Jun 282022

It’s time to raise hell and horns, to get hearts hammering, heads pumping, and voices snarling. To do that, we’re bringing you a full stream of the fierce and feral debut album by the Tasmanian devils who call themselves Ironhawk. Fittingly named Ritual of the War Path, and fittingly emblazoned with battle-ax imagery, it’s set for imminent release on June 30th by Dying Victims Productions.

By way of quick introduction to the particular kind of punk/metal rampaging embraced by this trio (who made their start covering Motörhead songs), we’ll first share an excerpt from the PR material: “We hear the cavernous crunge of early Bathory, the sooty surge of early Sacrilege, the burning spirits of prime English Dogs, and definitely (and uniquely for this style) the epic landscapes of mid ‘80s Amebix across the album’s surprisingly dynamic 37 minutes”.

So that’s one kind of preview, but of course we have our own…. Continue reading »

Jun 282022


Four years have passed since Soul Dissolution released their last album, Stardust, a phenomenal achievement that still rings in the head with lasting power. Since then we’ve had the good fortune of two further releases by this Belgian atmospheric post-black metal band, the EPs named Nowhere and Winter Contemplations, both of them delivering two long-form tracks it was very easy to get lost in. And now Soul Dissolution are returning with an eagerly awaited new full-length.

The name of the new album is SORA (a Japanese word for “sky”), and it’s described as “a conceptual work about the sky and its many facets”. We’ll still have some anxious waiting to discover what all five of its tracks do with that expansive concept, because the release won’t come until September 30th (via the band’s own Viridian Flame Records). But we do have a powerful first sign in the song we’re helping the band reveal today. The title of the song is “The Absolving Tide“, and it comes with an official video. Continue reading »

Jun 272022


The title and lyrical themes of Tuscoma’s new album Gu-cci have little or nothing to do with the usual tropes of extreme metal. Anti-church tirades are missing, as are demonic invocations, troughs of gore, dank catacombs, the blaze of torches, or the brandishing of blades. They’re more poetic, more emotionally rooted, and never exactly spell things out.

Tuscoma‘s music on the new album is also itself unorthodox, bringing together elements from a range of genres, including black metal, post-metal, death metal, shoegaze, and hardcore. The results are monumentally heavy, powerfully turbulent, and emotionally fracturing. The songs become daunting, desolate, and deranged, coupled with rhythms that hit with concrete-splitting force. In other words, it’s not what you might expect from the album title or the lyrics.

Before elaborating on the sounds ourselves, we’ll begin by sharing a comment from Tuscoma bassist Craig Leahy: Continue reading »

Jun 272022


The Québec city band Sedimentum made their horrifying presence known within the most ghastly and gruesome realms of death metal through a pair of demos and a pair of splits released over the last three years, paving their way across subterranean plains of rotting corpses and crushed skulls toward a debut album that will soon be upon us. With the mouth-filling name of Suppuration Morphogénésiaque, it will be co-released by Me Saco Un Ojo Records and the Memento Mori label.

It’s hard to overstate just how stunningly destructive, barbarically crazed, and hideously foul this album is. Sedimentum use convulsive speed and overwhelming sonic power as their weapons — one of many weapons they bring to bear. With adrenaline-fueled execution they go fast. With corrosive distortion, a massive low end, and plundering percussive assaults, they brutally smash bones and ruthlessly scour the mind. With unnerving melodic ingredients they conjure nightmarish visions of cruelty and suffering.

It’s all electrifying, and it’s all unmistakably malignant. As proof, we offer a new album track appropriately named “Un Grotesque Panorama“. Continue reading »

Jun 272022

(Last Friday the distinctively named BongBongBeerWizards released a new album through Electric Valley Records, and today we bring you a review of it by the distinctively named fetusghost.)

We here at NCS, the editorial “we” that really means “me” of course, we love Bong Metal. The subgenre you didn’t know existed until you clicked on my Bong Metal Round-Up by accident. Maybe it doesn’t exist. Do any of us really? If existence is faker than the moon landing, well then at least we got riffs in the Matrix. Fat, juicy, keyboard and fuzzy bass enhanced riffs. Appropriately stoned metal. The anti-grindcore.

But we’re just talking about an opposite, not an enemy. If you’d like to go fast, Godspeed! But Satan and BongBongBeerWizards’ meditative, skull-rattling tones are gonna take it slow as hell.

