Islander

Jan 162022
 

 

This weekend hasn’t been conducive to my NCS plans. I didn’t have time yesterday morning to post a round-up of new songs and videos, only time enough to share some artwork and news. During Saturday afternoon I plowed through a lot of new tracks and videos that mostly surfaced over the last week, and found a whopping 23 of them that I enjoyed to varying degrees.

Obviously, that’s way too many to post about, even for an OVERFLOWING STREAMS type of round-up. Some sifting was required. But sifting takes time, and for reasons I won’t bore you with it turns out that free time has been in very short supply this weekend. What to do?

Well, what I decided to do was just to say Fuck It and foist all 23 of those songs and videos upon you, with almost no commentary about the music and not even the usual links and artwork, just a small amount of info about the releases that include them. Even with that approach I’m dubious that I’ll get everything ready to go before I have to depart my computer for the rest of the day. So I alphabetized everything by band name and cut the group into two parts.

Part 2 might come tomorrow instead of later today. Sadly, I won’t have time for a SHADES OF BLACK column, though there is some black metal sprinkled through this giant collection, along with music across a big range of other sub-genres. Continue reading »

Jan 152022
 

 

I have a gigantic list of new songs and videos which appeared over the last week (or two) that I want to sift through. I had hoped to make selections for a round-up today, but got a very late start on the morning, and not long from now I’ve got to be at a virtual meeting for the job that pays the bills around here, which will further screw up those plans. I’m not sure if I’ll get to the round-up in time to share it today. But I wanted to do something through NCS before having to disappear, and so…

…I decided to just share some artwork for three forthcoming albums (and a little bonus at the end). As the title of the post implies, there’s no music available from for two of the albums, and although at the last minute I did discover one preview track that’s become available for the third one, I haven’t listened to it yet. Continue reading »

Jan 142022
 

(After some time away, Grant Skelton returns to NCS with this review of the long-awaited new album by Portland-based Dolven)

Greetings, fellow NCS readers! While it has been some time since I’ve contributed any content to our beloved site, I remain a faithful visitor. I know that the last 2 years have been particularly dreadful for us all. It is my sincere hope that all of you maintain the wellness of mind, body, and spirit. With that in mind, I am pleased to present you with this review of The Tyranny of Time by Dolven. Though the album was released in December, I didn’t want it to get buried in the year-end Listmania morass. Thanks to Dolven guitarist/vocalist Nick Wusz for agreeing to a later review.

I (briefly) covered the first album by these melancholic minstrels all the way back in 2015. I’m an ardent devotee of folk music. And that passion seems to deepen as I grow older. Acoustic instrumentation brings with it an air of remembrance. Even the term “folk” carries connotations of history, mythology, culture, and traditions. Folk music isn’t something that’s performed for you. It isn’t something that you just listen to. Rather, folk music invites you to participate in the formation of a narrative. This is the realm where Dolven dwells. Continue reading »

Jan 142022
 

The black metal collective known as Smother are writing a musical saga in chapters, eventually to be joined by a book that is connected to the lyrics and audio experiences of those sonic chapters. The members of the collective have shifted, but are still anchored by drummer SD (Black Vice, Ravnblod), whose percussion tracks and conceptions are the foundation for what the other collaborators contribute.

Four musical chapters have been recorded so far (out of a planned 10 releases), and in each one the sounds have changed. The latest installment, Chapter IV – Tying Thy Noose of Rusted Chain – is the one we’re presenting in full today. For this newest work SD was joined by MW (Crown of Asteria) as principal vocalist and keyboardist, and by guitarist JV (Grst, Uruk), both of whom also participated in Chapter III.

What you now have the opportunity to experience is a single 41-minute track that’s being released by Red River Family Records. At a very high level (and potentially a misleading one), it could be considered atmospheric black metal, but it’s an experience that makes significant use of harsh and mentally destabilizing electronics and of ingredients from catastrophic doom metal. It’s capable of creating trance states, but more often is a manifestation of terrors, most of which don’t seem bound to an earthly plane of existence. Continue reading »

Jan 142022
 

Welcome to the eighth installment of this expanding list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

This trio of tracks may seem a bit odd, since it includes something from a band whose name is known by throngs across the globe and then two tracks by bands who are probably known to the average NCS visitor but whose profiles are ant-like in comparison to that of the opening band. In my own addled head, what unites these songs is that all three furnish riveting dramatic intensity, and of course they’re all damned memorable.

