Nov 152018


This is the second part of a death-metal-oriented round-up of new music that I began earlier today (here); the ones here are more melodic than those in Part 1.

I’m still not quite finished with this death-leaning collection, and will try to deliver the final installment tomorrow. As mentioned in Part 1, I also have some new songs to recommend from other genres that I’ve discovered recently. Some of those will find their way into Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, and I might mention a few others on Saturday.


Black Frost is the new album by the German band Nailed To Obscurity (who traffic in doom-influenced melodic death metal), and their first on the Nuclear Blast label. To begin paving the way to its January 11th release, the band recently released a beautifully made video (credit to director/producer by Dirk Behlau) depicting the band’s performance of the title track. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


(Forging ahead with his multi-part effort to catch up on reviews of albums he has enjoyed before the year expires, DGR today reflects at length about the new album by Irreversible Mechanism, which was released in September by Blood Music.)

Speaking of building blocks and blueprints, we land here with an album where nearly every element of it can easily be traced back to its sources yet is executed so well that it might — from your writer’s standpoint — have stealthily grown on me enough to become one of my favorites of the year.

Immersion, the second album from the Belarus tech-death group Irreversible Mechanism, is starkly different from its predecessor, 2015’s Infinite Fields. It is also one whose DNA is so recognizable that it might as well be a Blade Runner-esque holographic projection high above a neon-lit city. Lying somewhere at an unholy intersection between the post-metal, recorded-in-a-hurricane leanings of Fallujah and the groove-precision of Rivers of Nihil, Immersion exists as a pretty solid example of how Irreversible Mechanism can dish out some monstrously hypnotic and dynamic records and make it seem so natural that it’s bound to spark some jealousy.

Immersion is also a record that is going be a very different experience for quite a few people who may be coming to the band hoping for the high-speed precision and everything-and-the-kitchen-sink method that they employed on Infinite Fields, because if Immersion is anything, it is certainly not that. Were it not for its near-constant all-out assault on the senses, Immersion would have a dreamlike quality to it, and at times it does manage to achieve just that. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


It seems a rarity to encounter underground metal whose conceptual focus is love, but that is indeed the subject of the second album by the Croatian band Internal Chronicles. Entitled Crimson Storm, it’s described by its principal member (who names himself NoOne) as “a metaphor for love, with all its beautiful, painful, incredible, awful, magical and violent dimensions that true love brings”, and also as “a statement against people who have given up or have decided that true love doesn’t exist”.

But if you’re expecting something lush, overtly romantic, sugary sweet, or naive, think again. At least as displayed on the song from the album we’re bringing you today through a lyric video, the music is a kind of blackened gothic doom that’s haunting, depressive, and wrenched with tension — though it has its moments of soulful, forlorn beauty as well. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


As usual, I have a long list of new songs to recommend. As sometimes happens, I found that a great many of them were different variants of death metal, and so I’ve resorted to the “Death Rituals” moniker for today’s round-up rather than “Seen and Heard” and will leave the songs of other genres to another day. I’ve also divided the group into multiple parts to make it easier for me to squeeze them into the slate of other posts we’ve planned for today. Not sure how many other parts there will be — because I haven’t written them yet!


The Finnish Festerday (named after a Carcass song) released three demos and a split from 1991 to 1992, then fell silent for 25 years (at least under that name) until finding their roar again in 2017 through the release of a split with Total Vomit Experience. Since then additional short releases have followed, and now the band’s first album, lihtallan, is set for discharge by Season of Mist on January 4th. Continue reading »

Nov 152018


(Comrade Aleks has brought us this revealing interview of Bungo Uchino of the Japanese death/doom band Coffins, who are now at work on an eagerly anticipated new album.)

Formed in 1996, this extreme death doom outfit from Japan has constantly spread violence and a blasphemous rumble under the command of Bungo Uchino, who’s now the only original member. Twenty-two years of violence and gore did not pass unnoticed, and Coffins continue to produce their wicked stuff. Though their latest full-length The Fleshland was released in 2013, since then the band have taken part in six split-albums and two EPs.

We’ve done an interview with Bungo, who knows no rest, and he has clarified the current situation around the band. Continue reading »

Nov 142018


When I saw the name of the song we’re presenting here, my mind flashed to the horrifying scene in the movie Hannibal where the mutilated Mason Verger is dumped into a pen of wild boars who proceed to eat him alive. And speaking of horrors, how about that cover art? And of course there’s the band’s name — Degragore — which perhaps was conceived as a union of degradation and gore.

Naturally, I did not expect the music would be nuanced, graceful, or uplifting — and it definitely is none of those things. Instead, as is abundantly evident from “Eaten By Pigs“, this Hungarian duo have dedicated themselves to a particularly grotesque and remorselessly brutalizing form of un-gilded anti-Christian death metal. Continue reading »

Nov 142018


Rauhnåcht is the solo project of Austrian musician Stefan Traunmüller, who has been a presence in many other projects over many years, including Golden Dawn, A Portrait of Flesh and Blood, and Wallachia. Although he began releasing music under the Rauhnåcht banner as far back as 2010, with two albums, two EPs, and a split with Sturmpercht recorded over the next four years, it was Rauhnåcht‘s wonderful 2017 split with Hanternoz and Tannöd, which we premiered, that first brought the artistry of Rauhnåcht to our attention.

That split, which was released by the underground French label Antiq Records, was an hour-long concept recording about the legends of the Alps. It was not the first nor the last example of the ways in which the natural splendor of the Alpine peaks and valleys, through all their changing seasons, and the old cultures that have evolved in their presence, have inspired the music of Rauhnåcht. The most recent example is a new album named Unterm Gipfelthron, which will be released on December 7th by Debemur Morti Productions.

We’ve already written about the album’s opening track, “Zwischen den Jahren”, which at four-and-a-half minutes is shortest of the album’s fives songs. The two that come last — “Ein Raunen aus vergess’ner Zeit” and “Winter zieht übers Land” — are long compositions, at ten-and-a-half and more than 11 minutes, respectively. To provide alluring glimpses of what they’re capable of doing to your head and heart, DMP has prepared a medley of the music from those two tracks that we’re sharing with you today. Continue reading »

Nov 142018


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the debut album by Azusa, which will be released on November 16 via Solid State Records and Indie Recordings.)

Like many of you I was pretty giddy with excitement when the official Extol Facebook page began teasing some sort of new release earlier this year, only to feel a rather sharp sting of disappointment when it was revealed to be for a brand-new project named Azusa, rather than the hoped-for follow-up to the band’s excellent self-titled comeback album.

As it turns out, however, I shouldn’t have been counting my chickens quite so soon because, for all intents and purposes, Heavy Yoke pretty much IS a new Extol album. Continue reading »

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 in West Java) 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 »