Oct 042018


(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the debut album by the Seattle band Hissing, which will be released by Profound Lore on October 26th.)

Barely any time has passed since Profound Lore Records unleashed the aural savagery of Infernal Coil’s Within a World Forgotten upon the world, and now they are already back at it with the debut full-length by Seattle-based trio Hissing. Titled Permanent Destitution, this album capitalizes on the buzz around their 2016 self-titled seven-inch and also a well-received split with noise mongers Sutekh Hexen. Continue reading »

Sep 112018


(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by Terrorizer, set for release by The End Records on October 12th.)

There’s no need to belabor the point that most metalheads feel a sense of trepidation when a band known for their old school classic output puts out new material in this day and age. Admittedly, Terrorizer have been back for a while now, first with 2006’s aptly titled Darker Days Ahead, followed by 2012’s Hordes of Zombies. Each release has featured shifts in lineup, and their newest, Caustic Attack, is no different. But with Pete Sandoval as the only remaining member from both the original and the subsequent lineups, how does Terrorizer now intend to capture the essence of their own sound?

We’ll come back to that question in just a minute. First, let’s talk about who is in the new lineup. For Caustic Attack Pete Sandoval recruited Sam Molina on bass and vocals along with Lee Harrison on guitars. Both are primarily known for their work with Death Metal heavyweights Monstrosity, with Harrison’s tenure as the band’s drummer stretching all the way back to 1992’s classic Imperial Doom. Continue reading »

Aug 212018


(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by Infernal Coil, which is set for release on September 14th by Profound Lore Records.)

Profound Lore is an underground label that has always enjoyed a certain amount of critical acclaim, with bands like Agalloch, Pallbearer, and Subrosa (to name a few) enjoying coverage across the entire Metal spectrum and even attention from such outlets as NPR, Rolling Stone, and Spin magazine. What is truly heartening for the underground fan is the label’s continuing commitment to releasing albums from some of the nastiest underground Death and Black Metal bands in the business.

The latest offering of unadulterated Death Metal from the label comes in the form of Idaho-based killing unit Infernal Coil. Their debut full-length Within a World Forgotten is due out on September 14th. Continue reading »

Jul 272018


(This is Todd Manning’s review of the new split by Integrity and Krieg, which will be released by Relapse Records on August 3rd.)

Oftentimes, split recordings are an opportunity for two lesser known bands to introduce each other to their respective fan bases. It is representative of the camaraderie of the underground, and one of both Metal and Hardcore’s most beloved formats. What we don’t see as often are two well-established acts doing a split together. While there are a few examples, such as Napalm Death’s work with the Melvins and Converge, these exceptions prove the rule.

The latest exception now comes from the pairing of Hardcore legends Integrity and Black Metal juggernaut Krieg. It’s unlikely these groups got together as some sort of calculated marketing move, but rather out of a mutual respect for one another. Continue reading »

Jul 092018


(In this post Todd Manning reviews the new release by Seattle-based Regional Justice Center.)

The combination of Grindcore and Powerviolence has always walked a tightrope between Hardcore and Metal, attacking the listener with feral onslaughts both fast and slow, short bursts of frenzied killing punctuated by neanderthal moments of sludgy-goodness. While employing the brutality of Extreme Metal, these acts often have a certain looseness to their sound, giving them their own Punkish charm within the cacophony of violence.

The new self-titled release from Regional Justice Center has all the hallmarks of these genres with short songs and hair-turn tempo changes, but there is no looseness to be found. Rather, everything here takes the form of a quick precision bombing, and while the record only clocks in at around twelve minutes, a single spin will leave the listener gasping for breath before hitting play again. Continue reading »

Mar 092018


(Today, Xtreem Music is reissuing the 1993 debut album of the Florida death metal band Killing Addiction, and to celebrate, we’re presenting Todd Manning’s review.)

It’s amazing how an album can transport you back in time, evoking crystal clear memories of your past, especially when you haven’t even heard it before. That’s exactly what happened to me when I listened to Killing Addiction’s Omega Factor, which is being reissued by Xtreem Music on March 9th. By midway through the first song, I was already reminiscing about when my first Death Metal band used to practice in my parent’s garage, and about our first show, which occurred mere weeks before this album originally hit the streets in the spring of 1993.

What these Floridians produced was a great marriage of the Death Metal of their own region mixed with New York Death Metal, full of intense grooves (which would go out of fashion within a couple of years), and a peppering of Thrash-holdover riffs, even sneaking in the occasional blast beat here or there. Continue reading »

Jan 292018


(Todd Manning wrote this review of the new split by Baltimore’s Neolithic and the Swedish band Martydöd, set for release on February 15 by Deep Six Records.)


Does anyone want to burn down a city to kick off the new year? If so, the new split between Neolithic and Martyrdöd should provide the perfect soundtrack to the chaos. This is a short record, but goddamn if it isn’t raging. Continue reading »

Jan 022018


(As our 2017 LISTMANIA series continues, we present a Top 10 list assembled by NCS contributor Todd Manning.)

Another year, another avalanche of Metal to sift through. It’s not a bad thing, but if you’re open-minded and would like to try to keep up with everything, well it’s downright overwhelming. This year seems to be particularly backloaded, with a lot of incredibly powerful releases popping up in the final quarter. Hell, Krallice put out two heavyweight full-lengths less than a month apart. It’s a lot to try to absorb, and also tricky to try to give things equal weight whether they came out last spring or in October and November.

Getting down to brass tacks, though, this is supposed to be “The Year of Death Metal” and who am I to argue? Fact of the matter is, there’s been a goddamn flood of quality DM and it will probably take at least another year to sort through it all. It’s nothing short of an embarrassment of riches. And yes, several veteran acts put out some great releases in 2017, but only one old school Titan made my year-end list. For me, I’m more excited about bands pushing the limits of the genre and I think my list testifies to that. So without further ado… Continue reading »

Nov 092017


(This is Todd Manning’s review of the new album by All Pigs Must Die, which was recently released by Southern Lord.)

Anyone who claims that Hardcore is incapable of reaching the levels of extremity produced by Metal obviously hasn’t heard All Pigs Must Die and in particular their latest full-length Hostage Animal. Make no mistake, the lines between Metal and Hardcore are becoming ever more blurry, but the roots of this album are unmistakable. Hostage Animal is born of pure Punk fury.

With a line-up boasting luminaries from such other outfits as Converge, Trap Them, and The Hope Conspiracy, All Pigs Must Die deftly combine an overwhelming sense of visceral violence with songwriting chops that successfully walk the tightrope between chaos and focused execution. Continue reading »

Sep 282017


(Todd Manning reviews the new album by the Virginia/North Carolina instrumental metal band Loincloth, which will be released by Southern Lord on September 29.)

During the Death Metal explosion of the early ’90s, there existed an anomaly on Earache’s legendary roster, an incredibly complex and off-kilter Doom Metal act by the name of Confessor. Boasting dramatic, high-pitched vocals and very technical music, Confessor stuck out like a sore thumb in a scene dominated by blast beats and death growls. At the time, most people obsessed over the vocals. But nowadays, the world seems to have come around and considered their debut, Condemned, to be a classic, and in those conversations it’s the music getting equal attention.

After the band broke up for the first time, while in the midst of trying to follow up their debut, bassist Cary Rowells and drummer Steve Shelton went on to form Fly Machine and then subsequently moved on to Loincloth, an instrumental trio in which they are joined by guitarist Tannon Penland. Continue reading »