Mar 132024

Last year Culthe Fest made its triumphant return to stages in Münster, Germany, after
a covid-induced hiatus. It featured a very impressive lineup of bands over two days last April, and we helped spread the word about it then. For the good of fans and bands, Culthe Fest is back this year, and we’re again helping to spread the word as one of the fest’s international partners.

This year, on March 30 and 31 in Münster, Culthe Fest will present performances by 16 bands from 9 countries on three stages, headlined and co-headlined by Downfall of Gaia, Sylvaine, Wiegedood, Solbrud, Ophis, and Predatory Void.

The lineup is exceedingly strong from top to bottom and spans a range of metal and metal-adjacent sub-genres, and below we’ll provide notes about all the participating bands scheduled to play on each of the two days, and how to get tickets (there aren’t many left!).

We’ll also provide notes about the Dark Arts & Crafts Exhibition, which will again be part of this festival presentation. Continue reading »

Mar 092024

Like yesterday, I had enough time to compile a very big roundup of new music for this Saturday. It includes two full EPs and seven individual songs, most of them from forthcoming releases, presented in alphabetical order by band name.

Like yesterday, there’s so much to hear here that I’ve attempted to cut back on the usual volume of impressionistic words so I can finish this before I turn into a pumpkin. Also like yesterday, I think there’s a lot of variety in the music I picked.

Unlike yesterday, I decided to focus on more obscure names from different corners of the metalverse.(P.S. For newcomers here, there will be yet another roundup tomorrow, focusing on black metal and its kindred.) Continue reading »

Mar 082024

No long-winded introduction today, nor any long-winded impressions of the songs and videos either, because… there are so many of them!

Most of these choices (though not all of them) are from bigger names in the extreme metalverse. Most of them were also suggested by my NCS compatriots, because I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with new releases this week. I do plan to have another roundup on Saturday, as usual, and will dig deeper into obscurities, of my own choosing.

ULCERATE (New Zealand)

This first item is a rarity, just a news item without any music to go along with it. But it’s exciting news, and so I couldn’t resist. Continue reading »

Mar 022024

Inter Arma

I did a better than average job of making lists of new songs and videos that surfaced over the past week. As I knew from experience but had to re-learn, that was a double-edged sword. It made it less likely I’d miss something that would interest me, and more likely I’d be left with a big and difficult chore of deciding what to pick for today’s roundup. The choosing was somewhat (but only somewhat) less agonizing, since I moved a lot of possibilities into a virtual box for tomorrow’s black metal column.

I’ll forewarn you that, with one dramatic exception, all the music I picked for today is intense, often disturbingly intense, and sometimes pitched toward sonic and emotional ruination, though some of the songs get there more gradually than others.

Or, to put it another way, if you came here hoping to headbang, you might be disappointed. However, if you want to get wrung out, have your head spun, and find some bone splinters poking through your flesh by the end, your wishes will be granted. Continue reading »

Feb 242024


It’s nice to begin a Saturday roundup of new songs and videos without bitching about my day job. Hard to bitch when I’ve had enough time to pull together roundups like this one for three days in a row. The cat’s away, so this mouse will play.

My spouse is away too. Has been since early last week, off visiting a sister in Nevada, so that’s another cat away. She’ll be back tonight, hopefully with her claws retracted, but the annoying state of air travel these days makes that unlikely.

Still, being annoyed by all the hassles is better than having part of the fuselage blow out at 16,000 feet. Fingers crossed that won’t happen on this trip, even though she’s flying the same airline, which will forever remember this video.

Anyway, my fellow mice, I hope you enjoy some or all of what follows. Continue reading »

Feb 222024

With paying work still leaving me alone, at least for the time being, I’ve found time to compile another roundup of new songs and videos. I can’t remember the last time I was able to do this on back-to-back weekdays. I have high hopes for three in a row tomorrow, though I did see that a refrigerator-sized satellite is supposed to fall to earth soon.

Like yesterday, we’ll go in alphabetical order.


To kick things off I’ve picked something that will kick you in the teeth but get your sluggish motor running hot too. Continue reading »

Feb 212024

At one time or another almost everyone has found themselves in this situation: You’re starving but too broke or incapacitated to go out and buy food so you throw together shit from your fridge or pantry that no one in their right mind would think belong together but you’re not in your right mind because you’re starving and broke or incapacitated and you devour what you made, consequences be damned.

At the moment I’m not starving, broke, or incapacitated, but the remembered scenario above might still fit the stew of sounds I compiled today, consequences be damned. At least none of this stuff is past its “sell by” date. Continue reading »

Feb 172024

Oh look! I made a round-up of new songs and videos! Make the motion for slapping me on the back from afar, or at least patting my pointy head.

Yeah, it’s been a long damned time since I pulled one of these things together. Beginning in late January I kept thinking my life would get back to normal after 6 or 7 weeks of being ruthlessly pounded by my day job, but the pounding unexpectedly continued.

I’m at the point of doubting everything, but now it really does seem like my long dark night of the soul has ended, and I can resume what passes for normal activity around the ruined halls of NCS. Continue reading »

Feb 072024

(Chris Luedtke wrote the following come-on for a fest set to explode this coming weekend in the Seattle area. Check it out and come if you can.)

For those out in the Pacific Northwest, specifically those in the Seattle area, if you are looking for some blasting, thrashing, grinding live music, look no further than 206 Blast Fest.

What’s 206 Blast Fest? A grindcore, noisecore, hardcore festival featuring twenty-two bands. Some you may recognize, some you may not. I’m not going to give a complete breakdown of everyone playing, so I encourage interested parties to investigate anything not covered here. And I encourage you to go if you possess the ability to support live and underground music. The festival is presented by Audio/Violence Productions and is also the medium where you can get tickets to the fest. A link will be provided at the bottom of this article, but first an overview of a few bands playing. Continue reading »

Feb 032024

I’m still slowly trying to get back into the swing of things here. But it has been slow, and will continue to be slow for the next couple of weeks, thanks to continuing pressures from my fucking day job.

For example, the only metal I listened to over the last week was the music I’d committed to premiere. I also made almost no effort to scroll through the usual flood of NCS e-mails and other messages that have arrived since last weekend, or to open tabs for music to listen to later — “almost” being the operative word, because I did tuck away a few randomly noticed links.

Speaking of e-mail flooding, yesterday was another Bandcamp Friday, which resulted in an even bigger flood. I expected a vision of an old man herding animals two by two into a big wooden boat, a vision that never materialized because I made no effort to scroll through the in-box. I guess sometime this weekend I’ll at least give it a skim, in case any Nigerian princes are trying to share millions of dollars with me. Does that still happen?

Anyway, here are a few appealing underground things I did manage to check out beginning very early this morning. Continue reading »