Oct 262020


(This is Vonlughlio’s enthusiastic review of the new album by the Spanish brutal death metal band Scatology Secretion, which has just been released by Pathologically Explicit Recordings.)

Today’s subject is the second offering, titled Submerged in Glacial Ruin, by the international band Scatology Secretion. It has just been released by the Spanish label Pathologically Explicit Recordings. I previously reviewed their 2017 debut album The Ramifications of a Global Calamity here, and it ended up being on my list of top BDM albums of that year at No Clean Singing.

As time passed since then, no news regarding the project came to light and I was worried that it had ceased to exist. But early this year it was announced that they had signed with Pathologically Explicit and they released the cover of the new effort. I was truly excited, as the art suggested they would continue their theme of world apocalypse but set it in a cold realm of nothingness. Continue reading »

Oct 232020


(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Pallbearer, which is being released today by Nuclear Blast.)

“This is going to be our heaviest album yet” or “We just wanted to strip things down and get back to our roots” are stock answers for many metal bands when asked about their next records. So much so they have become tropes. Yet that is what has happened on Pallbearer’s fourth album, which is their first for Nuclear Blast.

The title track that opens the album is even more Sabbathy than anything from Sorrow and Extinction, which of the three previous albums has the most in common with this one. Some of this is due to the rawer production. The vocals are mixed to sit back more in the guitars, bringing out the heft of the guitars. Continue reading »

Oct 222020


(Although Andy Synn hasn’t completely recovered from his recent debilitating injury, he’s well enough to continue forging ahead with reviews, and brings us three more today.)

Continuing with my Sisyphean task of attempting to cover each and every album which I don’t think has received enough attention or acclaim over the past several weeks and months, today I’m both pleased and proud to present the Progressive Death Metal delights of Cellar Vessel, the crushing Cosmic Doom of Hexer, and the alchemical Black Metal assault of Skáphe. Continue reading »

Oct 212020


In the first minutes of the opening song “Of Being“, the Athenian band Kevel lay before the listener a blueprint of what will become the foundation for the imposing and wondrous edifice of their new album Mutatis Mutandis, which we’re premiering today. In that opening, a riveting drum solo is joined by heavy groaning chords and shrill discordant arpeggios. In one fell swoop, the music hybridizes primal physical punch, dismal and depressive moods, and spine-tingling sensations of flaring madness.

The band’s ability to create teeth-on-edge tension and earth-quaking heaviness comes to the fore again and again over these 50 minutes. The nuanced yet persistently skull-cracking drum performance repeatedly threatens to steal the show, both amplifying the songs’ most intense moments and creating fascinating contrasts within all of the band’s other richly multi-faceted movements. The bass tone possesses the heft of granite but the nimbleness of larks. And the guitarists are highly adept at creating tension and turmoil.

But it turns out that all these riveting contributions really are just the foundation, and what Kevel have created around it is a gnarled, frightening, yet shining tower that reaches into the stars, almost as astonishing and awe-inspiring in its visions as it is shattering in its impact. Continue reading »

Oct 212020


(Here’s Gonzo’s imaginative review of the new album by Colorado’s Wayfarer, which was released last week by Profound Lore Records.)

In this writer’s humble opinion, there are two hallmarks of truly breathtaking music: 1) It gets better with every listen, and 2) it elucidates vivid imagery when listening to it with your eyes closed.

There are, of course, other criteria for evaluating the quality of music, but when talking about A Romance with Violence, the newest dust-covered output from Denver post-black metal crew Wayfarer, those two items are the perfect place to start. Continue reading »

Oct 212020


(The Heretics Fork is a band of unknown location and anonymous membership who’ve taken a medieval torture device for their name. This is Vonlughlio’s review of their new album, which will be released by P2 on October 31st.)

This time around I have the opportunity to review the sophomore effort from The Heretics Fork entitled Opacis Doloris, set to be released on October 31st via P2.  Before I start to dive in I have to mentioned that their debut Tomentore was released two years ago (also on October 31st) and for me was one of the biggest surprises of 2018 (see review here), and subsequently made it into my list of top BDM releases of that year.

One big mystery is that no one knows who is involved, there is no social media presence, without a care in the world, and this just adds mystique to the project. They obviously prefer to let the music speak for itself, and make no compromises to their artistic vision. The scene will take care of promoting it by word of mouth, with no problem, since the music is that good. Continue reading »

Oct 202020

Daughter Chaos


(Andy Synn returns to NCS from the injured list and brings us reviews of three excellent EPs released in September or October of this year.)

