Nov 242020


The Serapeum is a remarkable new EP created by the Egyptian metal artist Nader Sadek and a star-strewn coterie of talented friends. To celebrate its imminent release, we’re presenting a second video for a song from the EP, which joins another one that we premiered earlier.

We’ve already devoted a lot of attention to this EP, including a wide-ranging interview by DJ Jet of Nader Sadek and two of his collaborators on The Serapeum. But for those who might have missed that, this new EP grew out of a collaboration in Egypt among Nader, Karl Sanders (Nile), Derek Roddy (Serpents Rise), and Mahmud Gecekusu (Perversion).

And if those names weren’t already enough to seize your attention, the music also includes contributions by bassists Ben “Barby” Claus (Gorod) and Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (Augury) and vocalists Morean (Dark Fortress) and Shaun LaCanne (Putrid Pile), as well as Alex Zubair (Nephelium) creating eastern harmonies and drones, and Nancy Mounir adding theremin hauntings to the mix. Moreover, Sadek himself recorded the vocals inside the inner chamber of Dahshur’s “Red Pyramid” (the pyramid of Snefru). Continue reading »

Nov 202020


(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the 2016 self-titled debut EP of Texas-based Cognizant, which was given a proper CD release by Selfmadegod Records on November 13th.)

When it comes to Grindcore, there’s always been a split, with some bands falling on the Metal side of the fence while others are more firmly rooted in Hardcore, though even more have staked out their territory somewhere smack in the middle. In the case of Dallas-based five-piece Cognizant, they easily emerge from the fetid swamp of Death Metal and their debut self-titled record, re-released courtesy of Selfmadegod Records, shows why they have become a force to be reckoned with.

In 1997, Floridians Assück dropped one of the best Grind records of all time with Misery Index, and they too were heavily indebted to Death Metal (in their case it was the almighty Suffocation). Cognizant looks to Gorguts for much of their Death Metal influence, and this leads their particular brand of blasting a much more complex and abstract edge. But do not mistake this abstractness for a lack of impact, because this is a paint-peeling assault from start to finish. Continue reading »

Nov 182020



(Andy Synn prepared the following reviews of three recent and very impressive EPs.)

It’s pretty common knowledge that, for the most part at least, I’m more of an “album guy” than an “EP guy”. There’s just something about the extra effort, the extra level of commitment, involved in creating an album that makes it feel more real and more substantial in my mind (although I’m sure that’s not always true).

That being said, I can’t deny that there are certain times when an EP is exactly what I’m looking for from a band, something explicitly designed to deliver a short, sharp shock of (ideally) all their best ideas and elements in one concise, captivating package.

Which is exactly what I have here for you today, three EPs – from three tonally and stylistically very different artists – all of which are pretty much brand new (one of them, in fact, is so new that it isn’t actually released until Friday) that find each band putting out some of their best material yet while also dropping a few hints as to where they might take things next. Continue reading »

Nov 132020


Just yesterday I was confessing that one of the reasons I’m so open to hosting premieres every day is a selfish motivation — because it affords the opportunity to discover new music from new bands that I might otherwise miss (and that you might miss too!). Sometimes those opportunities bring thrilling surprises, and today it has happened again through the discovery of a fascinating German black metal band named Bestialis.

What you are about to hear, on the day of its release by Vendetta Records, is the debut recording of this group, an EP named Ritus. The formidable success of the EP will be less surprising if you understand that Bestialis is the result of of a long-term artistic and spiritual conspiracy between two artists — vocalist Lastaurus and guitarist Absorber — who have been making music for 20 years; both of them are part of northwestern Germany’s Culthe Collectiv/Culthe Fest (Münster).

What they’ve achieved is both conceptually and musically tantalizing. In their lyrical focus, Bestialis focus on a concept “whose basic premise is to understand humans as – primarily and in the most positive way – animal beings, and thus, at its essence, to explore, proclaim and worship the bestia or beast in man.”. Ritus thus offers an introduction to this concept and puts into its narrative tales of prehistoric bull cults and Persian mythology (such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, provided in the band’s own reinterpretation). Continue reading »

Nov 052020


What do you think would happen if two such doom maestros as Daniel Neagoe (Clouds, Aeonian Sorrow) and Shaun Macgowan (My Dying Bride) were to join forces in a new musical project? Well, you need not engage in too much speculation, because that is in fact what they have done, and we have the results for you right now.

Under the name Ustkara Ghost they have completed work on a debut album named Consuming The Abyss that’s being released today, and to help spread the word we present a full stream of the album, as well as the debut of a lyric video for its longest and most multi-faceted song. Continue reading »

Nov 052020


(This is the final installment in a seven-record review orgy by our man DGR, who is attempting to free his mind for year-end season by clearing away a backlog of write-ups for albums he has enjoyed in 2020. Today’s subject is a new EP by the German band Abhorrent Castigation, which was released in late August.)

It has been a little while since I’ve found a band by falling into the social media vortex of going from band to band to band, exploring who was playing shows with whom, who is showing up in various band recommendation segments, etc., and Germany’s Abhorrent Castigation were a result of such an adventure.

I’ve mused a few times in reviews this year about groups that I feel get slid across my metaphorical desk because someone listened to them and went ‘oh, I know exactly who to give that to’. Well, the opposite happened with Abhorrent Castigation. I listened to their new EP and knew that had it not crossed my desk, they would’ve eventually found their way on here anyway because they have appeared on this very site before – granted, way back in the yonder days of 2014, but still. It’s a good bet that eventually they would’ve appeared fully formed out of the mist once again, bringing their hybrid of brutal death, grind, and slam as all hell. Continue reading »

Oct 302020


When we last checked in with Atomic Witch at our putrid site, about 14 months ago, the occasion was a premiere of the title track from their first EP, Void Curse. It caused us to conclude that the long-time disciples of the Cleveland metal and hardcore scene who formed Atomic Witch picked a damned good band name. As we wrote then, that EP “couples the wild radioactive energy of a runaway nuclear meltdown with the weird and witchy feeling of a supernatural orgy”. Together, those four tracks were supercharged with furious, pulse-pounding energy, head-spinning instrumental changes, and unhinged vocal intensity. The genre-bending music created a maniacal atmosphere, whole-heartedly indulging in a musical blood-spraying riot from beginning to end.

Now, 14 months later, the band’s label Seeing Red Records is on the verge of releasing a new Atomic Witch EP, entitled Death, Sex, and Satan. They picked Halloween as the release date (tomorrow!), for reasons that will become obvious when you find out what they’ve done — and yes, you can find out right away, because we’re premiering a full stream of the whole thing. Continue reading »

Oct 282020


Cleveland-based Noxis have only been active since 2019 but they have wasted no time in proving their fiendish talents. Setting their sites on a particular kind of death metal, they released the aptly named Necrotizing demo in the year of their birth and are now following that with the new four-track EP we’re premiering today, also aptly named: Expanse of Hellish Black Mire. Those fiendish talents quickly hooked the attention of both Pulverised Records and Rotted Life Records, who will jointly handle the release on October 30.

In formulating their approach, Noxis owe some debts to the great NYDM triumvirate of Incantation, Suffocation, and Immolation, as well as Finnish bands such as Demigod and Convulse, and they’ve paid those debts by creating music that’s thuggish in its bone-fracturing, organ-rupturing belligerence and disgustingly gruesome in its atmosphere, and yet also mind-boggling in its mad contortions and technical extravagances. Their music is thus thoroughly putrid and punishing but also a big adrenaline kick. 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 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 »