Jan 222021
 

 

It’s been another one of those weeks when a smorgasbord of distractions (did you hear we inaugurated a new President?) prevented me from doing much more at NCS than write up the premieres I’d agreed to do. As the days rolled on I noticed dozens of new songs and videos that I’m anxious to check out. I haven’t gotten to most of them; I guess I know how I’ll be spending this weekend. But I did seize on a few of them, and from those I picked the three included in this quick Friday round-up.

BEYOND GRACE (UK)

Yes, I suppose you could accuse me of nepotism with this first pick, given that our own Andy Synn fronts the band in question. But I’m just so thrilled for him and his band that I honestly haven’t given a second thought to my decision to lead off with this new song and video. And it’s not just that the song and video are so good, it’s also that the video premiered on the day of an announcement that Beyond Grace had signed to Prosthetic Records for the release of their next album. Continue reading »

Jan 182021
 

 

The Portuguese musician Nuno Lourenço (who lives in Brazil) is a very interesting figure. His creative work runs through his fascinating and currently active solo projects Salqiu and 0-NUN (the subject of today’s lyric video premiere), as well as the also-fascinating multi-national collaboration known as Thermohaline (whose 2020 self-titled EP is a must-listen). However, he came to this work relatively late in life.

As revealed in an extensive recent interview at MoshPitNation, he is self-taught and only began playing at the age of 43 when his children were born. o-NUN didn’t take shape until the pandemic year of 2020, when he was confined at home with that pair of hyperactive twins (who had reached the age of seven). Those stresses, as he explained, combined with the challenges of dealing with life-long depression and a complicated and stressful professional life, found an outlet in 0-NUN, a fountain of experimental black metal through which he released a sequence of three thematically connected EPs last year known as The Shamanic Trilogy. To quote from the interview: Continue reading »

Jan 132021
 

Good morning/afternoon/evening my friends and a hearty “remain indoors” to you all.

Andy Synn here, stepping in for our great and glorious leader who, sadly, can’t be with you/us right now. And for good reason.

Well, I say “good”, but there’s actually nothing “good” about it. Due to inclement, semi-apocalyptic, weather conditions, our beloved overlord is currently without power, internet, or (for the most part) phone signal, meaning that he hasn’t been able to put together any of the posts he had planned for today.

We’re hopeful that, at some point, he’ll have his access to the grid (and therefore the web) restored, but for now we’d just like to issue an apology for the technical difficulties we’re currently experiencing.

Don’t worry though, it wouldn’t be an NCS post without at least some new music, so after the jump I’m going to share a few quick thoughts on a certain EP which dropped just last night (along with the requisite bandcamp embed, obviously) so we don’t feel like today has been a total waste.

Continue reading »

Jan 112021
 

 

(TheMadIsraeli wrote the following essay, which connects two of his favorite pasttimes.)

Besides being a devoutly obsessive-compulsive audio consumer of the style of metal and all of its extremities I’m also an obsessive-compulsive consumer of interactive video games.  I have been all my life, and in a lot of the same ways as metal, video games are just as responsible for saving me from struggles with mental health issues and helping me cope with life.  I find this funny, because if one really breaks down and examines video games, especially modern ones, at their cores…

They are essentially just interactive metal. Continue reading »

Jan 092021
 

 

I’m wimping out today. I hate to let even a weekend day go by without spreading around some attractive new metal, but I’ve had to pay attention to my day job all morning (it doesn’t observe weekends any more than I do at NCS), and I’ve got to go back to paying attention to it again soon, so I can’t pump out the usual stream of words about the following selections.

Also, with so little time to myself this morning I was only able to just scratch the surface of all the new songs and videos that surfaced over the last week. Fortunately, these few scratchings turned out to be very good, and they all clawed right back at me.

THE RUINS OF BEVERAST (Germany)

Song: “Anchoress In Furs
Album: The Thule Grimoires
Label: Ván Records
Release Date: February 5th
Pre-order: https://van-records.com/Preorder_1 Continue reading »

Jan 022021
 

 

Last night I decided not to post anything today and instead spend the time trying to figure out how to begin rolling out my 2020 Most Infectious Songs list next week, and to get my shit together for when my day job starts whomping me in the head again on Monday. I have spent some time on both of those projects but my NCS obsession got the better of me, and I took a break to listen to some things on my ever-burgeoning list of music to check out. From that listening session, I picked what you’ll find in this round-up.

