Jan 282022

Dormant Ordeal


In an effort to make up for failing to post an installment of the list yesterday I’ve posted two today, this being the second. All the other installments are collected HERE. As you can see, I’ve also included four songs in this segment instead of the usual three. There ain’t much time left before I need to stop adding to the list, and I’m trying to get as much into it as I can before the clock runs out.

Speaking of which, I’m planning to post another installment on Saturday and one on Sunday, leading up to the last grouping on Monday. Pretty sure I’ll add four songs in each of these three remaining segments. Twelve more to go, and it’s going to be a struggle to figure out the last eight of them (I already know what I’m doing tomorrow).


It should come as no surprise to anyone who frequents NCS that there is (finally) a Dormant Ordeal track on this list. Most of us around here don’t agree on everything, but there was a pretty emphatic consensus among us that Dormant Ordeal’s The Grand Scheme of Things was one of the best albums of 2021. Continue reading »

Jan 282022


As we approach the end of 2022’s first month we bring you a full stream of one of the most relentlessly intense and unnerving albums that the new year has presented so far, The album is simply entitled X, and it’s the sophomore full-length by the Belarusian post-black metal band KRVVLA, which will be released on February 4th by Brucia Records.

Previously, the band had self-released one album and four EPs, but with X they have twisted their sound into even more harrowing directions, and have also added vocals for the first time, which only adds to the music’s terrorizing impact. As compared to what has come before, X is a more atmospheric work, but the atmosphere is one of utter calamity. The experience is like being engulfed almost non-stop in an overpowering maelstrom of dissonance and devastation — of rage, despair, oppression, and downfall. Continue reading »

Jan 282022

Temple of Dread


You may have noticed that I didn’t post one of these installments yesterday. What can I say? I write these things on a “day of” basis instead of the night before, and yesterday was just a fucked-up day. One of those days when one unexpected distraction after another slashed into my NCS time. To make up for that, my plan is to post two of these installments today, provided that the universe doesn’t throw any more knives at me.

I’m leaning into death metal with these three picks. I get a big kick out of every one of these songs, and listening to them one after the other is an even bigger kick. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a hell of a three-song rush. To check out the 49 songs that have preceded these on the list, go HERE.


I had the pleasure of reviewing and premiering a full stream of Temple of Dread‘s 2021 album Hades Unleashed, and quickly became addicted to the whole thing. It’s so packed with infectious songs that I thought the only way I could pick just one for this list would be to tape the track list to a wall, close my eyes, and throw a dart at it. Continue reading »

Jan 272022

(Andy Synn takes over SEEN AND HEARD to present a trio of tracks you should pay attention to.)

Sadly Islander has, as is not uncommon, been swamped by the pressures of his day job (being a world-class rocket-sled racer is a high pressure career after all) so it has fallen to me to pull something together for the end of the day.

Thankfully I had two of these recommendations already waiting in the chamber, with the third making an appearance as I was writing it, so there’s still more than enough metallic goodness to go around, even if this particular edition of “Seen and Heard” is a little more abbreviated than normal.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading »

Jan 272022


Vicious Knights‘ debut album — Alteration Through Possession — is exceedingly well-named. The band sound possessed, and their music will indeed create both chilling and exhilarating alterations in your mind.

They produce these effects by invoking the old spirits of early Kreator, Destruction, Possessed, and Sepultura, and creating both lyrical and musical themes that conjure ancient horrors. It takes little time at all to realize that this Greek trio are both formidable songwriters, with an almost preternatural talent for crafting hooks while establishing atmosphere, and top-shelf instrumentalists.

And thus it’s with great pleasure that today we present a full stream of the album in advance of its imminent January 28 release by Dying Victims Productions. Continue reading »

Jan 272022


(In this new interview Comrade Aleks had a conversation with John Suffering, vocalist/lyricist of the international doom/death band Forever Falling, and a member of Chalice of Suffering and Solemn Echoes.)

