May 212022
 

 

In yesterday’s roundup of new music and videos I explained that I had pushed forward by one day a lot of choices I originally intended to spread around yesterday. I did that to make room for some even more-late-breaking stuff, But now, as promised, I’m circling back to those original picks — and of course I added a couple.

What lies ahead of you is in some instances off the usual beaten paths, especially in the first two tracks and the last two. The very last track represents the biggest divergence of them all, but might just be the most brilliant offering of everything here. And now that I’ve (hopefully) teased you into staying with me to the end, let’s begin….

AZTLAN (Mexico)

I begin with two songs that I suppose could crudely be summed up as “folk metal”, but I don’t mean folk metal in the vein of this new song by Schandmaul. Both are much more interesting (though that Schandmaul song definitely is a toe-tapper). Continue reading »

May 202022
 

When I woke up this morning I had planned to do a big round-up of 8 new songs and videos that I’d picked during a listening/viewing session yesterday afternoon. Bleary-eyed, I found messages from Mr. Synn telling me about four other new songs and videos that had popped up overnight from bands we all favor. What to do?

What I decided to do was go with those four newer ones today, plus one of the 8 I picked yesterday, and push the others I found yesterday into another round-up tomorrow. Trust me, even with the slight delay those others will be well worth your time on Saturday.

IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT (U.S.)

“Atmospheres awash with mysterious origins. Sacred rites of passage and formidable knowledge lead to marvels of engineering. Funnelling the mass into a finite horizon all roads travel in duality. Blurred is the line between real and illusion as the last scream of truth is destroyed by evil so grotesque. It transforms into a lone rider traveling into the forbidden darkness…”

Those are the words proffered by Imperial Triumphant for “Maximalist Scream“, the first advance track from their new album Spirit of Ecstasy, which comes with this intriguing cover art: Continue reading »

May 172022
 

I have the freedom to do whatever the hell I want with these round-ups, which should mean an absence of any pressure but somehow doesn’t work out that way. No one tells me to pick this song or that song, no one will live or die (or succeed or fail) depending on what I pick, and I guess the only “wrong” choice is one that no one else likes. So where does the pressure come from?

Damned if I know. Some gremlin in my head that gnaws at the wiring and gibbers “You could have done better! You could have done more!” Begone you devil, I’d rather forget about you and listen to these devils instead:

ORNÆMENTAL SHINE (U.S.)

Not too long ago I, Voidhanger Records launched a flurry of new album announcements and advance tracks from each of them. Eventually I hope to touch on all of them. Today I’ll touch on Deima Panikon, the debut album from Ornæmental Shrine, an avant-garde U.S. quintet that includes members of Uada and Black Hate. Continue reading »

May 142022
 

If you happened to wade through my windy intro to yesterday’s small-ish roundup, then you know I had a ton of new songs and videos to check out, and hoped to pull together a lot more picks today than I managed to do yesterday.

Unfortunately, for reasons I won’t get windy about today, I haven’t been able to dig as deeply into that big pile of new things as I’d hoped, so this followup roundup will also be smallish, but hopefully still worth your time. (More to come tomorrow.)

WORMWITCH (Canada)

Kyle Tavares has been a very busy man this year. Aided by some talented bandmates, his group Vital Spirits released a new album, and his band Seer released a new EP (both of which we premiered, here and here), and now Wormwitch (the third active band in which he is a key participant) just released a new digital single yesterday, along with a video that had its premiere at Decibel. Continue reading »

May 132022
 

 

In the outer world, Friday the 13th is often perceived as an unlucky day. But in the crypts, swamps, deserts, and various infernal and post-apocalyptic dimensions where most of our beloved music dwells, the signifiers of luck are reversed. Which makes it strange that on this Friday the 13th we have no music or video premieres on our calendar.

On the one hand, since I write almost all of our premieres, that should have meant I had a block of free time to round up some new songs and videos. On the other hand, I used most of the block going through the thousand NCS e-mails I had mostly ignored all week long. What did that get me? Links to about a hundred new songs and clips I thought might conceivably be interesting — and almost no time to listen and watch. I question my judgment.

