Nov 152019


Irradiatedarmamentalizedsulphurous…. Those are among the words scattered throughout the five mouth-filling titles of Brahmastrika’s debut demo, the name of which is itself an overflowing platter of suggestive syllables: Excarnastrial Commencination. Those words, combined with others of more obscure and mystical meaning, foretell a sonic immolation of bestial warnoise that seems to draw as much from inhuman demonism as from the human demonology of catastrophic atom-splitting.

We will present all of these ritualistic manifestations of ruination in due course, just days before the demo’s November 18 release by Dunkelheit Produktionen, but can’t resist the temptation to first share more of the band’s bamboozling linguistic formulations concerning their inspirations and the mutilating sensations of their music: Continue reading »

Nov 152019

Constellatia (photo by John Second)


(Andy Synn prepared this collection of reviews of six albums, some brand new and some from a bit earlier in the year.)

Phew… I am absolutely swamped at the moment. Writing, recording, practicing… oh, and that pesky day job… are all keeping me exceptionally busy. Plus I’m currently tackling a (thankfully) mild dose of the flu. All of which means I’m more behind than usual when it comes to reviewing new (and not so new) albums.

Still, I’m not going to let a little thing like a complete lack of time stop me from ending the week on my own terms, so here’s a handful of albums for you all to check out over the weekend. Continue reading »

Nov 152019


Once upon a time our site had a recurring feature called “Eye-Catchers”, in which we chose music to explore based solely on the records’ cover art. Had that feature not been laid to rest, Nightbearer’s debut album Tales Of Sorcery and Death would have been an obvious and undeniable choice. Seriously, just look at that stunning cover art by the great Juanjo Castellano Rosado!

But in the case of these German death-dealers, we also would have been very interested in their new album based on the strength of their first release, the 2018 EP Stories From Beyond (which is definitely worth tracking down (here) if you haven’t heard it). There’s a song on that EP named “Ferocious Sorcery”, and that title captures much of what makes the band’s sound so transfixing.

Nightbearer’s penchant for interweaving paranormal themes and necromantic artistry into their brand of Swedish-style chainsawing brutality is lavishly displayed on the new album, which draws from the realms of fantasy and horror for its lyrical themes, influenced by the writings of such masters as J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and Stephen King. And today we have a prime example in our premiere of the aptly named “Lycanthropic Death Squad“, in advance of the album’s release by Testimony Records on Friday the 13th of December. Continue reading »

Nov 152019


Over the course of a career that began in 2012, the UK band Horrified have released three albums and a pair of shorter releases. and have continually pushed themselves in new musical directions. As the follow-up to their last album, 2017’s Allure of the Fallen, they’ve recorded an eye-popping 30-minute EP named Sentinel that’s perhaps best characterized as progressive death metal, but isn’t strictly beholden to that genre label, or confined by any other single pigeon-hole. Inventive in its composition and technically remarkable in its execution, it’s an adventurous thrill-ride that’s full of surprises.

Sentinel will be released by Testimony Records on December 13th, and today we’re presenting the second single from the record (following a previously released song called “The Pessimist“, which we’re also streaming below). The title of this new one is “Forgotten Thrones“, and it’s a great example of this band’s formidable talents. Continue reading »

Nov 152019


(In this new interview Comrade Aleks presents a conversation with members of The Drowning, whose new album was released on November 8th by Transcending Obscurity Records.)

Over a sixteen-year career the Wales-based doom death crew The Drowning have recorded five full-length albums, and their most up-to-date work The Radiant Dark has been released by the now-famous Indian label Transcending Obscurity Records. The gentlemen honed their skills for years, and logically the new material demonstrates highly effective songwriting and powerful expressive delivery. The songs balance on a verge of old school doom death (leaning to the Paradise Lost doom sound) and more modern meaty and melodic death doom, so the album has already got its portion of praise.

I hope that the collaboration with Transcending Obscurity, and this interview with Mike Hitchen (guitars), Dicky (bass), and Matt Small (vocals), will help The Drowning reach a wider audience. Continue reading »

Nov 142019


My own exposure to the Italian pagan-inspired black metal band Nova came through their second album, 2017’s Soli Contro il Mondo (“alone standing against the world”), which we reviewed and premiered here, and which I proclaimed one of that year’s best and most exciting black metal albums.

It’s thus thrilling to know that these Venetians are returning with another album this year. Its title is Veniamo Dal Cielo (“we come from the sky”), and the same label (ATMF) that released the first two albums will be releasing this third one, too — on Friday the 13th of December. The title track from the album is already out in the world, and today we present a second one — “Noi mai Vinti” (“We, never defeated”). Continue reading »

Nov 142019


On January 6, 2020, the label alliance of Casus Belli Musica and Beverina will release the debut album of a mysterious atmospheric black metal band named Lesath. The album’s name is Sacred Ashes. It consists of six tracks, but really four songs, because two of those four are divided into two parts in the track list.

In September of this year, Lesath (and subsequently the two labels) released one of those two-part songs, “Like the Wind“, which we reviewed here. Today we present the second half of the other two-part song, “A New Life“, which like the first single is presented with its own artwork. Continue reading »

Nov 142019


(TheMadIsraeli wrote the following review of the new album by the Polish band Pedophile Priests, which was released on November 8th by Metal Scrap Records.)

I reviewed Anti-Catholic avant-garde/progressive death metal band Pedophile Priest’s excellent debut Dark Transgression Of The Soul back in 2016 and have been kind of in love with them ever since.  I feel like back then my review didn’t do this band proper justice.  I wholeheartedly believe Pedophile Priests are one of the best, most important bands in the modern death metal landscape.  Their combination of every style of death metal mixed with black metal mixed with a unique vocal style and the particular things they do with their genre bents results in a band I can 100% safely say NOBODY sounds like.  Nobody else even comes close as far as I’m aware (and I listen to a lot of fucking music). Continue reading »

Nov 132019


Just when I think, after many years of listening to mind-mauling assaults of war metal, that I’ve become inured to the violence, I come across something like the debut album of Trajeto de Cabra from British Columbia which causes my mouth to slowly drop open in astonishment and my eyes to glaze over in a thousand-yard stare. There might have been a bit of drool in evidence as well.

That album, aptly named Supreme Command of Satanic Will, will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on December 13th (yes, it’s a Friday the Thirteenth), and today we’ve got the premiere stream of a track called “Scythe of Pestilence“, which is a prime example the album’s stupefying impact. Continue reading »

Nov 132019

Katharos XIII


(In this article Andy Synn combines enthusiastic reviews of three 2019 albums that are departures from our normal musical fare.)

One of the oddest things I’ve observed recently is a surprising number of people bemoaning the fact that “underground sites/magazines don’t cover enough mainstream bands”.

This seems like an odd complaint to make. Not only do mainstream/popular bands already get more than enough attention/coverage, but choosing to read a site/zine which specialises in a certain area, only to then moan about that speciality, feels like an exercise in futility.

Thankfully this doesn’t really affect us here at NCS all that much, as while we do prefer to cover artists and albums that don’t necessarily get a lot of exposure elsewhere, we’re also not afraid to write about more mainstream or popular bands when we feel the occasion calls for it.

This also extends to writing about artists/albums whose work is an “exception to the rule” when it comes to our “no clean singing” policy (although, let’s be honest, that was always more of an in-joke than an actual edict), as while the three bands featured here today are far from “mainstream” they’re still all far more melodic, far more listenable, and far more laid-back than the majority of what we usually cover. Continue reading »