May 082021


Even after yesterday’s humongous round-up of new music, I’m still playing catch-up with new songs and videos, and picked seven more entries to include here today. These are mostly individual songs, but I’ve mixed in a pair of new EPs. As usual, part of my goal in making this selection was to provide diverse experiences.

SOL DE SANGRE (Colombia)

On April 30th this killer Colombian band released a new EP named Despair Distiller, and I’m way late in crowing about how really fucking good it is. Better late than never, I hope! Continue reading »

May 062021

Ereb Altor


(Nathan Ferreira wrote the following reviews of four new EPs that are all well worth your time.)

In these pandemic-ridden times, I’ve had online discussions with internet cretins about how EP releases may be a more viable format for artists, especially those that rely on touring as an income source. There’s less time and expense required to record, produce, and promote them, and it allows the artists in question to focus more on moving other projects forward – in theory, anyways.

Plus, how often do you actually make it through all those hour-long albums you own front to back in one sitting? Is there really that much of a difference between 25- and 40-minute runtimes in terms of how complete an album feels? If the music is good enough, probably not.

For the reasons above, and because I’ve been seeing an unusual number of artists both bigger and smaller embrace the EP format recently (a sign of the times, perhaps), I thought it was appropriate to give some attention to some of the more bite-sized musical snacks that have caught my ear in the past couple of months. Mini-albums need love too, you know. Continue reading »

May 052021


Those of us who toil at this site draw pleasure from what we do in many ways, but perhaps the most fun comes from presenting explosive surprises — helping to spread the word about new, unheralded bands whose appearance turns out to be something like a big meteor blazing through a night sky. And that’s exactly what we have for you today, in our premiere of the debut EP of the multi-state U.S. band Empty Throne in advance of its release this coming Friday by Wise Blood Records.

This EP, Glossolalia, really is a spectacular experience, one that’s perhaps best enjoyed after hyperventilating, because you may need the extra oxygen. In a nutshell (to borrow the label’s words), “this is hellish and ornate blackened death metal with thrashing rhythms and an epic scope”. It draws upon “the violent propulsion of ‘80s thrash, the agile savagery of death metal circa 1994, with Gothenburg adornments and rabid vocals”, blended with an ambitious scope and the dark atmospherics of late-stage black metal.

And it must also be said that the high-speed instrumental pyrotechnics are likely to find fans among devotees of technical death metal too. Continue reading »

Apr 302021


This marks the fourth time in five years that we’ve written about the unorthodox, genre-splicing Russian band Cage of Creation. The first time, in 2017, was our review of a record named III, which completed a trilogy of EPs. The second, in 2018, was a discussion of another EP named I Am the Void, which was the commencement of yet another trilogy. And then last year we premiered and reviewed their most recent full-length, Into Nowhere II. The persistent theme of all these written reactions was one of continual fascination with the band’s unbridled experimentation — within the context of songs that were nevertheless so seductive that they were damned difficult to get out of our heads.

The occasion for today’s happy reunion with Cage of Creation is the premiere stream of a new EP entitled I Am the Void II, which will be released on May 16th by Devoted Art Propaganda on 12″ vinyl. As the title suggests, it’s the second part of the new trilogy that began with I Am the Void in 2018, a three-part work that thematically focuses on experiences related to psychoactive explorations. This new EP presents two original works and a cover of Bethlehem’sNexus“. Continue reading »

Apr 292021


“The band name ‘Aschenvater‘ is inspired by the universe of Warhammer 40K. The sound is raw and destructive, like the rotting battlefields of the drop site massacre. Oldschool Death Metal is the perfect way for us to bring the content and the energy of the lyrics together with the music. The HM-2 is sculpting the violence and brutality of the fights in clay”.

This is how this German death metal trio introduce themselves, along with references to the inspirations of Bolt Thrower and Hail of Bullets. And to underscore the influence of Warhammer 40K, they named their debut EP Landungsfeldmassaker, in memory of a battle on Istvaan V, the “drop site massacre” as rendered in German, which is the language used for all the EP’s lyrics.

But when you listen to the EP’s seven songs you’ll come away convinced that this is no game, but is instead a viscerally powerful rendering of the mayhem, the bloodshed, and the desolating misery that plagues all human warzones. The grooves in the music are often massive and the riffing often highly infectious, but the overarching atmosphere of the EP is one of shattering decimaton and soul-crushing hopelessness.

And today we invite you to experience all of that for yourselves via our premiere of a complete stream of Landungsfeldmassaker in advance of its April 30 release (tomorrow!) by Dead Center Productions. Continue reading »

Apr 252021


Much like yesterday I got a very late start this morning, having enjoyed a long night of virtual carousing with a big group of co-workers at my fucking day job. Like yesterday I thought I’d just pull together a couple of things for this usual Sunday column so I wouldn’t be too late in posting it — and again reconsidered. Just too much stuff I want to share.

