Aug 112020

Luna’s Call

(Here we have another 2020 edition of Andy Synn‘s series of reviews focusing on music coming out of the UK, with another three albums on the table today.)

This year may have been a real motherfucker in many, many ways, but the music coming out of the UK has, arguably, never been better.

As a matter of fact, my shortlist for my “Critical Top Ten” currently includes three, possibly four, UK bands who’ve raised the bar for themselves, and the rest of the scene, with their latest records… one of whom I’m featuring here today.

So, without further ado, here are three artists/albums who represent the very best of British, two of which will be released this Friday, the other you’ll have to wait until the end of the month to hear in full! Continue reading »

Aug 112020


(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Portland’s UADA. The album will be released by Eisenwald on September 25th. Kris Verwimp created the cover art.)

After falling for an exchange in the comments on a Facebook post comparing this album to the likes of Alkaline Trio and New Model Army, my dark heart was sparked to check it out. Yes, this album might be more melodic than what I remember this Portland band doing before, but you can put away the cloves as it is still very solidly black metal.

I think the misunderstood excitement of my Facebook friends was based on them becoming content with lazy bands who stick close to the pack, doing little to set themselves apart as individuals. Ironic, considering black metal is the outsider genre. On this album UADA expand their sonic arsenal with new tones to create some cool, powerful metal riffs. Continue reading »

Aug 102020


A Pretext to Human Suffering (hereafter “APTHS“) are a relatively new force for destruction in the extreme metal scene. They are an international triumvirate consisting of Chris Mathis (Defleshed and Gutted), who writes all the music and performs guitars and vocals, Lord Marco (Rings of Saturn, Six Feet Under, ex-Braindrill) on drums, and Kristian Jablonický on bass. They’ve just signed a record deal with RealityFade Records for the release of their debut EP, and today we’re bringing you a first listen to its title track, “Rotting Sanctum“.

As you’ll discover through this new song, APTHS occupy an intersection where different traditions of death metal meet. The music could be considered part slam, part brutal death metal, and part technical death metal. It metes out ferocious punishment, the kind that will get your motor running in a damned hurry, but will also give your head a swift and bewildering spin, and as icing on the cake it generates an atmosphere of ghastly horror. Continue reading »

Aug 102020


Nug’s new album Alter Ego, which we’re premiering today, is a dimorphic creature, a union of beauty and the beast. This Ukrainian band’s formulation of progressive and post-metal is capable of both transporting your head into sunlit clouds and also clubbing them through the pavement and deep into the mantle below. You could also think of their hybrid of obliteration and wonder, of pile-driving destruction and head-swirling dreams, as the workings of a wondrous machine that constantly morphs — from an earth-ruining demolition device into a spaceship venturing through head-spinning wormholes to reveal astonishing vistas of vast, blazing nebulae.

These extremes of sound — which are soft and loud, breathtakingly intense and sublimely mesmerizing, bewildering and brazen — might seem to occupy distant and opposing points on an axis, but Nug fold the axis in on itself, not merely juxtaposing the extremes but laying them on top of each other with gripping and exhilarating consequences. Continue reading »

Aug 102020


(On the 22nd of May 20 Buck Spin delivered unto us a new Cauldron Black Ram album, and it is a very good one, capable of inspiring Comrade Aleks to reach out for an interview, which he has done with the band’s drummer and vocalist Denny Blake, and these are the results.)

These savage sea wolves of black and death metal from Australia are busy gentlemen. Each of Cauldron Black Ram‘s members has a bunch of other bands and projects, so it’s a miracle how they manage to keep all these bands and projects active. And this year Cauldron Black Ram’s fourth full-length Slaver was unleashed by 20 Buck Spin Records, bringing us stories of horror, death, violence and death again. I was lucky to catch one of the band’s founders, Denny Blake (drums, vocals), and despite my meager efforts and ignorance he has helped me to complete this interview. Continue reading »

Aug 092020


My wife insists that there’s no such thing as “catching up” on sleep, that getting 10 hours of sleep doesn’t really make up for getting 5 hours of sleep the night before. All I know is that today the bags under my eyes look more like satchels than the usual fully packed duffels. But the 10 hours of slumber I got last night produced a late start on this column this morning, and thus a bit of hurrying in both the selections and the writing.

Still, I’m happy with what I chose and hope you will be too. As for the writing, well, it’s of secondary importance after all

0-NUN (Brazil)

The discovery of 0-Nun‘s debut EP The Shamanic Trilogy Part I – Nihility Ascetics proved to be a big bright spot at 2020’s mid-point. As the title suggests, it was the first part of a conceptual work, which 0-Nun describes as follows: “It deals with the notions of inexistence, nothingness, void and all absence of being but in a shamanic way. It is a paradox per se: it portrays what is not from a conscience perspective”. Continue reading »

Aug 082020


Here’s a lucky 7 songs and videos I picked out after wading through a lot of new music that surfaced in the last few days. There’s no particular rhyme or reason to the way I’ve arranged them — no two songs are alike.


I needed this new song from Anaal Nathrakh. I’m so angry at the brain-dead walking corpse that passes for the United States these days. The video sums up some of what’s wrong, but so much is wrong that it only scratches the surface. Still, it proved cathartic, as did the viciousness of the music. And the brilliance of Dave Hunt‘s soaring voice in the chorus is a fuckin’ wonder. Continue reading »

Aug 072020


As I suppose most metal lovers are well aware, today is another Friday when Bandcamp is foregoing its share of revenues from sales at their site (they’ve announced that they will continue to do this on the first Friday of each month from now through the end of this year). If I had forgotten, I would have been reminded by the explosion of Bandcamp alerts and messages in our in-box this morning.

In the past I’ve tried to assemble a slew of recommendations timed to coincide with Bandcamp Fridays, as a way of encouraging support for bands and labels. Unfortunately, upheavals at my fucking day job have prevented me from doing that for today — though of course we’ve been recommending music day in and day out for, well, almost forever. So there’s that. Just browsing through our posts over recent weeks and months would give you lots of good options.

But I thought I would at least quickly throw these three new options your way now. Continue reading »

Aug 072020


(We present Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by the Colombian band Decarabion, which is out now on Unmatched Brutality Records.)

Hope all you readers are well and, as always, I’m wishing all the best to all. As you probably already know, yours truly is a big fan of Brutal Death Metal (duh!). I was having a conversation the other day with a friend (Abhay) for his upcoming podcast in which we discuss the genre and other different scenes I love.  One of the subjects was the Colombian scene and how many great bands have come from that country to give us such great BDM.

This time around I would like to talk about the debut album Bastard Son of Divinity by the Colombian newcomers Decarabion, which was released on August 4 via Unmatched Brutality Records. Before saying anything else, this is a great representation as to why I love Colombian BDM. This record crushes from the moment you press play until the end. Continue reading »

Aug 072020


(Comrade Aleks returns to NCS with this interview of guitarist Keränen, co-founder of the Finnish band Sunken, whose debut album was released on July 10 by Argonauta Records.)

Sunken from Tempere, Finland was founded in 2009 by guitarist Keränen and drummer Korpi. They’ve chosen a path leading towards doom-death isolation from the start, but Sunken took shape very slowly: Jokipii (vocals, rhythm guitars) joined in 2013, Tuomi (bass) entered in 2017, and only since then has the real darkness started to take its form from sketches and the riffs that Keränen and Korpi had in their minds for years.

Song by song, their debut album From Slow Sleep Like Death grew, blossomed, and soon was discovered by Argonauta Records, who made the decision to support this ascetic doom choir. So I do as well. Continue reading »