Jan 202020


Rage and disgust fuel the music on Zifir‘s new album Demoniac Ethics, most of it directed at the calculated lies of religious institutions and the submissive delusions of their followers. Of course, within the realms of extreme metal such inspirations aren’t unique to this Turkish black metal trio. But how they have translated their intense convictions into sound is very much out of the ordinary, as you shall witness for yourselves.

Today we present a full stream of this new album, just days before its release by Duplicate Records, preceded by further impressions of the remarkable music. Continue reading »

Jan 202020


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the second full-length by the New Zealand project Caved, released on January 3rd.)

2020 is already off to an interesting start.  Anyone who has followed me since I started writing for NCS back in 2011 will probably hear this album after reading the review and be instantly like, “yeah this is TheMadIsraeli’s taste in metal”.

Caved is a New Zealand one man progressive technical death metal/thrash outfit that is VERY directly comparable to Martyr.  The vocal approach is even very similar, so if you’ve missed that frantic hyper-technical manic style of death metal with thrash vocals and attitude that Martyr brought to the table, Caved is the first time when I can say you can finally stop listening to “Feeding The Abscess” and hear something new in that vein.  The Petrifying Vacuum is the sophomore album of Caved and my first exposure to the project. Continue reading »

Jan 172020


(Here is Andy Synn‘s review of the debut album by the Austrian-German band Oceans, released by Nuclear Blast on January 10th.)

Remember a few years back when the term “Black Metal” became so “hip” that pretty much every album released was getting referred to as “Blackened” this or “Post-Black” that… regardless of what the music actually sounded like?

Well it looks like it’s the turn of “Post Metal” to be 2020’s most wildly (and wilfully) misapplied label, as it’s only been a few weeks of the new year and I’ve already encountered numerous promo emails, press releases, and reviews touting anything with the barest hint of atmosphere or quiet/loud dynamic as being part of the resurgent “Post-Metal” zeitgeist.

Of course, you know what they say, never ascribe to malice what could be explained by ignorance (or laziness), and while this misguided (not to mention misleading) use of the term “Post Metal” by various writers/reviewers does little more than betray their lack of knowledge (or their desperation to jump on the latest bright, shiny bandwagon), some of the blame must also fall on the labels and bands themselves – including the subject of today’s review – for misusing the term in the first place.

All of which, I suppose, is just a long-winded way of saying that if you approach The Sun and the Cold expecting something in the vein of Isis, Neurosis, Cult of Luna, etc, then you’re going to be very, very disappointed (and probably a little confused too).

But if you go into it expecting some highly polished, hyper-modern (and ridiculously catchy) Melodeath then you’re far more likely to enjoy the experience! Continue reading »

Jan 162020


Roughly five years into their existence, the Belgian metal band Sons Of A Wanted Man have sought to blaze a musical path that reflects the varying interests of its members and to find the right combination of genre elements to express the feelings and convictions that inspire them. Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions, the label that will release the band’s debut album Kenoma on February 7th, describes their hybrid of sounds as one that “incorporates the melancholic atmosphere of post-metal, the rhythmic intensity of black metal, the layered approach of shoegaze and the ethics of hardcore punk”.

The results of the band’s efforts, as revealed through Kenoma, is multi-faceted music of great emotional and immersive power, and the lyrical content of the songs is equally engrossing. The song we’re presenting today, “Absent“, is a vivid example of these qualities. The track is a meticulously embroidered tapestry of emotional change, although you could also think of it as a panorama of a pilgrim’s travel through the heart of darkness, through kingdoms of desolation and death. Continue reading »

Jan 162020


(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new album by San Diego, California’s SHRIEKING, which was released on January 8th.)

The Metal scene is, or at least it can be, a very nerdy place indeed.

And that’s fine! I’m basically a massive geek myself, and so are a lot (probably most) of the people I know who are into Metal.

