Jul 222019


On July 5th Transcending Obscurity Records released the second album by the Spanish death/doom band Hex, the defiant title of which is God Has No Name. In June we presented the premiere of the album’s second advance track, “All Those Lies That Dwells…”, and today it’s our pleasure to present an official music video for the album’s fifth track in the running order, “Where Gods Shall Not Reign“.

At the time of our previous premiere we observed that the musical approach of Hex is different from many bands who have been branded with the death/doom label. Rather than craggy, lumbering, and crushing, the music of Hex tends to be more animated, more exotic, and more surprising. The gloominess of doom does rear its head, albeit in unexpected ways, but Hex are just as liable to attack with frightening ferocity. The song that’s today’s focus reveals many facets of the band’s variable style of extremity — and the dark, beautifully made video is just as sinister and supernatural as elements of the music. Continue reading »

Jul 222019


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Serpent of Gnosis, which was released by 1126 Records on June 14th.)

Let’s be honest, there’s considerably more stigma than stardust surrounding the concept of the “supergroup” these days, due to most bands of this sort suffering from such a painful lack of anything resembling chemistry or creativity that they inevitably end up producing something far less than the sum of their parts.

There are exceptions to this though, and while the various members of Serpent of Gnosis may not be quite famous (or infamous) enough to truly call themselves a “supergroup”, musically speaking they’re still miles ahead of most of those who do. Continue reading »

Jul 222019


Dead Shell of Universe is a Serbian black metal project spawned more than a decade ago from the mind of V., whose other musical endeavors include All My Sins and Terrörhammer, as well as past participation in many other groups, including Kawir and Triumfall. The lone release by Dead Shell of Universe was a 2008, 34-minute EP named Tamo gde pupoljak vene… tamo je moje seme.

With All My Sins‘ debut album Pra sila – Vukov totem having been released last year, V. chose to reactivate Dead Shell of Universe after a decade of silence. Tamo gde pupoljak vene… tamo je moje seme has now been re-mastered, and it will be reissued on digipack CD by Death Knell Productions in the autumn of this year. This new edition will also include a brand new track recorded as a bonus for the new edition, with a five-man line-up that includes current or former members of such bands as Crimson Moon, Melechesh, and Obscured. The new track is “Ex Nihilo“, and it’s our pleasure to present it today. Continue reading »

Jul 222019


As forecast in Part 1 of this round-up (here), Part 2 goes in very different directions from the four songs I chose for the opening installment yesterday. Hopefully, you will find the variety appealing. I’ll forewarn you (though it’s really intended as an enticement) that despite the variety, it’s all pretty damned destructive.


Just a few hours down the highway from the NCS headquarters in the Seattle area is Portland, Oregon, home to many sources of potent metallic extremity, including Witch Vomit. Originally a two-man operation, the band eventually expanded, and the current quartet includes people who are current or former members of other Portland death- and black-metal decimators. Witch Vomit‘s new album, Buried Deep In A Bottomless Grave, will be released by 20 Buck Spin on August 30th. The great cover art is again the creation of Matt Stikker. Continue reading »

Jul 212019


I feel like I should apologize. I know that I’ve chosen a mountainous amount of music to recommend this week, more than any of you are likely to make time for today. Maybe (hopefully) you will bookmark  this page and return to it periodically as the week rolls on until you’ve at least sampled everything here. You might find something you’ll remember for months to come, and perhaps longer. And that, of course, is the reason why I stuffed this week’s column full to bursting, because I felt so strongly about all these releases that I couldn’t force myself to leave any of them on the cutting room floor.

I will also just get the credits out of the way in advance, because this is another collection of music I found as a result of recommendations by others. Most of those came from Rennie (starkweather), and one from Miloš; the two of them regularly complicate my choices for these columns, and other round-ups of new music as well. To justify my own existence I did find the first selection below on my own, and the last one (though I had help even there).


