Jan 262021


Abigorum began as the solo project of Russian musician Aleksey Korolyov, who is also the owner of Satanath Records. Operating on his own, and drawing upon traditions of doom, black metal, and dark ambient music, he recorded a sequence of releases that included a collaboration with Cryostasium (2016’s Unholy Ghost Liturgy) and a split with Striborg (2018’s Spectral Shadows). After that he expanded the line-up of Abigorum with the addition of two German musicians — guitarist/vocalist Tino Thiele (from Wulfgar and Metamorph) and bassist Sandra Batsch — and together they completed a 2019 debut album named Exaltatus Mechanism.

Ms. Batsch subsequently departed, and now the remaining duo of Korolyov and Thiele have recorded a new Abigorum album named Vergessene Stille that’s set for release by a consortium of labels on April 13th. Today we present the premiere of its first advance track, “Erhebt eure mit Blut gefüllten Hörner“, which manages to create an experience that’s both hypnotizing and nightmarish, both hauntingly seductive and terrorizing. Continue reading »

Jan 262021


It has been a long time coming — a very long time — but on January 29th the Roman band Oceana will release their debut album The Pattern through Time To Kill Records. But it seems the time is right, even if the album is arriving 25 years after Oceana’s debut demo and EP, and the strength of the new album is such that fans of progressively inclined melodic death metal will be grateful the band did not die an early death.

Given the passage of so much time, all will be forgiven who are unfamiliar with the band. It was the brainchild of Massimiliano Pagliuso, who has been the guitarist for the Italian band Novembre throughout those same 25 years, and it was he who revived Oceana, bringing together original drummer Alessandro “Sancho” Marconcini and another old friend, Gianpaolo Caprino, as second guitarist.

How the rebirth happened, and the themes that inspired The Pattern, are subjects addressed by Massimiliano Pagliuso in an extensive statement that you will find below. What you will also find below is a full stream of the new album, preceded by a few reactions of our own. Continue reading »

Jan 262021


(We welcome a new contributor at NCS — Aleksha McLoughlin — who begins with a review of the new album by the revised Brazilian death/thrash band Nervosa, which was released on January 22nd by Napalm Records.)

April 2020 seemed like a death sentence for the female-fronted thrash/death metal band Nervosa. Guitarist and founding member Prika Amaral had the tough choice to make when it came to replacing their entire line-up. The result isn’t a resounding triumph, but it does enough to justify the band’s place at the fringe of female-fronted extreme metal.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way early on: Even when upgrading to a four-piece from their tried and tested original trio, Diva Satanica (Bloodhunter) simply lacks the vocal power of Fernanda Lira, and Mia Wallace’s bass lines are largely buried in the fairly mid-heavy mix.

“Venomous” opens the album as it means to go on. Guitars have a significant body; very much leaning into that old-school razor-thin tone and presence. We’re assaulted as listeners by a steady combination of bouncy thrash and proto-death guitar riffs that are catchy, but occasionally ring hollow. Continue reading »

Jan 262021


(In this interview Comrade Aleks talked with members of the Polish death/doom band Haunted Cenotaph, whose debut album was digitally released last fall and was released on tape by Redefining Darkness Records in December.)

I don’t remember how I found Haunted Cenotaph over a year ago. Back then they had just a raw self-titled EP with Lovecraftian death-doom from beyond the grave… But a year has passed and the quartet from Rzeszów returned with a debut full-length named Abyssal Menace, which is few levels higher than its predecessor.

Brewhammer (bass), Golem (guitars), Coffin Crawler (vocals), and Abyssal Conqueror (drums) present us quite an entertaining experience through straight old-school stuff with reverence towards Celtic Frost and Asphyx amongst others. Golem, with some help from Coffin Crawler, reveals the history behind Haunted Cenotaph‘s rising. Continue reading »

Jan 252021


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Norwegian band Dalit, which they released on January 15, 2021.)

Between my day job, writing for NCS, and various bits of ongoing band business, it’s going to be a busy week for me this week, so I’m not going to waste your time (or my own) with a lengthy preamble here.

Let’s just say, instead, that if you’ve ever wondered what a combination of Satyricon and Paradise Lost might sound like, well… you’re about to find out. Continue reading »

Jan 252021


The UK’s Twitch of the Death Nerve picked a great name for their band. Even though they borrowed it from the title of a 1971 horror movie filmed by Mario Bava, it still stands out. Once observed, it’s hard to forget. The same is true of their music, although it’s much more likely to produce explosive seizures than mere twitches.

