Dec 122017



(Like the good cowboy he is, DGR has stepped forward to handle round-up duty today.)

We at NCS are big fans of posts full of genre whiplash, and this roundup of things that caught our eyes and ears last week will likely be one of those. We try to always keep our giant fish net of news-and-music catching open for stuff to fall in and we like to clean it out whenever we get the chance, even though you would’ve figured that last week things should have slowed down just a bit…you would think.

However, just because it’s close to the end of the year and time for everyone to begin writing up summaries of their favorite albums of 2017, and just because our editor managed to escape from the loris horde encircling the NCS compound for a vacation, does not mean heavy metal got the hint and decided to slow down for a bit. We did here in our little comfortable corner of the ‘net, but that doesn’t mean everyone did. And so we go outside to clean off the radar dish and see what landed in the net over the past week.

Dec 072017


(Here’s DGR’s review of the new EP by the death metal collective known as Scour.)

Last year, Scour released its debut EP Grey, something that I reviewed — though I don’t recall it having a name at the time so much as suddenly appearing – and I had a lot of joking fun with the review, even if folks didn’t quite understand that at the time.

The novelty of Scour was the initial draw for the project, and while I found the release good, I did not expect a second release so soon. Now that Scour are established and have unleashed themselves live upon some folks, it felt like diving in again was the reading of the next chapter of an ongoing story, and so, we  find ourselves wondering how this extreme metal collective’s second EP has turned out.

Dec 062017


(Here’s DGR’s review of the new EP by Kunstzone.)

Kunstzone, the hybrid industrial death metal project of musicans Alex Rise of Tyrant Of Death and Psychotic Pulse and Khaozone’s Candy, is a group that we — mostly me, though I’m sure I’ve fooled Islander into writing at least one blurb about them — have been banging the drum about for a little while now.

The group, a fusion of the two musicians’ love of all things abrasively electronic, alongside a wall-of-sound production style on the guitars and drums, has had the band veering closer and closer to Anaal Nathrakh territory than most groups. They have a handful of releases to their name, among them the full releases Eschaton Discipline and The Art Of Making The Earth Uninhabitable. While the artists behind Kunstzone have been more than happy to hide themselves behind a joking veneer of being Star Trek: TNG crew members, the music released can be described as anything but fun.

Dec 052017


(DGR reviews the debut album by the Greek band Aetherian.)

The genre-realm that skirts the line between doom and melodic death metal is one that has become increasingly crowded over the years, especially as some of the more long-running groups have rocketed up in popularity. The line between the two blurs constantly, and the bands that walk that path have developed into a very recognizable genre grouping in their own right, with bands like Insomnium having quickly moving to the forefront.

The pacing of most of these bands firmly plants them within the melo-death realm, and Greece’s Aetherian with their debut album, The Untamed Wilderness, don’t stray too far from it.

Nov 292017


(The Infernal Sea have recently released a new EP, and here we have DGR’s review of its two gruesome tracks.)

The beginning weeks of November brought quite a few interesting things, and among them was the release of a 7″ vinyl known as Agents Of Satan by UK black metal act The Infernal Sea. The two-song EP sees the band descending further into the ghoulish black metal realm, as they’ve continually refined both their sound and their image, evolving from an already fairly mean and white-knuckle rush of black metal written by a group of angry dudes in hoodies armed with plague doctor masks to a fully robed, smoke enveloped getup, with the group giving in fully to the ‘infernal’ side of their name.

It does also prove, however, that the band are big fans of having fans put some effort into scoring their new music, and thanks to the glory of Satan, we have managed to do so… if Satan were the website Cult Never Dies and their stream of the disc.

Nov 282017


(DGR turned in this review of the new release by the Austrian death merchants in Mastic Scum.)

It has been four years since the release of the full-length disc CTRL by the Austrian death metal (and self-described grind-influenced) machine Mastic Scum. The album, which saw the band moving further into the realm of chunk-filled groove and saw-blade-sharp death metal riffs, was reviewed on NCS way after its release, though we had covered it in the lead-up.

Mastic Scum’s discography has a pattern of large gaps between full-,lengths, usually supplemented by a collection of splits and EPs, and in their case even a live DVD entitled Rage. However, the end of October brought us the release of the group’s new EP, Defy, providing a brief transmission of sound from the otherwise shadow-cloaked world through which Mastic Scum move.

