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 »

Feb 172023

Yet another big week for new metal. I have many things I want to recommend, but not enough time today to throw them all your way. So I’ll make a start now, with a sandwich made of some big names at top and bottom and stunning Theophonos in the middle, and continue on Saturday.


It’s kind of amazing that Cattle Decap have now been around long enough to release a tenth studio album, which is what will happen on May 12th when Metal Blade ushers Terrasite into a waiting world.

We have a linguistic preview of what’s coming, thanks to this statement by guitarist Josh Elmore: Continue reading »

Feb 152023

I’m very happy about all the music in this mid-week roundup. I’m also very happy about the way it all lines up.

A big part of the fun of doing these collections is not just finding new songs and videos that I think are worth recommending, but also choosing the ones that either flow together well or instead ricochet off each other in unexpected ways. There’s a little bit of both strategies in what I chose for today, but mainly this roundup is designed to quickly elevate your adrenaline and then keep it surging. Lots of good cover art today as well.


I searched out the first time we wrote about Thuldandra at this site. It was in June 2010, when NCS was barely seven months old. The occasion was an extensive review of the band’s 2010 debut album Fallen Angel’s Dominion, in which I included an extensive discussion of the band’s back-story, with notes about the C.S. Lewis space trilogy that was the source of their name. It was evident even then that they held the potential of becoming the truest heirs of Dissection. Continue reading »

Feb 152023

Mauta Tala, the name of Sarpa‘s new EP which we’re premiering today, translates to “Death Rhythm” from the ancient Sanskrit language. It’s the solo work of David Baxter from Austin, Texas, the drummer of Plutonian Shore and a former member of Skrew and Škan. We’re told this about how he conceived the music:

David Baxter wanted to write a completely chaotic song, followed by a more mellow, yet still dark sounding passage. Day and night. Sun and moon. The music was mostly influenced by the time he spent out in the American Southwest desert, which is why it includes the sandstorms and other related sounds. The EP starts with the storm, which blows in the chaos, then ends with the storm, after which the music gets swallowed back up into the void.” Continue reading »

Feb 142023


(It’s Valentine’s Day. Axel Stormbreaker has gift ideas.)

Valentine’s Day is a universal holiday of its own uniqueness. Arguably, it may well be the only day of the year when every one of you feels both contrary and guilty simultaneously. The thing is, there’s been so much public discussion about why people should celebrate, or why they just shouldn’t, or even why the fuck should others care how people choose to spend this day. To the very point, a simple reminder of phrasal brawls is enough to mess with your mood momentarily.

Then again, metalheads feel even more divided for their own reasons. Especially, when the ones who choose to see to the needs of their better half got no clue as to what present they should be purchasing. Should it be a bouquet of roses, some exquisite chocolate box, or a rock ballad compilation? Most ideas seem so trivial, applied to the point of exhaustion. What present could you possibly choose that won’t appear as a petty option?

So, have no concern you troubled rascals! Dr. Love Stormbreaker is here to answer the dilemma that’s been dividing mankind since the birth of capitalism. Yes, you should celebrate Valentine’s Day and yes, you can do it in kvlt style! What I am about to give you is my ultimate top 5 cult tape list of Aloe City Wrld Records, each one selected according to your own special needs. Continue reading »

Feb 132023


(In a seasonal mood, our friend Neill Jameson (Krieg) has brought us and you a playlist of varied dark music for these chilly days in the northern half of the globe.)

We’re halfway through winter here in the northern hemisphere and, as is tradition by some of the louder dunces on the internet, people are already proclaiming their albums of the year. And while I could spend another few hundred words decrying the shortsightedness of this instant gratification culture we’ve fostered, that would only serve to give Metal Twitter™ more reason to warble on and on about my merits as a human being, which would take away from their time trying to figure out which band you like once shared an elevator ride with someone wearing a Goatmoon shirt.

As I’ve traditionally been a shut-in most of my life, I’ve spent a lot of evenings this winter reading, drinking tea and listening to music to find new projects to admire. I wrote that to sound more sophisticated than it actually plays out in an effort to make you like me. In actuality I’m just old and this is my idea of a wild night now. 

Anyway I’ve discovered a lot of interesting and dark music, mostly through the excellent Rites of Pestilence YouYube channel, most of which was unfamiliar to me, and started making a list of what I’ve really gotten something out of. Here’s that list.

Continue reading »

Feb 112023

I had a fairly quiet Friday night, with just enough spirits over dinner to get loose but not enough to feel wrecked and disjointed this morning. Kept making my way through the first season of “Poker Face“, which is enormously entertaining through episode 4, and then another chunk of pages in the latest Murderbot novel, which I’m forcing myself to ration since I’ll be so morose when I have to wait for the next one.

Anyway, thanks for asking about my Friday night. Pretty sure that’s what those whispers were in my head. But now to drown out all whispers with a few more things I got into this morning. Yesterday’s roundup was heavy on the death metal, so I decided to branch out a bit today, while saving most (but not all) of the black stuff ’til tomorrow.


Well, as I said, I didn’t save all the black stuff for tomorrow. This first song was just too good a way to wake people the fuck up. It’s a head-spinning amalgam of symphonic grandiosity, bizarro-world guitar convulsions (with a few bracing gallops and insectile quiverings in the mix), full-throttle madhouse drumwork, bunker-busting grooves, and macabre vocals that stretch far to find so many ways to be ugly. Continue reading »