Jul 032020
 

 

(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new covers EP by the German band Mantar, (a favorite at our site since the beginning), which is out now on Brutal Panda Records.)

Is it just me, or has it been a hell of a long week?

I’m not just talking about things here at NCS either. My job has been keeping me extra busy every single day, and between that and trying to balance things at home and with the band… it seems like I haven’t had a moment to spare, and right now I honestly feel like I could sleep for a week.

Because of that, because of everything that’s been going on, I’ve decided that I wanted to end the week on something a little bit more “fun”. After all, the only reason any of us write here for NCS (it’s certainly not for fame or fortune) is because we enjoy it. And if we’re not enjoying it, then what’s the point?

Thankfully it didn’t take me long to settle on what to write about, as not only are Mantar one of my favourite bands of the last decade but their new covers EP is one hell of way to pay tribute to the group’s influences and inspirations. Continue reading »

Jul 022020
 

 

Nodus Tollens n. the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore — that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre — which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.
– The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

That definition tells you more than you might guess about the debut album of the band who took the phrase as its name. The title of that album, Melancholic Waters Ablaze with the Fires of Loss, is another significant clue. As that title suggests, and as the band’s lone member Cicatrix has described, the album was created “as an emotional exorcism, and the lyrics reflect it, dealing with grief, broken relationship, and ultimately hope, each in their turn”.

The musical expression of such emotions is of course not unique to Nodus Tollens, but as you’ll discover today through our premiere of the complete album, the manner of expression is unusual, the emotional power of the music is penetrating, and the flow of styles and moods, both within each song and among them, is enthralling. Continue reading »

Jul 022020
 

 

If you’re a fan of such bands as Nasum, Pig Destroyer, Rotten Sound, and Napalm Death, we’ll lay favorable odds that you’re going to eat up Bain de Sang‘s new EP like a ravenous wolf. It takes only 11 minutes for the seven tracks on Sacrificed For A Load Of Filth And Lies to rampage through your cranium, almost too fast to take in, but the EP leaves a powerful impression, and you’ll probably find yourself letting it run riot through your mind a few more times in straight succession.

It’s immediately clear that Bain de Sang know what the hell they’re doing, and it’s not a shock that this Parisian band’s brand of grindcore and powerviolence is so electrifying and addictive because the band’s line-up includes ex-members of Blockheads, Comity, Judoboy, Sofy Major, and Department of Correction. Moreover, they’ve already played at Hellfest and Obscene Extreme, and shared the stage with the likes of Magrudergrind, Primitive Man, Rotten Sound, Gadget, Cloud Rat, Fuck the Facts, and Harm Done.

The EP will be released digitally by Terrain Vague as a name-tour-price download this Friday, July 3rd, which gives you another opportunity to take advantage of Bandcamp’s waiver of their revenue share on music sales if you want to make a donation. And people who prefer physical editions can also order them from Terrain Vague, who plans a release date of September 4th for those. And to make those decisions very easy, we’ve got a full stream of the EP for you right now. Continue reading »

Jul 012020
 

 

(Andy Synn has chosen to devote his SYNN REPORT for the month of June to the discography of the French band Exocrine, whose new album Maelstrom was released by Unique Leader on June 26th.)

Recommended for fans of: The Faceless, Gorod, Beneath the Massacre

The purpose of The Synn Report is, obviously, to give our readers an overview of the background and back-catalogue of whatever band I select each month.

One of the great things about this approach, of course, is that it allows all of us (myself included) to see just how the band in question has evolved over the course of their career.

In the case of French four-piece Exocrine the band’s evolution has led them to grow from some relatively humble beginnings into something far more titanic, and if 2018’s blazing Molten Giant didn’t convince you of the group’s tech-tastic lethality then perhaps their recently released fourth record, Maelstrom, will?

Before then, of course, there’s three other albums to sink your teeth into… Continue reading »

Jun 302020
 

 

On their new third album, Spectres of Bloodshed, the international duo known as Blood Stronghold have created a musical soundscape that’s out of this world. To be sure, the music has visceral, physically compulsive energy, but it creates fantastical visions of ancient and mythical domains. It seems to draw menacing and vicious power from lycanthropic spirits but also spawns mental images of tragic grandeur and heart-swelling splendor. It’s a fashioning of black metal that’s both carnal and elegant, both blood-pumping and mesmerizing. It seems to hearken back to a long-lost age — or to one that only exists in the imagination. Once heard, it’s not easily forgotten.

And hear it you shall, because today we present a full stream in advance of the album’s release on vinyl LP by Nebular Carcoma and Satanik Requiem. Continue reading »

Jun 302020
 

 

(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of a debut brutal death metal album from Indonesia that “stands out from the masses.”)

