Feb 142018


(Last November the Colorado black metal band Sar Isatum released their excellent debut album Shurpu, an album from which we premiered a song that shares the name of the band, with an introduction to the premiere by our Norwegian ally Gorger. Today we have an interview of the band by another Norway-based ally, Karina Noctum.)


First things first, the band’s name. The only fact I retrieved when I searched for Sar Isatum was some connection to a Babylonian incantation. So what’s behind the name?

The name was taken from Sumerian dialect and it means Lord of fire.

Jan 122018


(The solo artist behind the Swedish black metal band PanPhage has declared that the new album Jord will be the last Panphage record (for reasons discussed in this interview). It is being released today via Nordvis Produktion, and here we present Norway-based Karina Noctum’s review.)


Panphage is a Black/Folk one-man band from Sweden. Jord, the latest album, and the last one, comes two years after the release of the full-length Storm. The cover picture of Jord is from some Swedish autumnal landscape. The title of the album translates to “soil”. Most of the song titles are related to the soil/earth theme, e.g. (as translated), “Silent mountain ridge”, “Unsown shall the fields grow”, all revolving around heritage and the earth’s cycle of life and death.

The beginning of “Odalmarkerna” (cultivated fields) reminds me a bit of Iron Maiden actually. But as the album develops, the folk elements become more and more blackened. The album has an atmosphere, an old one. Especially the guitar and drum sound bring the ’90s black metal feeling back quite often. The Bergen scene comes definitely to mind here.

Dec 132017


(Norway-based writer Karina Noctum reviews the new EP by Sweden’s Mist of Misery, set for December 15 release by Black Lion Records.)

I have kept an eye on Mist of Misery ever since I listened to Absence, which was released in 2016. I spent that year focused on Black Metal. I remember it was after a painful journey through lots of underground bands who were too simple and pretty basic that I finally found Absence. I enjoyed the excellent song structures, as well as how they handled the changing moods, and really liked the drumming as well.

After Absence they released Shackles of Life last summer, and a song from that EP was premiered here. The EP wasn’t reviewed, but I can blame it on me being busy and 2017 being a year where Death Metal consumed me; I was pretty much in the Neanderthal spectrum of metal things.

Now MoM are releasing a new EP called Fields of Isolation though the Swedish label Black Lion Records from Umeå, and I couldn’t let it pass without reviewing it:

Nov 212017


(Karina Noctum reviews for us the new second album by the Norwegian black metal band The 3rd Attempt, which will be released on December 1 by Dark Essence.)

The 3rd Attempt started back in 2014. The masterminds behind it are former Carpathian Forest guitarists Tchort (Blood Red Throne, Green Carnation) and BloodPervertor (Trail of Tears). The band was then completed with vocalist Ødemark (Midnattsvrede) and drummer Tybalt (FortidDen Saakaldte). That’s a pretty awesome line-up with lots of expertise that really gets to shine in their latest album.

Egocidal Path is a display of skillful composing and performing. It is not just another Black Metal release, it’s actually an attempt to blend and experiment without transgressing boundaries. It’s innovative but still safe ground for those black metal fans who are not fond of too many surprises. A good rendition of traditional solid metal with a modern touch.

Nov 062017


On November 10, Dark Descent Records will release, Deliverance From the Godless Void, the latest album by Finland’s Desolate Shrine. Our man Andy Synn recently reviewed the album (along with the band’s preceding three albums), calling it “another triumph of will and wickedness, and well worth getting hold of if you’ve ever had an urge for a truly masochistic metallic experience.”

With “a production that may be more powerful than ever”, Andy wrote, “the band are still as foul and filthy at heart as they have always been, at times bringing to bear a crippling sense of dissonance and discordance,” meshing together “neck-wrecking grooves”, “gnarly, guttural vocals,” “bulldozing riffs,” “strangling bass lines,” and “foul, demonic atmospherics” to produce a truly electrifying experience.

And now Norway-based metal writer and NCS contributor Karina Noctum brings us this interview with L.L., the main man behind Desolate Shrine just days before the album’s release:

Oct 232017


(Norway-based metal writer Karina Noctum prepared this review of the new fifth album by the Norwegian band Sarke.)

Sarke released their fifth full-length Viige Urh on October 13. This time they are infusing the Viking theme into the music. This is not being done in the same metal fashion as other epic, folk bands have done. They borrow from genres which you wouldn’t normally see mixed into anything Viking. They are attempting to sound unique without straying too far from their original sound, and they succeed.