Forever Falling is a virtual project of Italian multi-instrumentlist Tullio Carleo (Gods of Sadness, Voyage Noir) and American vocalist John Suffering (Chalice of Suffering, Laceratory, Solemn Echoes). Tullio is into black and gothic doom stuff, as John registers deep guttural growls and does his best to make doom great again. They found a common ground in death-doom territories naturally, and this common interest led to the creation of Forever Falling and the recording of the album Suspended Over the Immanent.

John told us a few things about this project, as well as about other things he’s occupied with  nowadays. Continue reading »

Jan 262022


Welcome to the 16th installment of this list. To see what the first 15 parts include, go HERE.

Those of you who’ve been following the rollout of the list will have noticed that this one includes four songs, while all the others were limited to three. I’m already feeling the anxiety that comes from nearing the end of the list, knowing that I won’t get as many songs on it as I would wish, and today I had enough time to add one to the usual threesome.Doesn’t eliminate the anxiety but makes it a tad more bearable.

Musically, this Part is all over the musical map. There’s no stylistic union represented here. Just four infectious tunes from four very good 2021 releases. Continue reading »

Jan 262022

(Andy Synn sharpens his knives for this incisive review of the new album from Celeste, out Friday on Nuclear Blast)

We have all long been fans of France’s Celeste here at NCS – myself in particular, as I’ve been an avid follower and collector of their music ever since their first album – and we’re clearly not alone in that, as the band’s profile has risen, slowly but surely, with each new release, culminating in this, their “major” label debut.

Of course, changing labels hasn’t actually changed the band themselves, and you’ll be pleased to know that Assassine(s) is just as aggressive, atmospheric, and addictively abrasive as the rest of their catalogue.

It does, however, raise a familiar quandary… how exactly does one categorise a band like Celeste?

Looking back over their career thus far you can see that they’ve been called a lot of different things over the years – Black Metal, Post Hardcore, Blackened Sludge, Post Metal, and so forth – none of which are necessarily wrong, even if they’re not totally right either.

But, a rose by any other name, right? After all, they’re still the same band, no matter how they’re tagged, and it seems to me that what you choose to call them says a lot more about you, the listener, than it does about them.

And, if that’s the case, then it’ll be interesting to see exactly what this review says about me once I’ve done writing it.

Continue reading »

Jan 262022



(Gonzo returns with his first 2022 end-of-month group of recommended new releases.)

With the craze of Listmania 2021 now in our rearview mirrors and January already on its way out, this edition of my monthly roundup took me by complete surprise for a few reasons:

  1. The unstoppable storm of amazing music we saw in ’21 has not slowed down a single bit
  2. January by itself has blindsided me with a slew of unexpectedly awesome new releases
  3. I was going to do a “things I wish I included in my top 20 of ‘21” post, but the above reasons compelled me to change my plans.

I could’ve made this post way longer, but in the interests of not droning on into a rambling ocean of incoherent enthusiasm, here are five albums that should be on your radar as we jump into a new year of metal. Continue reading »

Jan 252022



In looking back at the songs I’ve included in this list so far (you can see all of them here), it occurred to me that I hadn’t paid much attention to doom. That realization influenced me in the choices I made for today’s installment, which gives glimpses of the genre’s night-blooming diversity, because part of my aim in doing this list is to provide snapshots of what the last year brought us in metal, across a swath of genres.

But of course the songs must be infectious to qualify, and these are, even if the contagion they bring us is heartbreak.


Skepticism is the first funeral doom band whose music I ever heard, long ago. It was a gripping discovery. Skepticism always draws my attention for that reason, but also because of the band’s remarkable consistency over a career that spans three decades. Their latest work, 2021’s Companion, was as powerful and immersive as I’ve always come to expect. As is often the case with stand-out albums, it was home to more than one song I wanted to put on this list, but alas, my self-imposed rule compelled me to pick only one. Continue reading »