To deal with the conundrum, I just quickly picked the following three items and deferred the rest of the sifting process to some point later today or tonight, with the goal of having a more fulsome round-up on Saturday. Continue reading »

May 062022
 

 

It’s another Bandcamp Friday today, when a bigger share of the money you spend on that platform goes to the artists and labels. So I made an extra effort to pull together a roundup of new songs and videos, even though I don’t have time to make it as extensive as I’d like. Here’s what caught my eyes and ears over the last 24 hours — and I’ll have more stuff to recommend on Saturday.

WAKE (Canada)

I’m starting with a new song and video for “Swallow the Light“, a track off these NCS-favorites’ new album Thought Form Descent. Its slashing and searing chords, electrifying drumwork, and torrid vocals will get your blood pumping, even as it creates moods of anguish, fear, confusion, and derangement. Often white-hot in its intensity, it will also give your neck a good workout. Continue reading »

Apr 302022
 

 

I’ve had a fuckin’ rough week, a classic example of the old adage that when it rains it pours. On top of continuing to help an injured loved one recover from physical trauma followed by surgery, I was slammed hard and repeatedly by my day job. Woe is me, indeed.

I largely ignored the thousand emails that poured into NCS since last weekend, and barely noticed the other places where I get suggestions of new music to write about. Blessed by a bit of peace this morning, I began going through the emails — and gave up after 15 minutes, overwhelmed by the scale of the task. I picked just a few things rather than completely abandon my roundup duties.

The first couple of selections probably reflect my current moods, which then got elevated by the third song. Of course I had to throw you a bit of a curveball at the end.

PESTILENT HEX (Finland)

I thought about saving this first track for tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column, but the way things have gone over the past week I don’t know if there will be one. And besides, this song really grabbed me this morning, so striking while the iron is hot seemed like the right decision. Continue reading »

Apr 232022
 

I’m pretty sure this is the single biggest roundup I’ve ever created. The streams of music were indeed overflowing over the past week, and I felt compelled to get out to you as many of the good ones as I could — though I still have more, drawn from blackened veins, to push your way in tomorrow’s column.

I will say that there’s more rocking out to be found in this collection than usual, and a couple of exceptions to our no-singing rule. But don’t worry your pointed little heads, there’s plenty of savagery in the mix too. I’ll also say that I played DJ, trying to arrange these in a way that would pair up like-minded songs here and there. But some of the segues are still probably jarring, which is how I like it.

BLACK VOID (Norway)

I decided to begin with music from forthcoming releases by a big label before clawing deeper under ground. The first pick is a video for “Dadaist Disgust“, a new single from this Norwegian band’s upcoming debut album Antithesis, out May 27th on Nuclear Blast. Continue reading »

Apr 222022
 

My day job continues to pound the crap out of me, so I have to turn away from NCS pretty soon. But I thought I’d use the brief window of time I have left to pick out a few new songs and videos you might enjoy. Because the music is all “blackened” in different ways, I might have called it “SHADES OF BLACK (Weekday Edition)”.

The day job will continue to hammer me this weekend, but I should have time for at least another brief round-up tomorrow, plus the usual Sunday column.

DOLDRUM (U.S.)

We begin with an enormous surprise (at least to me), the first song revealed from the debut album by Denver-based Doldrum, which unites members of Erraunt and Gallows. The album’s name is The Knocking, Or The Story of the Sound that Preceded Their Disappearance, and Doldrum describe the music within as “Haunted Black Metal rooted in American folklore and the occult”. Continue reading »

Apr 162022
 

I hope your weekend is off to a good start. I got my good start at a baseball home opener last night, arrived home late, and spent a chunk of the morning texting with fellow Mariners fans, still reveling in the ass-whipping they administered to the much-loathed Astros. Which is to say that this roundup will be a relatively short one.

A regrettably short one, because this past week was huge for new metal. I did a fairly good job making lists of new stuff I spotted, and it sure seemed like the torrent was greater than average. I basically just took random shots at some bands who have already proven themselves, and a few that seemed intriguing. To make the quick search a bit easier, I left all the black metal options to explore for tomorrow’s usual column. Be forewarned that this includes a couple exceptions to our rule about singing.

EXOCRINE (France)

To lead off we’ll go with a new Exocrine song, which two of my NCS comrades enthusiastically pushed my way. It’s the title track from the band’s fifth album, The Hybrid Suns, which Unique Leader plans to release on June 17th. Continue reading »