Jan 102018


There’s a megaton of explosive stuff in this mid-week round-up of recommended new sounds, so I’ll dispense with an introduction and just move right to the music.


Gatecreeper’s debut album Sonoran Depravaton was so damned good, a true highlight of 2016 and the source of a song (“Craving Flesh”) that I put on our list of that year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Their EP from last November, Sweltering Madness, was also damned good, a meshing together of dismal, stomping brutality and maniacal, earth-shaking obliteration. And so when I saw that Gatecreeper had released a new song yesterday I nearly soiled myself in my haste to listen to it.

Nov 112017


You can go long or you can go short. You can pound your musical erogenous zones or you can shrivel up and go dry from something far outside the rim of your bullseye. You can fragment your mind or feel it coalescing in configurations that become receivers of new visions. Every day there are new opportunities.

I’m speaking of metal, of course. I got doses of all those experiences this week, but bit off almost more than I could chew with this week’s flood of premieres, and got squeezed by my fucking day job on top of that, so I failed to compile a round-up until now, and hence it’s a big one.

Catching up is an impossibility, of course, and this time it happens that my choices (all the way up to the last one) are mainly indulgences in a particular mood rather than my usual effort to throw darts all over the metal dartboard. The one thing I haven’t done is incorporate black metal, because I have tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column for that.


We’ve been writing about this Greek band for years, beginning with their first single in 2013 and including their second one in 2015, their debut EP released the same year (and reviewed by DGR here), their amazing single and video from last year, “The Rain”, the first single (“Seeds of Deception”0 from their debut album, The Untamed Wilderness, which will be released by Lifeforce Records on November 24th, and the second one (“Shade of the Sun”). And now there’s a third, accompanied by a video.

Jan 162017


I feel like wallowing in the warmth of a certain kind of guitar tone today, along with a certain kind of delicious death-metal gut churn and head battering.

Yes, you’ve arrived at the 12th part of our growing list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Should you be inclined to explore the tracks that preceded these three beasts, click this link.


Astoundingly in this day and age, when more venerable metal bands with prominent names are phoning it in than showing they still have fire in their bellies, Asphyx released one of 2016’s mod satisfying death metal records.

Aug 032016

Gatecreeper-Sonoran Depravation


I’m finishing this post on the way to the airport, where I’ll board a flight for Las Vegas with my spouse to attend the wedding of one of her nieces. We’ll be there for three days. That may interfere with NCS activity for the rest of the week. If there’s not much up on the site between now and Sunday, that’s the explanation.

But it may not interfere. Everyone I know who will be at this thing, including my wife, plans to spend a lot of time in the casino. I’m not much for gambling; throwing away money in an undoubtedly losing cause tends to sap the pleasure after a while. And since I’m not keen on getting broiled outside, that leaves the hotel room… and metal.

In the meantime, here’s a quick round-up of new music. Because time is short, I have to largely dispense with reviews/descriptions today. The last time I did this, a reader jumped on me for not at least providing a genre description, so I’ll do that.

Jun 182016

Gatecreeper-2016 split


My helpful WordPress blogging software tells me that I started writing this post on March 30, 2016, and then I got sidetracked — repeatedly. I’m so tightly wound that I nag myself about things that I start but don’t finish. My life is full of self-nagging. Sometimes, however, that incessant buzzing in my head produces a result. Hence, this post.

This MISCELLANY series is one of several that I started at NCS in the early days, but it has become very irregular in recent years. So a refresher on the MISCELLANY game is probably worthwhile: On a fairly random basis, I pick releases I’ve not heard before, usually by bands I’ve not heard before; I listen to a song or two (usually without much advance idea of what the music will sound like); I write my immediate impressions; and I then stream what I heard so you can make your own judgments.


In my “refresher” above, I forgot to add that I sometimes violate the rules of the MISCELLANY game, and for this first item I’ve done that because I knew something about Arizona’s Gatecreeper before listening to this song. Two years ago I featured one of their videos in a round-up, and after that I grabbed the EP that included the song in the video.

Jun 132014

I spied three videos this morning that I commend to your attention.


I am a pathetic excuse for a human being. Among other reasons, I failed to review one of the 2013 albums I most enjoyed — Coronation of King Darkness by Finland’s Black Crucifixion. I only managed to write about a single song after it premiered in advance of the album’s release. Pathetic.

This morning I was reminded of my abject failure by the debut of an amazing video for a song from that album named “Heroes End Up On Gallows”. The video was eight months in the making, and it is a striking work of dark and fiery beauty. We are seeing it now because Coronation of King Darkness will soon be released on vinyl by Svart Records, with a gatefold sleeve and new cover art (above).

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