Jun 152017


(DGR takes over our round-up rodeo for this Thursday, with a mix of news and new music from 8 bands.)

By the time you are reading this, I will likely be hiding like a coward underneath a fan set on incredibly high as this region of California experiences its first legit summer heatwave of one hundred plus temperatures. Considering that I am a soft wuss who has somehow survived many of these prior, you’d think that attempting to lose weight so that I may one day fit in my freezer with the door closed wouldn’t be the go-to gameplan, but alas, here we are.

You may have noticed by our recent slowdown post that a good chunk of the NCS crew plans to spend the weekend cooped up in a handful of venues in Seattle for the Northwest Terror Fest, enjoying a smattering of different groups. So in order to offset that I’ve made a hefty collection of new music and some album artwork that has slowly been cropping up on the web in recent weeks that have floated by us recently, to be caught in the patented super-porous DGR news net. At the very end I’ll even toss in an album that I came across recently for all of you to enjoy.

So let us sunder forth so that I can quickly go back to attempting to stuff myself onto the second shelf of the freezer next to the frozen lasagna boxes. Continue reading »

Apr 122016



(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Aborted.)

A funny thing happened when I first listened to Retrogore… it didn’t click with me. At all. And I say this as a huge fan not only of the last two Aborted albums (both of which I consider amongst the top tier of their work), but as a huge fan of the Belgian brutalisers in general.

In fact it wasn’t until about a third of the way into the album that it finally started to get its hooks into me, with the first flurry of tracks in particular seeming to rush by in a faceless blur of blasts and riffs and breakdowns, grind parts, tech parts, and obtrusive melodeath licks, all of which screamed “EXTREME” at maximum volume, but really didn’t leave much of a lasting impression.

This was unsettling. I’m used to Aborted practically peeling my face off right from the very first track, and leaving me with some fresh new scars that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. And that most assuredly was not happening this time around.

Could Retrogore really be that much of a misstep, or was there just something wrong with me? Continue reading »

Apr 112016

Shadow Woods Metal Festival 2016


As we begin the new week, I have some unfortunate news (at least it’s unfortunate for me). Beginning today and continuing through Thursday morning, I have to bury myself in my fucking day job for one of those day-and-night projects that periodically descends upon me. I’ll make time to post what other writers have sent me, as well as a few premieres I’ve agreed to do, but aside from this round-up and one “Short But Sweet” review I wrote over the weekend, I will be missing in action until sometime Thursday.

Before saying good-bye, I’ve collected a few items that I wanted to share — including, at the end of this post, streams of ten recent videos without commentary (because I’ve run out of time for commentary).


I’m late sharing this news, but the news is so exciting that I’m following the “better late than never” mantra. Last year’s Shadow Woods Metal Festival was a marvelous event by all accounts — including this account by our guest Captain Karbon. As I reported in February, organizer Mary Spiro and her team (who are joined by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records as co-producers this year) have been planning the second installment of this open-air camping metal party, which will run for three days in central Maryland: from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland. They’ve been announcing performers since January, and now the complete line-up has been revealed — and it’s an eye-popper: Continue reading »

Mar 082016

Skeletonwitch 2016


Over the last hour I spied four new items of interest that I thought I’d toss up here instead of waiting to include them in tomorrow’s planned round-up, which is already pretty over-stuffed as it is.  The first three include new songs.


I think we can all agree that as the vocalist of Skeletonwitch, Chance Garnette was going to be a tough guy to replace following his ejection from the band in late 2014. Last month the band announced that Adam Clemans of Wolvhammer was the man they chose to try to fill those shoes. And now we have a chance to find out how well he is doing that. Continue reading »

Feb 112016



What do you get when you put Athenian-born, classically trained soprano Sanna Salou together with current and former members of Aborted, System Divide, and Abigail Williams? You get Oracles, a band whose debut album Miserycorde will be released by the French label Deadlight Entertainment on July 1. To give you an advance taste of what’s coming in July we bring you the premiere of a video for an album track called “Scorn“.

In addition to Ms. Salou, the Oracles line-up includes names that will be familiar to fans of extreme metal:

Sven De Caluwé (Aborted) – vocals
Sanna Salou (ex-Dimlight) – vocals
Mendel Bij de Leij (Aborted) – guitar
Steve Miller (ex-System Divide, Loculus) – guitar
Andrei Aframov (ex-System Divide) – bass
Ken Bedene (Aborted, ex-Abigail Williams) – drums Continue reading »

Jan 162016

Fake Aborted Bandcamp


In recent days I’ve learned that fake band pages have been set up on Bandcamp by people whose aim is to defraud bands and labels of money that rightfully should go to them. As I looked into this a bit further, I realized this has happened before — and so some of you may already be aware of it. But for those who aren’t, here are a few examples of what’s happening.

