Oct 132020


(Here is Vonlughlio’s review of the second full-length by the Belarusian death metal band Ominous Scriptures, which is out now on Willowtip Records and features striking cover art by Jon Zig.)

I have to say that I have been fortunate to write my small reviews and lists of best releases for some years now and am thankful to Islander for the trust.  As I’ve mentioned, my main purpose is to promote Brutal Death Metal since other genres are well-covered here. Having said that, yes I do listen to other genres as well but for the reasons mentioned I try to focus on BDM here in NCS, and am doing that again now.

Today the subject is a project from Belarus that goes by the name Ominous Scriptures. On August 28th they released their sophomore album The Fall of the Celestial Throne via Willowtip Records. This release is crushing from start to finish, revealing the work of outstanding musicians who have come together in crafting something special that will forever be cherished by their fans. Continue reading »

Oct 082020


(Here’s a trio of enthusiastic reviews penned by Andy Synn, accompanied by a lot of crippling music)

Those of you who’ve been with us here at NCS for a while will, possibly, know that I usually do these “Unsung Heroes…” articles in January/February as a way of catching up with bands who I didn’t get around to reviewing the previous year.

You also may have noticed… it’s October 2020. Which means I’m kind of jumping the gun a little. But damn, I didn’t want to wait until January to get these three artists/albums written up because they deserve all the love and attention I/we can muster right now. Continue reading »

Oct 082020


Bewildering and distressing times we live in, where the unstopped global migration of a microscopic organism has exposed a multitude of fissures in human societies that have been accumulating for countless generations, and turned them into gaping fractures. The scale of these terrible consequences is vast, a devastation writ large, but in some ways a reflection of what happens in so many solitary lives, where the accretion of seemingly minor problems over time can lead, and often does lead, to tragic and unmanageable outcomes.

The persistent failure of both individuals and societies to deal with mounting flaws until it’s too late is a kind of seemingly incurable ailment in the human condition. And thus it’s fitting that Kneel‘s new album, which was inspired by such thoughts, is itself named Ailment.

As the solo project of Portuguese multi-instrumentalist and producer Pedro Mau (ex-Kneeldown, Wells Valley), Kneel released a debut album named Interstice seven years ago but at last is returning with this follow-up full-length, set for an October 16 release by Raging Planet and Planet K, with vocals and lyrics contributed by Mau’s Wells Valley bandmate and Concealment guitarist/vocalist Filipe Correia. What we have for you today is a full stream of Ailment, preceded by thoughts about what you will be hearing. Continue reading »

Oct 072020


(In this post Vonlughlio reviews and recommends the debut album from the Australian brutal death metaal band Putrescent Seepage, out now on New Standard Elite.)

The BDM band Putrescent Seepage from Adelaide, South Australia, was born in 2012.  From the beginning the guys behind this project were Cameron Smith (Drums/Vocals) and Brett Stoeckel (Guitars/Vocals) (recently joined by vocalist Simon Naulty). The following year they released a demo that was very limited and that I of course missed (shame on me).  After three years, a two-song demo saw the light and yours truly made it his mission to get one from the band, which came with an original sketch from their drummer (who also happens to be a painter, with amazing work).

That second demo just hit the BDM scene with a vengeance. I was living in the Dominican Republic then, and it was great to see all the fans around the globe just going nuts over this effort. It showcased the talent these musicians have and how as a team they were able to create one of those demos that should be or have been considered classic. Continue reading »

Oct 062020



(Here’s a triptych of EP reviews by Andy Synn.)

One of the (many) great things about writing for this site is that, free from the concerns of having to sell ad space or keep to print deadlines, we’re basically free to write about what we want, when we want to.

So, for example, if I want to dedicate an article to reviewing three releases all situated somewhere along the Blackened Crust/Hardcore spectrum… then I can do!

And if those three releases all happen to be EPs, and not albums… it’s all good!

And then if one of them was, in fact, originally released back in February, even though I’m only just getting to writing about it now… well, that’s not a problem either! Continue reading »

Oct 062020


For those of you who may only now be discovering Throane for the first time, it is the solo project of Dehn Sora, whose name will be familiar to many as the visual artist whose creations have adorned the covers of albums by a multitude of well-regarded bands. Because he is a graphic artist and designer, and a collector of vinyl records himself, the visual presentation of Throane’s music in its physical packaging is inseparable from the sound. And so the conception of Throane’s new EP Une Balle Dans Le Pied (which will be released on October 16th by Debemur Morti Productions) was as much rooted in an image as it was in an imagining of the sound, and thus there are multiple layers of meaning to be found here.

