Feb 012023

Venomous Concept


I have just enough time for a quick mid-week round-up of recommended new songs and videos. There have been a lot of new things this week so far, but that’s par for the course. These four happened to be among the ones I impulsively checkws out this morning. Hope you dig ’em all!


I have a soft spot in my head heart for Venomous Concept, so I’m beginning with the new video for “Fractured“, the third one released in the run-up to their new album The Good Ship Lollipop.

The song was inspired by some troubles Shane went through during the upheavals of the pandemic and his efforts to pull the pieces back together. He wrote this, which will explain the imagery in the video:

“Music was always my comfort, but during this time my family needed me to be strong and I really wasn’t. I was breaking apart and trying to figure out how to put myself back together, and hopefully leave some of the bad bits behind. “Memories came—my childhood, my parents, my family, my children, my friends. Then the words to ‘Fractured’ came… I am still piecing myself back together, trying to be just good enough.”

Continue reading »

Feb 012023

This article makes the third time we’ve paid attention to Ossadas, the forthcoming second album by the Portuguese band Carma. The first occasion was a commentary on the album’s first single, “Memória“. The second was an unusual review of the album written by Axel Stormbreaker, which integrated the music with the viewing of a movie about Edgar Allan Poe named The Pale Blue Eye. And now we present another single from the album named “Monumento“.

The album is an emotional powerhouse, one that deeply immerses the listener in its concept, which was inspired by the Conchada Cemetery located in Coimbra, Portugal. As described by the Monumental Rex label that will be releasing it next month, Ossadas is an exploration of “various cemeterial aspects, such as the architecture, the burials and the atmosphere, and the related feelings – fatalism, futility, loss, mourning, longing, among others.”

The titles of the record’s nine tracks are the most common words that appear on tombs and tombstones throughout the cemetery, and even the lyrics (in Portuguese) contain certain verses engraved on the cemetery’s tombstones. But it’s the music, which integrates funeral doom, black metal, and ambient, that most deeply involves the listener in the ever-present daunting realm of death and all the feelings that it brings. Continue reading »

Feb 012023


(Gonzo has delivered to us another monthly round-up of his favorite releases for the month that just ended.)

And we’re back.

January has already found its way into our rearview mirror, and not a moment too soon. It’s been 6 degrees Fahrenheit in Denver for the past few days and I can’t feel my nuts. No respite seems to be on the way. It’s the land of the ice and snow over here, to be sure, but it also gives me a good reason to sneak a larger-than-usual portion of whiskey into my coffee. Is it coping with being a daytime corporate asshole, or is it a problem?

No one knows.

Moving on!

January is a notoriously shit time for new music, but if the first month of ’23 is any indicator, that trend may very well be on its way out. Whether it’s something in the water or labels just deciding to not take January off for a change, I’m already impressed with some gems I discovered this month – here’s the best of the bunch.

Continue reading »

Feb 012023

In compiling my list of 2022’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs I cut back significantly from last year, when I pushed the 2021 list through 25 parts and 99 songs. This year I limited the rollout to weekdays during January, with three songs per day (except only two songs the first day, which I made up for with four yesterday). And the result is a list that includes 66 songs.

As I explained yesterday, and as I explain every year when I halt this list, I’m still not really finished. I began this exercise with a list of candidates that stretched to 564 songs, assembled from recommendations by readers and some of our other writers, as well as a list of my own that I compiled as the weeks and months of 2022 rolled along. Even subtracting 66 tracks from all those recommendations, the balance is still enormous. Inevitably, I had to draw the line somewhere. Continue reading »

Jan 312023


I began rolling out this list day-by-day on January 2nd, promising that I’d force myself to stop at the end of the month. The end of the month has now arrived, and sadly for me, today is the final installment. I mean, it would seem odd to continue a year-end list into the second month of the next year, but I easily could have kept the list going for another month.

That’s because many worthy songs still remain on my list of candidates, and in fact many are just as worthy as the 66 I’ve included through today. I readily admit that, and I only regret that I couldn’t name more before running out of time. So please hold your fire because a bunch of your own favorite tracks didn’t make it.

