May 012018
 

 

We have a couple of premieres coming later today (what a shock), but I found myself with a little extra time on my hands before we get to those, so I thought I’d package up a few new things that I heard yesterday. The first two come from established bands who are always dependably good. The second two come from new names that should become better known once the songs below get spread around.

ROTTING CHRIST

First up is a pro-shot live video of Rotting Christ performing the title track from their 2013 album Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού. It was filmed on June 30, 2017, during the band’s headlining anniversary concert in Athens. From the looks of this (and of course the sounds), I really wish I’d been able to astrally project myself into that venue. And I think that’s all the introduction this video needs. Enjoy: Continue reading »

Feb 172018
 


Augury – photo by Mélany Champagne

 

I made a resolution last night: I resolved that henceforth I will post no more than two premieres a day, and only one per day if it’s a full album stream. During the week just ended, I posted 14 premieres, and two of those were full albums.

I might not care about the volume if I could be content to write little more than, “Here — listen to this!”, and then just provide the music stream. But where’s the fun in that? Besides the fun, I feel a compulsion to include reviews with the premieres, even if only the bands or labels might pay attention to what I write. Given that mindset, working on a big flood of premieres tends to constrict my ability to do anything else — such as compile round-ups like this one.

Full disclosure: I’ve made resolutions like this one before, and couldn’t stick to them. Did I mention that we’ll have another premiere tomorrow? It’s really good!

Anyway, as you can see, this is a two-part round-up. I decided to collect some older arrivals in this first part, organized alphabetically. My colleague DGR suggested all of them for a newsy post that would have been timely if I’d been able to get it done when he made the suggestions. Maybe some of these will still be news to a few of you despite the delay. They also involve higher profile bands; I’ve got some lesser-known groups for Part 2. Continue reading »

Feb 052018
 

 

(DGR compiled a round-up of new music to launch our Monday at NCS, an eight-song collection that we’ve divided into two parts, with Part Two slated to come very quickly after this first installment.)

 

I’m not going to lie to you all, I’ve been pretty distracted around the NCS office as of late. Usually I’ve unleashed a handful of ridiculous-length reviews by this point, but so far the beginning of 2018 has had your buddy here firmly ensconced in the news trenches, freeing up some of the other folks around here to fully dive into the deep and murky waters of all things underground and unlistenable.

It doesn’t help that I’ve also had tabs open alongside the news haul consisting of album streams from Dagon’s victorious return on Back To The Sea, Bloodshot Dawn’s surprisingly tech-death oriented ReanimationAfgrund’s mean and urgently-now The Dystopian, and even the occasional leap back into 2017 with Ireland’s Weed Priest and their stoner doom throwback; all of which are seeing constant listens and hopefully time to deep-dive in the near future. Shit, there is even a new Apophys disc entitled Devoratis that we covered very briefly but need to dive back into.

Of course, now that all of that has been written down, the news flood will get worse and I’ll get something done just in time to watch the moon finally escape Earth’s gravity and go sailing off into space as we’re devoured by the Sun’s outer layers as it goes red giant.

But enough jokes about things that seem preferable to going outside and facing the world. Let’s get on with the music. Continue reading »

Jan 292018
 

 

(DGR presents the following round-up of new music.)

 

My last appearance with a news roundup was, admittedly, a little ridiculous. I will say, however, that I was not initially aware it had gotten so huge as I just kept adding things that I had noticed we had missed in my vain effort to cover everything I thought the NCS crowd might be interested in.

The nice thing about that method, though, is that the act of doing so with such a large dragnet, combined with the massive three-part Shades Of Black post that went up shortly after, means that we’re able to keep this roundup small, covering just three groups that barely missed the bus when those posts went up. One in particular was released right after the post that was perfect for it went up.

So, we return once again to do a little globe-trotting, skirting around the edges of heavy metal and talking about three more newly released songs that have popped up over the past week and a half. Continue reading »

Jan 032017
 

 

As you can see, this is the second installment of our Most Infectious Song rollout, following hot on the heels of yesterday’s launch. As was true yesterday, each of today’s picks came from albums that were home to more than one song that could easily be on this list, and I won’t be surprised if some of you think I made the wrong pick. Hell, if I made the picks tomorrow, they might be different.

There are a few other connections between this particular threesome, one of which is that all three albums came out in the first quarter of last year, long enough ago that, for me, revisiting these songs was like a reunion with some old friends. Other connections will become obvious.

