Aug 012020

All Thoughts Fly


Another week is nearly over in which I had very little time to listen to new music apart from what I agreed to premiere, and only did a scattered job of trying to add to my list of things to check out eventually. I’m not optimistic this state of affairs is going to change any time soon. I did take advantage of this Saturday morning to jump around randomly in my list. I tried to balance bands whose names I knew with unfamiliar names, and from what I heard I picked these songs and videos — four that surfaced during the past week and then an older EP I just discovered.


When I first thought about how to order these selections I was going to end the round-up with the following video, as sort of a palate cleanser and mood-changer. But upon slight further reflection I realized that would have been tremendously unfair, because I can’t remember another video I’ve seen this year that’s such an extraordinary match of sights and sounds. So, we begin here… Continue reading »

Jul 292020


Happy hump-day. To help get you over the hump I compiled this short collection of new songs and videos from among others I checked out last night and this morning. Apart from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed all of these, they give you a lot of variety. Surely you will enjoy at least one, if not all of them. If you don’t, we’re not offering refunds.


The opening drum pattern in this first song and video reminded me of Kate Bush‘s hit from the mid-’80s, “Running Up That Hill”. Even if I hadn’t already been a fan of Crippled Black Phoenix and curious to see what they’d be doing on their new album, that alone would have rooted me in place for the rest of this ride — and what a wonderful ride it is. Continue reading »

Jul 272020


I’m trying to get back into the more normal swing of things after some recent disruptive events I’ve already written about. I made a start yesterday with a two-part SHADES OF BLACK, and am continuing today with this round-up of other music I’ve recently been enjoying. As you’ll see, I probably could have made this Part 3 of yesterday’s column, because it does lean pretty hard into blackened sounds.


If you suspect, or perhaps have already concluded, that metal made exclusively with trumpet, trombone, and drums isn’t your kind of thing, I urge you (again) to reconsider. And if you’ve already embraced what Ottone Pesante do with those instruments, the first track in this collection will cause you to squeeze them harder to your chest (figuratively speaking, of course, because hugs may be disease-riddled these days). Continue reading »

Jul 182020

The Glorious Dead


This has been a rough week. Unexpectedly, it’s been the busiest week I’ve had for my day job since the pandemic caused a shutdown here in Washington State back in March. Those job demands carried through into this weekend and consumed a big part of this Saturday. On top of that, four days ago Covid 19 rapidly claimed the life of a man in Texas (where I spent half my life) who has been a father figure to me since my teenage years. He also founded and led the organization I work for, and he was the longest-lasting and most influential mentor I’ve had in my working career. Because of the virus, I couldn’t be with him or his family, and that made an already tragic situation even worse.

I probably could have gotten a break from work because of his death, but I decided that staying busy was probably better for my mental and emotional health. For the same reason, I stuck to the commitments I’d made to premiere music at NCS this past week. But I didn’t have the time or mental clarity to do much of anything else here. I didn’t listen to any new music other than what I had promised to premiere. I’ve neglected NCS emails. And I haven’t kept up very well with the appearance of new songs and videos. Continue reading »

Jul 142020


I’m suffering from time compression. I’m thankful to still have a day job but it’s given me a shitload of things to do over the last 24 hours (and counting). That, and a few personal obligations I can’t put off, have squeezed my NCS time, and I have to use some of that to prepare two premieres today before my golden coach turns back into a pumpkin.

So, I’m throwing your way the following new songs and videos, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed, accompanied by very few of my own words. They’re all high-energy; they include lots of technical showmanship; and of course you’ll get a few doses of ferocity and evil along the way.


