Jun 212021



Lo and behold, I had time this morning not only to prepare a round-up of new songs and videos but also (unlike the last few I’ve done) to add some completely unnecessary commentary. What you’ll find is a bit of this and a bit of that, with some well-known names and a couple you’ve possibly never heard of. Everything I chose today consists of advance songs from forthcoming records. And with that, let’s begin:


First in today’s collection is “Towers of the Night“. Packaged with a lyric video, it does indeed become towering. Initiated by rumbling and battering drums and by whining, wailing guitar harmonies that radiate anguish and despair, the song further includes sinister fanfares, doses of slashing and jolting savagery, and scalding snarls. The song also reveals a dreamlike yet menacing interlude and anthemic soloing that’s primed for arenas filled with headbangers (whenever such a thing is possible again). Quite a thrilling experience…. Continue reading »

Jun 212021


Without healthy doses of experimentation and evolution, metal (like all forms of music) would stagnate. And of course where innovation succeeds it can be especially exciting. But that doesn’t mean that bands who faithfully honor tradition are doomed to fail — far from it. It depends on how good they are at what they choose to emulate — on the strength of their songwriting prowess, their instrumental skill, and the authenticity of their spirit.

Which brings us to the Portuguese band Prayers of Sanity. This trio — bassist Carlos, guitarist André, and vocalist/drummer Tião — joined forces for the purpose of reminding everyone that ’80s thrash metal was still alive and kicking. They took their cues from such classic bands as Exodus, Nuclear Assault, and Testament, while charging their music with the raw intensity of punk and hardcore.

But while Prayers of Sanity devoted themselves to an old genre loaded with stand-out names and die-hard fans, their music is anything but stagnant. Even fans who’ve grown jaded about thrash (and that includes this writer) are going to have their eyes popped open by this group’s newest album (their fourth full-length), Doctrine of Misanthropy. It’s so riotously explosive (yet sharply executed), so vicious, and so immediately addictive, that it provides a huge thrill from beginning to end. And we are thrilled to let you hear all of it today in advance of its June 25 release by Rastilho Records. Continue reading »

Jun 212021


Let’s cut to the chase: Imagine filling a syringe with unadulterated adrenaline, sticking it straight into your carotid artery, and jamming the plunger down with as much force as you can muster. That’s the effect of listening to Deformatory’sBeyond the Abhorrence“.

Driven by the mad weaponry of drummer Neil Grandy‘s almost relentless double-kick barrage and the rabid monstrosity of Charlie Leduc‘s cavernous bellowing, the song is a non-stop attack of mind-mutilating, pulse-pumping savagery. Leduc unleashes a plethora of macabre riffs and mutated leads, creating a multitude of frightening yet electrifying sensations, none of which are connected to a sane mind. Continue reading »

Jun 212021


(TheMadIsraeli steps forward with this review of the latest album by Poland’s Terrordome.)

Terrordome is one of those bands I’d wish I’d known about sooner. They boast an impressively long career while going under the radar for a great many people. Around since 2007, the pissed off as fuck politically blackpilled Polish militants have been making some of the best crossover thrash in the entirety of the genre’s history, and I was somehow too ignorant and stupid to know of them.

I heard two singles off of today’s review subject, Straight Outta Smogtown, and was instantly hooked and felt the need to check out the rest of their output. I listened to the band’s first two records, We’ll Show You Mosh, Bitch! and Machete Justice and reveled in the fact I’d just discovered such a sick new band. I turned my attention after to Straight Outta Smogtown. Continue reading »

Jun 202021


Did you think there would be no SHADES OF BLACK today? If so, you were very nearly right. I had a repeat of the Friday-night/Saturday-morning experience which I reported in yesterday’s video roundup: going out with a big group of friends last night, staying up really late, overindulging intoxicants, and sleeping like a hibernating bear until very little was left of this morning. I nearly decided to just abandon this column for one Sunday. But the old NCS obsessive-compulsive disorder finally wouldn’t allow that.

So what did I hurriedly decide to do? I decided to pick three new songs off a giant sampler released on Friday by Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions. Continue reading »

Jun 192021


As America’s reopening progresses, yesterday my work place re-started the in-office, in-person Friday afternoon happy hour event that had been a weekly mainstay for decades… even though our workplace is still officially closed to the public and employees are not required to be there, but permitted to be there if they’re fully vaccinated. Some people have taken advantage of that permission, for various reasons. But even people who haven’t chosen to do that showed up for the happy hour party late yesterday. We miss each other, and we have missed this alcohol-fueled tradition.

