Oct 212020
 

 

In the first minutes of the opening song “Of Being“, the Athenian band Kevel lay before the listener a blueprint of what will become the foundation for the imposing and wondrous edifice of their new album Mutatis Mutandis, which we’re premiering today. In that opening, a riveting drum solo is joined by heavy groaning chords and shrill discordant arpeggios. In one fell swoop, the music hybridizes primal physical punch, dismal and depressive moods, and spine-tingling sensations of flaring madness.

The band’s ability to create teeth-on-edge tension and earth-quaking heaviness comes to the fore again and again over these 50 minutes. The nuanced yet persistently skull-cracking drum performance repeatedly threatens to steal the show, both amplifying the songs’ most intense moments and creating fascinating contrasts within all of the band’s other richly multi-faceted movements. The bass tone possesses the heft of granite but the nimbleness of larks. And the guitarists are highly adept at creating tension and turmoil.

But it turns out that all these riveting contributions really are just the foundation, and what Kevel have created around it is a gnarled, frightening, yet shining tower that reaches into the stars, almost as astonishing and awe-inspiring in its visions as it is shattering in its impact. Continue reading »

Oct 212020
 

 

(Here’s Gonzo’s imaginative review of the new album by Colorado’s Wayfarer, which was released last week by Profound Lore Records.)

In this writer’s humble opinion, there are two hallmarks of truly breathtaking music: 1) It gets better with every listen, and 2) it elucidates vivid imagery when listening to it with your eyes closed.

There are, of course, other criteria for evaluating the quality of music, but when talking about A Romance with Violence, the newest dust-covered output from Denver post-black metal crew Wayfarer, those two items are the perfect place to start. Continue reading »

Oct 212020
 

 

Those of you who are already familiar with the music of Feed Them Death will have a good idea of the sheer madness that will invade your mind when you listen to FTD’s new EP, For Our Culpable Dead, which is set for release by Brucia Records on November 2nd. Newcomers, however, should prepare for sonic shock and awe, the kind of ingenious yet unsettling experience that amalgamates bone-smashing violence, mind-boggling delirium, more twists and turns than an out-of-control roller-coaster ride, and an extreme disregard for mental or emotional comfort zones.

Feed Them Death‘s avant-garde formulations of death/grind have been boldly revealed through a 2017 EP that was then expanded into the debut album No Solution / Dissolution, released in 2018 by GrimmDistribution and Exalted Woe Records, and a second album released earlier this year by I, Voidhanger Records, Panopticism: Belong / Be Lost. Apparently ever restless, FTD’s soul creator Void could not let this year expire without one more brazen explosion of mind-mutilating inventiveness, and we present a further excerpt from the new EP today. Continue reading »

Oct 212020
 

 

(The Heretics Fork is a band of unknown location and anonymous membership who’ve taken a medieval torture device for their name. This is Vonlughlio’s review of their new album, which will be released by P2 on October 31st.)

This time around I have the opportunity to review the sophomore effort from The Heretics Fork entitled Opacis Doloris, set to be released on October 31st via P2.  Before I start to dive in I have to mentioned that their debut Tomentore was released two years ago (also on October 31st) and for me was one of the biggest surprises of 2018 (see review here), and subsequently made it into my list of top BDM releases of that year.

One big mystery is that no one knows who is involved, there is no social media presence, without a care in the world, and this just adds mystique to the project. They obviously prefer to let the music speak for itself, and make no compromises to their artistic vision. The scene will take care of promoting it by word of mouth, with no problem, since the music is that good. Continue reading »

Oct 202020
 


Daughter Chaos

 

(Andy Synn returns to NCS from the injured list and brings us reviews of three excellent EPs released in September or October of this year.)

Some of you may have noticed (or maybe you didn’t, I don’t know how much attention you’re all paying) that I haven’t published anything here at NCS for a little while.

The reason for this is that last weekend (not the one just gone, the one before that) I managed to do myself an injury – not the worst I’ve ever had, but significant enough to affect my life – that has basically kept me in pretty much constant pain, and prevented me from sleeping more than an hour or two at a time, ever since.

As a result I really haven’t been in any mental or physical shape to focus on my writing here, hence my absence over the last week or so.

Thankfully I’m slowly beginning to heal up (and have gained access to some better drugs) meaning I’m now finally capable of diving back into the massive backlog of bands/releases which has developed over the last few days/weeks/months, so expect to be hearing a lot more from me – about a lot of new releases – over the next several days.

