May 192018


(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn posed questions about lyrics to Simon Barr, vocalist of one of our own favorite bands, Dawn Ray’d.)

We’ve been fans of UK Black Metal three-piece Dawn Ray’d for a long time now, ever since we stumbled across their debut EP, A Thorn, A Blight (which I reviewed, eventually, a little under a year after it came out).

Mixing politics and passion, searing social activism and savage blackened invective, the band’s follow-up full-length, The Unlawful Assembly, quickly became one of the best-received and best-reviewed albums of last year (including here at NCS), which is why I’m pleased to have been able to corral the band’s vocalist (and occasional violinist) Simon Barr for this latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

May 182018


Within the more heartless and slaughtering corners of the extreme metal underground there has been a decades-long competition to reach the deepest, coldest caverns of devastation and despair, and to weaponize the horrors found within the crushing pressures of those abyssal chasms. The Belgian one-man death/doom band Gateway has been one of the more dedicated and successful combatants in that race to the bottom. Boundless Torture is Gateway’s latest offering, an EP that’s being digitally released today.

This is terrifying titanism, of the kind that spawns a reflexive cascade of metaphors from the more emotional and less analytical reviewers out there, such as yours truly. The sound is immense, dense, abrasive, blood-congealing, and (perhaps perversely) electrifying. Continue reading »

May 182018


Contact with the Entity is the debut EP by the Italian progressive death metal band Coexistence, and it’s an enormously impressive first foot forward, displaying the kind of song-writing assurance, creative exuberance, and striking performance skill that one would expect from a band much further into their career. We’re very happy to be the bearer of a full stream of the music today, in advance of its release on May 21st.

The EP consists of four tracks, including a brief but disturbing interlude after the head-spinning rush of the first two songs. And those first two tracks, as well as the last one, really are the kind of kaleidoscopic experiences that open eyes wide. All the performers are technically adept; the music is atmospherically rich and wonderfully dynamic; it’s compulsively physical; and it’s loaded with wide-ranging progressive flourishes that include ventures into jazz-fusion-like mind-bending. Continue reading »

May 182018


The Flesh don’t try to gild the lily in what they’re created through their debut EP, Dweller — or more accurately, gild the thorns and the meat cleavers.  From the putrescent, rotting abomination crafted by Mattias Frisk for the cover to the band’s proclamation that the songs were created “in praise of spiritual, physical and emotional erosion”, they put their motivations right up-front, without pretension: this is black-hearted, fury-pitched, bone-breaking music.

The members of this Dutch group come from the ranks of such other notable bands as Herder, Verwoed, and Blood Diamond. They allegedly joined forces after a night of heavy drinking; they drew the lyrics from themes that dwell on “the destructive drives of lust, disgust and (self)annihiliation”; they tracked these seven songs live; and they pulled no punches. Continue reading »

May 182018


Yesterday I exercised rare restraint and didn’t attend the annual Syttende Mai parade in Ballard, Washington, reportedly the largest celebration of Norway’s Constitution Day in the U.S. So, instead of doing what I’ve done in past years, i.e., getting pleasantly wasted in the company of hordes of actual and pretend descendants of Norwegian immigrants to the Pacific Northwest, I did what I try to do most nights: I crawled through the slag heap of the NCS in-box and scrolled the endless stream of my FB news feed looking for new music that might be worth sharing.

I added links to more than 20 new songs and videos to my ever-expanding list, most of those from albums or EPs that haven’t yet been released. That’s a sign of how much new metal is revealed every day, and that’s not counting stuff I omitted because I suspected it wouldn’t do anything for me. Then I started listening. Some nights that goes faster than you might think; if something doesn’t grab me pretty fast, I skip past it and move on.

Last night the first six songs I listened to are the first six songs you’ll find in this round-up, heard (and seen) in exactly this order (most of them are presented through music videos). And the last item here is an EP I heard right after those six. I never made it to the rest of the list. Obviously, all of this new music grabbed me — though in very different ways. Because it’s such a broad scattering of genre styles, I’ll be surprised if anyone else likes all of it as much as I do. But you might find at least one thing you like.


