Dec 122019
 

 

It’s been another of those weeks when the rest of life has rudely intruded on my NCS time, and so I haven’t been keeping up very well with new songs and videos. Haven’t even had time to add to my list of things to check out based on what has popped up in the various sources I use. Still, I did pay attention to the following four new songs, and the attention was rewarded.

Be forewarned: If you come to NCS expecting us to rigidly adhere to the site’s title, today’s collection includes a couple of exceptions — two of four.

DAWN OF SOLACE

Fourteen years is a very long time between albums. And in the case of Dawn of Solace, there was no reason to expect a follow-up to The Darkness (released in 2006), because in 2013 the band’s alter ego Tuomas Saukkonen announced the interment of all of his previous bands and projects, and the decision to replace them all with Wolfheart.

But now there will be a second Dawn of Solace album, the title of which is Waves. It’s set for release on January 24th by the new label Noble Demon (who will also be releasing the debut album of Night Crowned, for which we hosted a song premiere last week). Continue reading »

Dec 072019
 

 

I wasn’t sure I would write anything for this Saturday. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t leave you enough music to explore through the 18 posts we made during the last five days, especially the 1,000 or so albums that Andy Synn recommended in his week-long year-end lists. But as I made my way through some new songs that appeared last week, it turned out that six of the tracks I enjoyed (some of which include a portion of clean vocals) were presented through better-than-average music videos, and so I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull those together here.

SYLOSIS

Sylosis are returning with their first new album in five years. Entitled Cycle of Suffering, it will be released by Nuclear Blast on February 7th, and includes the work of new bassist Conor Marshall. The first advance track, revealed through the first video in today’s collection, is “I Sever“. Continue reading »

Dec 052019
 

 

Time is short, and always fleeting, so I’ll dispense with further introductory comments and get right to these three new songs (and a new video) that caught my attention.

SVART CROWN

We’ve been writing about the music of Svart Crown at NCS since the fall of 2010, when we got the chance to hear and review their second album Witnessing the Fall in advance of its release. Since then they have released two more terrific albums, 2013’s Profane (reviewed here) and 2017’s Abreaction (discussed in part here). And now Century Media has announced that it will release this French band’s fifth album, Wolves Among the Ashes, on February 7th next year. The first song in today’s small collection is the first track made public from that new album. Continue reading »

Nov 282019
 


Blaze of Perdition

 

“I spent most of my life believing a gauzy, kindergarten version of Thanksgiving, thinking only of feasts and family, turkey and dressing.” So wrote a New York Times columnist today, near the end of an essay in which he explained in gruesome detail why, in this view, he “was blind, willfully ignorant, I suppose, to the bloodier side of the Thanksgiving story, to the more honest side of it”. His reminiscences of childhood Thanksgiving might have been my own words, but whether you remain among the blissfully blind or have become hardened by the truth, I still wish you a Happy Thanksgiving on behalf of all of us at NCS. Regardless of the reason for the occasion, happy days are hard to come by and wishes for more can’t hurt, can they?

Of course, one of the long traditions at this site has been to ignore holidays in our labors. Taking days off from posting just subtracts from the opportunities to spread the word about new metal, which continues to arrive every day, heedless of holidays. So I’ve picked some of the new arrivals to recommend. Maybe they’ll make this Thanksgiving Day a happier one for you. Continue reading »

Nov 242019
 

 

Two things: First, for those of you who make it a point to come here on Sundays for a SHADES OF BLACK feature, I do plan to have one ready a bit later, though I’ve had a devil of a time trying to cut it down to a manageable size. I still have quite a lot to write too, and I’m planning to get together with some cronies to watch the Seahawks football game this morning, so things could go sideways.

Second, I waded through an extravagant number of recently released songs yesterday, planning on a SEEN AND HEARD round-up. And that’s really what this is, but the different post title I picked hints at the reason why I decided to combine the music of these five bands — because all the music, in different ways, struck me as exotic. And I do have to emphasize that they struck me that way because I’m listening with Western, and in particular, homegrown American, ears.

