Sep 172022

Eternal Helcaraxe

Oh shit look what I’ve done. I learned the hard way that I should never call one of these weekend round-ups “Part 1” when Part 2 is still just an idea. Too many times in the past, I never got around to writing Part 2, even when I was damn sure I could. So I vowed to myself I’d stop doing the Parts thing. If I got another Part done, it would just be a surprise instead of the culmination of an announced plan.

You know what makes the situation even riskier (i.e., stupider) today? I have ideas not just for Part 2 but also for Part 3! I could spell out those ideas right now. But there’s  a limit to how dumb I’m willing to be. I’ll just say that if they come to pass they won’t both be a continuation of choices from among fairly recent songs and videos. Continue reading »

Sep 142022

(We welcome the return of NCS contributor Hope Gould and her review a new EP by the Oregonian black/death band Diabolic Oath, out now on the Sentient Ruin label.)

Something evil haunts the Pacific Northwest. Beneath the quaintness of the moss and ferns lies a sickly, insidious rot. In recent years, the PNW’s underground has siphoned the contaminated soil of its foul minerals and tirelessly cultivates some seriously evil metal – and the soil is rich. This year alone has seen evil, grimy releases from the likes of Triumvir Foul, Hissing and Grave Infestation to name a few. Portland’s Diabolic Oath were cultivated from the very same soil, festered in it, and have again proven themselves to be a most odious force with their new EP, Aischrolatreia.

Diabolic Oath emerged conspicuously from the Oregon mire with their first full-length, 2020’s Profane Death Exodus. Setting them apart was their masterful use of fretless guitar and fretless bass to craft a warped soundscape over unconventional compositions. Aischrolatreia revisits this sound but takes on an even more hostile and raw approach. Bestial devotees are likely to find themselves being sucked into the aural filth while others who have not yet heard the call may find it a jarring journey. Continue reading »

Sep 142022

(Andy Synn offers up three bite-sized yet blistering chunks of British Metal)

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I’ve not written about many EPs so far this year, instead choosing to focus my increasingly limited time on getting as many full-length albums written about as possible each month (and, even then, I’ve still fallen woefully behind on my “to do” list).

It’s a real shame, as the humble EP so often gets overlooked already, despite the fact that the format is where a lot of bands do their best work.

Today, however, I get to make up for this oversight – at least a little bit – while also adding yet another string of excellent releases to my ongoing “Best of British” series in the form of a triptych of terrific EPs from Grief RitualIron Tomb, and Peasant.

Continue reading »

Sep 132022

Here on the unlucky 13th day of September the Canadian two-man wrecking machine known as Deformatory have returned to visit new death metal ruination on a pathetic world with a new EP named Harbinger. To help announce the EP, Deformatory are presenting it in its entirety as a music video that we have the ghastly pleasure of premiering down below.

This makes the fourth premiere we’ve hosted on behalf of Deformatory going back to 2015, including the video for a song off their mind-mauling 2021 album Inversion of The Unseen Horizon. We’ll crib some of our words from that premiere feature, because they’re still relevant as a harbinger of Harbinger: Continue reading »

Sep 052022

In our never-ending mission to drown people in heavy music we have another roundup to start the new week. We’re doing this even though today is a national holiday here in the U.S., and the culmination of a 3-day holiday weekend. Canada also celebrates the same holiday today, the first Monday in September. Much of the rest of the world observes a similar celebration, but does it on May 1st.

The holiday is generically in honor of “workers”, but really began as a celebration of the labor movement (or “labour”, as they spell it in Canada). “Union” has become something of a dirty word in the U.S. over the last 40 years (in that time the percentage of American workers who belong to a union has fallen by half), though labor organization seems to be experiencing at least a modest resurgence in places like Starbucks shops, Amazon warehouses, and Google’s cafeterias. More power to them.

The holiday has really become just another excuse to have a 3-day weekend of sleeping, eating, drinking, and hanging out with friends. Here in the U.S., tradition also has it that you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day, since it unofficially marks the end of summer. But you probably don’t wash your underwear very often anyway, so you’re good. And who wears white band shirts, I mean other than Andy Synn?

Where was I?