To begin, here’s Incantation‘s official video for “Fury’s Manifesto“, the second single from their new album Sect of Vile Divinities — which is actually a good name for Incantation themselves. The album will be released on August 21st by Relapse Records. Continue reading »

Jul 112020


If you’re a fan of Enslaved, Pallbearer, Kataklysm, Black Crown Initiate, Oceans of Slumber, surely you know about the new singles they released over the last few days from their next albums (most with videos), and if you didn’t know, now you do (just follow those hyperlinks to listen and watch). You probably also saw the announcement of a new Napalm Death album and Decibel’s “Get Behind the Mask” feature with photos of 140 masked-up artists.

But rather than provide commentary about those widely touted events I decided to turn my piggish snout toward the sniffing out of truffles your own snouts might not have detected yet, which is mainly how we use our olfactory organs at NCS.


Rebel Wizard‘s new album Magickal Mystical Indifference was just released yesterday by Prosthetic Records, and to celebrate the occasion they’ve also just released a colorful, metal AF new video (made by Exotic Corpse) for an album track named “raiseth up all those that be bowed down“. Continue reading »

Jul 102020


Here’s another short round-up of songs and videos as a way of wrapping up our posts for this week. I have in mind another one for Saturday.


This first video has it all — flashing images of swarming maggots, snakes, death in the insect kingdom, human and goat skulls, stone tombs, abundant torches and candles, skies ripped by lightning, and a masked and corpse-painted band ripping through their song in a cavern. It’s missing a human sacrifice, but we shouldn’t be greedy. Continue reading »

Jul 092020


Despite my new-found strategy of limiting the volume of these round-ups in order to do more of them each week, I found enough time to include new music from five bands in this one. The new stuff I picked for today’s collection based on an early-morning listening session begins with two excellent Jakub Moth videos for a couple of dramatically impassioned songs, and the mood stays serious and intense for the two tracks after that. And then I decided to wrap things up with some good old death metal via Antwerp that’s just plain evil fun.


The first song I picked is a track off the debut album of the wilderness-worshiping Oregonian duo Aleynmord. The album’s name is The Blinding Light, and it’s packaged with cover art by Jef Whitehead. As noted above, Chariot of the Black Moth created the beautifully haunting video for the track. Continue reading »

Jul 072020


Those of us who form the core staff at NCS have recently been reconsidering lots of the things we do here and how we do them. To be more precise, much of the discussion has involved what I do here and how I do them. A lot of the discussion boils down to being more selective in what we publish, and more willing to publish fewer posts every day if that’s necessary to make greater scrutiny possible.

One likely outcome of those discussions is that I will accept fewer premieres. For a while now I’ve been writing two or more premieres every day. I only agree to premiere music that I like and that I think fits the musical focus of the site, but that still leads to lots of premieres. I admit that I have a hard time saying no. One consequence of so many premieres is that I have much less time to write about music that I find on my own, including round-ups of new music and stand-alone reviews of records that we’re not premiering.

Because I’ve put myself in the position of not being able to write round-ups as often as I’d like, the backlogs grow to gargantuan proportions. I resort to gigantic Overflowing Streams collections in an effort to work through the backlogs, but even that format (in which I cut back on my own verbiage) takes time to put together, and so I wind up not even publishing those kinds of collections more than once a week (if I can even manage that).

This process of discussion and self-reflection has led me to realize another problem I’ve created for myself. Continue reading »

Jul 062020


We’ve been attentively following the progress of the German atmospheric black metal band Schattenfall since their first release in 2017, a debut album named Schatten in Schwarz. That album made a stunning first impression, but perhaps even more stunning was the band’s second album, 2019’s Melancholie des Seins, which our Andy Synn acclaimed in his review here as “equal parts haunting beauty and brooding melancholy,” presenting manifestations of “gloriously melodic misery” that were “second to none”.

Schattenfall followed that album with their Das Verderben EP in February of this year, and it proved again the band’s formidable talent for creating music that leaves lasting impressions. It was spellbinding but also capable of jolting ferocity and shattering emotional force.

And now it’s our pleasure to present a full stream of Schattenfall’s latest work, an instrumental EP entitled Einsamkeit that’s set for release on July 13th. Continue reading »