THY CATAFALQUE

The first selection is a cover of a song by Kaláka, an old Hungarian folk band who turned 50 this year. The mastermind of Thy Catafalque, Tamás Kátai, explained that this band “have been one of my main inspirations since my childhood and this song is particularly close to me.” The song, “Embersólyom“, is presented through a beautiful video filmed in the Bükk Mountains of northern Hungary. Continue reading »

Nov 162019
 

 

It was another one of those weeks when I didn’t have enough time for a round-up of new music. I started working on the one you’re about to read last Tuesday, hoping to post it on Wednesday, which of course I didn’t, and Thursday and Friday were failures, too. Since I began working on it, many other worthy new songs have debuted, but rather than spend time assessing those and revising/expanding this round-up, I’m just leaving it as originally conceived.

ENSLAVED

The digital version of Enslaved’s most recent album, 2017’s E, included a bonus track, which wasn’t part of the promo we received in advance of the album’s release, or on the vinyl edition. Looks like the bonus song was also included on most of the CD editions of the record. I never heard it until last Tuesday, when it became the subject of a video that Nuclear Blast released as a way of celebrating Enslaved’s re-signing with that label for whatever they do next. Now I can’t get this song out of my head. Continue reading »

Nov 092019
 

 

Lo and behold, I managed to finish the second part of the round-up of new music I began here yesterday. Not a great shock that I couldn’t finish it yesterday; more shocking that I finished it at all. Hope you enjoy what you’ll find here. Musically, it’s pretty diverse.

EXULANSIS

I’m not embarrassed to admit that when I first listened to the title song of the debut album by Exulansis, which opens the album, I got a lump in my throat and moistness in the eyes. It’s no secret that I tend to have stronger emotional responses to music (and tend to express them more unabashedly) than many people who are (or pretend to be) music critics, mainly because I think of myself more as an enthusiastic fan than a critic. But this song damn near broke my heart. And it turns out that the song continues to have that effect every time I hear it, which means I have to ration how often I turn back to it (simply forgetting about it isn’t an option). Continue reading »

Nov 082019
 

 

Happy Friday to one and all. Although I continue to be distracted with personal obligations (I’ve become a caregiver to an injured family member, which is something that will persist for at least another month), I found time to do some scattered listening last night and this morning. Even with a lot more listening yet to do, that yielded a cornucopia of good finds, six of which you’ll find below.

The reference to “Part 1” in the post title is more a sign of optimism than a present reality. And if I can get it done at all, it might not arrive until Saturday.

SEPULTURA

To get your motor running hot and fast before moving into everything else in today’s compilation, I picked a new song and video by Sepultura, which is the one item in this collection that I caught this morning. It sure as fuck got my motor running, and the video is kind of spectacular too. Continue reading »

Nov 022019
 

 

Hope the weekend is treating you right so far, and will continue to do so. As quasi-promised yesterday (when it comes to NCS, most of my promises are quasi) I managed to find time to hurl a few more newly forged chunks of metallic extremity at your head, and made an effort to have them come in differing shapes, even though they’re all heavy and jagged.

RATTENFÄNGER

In September I included the first advance track from Rattenfänger’s new album (Geisslerlieder) in another one of these round-ups (here), and now there’s another one out in the world. Continue reading »

Nov 012019
 

 

Well, I had every intention of compiling a round-up of new metal to post on Halloween, with music suitable to the occasion. Unfortunately, life got in the way and left that plan in tatters. Now that I’m a day later, I’ve made a few adjustments in the original plan, although there are a couple of holdovers from what I originally conceived, including the opening song below. As now formulated, this round-up is quite a stylistic smorgasbord.

Be sure to come back to NCS tomorrow and Sunday, because this post doesn’t come close to exhausting all the new music from the last week or two that I’m eager to recommend. Unless life gets in the way again (always a strong possibility) I’ll have another round-up on Saturday and then the usual blackening of Sunday.

WOLFBRIGADE

I still have amazing memories of Wolfbrigade’s explosive show at Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle earlier this year, and of getting to spend time with the members off-stage. It was therefore doubly exciting to see September’s announcement that Southern Lord would be releasing the tenth album by these Swedish Lycanthro Punks — The Enemy: Reality — on November 8th. There’s only going to be one “single” from the album in advance of the release, and it was presented yesterday through a music video directed by MeANkind and edited by Henrik Norsell. Continue reading »