Sep 232021

(Andy Synn would like to remind you that while his country may be regressing, their music scene definitely isn’t)

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the news, the good ol’ UK is currently, well… fucked… especially when it comes to international relations and trade with other countries.

Thankfully, however, our homegrown music scene is as strong as it’s ever been, which is why I’m here today to recommend three recent releases which are well worth importing into your ears.

And I won’t even charge you anything for the privilege.

Continue reading »

Sep 232021


After releasing a debut demo (Red Messenger) in 2017 and a follow-up EP in 2019 (The Great Tribulation), the Canadian melodic death metal band Varius decided to really live the way their name sounds.

For their new EP Concordance (set for release on November 5th), diversity was the strategic goal. Each of the four tracks was primarily written by a different member of the band, and was then worked on by the band as a whole, lending a degree of consistency across the EP while also endeavoring to support the writer’s original vision. The result is that each track reveals different influences, including death metal, thrash, progressive, doom, and classic metal, augmented by some experimental twists.

What we have for you today is one of those four songs, and it’s full of dynamic surprises — a song that’s bombastic and brazen, savage and scintillating, mysterious and magnificent — and its name is “Concordance of the Legionfall“. Continue reading »

Sep 232021


The chain-wielding, blunt-instrument-bearing, masked marauders in Bloodmouth are bent on inflicting audio carnage. This Aussie band includes members of Canberra’s Ploughshare, Mental Cavity, and IEXIST, and through Bloodmouth they discharged their fury through a pulverizing amalgam of ’90s grindcore and death metal that pays homage to the likes of Dying Fetus, Pig Destroyer, Nasum, and Arkangel.

The band’s debut release is a vile and violent 20-minute scourge named Unmanned. It will be fully uncaged by Brilliant Emperor Records on November 19th, and today we’ve got one of its visceral assaults for you to check out, a track named “Copcrocalypse“. Continue reading »

Sep 232021


(Here we have Comrade Aleks‘ interview of one of the two men behind the Hungarian death metal band Rothadás, who have a highly anticipated debut album coming out next month.)

Coffinborn, Cryptworm, Mörbid Carnage, Necrosodomy, Tyrant Goatgaldrakona… Such names! Why would someone who already plays all forms of macabre’n’morbid metal start another band? But Tibor Hanyi did.

This man indeed has around six active bands and Rothadás (“rot” in Hungarian) is a relatively fresh addition to this list. Tibor (bass, guitars) alongside Lambert Lédeczy (drums, vocals) started Rothadás two years ago, and while none would expect it, the UK-based label Me Saco un Ojo Records has announced the band’s debut release Kopár hant​.​.​. az alvilág felé will be released on the 12th of October.

The choice of cover artwork (above) was damn effective, so why not check out this killer death-doom piece and its intoxicating and striking aroma of coffins, crypts, and death? Continue reading »

Sep 222021

As promised, here’s Part 2 of a round-up of new music and videos I began yesterday (here, in case you missed it). I’ll dispense with further introduction and just get right to it….

DAKHMA (Switzerland)

There have been a few Dakhma’s out in the world, but this one is the Swiss blackened death metal band, whose works I once characterized as “foul, filth-ridden, fiery, and ferocious music that channels the feeling of ancient, implacable evil… and utter devotion to its ends. As they say in the trade, not for the faint of heart”.

I chose those words in the context of their 2018 debut album, and now they have a second full-length on the way. Not being faint of heart (at least not when it comes to music), I eagerly partook of the new record’s first advance track — which is the way today’s round-up begins. Continue reading »

Sep 222021


Slovenia’s Hellsword came together a dozen years ago, dedicated to the sounds of first-wave black metal, drawing inspiration from the likes of Venom, Bathory, and Hellhammer. With two well-received EPs to their name — 2011’s Blasphemy Unchained and 2014’s Sounding the Seventh BellHellsword are now on the verge of launching their first full-length strike: On September 24th their debut album Cold Is The Grave will be discharged by Emanzipation Productions, and today we’ve got the premiere of all nine tracks.

Lyrically, the band deal with topics such as devil worship, the end of the world, death, desolation, mortality, and the absurdity of human existence. And with such happy thoughts in mind, and a take-no-prisoners attitude, Hellsword deliver 42+ minutes of blazing heavy metal hellfire. Continue reading »

Sep 222021


(This is Gonzo’s review of the new album by Finland’s Shadecrown, which was released on September 17th by Inverse Records.)

If you’re reading this, I’m not going to tell you anything new by saying Finland is home to some of the world’s darkest, heaviest, and most depressing music. From the booze-drenched misery of Sentenced to the heartbreaking brutality of Insomnium, Finland’s storied history of sonic angst has transcended time and continues to reinvent itself – even with its best-known export in Children of Bodom being no more.

