Mar 092018

Reykjavik wall art


The second night of the third and final installment of Oration Festival took place at the Húrra bar in Reykjavik, Iceland on the night of March 8, 2018. It proved to be just as thoroughly enjoyable as the first night (reviewed here), although the music took more deathly turns, and ultimately concluded in a marvelously bewildering and beguiling way.

Last night the bands who performed, in the following order, were these: Mannveira (Iceland), Devouring Star (Finland), Abominor (Iceland), Abyssal (UK), Slidhr (Ireland/Iceland), Sortilegia (Canada), and Virus (Norway).

As before, the group of friends from Seattle and elsewhere who’ve been sharing this experience with me convened for food and drink about two hours before the first band was scheduled to begin the night. Yes, two hours, because our group has a proven tendency over the course of many previous festivals to talk like there’s no tomorrow, lose track of time, and arrive late if we’re not careful. Which of course is what happened last night even with the two-hour head start.

Mar 022018


For those with a strong taste for the soul-shuddering power of atmospheric black/death/doom metal, one of the best albums of the year so far comes in the form of the split that it’s our privilege to premiere today. Joining forces in Apanthropinization are two striking UK bands, each providing their own distinctive and terrifying musical explorations of the void that lurks within us and that looms from without: Carcinoma and Abyssal.

This album-length split will be released on CD and as a digital download on March 30th by Goatprayer Records, and it is a record that absolutely should not be missed. Still caught up in the throes of what each band has done here, I’ve chosen to spill many words about this split, but of course no one would blame you for skipping to the bottom (where you’ll also find a pre-oirder link) and pressing Play without delay.

Jul 202015



(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

June is long gone, but alas, there’s music that needs some light shed upon it!

Apologies for the delay on this one. Life finds a way – to get in the way of my getting this done faster. Thanks, Dr. Malcolm, for the line!

How good was June? It was loaded like a politician’s rhetoric, but not vomit-inducing. In other words, lots of audible goodies! A lot of styles represented, too, possibly being the month with the most diversity thus far.

Let it begin!


Chaotic as they are potent, Abyssal’s third album displays a band who continue to hone their craft to devastating effect. This sublime combination of black, death, and doom metal is so crushing that it gives a dinosaur a run for its money. There’s also a little bit more melody than the previous two discs, which is used to great effect.

Jul 012015


(Another month is in the history books, and so it’s time for KevinP to name the releases from last month that most impressed him.)

Half the year has come and gone.  Yeah, it’s beyond cliche to say “that was fast”, so I won’t.  But what got me thinking was how people like to compare different years and judge which ones were better for metal releases.  Since 2012 I’ve been doing Best Of lists here at NCS and I’ve been very happy each year with the plethora of releases I’ve been fortunate to hear.  I can’t really say any one year has been “off” or “poor” for metal.   Nor can I say one year was better than the next.  So on that token, here’s 5 more great albums of 2015.

Apr 232015


This is the final installment in a trio of new music round-ups for this Thursday. I’m still striving for variety in the selections collected in each post, but all the songs in this one appeal more uniformly to my taste for disturbing and/or particularly vicious music.


Today Profound Lore announced details regarding the third album by the mysterious UK entity known as Abyssal, along with a stream of the first advance track. I was drawn to the news immediately, not only because of the quality of Abyssal’s previous releases, but also because of that stunning cover art you’re looking at.

The album’s title is Antikatastaseis (and I bet you can’t say that three times real fast); it will be released on June 23. The new song is “I Am the Alpha and the Omega”.

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