Feb 142024

(We bring you DGR‘s review of a new EP by the Venetian band Obscura Qalma, which was released earlier this month by the Dusktone label.)

The nice thing about Italian symphonic death metal group Obscura Qalma is that they make absolutely no pretense of the style of music they’re going to make nor are they hiding who their influences are.

Obscura Qalma have been kicking around since 2018 and already have two albums and a few EPs – though one of each of those is the instrumental and orchestral version of songs from a previous album, much in the same way Fleshgod Apocalypse have taken to including the purely symphonic tracks as bonuses to their full-lengths recently. Adding to their name, all you need to do is look at a press photo of the band and you can tell there’s likely going to be a rich vein of SepticFlesh running through the group’s DNA.

Obscura Qalma don their lab coats and joyfully smash their death and symphonic elements together, cackling all the while, with lightning crashing in the background. Drawing heavily from the occult for lyrical inspiration – recently pulling large buckets up the well from the Aleister Crowley mines – Obscura Qalma are playing in a very wide musical sphere. The group’s latest EP Veils Of Transcendence punches in at four songs and a little under twenty minutes of boulder-heavy death metal with a huge symphonic and synth line buttressing the events and doing the melodic heavy lifting. Continue reading »

Feb 132024

Let’s pretend you can’t listen to Stellar Remains‘ new EP right now, even though you can if you just scroll further down the screen you’re now looking at.

Let’s take our game of make-believe a move further and pretend you have no idea who this band is and have never heard a note of its music. That requires less suspension of disbelief, because Wastelands is in fact the first release of Stellar Remains, and only one song from the EP has been available for streaming before today.

Moreover, all that most of us know or could find out about the band (apart from that one song) is that it’s the solo work of Brisbane-based Dan Elkin, who has no resume on Metal-Archives yet.

So, if you indulge all this pretending, then you have to put some amount of weight on what we now have to say about Wastelands. How nice for us. Continue reading »

Feb 132024

(We present DGR‘s review of a new EP by the Andorran band Persefone, which was released not long ago by Napalm Records.)

A guarantee with Andorra’s Persefone is that you are going to get a lot of music. Persefone have made a career out of albums hybridizing progressive metal, melodeath, and as wide a smattering of other genres as they could into a form of tightly controlled chaos with multiple vocal approaches serving as the icings on the cake.

They’re a full-album band and very rarely, throughout a surprisingly long career, have done any sort of single or EP as part of their discography. Persefone have always dealt in releasing densely packed albums, and as of 2022’s Metanoia were up to a grand total of six.

With all of those elements making up Persefone‘s career it is surprising that the band have seen relatively little change on the lineup front – especially since they really found their groove with 2013’s Spiritual Migration. Since then, other than a re-recording of their first album Truth Inside The Shades in 2020, the band have refined upon the eastern sprituality subject matter and massive keyboard-wall approach to their writing style.

Which is why it is both fitting and very interesting that the group’s newest release is just an EP but also has a ‘Part I’ tacked onto its name. Continue reading »

Feb 092024

(Here’s DGR‘s review of a new EP by Creepsylvanian splatterthrashers Ghoul, out now on the Tankcrimes label.)

If you’ve been trawling around the underground long enough, you’ve likely crossed paths with the crazed crossover thrash and death metal hybrid that is Ghoul; they’re a name that probably needs little introduction at this point – having battled out a career for years that is combination tongue-in-cheek shock horror, community theater, public-access TV, pirate radio, and puppet show.

The band, in all their murderous muppety glory, seem to appear out of the ether at shows and crank out crazed sets before vanishing into the night. You’d never know that they’ve been subsisting on a series of splits and singles since 2016’s Dungeon Bastards and prior to that had been on a slightly more sollid rotating albums/eps collection every three or four years.

The upshot of this is that Ghoul have five full-lengths to their name already, but their most recent EP Noxious Concoctions is the most substantial collection of material – four originals songs, one cover, for a grand total of eighteen and a half minutes of music – that the masked madmen have cranked out in almost eight years. Continue reading »

Jan 312024

(Gonzo returns with another end-of-month roundup of recommended releases, this time shining a light on albums and EPs released by six bands in January.)

January is such a bullshit month.

It’s cold as all fuck, everyone’s burned out – financially, emotionally, professionally – and shows/tours are few and far between. To pile it on, it’s also customarily a terrible month for new music. I wasn’t expecting to unearth much during my monthly search of metal’s grimy underbelly to include in this feature.

Lo and behold, I was dead fucking wrong. 2024 has already seen so many good releases in just over three weeks that I actually had to figure out what not to include here. (Coincidentally, three of the releases are from France, so make of that what you will.)