Part of that continuous reinvention is the emergence of up-and-coming heavy hitters, and one band from the tiny village of Viitasaari has just released an album that will most assuredly add them to that list: Shadecrown. Continue reading »

Sep 212021


Even by my own standards I went a little crazy from Friday through Sunday. By my count, the posts I made on those days about new music and videos (including the Shades of Black column on Sunday) included recordings by 29 bands — more than any reasonable human (other than myself, because I’m unreasonable) could possibly have paid close attention to. Even having done that, I already have a huge list of other discoveries that I could begin launching today — but decided instead to scale things back to a somewhat more manageable size.

And so, this is a smaller handful of recommendations. Of course, it’s still eleven bands and divided into two Parts — I’m not going to change my spots that quickly! — but it could have been bigger. For example, though I’m beginning with what I consider “a big name”, in the hope that it will lure people into testing other music they might otherwise overlook, I did omit a few other big names — but you can find new songs and videos from Carcass, Pig Destroyer (covering a Perturbator song), Insomnium, and Full of Hell by clicking those links I just left you.

Part 2 will come tomorrow.


This band of Swedish stalwarts, whose line-up includes well-known members of At the Gates, have a second album on the horizon, led by the first song and video I’ve chosen today. On the one hand, it’s a hard-charging assault of pummeling, chainsawing Swe-death mayhem. On the other hand, when the band shift gears a bit, it sounds spooky, and then blares like sirens. If you need a quick fix of adrenaline, this is your prescription. Continue reading »

Sep 212021


For most of us, our introduction to the new album by Iskandr came through a video for the song “Bloeddraad“. It presents a fascinating collage of images, and the music is equally fascinating. It’s the sound of a sinister dream, an embroidery of acoustic chords and ringing guitars, of bestial snarls and flesh-flensing screams, of shimmering synths and eerie, mercurial arpeggios. It includes a slower, spellbinding break near the end that features choral vocals and a feeling of rising, ominous grandeur. And in addition to that, the song has tremendous visceral appeal, thanks to a simple but compelling drum rhythm, accented by bursts of rumbling double-bass.

That was an extremely tantalizing teaser for the new album Vergezicht, but its multi-faceted power was not surprising, given the high standards that this enigmatic Dutch duo had already established through two previous albums and two previous EPs. As tantalizing as “Bloeddraad” is, however, it doesn’t present a complete picture of the experiences that the entire album creates. Vergezicht is, after all, more than an hour long, and it’s that long because the scope of Iskandr’s musical ideas and techniques was wide-ranging. Nor does it represent simply another iteration of the stylistic ingredients of the album that preceded it.

Some sense of this is evident in press materials for the album, which make references to Bathory’s mid-era albums, King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King, the early works of both Enslaved and Hades, as well as Neurosis’ A Sun that Never Sets. Those references are tantalizing in themselves, but also don’t fully capture what Vergezicht presents — and indeed, becoming immersed in the music itself from beginning to end is the only sure way to understand it. Fortunately, you can do that now via the full streaming premiere of the album that we’re presenting in advance of its September 24 release by Eisenwald and Haeresis Noviomagi. Continue reading »

Sep 212021


(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of Dmitry Yakovlev, founder of the distinctive Russian black metal band Путь (Put’).)

Путь / Put’ translates as “Path” from the Russian, and despite having all their releases’ titles as well as texts written in Cyrillic, this band has found followers abroad and keep on getting positive feedback from fans of black metal. Formed in Pskov about eight years ago, Put’ went through a whole transformation from a one-man project to a full-size band who refuse to sit calmly and instead do their best in composing and recording new music as well as touring.

The band is known because (their label’s efforts!) of the noticeable Russian flavor they’ve managed to create with the full-length album Pesni Smerti / Песни Смерти / Songs of Death (2018) and smaller releases including the latest EP Judol’ Skorbi / ЮдольСкорби / Vale of Sorrow. Oh, and don’t forget there’s a real Nazgul king who performs vocals on their gigs and they have a real accordion player in the lineup!

Actually it’s good to see when bands do care about their image. And if you wonder what Put’ sing about, then you can check the EP’s lyrics on Bandcamp or Metal-Archives — the band have put English translation there. Usually their texts are poetic reflections of all things grim and macabre, and for example there’s the song ‘Palesmurtian Pasture’ dealing with the folklore of the Udmurt people.

Constant NCS followers know this band well, but we always do our best to dig out more for you. It took some time, but now we have it – an interview with the band’s founder Dmitry Yakovlev. Continue reading »