Jul 282020


(Here’s Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by Melbourne-based Abramelin, which was released on May 15th of this year.)

Yes as we all know 2020 has been a year we would rather forget and move toward the future. Everyone has been affected in one way on another, but I’m not getting into that here. All I am going to do in these disturbing times is to wish all the best to all the readers of NCS and its staff — and of course to recommend some music.

No live shows, which is a bummer, but a least we are getting new music from different projects around the globe, so there is that (at least).  I am writing in this instance to speak about a surprise release by an underground band who after 20 years have released a new full-length that for me is comeback of the year. Continue reading »

Jul 272020


Both New Zealand’s Heresiarch and Canada’s Antediluvian have already elevated themselves high up in the global pantheon of ruinous blackened death metal. It seemed inevitable that the day would come when they would join forces, and that day has arrived. They have combined their terrifying talents in a new split release named Defleshing the Serpent Infinity, which will be released on July 31st by Iron Bonehead Productions.

The split reveals both bands at the height of their powers, and displays what makes their particular forms of assault on the senses different from each other. Moreover, the split has been used as a vehicle for both bands to engage in experimentation, coupling forms of nightmarish ambient music to their more unhinged and apocalyptic sonic attacks. Today we make public the split in its entirety, preceded by a slightly revised version of a review we published weeks ago. Continue reading »

Jul 242020


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of Imperial Triumphant‘s new album, which will be released on July 31st by Century Media Records.)

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Vile Luxury, the career-defining 2018 release from Avant-Black trio Imperial Triumphant, is a modern-day classic.

Unorthodox, unconventional, and uncompromising to a fault, its fusion of moody soundscapes, abrasive, blackened belligerence, and free-wheeling, jazzed-up instrumentation sounded like nothing else at the time, and still has very few peers or rivals today.

Such success, however, can easily be an albatross, a noose, a shackle, and it raises the question – how does any band, any artist, respond, react to, or reject, the pressure to follow up such a magnum opus?

The answer of course, is that they go bigger, go bolder… they go back in time and back to the future… they go to Alphaville. Continue reading »

Jul 232020


(DGR reviews the new album by the Swedish death metal band Volturyon, which ViciSolum Records will release on July 24th.)

When it comes to death metal out here in our private corner of the far reaches of the internet, we’ve often found our fair share of comfort in the caveman-striking-rock aspect of the style. We’ve celebrated this ideal as being appropriately ‘stupid’ and embraced it. If you’re looking for chin-stroking and thought-provoking versions of the genre, you can look at other groups, and we’ve done our best to warn you what you’re in for, early on in our reviews, when it comes to those more primitive assaults. Sometimes, it’s been tempting to just post album art and have a review play out as the written equivalent of the Dead dove do not eat scene from Arrested Development.

The death metal collective Volturyon fall firmly in the caveman camp musically, although the band are a decidedly more modern take on the blastbeat-happy chainsaw riffage of current death metal than they are the classic hammering thud of death and roll – yet you can glance at the group’s collected album and EP artworks over their career and have a pretty good picture of what the crew sound like.

Which is why it’s nice that on the group’s newest album Xenogenesis – their first with vocalist Mikko Voutilainen handling monster noise duty – there are a handful of nuanced and subtle takes on current world events, approaching issues from a multitude of angles, recognizing the grey area that is often called ‘the truth’, and speaking on the economic impact these sorts of things can have on the…. just kidding. There’s a song on here called “World Pandemic” and if you’ve glanced at the album art and remembered what we were discussing in the opening paragraph then you know exactly what the song (and from a broader perspective, the musical stylings of Xenogenesis) are going to be about. Continue reading »

Jul 222020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Portuguese band Gaerea, which is set for release by Season of Mist on July 24th.)

Isn’t it funny how the human brain unconsciously and involuntarily makes connections between things?

Case in point, I can’t think about, or listen to, Portuguese powerhouse Gaerea without also thinking about their cousins in Selbst and White Ward.

The connections between the latter two are quite obvious, as both bands released their debut albums within one month of another back in 2017, meaning they’re always going to be inextricably linked in my mind.

But Gaerea didn’t release their first album, Unsettling Whispers, until almost a full year later, making their relationship to the other two a lot more tenuous and complex.

Perhaps what it comes down to is the fact that, to me at least, these bands, both collectively and individually, are potential new standard bearers for Black Metal, both cognisant of the genre’s roots and rich history, but not limited by established traditions or old boundaries.

White Ward, of course, have already proven themselves with the release of Love Exchange Failure just last year, and the new Selbst album (set for release in a few weeks) looks set to do the same for them.