This album is excellent and it is not going to bore you at all because it is complex and comes with many musical surprises along the way. In addition, it is super-infused with feeling! So it is also unique in that sense. With Viige Urh, Sarke get a bit less thrashy and voyage much more into the dark waters of Viking, Stoner, and Doom.

In fact, Sarke kinda mess with your head by blending so many different soundscapes into a whole, and it is amazing how they manage to do this while maintaining a hold on the album’s integrity. It is absolutely not a mess, yet it is ever-changing and even gets a bit experimental. I guess it takes lots of years to get to this point. It can’t be done easily.

Oct 162017


(Norway-based metal writer Karina Noctum returns to NCS with this review of the new EP by the Swedish death metal band Skineater.)

In addition to contributing to NCS, I do like to post music on two fairly big Facebook pages (Death Metal Institute and Viking, Folk, Black Metal and more). We get hundreds of post requests weekly and I keep on opening them because at times I stumble across something as good as Skineater’s Cerebral Relics.

This Death Metal band has members from acts such as Wombbath, In Thy Dreams, Pale King, Geist, Infernaeon, Ninety Minute Reflex, The Absence, Defiatory, Feared, and Wachenfeldt.

Oct 032017


(Karina Noctum brings us this interview with Gerson “Demonslaught” Toro of the veteran Colombian black metal band Guerra Total, whose latest album Nihilistic Malthusian Manifesto (The Ouroboros Cosmic Indifferentism) was released early this year.)

Guerra Total means Total War in Spanish and it comes right from the country with the longest armed conflict in the world, Colombia. I decided it was time for me to interview a South American band because they do get limited publicity and deserve any kind of support one can give. Besides, I do know of many who appreciate the South American thrash sound and I think for many of them and all others who are into exploring new things it may be interesting to listen to some Blackened Thrash with a Colombian twist like the one Guerra Total offers.

When it comes to South America, Brazil is the country with the most successful, renowned metal bands. But for those who really like Brutal Death Metal, Colombia is the country to choose. The Brutal Death scene is kind of modern, taking into account that the country’s raw and violent metal sound can be traced back to the ’80s.

Sep 142017


(Norway-based writer Karina Noctum, who usually brings us interviews, brings us another enthusiastic review, this time focusing on the 2017 album by Australia’s Impetuous Ritual.)

Even though it is coming out a bit late (sorry for this), I decided to write this review anyway. But before I attempt to describe this beauty of an album, I would like to tell you that Impetuous Ritual have nothing to do with Portal. If you thought they did, they deny this, even though it seems that pretty much everyone says so. Their mystical Roman-numeraled personas are to remain unknown, and that’s fine. Now we have lots of musicians called I, II, III, IV, and so on in BM. Someone should start using binary codes just to make a difference.

Back to the music. I think this is absolutely one of the best albums this year. It is very Australian! I adore the sound. True madness, darkness, and old-school feeling. The band show their cumulative experience in a piece that may seem raw, but is technical and well-produced. The album shows that it is absolutely possible to combine those qualities. This is the kind of album that leaves others with no excuses. Bad production and poor musical skills are by no means what makes something raw.

Jul 122017


(Norway-based NCS contributor Karina Noctum usually brings us interviews, but this time it’s a review — of the eighth Limbonic Art album, the first one in seven years.)

Limbonic Art is a Norwegian Black Metal band formed in 1993 that blends melody with the melancholic pace and ambient elements of Funeral Doom. It is now the solo project of Daemon (Zyklon) project, and one of my favorite one-man bands.

I discovered Limbonic Art 15 years ago. I was drawn to the cover of Moon in the Scorpio, a beautiful artwork, at the music store and ever since then I’ve been following every new release. I like the fact that it is melodic but not the kind of annoying melodic that wears you off.

Every release has a distinct nature that keeps it interesting, from the devastating, relentless, tight, and fast-paced music of Ad Noctum – Dynasty of Death to the more experimental and varied sound and ambience of In Abhorrent Dementia. Every album is different and yet each one carries the Limbonic Art mark.

Their latest album Spectre Abysm is perhaps one of the albums that remind me the most of the band’s first album, Moon in the Scorpio. The grandiose dark and ritualistic ambience of the early days is combined with excellent guitar and bass work and awesome layered vocals, all firmly framed in the Norwegian BM style.

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