Jul 222018


Our friend HGD handled Part 1 of today’s SHADES OF BLACK installment, and he made some excellent picks that coincidentally were on my list, too, but his efforts gave me the time to focus on a few more.


The French one-man band Baume released a debut album named Les Années Décapitées in March, which I would have missed but for a recent recommendation from a trusted source. You can guess from the album’s cover art that this isn’t going to be the kind of black metal that brings Les Légions Noires to mind, and in fact black metal is only one of the ingredients that flow through the music that Juif Gaetan has created. Continue reading »

Jul 222018


EDITOR’S NOTE:  Roughly one week ago NCS patron HGD, who has been kind enough to send us recommendations of new music from time to time in the past, prepared a SEEN AND HEARD round-up of new music that we happily presented along with his own introductory comments. And today we’re doing it again, but this time HGD’s recommendations fall within the focus of our Sunday SHADES OF BLACK posts. Once again, the words of introduction are his. We’ll have a second SHADES OF BLACK post a bit later today.


Archemoron (translated as “beginning of death” from Ancient Greek) are a black metal band from Athens, Greece. They formed in 1999 as a thrash/heavy metal band under the name Ancestor before changing their style and eventually their name in 2008. Their third album, Year of the Harvester, was released on June 20 through Bowels of Noise. Continue reading »

Jul 222018


It’s Sunday, and yes we will have a SHADES OF BLACK post a bit later today (a two-parter), but first I thought I’d shoehorn in a trio of way-under-the-radar EPs that I’ve been enjoying recently, in an attempt to boost their radar profile.


The opening moments of “Carrion Mother” sound sort of like the equivalent of someone revving a big Harley right before it surges from a stop. It builds anticipation, and then pays off viciously. The song becomes a malicious thrashing romp with bursts of nasty braying melody and a very nasty acid snarler behind the mic, too. It gets your own internal pistons going hard as it thunders down the highway, throwing off sparks and trailing flames. Continue reading »

Jul 212018


(Lyricist, guitarist, and co-vocalist Dan Barter of the Scottish band Dvne is the subject of this week’s edition of Andy Synn’s Waxing Lyrical series.)

The phenomenal Asheran, by Edinburgh Prog-Metal quartet Dvne, was, without doubt, one of the best, brightest, and most brilliant albums of 2017 (I even said so in my review), and the fact that it didn’t feature in more EOTY lists is perhaps the greatest injustice of the last decade…

All joking aside, it really is a fantastic piece of work, and one which immediately marked the group as one of the major up-and-comers of the UK scene.

So, in the hope of bringing the band’s music to a wider audience, and with the aim of learning more about the in-depth sci-fi concept(s) behind their sound, we’re pleased to publish this detailed feature from the band’s guitarist/co-vocalist Dan Barter for your edification and enjoyment. Continue reading »

Jul 202018


I really wanted to end this week with a big fat juicy round-up, overstuffed with new songs and videos that I’ve latched onto over the past week but couldn’t cram into other round-ups over the last two days. Alas, I’ve run out of time. But rather than just scuttle morosely out of sight, head down and small tears dribbling down my cheeks, I thought I’d at least give you a couple of quick hits.


Today the Irish band Senzar, which rose from the ashes of Coldwar and embraced a name reportedly based upon the works of different philosophers, including Ernst Cassirer and Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky, released their first EP, which has their name on it but has no title, through Hostile Media.

After seeing a press release I had made a note a few days ago to check out a new video the band had released, but it wasn’t until receiving encouragement from starkweather’s Rennie today that I did so, and then moved from there to the EP as a whole. Continue reading »

Jul 202018


After releasing a 2017 demo and a pair of 2018 splits on the Blood Harvest label (with Desekryptor and Ossuarium), the Los Angeles-based death metal trio Draghkar are now just one week away from the release of a new EP, appropriately named The Endless Howling Abyss. It’s a four-track effort that will be available digitally, with a CD release by Craneo Negro Records and a cassette tape release by Nameless Grave Records, but we’re giving you a chance to stream the EP today.

