Nov 282018


(Today we premiere a full stream of the third album by the blackened death metal band Bane, which is recommended for fans of Dissection, Behemoth, and Rotting Christ. It will be released on November 30th by Black Market Metal Label, and we introduce our premiere with a guest review of the album by Caleb Newton.)

The once Serbia-based and now Canadian experimental black metal outfit Bane present a complex and nuanced but ruthless sonic monster that demands some digestion via Esoteric Formulae, their November 30 full-length on Black Market Metal Label. The album hinges on some truly ambitious concepts, to the point that rather than sticking with the human morbidity that other similarly styled albums tack their themes to, this record focuses on the cosmos. Continue reading »

Nov 272018


“Blackened thrash” was an overly simplistic label for the music of Germany’s Witching Hour even in the case of their first two albums, 2009’s Rise of the Desecrated and especially 2011’s Past Midnight…, but it’s an even more superficial and inadequate way to describe their new record, …And Silent Grief Shadows the Passing Moon, which is due for release on December 21st by Hells Headbangers.

I suspect that most of us who are fans of black/thrash come to it for the blood-rush and the ferocity, for the feeling of demonic cruelty and chaos — intertwined with neck-wrecking riffs. What we usually don’t expect, and what Witching Hour deliver through the new album, are other dimensions of sound, style, and emotional resonance that give their music a mystical, dreamlike, and even somber aspect in the midst of all the slaughtering. Continue reading »

Nov 262018


The British band Blasphemer, whose roots go back to 1990, returned to the field of battle with a self-titled album in 2017 after a 20-year gap in their musical output. The story of what happened to the band after their auspicious beginnings is recounted in this NCS interview. Fortunately, as that interview foretold, Blasphemer have let much less time pass between releases since then, with a second album now due for release by Grind Scene Records on November 30th.

While last year’s self-titled album was a roughly 50/50 mix of old Blasphemer compositions and new ones, Lust of the Goat brings eight newly-written tracks, one of which (“Child Catcher”) debuted last month, and we’re bringing you another one today. This new track, which closes the album, is “Nazarene“. Continue reading »

Nov 232018


Three years on from their Pears of Anguish demo tape, the L.A.-based deathrock shape-shifters Deth Crux are returning with their debut album, Mutant Flesh, set for imminent release on December 7th through the collaboration of Sentient Ruin Laboratories (U.S.) and the Italian labels Legion of the Dead and Aural Music. “Chrome Lips” is the name of the ravishing new album track that we’re bringing you today.

While we normally resist parroting what labels and PR agents write about the releases they’re promoting, sometimes the verbiage hits the nail on the head so squarely that it’s difficult to resist, and that’s the case here. There is indeed a “chameleon-like approach to post-punk” and gothic rock in the music of Deth Crux, “where beauty and ugliness, seduction and perversion, dream and nightmare interchange constantly and construct the foundation of their sound”. Continue reading »

Nov 232018


Deitus proclaim that “it is through suffering that the fruits of salvation shall be found”, and they have named their new album Via Dolorosa — Latin for “the Way of Suffering” or “the Way of Sorrow”. The words may be best known (at least in certain communities) as the name of the road in the Old City of Jerusalem that Jesus walked in agony toward the place of his crucifixion, but it could equally be considered the path of human life in general. As envisioned in the music of Deitus, pain is inevitable, and yet it can lead to illumination.

The song we present today, which is the new album’s title track, is, in a word, stunning. True to this UK band’s statement of principle, it is a powerful expression of suffering, heart-ache, and transcendence. Continue reading »

Nov 222018


NAG don’t forgive and forget. They hold grudges. They bundle up their misery and rage, and then let it all out in eruptions of sound that are both enlivening and life-threatening. Their new album, Nagged To Death, is a raw musical catharsis that’s bleak, black-eyed, bruising, and bombastic — and a hell of an electrifying thrill-ride from start to finish.

This trio, who’ve taken the names Arnfinn Nag, Espen Nag, and Ørjan Nag, hail and howl from the west coast of Norway, and we’re told that “to find inspiration for the riffs and lyrics of their new album, NAG formed a pact with none other than the Sea Goblin, known for its furious hatred towards all things human”. It seems that the Sea Goblin can take various forms, and it’s one of those guises that’s represented in the illustration by Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) that appears on the cover of this new album. Like that imagining of the creature, the music is both vile and full of fangs. Continue reading »

Nov 212018


The UK trio who Bast popped lots of eyes wide open with their 2014 debut album Spectres, but they’ve outdone themselves with their second full-length, Nanoångström, and we have the great good fortune of presenting a full stream of the record on the verge of its release by Black Bow Records.

That trio — vocalist/guitarist Craig Bryant, drummer/vocalist Jon Lee, and bassist Gavin Thomas — have created a ceaselessly fascinating and immensely powerful experience through an alloy of sludge, doom, black metal, and progressive metal. In the band’s words, “Nanoångström continues our trajectory into narrative-driven arrangements and experimental compositions; set against a bleak science fiction backdrop, it explores the human conditions of loss, isolation, and change in the wake of time’s passage.” Continue reading »

Nov 202018


Antichrist Magazine is a Ukraine-based publication devoted to metal and rock that was founded in 2003 by Oleksandr Maksymov. Originally a print publication it was converted to an on-line-only presence in 2014. On November 21st (tomorrow), Antichrist will officially release a stream-only musical compilation entitled A Tribute To Burzum, and to help spread the word we’re presenting all the music today.

While Burzum’s alter ego Varg Vikernes has become a controversial figure (to say the least), the music of Burzum undeniably has had a major impact on the evolution of black metal, and is thus a worthy subject for a tribute such as this one — for which Antichrist Magazine recruited 16 bands, as well as the Germany-based solo artist Katarina Gubanova, whose performance closes the compilation. Continue reading »

Nov 192018


In hermetic mysticism, V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is an acronym standing for “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem” — “visit the interior of the earth, and purifying it, you will find the hidden stone”. Just as vitriol was a substance used in alchemical practice for the transmutation of metals through successive purifications, at an esoteric level it represents a similar process, one of self-destruction and regeneration that is intended to lead to a transmutation and a union with the divine. The term might also be interpreted as a way of saying  “look within yourself for the truth”.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” is also the title of the first of four tracks on an unusual new split album entitled Ars Regalis created by members of two esoteric Italian black metal bands, Malvento and The Magik Way (created by former members of Mortuary Drape), and we present a lyric video for the track today — preceded by a few more words of introduction that may help shed further light on what you’re about to experience. Continue reading »

Nov 192018


The Greek black metal band Sørgelig, who share three members with another band we’ve written about before (Isolert), released their first EP in 2017 (Forever Lost) and then an excellent debut album (Apostate) this past spring. They have chosen to follow the new album with another EP, this one entitled Devoted To Nothingness, but it’s one that represents a few changes.

First, while Sørgelig‘s four-man line-up remains intact, the EP is the creation of only two of those members — vocalist Odious and multi-instrumentalist N.D. On this EP, N.D. performs guitars, drums, vocals, and bass on two tracks (and guest Konstantinos S performs bass on four others, including the one we’re presenting today).

Second, as compared to the music on Apostate (for example), this revised line-up has chosen to channel their hatred and malice toward life through a more raw and lo-fi expression of black metal — though they have not abandoned some of the key ingredients that made their debut album so seductive. Continue reading »