Jul 312017

 

(Argentinian writer Matías Gallardo rejoins us with this interview of Michael Czerwoniuk, vocalist/guitarist of the UK black metal band Wode, whose new album Servants of the Countercosmos we reviewed here.)

 

After releasing their self-titled debut album last year, British black metal act Wode became one of the most exciting bands around the obscure corners of the underground. With a particular blend of fury and catching melodies that resemble both early ‘90s Norwegian legends and classic heavy metal heroes, the Manchester-based quintet started a path that was followed earlier this year with the release of their sophomore album, Servants of the Countercosmos.

Released by the renowed Italian label Avantgarde Music, Servants… is a massive and violent sequel plagued with some of the best and most extreme riffs you’ll hear this year. In barely 31 minutes, Wode managed to craft another piece of chaotic blackness. Below you can read the chat vocalist/guitarist Michael Czerwoniuk had with NCS.

Jun 192017

 

(Andy Synn prepared this review of the new album by Wode.)

 

The absolutely stunning self-titled album by British Black Metal initiates Wode was, without doubt, one of the finest albums released in 2016.

In fact, I felt so strongly about this assertion that I even went as far as to select it as part of my Critical Top Ten albums, stating that it captured “the true spirit of classic Black Metal with unflinching, unapologetic ferocity, without ever resorting to simply aping the classics” – a statement, and a decision, which I continue to stand by today.

Clearly aiming to capitalise on the momentum generated by their debut, the Mancunian quartet (now incorporating the additional guitar and synth work of one Karl Sveinsson) wasted no time in writing and recording their second album, Servants of the Countercosmos, which finally dropped at the end of last month, and which is available right now from the group’s Bandcamp site.

The big question, however, is this – is the band’s latest slab of blackened beef as devilishly delicious as their debut, or has the short turn-around time between albums left things feeling a little… undercooked?

Jan 142017

 

There was a time not so long ago, relative to the entire span of my life, when I wouldn’t have considered any of these four songs to be infectious. Certainly 10 years ago, and maybe even 7, I probably would have considered them almost unlistenable. But my own tastes and appreciation for metal have evolved, and now I would get depressed imagining life without these songs. For me, they are all so compelling that I go back to each of them repeatedly, even with as much time as I spend listening to new music. And that’s kind of the main criterion for this list.

To hear the other songs that were added before these, go here. After you listen to these songs, I don’t think there will be any mystery why I grouped them together.

CANTIQUE LÉPREUX

As you know, I get very excited about new music on almost a daily basis. But this song… this song nearly made my heart explode the first time I heard it, and it brings my heart near to exploding every damned time I hear it. How many songs do that to you?

Dec 152016

listmania-2016

 

(Andy Synn’s week-long series of year-end lists continues with his personal list of The Critical Top Ten for 2016. Click these links to see his lists of the year’s Great Albums, the Good Albums, and the Disappointments.)

For those of you unfamiliar with how this works, I always wind-up my week-long retrospective with two lists, the “Critical Top Ten” and the “Personal Top Ten”.

Now the second one is probably pretty self-explanatory, in that it’s just a list of the ten albums I’ve loved, lived with, and listened to the most this year. It’s really just a snapshot of my personal listening habits/tastes over the last twelve months.

The idea behind this one possible needs some explaining though.

You see the “Critical Top Ten” is where I try (as best I can) to remove my own personal biases and downplay any favouritism and instead attempt to name the ten albums (unranked) which I feel honestly represent the best of the best from the last year in Metal.

May 042016

Allfather-Bless the Earth With FireBurial-Unholy Seditionwode cover art

 

(Andy Synn presents a trio of reviews, with accompanying music streams.)

So today’s column is actually a bit of a coincidental confluence of events and circumstances.

My original intent was simply to put together a single piece of writing covering three separate bands as something of a direct response to last week’s epic Schammasch triple-review. However, as I started to pull together the necessary three albums to fulfil this idea it dawned on me that what I was actually doing was accidentally putting together another edition of my “Best of British” column, such as originally reared its ugly head last year.

Call it coincidence. Call it kismet. Call it what you will. But whatever you call it, prepare yourself for some homegrown metallic thrills and spills of the Sludge/Doom/Hardcore/Black/Death variety!

Mar 072016

Wolvserpent band
Wolvserpent

You may have noticed that over the weekend I only posted one article on our site, despite the fact that for more than 6 years I’ve been obsessed with posting something every day of every year, weekends and holidays included. I think Saturday was only the 7th or 8th day when I’ve completely fallen down on the job since I started the site, and I had wanted to do more than one post on Sunday. As sometimes happens (but rarely), I just got too overwhelmed by personal obligations and the demands of my fucking day job to focus on NCS.

I’ve actually been kind of overwhelmed since the middle of last week. One of the things I’ve been unable to do is post round-ups of new music that I like. I did attempt to fly through the interhole and the NCS in-box from time to time and make a list of songs I wanted to check out as time permitted. When I looked at the list yesterday, it had new songs from 30 bands on it — all of which appeared just within the last week!!!

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