Dec 242021
 

 

Whether you celebrate Christmas because of its religious significance, or simply indulge in its old pagan trappings, or only try to keep your head down and get through it like running a gauntlet, I hope you have a joyful holiday. Of course I’m about to try to make it more joyful by sharing some dark, dreadful, and exhilarating tunes that have recently surfaced in the manifold realms of metal. Before doing that I’m going to digress in a way that I don’t think I have ever done before at NCS.

Some of us who can afford it at this time of year look for ways to make charitable contributions, and I want to suggest one. It arises from a severe misfortune that has befallen my friend Dustin Carroll.

I knew him first as the bassist for the Seattle-based metal band A God or Another, and later has a member of the bands Addaura and Bréag Naofa. But the context in which I got to know him better was through his volunteer work for Seattle’s Northwest Terror Fest, which I’ve been involved in producing and supporting since its inception, and which we’re planning to resume (covid willing) next year. Continue reading »

Dec 182021
 


photo credit: Jelena Jakovljevic Photography

 

We had a very good week here at NCS, with a sharp increase in visitors largely driven by Andy Synn‘s five-part of year-end lists. It has warmed our cold dead hearts to see the positive responses and the gratitude expressed to him for the ton of work he devoted to developing those lists. Maybe we would be better off just stopping there rather than risk drowning our visitors in more lists (or rather, those visitors who weren’t already drowned during the week that just ended), but we have a lot more to share in the next couple of weeks.

Next week we’ll have DGR‘s lists, plus lists from Neill Jameson, Wil Cifer, Professor D. Grover the XIIIth, and Seb Painchaud (of Tumbleweed Dealer), and I’m expecting to receive even more lists from other NCS writers and old friends which we’ll publish before the year expires. And let’s not forget that our big collection of year-end reader lists continues to grow (you can see those, and contribute to them, in the comments to this post).

Meanwhile, I’m beginning to figure out what will go into this year’s list of Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, and of course I’m continuing to make a (largely unsuccessful) effort to keep abreast of new songs and videos — which continue to emerge every day despite the rapid approach of the holiday season and the expiration of 2021. Which brings me to today’s gigantic collection….

NAPALM DEATH (UK)

I’m probably the last metalhead on Earth to check out the new Napalm Death single, “Narcissus“. I knew it was out there, but kept forgetting to hit it. It’s on a forthcoming ND EP named Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes, which includes previously unreleased material and cover songs. Barney Greenway described the new song thusly: Continue reading »

Dec 172021
 

Funeral Mist‘s last album, Hekatomb, dropped in June 2018 without any preview. I rushed to listen to it, and rushed a review into print, more to urge it upon listeners than to give it a carefully considered assessment, especially an assessment that would compare it to the band’s preceding albums.

Well, today NoEvDia released a new Funeral Mist album named Deiform, and I’m basically doing the same thing.

This time I actually received an advance copy, but it wasn’t very much in advance of today’s release and it came at a time when I couldn’t drop everything else (much as I wanted to) and really become immersed in what Arioch had created this time around.

So once again, although I’m providing my immediate impressions of the album, I’m mainly urging people to listen to it, especially year-end list-makers who haven’t finished their lists, because Deiform has the capacity to up-end the process. Continue reading »

Dec 132021
 

 

I guess you noticed that we didn’t post anything new at the site on Saturday or Sunday. In 12+ years of our existence that has happened only a couple of other times. I went to holiday events on Friday and Saturday nights, got trashed at both of them, and spent the days after in a state of crippling mental and physical disability. So that’s the explanation in a nutshell.

There’s obviously a lot of catching up to do in the race for staying on top of new songs and videos, which explains why I’ve resorted to this OVERFLOWING STREAMS format. I made a conscious effort to include a fair share of black metal since I failed to post a SHADES OF BLACK column yesterday. Speaking of which, if you haven’t noticed I’ll mention the good news that a new Funeral Mist album is set for release on December 17th HERE (it appears that it will be released in its entirety that day, without any advance song streams).

IMMOLATION (U.S.)

I thought about alphabetizing this collection, as I usually do, but I have to begin with Immolation. Last week one of the best death metal bands of all time divulged a video for the first single from a new album, and it’s a breathtaker — explosive, blazing, bludgeoning, exotic, and crazed. Here’s a band who seem immune to the deleterious effects of aging. Continue reading »

Dec 052021
 

 

Those of you who stopped by today expecting a SHADES OF BLACK column may be disappointed. For the second Sunday in a row, unforeseen but self-inflicted mishaps prevented me from getting it done. Like last week, my plan (I should say my hope) is to complete it in time for posting tomorrow.