Tomorrow I’ll have a “wrap up” post that lists all the songs in one place, with links to each of the 22 installments. Here are the final four: Continue reading »

Jan 312023

photo by Rex Mananquil

And now for something completely different… a mysterious and spellbinding video… a song of many facets and multiple meanings… and a big musical departure from our site’s usual extremist fare….

The subject is a new video for “Dream Flood“, a song from an album named Future Mirror that’s the first new release in nearly a decade by a band whose name tends to stick in the head — Oakland’s The Atomic Bomb Audition. There’s a significant back story about this group and their eclectic compositions, which have drawn inspiration not only from the geography of Northern California but also a collage of musical influences ranging from cinematic music to prog rock, heavy metal, and new wave.

And we’ll get to some of that back story, but we ought to focus first on what you’re about to see and hear in today’s video premiere. Continue reading »

Jan 312023

Short sharp shocks in life come in a multitude of forms, most of them unpleasant. A pink slip delivered by e-mail. An eviction notice nailed to the door. A semi-truck T-boning your helpless car. A sudden severe headache that turns out to be a tumor.

With “Scum’s Karma” the Japanese gore-grind revivalists FesterDecay deliver their own short sharp shock, and it’s as ruinous as those examples above, but it’s also the kind of macabre mangling music that will bring fiendish smiles to savage faces. You’ll soon see for yourselves…. Continue reading »

Jan 312023

(Last November, roughly 15 years after their inception, the Sicilian band Sirrush released their debut album Molon Labe through Non Serviam Records, and it led Comrade Aleks to reach out for the following interview with the band’s founder Otagron to discuss the band’s past, present, and future.)

Sirrush isa Mesopotamian hybrid, a kind of dragon you could see on Ishtar Gates, one of Babylon’s most remarkable monuments. And this Sicilian band indeed dedicated their blackened death metal to Sumerian myths back then in 2007 when it was founded.

Years passed, but not much happened in Sirrush’s lair, as the EPThe Era of Išhtar (2011) remained their only official release. Things changed along the band’s concept as Sirrush came back to life with the stories of 300 Spartans in 2022. The singles A Son Set His Father Free and Molon Labe proclaimed the release of the full-length with the same title of Molon Labe through Non Serviam Records, so the band’s founder Otagron (vocals, guitars) is here to shed some light on Sirrush’s story.

Continue reading »

Jan 302023


We’re getting down to the wire for this list. I’ve used that expression many times in many contexts without knowing precisely what it means or where it came from, but having checked the dictionary today I find that it’s an apt expression here. It means an outcome that’s unclear and unsettled until the last minute, the very end, and thus also means “full of suspense”.

Another source reports: “This term comes from horseracing, where it was long the practice to stretch a wire across and above the track at the finish line. It was extended to figurative use about 1900.”

With only tomorrow left to bring this list to an end, I feel suspenseful myself, because I have no fucking idea how to end it. Well, tomorrow is another day. Today I picked these three songs: Continue reading »

Jan 282023


I’m taking a break from NCS this weekend, so there won’t be a big roundup of recommended new songs and videos today or a SHADES OF BLACK column tomorrow. I’m involved in a big party that’s going to happen tonight, and there are things I need to do to help make it happen. I also know from past experience that I won’t get back to the NCS island HQ until sometime early Sunday morning, and I won’t get back stone-cold sober either.

On top of that I hope to spend a little time trying to figure out which songs to include in the final two days of our Most Infectious Song list next week. (If you don’t know what that is, you can find everything I’ve chosen so far via this link). I’m hoping to figure out some way of doing that without losing my fucking mind, because I’ve still got dozens of songs I’d like to include.

Of course I recoil at the idea of posting anything at NCS without including music, and so although the main point of this post is to keep people from wondering whether a big blank space for this weekend isn’t the result of some personal catastrophe, here’s some music: Continue reading »