Jul 082023

I don’t work regular hours for my “day job” (in quotes because it can require night hours too, because it’s irregular). The upside is that it usually gives me time for NCS in the early part of the day when I do most of what I do around here. The downside is that it sometimes inserts itself unexpectedly, like on a Saturday morning of all fucking times, which is what happened to me today, never mind that it’s also my birthday (please hold your applause).

So, getting a late start on this roundup means it’s not as fulsome as it should be. I was able to manage more than two songs (which was the sum total of what yesterday’s roundup provided), but not many more. But they’re good ones!


Cryptopsy are one of those bands that I think all of the steady contributors to our site have enjoyed for a long time (at least I can speak for myself, DGR, and Mr. Synn). So the news of a new Cryptopsy album and song popped up in our secret discussions very quickly. So that’s where we’ll start… with the video for that new song, “In Abeyance” (especially because it gives us a chance to show off some more of Paolo Girardi‘s artwork at the top of the page).

With naught but one quick thud and one quick scream to announce it, high-speed mayhem ensues immediately, an effusion of wildly roiling riffage, machine-gun percussion, and mad-dog barking and bellowing. The riffing gets shrill, channeling fear and derangement, even as the bass menacingly heaves.

As you might expect, the band also throw in some pulverizing body-blows and jackhammer bursts for extra brutality, as well as swarming insectile fretwork, but in the main, this is a crazed freakout. Wouldn’t have it any other way. (The video is a freakout too, and probably not the kind of thing that’s healthy for epileptics to see.)

Cryptopsy‘s new album is named As Gomorrah Burns, and it will be out on September 8th via Nuclear Blast.





GridLink is another band all of us old-timers here at NCS can get behind. We haven’t heard from them in a while (more or less 9 years since the remarkable Longhena), and so it was quite exciting to see that they’re back, with a new 22-track album intriguingly named Coronet Juniper set for release on September 15th by Willowtip Records. The line-up on this one is Takafumi Matsubara (guitar), Jon Chang (vocals), Bryan Fajardo (drums), and new bassist Mauro Cordoba.

To help launch the run-up to September 15th they gave us the title track, a riot that doesn’t reach the minute-and-a-half mark but sends up a shitload of fireworks anyway. Of course, the drumming is lights-out and the shrieking is unhinged. The riffing ecstatically swirls and shines rather than slashes, albeit with some fast slugs here and there. Near the end the noise comes in exultant start-stop bursts of siren-like sound that make the experience even more alien and bewildering, like fanfares put straight into humanity’s brains from some suddenly-appearing orbital craft.





After two relatively short sharp shocks I thought about flipping the switch into something less crazed, but then thought, hell no! So I decided to follow it with Ringworm‘s new song and video ,”Thought Crimes“.

To be sure, this song is more punishingly groovesome than the first two tracks in today’s collection — Ringworm fire up the jackhammers and let them have their way with your spine. On the other hand, the guitars maniacally seer and slither, and Human Furnace continues earning his pseudonym with enraged, throat-splitting vocals that are scorching in their intensity. The song also includes a wild and thoroughly exhilarating guitar solo.

But still, if you happen to work a demolition site and need to bust up some big chunks of concrete, just set up some speakers and play this loud.

Ringworm‘s new album Seeing Through Fire is another Nuclear Blast release, set to detonate in full on August 18th.





Having run myself (and you) this far through the meatgrinder, I really wasn’t yet ready to stop, just in case there are any bones that haven’t been fractured and any bits of grey matter that haven’t yet been completely chewed up. What better way to finish the job than with a new EP by Toronto’s Phantom Lung.

I first discovered these maulers in the spring of this year, thanks to their Abhorrent Entity EP, which prompted me to spew out words such as these:

The EP is so ugly and unhinged, so combative and confrontational, so ruthless and so exhilarating, that I can’t help but love it, even if the attitude might be interpreted as “fuck off and die!”. It’s only the band’s second release, and I sure as hell hope there will be more, and soon.

The new one, which surfaced on July 3rd, is a two-track tirade named Abhorrent Entity ii: moribund. Those two tracks do their demolition work in under two minutes each. “Spiteful Substance” is indeed a spiteful substance, a fast-moving mangler with big pistons pumping that inflicts a mass of massive guitar distortion in which high-toned convulsions scream. Not to be outdone in the destruction department, the bass rumbles and roils the guts, the drums inflict a furious beating, and the vocal tandem of berserk screeching and monster roars magnify the music’s violent but head-hooking mayhem.

Speaking of not being outdone, the savagely corrosive riffing in “Atrocious Aura” is ravenous, feeding on flesh as if tomorrow will never come. But this one is a brute-force slugfest too, segmented by quick detonations like the impact of railguns discharged from on high. And to add to the facets of this brawler, the band inject frenetically swirling fretwork that makes the music simultaneously sound bleak and unearthly.

So, my springtime wish was granted — we do now have more from Phantom Lung, and what an electrifying (and devastating) follow-up it is. And so now I have a similar summertime wish: more please, and soon!




CLOUDS (Romania)

Surely, the demolition job has now been completed, and so it seemed like the right time to mourn all our fallen comrades. Clouds provides the soundtrack with their new single “Chasing Ghosts“, just released yesterday as “an emotional journey that speaks to the pain of betrayal and heartbreak”.

But let’s be clear, the plaintive piano melody that opens the song is soon joined by the battering of drums, the pounding of crushing chords, and a cavernous roar, a signifier that there are different sides to this lament. Shimmering ethereal melodies and grief-stricken singing underscore one side, along with the mesmerizing tones of a flute and craggy spoken words, but those gargantuan growls and depth-charge chords continue to underscore the other, more tormented side.

The ghosts that are being chased begin to evanesce in the song’s softest phase, where the music shimmers like mists, and afterward the song staggers forward as if crippled by a crushing weight, as the rest of the instrumentation creates a collage of tears, capped by a wailing guitar solo (joined by the flute) that magnificently pulls very hard on the heartstrings even as it casts a spell.



  1. Won’t hold the applause Islander…

    !!!! happy birthday !!!!

    Amazing dedication to the ethos and community you have been building through this site – you, Andy, DGR and all have continued to create something really special, even through the (sometimes big) bit of frustration I feel about extreme metal’s need to join *some* of it’s hardcore punk peers in engaging more maturely with gender.

    It’s how you stay committed and true to the values and reasons why you started this site in the first place. Integrity in practice. The world needs a lot more of it.

    Thank you, happy birthday, and gratitude for what you bring into the metal world.

    • Thank you Rodney! I always look forward to seeing your comments, and of course this one especially. Very grateful for your support, and for you continuing to politely nudge us in the right direction.

  2. Amen Rodney and well said. Best metal site and best writing on the subject by far. And happy birthday Islander!

  3. Happy birthday dude. You have 2 jobs, and one of them makes a lot of people smile. (well maybe they both do).

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