Jan 232020


Mental Casket first crawled forth from some stinking grave in Warsaw, Poland, in 2018, inspired by the early works of Chuck Schuldiner and other fore-runners of Floridian death metal, with an affinity for the likes of Autopsy and Pestilence as well, plus newer bands like Gruesome. Last year they released their debut demo via Caligari Records, and today their second one is making its grotesque appearance. We’re fiendishly happy to help spread the word through this premiere of its three tracks.

Mental Casket proudly wear their influences on their ragged and rotting sleeves, but while their chosen formulations of death metal may be quite familiar, they’re so good at composing and executing their sonic monstrosities that it’s still a thrill to hear what they do. Sometimes you don’t need to break any molds in order to put a charge into a listener’s brain stem, and Mental Casket definitely do that. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


Victor Costa‘s cover art for the debut EP of the Portuguese death metal band Innards is a perfect accompaniment for the ghoulish delights the EP holds in store. The music, like the art, is an eruption of cemetery horrors coming right for your throat. In other words, this isn’t lurching, cadaverous death metal, even though it’s decidedly gruesome and rotten to the core. No, Innards (true to their name) are coming for your guts with unhinged relish. The EP’s title is thus similarly appropriate: Back From The Grave, Straight In Your Face.

There are only three songs on the EP, but they make for an explosive first strike. Two of those songs have previously debuted, and today we’ve got the premiere of the third one, an absolutely crazed onslaught wonderfully named “Enlightenment Through Hate“, which features none other than guest vocals by Kam Lee of Massacre and a guitar solo by none other than Frank Blackfire from Sodom. And with all three tracks now out in the world, you have a fully informed basis for picking up the record well in advance of its February 21st release by Transcending Obscurity Records. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


(Here’s Todd Manning‘s review of the new EP by Gnaw, which is set for release on January 31st via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia.)

New York-based Gnaw produce the kind of brutalizing listening experience that just can’t be achieved without coloring outside the lines of genre rules. They’ve been producing their Metal/Industrial/Noise mash-up since 2009, and their latest EP, Barking Orders, shows they definitely have not lost their edge.

For most Metal bands, the music comes first and the vocals often seem to default to the style that best matches what the instruments are doing. This isn’t the case with Gnaw, who are fronted by scene veteran Alan Dubin, whose unique vocal style has been at the forefront of such acts as O.L.D. and Khanate. “Unsettling” doesn’t even begin to describe the brutal screeches, yells, and bellows emanating from him. Perhaps the most notable part of his style, though, is the clarity with which he delivers the lyrics, despite the means he uses to deliver them. With Gnaw, the band seem to construct their sounds to complrment his powerful and unique style, utilizing whatever sort of cacophony best accompanies his voice and the harrowing lyrics it conveys. Continue reading »

Dec 242019


Contrary to an accusation that one of my NCS comrades recently leveled at another one, I don’t hate fun. In fact, I love it, and I enjoy seeing other people have fun. And so, although the imminent Christmas holiday means nothing to me, I’m sure I speak for all of us here (except maybe one of us) in wishing you some joy.

To ameliorate the possibility that you will have nothing in your stocking but a lump of coal because you’ve been so baaaad, and to help relieve the brain death that the stresses of the holiday season demonstrably produce, here are a few gifts from us to you.


This New Jersey death metal band turned out a hell of a debut album in 2018’s Negative Life, which Steve Schwegler (of Pyrrhon, Seputus, and Weeping Sores) beauatifully reviewed for us. I’ll excerpt just a few of his thoughts about that album: Continue reading »

Dec 032019


This past June we premiered a song named “Pines” from the debut album, Harm Remissions, by a trans-oceanic noise/grind trio named Fawn Limbs (presented through a video that excerpted footage from the 1933 film White Zombie). Even just that one song made a stunning impact, one that we likened to “the thrill of witnessing destruction… like the excitement of being present at the implosion of giant buildings to create space for something new”, but combined with “other thrills within the mayhem of the music which derive not from chaos but from the almost machine-like precision of their otherwise freakish demolition jobs”.

Those impressions might have seemed paradoxical, but while the track did indeed have its berserker destructive components, there was an impressive degree of precision on display as the musicians rapidly morphed from one kind of demolition to another (and delivered some unexpected groove along the way). The album as a whole — experienced as a whole — was (and is) an even more breathtaking bombardment, one that plays nasty games with your mind as this trio maniacally shift gears without warning and engage in even more extravagant displays of seething and boiling fretwork lunacy and rhythm-section interplay (along with unexpected digressions).

