Feb 172024

Oh look! I made a round-up of new songs and videos! Make the motion for slapping me on the back from afar, or at least patting my pointy head.

Yeah, it’s been a long damned time since I pulled one of these things together. Beginning in late January I kept thinking my life would get back to normal after 6 or 7 weeks of being ruthlessly pounded by my day job, but the pounding unexpectedly continued.

I’m at the point of doubting everything, but now it really does seem like my long dark night of the soul has ended, and I can resume what passes for normal activity around the ruined halls of NCS.

Needless to say, I’ve missed so much new music that trying to catch up is hopeless. So today you’ll find a scattering of 9 mostly recent songs, most of which were presented by professionally made videos, that for different reasons I decided to check out and enjoyed in recent days.

For today’s collection I decided to focus exclusively on bigger names, some bigger than others, rather than indulge our usual penchant at NCS for shining lights on relative obscurities. Obscurities will rule in what I have in mind for tomorrow, when my thoughts turn to more charred metal.


ABORTED (Belgium)

To kick things off, here’s a new Aborted song. Doesn’t sound like a new Aborted song at first, but soon enough it discharges hyper-speed drumwork and swarms of ripping riffage, with all the vicious musical derangement augmented by a berserker vocal tandem, bursts of pile-driving brutality, and dismal melodies that soar. Some glorious guitar soloing in this one too (more fret-melting shred will be found later in today’s collection.) Good way to jump-start dead hearts out there, don’t you think?

The accompanying video is suitably hellish too.

Dreadbringer” is from a new album named Vault of Horrors. It will be released on March 15th by Nuclear Blast. Every song will include a guest vocalist. Ben Duerr from Shadow of Intent was the guest on this one.





There’s a lot of evil and barbaric music in today’s collection, but three of the choices include singing, and this is one of those. Lars A. Nedland‘s high-flying voice remains a marvel, and the epic pageantry of the music that surrounds it falls in line. One more entry today that includes some fantastic soloing, as well as doses of pulse-punching groove and glittering spells. Fantastic drumming too.

The animated clip created by visual artist Costin Chioreanu/Twilight13Media suits the music extremely well.

Moon” is from a new album named Fall. It will be released on February 23rd by Century Media.





After that Borknagar song this next sewer-dweller may jar your senses, or at least rot your brain (while it smashes your spine). Listening to the vocals, you can hear the sewage gurgling, and as the song gallops along, the riffage feels like the frothing of liquefied excrement. How nice for you! But the rot does set in as the pace slows and the ugly guitar heaves.

Spontaneous Rot” is from a new album named Sinister Oath. It will be released on March 29th by Relapse Records.





Glen Benton is up to his old tricks, both musically and conceptually, and certainly visually. I know he’s not really cutting the tongues out of these god-worshippers in this video, displaying his own tongue-wagging relish as he does so, but it still made me queasy to watch it.

As Benton voraciously growls and rabidly howls, the feverish throb of the riffing in the song is indeed demonic (and diabolically infectious), and this one’s home to yet another delirious solo for today’s collection.

Sever the Tongue” is from a new album named Banished By Sin. It will be released on April 26th by Reigning Phoenix Music.





The next video was directed by Lars Kristoffer Hormander. I’ve seen no details about how he made it, but it’s just fucking stunning to watch it, far and away the best and most horrifying video of the bunch today.

The song is damned good too, from the primal appeal of the infernally pulsating and weirdly woozy riffage to the gut-busting punch of the rhythms, from the intensity of Matt Pike‘s raw and ragged yowl to the tripped-out wildness of his extended soloing (the best solo of a fine bunch in today’s collection). The bubbling bass-lines are damned sweet too. And the experience is as infectious as chlamydia, so be sure to wear protection when you listen.

Burning Down” is from a new album named Cometh the Storm. It will be released on April 19th by MNRK Heavy.





As you probably know, “Goliath” is the title track from Kataklysm‘s latest album, which was released last August by Nuclear Blast. The next video re-presents the song using live performance video.

Goliath” is one of my go-to recent songs when I need something to jackhammer my pulse rate into life and give my skull a good rattling while a madman howls in my face. And it’s extra fun to see the live shots during this adrenaline-pumping tirade.





It’s not fair to make a song follow “Goliath“, but this next one by Midnight is up to the challenge. High-octane punk beats drive the engine, and the delirium in the sulfurous riffing and the soloing (yes, here’s another soloing spectacle) is high-octane stuff too, with equally crazed and equally devilish vocals adding spice to this boiling stew of sex juices.

Nuclear Savior” is from a new album named Hellish Expectations. It will be released on March 8th by Metal Blade.





In case you’ve forgotten, the next video reminds us that mermaids were never a sailor’s friend. Aaron Stainthorpe‘s wailing voice goes high and low, and sometimes sounds fragile, but that suits this tragic musical tale, and Shaun MacGowan‘s violin enhances the ache in this long lament. But before the doom really sets in and submerges your heart beneath a spell of misery, the song will get your heart jumping.

Thornwyck Hymn” is from a new album named A Mortal Binding. It will be released on April 19th by Nuclear Blast.




ULVER (Norway)

As I sometimes do, I thought I’d throw a curveball at you to conclude today’s collection.

In December Ulver released a new single (“Ghost Entry“) after a fairly extended break. About a week ago they released another one, “A City in the Skies“. I found this comment about it on their FB page:

“In case you missed it yesterday: a second (new) song. No further ado. We are on a roll. Much gratitude to Stian Westerhus, Ivar Thormodsæter and Anders Møller, for their extraordinary gifts and contributions. Words written before the last fall, in case anyone wonders. We are deeply disturbed by the violence of the world, but not surprised. We are on the road to destruction. With concern, Ulver xx”

As for the music, Ulver have stayed in the vein of synthpop/post-punk, and have made a song that’s both catchy and haunting, both bouncy and despairing, and the vocals are strong. So, not metal, but you weren’t really expecting that were you?

I’ve read that there’s a video for the song made by Ulver‘s long-time collaborator Justin Oakey, but I can’t find it.



  1. Welcome back from your day job exile, Islander! Killer line up of songs, too. Way to make a splendid reentry to the land of the dead! (Post-Covid return, I also have these spells of soul-crushing, around the clock work. Simply stupefying at times; worse than pre-Covid when it is bad. Hang in there!)

  2. The High on Fire video is made with AI… if I were to guess that is.

    • That would make sense. It’s so elaborate that making it in any other way probably would have been enormously expensive. But it still required fiendish conception and direction and, hell, I don’t know what else.

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