Jul 062022

On July 29th Dying Victims Productions will release a new EP by the savage Polish sorcerers in Gallower. The band’s musical identity has already been well-established through a sequence of demos and splits and a 2020 debut album, Behold the Realm of Darkness. As Dying Victims accurately portrays, “Gallower incite a riot of violence that skillfully melds the Teutonic legendry of Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, and Violent Force with the first-wave black magick of Bathory, Hellhammer, Venom, and Japan’s Sabbat“.

The new EP is a five-song, 17-minute rampage that (to again quote the label) “emits strong vibes of early Bulldozer, Running Wild, Deathrow, and pre-Rick Rubin Slayer“. And thus it fortifies Gallower‘s reputation as black thrashing maniacs cloaked in an unearthly aura that merits the title of the new EP — Eastern Witchcraft.

One track from the EP has already surfaced, and today we’re presenting another. Continue reading »

Jul 052022


I’m still in post-Northwest Terror Fest catch-up mode for the new songs and videos I missed over the last 5 days, which is kind of like a Dachshund trying to catch up with a Bugatti that’s moving at top speed. The chase will fail, but still can’t be resisted, so here’s a few more picks to go along with the two I chose yesterday. These three all happen to be recently released complete records — of very different kinds — and I have greedily bought all of them.


To begin, I chose an album named Metempiric that was released by this Tennessee band on June 24th. It’s their second full-length, following 2021’s Interstice. It includes 13 tracks, most of them short, building to an 8-minute closer named “Tome”.

And this is where I tell you to take some big gulps of air before you begin, because you will definitely need the extra oxygen. Continue reading »

Jul 052022

(Today we’re premiering a song from the forthcoming final album of Triumvir Foul, which will be released on CD by Invictus Productions and on cassette tape by Vrasubatlat on July 29th, with a co-released vinyl version to come soon after. Preceding the premiere stream we have Hope Gould‘s vivid review of the new album.)

Enter the racing drums, rumbling like the bones of an undead army as they clamor up the caverns of the deepest ossuary. A “Presage” indeed – the opening track to Triumvir Foul’s latest offering is the harbinger to something truly fetid.

The Portland duo have emerged from the tombs of Ur with another ode to the Exalted Serpents in the form of their latest, and quite sadly, final album, Onslaught to Seraphim. Despite being their last release, Triumvir Foul have done anything but gracefully bow out. They have offered up perhaps their most caustic material thus far; a killing blow to be lauded for, a subsidence crater in the wake of their destruction. Continue reading »

Jul 052022


In case you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed the stellar news that in May of this year Indiana’s Demiricous released their first new album in 15 years. Fittingly entitled III: Chaotic Lethal, it finally follows up a pair of full-lengths released in 2006 and 2007 — I: Hellbound and II:Poverty, respectively — which were both released by Metal Blade and sky-rocketed the band’s name.

Our writer DGR has already given Chaotic Lethal a lavish review here, one that underscores how well Demiricous have picked up where they left off, as if so much time had not passed at all.

Re-uniting the same line-up that brought us PovertyNate Olp (vocals, bass), Dustin Boltjes (drums), Scott Wilson (guitar), and Ben Parrish (guitar) — they’ve given us a new record that DGR calls “a constant circle pit”, “purpose built for moshing”. He concluded his review this way: Continue reading »

Jul 042022

Ludicra at NWTF – photo by Islander-NCS

This past Saturday night the fourth edition of Northwest Terror Fest came to a glorious close. NCS has sponsored the fest since the beginning, and some of our staff have worked the fest from the beginning as well. This most recent one was, in a word, fantastic. At least from our perspective, it ran like a well-oiled machine, and it seemed like everyone there, from the bands to the audience to the venues’ staffs, enjoyed the hell out of themselves.

There were dozens of highlights. The best of all was the spectacular reunion performance by Ludicra, who headlined the first night, but all the bands fired on all cylinders, and the biggest crowd we’ve ever had at NWTF had great energy.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but the big crew of festival volunteers who worked the event were left both elated and exhausted, including those of us from NCS. We basically had to shut down this site for the last few days, and it will take a little while for us to get back in motoring gear again. Continue reading »

Jul 042022

The signs are all there: The grotesquely macabre cover art. The oozing band logo. Song titles like “Wrapped In Entrails”, “”Intricate Dissection”, “In Filth and Pain”, and “Haunted Visions of Sick Depravities” (the song you’re about to here), and of course the band’s name itself — Fleshrot. One might add the photo of these faceless hulking Texans, which looks like someone found a lost tribe of Neanderthals and passed out band shirts, just before being clubbed to death.