I wasted no time in getting hammered, and didn’t make it back home until close to 11 p.m. I don’t feel terrible this morning, just a bit groggier than usual, but I did sleep in. So I’m late in getting to this roundup, with almost no time to do the usual searching around for new music to recommend. Fortunately, my NCS co-conspirator DGR did that for me. He recommended everything I’ve collected here, except for the first item, which I knew I wanted to feature anyway, and he knew I was already aware of it.

Because I’m so late getting this thing together, I’m again (mostly) dispensing with my usual commentary, links, and artwork. In a couple of instances I’ve included what DGR wrote in recommending the thing, and I did identify for you the record that’s the source of each song, plus the release info. As it happens, all of these selections arrived with videos. Continue reading »

Jun 182021


The NYC-based duo Stress Angel began carving their musical path with an eponymous death-thrashing debut demo last year, but it’s now evident just how determined they are to make their own way, because their debut album reveals a turn in the path they began to blaze with that 2020 release.

The music on Bursting Church is an exercise in blackened thrash — and as previewed by the accompanying press materials, it is indeed characterized by “contorted riffery, pitiless battery, shrill screams, and frantic execution”. But by contrast to other participants in the genre, for Stress Angel it’s not all about how viciously we can rip and how fast we can slash and burn. The music also reveals an almost idiosyncratic approach to riff-craft that gives the songs a changing emotional resonance and an overarching atmosphere that’s supernatural and unmistakably sinister — as you’ll discover through “Final Doom“, the song we’re premiering today in advance of the album’s co-release on July 2nd by Dying Victims Productions and Stygian Black Hand. Continue reading »

Jun 182021


In the midst of all the metallic extremity that usually froths, blisters, and batters us around here, we have found NONE. It is musical extremity of a different kind, one in which neofolk and ambient ingredients play a more prominent role (along with many other elements, including influences from black metal and industrial), but no less arresting than the more ear-ruining assaults that are our usual bread and butter.

The mastermind behind NONE is the California-based artist Nicholas Mendiola, and on his new album Interdimensional War Poetry (released on June 4) he becomes the host and the voice for the entity that his project is named for — “the deity of his creation and the eternal version of himself”. The lyrics of the songs are evocative but mysterious. Sometimes they seem like a personal journal, tracing a quest through time and space, and often seeming to raise more questions than answers.

The music on the album itself sounds like a quest. It twists and turns in unpredictable directions, and its altering moods and changing sounds make it an easy one to get lost in, even though it’s also the kind of often-frightening experience that will trouble your dreams. We have a very good example of that effect in the song that’s the subject of the video we’re premiering today — “Never Know“. Continue reading »

Jun 172021

(Andy Synn sticks his head above the parapet once more to let you all know about three of the best British albums of the last few months)

I honestly can’t remember the last time I did one of these “Best of British” articles. In fact, this might very well be the first one of 2021 (or, at least, the first one dedicated to full-length albums).

That’s not because these fair and fertile isles have suddenly gone barren – the new Osiah, for example, is a brutal, if not exactly boundary-pushing, slab of uber-aggressive Deathcore, while the debut record from Epiphanic Truth was/is a welcome shot of strangeness – but, for whatever reason, I’ve been finding myself more drawn towards artists and albums from beyond the borders of these green and “pleasant” lands.

Rest assured, however, I’ve still been keeping my ear to the ground, so to speak, and finally found the time (and the impetus) to write about three truly excellent examples of “The Best of British” in the form of the new albums from Atvm, Boss Keloid, and Code.

Continue reading »

Jun 172021


(Nathan Ferreira prepared the following introduction to our premiere of another song off the forthcoming debut album by the Turkish death metal band Diabolizer, due for release in early July by Everlasting Spew Records.)

I’m going to drop a name for you: Mustafa Gürcalioğlu.

If mentioning that name made the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you’ve probably already pre-ordered Khalkedonian Death and don’t need to read much more of this article. Good on you for knowing where to find the primo shit.

If that name inspired more confusion and curiosity than it did excitement, you’re exactly the person I wrote this for. To put it boldly, with the possible exception of Phil Tougas, there isn’t anyone else in the game right now who is as versatile and prolific while also maintaining a high quality standard for their music. Any new album from the four major projects he is involved in should be auto-buys (and the stuff he released with Burial Invocation is badass too!), and to make an even bolder claim, Diabolizer may be the best band of the bunch. Continue reading »