Apr 222021


(DGR has been spending his listening time with some strange musical creatures and has offered his thoughts about them in a two-part collection of reviews, of which this is the second. Go here to check out Part 1.)


At this point in my metal fandom I think its safe to admit that there will always be room in my heart for something a little more theatrical when it comes to music. I’m a sucker for things appearing larger than life, buried in bombast, and suffocated by symphonics. If you’re incredibly ambitious and it seems like you may be swinging for the fences on even your first release and coming off just a little bit campier than expected, then you’ll probably have someone who enjoys what you’ve got right here.

Of course all those things don’t necessarily have to apply, so they can be larger than life without having the veneer of a B-grade horror movie, but sometimes the stars align just so that I can’t help but be attracted to it. Like I said, a larger-than-life spectacle can often be just as interesting for me in the world of the extreme, which is how I landed at the debut album from Ghosts of Atlantis. Continue reading »

Apr 012021


This round-up includes seven bands, which is a lot. But except for two, there’s just a single track per band (in the remaining cases there are EPs). I included a curveball at the end.

DORDEDUH (Romania)

Two days ago Dordeduh premiered a beautiful English-subtitled lyric video for “Descânt” (“Disenchantment”), the second single from their new second album Har, which will be released by Prophecy Productions on May 14th. The previously released single is “Desferecat“, which translates to “unchained”. It was accompanied by a fascinating music video of its own. Both songs have a visceral “physicality” but also quicken the imagination as you listen. Here’s what former NCS contributor KevinP wrote me about them: Continue reading »

Mar 282021


We had a rare Sunday premiere earlier today, but fret not, Shades of Black has not been forgotten.

I enjoyed figuring out how to arrange the music I picked for today. The music of the first three bands seemed to complement each other, so I started there — and then made a hair-pin turn in the road with the full album stream that follows them. And, given how chilling and unearthly that album sounds, I decided to follow it with a couple of tracks that will give your adrenaline levels a sharp kick in the ass.


As usual, I owe some of today’s picks to reliably tasteful friends. I would have eventually discovered this first one on my own, but listened to it a lot faster because of the enthusiastic message I received from Rennie (starkweather). He called this new song by Code “fantastic”, and possibly his “favorite song of theirs since the first album’s ‘Brass Dogs.'” Continue reading »

Mar 252021


As historical artifacts go, the forthcoming compilation of music by the Russian band Fucker (entitled Dichlofos) is an un-earthing of sounds that’s unlikely to generate global headlines. It may be immediately meaningful only to a collective of nostalgic Russian fans, but though I knew nothing about Fucker before being introducing to this new comp, I’m still getting my own feelings of nostalgia from the music, and so agreed to make this premiere today.

Fucker’s music is sometimes pretty far off the usual beaten paths at this site. The vocals do get harsh, but mainly consist of singing in the tracks we’re presenting, and those tracks are far more rock ‘n’ roll and old school heavy metal than the kind of extreme stuff we usually spread around. But on the other hand, the songs do pack a visceral punch, and they’re definitely devilish. But before we get to the music, a history lesson is in order, one with its fair share of tragedy. Continue reading »

Mar 242021


The Zimbabwean metal band Nuclear Winter (the solo work of Gary Stautmeister) is following up its last release, the 2020 EP Stormscapes, with a second full-length named Greystone. It’s projected for release via the South African label MMD Records on May 21 of this year. In the lead-up to the album release Nuclear Winter has begun releasing stand-alone singles from the record. The first of those was “Corridor of Shells“, and today we present a second one, “The Harvest Moon“.

Nuclear Winter‘s music has evolved, and as Stautmeister has commented, this new release is “more electronic” than the previous EP and displays improved production values, but still employs an amalgam of industrial and melodic death metal. Continue reading »

Mar 222021


(We present Aleksha McLoughlin’s review of the new album by the British melancholic black metal band Abandoned By Light, just released last week.)

There are few names as prolific in British black metal than Sheffield’s Abandoned by Light, a one-man project that for eight years has been putting out a steady stream of solid records, with this newest one being the ninth overall, and the best effort yet. I must disclose that I have worked on records with Karhmul, but that does not cloud my judgement.

People may remember this project for its origins as a DSBM band, but in recent years Abandoned by Light has shifted over to a melancholic sound. This was done in order to break away from the genre staples of depressive black metal, as many of these songs have a much faster tempo and increased aggression, without sacrificing the intensity.

