Jun 022023

Later this month Void Wanderer Productions will release a debut EP fittingly named The Everlasting Pain by the black metal band Ominøs. In vivid but accurate terms, the label describes the EP’s four haunting and harrowing tracks as a means of “entering ancient gateways to lands of death, where happiness is sucked out of souls, safety is distorted into agony and dreams are crushed into nightmares,” as “ice-cold screams chant accursed poetry about the inevitable demise of humanity”.

What we have for you today as an even more vivid rendering of what this Dutch duo have achieved on the EP is the premiere of the EP’s closing track “Oh Darkness My Sun“. Lyrically, it is a dire meditation on suffering and sorrow, where darkness becomes the sun and the protagonist yearns for its victory over light. Musically, it evokes unearthly nightside realms, freezing temperatures, and indeed the vanquishing of light and the shivering splendor of darkness. Continue reading »

Jun 022023

The Montreal band Serpent Corpse named themselves for a dead thing, and their brand of death metal does channel the stench of rot and ruin. But the great serpent brandished in their name still lives, a monstrous presence that will not be subdued, but finds an ally in death.

In less gruesomely poetic terms, Serpent Corpse are bringing forth a debut album named Blood Sabbath that isn’t just rotten to the core but also massively bludgeoning, chillingly supernatural, and maniacally vicious. The music seeps into the bloodstream like a fatal poison, disembowels with ravenous cruelty, and feeds on what it has spilled with ghastly relish.

Well, I guess we weren’t finished with the gruesome poetry after all. With music this horrifying and electrifying, it’s hard to resist.

Speaking of feeding on entrails, we have an album track to share with you today that’s named “Let the Rats Feed“, and man, do they ever. Continue reading »

Jun 012023

Not so long ago we wrote here that while many musical extremists add new layers of brick and mortar to old walls surrounding well-established genre structures, the anonymous Parisian duo Non Serviam take a wrecking ball to genre walls. Their music is about catharsis and confrontation, and to extend the alliteration, it can be confounding — because it goes where the creators’ passions and wild inmventiveness take it, outward into the world from a burning inner core of rage.

You would conclude that the music on their new album Death Ataraxia is confrontational even if you didn’t know what inspires it. It has the effect of getting in the face of listeners and shoving them out of comfort zones and off-balance, teetering but fueled. But what inspires the music is also confrontational, an anarchist and antifascist ethos that condemns the abuses of capitalism and hate-mongering directed against the least powerful among us.

Yet it would go to far to brand the music, or what inspires it, as nihilistic, even if sometimes it sounds ruinous or hopeless. In the midst of superheated resistance there seem to be goals beyond not surrendering or becoming complacent, beyond furiously swinging the wrecking ball at what confines our bodies and minds. Goals like embracing those who need support when we can, (furiously) seizing the opportunities for rapture when they present themselves (no matter how fleeting), or just letting your head spin away from the ugliness of the real into the very un-real.

Another way to put it is that in listening to Death Ataraxia you’ll find times when you might want to sway and bounce, or to let your mind wander in intriguing but dangerous dreamscapes, but plenty of other times that might make you want to put your head back and howl, or hurl yourself like a missile into violent collisions, or feel your brain spin (dazzled) through a kaleidoscopic sonic collage where nightmares thrive. Continue reading »

May 312023

Early last year we had the privilege (and pleasure) of premiering a single named “Lorn“, which was the debut release of the Ukrainian black metal band Silvern, and the first sign of their first album to come. The song was laden with sharp hooks, and Silvern propelled it with a visceral punch. It created an electrifying yet distressing experience. The song also had intriguing lyrical themes, and (for reasons you’ll soon learn) we’ll repeat part of what Silvern had to say about them:

The lyrics describe the controversial figure of a human as a biological species, which constantly creates a problem for itself and everything around. The possibilities of consciousness are endless, you need to develop yourself and live in harmony with the Universe, but instead, a human invents religions, kills, harms the environment, thinking that he is the crown of God’s creation. Everything is much more complicated. Sometimes you need to look a bit higher than the Saviour’s star.

That last line provides the connection to yet the second Silvern single, which we’re premiering today — “Still Higher Than Saviour’s Star“. Continue reading »

May 312023

Eis is the name of the debut album by the Austrian band Loather that’s coming our way in June via Vendetta Records. After a roughly four-year gap in Loather‘s releases (which of course included the pandemic disruptions as well as lineup changes), it follows an initial demo and two EPs, the last one being 2019’s Haganvelt.

It has never been easy to craft a succinct genre description for Loather’s music, but the task is even more difficult in the case of Eis. We’ve seen the phrase “blackened narcotic metal” applied to their past works. Elements of black metal and doom play roles in Eis, and Loather indeed prove themselves quite capable of casting narcotic spells.

But the genre ingredients one might identify don’t really operate as very useful signposts for what the album provides listeners in Loather‘s dark renderings of stress and sorrow, of angst and anger, of power and poignance. The music itself provides the best guide, and so it’s fortunate that we have a part of Eis for you today in our premiere of the song “Mortuary“. Continue reading »

May 312023

(In this feature Hope Gould provides the introduction to our premiere of a lyric video for a song from the forthcoming vinyl and tape release of the latest album by Finland’s Iku-Turso.)

