Dec 072021


Into the winter of the soul.
Into the ice.
Foreverblack meadow, embrace new dawn, on raven’s wing,
Hear winter’s song.

Many of us assume that December is an ill-fated time of year for the release of new metal records, what with lots of fans (and writers) being preoccupied with year-end lists and year-end life diversions. But on the other hand, the onset of darkness and cold that December heralds makes it an ideal time of year for the advent of certain kinds of music, the kind that delves into the darkness that comes as the wheel of birth and death rotates into winter — and it seems that RÖKKR‘s self-titled debut album is one of those.

The words quoted above are from the lyrics of one of the album’s five tracks. Further connections to the season are found in such song titles as “Blackest Dawn”, “Into the Ice”, and of course the closing track “Winter”. But how does the music itself form the connection? Today you’ll find out — though it probably isn’t what you would expect. Continue reading »

Dec 072021


(This is DGR‘s review of the new album by Voices, which was released in late November by Church Road Records.)

I don’t think I was prepared for what transpired within the bounds of the hour-plus of the latest Voices album, Breaking The Trauma Bond. Now there will definitely be a few of you who smirk and go, ‘well, Voices being weird is modus operandi for them,’ and there is definite truth to that statement. Voices are a band  I show to people not because I fully enjoy everything they do but because when the band wrap their minds around a concept – especially since 2014’s London – they somehow manage to make some of the most fascinating and equally abrasive music out there.

The band have a core of death metal and black metal running through them but every release since 2013’s From The Human Forest We Create A Fugue Of Imaginary Rain has been so starkly different from the others that they’re a hard band to pin down, especially since they paint themselves as being sophisticated and avant-garde artistes. However, not even the early single release of An Audience Of Mannequins earlier in the year fully covers what happens within Breaking The Trauma Bond, because the two songs on that single may be the only two traditionally ‘heavy’ songs on this release. Even for Voices, Breaking The Trauma Bond is a fuckin’ weird disc. Continue reading »

Dec 072021


(We present Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Cynic, which is out now on Season of Mist.)

It was surprising to find Paul Masvidal carrying on the torch of Cynic after the death of both Sean Malone and Sean Reinert. It seems this is how he is coming to terms with it.

The tone of this album suggests he took some DMT and used aliens as his support group for this sonic therapy. Normally lineup changes of this magnitude give me pause when going into an album but a few things regarding this one gave me more reassurance, such as the fact that drummer Matt Lynch who plays on this album was recruited by Masvidal and Malone, before Malone’s death. Rather than replace Malone, the bass lines are played on a bass synth, since his style of playing was untouchable. This picks up closer to where they left off with Traced in Air as it is a return to the heavier sounds that preceded the elf-like prog of Kindly Bent to Free Us. Continue reading »

Dec 062021

(Andy Synn is a busy man but he still found time to craft some short reviews and recommendations)

It won’t be long now until I’m fully immersed in “List Season”.

As a matter of fact, I plan to have my “Top Ten EPs” article published by Friday as a little taster of what sort of thing to expect throughout the whole of next week.

Until then, however, I’ve got just enough time to sneak in a few short, succinct reviews (we’re talking 100-200 words max.) about a few more albums that I really think more of our readers need to know about.

So let’s get to it, shall we?
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.


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 032021

(Andy Synn presents three albums from last month which he thinks you may have overlooked)

You know what times it is… well, what time it almost is… it’s almost time for my annual week-long round-up of the year in Metal.

But, before that, there’s still time for a few more reviews of things which you may have overlooked last month (and, don’t worry, I’ll also be doing some more of my “unsung heroes” posts later this month in order to catch you up on some of those albums you may have missed earlier in the year too).

Until then, however, enjoy these three succulent morsels of Progressive Death Metal.

Continue reading »

Dec 022021

This is the time of year when ardent fans of metal, or at least the ones who enjoy bestowing accolades via year-end lists, are thinking hard about what they’ve been listening to over the last 11+ months. As all such list-makers know, it’s a time of year when December releases tend to get overlooked, even though the release schedule does tend to slow down some as we barrel ahead toward December 31st.

We’re probably as guilty of this as anyone else, but we’re still making an effort to keep at least one of our eyes focused on the horizons ahead, and the truth is that some very good records are still set for release this month, and Husqwarnah‘s debut album Front Toward Enemy is one of them. It’s so good that devoted fans of death metal might want to check it out before putting the finishing touches on their year-end lists.