These are all signs of devotion, a devotion to death metal of a particularly noxious and sadistically eviscerating variety, a fanatical reveling in excesses of violence, degradation, and horror. The signs are borne out by the music itself, captured in seven body-mauling, mind-mangling tracks which together make up Fleshrot‘s debut album Unburied Corpse, which will be co-released at the onset of August by Me Saco Un Ojo and Desert Wastelands Productions. Continue reading »

Jul 012022

Recommended for fans of: Black Metal, Dark Jazz, Neo-Noir soundscapes

Romania’s Katharos XIII are a band I’ve been wanting to cover here for quite a while.

But, as you might have guessed already (especially if you’ve glanced at the “Recommended for fans of…” section above) they’re not the easiest band to write about, as their diverse yet distinctive sound is hard to compare to other bands.

Sure, I’d say fans of White Ward‘s sax-infused savagery or Deadspace‘s anguished extremity will most likely find a lot to appreciate here, and the doomy ambience and dramatic clean vocals prevalent in their most recent work will surely appeal to fans of bands like Sinistro and SubRosa, but the fact is that Katharos XIII aren’t easy to put into a box… and that’s a big part of what makes them so good.

Continue reading »

Jun 302022

The fourth installment of Northwest Terror Fest begins today (Thursday) in Seattle and runs through Saturday night. Three of us here at NCSAndy Synn, DGR, and myself (islander) — will be working the festival, which is an event we’ve helped produce since the first year,

This is going to be the best-attended installment of NWTF ever, which probably is in part a reaction to two years of covid screwing up everyone’s life, and obstructing the ability of NWTF to proceed safely. We’re obviously not out of the woods yet, and the festival is requiring pro of vaccination to get into the venues, but people are obviously ravenous for this kind of thing to happen again.

As you can see, the line-up is also great — though some covid-produced last -minute changes aren’t reflected there, including Cryptic Slaughter having to drop and Midnight agreeing to step up and take their place at the literal last minute. Continue reading »

Jun 302022


(In late May Blood Harvest Records released the second album by the Indiana-based death metal band Obscene, and here we have an enthusiastic review of it by Todd Manning.)

It’s been a pleasure to watch Indianapolis-based death metal unit Obscene evolve from a scrappy and primal bunch of berzerkers on 2018’s Sermon to the Snake to the ruthless, well-oiled killing machine they are now. Their latest, From Dead Horizon…To Dead Horizon,  finds these guys in prime form, with the underground theirs for the taking.

From Dead Horizon…To Dead Horizon sees Obscene taking their foot off the accelerator a bit and leaning into more mid-tempo material. In some ways, it’s a bold move in a genre that favors the extremely slow or the extremely fast, but it pays off.

Continue reading »

Jun 292022


The new Orthodox album represents both a return to an earlier essence and also a step forward, with the former (perhaps paradoxically) making the latter possible.

Proceed (which is due for release tomorrow by Alone Records) is this Spanish band’s eighth album in an extensive discography that began with the 2006 debut, Gran Poder. In these last 16+ years they have let very few years go by without releasing something new, short or long, and have seen their star rise, to the point of playing festivals such as Hellfest, Roadburn, Supersonic, Amplifest, and Primavera Sound, opening for the likes of Voïvod, High On Fire, and Corrosion Of Conformity, and collaborating with artists as diverse as Julian Cope and flamenco dancer Israel Galván.

Along the way, however, the original trio became a duo after the departure of guitarist Ricardo Jiménez following the 2011 album Baal, which left bassist/vocalist Marco Serrato and drummer Borja Díaz to handle all recording and live performances since 2014. But Proceed represents Ricardo’s reunion with those two, and in that way, and others, it is a revisiting of the past — but still a formidable movement forward into uncharted waters, as you’ll understand when you hear our premiere stream of the album as a whole. Continue reading »