Regardless of geography, the sharp rise in early-year quality in 2024 is making me rethink old paradigms. Is the January curse on its way out? Am I reading too much into this? Is reality a lie? Are the machines reading my thoughts? Fuck. Continue reading »

Jan 042024

Last month we did doing something we almost never do — premiered brief excerpts from songs off a forthcoming release, just a teaser of the full thing to come. The release in question is a 7″ split called Divinations that will be released by Sentient Ruin Laboratories on January 5th.

The split includes one song each from the U.S. black/death metal bands Aberration and Diabolic Oath. It is a timely release, not only because it helps kick off 2024 in obliterating fashion but also because the spring of 2024 will bring us new full-length albums from both bands, Aberration’s Refracture and Diabolic Oath’s still secretive but completed second full-length, and so the split functions as a precursor and taste of horrific things to come.

If you heard the teaser, you’ll probably understand why we agreed to share it despite our usual reticence to premiere anything but complete songs or full releases. But if you caught that teaser premiere, you also know that we promised to stream this split in full when the time was right. And the time is right now. Continue reading »

Jan 032024

Today we welcome to our site (and to the rest of the world) a horror-themed death metal band from Buffalo, New York named Morgue Terror. It’s the work of two death metal fanatics — Dave (guitars) and Steve (bass and vocals) — who found their thematic inspiration in the Terrifier franchise of slasher films and their main antagonist, Art the Clown.

The movies left such a deep and gory mark that the band’s name is derived from a pivotal scene at the end of the first movie when Art the Clown emerges from a body bag, delivering a fatal blow to the coroner.

And beyond that, the five songs on Morgue Terror‘s self-titled debut EP, which we’re premiering in full today in advance of its January 5 release, delve into the murders and characters portrayed in both Terrifier movies.

As for the music itself, it’s an amalgam of varying death metal tropes, with each song deploying them in slightly different ways to create a dynamic — and demented — listening experience. Continue reading »

Jan 012024

Around the world, today is a day of firsts, because a new year has begun to bloom. And so it is the first day when everything you do is the first thing you will do in 2024. Here at NCS, we have our first post of the new year, our first premiere, our first review, our first effort to help an extreme metal band begin tearing apart 2024 like the hated thing it will probably become.

And not just any extreme metal band, but one whose storied history began 30 years ago, took a decade-long pause, and then came roaring back in 2023. And yes, it was just last summer when the Danish death/black metal band Panzerchrist released their comeback album Last Of A Kind, which we proudly premiered here.

To prove that they have no intention of returning to hibernation, Panzerchrist are quickly following that album with a new EP named All Witches Shall Burn. Emanzipation Productions, the same label that brought forth the band’s auspicious comeback record, will be releasing the new EP on January 5th, and we’re again in the fortunate position of hosting a full stream today.

The new EP proves to be an excellent way of beginning 2024, because it will clear out the morning-after New Year’s Eve gunk from your head right damned fast. Continue reading »

Dec 292023

Today, December 29th, the Toronto band Phantom Lung are releasing the final EP in a trilogy of EPs that share the name Abhorrent Entity. The full title of the new one is Abhorrent Entity iii: solivagant, and to help spread the word we’re presenting a full stream of it for you.

We’ve previously shared our thoughts about the first two EPs in the trilogy. In an effort to sum up the first one, which was released last March, we wrote that it is “massive and mauling… so ugly and unhinged, so combative and confrontational, so ruthless and so exhilarating, that we can’t help but love it, even if the attitude might be interpreted as ‘fuck off and die!’”.

The second one, Abhorrent entity ii: moribund, was no less confrontational. As we wrote of that one, it was a ruinously destructive sonic demolition job – savage, corrosive, ravenous, and a brute-force slugfest too, yet with musical elements that at times also made the song sound grim and unearthly. Continue reading »

Dec 152023

We’re at an inhospitable time of year for the release of new music. Ardent metal fans tend to be looking backward in reflection rather than keeping their eyes on what’s coming from the near horizon or noticing what just dropped in front of them, and of course everyone is immersed, whether in joy or misery, in the distractions and chores of the inescapable “holiday season”.

And yet, as always, the end of the year brings musical gems, even if they sadly may go unnoticed, and The Sept‘s new EP MMXXIII is one of those.

But let’s be clear up-front: This isn’t a pretty, sparkly gem. It has many facets, but their edges are jagged and may leave you bleeding if you’re not careful, and the colors are obsidian. Staring too long may also bring about madness. Continue reading »