And although we’re still a day away from the album’s official release, you can check it out right now, because we’re now hosting the premiere of Front Toward Enemy in its entirety. Continue reading »

Dec 022021

(NCS contributor Nathan Ferreira prepared the following exhaustive retrospective concerning the work of Turkish musician Mustafa Gürcalioğlu (a current or former member of such bands as Decaying Purity, Burial Invocation, Engulfed, Diabolizer, and Hyperdontia), which includes extensive discussions with the artist.)

I’m back with another way-too-ambitious deep-dive project, inspired by my excursions into The Ruins of Beverast’s body of work earlier this year. I was hoping to get this out in time for the premieres of either or Hyperdontia, but alas, that proved to be too lofty a goal. I may have bit off more than I could chew. Either way, it’s finally ready for all your music nerd-related pleasures, just in time for you to add those two bands to your year-end lists – if they’re not on there already.

The discography of Mustafa Gürcalioğlu was one that I wanted to give in-depth coverage to for a few reasons. One, it’s incredibly consistent – I don’t think the guy’s put out a stinker yet, and even the ones you don’t think you like tend to grow on you over time. Two, it starts out good, slowly gets better, and it sounds like the best is yet to come, since the most recent albums by all four of his projects are the strongest. Three, there are enough small differences between albums and different bands that you can tell them apart, but because of the aforementioned consistency, you’re still guaranteed a solid listen while also getting something new along the way. No one has given his discography the appreciation it deserves – if you didn’t get the hint yet, pound for pound it’s one of the best in metal.

Since Mustafa is a more accessible and/or approachable character than Alexander von Meilenwald proved to be, I was able to flag him down and ask him a ton of questions, so with each venture into one of his bands, I’ve included some information straight from the creator’s mouth (keyboard?) to add extra context and colour. In addition, I’ll kick off the article with some more general questions so you can get to know the man behind the music a bit more before fully taking the plunge. Enjoy! Continue reading »

Dec 022021

(DGR provides both a very short and also a much longer review of the new album by the Polish band Dormant Ordeal, which will be released tomorrow [December 3rd] by Selfmadegod Records.)

Do not sleep on Dormant Ordeal‘s newest release The Grand Scheme Of Things.

There’s your review.


By following the site for a while you’ve been subjected to the absolute torrent of music that we’ve reviewed over the years. We do this on purpose, partially because we collectively have tastes that spread far and wide, and by maintaining the cadre of writers that we do it pretty much insures we’ll cover a tremendous amount of ground throughout the year. However, when we do sync up around a certain band we tend to bang the drum for that band hard and take them up as one of our causes.

Poland’s Dormant Ordeal are one such group and have been for a while now, at least since the release of their previous album We Had It Coming all the way back in 2016. That album’s take on relentless death metal was so filled to the brim with sharp grooves, hammering drums, and non-stop guitar assaults that it was kind of shocking it didn’t seem to make as much of an impact as it should have. We shouted out the disc constantly, even including it amongst our various end-of-year lists that year and awarding it one of our ‘most infectious song’ awards before that list inevitably managed to suffocate under it own weight.

Hell, during one of our GimmeMetal invasions we even closed out one of our programs with the two-parter of “Derangement Zone pt 1′ and ‘Derangement Zone pt 2’ from that disc.

Needless to say at this point, our history with Dormant Ordeal runs pretty deep – which is why the group’s newest album The Grand Scheme Of Things has been in damn near constant rotation since the moment it landed on our fire-charred desks. Continue reading »

Dec 012021


Austin-based BLK OPS haven’t been prolific. Until now, following their formation in 2014, their discography consisted of a pair of 2017 splits (with Cave Bastard and KRVSHR) and a live album released just at the start of the pandemic in 2020. But though their output has been limited, their abrasive but cathartic amalgamation of hardcore, metal, and harsh noise has made a crater-sized impact, harrowing to hear but impossible to forget. And now, at last, we have their debut album, The Heroic Dose.

From what we hear, getting the album to the point of release — which will happen via Roman Numeral Records on December 3rd — has itself been a harrowing and frustrating ordeal. But the considerable time that BLK OPS spent working and re-working the record, that time shows itself in the outcome. The Heroic Dose builds upon all the qualities that made BLK OPS‘ splits so striking, and creates an even more daunting, elaborate, and demanding edifice of sound, which you’ll get to experience in its entirety today. Continue reading »