Nov 152020
 

 

One look at the title of this post tells you it’s a mega-sized round-up. Deprived by my fucking day job of the time to do round-ups during the work-week, I’ve been left to do them on Saturdays. But I had to do non-NCS work yesterday too, so here we are, with a Sunday collection of new songs and videos.

Big as it is, this post barely dents my list. But picking the music of these nine bands made sense to me, because I was again lucky to listen to songs which seemed to line up nicely into a playlist that flows rather than jars. For those of you who come here on Sundays for SHADES OF BLACK, fear not because I still plan to write that column too (though it will be short), and you’ll find some black metal below as a head-start.

TRIBULATION (Sweden)

To begin, I’ve chosen a new song and video named “Leviathans” by the Swedish band Tribulation. My appreciation for their music took some time to grow after they began changing their musical course, but witnessing their amazing performance at Iceland’s Ascension Festival in 2019 made me a true believer, and this new song does nothing to shake that. Continue reading »

Oct 312020
 


Benighted – photo by Anthony Dubois

 

While slugging coffee this morning I got my daily text-message alert from the county health department reminding me that the safest way to celebrate Halloween is to stay inside my home. As if I needed that fucking reminder, on top of all the other miserable reminders that this Samhain will be like no other in our lifetimes.

I can’t even count the predictable absence of trick-or-treaters as a silver lining to this cloud, because they never came around our place even before the pandemic made that a potentially self-destructive choice. The screaming of the loris horde and the carefully-placed pools of guts might have had something to do with that.

So, most of us will have to celebrate the most metal day of the year stuck inside playing with ourselves our pets and trying to forget that global infections are now setting new records, that the U.S. set its own new record yesterday with more than 99,000 new cases (!), and that Sean Connery died. What a fucking year it’s been, and still two months of fresh hell to go before it ends.

But we can still listen to the devil’s music tonight, and here at NCS we need to do our part to enliven that experience and help you forget. So here’s an extravagantly-sized playlist of mostly brand new songs and videos that I assembled this morning.

BENIGHTED (France)

If you haven’t had enough breeeeee in your diet, we’ll fix that right away. Also included in the food groups within this first dish are cyclotron-speed drumming, incendiary riffage, back-breaking grooves, splendid blaring chords, carnivorous roaring, and a generally rabid approach to life. Continue reading »

Oct 272020
 

 

Way back on the 17th of August, 2020, three NCS writers — (Andy Synn, DGR, and Islander) appeared as guest DJs at GIMME METAL, curating a two-hour on-line radio show in which we spun tracks of our own demented choosing, interspersed with our own pre-recorded banter, and also engaged in live on-line chats with listeners. We were truly grateful for the opportunity, and had a blast doing it. Astonishingly, it must not have been too terrible for GIMME METAL, because they invited us to do it again. And of course we eagerly hurried to say YES!

And so once again, on October 28th (tomorrow!), beginning at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 9:00 p.m. in the UK, and 10:00 p.m. in much of Europe, the same three NCS scribes will again become the hosts of a show at GIMME METAL devoted to extreme metal. We hope you will be there with us! Continue reading »

Oct 242020
 

 

What a week it’s been. The virus is running wild again, like rabid dogs — that lots of people apparently still want to hug. Anxiety levels over our coming election seem to be reaching a zenith. My fucking day job has been pounding me like a harp seal on an ice floe, which is melting fast. And bands and labels are still releasing so much music so fast it’s like they think tomorrow may not come. And I ain’t going to say they’re wrong.

The long and the short of it is that I’ve fallen even further behind in trying to keep up with new metal. And to make that Sisyphean task even more daunting, we’re rapidly approaching Listmania season. I for one can’t wait for this miserable year to end, but we still can’t let that happen without indulging in our usual list-making around here. Looking backward, of course, makes it tougher to look ahead, and sideways.

But for now I did have a slice of time to myself this morning and used it to dart around among some recent releases. I picked the following songs and videos to recommend.

NADER SADEK

When you watch this first video, which premiered at Decibel a few days ago, you’ll quickly learn that in 2017 Cairometal.net and Nader Sadek invited Karl Sanders (Nile), Derek Roddy (Serpents Rise), and Mahumud Gecekusu (Perversion) to visit Egypt. Of course, they made music together. Continue reading »

Oct 232020
 

 

(Another work-week is ending, and Gonzo again helps usher it out with a selection of new songs and videos from forthcoming or just-released records.)

It only dawned on me this morning that we’re a week away from November, and given that most of this year has felt like floating in some nebulous void in an endlessly dystopian universe, that was a weird thought.

Even as snow falls just south of my Colorado home as I type this, wildfires continue to burn just north and west of me. It’s a confounding juxtaposition of fire and ice that’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. Just another day in 2020, I suppose. With any luck, the plummeting temperatures and prevailing snowfall will help extinguish the flames that have been turning the sky into an unsettling shade of apocalyptic as of late.

