Sep 192023

The stories and ideas that inspire the lyrics and music in metal albums are, at least in the minds of most listeners, of secondary importance to an album’s audio sensations, even when those narratives and notions were vital to the people who created the album. The same is true of stories about how an album came to exist at all.

To be honest, many times (most of the time?) a metal album’s conceptual themes just aren’t that novel or compelling, or they’re poorly rendered, especially in the lyrics. Just as often, the events that brought a band together and led to the making of the music, usually involving the surmounting of myriad misfortunes, turn out to be not very interesting, which in many instances might mainly be the fault of how the story is told.

In all these respects, however, the comeback album of the Belgian death/doom band My Lament is an exception to the norm. Continue reading »

Sep 092023


A lot of new music came out over the last week. All I can do today is lightly scratch the surface, like a friendly cat who touches their human companion’s skin with claws that let you know they’re there but without drawing blood — though some of the music here might feel like blood is being shed.

I got a very late start this morning, and so depended on late-breaking alerts from some of my NCS compatriots and a couple of other acquaintances rather than methodically clawing through my immense list of links and letting my own impulses determine the choices.I’ll probably be more self-directed in assembling tomorrow’s blackish column. Continue reading »

Sep 022023


A week that ends with a Bandcamp Friday is a terrible week for the NCS in-box. During just the 24 hours of September 1st we received 310 e-mails. The count for the week was significantly more than 1,000.

Such weeks are also terrible for roundups like this one, because so many bands and labels release new music in an effort to capitalize on the attention that Bandcamp Fridays tend to attract — terrible because it results in so much music to choose from.

I sure as hell didn’t read all those 1,000+ e-mails. I did skim the subject lines, skipping over the ones that seemed geared toward selling merch and others that arrived because (annoyingly) we’re somehow on mailing lists for music that has nothing to do with metal, and others which hinted that the metal was of the kind that would hurt my head if I listened to it (e.g., power metal). And eventually I just ran out of time, so I’m sure I overlooked some things that might have been gem-like if I’d discovered them.

But the skimming process still left me with a giant pile of new music I thought might be interesting, and on top of that were other sources of recommendations outside of our e-mails that I pay attention to. Nothing more than instinct and impulse led to finding the following needles in that haystack. Continue reading »

Aug 222023

A rare day with no premieres on our calendar, which means I had time to whip up a roundup of new songs and videos.

Lots of things to choose from, as usual, and in making those choices I decided to give you a musical carnival ride, one of those things that’s spinning in several directions at once and leaves you stumbling with vertigo by the end.

ALKALOID (Germany)

My comrade DGR alerted us to this first song, which he pithily described as “one of the more batshit songs from Numen,” Numen being the name of Alkaloid‘s new album. Saying that anything on an Alkaloid release is more batshit than others is really saying something, since everything tends to be in the batshit crazy category. But sure enough…. Continue reading »

Aug 192023

Well, no unforeseeable calamities befell me or our indomitable site in the last 24 hours, and so I’ve probably set a record for us today with the fourth roundup of new music in a row. If you include tomorrow’s Shades of Black column (barring a calamity), that will be five in a row.

The incredible thing is that even with so many daily installments, one after the other, there’s still a big pile of worthy new metal I haven’t managed to feature, and in that respect there’s nothing particularly unusual about the last week. Every week, the flood just keeps surging.


I fibbed a little. Not everything in today’s collection surfaced during the last week. These first two songs, “Trap Feeding” and “Old Words Worn Thin“, are a tad older than that. They’re both from a new album by this devastating Seattle crew that will be out on September 15th through Neurot Recordings. Continue reading »

Aug 162023

Happy Hump Day. To help you celebrate the crest of the week before we all fall down the other side, here’s a very short but pretty damned sweet roundup — just three brand new songs, but one of them is long.


To begin, here’s “Twin Mouthed Spring“, a breathtaking new track from a new EP by WITTR named Crypt of Ancestral Knowledge. Continue reading »

Jul 312023

(Everyone knows that Doom Metal is Comrade Aleks‘ main love, and although his interviews have branched out into other dark genres, today he returns to the old flame with a very interesting discussion with members of the Spanish band Misty Grey, whose newest album was released in June of this year.)

Misty Grey first met in Madrid in 2011. This is one of the very few Spanish doom metal bands, and doom-heads know Misty Grey due to their honesty, passion, and good taste.