What then should we expect from Gaerea’s new album? Sophomore slump, or soaring new standard? Continue reading »

Jul 222020


(This is Todd Manning‘s review of the first full-length album by California’s VoidCeremony, which was released by 20 Buck Spin on June 26th.)

While some Death Metal bands try to streamline their sound to have hooks and conventional song structures, others seek to create obscure and challenging material that summons images of alien horrors and oddball geometries of terror. VoidCeremony certainly fall into the latter camp. Their debut full-length, Entropic Reflections Continuum:Dimensions Unravel marries progressive technicality with unrelenting brutality to create an incredibly powerful statement.

Consisting of Garrett Johnson on vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, Jon Reider on rhythm guitar, and Charlie Koryn on drums and engineering, VoidCeremony is full of powerhouse musicians. While plenty impressive on their own, they also enlisted the criminally underrated Damon Good (Stargazer, Black Cauldron Ram, Mournful Congregation) on bass for this album as well. Continue reading »

Jul 212020


The California death metal band Ruin released their first demo in 1991, and then nearly a quarter-century later they revived and re-formed. Since 2015 they’ve released two albums (Drown In Blood and Human Annihilation), but a much greater number of short releases, including EPs and splits. They’ve gotten into the habit of periodically releasing compilations that collect these shorter works, and the latest of those is what we’re bringing you today.

Plague Transmissions: Vol. 2, which will be released by Horror Pain Gore Death Productions on July 24th, collects Ruin tracks from a 2018 EP (Into Endless Chasms), a 2018 split with Anthropic, a 2019 EP (Death Tomb), a 2020 split with Abysme (Rotting Madness), and a 2020 EP (Infested Death) — 18 tracks at all. And a more vile and ghastly administration of obliterating punishment you could hardly imagine. Continue reading »

Jul 212020



(After a short break, Andy Synn returns with this trio of new reviews.)

As Islander alluded to in his post on Saturday, last week was a particularly busy one for me in my life outside of the site (yes, I have one). As a result I basically ended up taking a week-long break not just from NCS but from music altogether, in order to focus my thoughts and my energy on other matters.

Thankfully, by the time Friday afternoon rolled around I had basically completely cleared my “to do” list, so I was able to spend the rest of the day – as well as much of Saturday and Sunday – getting myself back up to speed on upcoming albums, relistening to some old favourites, and digging into the plethora of recent releases, in order to select a few hidden gems to highlight this week.

And, wouldn’t you know it, I found myself falling back into my old Hardcore habits (I guess they really do die hard) and, after spending a little bit of time separating the wheat from the chaff, I landed upon the following albums/artists as perfect examples of how much there is still to love in this much loved, often maligned, but undeniably Metal-adjacent genre. Continue reading »

Jul 202020


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the debut album by Forlorn World, the side project of Bloodshot Dawn‘s Josh McMorran.)

I’m a rabid fan of Bloodshot Dawn and have been since their self-titled debut.  I own all their releases physically, I still listen to all three of their albums to date at least once a month, and I think in general, in a current era where melodic death metal has really fallen off the map, they have somehow managed to inject some needed life into an otherwise dormant sub-genre of extreme metal that was beloved by many.  Mostly this was done through an elevation of the technicality of riff writing combined with an EXTREME emphasis on guitar virtuosity.  Their formula works, and it’s some of the most consistently compelling metal you can listen to right now.

I was therefore quite intrigued when I learned that Bloodshot Dawn founder and frontman Josh McMorran was using this quarantine time to record a solo album as kind of an aside to Bloodshot Dawn, maybe to just hone his musical chops a bit more or to prepare for the fourth Bloodshot Dawn album, but I was curious nonetheless.  This project, the subject of today’s review, is called Forlorn World, and I mean… it’s pretty fucking good. Continue reading »

Jul 172020


Straight out of Saudi Arabia comes Deathnoisefrequency. That’s right, Saudi Arabia, not the easiest platform from which to launch a new musical project, and perhaps especially not one named Deathnoisefrequency. But that’s what the duo of Ghassan Al Fudail and Ahmed Mahmoud have done. Both of them have also been bandmates in a Saudi doom/death metal project named Grieving Age, but here they’ve turned in a different direction, one that’s described as “a limitless musical experiment with an all-encompassing creepy, dark and depressive atmosphere where noise and death metal are smashed together with reckless abandon”.

In 2016 Deathnoisefrequency released a single but have now re-surfaced with a debut, two-track EP named Horrid Dirge — which itself is merely a part of a forthcoming LP projected for release by the end of this year. Today is the EP’s official release date, and to help spread the word we’re premiering a full stream of the sounds. Continue reading »