While Draghkar’s first release spawned references to old school, cavernous death metal in a kindred spirit to such modern practitioners as Grave Miasma and Tomb Mold, the new EP is a more violent and hard-charging affair that draws influence from early Greek black and death metal, as well as the likes of such other old-school progenitors as Molested and Mercyful Fate. The music on this outing displays a kind of wild, ecstatic savagery, with a feverishness that matches its cruelty. Continue reading »

Jul 202018


The second annual installment of Austin Terror Fest took place in the heart of Texas on June 15-17, 2018, proudly co-sponsored by NCS. It featured performances by 30 bands from around the U.S. (and outside it). It was a great event, and we’re already anxious for ATF 2019 (and yes, work is already under way to present the third edition of the festival next year). We were very fortunate that New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor was there to document the fest through her lenses, and to share her photos with us so that we, in turn, can share them with you.

On Wednesday we presented photos from the first day of the festival, and today the focus is on the performances that took place on the second day, with sets by a dozen bands alternating between indoor and outdoor stages at Barracuda in Austin. And without further ado, here’s our selection from the many great images that Teddie captured during these performances: Continue reading »

Jul 192018


Frank Owen Gorey is not a well person. Frank Lloyd Blight is not a well person either. Physical illness provided the genesis for their collaboration. Mental illness has kept it going.

There must be swamps in Southern Rhode Island, where these two live. I wouldn’t know. Maybe it was only the basement where F.O. Gorey was quarantined with a fever in 2014 that was swampy. We’re told that when the fever broke after days of misery, spasmodic riffs recorded in bouts of febrile dementia were left behind, and the fractured, worm-riddled foundations of Blight House had been laid, the cracked edifice thereafter completed with F.L. Blight’s assistance.

They self-released a self-titled EP of nasty, grinding death metal, but that didn’t purge the festering freakishness to which they’d given free reign. And so now there’s a new Blight House album, Summer Camp Sex Party Massacre, which will be released by Nefarious Industries on Friday, August 3rd. For fear of what might happen to us if we said no, we agreed to premiere a song from it named “Immaculate Rejection“. Continue reading »

Jul 192018


Continuing where I left off in Part 1 of today’s round-up (and I do plan on yet another round-up tomorrow, by the way), I’ve selected four more tracks that really can’t be grouped in any kind of logical order, and there’s really almost nothing that any of the songs have in common other than their appeal to yours truly. I’ve again kind of up-ended my usual tendency to move from better-known names to lesser-known names.


This Delaware band is certainly better-known than they used to be, due in part to 20 Buck Spin’s release of Excavated For Evisceration earlier this year, which compiled the band’s non-LP material in one place, but they still need to become a lot better-known because THEY’RE SO GOOD! I have a feeling that will happen when the same label releases their new album on September 28th. Continue reading »

Jul 192018


Well, my fine fiends, yesterday was a very interesting day (and no, I’m not talking about the bizarro-world mind-fuck of American politics at its zenith of gob-smacking grotesquery). I’m talking about the flood of new metal, at least one wave of which proved to be crashingly controversial, and I’ll get to that.

Damned hard to figure out what to shovel into this round-up, which is a big reason why it’s so voluminous, but really not voluminous enough even though it comes in multiple parts today. As usual, I just let my mind percolate a bit, and trusted that whatever twisted thing lurks within it would make the right choices.


I have a tendency to organize these posts in order from bigger names to lesser names, and sometimes because my subconscious mentation perceives a certain pleasing flow from one to the next, but this time I’m starting with a song by Uniform because last night it pounced on me like a wolf appearing in Aisle 9 in the grocery store — about that surprising, and about that effective in triggering a fight or flight response. The video is a mind-fuck too. Continue reading »