Nov 022017


On November 10, Selfmadegod Records will release a new EP by Antigama, entitled Depressant, on CD (with an LP version coming soon). In this post we present a detailed review by DGR, as well as the premiere of an eye-popping video created by Chariot of Black Moth for a head-wrecking, bombing-run of a track called “Now”. You will find the video lurking in the midst of the review, which begins here:


It doesn’t feel like it has been that long since the cyborg Polish grind monsters of Antigama unleashed The Insolent (review penned by yours truly here) upon the world, and yet two years and a handful of months later, the band are returning with a sub-nineteen-minute, seven-track EP named Depressant via Selfmadegod. The group, ever busy in their time between full discs, found time since The Insolent not only to contribute to two different split releases, but also then managed to jam out seven songs of new music all wrapped around the concept of pill popping.

The songs are all tied together through a series of segues, and a strain of utter madness seems to run through the whole Depressant campaign. The opening first minute of the EP dedicates itself to a faux-infomercial alongside some smooth-jazz that is honestly not too out of place in an Antigama disc; the band’s methods of doing whatever the fuck they want quickly unfurling themselves as they kick into full obliteration mode after the infomercial promises to save us from “pain….pain….pain….pain”. Ever fueled by a rage that borders on utter annihilation, we are once again invited to go on a roller-coaster ride of music verging on warped instrument destruction via Depressant.

Oct 302017


(DGR reviews the new album by California’s The Kennedy Veil, which is out now via Unique Leader Records.)

Three years after the release of their 2014 album Trinity Of Falsehood, Sacramento, California’s The Kennedy Veil return to the stage a somewhat different beast than what they presented on that disc.

In that gap of time, the group have been joined by vocalist Monte Barnard, who has been in a handful of groups around Sacramento (among them the short-lived Soma Ras, and a stint in fellow Unique Leader labelmates Alterbeast) as well has having been live vocalist for groups like Fallujah and Thy Art Is Murder.

Added to this, the group have made a shift in their writing style — as evidenced on their newly released album Imperium — which sees them favoring longer and more densely layered songs, still maintaining the high-speed tempo and blast-heavy brand that the band have made their foundation, but amplified by a very light symphonic element and a heftier focus on letting the rhythm section thud their way through more of the songwriting.

Oct 242017


(DGR reviews the debut album by the Swedish group Antarktis, released earlier this month by Agonia Records.)

Sweden’s Antarktis, comprised of In Mourning, Ikhon, and Necrosavant musicians, are a project that we’ve been writing about at our humble abode for some time, albeit when they were first operating under the name Majalis. In the three years since that group’s debut EP, Cathodic Black, they have changed their name to Antarktis and settled down to write what has become their recently released debut full-length Ildlaante.

The album sees the effective tracklist from Cathodic Black doubled from three to six and the runtime similarly extended to a sweet, sweet forty-some-odd minutes of drifting, grooving, and lightly keyboard-seasoned post-metal with a light sludge element that reveals them running alongside fellow countrymen Gloson in the smoke-machine-enveloped bleakness that seems almost required of the genre.

Oct 092017


(We present DGR’s detailed review of the new album by Belphegor, which is out now on the Nuclear Blast label.)

You could be forgiven for thinking that at this point in their career Austria’s Belphegor would’ve been perfectly okay to rest on their laurels a bit. Having long ago established themselves as one of the more popular extreme black-metal-infused death metal acts out there, currently housed over at Nuclear Blast, and building a career draped in the worlds of blasphemy and a logo bearing prominent inverted crosses, Belphegor have defined themselves as one of the go-to groups for heavy metal’s dose of Satan.

Totenritual, the group’s eleventh album in a career spanning well over twenty years could’ve had the band serve up another smattering of heavier-than-the-Earth guitars and bellowing vocals, yet the Belphegor crew seem to have found new life in their chosen font of death and draw from it for the gathering on Totenritual. Totenritual does have its fair share of minor quirks, but overall Belphegor has honed in on a very focused sound — one which they hammer home numerous times over the nine songs that make up the disc. The album again shows the relic of subtlety (which Belphegor tossed a long time ago, in case albums titled Lucifer Incestus and Bondage Goat Zombie didn’t point you in the right direction) cast off in favor of nine tracks fueled by — and introduced numerous times by — the devil.

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