As the year draws to a close, Fawn Limbs have decided to give us one last blast with which to properly bury 2019 beneath rubble — a new EP that will be released on December 6th under the nightmarish title Their Holes Aroused by the Splinters Carved From Their Teeth — and today we’re bringing you a full stream of it. Continue reading »

Nov 262019


Hamelin is a new Belgian band, but when you listen to their debut self-titled EP (which could also be called an album, given its half-hour run-time), it will come as no surprise that the band’s members have worked in other bands and projects. Their experience shows, and so does the breadth of their interests. Every one of the six tracks is wide-ranging, often in unpredictable ways, interweaving elements of black metal, post-metal, and progressive metal (and that’s not an exhaustive list) to create music of tremendous emotional power and dynamic intensity, music that’s melodically rich and atmospheric and also viscerally ravaging. When a band’s creative ambitions not only aim high, as Hamelin’s do, but also result in a cohesive and compelling experience, that makes a debut such as this one stand out even more.

The EP will be released on November 30th through Wolves of Hades, and today we’re presenting a full stream of all the tracks, preceded by thoughts concerning each of them. Continue reading »

Nov 262019


Blooming Carrions is a beautifully chosen name for this Finnish band whose new EP we’re premiering today, as is the EP’s title — Sisters In Blooming Flesh. On the one hand, the music is a stunning display of blackened death metal obliteration and mind-abrading sonic toxicity, capable of completely suffusing the senses with horrifying sensations of sadistic violence, pestilence, rot, and the extinction of hope. On the other hand, within such terrifying encounters the music also seems to revel and to bloom, to reveal the chilling and hallucinatory gleam of rapture in the embrace of death and decay.

Iron Bonehead Productions has set November 28th as the international release date for this new EP, which adds to (and builds upon) a Blooming Carrions discography that includes two preceding demos, 2017’s Sparkling Rotten Dreams and 2018’s Necrosis Twilight (both of them also released by Iron Bonehead). Continue reading »

Nov 252019


Beginning in 2018 the French black metal band Abyssal Vacuum has released two EPs, with a third one due for release by Egregor Records on December 1st. These three EPs collectively include nine tracks that have been identified in sequence by Roman numerals (and one cover song), with the most recent release — identified as MMXIX — consisting of tracks VII, VIII, and IX. And today we’re premiering streams of those three new compositions.

For those new to Abyssal Vacuum, it is the solo work of Sebastien B., although he is accompanied on this newest EP by drummer Enno P., and samples have been provided here by Moïse M. Perhaps one of the reasons why Abyssal Vacuum dispense with words in naming their songs is because the atmosphere created by the collage of sounds doesn’t seem quite human. Continue reading »

Nov 202019


Although Harvesting Our Decay is the debut EP by Calgary-based death metal band Third Chamber, this is another example of a band whose members have a long history in the underground scene, in this case having performed with numerous Calgary groups, including Culled, After Earth, Meddigo, False Flag, WAKE, Disciples of Power, Exit Strategy, and Razorwing. And as some of those names suggest, Third Chamber‘s line-up — drummer Dustin Hahn, guitarists Jamie McIsaac and Jay, bassist Russ Gauthier, and vocalist Shane Hawco — have brought elements of grindcore and hardcore into their death-dealing metal.

The result of their collaboration, as vividly revealed on Harvesting Our Decay, is music that’s explosively powerful, making ample use of pulverizing grooves, maniacal riffing, and hair-raising vocal ferocity, while also paying attention to tempo dynamics and incorporating an array of dark melodic flavors that help give the music a memorable character.

The band will release Harvesting Our Decay on November 22nd, but we’re giving you the chance to check out all 21 minutes of it today. Continue reading »

Nov 202019


(Here’s DGR’s review of a new two-song EP by the Greek band Human Serpent, which was released on November 18th.)

It wouldn’t be a black metal release if it didn’t have a flair for the dramatic, and the duo behind Greece’s Human Serpent are no different, describing their latest release — a two song EP entitled The Vacuity — as having been written during “the last days” of’ 2016 and 2018, and recorded at various points in “autumntime of 2017” and “wintertime of 2019”. It’s a simple turn of phrase that can easily be read as “the music for this was written during the last week of….”, but because it is black metal and in the case of Human Serpent, fiery and high-speed black metal, “the last days of…” begins to sound suitably apocalyptic, as if the world ended at the end of each of those two years.

Going by Human Serpent‘s prior discography the group would be more than happy to provide the soundtrack to such events. Continue reading »