It’s no secret that Finland has mastered the art of melody. The country has long been considered a “satisfaction guaranteed” label for riff-seekers, so it comes to little surprise that Finnish black metal band Iku-Turso tread this path with black devotion. Infusing their melodies with the cold northern spirit of days gone by, Iku-Turso’s 2022 full-length, Into Dawnless Realms, has all the makings of a lost second-wave gem. It built upon the band’s five-year path of Finnish melodic mastery while tapping directly into the golden era of ’90s Norway; buzzsaw guitars, spellbinding synth, and vocalist Lafjawijn’s timeless creaky rasp are gateways to the oft-forsaken past.

We previously shared some words about the band’s 2021 EP At The Crack Of Dawn, whose title track has since been re-recorded in English for last year’s aforementioned full-length, Into Dawnless Realms. To hallmark today’s long-awaited vinyl release of Into Dawnless Realms on Wolfspell Records, NCS is premiering Iku-Turso’s lyric video for “At The Crack of Dawn.” Continue reading »

May 302023

In all of their outward manifestations, including their corpse-painted visages and torch-wielding promo photos, the U.S. band Black Eucharist (who were once known as Black Ejaculate) defiantly brandish the familiar trappings of blasphemous black metal. Their music is lyrically venomous, vile, and fueled by a hateful scorn for the Nazarene and all things associated with him, and violent-demon rage comes through in the music as well.

But if you aren’t familiar with the band, their music is much more multi-faceted than those outward trappings might suggest, and they’ve proven that in spades on their debut album Inn of the Vaticide, which is now set for international release on June 23rd by Stygian Black Hand. In some respects it’s primitive and bestial, but in so many other ways it’s elaborate and genuinely head-spinning.

To back up that assertion, we’ve got a song from the new album named “Ziziphus Paliurus” to share with you today. Before we get to that, however, it’s worth pausing to reflect on the album’s first single, “Deflowering Jerusalem“. Continue reading »

May 302023

About 18 months ago we had the chance to premiere a fascinating song off the then-forthcoming sophomore album The Shrouded Muse of the World’s Lament by the German black/doom metal band Stagwounder, which was released by Crawling Chaos Records. The album itself was equally fascinating, and not only because of the music. Its conceptual underpinning was a series of aphorisms drawn from a work called Pessimistenbrevier by the 19th-century German philosopher Julius Bahnsen, and we delved into it in some detail in that premiere feature.

We won’t repeat that discussion here, though it’s still worth exploring if you managed to overlook the album. What we’re doing now is to provide a very good reason to track down the album if you’re late to the party, and to give even fans who know the album well an opportunity to revisit part of it in a special way, thanks to a video of Stagwounder performing the song “Der Moder heiligster Rechte” in an unusual live setting. Continue reading »

May 292023

I discovered the news about the debut album of Coffin Mulch in an unusual way, before receiving any press release or other promotional material about it. I was listening to another band’s new song on YouTube, and after it finished YouTube served up a new Coffin Mulch song, the first single off that debut album. I almost never pay attention when YouTube does this, but instead hunt down the next song on my listening list. But this time I decided to see what “Into the Blood” was all about — mainly because of the fantastically bizarre cover art in the clip — and received further confirmation that sometimes poor impulse control is a good thing.

As I wrote here at the time, the gritty whir of the chainsaw riffage in “Into the Blood” hooked me immediately, as did the song’s opening rhythmic thump. The vocalist’s high rabid howls, the livid snap of the snare, and the heavy slug of the bass added to the song’s marauding appeal. When the pace slows, it becomes a gruesome slog-and-stomp, though the throat-ruining vocals sound even more unhinged. And speaking of unhinged, when the band start to cavort and chug again, there’s a brief burst of soloing that’s exactly that.

By coincidence, it wasn’t too much longer before we were asked to host the next song premiere from this new Coffin Mulch album (Spectral Intercession). Having heard “Into the Blood“, it took me about a nanosecond to say Yes! Sometimes the stars line up very nicely, don’t they? Continue reading »

May 242023

The last time we premiered music by the Italian band Nibiru we began by observing that their music “is nearly unclassifiable”, a conclusion bolstered by the fact that their albums had elicited genre descriptions along the lines of “Ritual Psychedelic Sludge” or “Blackened Sludge & Drone”. Their list of musical influences was even more difficult to imagine being integrated into anything that made sense, and their literary and other extra-musical influences were equally varied.

On that previous occasion we premiered only an excerpt from a very long song that was one of four on their sixth album, Panspermia, though we also attempted to preview what else happened in the song as a whole. Today we’re premiering a long song in its entirety, but this time the song is also the album — a single composition, nearly an hour long, named Anamorphosis. It will be released on May 26th by Argonauta Records. It’s no easier to sum up, especially in genre terms, than anything else Nibiru have done Continue reading »