This two-part post thus provides a lot to take in. I’m confident that few people will enjoy everything I’ve chosen — though I’m equally confident you’ll find at least something to enjoy if you at least taste-test everything I’m recommending.

I organized this collection by beginning Part 1 with two singles that I thought were great companions for each other and then following them with a stylistically very different EP. Part 2, which I’ll post tomorrow, will include streams of five complete releases that I will only have time to introduce briefly.

DJEVEL (Norway)

Like the cover art for Djevel’s new album Tanker som rir natten, the second advance track released last week is lunar in its atmosphere, a wintry nightside excursion that’s deeply immersive. In its manifold sensations it’s dreamlike, depressive, menacing, and I’d go so far as to say romantic. But it’s as visceral as it is mesmerizing, thanks to Faust’s gripping drum performance (the vibrant timpani-like booming is an especially nice touch) and the warm companionship of the bass, performed by new member Kvitrim (Vemod, Mare), who also handles the harsh vocals. Continue reading »

Apr 232021


(DGR tends to move in fits and starts with his NCS writing, and this week he’s had a fit, with this being the third of his posts for us in almost as many days. Today’s subject is the new EP by NCS favorites Hideous Divinity, which is being ejected today (like a blooming facehugger) by Everlasting Spew Records and Century Media Records.)

Hideous Divinity‘s chosen subject matter of different films to frame their overwhelmingly hostile take on brutal death metal has proven fruitful for them over the years. The recent Cronenberg deep-dives have given them much to work from as they take their chosen genre and morph and contort it to fit their musical equivalent of a bulldozer being launched downhill in a mudslide into a suburb. Often stretched into full-albums, the film nods have been blatant, but LV-426 represents the biggest and most upfront statement of subject matter to date.

It’s already struck a chord around here, given the NCS crew’s fondness for the Alien moves to begin with, and so the group’s decision to tackle a more focused subject over the course of an EP was one we were guaranteed to be looking into. LV-426 consists of two original songs and one out-of-left-field yet surprisingly pragmatic cover song for a total of sixteen minutes of blindingly fast music. Continue reading »

Apr 142021


The part-Brazilian, part-German death metal band Incarceration have compiled a discography that includes a pair of splits, an EP, and a 2016 debut album named Catharsis. To that collection of releases they are now adding a new EP entitled Empiricism that’s set for release on Friday of this week (April 16th) by Dawnbreed Records.

On this newest effort the band’s core duo of Daniel Silva (who performs vocals and bass on this release) and Michael Koch (drums) are joined for the first time by guitarists Pedro Capaça (Violator) and Alex Obscured (Speedwhore, Obscured by Evil). Whether for that reason or others, the band seem to have thrown themselves without reservation into the most furious and unhinged side of their sound.

And thus, as you’ll discover through our full streaming premiere today, the new EP generates adrenaline-fueled mayhem with explosive, savage power, although that ruthless, visceral intensity is accompanied by spectral leads and coruscating solos that generate a frightening aura of the occult. Continue reading »

Mar 292021


(What is old is new again. Wil Cifer reviews a come-back EP by the Texas crossover band Angkor Wat, who first made their deep marks with albums released in 1989 and ’90.)

Once upon a time bands were discovered in zines, Maximum Rocknroll, or on college radio, and yeah I am not counting MTV, it was bullshit. In those golden years you would find bands that seemed like your little secret. Maybe you might get one of your friends into them, but they were a deserted island for your ears otherwise. This Texas band was one of those.

When Corpus Christi came out in 1990 it was light years ahead of its time, though both of Angkor Wat‘s albums held up over the years. They remained marginally active after 1990, with a few small tours here and there. When I stumbled across this EP Worst Enemy released on their website with zero fanfare, it was a wonderful surprise. Continue reading »

Mar 262021


The French one-man band Dïatrïbe came into existence in 2019, “with the aim” (as its creator explains) “of creating radical and intense music, an extension of the French Orthodox scene.” Embracing the mysticism and spiritual subject matter of black metal, Dïatrïbe devoted itself to “the artistic exploration of something else, creeping and powerful like a fiery cloud, uncompromising with very clear guidelines, acceptance to let go to the unknown, the search for this unexplained vibration that grabs us between fear and fascination… an artistic vision of the unfathomable, indomitable abyss hidden behind all things”.

We use those words to begin introducing our premiere of Dïatrïbe’s debut EP Odite Sermonis because they succeed so well as a preview of the music to come — perhaps especially in their reference to the “unexplained vibration that grabs us between fear and fascination”, because that is indeed what these six tracks achieve in striking fashion. Continue reading »