Whoever it is behind solo Black/Death Metal act SHRIEKING is very clearly a nerd of the highest order too (and I mean that as a compliment), as their new album, Let the Galaxy Burn, is an unabashed tribute to the wicked world of Warhammer 40K, in all its ridiculously grimdark glory. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


Victor Costa‘s cover art for the debut EP of the Portuguese death metal band Innards is a perfect accompaniment for the ghoulish delights the EP holds in store. The music, like the art, is an eruption of cemetery horrors coming right for your throat. In other words, this isn’t lurching, cadaverous death metal, even though it’s decidedly gruesome and rotten to the core. No, Innards (true to their name) are coming for your guts with unhinged relish. The EP’s title is thus similarly appropriate: Back From The Grave, Straight In Your Face.

There are only three songs on the EP, but they make for an explosive first strike. Two of those songs have previously debuted, and today we’ve got the premiere of the third one, an absolutely crazed onslaught wonderfully named “Enlightenment Through Hate“, which features none other than guest vocals by Kam Lee of Massacre and a guitar solo by none other than Frank Blackfire from Sodom. And with all three tracks now out in the world, you have a fully informed basis for picking up the record well in advance of its February 21st release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


(Here’s Todd Manning‘s review of the new EP by Gnaw, which is set for release on January 31st via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia.)

New York-based Gnaw produce the kind of brutalizing listening experience that just can’t be achieved without coloring outside the lines of genre rules. They’ve been producing their Metal/Industrial/Noise mash-up since 2009, and their latest EP, Barking Orders, shows they definitely have not lost their edge.

For most Metal bands, the music comes first and the vocals often seem to default to the style that best matches what the instruments are doing. This isn’t the case with Gnaw, who are fronted by scene veteran Alan Dubin, whose unique vocal style has been at the forefront of such acts as O.L.D. and Khanate. “Unsettling” doesn’t even begin to describe the brutal screeches, yells, and bellows emanating from him. Perhaps the most notable part of his style, though, is the clarity with which he delivers the lyrics, despite the means he uses to deliver them. With Gnaw, the band seem to construct their sounds to complrment his powerful and unique style, utilizing whatever sort of cacophony best accompanies his voice and the harrowing lyrics it conveys. Continue reading »

Jan 142020


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Italian band Nero Di Marte, which is set for release on January 24th by Season of Mist.)

As someone who occasionally dabbles in releasing music himself, I’ve often pondered when exactly the “optimum” time to release an album is.

After all, put something out too early in the year and you risk being forgotten about by the time all the December “End of the Year” lists roll around, but put something out too late and you’re probably going to struggle to get yourselves into contention for the summer festival season.

Nero Di Marte clearly have good reasons for deciding to release their new album right at the start of 2020 however, as Immoto is such a dense, intricately layered piece of work that it’s likely to take their audience the rest of the year to fully unpick and unpack everything it has to offer! Continue reading »

Jan 132020


Youth In Ribbons, the new album by Revenant Marquis, is shrouded in mystery, not merely in the chilling sensations of its sounds but also in its inspirations. No less mysterious is the source of the music, a prolific yet anonymous Welsh musician, whose idiosyncratic creations confoundingly combine the mind-mutilating assaults of raw black metal with a certain style of wraithlike, hallucinatory melodicism that one might even call elegant. Images of a fine-fingered and well-dressed vampire come to mind, seductive in its allure but lethal in its promise.

When I first discovered the album I was struck by the photograph on its cover and by curiosity about what the album’s title might signify in the context of that image. As I wrote here, after listening to the first advance track, I had my own interpretation: The beauty, the innocence, the aspiration in that face, the brightening of the flowers — it’s as if the band were saying, “Here’s what you might have looked like when your dreams for the future were still bright, and now let us show you what life is really like”.

And hence, I thought of the album title as a reference to youth torn to ribbons, rather than adorned by them. Continue reading »

Jan 092020


Granted, we’re not even two weeks into the new year, but listening to Wormhole’s new album is hands-down the most fun I’ve had with a 2020 release so far. And as I think about it, I’m hard-pressed to remember an album from last year that was more fun than this one either.

Don’t get me wrong, The Weakest Among Us will also beat you senseless and leave you staggering toward the nearest ER. That’s actually another part of the fun. But the band’s combination of wild ideas and sheer instrumental exuberance with all that brutalizing obliteration is what brought so many smiles to this listener’s (lacerated) face.  And so, it’s with great pleasure that we’re hosting a full stream of the album today, in the run-up to the album’s January 14 released by Lacerated Enemy Records. Continue reading »