I would have been thrilled by the prospect of a new Finsterforst album, but am even more thrilled because of the two song excerpts that are now out in the world. They’re just excerpts, I guess because the full tracks are lengthy. “Fluch des Seins” is 11 minutes long, and “Ecce Homo” is… wait for it… 36 1/2 minutes long. Continue reading »

Jul 212019


We missed a day yesterday, dammit. I spent too much time listening and not enough time writing — so much time listening that I have many things I want to recommend across many heavy genres. I liked the way the following four tracks flowed together, so I’ve collected them here. The plan is to post a second installment of this round-up tomorrow. It goes in very different directions than this one. I’m not posting it today because I want to make time and room for the usual SHADES OF BLACK column, which will arrive soon(ish).


I spent an hour yesterday listening to Mizmor’s new album Cairn, which is how long it takes to proceed through the record’s four long tracks (they range from 10 minutes to 18 in length). It’s an emotionally overpowering experience, as stunning as the Mariusz Lewandowski painting (“Time Immemorial”) that Mizmor’s alter ego A.L.N. commissioned for the record. Of the album’s four tracks, the opener “Desert of Absurdity” is the first one out in the world, and the first one in today’s collection. Continue reading »

Jul 192019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new EP by the Spanish technical death metal band Wormed, which was released on July 19th by Season of Mist.)

Wormed are, without a doubt, one of the more ridiculous acts in Metal.

And I mean that entirely as a compliment.

Despite conventional wisdom that “less is more” the Spanish quartet have made a career out of their seemingly endless pursuit of ludicrous excess, with practically every song (and album) attempting to be faster, heavier, and louder – more beats per minute, more notes per second, more babbling sci-fi nonsense – than the one before it.

It’s perhaps ironic, then, to find that the band’s latest EP strongly suggests that sometimes less IS more, as these four tracks prove to be just the right bite-sized portion to allow both new and old listeners to get their fill of brutal techstravagance without feeling like their overstuffed brains are going to explode at the end of it. Continue reading »

Jul 192019


Before we move into the weekend I want to recommend two EPs. The first was released last night — I happened to notice the Bandcamp alert in my e-mail not long after it landed there, and bought it immediately. The second was released in May, but I overlooked it until a friend pointed me to it earlier this week — and it was love at first listen.


To any regular visitors at NCS my admiration (okay, “adoration” is probably more accurate) of Rebel Wizard‘s music is well-known. Having been so consistently enthusiastic about B. Nekrasov‘s previous releases under this moniker, I was predisposed to like this one (I’ve already confessed that I bought it before listening to it). Conceivably, I could have been disappointed, in which case you would not be reading these words. Obviously, however, I’m very happy with my impulsive purchase. Continue reading »

Jul 192019


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of a debut EP by the California technical death/grind band Marburg, which was released in a CD edition by Vargheist Records on July 5th.)

This time around I would like to talk about the band Marburg from Los Angeles, California. They are a Tech Death/Grind group that formed back in 2015 and digitally released their debut EP Polemicist in 2016. At some point they signed with the South Carolina label Vargheist Records, which has recently released the EP on CD.

Getting the chance to listen to their music, I did not have any idea how it would sound, and ohh boy, this turned out to be a pleasant surprise, to say the least. For me, the sound is natural, and all the instruments play a key role in delivering in-your-face grind with tech ingredients that make it even more enjoyable. The first song, “Fuck You”, is the perfect introduction, giving the listener a taste of the wild ride they are about to experience. Once I hit play, the energy in the music was unquestionable, and the talent showcased here is superb. Continue reading »

Jul 182019


I nearly finished this collection in time to post it yesterday before I had to turn to the job that pays me. The delay turned out to be fortuitous, because in the meantime I found something else I was excited to include. As usual, my aim in this selection is to showcase the variety of extreme metal, and to do some extravagant globe-trotting as well.


First up is a track named “Spears of Pestilence” from a new album by Portland’s Sempiternal Dusk, set for release by Dark Descent on September 27th. The album title is Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation, and it features cover art by D. Desecrator. Continue reading »