Jul 162018


I’ll make this quick:

First, within the last hour or so, Behemoth announced a North American tour (Ecclesia Diabolica America 2018) with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. It begins on October 20th in Phoenix and ends on November 24th in Los Angeles, and includes stops in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as 18 U.S. States. Here’s the current schedule: Continue reading »

Jul 162018


Editor’s Note: NCS patron HGD, who has been kind enough to send us recommendations of new music in the past, prepared the following round-up of new music, which we’re presenting here with his own introductory comments, and with our thanks. As he wrote, “The overarching theme here is death metal of the old school variety, but having said that there are still significant differences from song to song.”


Deicide are the highest profile group amongst the bunch included here so it’s best to start with them. NCS has already covered the announcement of their new album Overtures of Blasphemy, due out September 14 on Century Media. The first single from that album, “Excommunicated“, was released last Friday. Continue reading »

Jul 132018


This is obviously a big end-of-week round-up. Today the size of the round-up will be in inverse proportion to the volume of words in my descriptions of the music, because I have three premieres to write and there would have been more except I exercised some rare restraint and started saying No.

What is it about this day that makes it so popular for premieres and releases? Could it be that there is only one other Friday in 2018 like it (and that one occurred three months ago)?

I arranged the music in alphabetical order by band name because I couldn’t think of a more logical way to stitch these sounds together.


This time Bonehunter chose to keep the rampaging bear’s penis less prominent on the magnificent cover of their new album (rendered by Joe Petagno), to the disappointment of some and the relief of others (as long as they don’t look to closely at that tongue). But how does the music on Children of the Atom compare to the tunes on this Finnish band’s more prominently erect last record, Sexual Panic Human Machine? Continue reading »

Jul 122018


Roughly two years ago we had the pleasure of premiering The Path To Absence, a very impressive first EP by the Venetian band Askesis, which moved me to write: “The songs are dynamic and usually straddle the smoking crevasse between occult death metal and black metal, with a strong stench of doom in the mix as well. When the music is moving at full threshing speed, or bounding with punk-influenced rhythms, it gets the blood pumping… but the sense that something in the shadows hungers for your blood is never far away.”

Now it’s our good fortune to present a new Askesis EP, the name of which is Black Ontology, and it’s even more impressive than the previous one. The two women and two men in this band have succeeded in establishing their own distinctive “personality”, crafting a sequence of songs that continually brings the word “sorcerous” to the mind of this writer. It’s packed with physically arresting (and constantly changing) rhythms, yet it also creates atmospheres of brooding menace and of fiery infernal celebration, like the accompaniment to witches and warlocks cavorting around a pyre whose extravagant flames spear upward into the night sky. Continue reading »

Jul 112018


On Monday of this week I began a two-part collection of music whose title was intended to have a dual meaning. Some of the music I chose was recognizably death/doom metal. Other tracks had very little to do with death metal, yet death loomed large in their atmosphere, even envisioning the extinction of all human life.

In this concluding part of the post, doom is still (in widely differing degrees) a through-line in the music, and visions of extinction still uncoil in the mind as the sounds flow through it. But as in Part 1, there’s considerable variety in the music.

I’m indebted to HGD, a faithful reader and a frequent source of recommendations, for urging the last three of these selections upon us, and for allowing me to use his own words as brief introductions to the streams. But we’ll begin with one choice of my own.


Eterno, the new three-track EP by this Italian band presents enormous contrasts of sound and mood. It is usually slow, and as heavy as anything I’ve heard this year — heavy enough to shatter granite boulders as if they were tiny brittle pine cones leached of moisture by the sun… massive, mountainous, megalithic music, and equally immense in the scale of its bleakness. Continue reading »

Jul 112018


A whirlwind trip to Denver for my fucking day job prevented me from posting anything yesterday other than my premiere and review of the new Temple Desecration album. So I’ve got some catching-up to do. Later today I’ll post Part 2 of a post I began on Monday (“Doom Meets Death”) along with a couple more song premieres and the beginning of a three-day series of photos by Teddie Taylor from this year’s edition of Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle. But first, it’s time for a mid-week round-up of new music and videos.


Pig Destroyer’s new album, Head Cage, has been high on our list of highly anticipated albums for the second half of this year. Yesterday they provided the album’s first single (and video), “Army of Cops“. To put things politely, it produced some mixed reactions across the interhole. For example, there was this exchange among certain people affiliated with NCS, whose names I’ve concealed because I didn’t ask permission to quote them: Continue reading »

Jul 092018


Ten years on from their formation and five years after their second album, the persistently evolving Canadian band Finnr’s Cane are nearing the release of their third full-length, Elegy. The first two singles from the album that have appeared so far — “Strange Sun” and “Willow” — are sufficient by themselves to prove that the album is difficult to pin down in genre terms. the former a head-banging display of more traditional black metal, the latter a piece inspired by the quiet hours of the morning and the slow sway of willow branches under dim light, a time of solitude when sadness and joy can commingle. And today we have the premiere of the album’s title track, which reveals further dimensions of the album.

Largely unhindered by stiff genre confines, the band bring into play styles and sounds that suit the emotional intensity and atmosphere of the album’s themes, which include “urban desolation, loss and grieving, personal struggle, the rebirth of the natural world”, and, as noted, “the quiet hours of the early morning”. The presence of a cello instead of a bass guitar in the instrumentation well-suits these goals, as does the blending of clean and harsh vocals. Those ingredients play key roles in “Elegy” (the song), which proves to be both soulful and desolate, introspective and wrenching. Continue reading »

Jul 092018


Through a happy coincidence, I’m drowning in despair this morning. I have a collection of new tracks that I thought would be worthy of a Monday round-up, and most of it comes in varying flavors of doom.

Of course “doom” as a genre label doesn’t tell you very much because the genre has subdivided so many times over so many decades. As the title of this post suggests, you’ll find flavors of death/doom metal in this collection, but the title is meant to have a second meaning — a hint at the atmosphere to be found in the songs that are less closely connected to death metal. And as the title further suggests, I’ll have a Part 2 either later today or tomorrow.


When you watch the video for this first song you will see Xoresth’s music labeled as Funeral Doom. To be more precise, this is music for the funeral of all humankind, with no surviving soul left to mourn. As I hear it, it’s a vision of the future in which our planetary home has been burned to a cinder and then frozen in a heatless void. Not for naught, the name of the album is Vortex of Desolation. Continue reading »

Jul 062018


The last 24 hours brought a big slug of new music from a bunch of well-known bands, and the first four items in this end-of-the-week round-up are among those. I found quite a lot of good new music from lesser-known bands as well, and put one of those at the end of this collection.


To begin I present for your enjoyment the official video for “Squalor Opera“, a new song taken from the next album by perennial NCS favorites, Aborted. Entitled TerrorVision, it will be released through Century Media on September 21st, 2018. Continue reading »

Jul 052018


I know we’ve thrown a ton of music and videos your way recently, but I find myself with a bit of free time left before I have to bid NCS good-by for the day, so I thought I’d do one more thing. To quote the timeless words of Bart in Blazing Saddles, “Excuse me while I whip this out.”


Breaking news: A few minutes ago I happened to be loitering on Facebook (only briefly so as not to damage my health) when that eye-catching artwork up there popped into my news feed, accompanied by these words from the band Gorod: Continue reading »