I have made a few compromises, compared to what I usually do in these posts, so I can get back to the other projects a bit faster. The main compromises were to dispense with tracking down, re-sizing, and uploading album art, and to write less.

GATEWAY (Belgium)

Been anxiously awaiting the first preview of music from this death/doom band’s new EP, Flesh Reborn, and it finally arrived today. The ferocity of “Slumbering Crevasses” will maul and mangle you, and the cavernous monstrosity of the vocals and quivering eeriness of the leads may put the hair up on the back of your neck too. When the song slows, it’s still punishing, and even more apocalyptically frightening. Continue reading »

Jan 012021
 


New Year’s Eve, St. Petersburg Russia — but not this year (photo by Dmitri Lovetsky)

 

Happy New Year to all who may wander by our site today. But we extend that wish with one eye looking over our shoulder. Until we’ve cut the head off of 2020, put a stake through its heart, and burned the remains to ash, we fear it will remain with us, still shambling forward like a stinking zombie or coming back from its grave (which is just a temporary resting place) like a hungry vampire, ready to turn 2021 into something horrid just like itself.

The turn of the calendar means almost nothing of course. Today will be very much like yesterday and very much like tomorrow will be. If there is a meaningful change, it will only be one in our minds, which, however, is not nothing. I saw this poem today by Dana Gioia, named “New Year’s”: Continue reading »

Dec 292020
 

 

Just a few days left in this year that has been so miserable in so many ways, but so great when it comes to heavy music. Speaking of which, my plan is to finish rolling out our year-end lists by January 1st. At this point, I have five more slated to post. Soon after the beginning of the new year I’ll begin the last stage of NCS LISTMANIA, which is my list of 2020’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. I have a lot of thinking to do about that between now and then.

In the meantime I’m still trying to keep up with newly arriving metal. My fucking day job has been relatively calm over the holidays, which makes this task a bit easier, though I expect it to heat up again after New Year’s Day. Here’s some of what I discovered over the last 24 hours that lit me up.

VOID (UK)

The London-based avant-garde black metal band Void, who have been active since 1999, don’t hurry their releases. If you’ve heard either of their first two albums — 2003’s Posthuman and 2011’s Void, you’ll understand why. This isn’t the kind of music that can be thrown together quickly, but it has been so unusually good that it rewards the patience of fans. And now, a decade after their last album, Void will be releasing a new one through Duplicate Records near the end of January 2021. Continue reading »

Dec 262020
 

 

Time has become ill-defined for me as for everyone else this year, but I do realize that it’s not still Christmas Day. I just couldn’t get Part 2 of this round-up finished in time to post it yesterday before having a virtual get-together with close family members. Probably just as well, because stacking this much new music on top of what was in Part 1 might have drowned you, especially on top of another installment of DGR’s mountainous year-end list, which (by the way) ended today without caving in the site’s foundations, though that was a risk that left me in a cold sweat all week.

For Part 2 I’m starting with an album and then moving onto a couple of EPs and a couple of singles.

CASAVIEJA (Guatemala)

When Rennie (starkweather) first urged me to listen to this band a week ago, their new second album had just come out. He said they were from “South of the Border, South of Heaven”, but I didn’t realize until later that they hail from Guatemala. Without intending to be condescending, that’s not a nation that spawns typhoon waves of extreme metal bands, a fact that just made me more eager to hear them. Continue reading »

Dec 252020
 

 

Childhood memories tend to be fuzzy, at least around the edges. I have some vivid ones, but can’t always place them in chronological order. For example, I have some very clear memories of opening Christmas presents with my brother, and the rest of my family happily watching our glee. Some of those happened on Christmas Eve, and some upon waking on Christmas Day. Having been infected by the Santa Claus myth, I assume the memories from the daybreak celebrations were the earlier ones, and the nighttime ones happened after our family figured out (rightly or wrongly) that we had wised up about the myth, but I can’t be sure.

What I do know is that the nighttime gift-openings were more magical, even if they didn’t square with the notion of deliveries by Santa and the reindeer while my brother and I were off in the Land of Nod. Maybe it’s because the lights and ornaments on the Yule trees shown more brightly (our family wisely turned off all other lights in the room). Maybe there are other reasons why those memories are more scintillating, but if so, those reasons are… fuzzy… kind of like the gauzy light that shrouds these recollections in my mind. Continue reading »