Even the smoke clouds in their logo seem leisurely, but peel back the layers and you too can reach the interstitial zone of bliss that is often found in fellow bong metal (bong drone?) merchants like Bong and Bongripper. Continue reading »

Jun 262022


As predicted yesterday I shook myself like a wet dog, but I didn’t entirely clear my head. What has happened isn’t something that can be blinked away. But I did start listening again, focusing on furious music of different kinds to match my mood. Somewhere along the way, I became open to a change. It came gradually, as you’ll see for yourselves below. The fury’s not gone from my head, just tempered for a time.

Maybe you’ll get something out of this. It’s a big playlist, a baker’s dozen of tracks in all, some with videos, almost all of it new. Because it’s just a playlist, I’ve pulled some of the songs from records that have been released in their entirety. I hope you’ll find time to explore the other tracks on those, as I will.

P.S. No Shades of Black today. I’ve made the picks, but have run out of time. Maybe tomorrow…. Continue reading »

Jun 252022


Off and on all day, every day, I read the news of the world. Every day I come across reports that make me feel varying mixtures of sorrow, disgust, anger, and frustration (because there’s not a damned thing I can do about any of it). A person concerned for their mental health would get a clue and stop doing this. Why I continue, I don’t know.

Most days I still forge ahead with what I do for NCS without uttering a syllable about the news that happens to be upsetting me; I know that no one comes here to see me whine. But sometimes what happens in the outer world is so bad that it becomes very difficult for me to concentrate on music, so bad that music barely seems relevant, or no longer functions very well as an escape, much less a treatment for my mental turmoil. This is one of those days. Continue reading »

Jun 242022


We’re bringing you a helluva good song in this feature, one that helps herald the forthcoming arrival of Rotting Existence, a new record from Salt Lake City’s Suffocater. This is a group that only formed last summer, but they’ve wasted no time, releasing a self-titled debut EP last November and now following it with this album.

The band’s three members all played in punk and folk projects in the past, but they united within Suffocater as a way of channeling their passion for heavier music. They describe their style as “straightforward hardcore with brutal metal vocals,” taking influences from bands like Portrayal of Guilt, Eyehategod, and Genocide Pact.

But like most shorthand descriptions, that one doesn’t fully incorporate what you’ll hear in their music. You’ll get a better idea by checking out the song from the new release that we’re premiering today — “Empty Streets Continue reading »

Jun 242022

On September 15th of this year the Italian label Black Mass Prayers will release the striking debut album of Svart Vinter, an extreme metal band that combines the songwriting and instrumental talents of Luca Gagnoni and Emanuela Marino from Rome, and the terrifying vocals of Argentinian performer Noctem Aeternus.

Here at NCS we know of Gagnoni and Marino from their work in Veil of Conspiracy, whose latest album we premiered and praised here last year. There were “blackened” ingredients in that music, along with elements of doom and death metal, but in Svart Vinter‘s first full-length, Mist, they’ve indulged their black metal influences to a much greater degree.

Yet in Svart Vinter they continue to demonstrate, as they did through Veil of Conspiracy, the capacity to wholly immerse listeners in spellbinding (and shattering) music of great emotional power. That will become evident when you hear the song we’re premiering today, whose name is “Gale“. Continue reading »

Jun 242022


(Today is the day when Massacre Records releases a new album by the Swedish band Darkane, and to celebrate the occasion long-time NCS writer TheMadIsraeli has returned from a long hiatus with the following review.)

Metal, in its current form, from where I observe it, is dealing with an arms-race problem.  Specifically, a technicality problem.  Obviously, I’m not saying that technicality is bad, or compromises the music, or is indecipherable, but THERE IS a trend with modern bands toward what is straight-up a lack of capacity to write an actual song with twists, turns, peaks, valleys, crescendo and climax.

I find myself being kind of stuck between what feel like two extremes.  We’re dealing with the excessively technical to the detriment of everything else, while on the opposite end exists boring commercially line-straddling pseudo prog that barely qualifies under any semblance of the term or the philosophy of progressive style composition.

I had my phase of liking djent, and I certainly have my moments where I like Beneath The Massacre or Braindrill as much as anybody else, but as I’ve grown older I’ve realized the extreme metal that sits with me the best is a sort that has achieved this lunatic fringe, arguably near impossible, perfect symmetry of element and frame.  If you asked me to name my top ten bands of all time up to the point of writing this, without any form of hierarchy intended here, it’d be Byzantine, Meshuggah, Textures, Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Vader, Kreator, Sepultura, Dark Fortress, and last and most relevant, Darkane. Continue reading »