May 252018
 

On their new album Alif the Algerian band Lelahell continue a conceptual narrative arc concerning the evolution of a character named Abderrahmane that has carried through their debut EP Al Intihar (2012) and their first album, Al Insane​.​.​. The (Re​)​Birth of Abderrahmane. The new album focuses on a variety of philosophical and spiritual subjects through the lense of ferocious, technically impressive death metal, accented by influences from the band’s homeland.

Alif will be released on June 15th by Metal Age Productions, and today it’s our pleasure to present a video for the album’s opening track, “Paramnesia“. Continue reading »

May 252018
 

 

The Campo Verano is a famous cemetery in Rome whose origins date back to the early 19th century, and includes catacombs that are far older. With the old burial site in mind, the Italian death/grind band Verano’s Dogs chose their name as a way of linking their music to death and to age-old traditions in which great hounds have guarded the land of the dead or ushered perished souls into the afterworld.

Consistent with this conception, Summoning The Hounds is the title of the band’s debut album, which will be released on June 15th by Metal Age Productions. Two singles have been released so far, and today we precent a lyric video for the third and last single prior to the album’s release. The name of this new advance track is “Deadly Whisper“. Continue reading »

May 242018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here, and Day 2 here. Continue reading »

May 242018
 

 

(In this post Andy Synn has combined reviews of new albums by a sextet of bands from both sides of the Atlantic.)

Phew, I’ve been trying to get this particular column written for quite a while now, but a cruel convergence of work, illness, and prepping for this year’s MDF meant that I’ve honestly been struggling to find the time to sit down and put finger to keyboard.

On the plus side, however, this has given me a little bit more time to absorb each album, and will hopefully result in a better overall product, so perhaps I/we shouldn’t complain too much.

Anyway, without further ado, here are six albums, all of them Black Metal, yet all subtly different and differentiated, originating from a variety of different locations around the globe (Greece, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and the USA), which I think are well worth your attention. Continue reading »

May 232018
 


airplane window view (it don’t look flat to me)

 

The little tracking map on my laptop says the airplane is somewhere over Wisconsin as I start writing this post. Supposedly, said airplane will land in Baltimore 2 house and 17 minutes from now. A few hours after that, I’ll start my Maryland Deathfest 2018 experience with a visit to the pre-fest show. And there will be a steady diet of metal from then through Sunday.

I’m not the only NCS slave who will be at MDF. Andy Synn and DGR will be there, too, along with assorted other miscreants (and a few saints) whom we are proud to call our friends. The likely outcome of this revelry is that the usual volume of NCS posts will dwindle to a trickle until next week… but it won’t disappear. Continue reading »

May 232018
 

 

(Latvian music writer Evita Hofmane re-joins us with the following interview of members of the Finnish death metal band Wrathrone, whose new album, Reflections of Torment, was released last month.)

Wrathrone strike hard with their sophomore album, fittingly titled Reflections of Torment. It’s safe to say that these Finnish death dealers have really found their rotten groove and sound on this bestial offering! Rumbling double guitars, low-grinding bass with blasting drums, topped with unearthly growls. Uncompromising cover art by Pierre Perichaud of Business for Satan depicts the horrors and defiled themes of the album perfectly!

Reflections of Torment was recorded during the autumn of 2017 at V. R. Studio in Turku and mixed/mastered at Wolfthrone Studios. It was released by Satanath Records with The Void Records in CD and digital formats in April 2018 and will be released by Cimmerian Shade Recordings in vinyl and tape formats in September 2018.

I dropped the band a line to find out more about it. Continue reading »

May 232018
 

 

The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here. Continue reading »

May 222018
 

 

Given our usual proclivities at this site, perhaps it’s best to begin by paying attention to the elephant in the room: Roughly 99% of the vocals on Ghostbound’s debut album All Is Phantom are clean. And there’s another elephant standing in our room, too: Metal is only one ingredient in the music, and not even the dominant one. Nevertheless, we’ve agreed to present the full streaming premiere of the record here today despite the fact that it goes well off our usual beaten paths — because it goes off our usual stamping grounds so very well, blazing its own trails in such remarkably vivid and memorable ways.

The band’s name was well-chosen, and so is the album’s title. The music wears its passionate and very human emotions right out on its extravagant, embroidered sleeves, to the point of becoming theatrical at times, but almost none of it sounds completely earthbound. Ghost-bound, indeed it is — edged with angst, shadowed by sorrow, haunted by death. And it’s also beautiful, inspiring,  even joyous. Continue reading »

May 222018
 

 

Not for the first time, I’m grateful we have Metal-Archives, because it provides evidence that this Tennessee band is the only active one on the planet with the name Oubliette. And why is that worth noting? Because Oubliette is one of the most metal band names I can think of.

It’s an old word, a French one, its earliest recorded use dating back to 1374. Although another old French word — donjon — seems to have been the source for the English word dungeon, the oubliette was the true dungeon, at least as that latter word has come to be understood. The donjon was instead a castle tower, or “keep”. The oubliette was the dark, claustrophobic hole underground, often accessed only by a trapdoor or hatchway from the room above, where doomed wretches were imprisoned or tortured, some of those cells so small that lying down or even turning around was impossible. In time, as we are told, oubliettes became symbols of hidden cruelty and tyrannical power. Continue reading »

May 222018
 

 

(Wil Cifer wrote the following review of the new three-track EP by the Finnish black metal band Curse Upon A Prayer, which will be released by Saturnal Records on June 21.)

Saturnal Records is releasing an EP from this Finnish band who couldn’t give less of a fuck about the polite society of metal. On The Three Woes they lash out at Islam. People have complained for the last decade that Christianity is too easy a target. So they are taking aim at another religion. Strip this theme away and it boils back down to one question… What are these guys doing different that we’ve not heard other black metal bands do a hundred times?

The first song (“Let Thy Kingdom Come”) doesn’t give a clear-cut answer. It seems to be their level of hateful aggression. The standard tools of the black metal trade are all in place. Thundering double-bass, blast beats, and tremolo-picked guitar do their part to make this black metal as fuck. Hints of melody haunt the sometimes thrash-influenced guitar riffs. The passion with which they throw themselves into their music compensates for any time when they might not be the most original band on the planet. Continue reading »