Nov 142018


(DGR continues his Herculean, or perhaps Sisyphean, effort to catch up with reviews before the year-end LISTMANIA typhoon arrives, and today we have his extended thoughts about the new album by The Ocean, which was released by Metal Blade on November 2nd.)

The review nightmare continues on with two more massive releases that could not be more opposite from one another on the metal spectrum, yet are likely to completely wreck the shambles of a top year-end list that I had already written. The first of these two comes today, and the next one tomorrow

The back of the year of our Satan 2018 is proving to be quite bountiful, in a year that was already moving in massive fits-and-starts. I’m imagining the year-end lists are going to be hilariously like 2016’s bloodbath, in that everyone will have moved in so many different directions and found so much stuff to love that there will be fuck-all in terms of overlap. Yet, despite these predictions, the constant battle to “catch-up” and expose our dear NCS readers to newer music continues, and so I present to you the latest in a desperate album review exercise that now has at least five albums I still want to chat about waiting in the wings. Continue reading »

Nov 142018


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by OSMED from Jakarta, Indonesia, which was released this past weekend.)

It’s a Saturday and a great day to spend with the family and to plan for the small write-ups I have to do.  So in the midst of such planning I logged into FB and discovered that Brute Productions (a label based in Bangkok, Thailand) had released Territory of Warfare, the debut album by an Indonesian band (from Jakarta, west of Java Island) named OSMED. And so yours truly stopped what he was doing and went in to listen to the release on Bandcamp. Twenty-eight minutes later, I bought the CD on the spot.

I’ve been waiting for this debut since the band’s 2015 EP Ultimate of Realms Ruination, which was released via Endless Torture Records and ended up on my list of favorite EP’s of that year here at NCS. After that they released a promo, and then silence. When I read the news that the album had finally arrived, I was really excited to see what this effort would sound like. And after I finished listening to it, I decided to revisit the EP and the promo, as a way of seeing how the band’s sound had evolved, for better or worse. Continue reading »

Nov 132018


Even if Bloodsoaked Necrovoid had never recorded the kind of horrifying, necrotic death-doom that’s capable of turning your mind into a foul and rotting mess, they would still deserve an award for nightmarishly evocative creativity based on their song titles alone. Here are the names of the four tracks on their debut demo, which was released in July of this year:

1. Quintessence of the Colossal Cosmic Entity
2. Metaphysical Prolapse Through Purulent Detaching Nightmares
3. Dismal Catacombs of Eternal Flagellating Torment
4. Consuming Darkness of Void Towards Inconceivably Vast Insanity

Not to be outdone, they’ve concocted four more deliciously arcane titles for their second demo, which we’re premiering today in advance of its November 23 release by Caligari Records: Continue reading »

Nov 132018


Once again, like Pavlov’s dog at the sound of the bell, I’ve started slobbering to the massive mauling tones of HM-2-powered Swedish death metal done right. And you can look long and hard among the current purveyors of such old-school slaughtering and find damned few who do it as well as Feral.

These Swedish veterans have already made a deep mark (choked with congealing blood) within the lineage of this undying style of metallic extremity with their first two albums, Dragged To the Altar (2011) and Where Dead Dreams Dwell (2015), as well as a handful of shorter releases, and their third album — Flesh For Funerals Eternal (which again features the instantly memorable eye-gouging cover art of Costin Chioreanu) — shows early signs of at least equalling, if not surmounting, the horrid excellence of their previous work.

The first sign was a track named “Horrendous Sight” that debuted on the first day of this month, and today we have a further sign as we premiere “Black Coven Secrets“. Continue reading »

Nov 132018


(On November 16th Candlelight/Spinefarm will release the new (11th) album by the Japanese band Sigh, an album about madness and the blurring line between sanity and insanity, with 90% of the lyrics in Japanese and cover art by Eliran Kantor. What follows are Wil Cifer‘s thoughts about it.)

The term progressive metal can bring to mind some cringe-worthy images, among them Berklee dropouts making long sprawling songs with obtuse riffs written with one thing in mind — “How will this sound if I solo over it?“ What sets Sigh apart from such bands, aside from their black metal past, is that their sound actually progresses. It is not stagnant wanking. You know only to expect organized chaos when you go into one of their albums. So I should have not been surprised by the opening track of Heir To Despair (“Aletheia”) sounding like a space-age take on Jethro Tull as a metal band; it makes perfect sense. Continue reading »

Nov 132018


(The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which occurred on Sunday, inspired these thoughts by Andy Synn.)

