May 312017


To be drawn slowly to your death in a viscous pool of quicksand beneath a pitch-black sky, with no one to hear your screams, must be a terrifying experience. If an earthquake were happening at the same time, with an upheaval of stone smashing your sinking limbs beneath the surface while demons howl in your mind, that combination of experiences might resemble the sensations of this split.

The two violent sludge/doom bands who have joined forces in this outpouring of affliction come from opposite sides of the U.S., yet based on the music, they seem to be kindreds in spirit, bound together in a joint mission to reap the souls of their listeners. The bands are Black Urn and Shrine of the Serpent, and their split will be released on tape by Caligari Records on June 2nd. Continue reading »

May 312017


This is not, technically speaking, a true “premiere”, but it may function as such for those of you who haven’t already tumbled, heels up and head down, over the excellent debut album by Kashgar. By way of background:

Kashgar hail from Kyrgyzstan, a country in central Asia bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest, and China to the east. Last August they self-released their self-titled debut album, which we overlooked when it emerged, but were reminded of it by our Norwegian friend Gorger in one of his installments of Beneath the NCS Radar only last month.

Now, Kashgar is going to get a physical release by the Satanath Records sub-label Symbol Of Domination (Belarus) with Murdher Records (Italy) — to be precise, the release date is June 21st. And so today we’re bring you a stream of a track from the album named “Erlik“, along with two other track streams previously released by Symbol of Domination. Continue reading »

May 312017


The latest edition of Roadburn Festival took place at Tilburg, The Netherlands, on April 20-23, 2017, and L.A.-based photographer extraordinaire Levan TK was there to capture the performances on film.

We are fortunate to bring you some of his amazing photos, divided among the days of the festival, with his photos from the second day in this post. To see the photos from Day One, go here. Photos from the remainder of fest will be coming soon.

P.S. Levan was quick to get us these photos. The delay in sharing them is entirely the fault of our half-wit editor. Continue reading »

May 312017


(We present Andy Synn’s reflections on the just-completed 2017 edition of Maryland Deathfest.)


Oh MDF, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Well, maybe not literally. That would take a hell of a long time, and probably be intensely boring for everyone (myself included).

Instead, how about a few random musings and “hilarious” non-sequiturs from this year’s festival for your entertainment? How does that sound? Continue reading »

May 312017


That photo up there shows the sight that greeted my eyes on Monday night while waiting for my ferry boat home after returning to Seattle from Maryland Deathfest 2017, but it also accurately represents my glowing impressions of this year’s fest in Baltimore.

Like many, I was disappointed to learn that MDF would be “downscaling” this year, eliminating the Edison Lot venue and having all the shows indoors at Rams Head Live and Soundstage. I also saw some grumbling on the internet (imagine that! grumbling on the internet!) that the line-up wasn’t as strong as in many past years; on top of that, Nightbringer was a last-minute no-show because of an airport outage in the UK.

Despite those misgivings, my own strongly held view is that this edition of the festival was a rousing success. (Part 2 of this post can be found here.) Continue reading »

May 302017


As I began to make my way through the masterful new album by Italy’s long-running Horrid, I nearly didn’t make it past the second track, “Cursed Dunes”. It wanted to live in my head to the exclusion of all else. It pained me to stop repeating the song in order to finish the album. And then I had the same experience over and over again as I came to each new track before reaching the end of Beyond the Dark Border.

And how about the cover art for the album? It’s just as attention-grabbing as the music has proven to be. Credit to Skaðvaldur for its creation — and credit to Horrid for bringing us one of the year’s best death metal albums. We are very happy to present a full stream for you today in advance of its June 1 release by Dunkelheit Produktionen. Continue reading »

May 302017


I immediately recognized the distinctive handiwork of Luciana Nedelea on the cover of the new album by Dead Woman’s Ditch, Seo-Mere-Saetan, but only realized how well-chosen it was after hearing the bleak and blasted song we’re premiering from the album today. The song’s name is “We Are Forgiven“, but there’s no forgiveness in the music, unless perhaps it is the forgiveness that death brings to suffering.

The band’s name is no less interesting (and no less foreboding) than the artwork and the music. Dead Woman’s Ditch is the name given to the outer defense of an Iron Age earthworks in the Quantock Hills to the west of Bridgwater in Somerset, England. The band explain that the place earned its name in this way, though as you’ll see, its previous history seems to be just as shuddering: Continue reading »

May 302017


Being unfamiliar with the previous recordings of Agonia Black Vomit (aka Agonia Blackvomit), my expectations about the band’s new album Cosmosatanic Wisdom were shaped largely by the band’s name and by the phrase “raw antichristian black metal” used in passing to describe the band’s earliest work. Yet whatever stylistic markers may have branded this Italian project’s previous recordings, its sole creator’s musical explorations have led him along interesting pathways, with results that are much less easily classifiable.

Before today, two songs from Cosmosatanic Wisdom have been revealed, and I’ve included streams of them below, but we also have the premiere of a third one for you in advance of the album’s June 20 release by Satanath Records’ sub-label Symbol Of Domination (Belarus) and Murdher Records (Italy). This one is named “Parallel Descanting Visions“. Continue reading »

May 302017


(Greek writer John Sleepwalker of brings us this interview of Ministry guitarist Sin Quirin in advance of Ministry’s first appearance on stage in Greece on June 1.)


First of all, I’m glad I get the chance to speak with someone who was a part of the latest Ministry line-up, before the band split up in the late ’00s. I was fortunate enough to see you at Hellfest during the tour you did for The Last Sucker and what I’d want is to compare your live setting at that time with Ministry’s present stage show.

When I saw you, you were playing behind bars, as if you were inside of a cage. Do you present the same visual on your current tour?

No, no more fences! Thank god for our faces! Even though this fancy scenery looked cool, it often ended up falling on our faces. So, no fences this time around. Continue reading »

May 292017

Oranssi Pazuzu


As regular visitors will have noticed, we haven’t posted very much since last Wednesday. That was the day when three of us here at NCS and a group of other friends made our way to Baltimore for the 2017 edition of Maryland Deathfest — which turned out to be a blast once again, from the set by Baltimore’s Destroyer of Man that launched the pre-fest show straight through to the drum solo by Pete Sandoval that ended Terrorizer’s closing set at Soundstage last night.

In past years I’ve written a day-by-day recap of MDF, with photos and sometimes with videos, usually pulling those together on the morning after each day. This year I decided just to enjoy the event and not worry about writing it up while it was happening. Continue reading »