And to start things off, here are three pretty damn killer EPs from three pretty damn killer bands. Continue reading »

Oct 202020
 

 

As of today, two songs from the new album by Horncrowned are out in the world, doing their best to burn it to cinders. The one that was released first is the title track to that album, Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer), and the second is the track we’re now premiering — “Die Judicii (Appalling Abomination)“.

Rex Exterminii (The Hand of the Opposer) is this Colombian black metal band’s fifth album in a near-20-year career. It will be released by Ketzer Records on November 20th. It will leave you shell-shocked, blistered, and breathless. Continue reading »

Oct 202020
 

 

Three weeks ago we premiered a song named “The Architect’s Temple” from a forthcoming album by the Ukrainian death metal band Hell:On. That album, Scythian Stamm, is Hell:On‘s sixth full-length in a career that began in 2005, and it’s set for release on November 1st. Today we have the pleasure of premiering another song from the album, which is presented through a video that includes the lyrics.

Those lyrics are taken from an English-language translation of a poem named “Заповіт” (Zapovit), which translates to “Testament”. The poem was first published in 1845 and written by Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, and political figure, as well as folklorist and ethnographer. According to this article, “His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language.” The article also reports that he was convicted in 1847 for promoting the independence of Ukraine from Russia and for ridiculing members of the Russian Imperial House. The translation of “Заповіт” used in the video was made by John Weir. Continue reading »

Oct 192020
 


Photo by Michael Alvarez

 

Psychosomatic have been slugging and slashing their way across the heavy metal landscape for more than 30 years, and with their seventh album released in late August of this year by Nefarious Industries they savagely banished any worry that all the years and miles might be slowing them down. With the feral energy of teenagers but the songwriting and performance skills of a band who’ve played over a thousand shows in North America, they put together a ripper of an album under the title of The Invisible Prison.

All the shows and all the recordings have honed the blades of Psychosomatic to an even sharper gleam, but the passing decades haven’t mellowed them in the slightest. And why would they? There are just as many reasons to be pissed-off now as there were in 1988 when these Sacramento thrashers first came together, and probably more. The rage and disgust certainly burn through in the full-tilt riot of “Personality Agenda“, the song that’s the subject of the video we’re premiering today. Continue reading »

Oct 192020
 

 

The pandemic brings physical and emotional misery on a vast scale, but as someone once said, life finds a way — including musical life. Creative people continue to create, perhaps as much to treat their own pandemic wounds as to offer a balm to others. And so, for example, 2020 has given birth to a fascinating musical project named Watashi Dake. Who knows, maybe in a more normal year it wouldn’t have happened.

The phrase is Japanese and means “Only Me” or “Just Myself”. But the musical project that took this name is the work of a Romanian artist, R.S., who dwells in Transylvaia rather than Japan. The phrase connects to the lyrical themes and inspirations of the music on the band’s first demo Feral, which speaks of failure, freedom, and struggle. “Feral,” we are told, ” is first and foremost a call to rebellion against the chains that imprison our true nature”. It’s thus not surprising that in addition to two original songs, the demo also includes a cover of Dead Kennedys‘ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”.

Feral was composed and recorded in the summer of 2020, and it will be released on October 25th by Inferna Profundus Records. Today we’re presenting a full stream of its three tracks. Continue reading »

Oct 192020
 

 

(Last Friday, the 16th of October, Nuclear Blast released Scriptures, the first Benediction album since 2008, with Dave Ingram back behind the mic. And it is thus very good timing that DJ Jet has brought us this interview with the man himself.)

Dave, you have such an extensive career in death metal stemming back to the golden ages of the genre, having been in Benediction, then Bolt Thrower, and many other bands since then, and now back in front of Benediction today. What were the early days like in Benediction and Bolt Thrower?

Hey there, my dear friend. Thanks so much for the interview!

Right, jumping straight into it I can say that “back in the day” there was no internet to help facilitate self-promotion. You really had to work for things and have patience, since snail mail took a while. There were way more phone calls back then. I can remember standing around inside the one rehearsal studio we were at in early 1993. We were playing pool, and awaiting a phone call from the record label (Nuclear Blast) to let them know we were going to re-sign with them. While we waited, in walked Robert Plant and asked if he could use the phone. We explained the situation and he fully understood, saying he would come back later. One of us (I forget who) said to him, “You were great in Whitesnake.” He left with a confused look on his face. That’s just one example of what life was like back then. It was always fun, and it still is today! Continue reading »