Like the rest of you I’ve spent much of the last few days thinking about war, its causes and its costs, and its central role in human history, as Sunday marked the centenary of the end of WWI, one of the most devastating conflicts which humankind has ever endured.

To think that so many young men, many of them barely even men at all in truth, signed up to go off and fight in what was meant to be “the war to end all wars” is simply heartbreaking. To think that so many men and women lost their lives, and continue to do so even today, as part of a conflict which so many felt was truly all for “the greater good” is truly tragic.

Because the simple truth is that war is always a tragedy. And, thankfully, this is one thing which Remembrance Day here in the UK doesn’t forget. For while there are those who always seek to politicise the day’s events into a display of faux-patriotism to serve their own agendas, for the rest of us it remains a reminder to remember both the fallen and the survivors, and to acknowledge what they went through, and why it should never be allowed to happen again. Continue reading »

Nov 122018


Korpsesoturi began as the solo death metal project of Juha Ahlfors from Kouvola, Finland, first releasing demo tracks last year (which were eventually captured on tape by Caco-Daemon Records and on CD via Death In Pieces Records). Now Korpsesoturi is about to deliver an explosive debut album named Malus Corpus through Rotted Life Records. You won’t have to wait long for it — the release date is November 16th — and you won’t have to wait even that long to hear it, because we’re presenting a full stream today.

On this album Juha Ahlfors composed the music and performed vocals and bass, and he was joined by a pair of astonishingly good musicians — drummer Oskari Viljanen and guitarist Isto Jänönen (who was also responsible for acoustic and ambient parts). And “explosive” really is the right word for what the three of them have done here. Continue reading »

Nov 122018


We have been ardent followers of the changing musical explorations of Matron Thorn for many years, through his work under the names Ævangelist, Benighted In Sodom, and Death Fetishist, to name but a few of his many morphing projects. His latest endeavor takes the name Devil Worshipper, a project in which he is joined by Fr.A.A. (from Portugal’s Tod Huetet Uebel) and Erethe Arashiel as vocalists, with guest appearances by Kabukimono and Sebastian Montesi (of Auroch and Mitochondrion).

The debut album of Devil Worshipper, Music For the Endtimes, will be released on December 14th by I, Voidhanger Records. The title makes no attempt to conceal what you’ll experience, and if you’re familiar with Matron Thorn’s previous work, you might also guess that in this particular sonic vision, things won’t end with a whimper. As the label accurately describes, this is the sound of “reality crumbling”, “revealing a nauseating yet fascinating abstract dimension of sin, depravation and oblivion.” Continue reading »

Nov 122018


Sometimes when record labels use the “for fans of” format to recommend new records, they drop names of other, usually better-known, groups in ways that seem mystifying when you listen to the music. Such references may prove alluring, but they become disappointing or, even worse, deceptive, when you discover that what’s being promoted doesn’t measure up, or doesn’t even live in the same neighborhood as the reference points. But in the case of Cerebrum, the references by the Transcending Obscurity label seem spot-on.

In highlighting the music on this Greek band’s new album, Iridium, Transcending Obscurity recommends it to fans of mid-period Death, Cynic, Atheist, and Necrophagist. It is a form of technical death metal, but not the kind of “tech-death” that has become a kind of nuclear arms race in the modern scene, in which speed, agility, and ever-more-extravagant efforts to pack in notes and beats per second can lead to a mechanistic soullessness. Cerebrum also haven’t forgotten that what they’re creating is DEATH METAL, even if they mount their ferocious assaults with impressive intricacy and technical skill. Continue reading »

Nov 122018


Yesterday didn’t work out like I planned. Without going into the gory details, I was out all Saturday night — and I do mean all night. I didn’t go to sleep until about 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. By the time I woke up four hours later, it was too late to make a start on the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column (on top of which I felt like hell).

I’d also planned a two-part post because I’d collected so much black or blackened metal that I wanted to recommend, but with so much else to do for this Monday, that’s not going to happen. This will have to do for now.


After releasing a debut EP in 2014 (Zweifel) the Munich band Kultist turned their attention to work on an album. As they explained on November 2nd, their efforts to find a label willing to back the album failed, leaving them “marrowless” and “cast down”, and thus they released it themselves as a last resort. I can understand their frustrations — because Aurora is very, very good. Continue reading »