Feb 052023
 

I hope this Sunday is treating you well. Or maybe you’re landing here on Monday… or Tuesday… or (heaven forfend) on Hump Day (what a lot of time those people have been wasting).

My Sunday is off to a slow start, thanks for asking. I had a riot of a Saturday night. Splattered on the couch with the cats, binge-watching a fantastic series I don’t need to name (it was Slow Horses) until way late. So I was late to rise and feeling very groggy. But there’s nothing like plunging into a lake of black and black-adjacent metal (sometimes only barely black-adjacent) to kick-start your heart. Here’s what I surfaced with today: Continue reading »

Jan 252023
 

The Dutch band Dead Will Walk pack six songs into their new EP A New Day of Dawning, and you’ll get to hear every one of them today in advance of the record’s January 27th release. Horror and ferocity await you in this music, with its roots sunk deep into the fetid earth of death metal from decades past, but delivered with the killing efficiency of modern mechanized armaments and the kind of songwriting chops that make the songs highly addictive. We share these thoughts from the band:

Our goal for this release was to write songs that underline our roots for the old school underground scene. Here we have tried to convey the same feeling as from the glory days of death metal. Thoughtful songs that remain listenable and always have a small twitch. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we wanted to record an EP that wouldn’t look out of place in a record collection from the late eighties or early nineties.

The humility in that comment is admirable, and so the task is left to us to explain just how damned good A New Day of Dawning really is and why it definitely should not be overlooked in the vast seas of old school death metal that now surround us. Continue reading »

Jan 062023
 

(Andy Synn provides a short but sweet review of a mesmerising EP from last year)

As the grinding gears of another year begin to slowly spin once again, I’m going to be taking some time over the rest of this month – in between reviewing new and/or upcoming releases – to feature some of the albums and artists from 2022 that I wasn’t able to cover properly last year, beginning with an EP that I totally missed out on by dreamlike “Doomgaze” chanteuse Suvi Savikko, aka Shedfromthebody.

Continue reading »

Jan 042023
 

Like yesterday I found myself with a little extra time this morning before having to turn to other tasks that are un-connected to NCS. The music I chose to recommend goes in many different directions, but one thing they have in common (with one exception) is the terrifying intensity of the vocals.

SUM LIGHTS (Germany)

I’ve mentioned before that Rennie Resmini (starkweather), one of my constant sources of new musical discoveries, has a fairly new SubStack blog where he writes about his own new musical discoveries. I have found it to be a blessing and a curse, a blessing because it’s packed with good shit, a curse because I was already deluged with new music to check out before I started reading there.

I’ve decided to book-end today’s round-up with music I found via Rennie’s newest SubStack newsletter. The opening salvo is a song by the German black/death unit Sum Lights, who came roaring out of the gates in late 2021 with an album named Emanating Fulguration. I can only hope that the new song, “The Sense Of A Sun“, is sign of more to come soon. Continue reading »

Jan 032023
 

 

This round-up of new music will be short, but of course I think it’s also sweet. I have just enough time for three recommendations before my gilded carriage of a morning turns into the rotting pumpkin of my day job.

CONTRARIAN (U.S.)

Until I looked I had forgotten how many premieres we’ve done for Contrarian‘s releases (four of them, going back to 2015). What I didn’t forget was how head-spinning their music has been, and so I jumped at the chance to listen to the first single from Contrarian‘s new album Sage of Shekhinah. The remarkable cover art by Guang Yang just sweetened the pot. Continue reading »

Dec 232022
 

This aging year will soon expire, but is still capable of birthing metal releases as if it were still young and fecund, right up to the bitter end. And so on December 30th Horror Pain Gore Death Productions will reissue a storming split of unholy (and unconventional) black thrash that features the savage talents of Pagan Rites from Sweden and Vulcan Tyrant from the Netherlands.

You have ears and we have thoughts to prepare them for the onslaught to come at the end of this feature. Continue reading »

Dec 092022
 

(Christopher Luedtke reviews a new EP by the Vegas band HeadGore, which just dropped yesterday. Prepare to have your head gored.)

The state of music today is a frankly daunting and overwhelming landscape. In the last few years alone so many sounds have been converged, soldered, and brought together by odd arcane alchemy in very quick succession. And as this internet experiment slouches onward at lightspeed it becomes increasingly more impossible to hear it all at once, much less in individual doses. It is a thought that crosses my mind as I listen to Las Vegas, NV nocore unit HeadGore. There is a lot going on and going down, and their latest EP A MEAL FIT FOR GOD is a snapshot into the alchemy of everything.

HeadGore has been putting out bizarre iterations of grind, cybergrind, death metal, and electronic music since their 2019 split with Shitnoise Bastards. At once they are primarily a band that fits into the grind category. They do blasts, and the music is fast and noisy, but they very easily transition into the noisecore/noisegrind categories, but then will also flip a track into an electronic break or turn it into an uncomfortable, swampy melodic section. The nature of things seems to be not confining or boxing oneself in, hence nocore. And this latest release A MEAL FIT FOR GOD is the band at their most experimental yet. Continue reading »

Dec 082022
 

The best of intentions often fall like wheat before the scythe of life. No plan survives contact with the enemy. The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley. And other hoary maxims.

I thought I would get one of these round-ups done before now this week, but events conspired against it. I barely have time to squeeze this one in. It’s shorter than I would like — this week was filled with good new releases, of which these are only a precious few — but it will give you a lot of stylistic twists and turns. I’ll have to try to pick up the list this weekend.

LAERE (Germany)

In hunting for new music I’m often the beneficiary of recommendations from other people, and I’m beginning with Laere‘s stunning new EP because it was the subject of lots of those from internet pen-pals whose opinions I respect. And, well, I also got a Bandcamp alert about it because I bought the band’s debut EP Solve in 2020 (and wrote about it too). Continue reading »

Dec 042022
 


Sarpa

The usual Sunday routine, waking up and not preparing for church, like some unfathomable number of people around the world do, but instead knowing that I’ll spend the next couple of hours listening and re-listening to nothing but variants of black metal, including the Satan-worshiping, Christ-hating variants.

It’s a habit I’m quite comfortable with, at least when I get a decent Saturday-night sleep and keep the Saturday-night drinking at a moderate level. The task of picking and choosing from what I’ve heard creates an inner tension I could do without, but it’s the need to choose that drives the listening. I wouldn’t be making choices if I weren’t writing this thing, and if I weren’t writing this thing I doubt I’d be spending Sunday mornings listening to black metal.

But I’d probably just be making other choices, and less pleasurable ones — wash the dishes? do a load of laundry? pay some nagging bills? heat up the leftover pizza or eat it cold? dig deeper into why 1,700 seals have been found dead on Russia’s Caspian coast?

Nah, I don’t want to make those choices. I made these instead: Continue reading »