Another thing is that the backbone of the group in the vertebrae of Juan (guitar), Robin (bass) and Javier (drums) seems to have fallen victim to the gypsy curse or something like that: They were not lucky with either of the ladies who recorded vocals for the first and the sophomore albums, and the necessity to find a new singer was a scourge for the band.

Their new album Visions After Void was recorded with the new front-man Angel Flores, who sang for almost a decade in a local Viking folk band. And you know what? Angel is incredibly good in doom metal too. His range is much wider than that of the former vocalists, and he easily copes with both hard rock and epic parts previously uncharacteristic of Misty Grey.

These seven tracks recreate the recognizable atmosphere of traditional doom, they reflect the composer’s talent and passion, and this material has a sense of belonging to the modern doom scene too. Although what kind of modernity is something special, as the album is dedicated to the work of the German film director Fritz Lang, who authored the large-scale expressionist dystopia Metropolis (1927) and one of the first “noir” detectives M (1931).

To be honest, I can name a couple more doom albums that are entirely dedicated to dark cinematography masterpieces, so it’s not entirely true to praise Misty Grey for originality, but you know… They are original in their own way, and Visions After Void surpasses many of the modern doom albums. Juan (guitars). Javi (drums) and Angel (vocals) introduce the band to NCS’ readers in this in-depth interview. Continue reading »

Jul 292023

Dear friends and complete strangers, greetings to you on another diēs Sāturnī. I must be brief today because of an Event I must attend, which begins soon and will extend until the stars come out, when the congregants will have to see each other by firelight.

That Event continues tomorrow, beginning early on dies Solis and again proceeding past nightfall, and so don’t be surprised if my next usual round-up of new music, the blacker one, is also brief or goes missing altogether, even if I don’t fall into the fire.


Denver-based Wayfarer‘s next album, American Gothic, is said to serve as “a funeral for the American dream”. “Caked in dust, and buried deep in blood and gunpowder, it paints a brutal and beautiful portrait” — so says Profound Lore, which will release the album on October 27th. “What we have now is a world full of oil drillers, and railroad barons. Cattle thieves and company men. This is the new American Gothic”. So says the band.

Along with these announcements came a video for a new album track named “False Constellation“. Continue reading »

Jul 252023

-Good morning, my neighbors!

(In March of this year Axel Stormbreaker brought us a two-part “Bizarre Playlist to Piss Off Your Neighbors“. as a way of welcoming Spring. Being seasonably adjusted, he now returns with a Summertime Edition.)

Oh my, oh my. Thank you very much. It’s true these past few months haven’t been good (life’s shit, currently), hence why you haven’t seen any proper reviewing work on my behalf. Not that I’m looking for pointless sympathy from strangers, it’s just that several bands have asked me to review their work. And I should have done something weeks ago, at a time I wouldn’t feel like I could put together a concrete sentence, even if that’d save my own life. And then guilt came along, spreading its bleak, bat-shaped wings all over my entire subconscious.

Or maybe I should just blame my enjoyment for promoting music, even if it’s just a dumb, occasional hobby. I even started this blog in a hopeless attempt to lift my spirits; mostly for publishing conceptual work that bears no relation to NCS, such as fictional tales, ’90s TV show reviews, Japanese jazz, and other bizarre concepts. Sadly, so far I only uploaded one fictional tale I wrote right after the initial outbreak of COVID’s pandemic, but I guess I’ll work on it further, sometime.

So. enough with my senseless mumbling. You’d better enjoy the following muzick, or else. I’ll only recommend six, six, six releases for now, ‘cos I’m a horrible person and words don’t seem to flow anyway.

Here we go. Continue reading »

Jul 222023


Someone wrote they get by with a little help from their friends… don’t tell me… it will come to me….

I got by with some help from my friends this morning. It was one of those especially distracting weeks when I had almost no chance to claw my way through the hundreds of e-mails we get every day, so I didn’t have much new music bookmarked to check out over the last 24 hours and really wasn’t eager to do the catch-up chore. However, DGR and Andy Synn pitched five new songs and videos at me, and I also noticed a few recommendations from some other valued influencers.

Collectively, those became my main targets… and like the blind squirrel who found an acorn, I did stumble across a few nuggets of musical nourishment myself. The result is the very big collection I’ve assembled below, organized alphabetically by band name and with fewer words than usual for Saturday round-ups. Surely you will find something to enjoy….

The Beatles! Continue reading »