All that being said, here’s a few bangers this Friday to make you forget how fucked up the world is right now. Continue reading »

Oct 092020
 

 

(NCS contributor Gonzo returns with another Friday round-up of new music, this time featuring recent tracks and videos by five bands from albums that are being released today, or will be forthcoming.)

I took a road trip down to Fayetteville, Arkansas, last week. Driving to the Deep South from my Colorado home is a study in culture shock, and not in a positive or constructive way. The entire length of Kansas is a desolate hellscape full of Trump flags and locals casting a weary gaze towards anyone wearing a mask in public. Missouri isn’t much better.

Fortunately, so much time in the car allowed for plenty of time to listen to all the new metal I’ve been meaning to get around to. It was also nice to roll down the windows and blast some of this shit at offensively high volumes in conservative rural towns. (It’s the little things.) Continue reading »

Oct 092020
 

 

This is pretty much a DGR round-up, since it was he who urged the first three new songs and videos in this collection. They’re all from bands who’ve been around for a long time, from 14 years to more than 30 years (but are still kicking ass). To justify my own existence, I picked two more, one from a more obscure band than those first three but whose name is rising fast, and a second from an even more obscure name that I suspect will soon become better-known.

I have approximately 53 other new songs I’d also like to share with you. Maybe later. There’s a fly that’s making the rounds on the morning news interviews, so I need to check that out.

NECROPHOBIC

Devil’s Spawn Attack” is the closing track on Necrophobic’s new album, Dawn of the Damned. I smell a review simmering in the NCS mess hall that questions the wisdom of that choice — not a question about the quality of the song (which is damned good), but about its position in the running order. But I’ll let that writer speak for himself in due course; maybe he’ll change his mind. Meanwhile, I’ll speak my own mind. Continue reading »

Oct 052020
 

 

For the second weekend in a row I made no NCS posts, and this time I didn’t even explain why. The reason was that I took a short vacation with my spouse and friends and spent the weekend in the beautiful wine country around Walla Walla, Washington. There was copious drinking, eating, and sleeping. The covid-related opportunity to average 80 mph (129 kph) driving the 260 miles there and back again was kind of thrilling all by itself. Everything we did was socially distanced (and with only one exception our eating and drinking was done outside), everyone there was masked up, and it felt safe. It was all great, but the weekend left no time for listening to music or writing.

I got back home in one piece late Sunday afternoon, and to extend the holiday my wife and I went out to dinner at a restaurant near where we live that had just re-opened for in-door service. We were the only customers in the entire restaurant, so that felt safe too, though I was sad for them.

With all that behind me, I felt compelled to start this new week at NCS with a selection of new music. Having spent no time this weekend digging deep into what has surfaced over the last week, I made some truly random choices based on some very scattered listening early this morning. But of course I really like what I found, especially because all the songs serendipitously fit together so well. Continue reading »

Sep 252020
 

 

(In this post Andy Synn reviews three albums being released today or in the near future — by Deftones, Enslaved, and The Ocean.)

As anyone who’s been following this site for, ooh, more than five minutes, will know, we tend to aim our collective focus at the more underground and/or underappreciated albums and artists out there.

Not because we have to. Not because we think it makes us “cool” (trust me, we’re not cool). Not even because we’re trying to make some sort of point or big statement. It’s just because we want to, and because it’s generally more fun to write about these sorts of bands than it is to regurgitate the same generic platitudes you can see/read everywhere else about bands who already have more than enough exposure.

That being said, sometimes we like to turn our attention to some bigger game, and bigger names, because… well… because we feel like it, basically. Which is why you’re about to read my short, but sharp, take on three artists/albums who’ve already received a fair bit of praise elsewhere but whom I think deserve a slightly more critical (dare I even say, objective?) assessment.

Think of it as my attempt to restore some balance to the force, as it were. Continue reading »

Sep 222020
 

 

Like almost all the posts I wrote this past weekend, I put this one together in my head during a long listening session on Saturday. Since then more new songs have popped up, but I decided to stick with my original mental plan rather than have this thing turn into something even more intimidating to people who are already drowning in music.

I’ve already put the first four songs in this collection onto the list of candidates for my year-end series on Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. In different ways they rock, and they’re all very catchy. And then I decided to turn in other more ugly and unhinged directions.

PUTERAEON (Sweden)

I use the word “majestic” way too much in describing music, because I don’t spend enough time with a thesaurus. Usually it comes to mind when a band use soaring and sweeping melodies (other over-used words in my vocabulary) or create sensations of towering obsidian immensity, as often found in funeral death-doom. Neither of those qualities is present in Puteraeon’s new song (and video) “The Curse“, but the word “majestic” still came to mind. Continue reading »