Following two albums released in 2014 and last year (respectively, A New Code of Morality and A Resting Place for the Wrathful — the latter of which took the No. 1 spot on our friend Vonlughlio’s year-end list of 2020’s best brutal albums here at NCS), the band’s next decimating discharge will be a record named Beset By False Prophets, which is set for release by Comatose Music on March 12th, accompanied by  grotesque and attention-seizing artwork by Sandeep Karunakaran (Sanskarans).

The new album includes four brand new tracks as well as Twitch Of The Death Nerve’s complete live set from the Xxxapada Na Tromba festival which took place in Lisbon, Portugal in January 2020. What we have for you today is a premiere of one of those four new tracks — “The Wages Of Faith” . It hits like an injection of nitroglycerine straight into the neck. Continue reading »

Jan 252021


In a round-up yesterday I disclosed that I spent a lot of time on Saturday catching up with new music I was interested in hearing. I actually just scratched the surface, but still got submerged in a lot of metallic extremity. As palate cleansers, I sometimes gave my ears and my head a break by venturing into music I knew in advance wouldn’t be the usual bread and butter of NCS. From those off-the-beaten-path excursions I selected the following music to share with you.

I don’t mean to suggest that there’s no metal here at all, and a couple of the names will be well-known to NCS readers, but it’s still different. And you’ll also find that there is a lot of globe-hopping coming your way.


I can always recognize the music of Thy Catafalque when I hear it, regardless of which vocalist happens to be accompanying Tamás Kátai. It may have something to do with his guitar tunings and his use of rhythms, but mainly it’s rooted in his crafting of melodies. I wish I could confidently assert that the melodies are connected to the folk traditions of his Hungarian homeland, but I’m just assuming that, because I’m not a student of Hungarian folk music. To my untrained ears, all I can say is that the sounds are exotic to me, and both earthy and haunting. But really, those two adjectives just skim the surface, because across the breadth of Thy Catafalque‘s extraordinary discography, there are many other sensations as well. Continue reading »

Jan 242021


I may have bitten off more than you can chew in this collection of recommended black metal. It’s certainly more than I can masticate with adequate words. I’ve started with a collection of individual songs from forthcoming albums by five bands, and then followed that with a complete album and two full EPs. To make this manageable for me, if not for you, for the full releases I’ve only hinted at what you’ll find within them and then left you to browse for yourselves.


The first song in today’s collection, “The Beast Reborn“, is a teaser for the third album to be released by these Finnish Satanists (who dwell in Germany). It rips and ravages, batters and scampers, but soars in a way that’s both glorious and desperately beleaguered, and the trilling leads channel a heart-felt yearning that might seem at odds with the completely unhinged, flamethrowing vocals. Continue reading »

Jan 242021


We had a rare day with no posts yesterday. I spent most of my free time clawing through the hundreds of mostly un-read e-mails that had piled up in our in-box last week, and made a gigantic list of new music to check out, and then attempted to do the checking. I didn’t finish listening to everything because the list was so long. But of the new stuff I heard, the following collection kind of assembled itself.

I don’t think any of these bands require an introduction. All of their names are prominent. And all the songs until the last one have a pronounced old school death metal flavor. They’re also all heavy on the chugs, and the death metal tracks include uniformly ferocious vocals. Melvins obviously aren’t a death metal band, but their new song is also heavy on the chugs, and there’s also another reason why it fits in an “old school” round-up.

P.S. If you came here today expecting to find a SHADES OF BLACK column, be patient. It’s coming.


As mentioned above, there are a lot of powerhouse vocalists in this collection I’ve assembled, beginning with the inimitable Martin van Drunen (a lot of people do try to imitate him, and to be honest, some do so with some success, but there still ain’t nothing like the original). Continue reading »

Jan 222021


It’s been another one of those weeks when a smorgasbord of distractions (did you hear we inaugurated a new President?) prevented me from doing much more at NCS than write up the premieres I’d agreed to do. As the days rolled on I noticed dozens of new songs and videos that I’m anxious to check out. I haven’t gotten to most of them; I guess I know how I’ll be spending this weekend. But I did seize on a few of them, and from those I picked the three included in this quick Friday round-up.


Yes, I suppose you could accuse me of nepotism with this first pick, given that our own Andy Synn fronts the band in question. But I’m just so thrilled for him and his band that I honestly haven’t given a second thought to my decision to lead off with this new song and video. And it’s not just that the song and video are so good, it’s also that the video premiered on the day of an announcement that Beyond Grace had signed to Prosthetic Records for the release of their next album. Continue reading »