Mar 262023

Into Darkness – photo by Nicolette A. Radoi

As I began making my way through my list of new music I might want to recommend for this Sunday’s column I had one mental WOW! after another. Some actual exclamatory sounds might have escaped my mouth, but the headphones were clamped on too tight for me to tell. After realizing that I’d already found more than enough to occupy this installment I had to make myself stop listening, even with lots of things left to check out,

Maybe I didn’t stop soon enough. There’s a lot here — four advance tracks from forthcoming records, two complete EPs, and one complete albums. To make all this a little more accessiblke, I’ve divided the recommendations into two Parts. I hope you’ll find time to delve into all of it instead of feeling overwhelmed, and that you get a few WOW‘s yourself.


After experiencing the weirdness of time seeming to slow down during the depths of pandemic lockdowns, it now seems that it’s speeding ahead faster than ever. That includes the release of new music, which whizzes by so fast that it almost becomes a blur. That makes it easy to overlook things, and I confess that as a result I missed the release of a new Into Darkness EP about 10 days ago. It certainly wasn’t for lack of interest, since I’ve written enthusiastically about every release by this Italian band since their first demo in 2012. Continue reading »

Mar 252023

Demonaz – Photo by Leander Djønne

How long did I sleep last night? Hey, thanks for asking, it was 10 1/2 hours. You’d think I’d dug a mile-long ditch by myself before collapsing in exhaustion, but I did little more than sit on my ass and peck at a keyboard all day. It’s probably just a sign of how long I’d sleep every night if I didn’t have some binding commitment to keep early every morning (looking at you, NCS). I like sleeping.

Anyway, late start today, and therefore not as many picks in this roundup as I thought I’d have. I decided to pull in some bigger names, whose songs surfaced fairly early in the week, and then round things out with some hard-scrabble fighters from deeper underground.


Dark northern armies go to battle across the ice under blood-red skies in Immortal‘s blazing and bombastic new song “War Against All“. It’s a hot-blooded scorcher, packed with both brazen and febrile fretwork, berserker screaming, and rumbling thunder in the low end. If you’ve just hibernated for 10 1/2 hours it’s as welcome and as effective as a jolt of pitch-black caffeine. Continue reading »

Mar 242023

Spirit Adrift, photo by Wombat Fire

No NCS premieres today. I had blocked out this day to fly to Texas for the day job, but that got canceled at the 11th hour, so here I am with unexpected time to entertain myself, and hopefully you too.

But wow, what a flood of new songs and videos there have been this week! And I’ve barely scratched the surface in checking them out. Under the circumstances, I’m going to try something new, since I have nothing else in the queue ready to publish today: roll out short round-ups one after the other until I run out of time. This is the first one, which focuses on things that just surfaced today. I’ll also have another roundup to share with you on Saturday, as usual.


I know, I know, what the hell am I am I doing leading off with a new Spirit Adrift song? We typically pay as much attention to trad heavy metal at this site as we do to quantum physics. But I’m not immune to the appeal of a band like this one, witness the fact that I even named a song from Curse of Conception to our list of 2017’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and gave a shout-out to their Forge Your Future EP in 2021 too. Continue reading »

Mar 242023

(Comrade Aleks had a very cordial conversation with one of the three Fernández brothers who make up the Epic Doom Metal band Samarithan, and we’re happy to share their discussion with you today.)

During the endless searches for perfect doom I’ve met Samarithan, a trio from the Basque Country consisting of three brothers: Alberto Fernández, Guillermo Fernández, and Carlos Fernández. They started their crusade in the name of epic doom metal not long ago: the trio released four singles one by one from 2020 to 2022 and it culminated with the debut full-length Tales of Doom released one year ago by Demons Records.

The album bears the bliss of Doom Gods and this noble and dedicated endeavour has a lot to offer to dedicated followers of the Doom Cult, even despite some obvious and unavoidable influences. These Tales of Doom are to be told by one of its masters – Carlos Fernández, so heed the call of Samarithan and let the Doom into your hearts. Continue reading »

Mar 162023

We had some favorable things to say here about the Dutch band Witte Wieven‘s 2016 debut EP Silhouettes of an Imprisoned Mind (available here):

“Perhaps best summed up as an offering of somber, atmospheric black metal, the songs combine low, gravelly riffs and grumbling bass lines with waves of guitar melody that shimmer and mesmerize, accented by beautiful, haunting clean vocals and such things as keyboard notes that sound like a harmonica (or perhaps an accordion) and spectral ambient tones.