The EP’s title translates to “a bullet in the foot”, a French expression symbolizing the act of sabotaging oneself. The cover image depicts Sora’s sister, a choice that recalls previous releases in which Sora has featured individuals close to him, with a personal symbolism. He explains: “Working as a nurse in different services, her daily routine makes her face death, addicted personalities, terminally ill people. Walking through their homes, their souls. Walking on broken glass. But forced to get rid of it, at the end of every day. To stand still. And keep walking.”

But the image is ambiguous. Sora again explains: Continue reading »

Oct 062020


(In this review DGR praises the new record by Los Angeles-based Choke Me, which was released in June by Riot Ready Records.)

Speaking of releases that have fallen firmly in the category of “have listened to a ton since its sliding across my proverbial desk”, L.A’s Choke Me and their album The Cousin Of Death – released  in late June via Riot Ready Records – is the latest candidate to build itself a very comfortable nest in that pile.

There’s a few reasons for this: One is that this disc is fast. The band dub themselves “fastcore”, so at the very least this should be an easily attainable goal, and The Cousin of Death clocks in at about twenty-five minutes over twelve songs. The second is that The Cousin Of Death is cathartic. It nails the feeling of lashing out within the first few songs and retains that sort of ferocity for the entirety of its run time, the dual vocal assault provided by its bassist and guitarist amplifying that effect.

Third, whether intentional or something that just popped up during the songwriting sessions, nearly every song here has some sort of flash point where the group shift from comfortable death and grind riffs into full on blasting hell, as if every song seeks to light itself on fire and be fully immolated by its ending. That moment where the tempo accelerates into full speed is so much fun that even though it happens over and over throughout The Cousin Of Death proves that Choke Me have really gripped on to something.

Finally, I have a soft spot for just about any release that contains as much bile within it as a song like “You Aren’t Special” does. Continue reading »

Oct 052020


(In this review Andy Synn catches up with the new album by Fawn Limbs, which was released on September 18th in various formats by Roman Numeral Records, Wolves And Vibrancy Records, Dark Trail Records, and Sludgelord Records.)

While many sites, zines, and publications (especially print publications) have already transitioned into “End of Year” mode, we here at NCS are still out there, scouring the interweb for new bands and new albums to bring to your attention.

And it’s a good thing too, because while the release of Sleeper Vessels (the second album from the trans-Atlantic Tech-Grind trio Fawn Limbs) may have flown a little bit under the radar, its bastardised blend of squalling metallic noise, unsettling ambience, and distorted electronic effluent has the potential to throw a major wrench into the works when it comes to deciding what/who belongs on this year’s many “Best of…” lists.

As discordant, as demanding, and as defiantly difficult to categorise as this record is, there are certain points of reference – from the mind-bending technicality of Car Bomb and the pneumatic angularity of Ion Dissonance to the abrasive intensity of The Red Chord or the experimental extremity of Pig Destroyer – which, superficially at least, might make it a little bit easier to take in.

But the truth is that Sleeper Vessels is an album that positively thrives on sowing chaos and confusion at every possible moment, and there’s no real way to fully prepare yourself for this record’s catastrophic, kaleidoscopic assault upon the senses.

But I’ll do what I can. Forewarned is forearmed, after all. Continue reading »

Oct 022020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Germany’s Toadeater, which is being released today.)

When it comes to the ongoing discussion about how/whether to separate the art from the artist I tend to err towards the idea that, ultimately, it really comes down to a matter of personal choice.

Sure, we can do our best to engage, discuss, and inform one another on the (not so rare) occasion it turns out that one of our favourite bands or artists turns out to have some… let’s say “questionable” views (or is just a reprehensible, irredeemable piece of shit), but ultimately it’s up to each of us, individually, where we draw the line.

Your circumstances will also affect how you act/react in response when an artist/band crosses that line – for myself there are bands I’ll still listen to but whom I choose not to use my platform here to promote, for example – but the one argument that doesn’t hold any water, not with me anyway, is that you can’t/won’t stop supporting a band “because there’s no-one else as good out there”.

The truth is there’s never been more great music out there. Sure, there’s a lot of dross. But there’s more opportunities now than ever to discover someone/something new when one of your old bands betrays you.

So if you’ve been struggling for a new Black Metal fix to replace your old one, Toadeater have you covered. Continue reading »

Oct 022020


The title of Ventr’s debut EP — Numinous Negativity — is nearly perfect for the music. Numinous, Luminous Negativity might be slightly better. But the title has meaning beyond the sensations of the music and the visions they spawn in the mind. We’ll come to that momentarily.

The EP may be a debut recording, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a first effort. The band are Portuguese, and the EP will be released by Signal Rex (on October 9th), but the music doesn’t fit neatly into the kind of raw black metal aesthetic that you might expect from those facts.

As for the conceptual underpinning, we’re told that the title refers to “a spiritual and/or religious form of negative perception – the mysteries in the works within the omnipresence of the Devil.” Continue reading »