I really, really, really like how this Hungarian band have evolved over a career that’s now roughly 25 years old. On the occasion of their last album, 2012’s Eternal Recurrence, Natalie Zed’s review at Angry Metal Guy included some lines that I thought were astute in capturing the band’s accomplishments on that album: Continue reading »

May 172018


The German black metal band Firtan will soon be adding to a discography that already includes a well-received debut album (2014’s Niedergang) and two powerful EPs (2013’s Wogen der Trauer and the band’s most recent release, 2016’s Innenwelt). On July 13th, AOP Records will release Firtan’s second album, Okeanos — a title that brings to mind the Titan god of the great world-encircling sea.

The new album includes six substantial tracks, and today it’s our pleasure to bring you the premiere of its opening song, “Seegang“. Continue reading »

May 172018


The 1898 painting by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl that Construct of Lethe chose for their intense new album, Exiler, was an inspired selection. It depicts Hermes Necropompos on the banks of the Acheron, the “river of woe”, conducting the shades of the dead from the upper to the lower world and their rendezvous with the boatman Charon. You gaze upon this work, and you can imagine the beseeching cries of the newly dead, hoping for some reprieve from their fate, anguished at the thought of leaving the lives they knew. But the god inexorably walks on among them, perhaps not entirely immune to those chaotic cries of pain and terror as these souls see the boatman approach, but nevertheless determined to shepherd them to their eternal doom.

And like the painting (a complete version of which you can view here), the music of Exiler summons chaos, doom, terrible grandeur, and the eeriness of a subterranean realm terrifyingly different from the sunlit plane of existence in the world above. Or to put it more plainly, it’s a head-spinning brand of death metal that succeeds in creating ominous and otherworldly atmosphere while also putting megawatt jolts of power straight into your spine.

One riveting track from Exiler (“The Clot”) has already been revealed via Toilet Ov Hell, and we’ve got another one for you today in advance of the album’s release by Everlasting Spew on June 20th. Continue reading »

May 172018


(Greek writer John Sleepwalker returns  to NCS with an in-depth interview of Deathmaster, frontman of Italy’s DoomSword, shortly before their appearance at Greece’s Up The Hammers Festival. Themes in the interview span the band’s entire epic metal career, as well as the status of DoomSword’s work on a new record. A Greek version of this interview originally appeared at


DoomSword haven’t released a new album since The Eternal Battle (2011). A wait that has been quite long, I must say. When should we expect the new opus? Have you been writing/rehearsing any new material?

Hi John, I hope you are well. To your first question I can answer that I do not have a precise timeline for the release of a new album, but works are underway. The guys in Italy are rehearsing and I am continuing with the songwriting. Therefore, I expect that completing the album is a matter of months. As for the long absence: I had in fact an album ready (and enough ideas for 2 albums, I would say), but if you let compositions sit for a while, then when you go back to them, you may feel dissatisfied with what you had. It may be because your mind has evolved, or because you are not in the same mood and want to express other emotions on your next album. Either way, what you have is unsuitable. Continue reading »

May 162018


We’ve devoted significant attention over the years to the musical creations of Wyatt and Jerred Houseman through their band Helleborus, but the brothers Houseman have another project named Akhenaten, and it’s Akhenaten that’s the subject of the following premiere.

Through this project, the Housemans have drawn inspiration from the mythology and mysticism of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, interweaving exotic melodies into a framework of blackened death metal. The new Akhenaten album, Golden Serpent God, revisits these ancient deities and occult mysteries over the course of 11 tracks, and the one we bring you today in advance of the album’s May 31 release by the triumvirate of Satanath Records (Russia), Cimmerian Shade Recordings (USA), and Murdher Records (Italy) is named for the Mesopotamian goddess Erishkigal, queen of the underworld Irkalla and sister to Inanna, the goddess of heaven, whom she destroys (at least temporarily). Continue reading »

May 162018


On the first day of June, Music Fear Satan will release a new album by the formidable French Sludge Doom band Cult of Occult. Accurately entitled Anti Life, it is a single opus of soul-devouring music spanning more than 50 minutes. To facilitate the album’s release on vinyl, it has been “cut” into four segments, each of which is identified by letters that seem to be extracted and rearranged from the album’s title. This division of Anti Life into four parts enables us to bring you an excerpt from the record today. The segment you’re about to hear is identified as “NI” and is the second of the album’s four “tracks”.

This extract from Anti Life is skull-splitting in its power, torturous in its intensity, and pitch-black in its atmosphere of doom and destructiveness. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but it makes a deep and disturbing impression that can’t be ignored. Continue reading »