This time around I have the chance to talk about the band Chancroid from Indonesia, whom I’ve been a fan of since 2015 when they released their promo that year.  There are a lot of BDM projects from Indonesia — they live and breathe the genre. Sure, there are a lot of same-sounding bands out there in this genre, but this is one of the cases that for me stands out from the masses.

After their 2015 promo the band released a demo in 2018 that continued their musical path with a raw production that is most welcome for the song structures they created. There’s not a lot of activity from the this project compared to others, but keep in mind that this is an underground group and things usually work a lot slower.  I did not know when they would release an EP or full-length. Continue reading »

Jun 292020
 

 

If you’re in the mood for death metal cut from particularly foul and disease-ridden cloth, ghastly in the extreme and gruesome in almost every way, then the debut demo of Deconsecration is just what the mad doctor ordered, to make the sick among you even more ill. We have Chaos Records and Caligari Records to thank for this musical abomination, which they’ve just released on CD and cassette tape, respectively.

This Seattle quintet, whose line-up is composed of ex-members of Capitalist Casualties, Catheter, Wilt, and Hideous Creep and features current members of Foul and Anoxia, were obviously in that mood when they recorded these four tracks. Each of the songs is dynamic in its pacing and variable in its other energies, but there’s nothing about it that’s healthy. On the other hand, it’s very true to the old spirit of death metal that had the stench of the morgue in its nostrils and relished images of reanimated corpses crawling from festering graves. Continue reading »

Jun 292020
 


OHHMS

 

(Andy Synn wrote this trio of reviews, covering just-releqsed albums by bands from his home country.)

This edition of “The Best of British” – my long-running column where I take a look at some of the best-kept secrets and flawed-but-fascinating gems coming out of the UK underground – is a particularly timely one… or, at least it was meant to be, since it was originally intended to be published on Friday last week, the same day that all three of these bands released their new albums.

Sadly the twin pressures of my day job (which remains reliably, sometimes excessively, busy) and some important band business (which I’ll hopefully be able to talk more about soon) meant that I didn’t manage to get the column fully finished until far too late in the day, at which point our beloved leader convinced me that we’d be better off waiting until Monday (i.e., today) instead.

So, here we are, better late than never, with three new albums straight from the bountiful bosom of the British music scene. Continue reading »

Jun 262020
 

 

(Here is DGR’s review of the latest album by Finland’s Wolfheart, which is out now on Napalm Records.)

If you’ve been following, with …And Oceans and Feastem having gotten reviews, Wolfheart marks three from Finland that had been hanging out in the backlog pile.

With the April release of Wolves Of Karelia, it is clear that by their fifth full-length album — their second for Napalm Records after their couple on SpinefarmWolfheart have found a pretty solid niche for themselves. Performing epic-length hybrids of folk metal, melodeath, and a very light airing of the sort of ice and melancholy that affects their region’s branch of the doom metal tree, Wolfheart have for some time now been the ultimate representation of frontman/guitarist and project owner Tuomas Saukkonen‘s musical consciousness.

In fact, up until the release of this year’s Dawn Of Solace album Waves — arriving nearly fourteen years after that group’s previous disc — Wolfheart has been his only project for the last seven years and was consistently dishing out enjoyable music, Wolves Of Karelia included (for the early spoiler), on a nearly two-year interval. Other than the addition of new guitarist Vagelis Karzis into the band’s ranks, Wolfheart remain largely unchanged from when they became a full group rather than just a solo project. Continue reading »

Jun 252020
 

 

(As part of his effort to circle back to earlier parts of the year and catch up on stuff we missed, DGR has a good time reviewing the nuclear shockwave of an album released in March by Finland’s Feastem.)

It’s tempting to write short reviews for grind albums, in part because in the time it takes to hammer out some words about them there’s a distinct possibility that you could loop around the whole disc four-to-five times. Feastem’s Graveyard Earth is no different in that regard: Released in March to close off a close-to-seven-year gap between full lengths, Graveyard Earth clocks in at a little under twenty minutes of drum kit battering and shrieking violence.

Grind albums trend toward being quick expulsions of auditory violence and Graveyard Earth is very comfortably nested in that musical family tree. It is – understandably – seething and mean, with a whole range of targets serving as musical clay pigeons for Finland’s Feastem to knock out of the sky, with only one song clearing the two-minute mark.

Feastem move fast and Graveyard Earth will likely toss its fair share of people to the side, and honestly, Graveyard Earth is easily one of those albums better suited for a specific mood. But if you need all-consuming blasts and guitar work that could power you through even the slowest of events, then Graveyard Earth is fantastic.

Especially the way everything hits after the opening bass guitar dirge in the title song, my goodness. Continue reading »