Some of you may have noticed (or maybe you didn’t, I don’t know how much attention you’re all paying) that I haven’t published anything here at NCS for a little while.

The reason for this is that last weekend (not the one just gone, the one before that) I managed to do myself an injury – not the worst I’ve ever had, but significant enough to affect my life – that has basically kept me in pretty much constant pain, and prevented me from sleeping more than an hour or two at a time, ever since.

As a result I really haven’t been in any mental or physical shape to focus on my writing here, hence my absence over the last week or so.

Thankfully I’m slowly beginning to heal up (and have gained access to some better drugs) meaning I’m now finally capable of diving back into the massive backlog of bands/releases which has developed over the last few days/weeks/months, so expect to be hearing a lot more from me – about a lot of new releases – over the next several days.

And to start things off, here are three pretty damn killer EPs from three pretty damn killer bands. Continue reading »

Oct 192020


The pandemic brings physical and emotional misery on a vast scale, but as someone once said, life finds a way — including musical life. Creative people continue to create, perhaps as much to treat their own pandemic wounds as to offer a balm to others. And so, for example, 2020 has given birth to a fascinating musical project named Watashi Dake. Who knows, maybe in a more normal year it wouldn’t have happened.

The phrase is Japanese and means “Only Me” or “Just Myself”. But the musical project that took this name is the work of a Romanian artist, R.S., who dwells in Transylvaia rather than Japan. The phrase connects to the lyrical themes and inspirations of the music on the band’s first demo Feral, which speaks of failure, freedom, and struggle. “Feral,” we are told, ” is first and foremost a call to rebellion against the chains that imprison our true nature”. It’s thus not surprising that in addition to two original songs, the demo also includes a cover of Dead Kennedys‘ “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”.

Feral was composed and recorded in the summer of 2020, and it will be released on October 25th by Inferna Profundus Records. Today we’re presenting a full stream of its three tracks. Continue reading »

Oct 162020


The Swedish duo known as Murdryck began musical life in 1999 as a “Blackened Dark Ambient” project, disappeared for a time, and then rejuvenated themselves as a Black Metal band in 2014. Thereafter, they released two excellent albums, 2016’s Antologi MMXV (reviewed here at NCS) and 2019’s Födelsen. And then, to the sorrow of Murdryck’s fans, they disbanded. But it turns out that the two men behind Murdryck weren’t finished after all.

That duo — bassist/vocalist Lars Hansson and guitarist Adam Chapman — came back together early this past summer, inspired to renew their cooperation in pursuit of fresh ideas. Adopting the name Åskog, they ensconced themselves in a decrepit forest house owned by Lars deep in the woods of Värmland and wrote four songs between July and August. As they explain, the themes of the music were spawned by the band’s presence in that old forest house, with its own morbid history and its wilderness setting, during a time when the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world into chaos: “You only have to watch nature documentaries to realize the natural world is truly a horrific place. The great outdoors is romanticized, but the reality is it is brutal with no room for concession or concern.”

But what kind of music was born of this reunion, and Åskog’s focus on the cold and harsh brutality of nature? You are about to find out, because today we’re streaming Varg, Åskog‘s first demo, on the eve of its October 17 release. In its digital edition, it includes two of the four songs written this past summer, and a cassette tape edition will include a third one as a bonus. Continue reading »

Oct 152020


(Here we have Vonlughlio’s recommendation of a new compilation record by the Chilean brutal death metal band Defacing, which is out now on Rotten Cemetery Records.)

Defacing is one of the best BDM acts from Chile. Originating back in 2001, they graced us in 2003 with their demo The Beginning of Human Cruelty, a display of powerful in-your-face Brutal Death that has all the qualities fans of the genre love.  But it was not until 2005 with the release of their debut album, the well-named Spitting Savagery, that I was able to discover them.

A friend of mine said when we listened to the album (and I quote) “South America Cryptopsy twins”, and the funny thing is, they cover “Phobophile” on this release (which is hands-down an amazing cover). But for me, they are not twins. Sure, there is a strong influence, but Defacing still managed to create a special sound.  For 31 minutes you find yourself in constant movement with the punishing riffs, the blast beats, and vocals that are utterly nasty and full of hate.  This album made an impact that still holds 15 years after its release, an underrated gem of one great project. Continue reading »