Unlike last Sunday, however, I’m not going to leave a gaping hole in the site today. To avoid that I’ve prepared this very small round-up of new songs and videos, chosen in part to keep you off-balance. The first selection will put a big jolt into your cranium and nerve endings. The second one will help you calm down, and might even put you under a spell.

[4672] (Poland)

Here’s the part of this short post that will stab a high-powered voltage generator into your neck. The video is a mind-exploder too.

Both the video and the song just premiered today. The track, “[cluster_B]“, includes vocals by Łukasz Myszkowski from Antigama and Dante, and it’s destined to appear on [4672]’s upcoming sixth album, [paradigm_blindness], which is projected for release in late 2022, assuming the world lasts that long. Continue reading »

Dec 042021
 

 

I’m going to dispense with an elaborate introduction to this Saturday’s round-up of new and newly discovered songs and videos. I’ll say only that it includes one complete album, one complete EP, and an assortment of tracks from forthcoming releases — and that the music bounces around quite a it, so don’t think you’ll be allowed to lock in to any one stylistic groove.

COFFIN DUST (U.S.)

Five years is a long time between releases, but save for a very short 2019 split, that’s how long it’s been since we’ve had something new from this enormously impressive Philadelphia band. But the ticking clock got re-set yesterday when Coffin Dust released a new album (their third), the name of which is Nightmare Vision. Continue reading »

Dec 022021
 


Kayo Dot

(Here are Gonzo’s album recommendations from among those released during November 2021.)

And just like that, November came and went.

While most of us are probably still unpacking the bullshit that 2020 brought, it’s hard to believe that we’re only a month away from 2022. Follow me for more proof that we’re living in a simulation.

Though November was a flash in the pan in the big scheme of things, the music that was released during those 30 days have sent my year-end list plans into a tailspin. Too much good stuff, not enough time to listen to it all.

That said, the stuff I did get around to spending time with was damn good. Four albums in particular have made the cut this month. Continue reading »

Nov 272021
 


Nechochwen

 

Very early this morning I spent time listening to new music in order to select what I would want to recommend to you, and made the following selections. But then I unexpectedly had to spend a couple of hours on the job that pays me (advising world leaders on how to deal with problems that confound their feeble minds), and that left me with almost no time to provide my own (unnecessary) impressions of the music. So it will have to speak for itself, which is no problem because it speaks so fluently.

This is an idiosyncratic set of song choices, with very little to connect them to each other other than my attraction to them. But I think it will be a very interesting, albeit unpredictable, journey if you stick with everything through to the end.

NECHOCHWEN (U.S.)

After nearly 8 years since the release of the fabulous Heart of Akamon, West Virginia’s beloved Nechochwen have returned, unveiling the title track from their impending new album, Kanawha Black. Kanawha Black will be released worldwide by Bindrune Recordings in Spring/Summer of 2022. Continue reading »

Nov 262021
 

(Andy Synn encourages you all to embrace change with the new album from Anomalie, out now on AOP Records)

In a lot of ways the music scene is like an ecosystem.

From the apex predators to the bottom feeders, every band/artist has their particular place, their particular niche, in the natural order of things.

Some of these niches, of course, are more fertile – creatively speaking, I mean – than others, and some of them are simply… overpopulated… but, either way, it’s still fascinating to watch all the inner workings of the scene, from the macro down to the micro level, as bands and artists are continually dying and being born in a seemingly endless cycle.

It’s even more interesting when you start being able to map and follow the evolution of various bands, and Anomalie’s progress in particular has been truly fascinating to observe.

Continue reading »

Nov 202021
 


Dormant Ordeal

 

I didn’t completely neglect NCS during the 10 recent days when I was in Iceland. I did write some premieres, though not as many as usual, and I did regale readers with tales of my Ascension Fest adventures. What I did not do was pore through the several hundred emails that hit the NCS in-box every day, looking for new music that might be worth writing about, or searching for new tracks and videos through other usual sources.

And I spent almost no time actually listening to anything other than the sounds that bombarded me at the fest for four days and nights, not for lack of interest but because I forgot how little sitting-in-my-room-time-with-nothing-to-do I actually have at festivals, especially when every other day I had to make time for a covid test.

So here I am at the end of the first (partial) week following the return home from the land of fire and ice. The thought of trying to completely catch up with all the new songs and videos that surfaced since my vacation began two weeks ago is a ridiculous one, especially because a sister-in-law and brother-in-law are house-guests this weekend. I did a little trolling through the waters yesterday, and had saved a few links from before I left, and from that I still had too much to listen to this morning. I did the mental equivalent of throwing darts, and this is where they landed: Continue reading »