Like some other Abandoned by Light albums such as The Angel Experiment, one of the band’s most well-regarded releases, Gentle is a concept album, in this instance based upon the 1951 Dylan Thomas poem of the same name, with various references throughout. Continue reading »

Mar 222021


The New York band Grey Skies Fallen first took shape in 1996 under the name Eve of Mourning before adopting their current moniker the following year. In the quarter-century since then they’ve released a pair of EPs and five albums. The last of those full-lengths, Cold Dead Lands, first saw the light of day in January of last year, with an independent digital release and a CD release by Old Souls Collective. But the album is about to be jointly reissued by GrimmDistribution with Paragon Records and More Hate Productions, and we’re helping to spread the word about that by featuring the album’s title track today.

And so this is one of those situations that isn’t a true premiere, though it will undoubtedly be the first time some of you have heard the song, and thus hopefully will provide a good introduction to newcomers about the immense sonic and emotional power of the record in advance of the April 8th reissue. Continue reading »

Mar 182021

Spanish Love Songs


(Seb Painchaud, the main man behind the Montréal band Tumbleweed Dealer, has very expansive and eclectic musical tastes, which is one reason why for five years in a row we’ve asked him to share a year-end list with us. He did that for 2020 (here), but as explained below he has found some other (mainly non-metal) 2020 releases he wants to recommend.)

As you might have noticed reading my year-end list, I wasn’t in a very good place mentally when I wrote it. Reflecting upon such a shitty year amidst attempts to make holiday plans around the pandemic and knowing the disappointment that was in store for my kid made what is usually the highlight of my year turn into a chore. Even the wife remarked that I’m usually in a great mood afterward and looking forward to it being published, when this year I seemed to power through it like a chore and be happy to just have it done with. I did, and I was.

Seasonal depression had met OCD-induced anxiety and they both basked in my negative outlook as I tried to find something good to say about anything that happened in the last twelve months.

The year itself, other than the plague-filled mess it became, was also a reaction to a 2019 spent scouring new releases where I honestly just wanted to jam some familiar classics. The year-end lists filled me with dread rather than glee, and that was just one more thing that COVID had taken away from me. I gotta admit, I didn’t put in the time I usually do to compile the list, and just didn’t listen to as much new music as I did in previous years.

After a beginning of 2021 spent ignoring all recent albums and basking in nostalgia, my passion for seeking out new stuff has returned, and I’m now realizing 2020 had some damn good releases I just plain slept on. Some I missed completely, some I passed on after too quick of a listen, and some just didn’t click at the time.

So here are 10 albums I slept on last year that you need to check out: Continue reading »

Mar 132021


I’m going to indulge myself and let you know what’s recently been going on behind the scenes here at our putrid site before we get to the music below.

As I moaned and bitched about over the last couple of weeks, I have indeed been crushed by a project for my day job. For many days last week I couldn’t do anything but write premieres I had promised to do, and for two of those days I couldn’t even do that. Thankfully, Andy Synn stepped in and did the editing and posting of some things written by others (and by himself) so that the site didn’t go dark.

While consumed by work, I couldn’t even pay much attention to our email or announcements on social media and music-related messages from friends. But the worst part of that project ended yesterday, and I did a little catching up (just a few days’ worth), enough that I made a list of 47 songs and videos to check out (I’m not making that up). Of course I’ve only randomly jumped around in that list. I’ll probably never get to the rest of it, much less everything else that came out while I was missing in action. From that random darting around I picked the following songs and videos. Continue reading »

Mar 032021


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Portuguese band Sullen, which will be released on March 5th.)

Despite our site’s somewhat controversial (and, let’s face it, slightly inaccurate) name, there are definitely some of those among our regular readers who actively look forward to the times when we recommend something that falls more on the melodic, harmonious, side of the Metal spectrum.

Recent years have seen us singing (no pun intended) the praises of bands such as Arctic Sleep and Ecclesia, Klone and Close the Hatch, Astronoid and Sinistro, and it was just a few short month ago that I declared the new Protest the Hero album to be one of the very best records of 2020.

All of which, I suppose, is my way of saying that while we don’t go to the clean-singing well that often, when we do it’s because we think it’s something you’ll really like.

Something like the brand new album from Portuguese prog-metallers Sullen. Continue reading »