today we bring you a full stream of the third Chiral album, Gazing Light Eternity, which will be released on October 27.

This new album is about Time — about “the evolution and perception of the perpetual flow of time on men, places and memories”. It’s a musical narrative in four Parts. The flow of the album takes the listener through two long atmospheric black metal tracks (“Part I (The Gazer)” and “Part III (The Crown)”), each of which is followed by a comparatively shorter ambient piece (“Part II (The Haze)” and “Part IV (The Hourglass)”).

Oct 242016



Bahrrecht are a black metal band from northeastern France. Their debut album Nuit de neige was released by the German label Ketzer Records in 2011, and one week from today Ketzer will also release the band’s second album, L’Aube Glacée (“frozen dawn”). Today we’re giving you the chance to hear this distinctive and compelling album in its entirety, in advance of its October 31 street date.

Bahrrecht made the album in part as an homage to the European black metal of the ’90s, and in particular as a sign of respect to bands such as Windir, Dissection, Taake, and Ragnarok. But it won’t take you long to realize that the album has a character, complexity, and atmosphere all its own.

Oct 242016



Ritual Theophagy is the second album by Blasphemer, a death metal band from Muggiò in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. It follows by eight years the band’s first album, On the Inexistence of God, and a 2010 EP named Devouring Deception that we praised in a review (here). Ritual Theophagy is already available through the band and Comatose Music, but we’re now bringing you a full public stream of the album for the first time.

Blasphemer throw 11 songs at you in the space of about 28 minutes, with only one of the songs reaching the three-minute mark. And from that, even if you’re unfamiliar with Blasphemer‘s take-no-prisoners approach to death metal, you might deduce that Blasphemer traffic in speed… and you would be right.

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