“The songwriting is very good — the three songs are each quite distinct and memorable — and so is the production. It’s easy to lose yourself in this otherworldly dreamscape of lost souls and restless spirits.” Continue reading »

Mar 032023


(We present today Comrade Aleks‘ extensive interview with Tom Noir, founder of the U.S. gothic doom band October Noir.)

It’s a sort of tricky question, but there are always “new” bands which are inspired by “old” ones. For good or for bad you can’t escape this, it’s a natural order. Can you imagine 165,195 unique bands in Metal-Archives? It’s just impossible. So I’m ok when I hear a band imitating the sound of a band I like. And don’t forget that there are really individual bands that are nearly impossible to follow or imitate.

I was shocked when I heard October Noir for the first time, as their incredible resemblance to the almighty (but dead) Type 0 Negative is something beyond my comprehension. Yet the band’s founder Tom Noir was able to do that, and first of all it’s in his vocals, though I must admit that I appreciate October Noir not only for the familiar vibes of colossal doom-riffs and gothic atmosphere but also for a refreshing feeling which is difficult to describe.

The band’s third album Fate, Wine, & Wisteria was released in 2021 but a new one is on its way, and anyway I had questions I wanted to ask Tom. Continue reading »

Feb 282023

The name of our site has never been a literal commandment, but it’s also fair to say that we tend to observe its mandate more often than we bend or break it. We need a good reason to do the bending and breaking — but we’ve got a very good reason today, thanks to the return of the Finnish duo Desolate Realm and their forthcoming second album Legions.

Formed by members of Decaying, Chalice, and Altar of Betelgeuze, this Helsinki band worship at the altar of traditional epic doom metal, but with a penchant for highly infectious riffs and the kind of potent grooves that kick-start hearts.

Not for naught does the advance press for the album proclaim that it combines “the epic grandeur of doom-metal acts like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus with classic heavy-metal of Savatage and Metal Church and the mighty groove of Black Sabbath“. And we’ve got the proof in our premiere of Legion‘s second single, “Through the Depths“. Continue reading »

Feb 282023


(Today we have a big and well-earned exception to the rule in our site’s title, as we present Comrade Aleks‘ new interview of Kat Gillham from the epic UK doom band Nine Altars. Their debut album The Eternal Penance will be released on CD tomorrow by Good Mourning Records, with vinyl coming later via Journey’s End Records.)

This traditional epic doom metal band was founded in Durkham not so long ago by Kat Gillham who performed this kind of music back in the mid-’90s with Blessed Realm. It seems that some of the other bands and projects where she’s involved, like Uncoffined (death-doom), Lucifer’s Chalice (heavy metal), and Winds of Genocide (crust / death metal), have been on temoprary hiatus — though Thronehammer (doom metal) remains very active — so this band has a new line-up:

Kat Gillham performs drums and vocals, Charlie Wesley and Nicolete Burbach play guitars, and Jamie Thomas is responsible for the bass’ low vibration.

Good Mourning Records seems to ready to release Nine Altars’ debut The Eternal Penance, and regarding the three tracks I’ve heard, that should be a truly notable exemplar of UK doom metal. Continue reading »

Feb 182023

Today I woke up late and moved lazily. For most of my life, and probably yours, that’s the way Saturday mornings always were. Except in my case I had the lunatic idea when I started this blog in the fall of 2009 that I’d post something about music I liked even on Saturday and Sunday, and every holiday.

I thought of that as a way of underscoring that NCS would never be a business, and would consider none of us here as “workers”, because people working “jobs” almost always get weekends off. I think I also believed we might get more visitors due to the lack of competition on the weekends from the somewhat more-established metal sites that were beginning to dot the internet landscape.

And I probably thought the lifespan of NCS would be about a year, so how tough would it be to listen and write on the weekends for a year? Who knew it would go on like it has? I sure as shit didn’t.

In the last 13+ years I’ve failed to make some weekend posts, after a long stretch of never failing, though the number of failure days is still small. So now when I wake up late and move lazily it doesn’t take long before I start to feel like I’d better get my shit in gear, even if the lateness of the morning hour means I’m not able to make the Saturday roundup as extensive as I’d like (which is true today). But… no failure today at least…. Continue reading »

Feb 172023

Yet another big week for new metal. I have many things I want to recommend, but not enough time today to throw them all your way. So I’ll make a start now, with a sandwich made of some big names at top and bottom and stunning Theophonos in the middle, and continue on Saturday.


It’s kind of amazing that Cattle Decap have now been around long enough to release a tenth studio album, which is what will happen on May 12th when Metal Blade ushers Terrasite into a waiting world.

We have a linguistic preview of what’s coming, thanks to this statement by guitarist Josh Elmore: Continue reading »