Oh yeah… drowning visitors in heavy music. That mission goes on, ’cause we don’t observe holidays at this clinically obsessive place (as if you couldn’t tell from the three posts that preceded this one today). Continue reading »

Sep 042022

For this Sunday’s column I’ve included three complete releases and one from a forthcoming album. I venture to say that you’ll find the first two releases formidably frightening and the third one more head-hooking and heart-exploding, while the advance track is an amalgam that’s fiery, feral, and defiant.

ADAESTUO (International)

I’ve written with admiration about all three of Adaestuo’s previous releases — the 2016 debut EP Tacent Semitae and the band’s two albums, Krew za krew (2018) and Manalan virrat (2020). So there was no chance I wouldn’t make the dive into Purge of the Night Cloak, a new EP they released just last week, but which seems to consist of recordings conceived in 2016 and first made in 2020. They describe it as an effort “to bring the intrepid beholder into a more Faustian Gnosis”. Continue reading »

Sep 012022

Final Light

(Our Denver-based friend Gonzo has brought us the first installment in a round-up of new albums that emerged this summer which caught his attention and kindled his enthusiasm.)

Look, I know it’s customary to open these kinds of seasonally themed posts with some quip about “WOW, THE SUMMER REALLY FLEW BY, DIDN’T IT?” but frankly, that sort of cheekiness is an abomination I simply won’t fucking stand for, let alone perpetuate.

What I will say is that this summer delivered. It was the sort of long-overdue event that saw yours truly being able to travel to some US-based festivals, which was something I’d been longing for. Fire in the Mountain was by far the highlight. I also managed to hit an average of two shows a week during all of this, mostly around Denver. On top of all this, I pulled a requisite turn-and-burn in Vegas earlier this month for a single night of Psycho, in which I finally saw Emperor take the stage and proceed to blast my face into another dimension. To say it was worth the 22-year wait would be the understatement of the year.

The point of me saying all this is during all of the above, I was a bad NCS writer and couldn’t quite keep up my monthly tradition of yelling at the internet about the new music I’ve been listening to. So, consider this me making up for lost time:

This is part one of my end-of-summer new music roundup, with albums spanning from June to August. Continue reading »

Aug 282022

I had a lot of uninterrupted listening time over the last couple of days. For this column, that proved to be both a blessing and a curse — a blessing because it enabled me to wade through a broad swath of new music, a curse because what I found that I wanted to recommend after a lot of winnowing was still A LOT. So, today’s collection may test your endurance.

Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), there’s a lot of sheer dazzling madness in this collection. I tried to interweave some less insane but still gripping experiences, but it’s nevertheless likely that if you do make your way through everything here, your head will be spinning for a long time after. Today’s music also demonstrates why I called this column “Shades” of black, because there’s not much black metal orthodoxy here.


I was dubious about the idea of starting the column with a new Enslaved song, because they’re rightfully famous and don’t need any help from us, and because I’ve not fallen in love with their more recent releases to the extent I did with earlier ones. But those doubts were in place before I listened to this new single. After hearing it I thought, how can I NOT begin with it? Continue reading »

Aug 242022

The Sicilian band Malauriu have been a prolific source of black metal and dark experimental sounds for almost a decade. As detailed in an interview of mainman Schizoid published here at the beginning of 2022, Malauriu have tended to release their music mainly through EPs and splits. In March of this year they departed from the tradition by releasing their second (self-titled) full-length, but they now return to shorter works with a new EP named De Natura Obscuritatis that’s set for release on September 15th by the Italian label Black Mass Prayers.

To help spread the word about this new EP, we have already premiered a profoundly disturbing yet also frighteningly spellbinding song from it named “The Locust“, and today we reveal the whole soul-staggering work. Continue reading »

Aug 232022

(It appears that DGR has become captivated by the recently released debut demo from the brutal death metal band Emasculator, and he explains why in this review, hopefully with gonads still intact.)

Let’s try something shorter for a little bit, huh? Especially since we seem to have been caught in a vortex of hour-plus releases recently.

The world of brutal death metal remains as lively as ever, with musicians willing to forever add to the endlessly squelching pile of musical gore that is the endless barrage of drumming, literal guitar shredding, car-engine bass tone, and earth-rumbling vocals that the genre entails. Emasculator represent a recent addition to the pile, comprising musicians based out of the US and Czech Republic, issuing forth their first demo Depraved Disfigurement at the beginning of August. Continue reading »