Jan 252019
 

 

(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by A Secret Revealed, which will be released by Lifeforce Records on January 25th.)

I’d like to begin this review with a little aside, if I may?

The upcoming launch of the (probably terrible) Lords of Chaos movie has, unsurprisingly, sparked quite a few conversations about whether Black Metal has finally “gone mainstream” or not.

Now while I wouldn’t call it “mainstream” by any means – I fully expect this just to be another example of the popular crowd experiencing a passing fascination with a particular sub-culture, only to quickly move on to the next “in” thing as soon as it appears – I wouldn’t deny that Black Metal, and all its variants, sub-styles, and hybrid offspring, has experienced a definite upswing in exposure and awareness over the past several years.

In some ways this is a good thing. More people are discovering music that would, in other circumstances, have been well outside of their usual comfort zone, and many of these are then diving deeper into the history and importance of the genre (and, in turn, bringing new blood and new voices into it, preventing it from stagnating).

On the other hand, it’s also leading to quite a few people developing a very superficial understanding of what “Black Metal” is, one usually informed only by the most mainstream-friendly examples, causing them to misuse and misapply the term in all sorts of different ways, ranging from the simply misleading, to the downright mind-boggling.

And nowhere is this more obvious, to me at least, than in the liminal space where “Post Metal” meets “Post Black Metal”… which brings us, quite nicely to Sacrifices, the new album from German quintet A Secret Revealed. Continue reading »

Dec 252018
 

 

If today is a holiday for you, we hope you’re enjoying it, regardless of whether it has any ecclesiastical meaning to you. If it’s not a holiday for you, we hope it will be a good day for you, too.

We don’t observe any holidays at NCS, not because we’re against them, but because from our first year the goal was to post something every day of the year, a goal we’ve kept with very rare exceptions. I can’t exactly remember why I set that goal (come on, it was 9 years ago!), but probably because I thought our best chance of getting readers was to be out there on days when there was no competition. Now, we keep doing it out of sheer stubbornness.

Since it is Christmas Day, I thought about exclusively going with metal that has some kind of holiday theme, but with a trio of exceptions at the end of this giant new-music round-up, I tossed that idea out the window, unless you count the introductory music from Rotting Christ. And why wouldn’t you?

ROTTING CHRIST

My NCS colleagues and I seem to be having a disagreement about RC‘s new album The Heretics. One of us, who shall remain unnamed, thinks it’s repetitive and boring, a distillation of the sound of the last three or four albums but lacking in dynamic peaks and troughs. A couple of us (including me) acknowledge that it’s basically Rotting Christ firmly in their established groove, but is nonetheless a whole lot of fun. Continue reading »