VREDEHAMMER

We didn’t give enough attention to Vredehammer’s 2016 album Violator. I wrote about its first advance track (“Spawn Tyrant”), and we published Karina Cifuentes’ interview of Per Valla, though even that focused more on his time as a session guitarist with Abbath and his personal Valla project than it did on Vredehammer. Continue reading »

Jun 142016
 

Rotting Christ video clip

 

When our man DGR reviewed Rotting Christ’s new album Rituals in February, he made some observations that came back to mind today. He remarked that Rituals “feels more like an event than a collection of singles”, that “the songs feel perfectly placed,” with “more dramatic interstitial sections slotting in well next to faster songs”, earning the name given to the album. He also commented on the intensely rhythmic nature of much of the music, underscoring the thematic union of the album’s ten tracks as musical representations of rites from around the globe that share a certain spiritual essence.

A personal favorite among those “interstitial” sections is the powerful “Ἄπαγε Σατανά (Apage Satana)”, and today we bring you the premiere of Rotting Christ’s mesmerizing video for the song. Continue reading »

Jun 072016
 

Hail Spirit Noir-Mayhem In Blue

 

For almost two weeks I’ve been in the throes of Maryland Deathfest frenzy, taking time away from many of my typical blogging activities to attend the festival itself and then re-living the experience through a five-part recap all of last week. I missed a lot of new music, and of course when you check out for that long in today’s riotously fecund metal environment there’s no way to completely catch up. However, I have spent some hours making incomplete lists of what I missed and then listening… and from that I have some songs I want to recommend.

Many of the new songs I want to write about are connected in various ways to black metal, and I’ve collected some of them here, along with one recent piece of very enticing news. There will be at least one more installment in this blackened catch-up collection, and maybe two if time allows.

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR

I think of Hail Spirit Noir as sonic alchemists, highly adept at combining different stylistic ingredients and transmuting them into strange and wondrous sounds. They’ve proven those alchemical talents through two albums so far — Pneuma in 2012 and Oi Magoi in 2014 — and last month they announced that a third one is on the way. Continue reading »

Apr 082016
 

Rotting-Christ-band

 

I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon sifting through that massive spew known as the NCS e-mail in-box and then wading through the hip-deep effluent of the interhole, searching for things worth hearing and seeing, so that you don’t have to dirty yourselves doing it. It was filthy work, as it always is, but as always happens I found some chunks of gold gleaming amidst the vast rivers of mediocrity. I actually have a pretty long list of discoveries that I think are worth sharing, but here are a few of them. Perhaps I will have time to include more later today, or this weekend.

ROTTING CHRIST

Rotting Christ delivered a new lyric video yesterday for the song “Les Litanies de Satan“, which includes guest vocals from Vorph’s frontman Samael dramatically reciting (in French) excerpts from Charles Baudelaire’s poem of the same name (from the volume of poetry entitled Les Fleurs du Mal), which inspired the song. The track, which appears on the band’s latest album Rituals (reviewed here), is a majestic, surging hymn to the fallen angel, and the video is interesting to watch as well. Continue reading »

Feb 112016
 

Rotting Christ-Rituals

 

(In typically detailed fashion, DGR reviews the great new album by the Greek titan, Rotting Christ.)

Rotting Christ have been an interesting entity over their epic-length career. As a band who have existed since the late ’80s, they have changed form multiple times, firmly held in foundation by the two members who began the group, and as other members have entered and exited the band, the sounds have changed as well.

A career this long will often lead to maybe one golden period and then a slow, steady income for a band, but Rotting Christ are one of the few that have had a couple of huge highlights while at the same time continually grinding it out on the road as well as consistently cranking out disc after disc. Most recently — since the release of 2010’s Aealo — Rotting Christ have been on an absolute tear, planting themselves firmly in the metal scene as one of the best guitar-riff-writing bands out there to date.

It’s an interesting situation, as recommending Rotting Christ to people can sometimes lead (still to this day, even, in a culture of viral shock and awe) to the occasional upturned nose and jaw dropped. Yet I would argue that the band, even limited to the group’s previous three albums (not counting today’s subject), have written some insanely catchy music, working in complete tandem with the part of the band that gives itself so completely over to its chosen subject matter, which 96% of the time is Satan. Continue reading »

Jan 262016
 

Rotting Christ-Rituals

 

Sometimes I worry that we bombard you so heavily with new music that it might become exhausting, or just unrealistic to follow what we’re throwing at you. I’m kind of feeling that way today, which is why I changed the title of this post from the usual “Seen and Heard” headline — since this would be the fourth of those in four days. But despite the different title, that’s still what this is — a round-up of recently released music we want to recommend.

ROTTING CHRIST

It seems like only a week ago that Season of Mist released the last advance track from Rotting Christ’s new album (featured here). Actually, it was only one week ago. But yesterday another track premiered. And of course I’m writing about it because I think it’s just as strong as the ones that have preceded it. Continue reading »