Mar 212023

(Attempting to sum up what’s coming in the following article would be a daunting task. So we’ll just say that it’s the work of Axel Stormbreaker and his musical guests, and like the title says, it’s bizarre [but cool]. There’s at least one other Chapter coming too,)

Oh, hi there, it’s your annoying neighbor, again. Here’s my recent list of muzick that has been terrorizing folks who live nearby. True story that, I once fell asleep while digging sounds, only to find notes such as ”TURN IT DOWN” delivered to my doorstep.

Now, I informed NCS it’s best to maintain a certain consistency among styles and I think I sort of got it, yeah, or whatever. Even without the other half of my original list, it still looks too bizarre. So, just chin up and enjoy, life’s too short, or time’s not enough to indulge in all the cool music that’s out there. Continue reading »

Mar 182023

Shakma – photo by Kristian Eikeland

Anyone who visits here on a regular basis knows I like to host premieres of new songs and complete releases. Other people seem to like that too, since our daily calendar of premieres is full from now through April 21st, which is about as fully stocked and as far out-front as I can remember we’ve ever been with our premiere schedule.

The downside of this for me is that it cuts deep into the time I have for something else I enjoy — roundups of new music like this one. Lately, I’ve been lucky if I can get one done on the weekend. Doing them on the weekdays has become a rarity, especially since the job that pays the freight around here has been pressing me more than usual too.

I know I sound like a broken record, constantly expressing disappointment and frustration that I can’t highlight more bands and their music in this way. But none of these records is broken…. Continue reading »

Mar 162023

(Tumbleweed Dealer‘s main man Seb Painchaud usually visits us once a year to share his eclectic year-end list, but he’s back now because turns out that list wasn’t complete. Buckle up for a wild ride.)

Wouldn’t be fair to me to call this one SHIT I SLEPT ON ‘cause I was honest about the fact I wasn’t done going through all my 2022 releases on my phone when I made my AOTY list (here), which seems like only a few days ago, but that’s just how time works now I guess.

Let’s keep blurbs short and the music flowing, I got tons of 2023 shit to get back to, and I feel my not-so-unique blend of outdated TV references, vulgar imagery, and constant swearing are wearing thin. Continue reading »

Mar 112023


Really?!?,” I can hear you say, “Is that all you saw or heard this Saturday? Or yesterday? Or the day before?

Well, not exactly. I did check out a couple of other things, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to do more than what you’re looking at right now. It’s just been one of those weeks, when my effing day job hammered me into submission. On top of that, we had four visitors at the house yesterday, beginning at noon and extending pretty deep into the night. I slept away most of the morning, and my head has been fuzzier than usual. So this is what I have. Hoping for more tomorrow in the SHADES OF BLACK column….


If you’re looking for a way to un-clog your head of whatever gunked it up overnight, I can testify from personal experience that this first song and video will do that, and right quick. It’s called “Succumb“, and that’s what you will do. Continue reading »

Feb 252023


I used to type lists of new songs and videos I wanted to check out, pasting the links below the band names. Now I use a Firefox thingy called Pocket. When I’m on a web page for a song or video, I tap the Pocket icon on the Firefox browser and it automatically saves the link in Pocket.

Much faster than what I used to do, but the downside is that when I go to Pocket I see endless rows of thumbnail images for all the links I’ve saved. I fear my fingers will cramp from the scrolling, down and down and down… and my mind starts to cramp up on me too.

The result is that I tend to focus on stuff at the top (the links I saved most recently), especially when I’m hurrying. That phenomenon explains most of the choices in today’s round-up. Continue reading »

Feb 232023


Since I’m snow-bound this morning and can’t make it to a job-related commitment at mid-day I had time to pull together one more short round-up, to go along with the other one from earlier today.

UNPURE (Sweden)

This seems to be a day for returns from the grave, following my selections from Dååth and 7 H.Target in the earlier round-up. After a silence spanning nearly 20 years, Unpure come back with a new album named Prophecies Ablaze, which will be released at the end of March by Invictus Productions and The Ajna Offensive, and that record is the source of my first pick in this installment. Continue reading »

Feb 232023

I don’t know why I bother counting, but I have 23 new songs and videos on my listening list from what surfaced over the last 7 days, not to mention all the ones that were on there before. But I need to keep this round-up short, because there’s a premiere coming up, but maybe I’ll get a second one finished today after that.


No chance I would have missed the new Dååth single digitally released yesterday by Metal Blade, because I got timely enthusiastic messages about it from both DGR and TheMadIsraeli. But I would have paid attention anyway, since seeing their name again revived a ton of fond memories from the first decade of the new millennium, back when they were taking the metal world by storm. Continue reading »

Feb 232023

(Today Axel Stormbreaker focuses attention on an octet of releases by the Virginia-based label Death Eternal.)

Death is final. Death is eternal. Even if there exists some sort of afterlife in what lies beyond, it’s probable we won’t be carrying any of our present memories along. Blame me if today’s mood seems a bit philosophical, but current events can make a guy ponder. You’re wondering what’s the point of it all, or why it’s an aspect all of Earth’s religions won’t dispute. Or even how would our essence grow in the first place, if memories are not supposed to matter.

That being said, Death Eternal Records from Richmond, Virginia is a name rather suitable for an underground DIY endeavor. Especially one that deals with ominous music, even when their criteria do grand salvation on a personal degree. What you may find here, none can quite guarantee. What you shall miss, no one could really answer. All you’ll be getting is nothing besides the dusty offerings of a small-scale label, dedicated to promoting local talent among other relative bands. Continue reading »

Feb 212023

(Andy Synn takes us on another epic journey soundtracked by French Prog-Metal maestros Hypno5e)

There’s every chance that, while you’re reading this article, I’ll be out at the massive Gojira arena show here in Nottingham.

The only reason I mention this is that, for years now, Hypno5e have been (lazily) compared to the Big G, despite the fact that the two bands have little in common apart from their nationality.

In fact, if anything, the two groups have only grown further apart as time has gone by, with Hypno5e opting for the path less-travelled and growing more complex and ambitious with every new album.

Which brings us to Sheol – simultaneously both a sequel and a prequel to A Distant Dark Shore (the two albums forming a closed conceptual cycle) – which finds the band continuing to stretch themselves, and their sound, in ever more compelling, challenging, and unpredictable ways.

Continue reading »

Feb 182023

Today I woke up late and moved lazily. For most of my life, and probably yours, that’s the way Saturday mornings always were. Except in my case I had the lunatic idea when I started this blog in the fall of 2009 that I’d post something about music I liked even on Saturday and Sunday, and every holiday.

I thought of that as a way of underscoring that NCS would never be a business, and would consider none of us here as “workers”, because people working “jobs” almost always get weekends off. I think I also believed we might get more visitors due to the lack of competition on the weekends from the somewhat more-established metal sites that were beginning to dot the internet landscape.

And I probably thought the lifespan of NCS would be about a year, so how tough would it be to listen and write on the weekends for a year? Who knew it would go on like it has? I sure as shit didn’t.

In the last 13+ years I’ve failed to make some weekend posts, after a long stretch of never failing, though the number of failure days is still small. So now when I wake up late and move lazily it doesn’t take long before I start to feel like I’d better get my shit in gear, even if the lateness of the morning hour means I’m not able to make the Saturday roundup as extensive as I’d like (which is true today). But… no failure today at least…. Continue reading »