GOJIRA (France)

It may surprise some of you to know that we used to write about Gojira a lot. It may also surprise you to learn that the most popular post in the history of this site, based on its 32,074 page views (at last count), is one entitled “Why Gojira is the Best Metal Band in the World“, which was written in August 2010 by one of the people who started NCS with me (but fairly quickly lost interest). As a sign of his devotion, his body sports tattoos of imagery from the Gojira song “Vacuity”. Continue reading »

Jan 142022
 

Norna is a new formation, but one with veteran talent composed of Swedish hardcore pioneer Tomas Liljedahl (Breach, The Old Wind) and musicians Christophe Macquat and Marc Theurillat from the Swiss sludge/post-metal band Ølten. They joined forces in Norna only a year ago, but through the three singles that have been revealed so far from their forthcoming debut album they’ve quickly established themselves as a stupendously heavy band — heavy in the sheer enormity of their sound and in the punishing gravity of the emotions they channel through their music.

That debut album, Star Is Way Way Is Eye, is set for release on February 18th through Oslo-based Vinter Records, and today we premiere the fourth and final single in advance of the release. Entitled “Mother Majestic“, it reinforces all the earth-moving, soul-shaking impressions created by the first three singles. Continue reading »

Jan 142022
 

 

Unless something else arrives by surprise (which sometimes does happen), it’s time to wrap up our 2021 LISTMANIA series.

As in years past we posted an extensive series of lists. As usual, some of them were re-postings of lists that appeared at “big platform” web sites and print magazines, and others were prepared by our own stable of race-horse writers. But once again we had a large group of lists from other guests and old friends. Plus, we’ve again received valuable, extensive lists in reader comments on THIS POST (new lists can still be added there).

In this article I’m setting forth links to all of the 2021 year-end lists that we published, divided into categories and listed within each category in the order of their appearance. For people who are looking for the best metal that 2021 had to offer, these lists and our readers’ lists provide a tremendous resource, as they have in past years. Continue reading »

Jan 132022
 


Kryptan

We arrive at the lucky Part 7 of this expanding list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

Today I’m doing what I did yesterday — choosing songs that I previously picked for a playlist that I and my comrades Andy Synn and DGR shared through one of our Gimme Metal guest DJ appearances last year. I picked them back then because I thought they were damned contagious, and I’m choosing them for this list for the same reason. I also included the last two of today’s trio because I’ve neglected thrash in this list so far, and it’s time to at least partially fill that void.

Continue reading »

Jan 132022
 

 

Last October we had the deviant pleasure of helping to announce the release of a debut album named Leech by the gore-drenched, horror-obsessed, Louisiana-based death metal band Golgothan, and to premiere the album’s first single, “Parent Organism“. And now here we are again, three months closer to the record’s February 4 release by Lacerated Enemy Records, foisting upon the world the second single from Leech. This one comes with a video that will endanger squeamish stomachs.

At this juncture the source of the band’s name bears repeating for those who might not remember. As disclosed by Metal-Archives, “A Golgothan (also called a ‘shit demon’ or ‘excremental’) is a fictional creature composed of human excrement. The creature derives its name from the hill where Christ was crucified; the collective suffering of the souls sentenced to death by crucifixion on that hill gives birth to the demon’s existence. The Golgathan rises from the collected offal secreted by each prisoner’s loosened bowels upon the moment of death”. Continue reading »

Jan 132022
 

 

The Mexican death metal band Ravenous Death chose a name for themselves that’s a vivid representation of the music they make. That’s not news to anyone who encountered the electrifying horrors housed within the band’s 2019 debut album, Chapters of an Evil Transition. There they quickly established themselves as a group devoted to the gruesomeness and evil of death metal from an older age, but with the kind of creative flair that kept it from sounding like a clone of their influences (which include the band Vomitory, whose song “Ravenous Death” was the actual source of the group’s name). And yes indeed, the music was both crypt-born and ravenous.

It’s trite (and often un-true) to proclaim that a band’s sophomore album is a significant step forward, especially when it follows a debut album as formidable as Chapters of an Evil Transition, but in the case of Ravenous Death‘s forthcoming hour-long second full-length, Visions from the Netherworld, it happens to be true. The band’s music is still supremely sinister and convincingly otherworldly, and still reaches heights of terrorizing insanity, but they have stretched their creative wings in ways that make the new album even more startling and memorable than its predecessor.

As proof of this claim, we present the premiere stream of “Ascending Chasm“, which is the new record’s longest track and the one that brings it to a close. Continue reading »