Aug 132020



(Andy Synn wrote the following compilation of reviews.)

It seems to me that, over the years, the constant cascade of new albums has swollen into a never-ending, unrelenting, flood, to the point where it often feels like we’re almost drowning in new releases.

The only way to cope, I’ve found, is to simply accept that you’re not going to be able to cover everything. There’s just not enough hours in the day to properly preview, review, analyse, and criticise, all of it, especially if you also want to try and maintain some general standards of quality and insight (which, let’s be honest, isn’t necessarily a concern for everyone…).

That being said, a bit of catch-up coverage never goes amiss, which is why I’m dedicating today’s article to four artists who each dropped their newest record – in one case with little prior warning – last Friday. Continue reading »

Aug 132020


We all have metal bands whom we consider good old friends, not because we’ve ever met or even communicated with their members but because we’ve lived with their music for such a long time, without ever being disappointed by their work, and often associating it with signal events and powerful moods in our own lives. And so when we “meet” them again through a new release, the feelings are akin to a happy reunion. For this writer, Aphonic Threnody are one of those bands — even though happiness is almost always a foreign concept in their music.

I’ve been following and writing about this funeral doom/death band since 2011 when I came across their debut EP First Funeral, and have closely tracked their movements ever since. Their newest work is a full-length named The Great Hatred that becomes the third album in their discography. It’s set for release by Transcending Obscurity Records on October 16, and we’re in the fortunate position of hosting the premiere of the album’s third advance track, “Drowning“. Continue reading »

Aug 132020


Abyssal Ascendant’s death metal is inspired by the Cthulhu mythos. Some bands who claim a similar Lovecraftian muse create music that’s turgid and murky, but Abyssal Ascendant fly like turbocharged bats, lacing the music with speedy riffs, writhing creepy melodies, and an abundance of machine-gun drumming. The vocals, as you might expect, are convincingly ravenous.”

Those are among the words we wrote here five years ago after encountering music from this French band’s debut album, Chronicles of the Doomed Worlds – Part. I: Enlightenment from Beyond, which was released by Dolorem Records with album art by Daniele Lupidi. And now, at last, Abyssal Ascendant are returning to our world from the realms of The Great Old Ones with their second album.

The new record is named Chronicles of the Doomed Worlds – Part. II : Deacons of Abhorrence, and it will be released by the same Dolorem Records on October 9th, again accompanied by the striking artistic handiwork of Daniele Lupidi. From that album, it’s our ghoulish pleasure to premiere a track named “Martyrs of Mordiggian“. Continue reading »

Aug 132020


It’s so great to see the vast assembled throng of NCS readers out there today. We have a question for you. How many of you would like to hear the actual voices of NCS writers instead of just reading them? Go ahead, raise your hands, and don’t be bashful!

OK, we see you. Yeah, the guy in the back row with the black shirt. No, the other black shirt. We were hoping for more than one hand, but whatever. You, sir, are going to get your wish!

You’re getting your wish because on Monday, August 17th, at 12 p.m. Pacific Time, 3 p.m. Eastern Time, UTC-08:00 for everyone who counts that way, three of our writers will appear as guest DJs at GIMME METAL in a two-hour show when we will not only spin tracks of our own choosing but also actually speak to you. Continue reading »

Aug 122020


In the southern part of Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas, lies Groom Lake, a desolate and lifeless salt flat. It’s a place that few people will see with their own eyes because it’s located within the mysterious Area 51 installation of the U.S. Air Force and used there as a runway for bombers… and other less familiar aircraft. “Groom Lake” is also the name of a song by the Missouri-based blackened death metal band Nevalra that we’re presenting today through a new video.

Groom Lake” was originally released as the closing track on Nevalra’s 2015 EP The Black Flame, which was followed in 2019 by the band’s debut album Conjure the Storm. Since the EP was first released, Nevalra have gone on to receive considerable acclaim in the metal press and to tour and perform in more than 20 countries. Now the band and their label M-Theory Audio have decided to digitally reissue The Black Flame, accompanied by an updated treatment of the original cover artwork by noted horror artist Brett Gray. Continue reading »

Aug 122020


The immediately recognizable handiwork of Paolo Girardi that graces the cover of Blackevil‘s new album creates august expectations for the music all by itself. But high expectations were already raised for those of us who’ve encountered this German trio’s past works — their 2016 debut EP Hail the Cult, their 2017 first album The Ceremonial Fire, or their 2018 split with Italy’s Witchunter (Witchevil Attack!).

We are happy to report that such high expectations will not be disappointed. To the contrary, as you’ll learn for yourselves through the song we’re premiering today, Blackevil have, if anything, exceeded expectations on their second album Forever Baptised in Eternal Fire, which will be released on September 25th by Dying Victims Productions. That song is the aptly titled “Lucifer’s Supremacy“. Continue reading »

Aug 122020


(This is Vonlughlio‘s review of the new album by the Czech band Perfecitizen, which was released on August 1st.)

It is time to write about a project that has been dear to me since I became a fan through the release of their 2011 demo. The band is Perfecitizen, formed after the demise of Alienation Mental (a band whose music I also loved).  In 2013 they released their debut album Through, a 33-minute blaster that to this day is among my favorite debuts from a brutal/grindcore band, showcasing a great level of musicianship from start to finish.

Two years later they released their sophomore effort Corten, which was a natural continuation of their first effort. The only gripe I had was how short it was, but the music was amazing and proved that the guys involved are great musicians who execute their vision with precision.  They continued to be independent, doing everything themselves (as they have continued to do) which is something I admire — and props to them for doing so (and other bands that do the same). Continue reading »

Aug 112020


The phrase “Danse Macabre” (sometimes also called the “Dance of Death”) is a very old one, with its roots in a medieval Europe decimated by the Black Plague and endless wars. In its most common imagery, the earliest of which dates to 1424, cavorting skeletons gleefully escort kings, knights, and commoners alike to their graves, leading them in a wild waltz that mocked the dismay of the fallen. Both satirical and cruel, the imagery seemed to convey, as one author wrote, that “regardless of status, wealth, or accomplishments in life, death comes for everyone”.

As you’re about to discover, that ancient phrase makes a very fitting title for the song we’re premiering off the forthcoming second album by the French hellraisers in Hexecutor. Entitled Beyond Any Human Conception of Knowledge, it will be released on September 25th by Dying Victims Productions. Continue reading »

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 »