Today one of our readers (thank you Sidney) alerted me to the fact that he was about to buy Aborted albums at https://aborted.bandcamp.com — but something about it looked fishy to him. He then contacted Aborted’s band management representative (as identified on the band’s Facebook page) and was told that the Bandcamp page was indeed a phony.

I’ve not found any links to a Bandcamp page on Aborted’s social media, and their current label Century Media does not put its releases on Bandcamp as far as I can tell. Aborted’s previous label (Listenable) does have a Bandcamp page that includes Aborted releases — but it’s a different URL (this one) than the one above.

Yesterday, the following announcement also appeared on Abbath’s official Facebook page: Continue reading »

Jan 082016

Joseph Mallord William Turner-Death On A Pale Horse-c1825-30


(TheMadIsraeli prepared this round-up of music from yesteryear that’s been keeping him company lately.)

The scarcity of my writing last year stemmed partially from a desire to go back and listen to shit I liked or loved from past years, whatever it was, and fuck being musically relevant. This is something I hadn’t done in a long time, and I have to admit that doing this just about saved me from burning out on music altogether. This music blogging thing, it can become genuinely tiresome in the race to try and keep up with what’s worth noting. Listening to albums that may or may not be worth the time you just spent listening to them, to find out whether they are or not, can take a lot out of you sometimes.

I decided it’d be cool to write a piece here and there where I give some commentary on those older albums I’ve listening to, hence the title “Irrelevant Listening”. Maybe this could be a monthly thing, but as much as I intend to get back on the horse in regards to everything else, I’d hate to try and schedule this in any way. However, I have been noticing a pattern where I tend to change my “irrelevant listening” playlist every month or so.

So here are the records that had my attention this past December. Continue reading »

Jan 042016

Aborted - Termination Redux - EP


(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new 20th anniversary EP by Belgium’s Aborted.)

I fucking love Aborted, especially their last two albums. It’s no secret that here at NCS we were foaming at the mouth like a horde of ravenous hyenas and cackling as we ripped apart the carcasses of Global Flatline and The Necrotic Manifesto when they came our way. To my ears, The Necrotic Manifesto, compared to Global Flatline, signified a departure from the sound the band had always been semi-attached to. Until then, every Aborted record had included the more technical, more tempo-dynamic flare reflected on Global Flatline, although I think most would agree that Global Flatline was their sound taken about as far as you were going to get.

The Necrotic Manifesto was even more aggro than any Aborted release before it. It was streamlined, grindier, noisier, faster, and more belligerent, while largely ditching the more dynamic song-writing of previous Aborted albums. And in between those two albums, Aborted had acquired guitarist Mendel bij de Leij, whose solo project we have covered before (along with his and vocalist Sven’s side project, System Divide — which appears to have transformed into the band Oracles).

So where does that leave Termination Redux? When it comes to EPs, I see them as serving one or more of three specific purposes nowadays: You use them to introduce your craft; you use them to tide people over with some goodies before the next big release; or you use them to plant the flag — to sow the seeds of a new direction and sound in a digestible format, or sometimes to make a defiant statement of said new direction and sound.

I do believe that Termination Redux is the third of those types of EPs, signifying an interesting evolution in the band’s music, capped off by the gesture of re-recording the opening song of one of their most praised early records, Engineering the Dead. Continue reading »

Dec 042015

Aborted - Termination Redux - EP


Given the diversity of our tastes in metal, there aren’t many bands that all of the old-timers on our staff can unanimously unite behind with enthusiastic devotion, but Aborted is one of those. And so you can imagine, then, we’re almost beside ourselves with glee over what we’re about to deliver unto your unprepared eyes and ears — a brand new Aborted song and a brand new video to go with it.

The name of the song is “Termination Redux” and it will appear on a special 20th anniversary EP by the same name that will be released in January as a prelude to the band’s next full-length album

I said “unprepared” on purpose, because seriously, you’re not ready for what you’re about to see and hear — unless you’re a fan of horror and gore, in which case you’ll… eat this up. As a prelude to the slaughter banquet, let’s consider this statement by the band: Continue reading »

Jan 072015

Welcome to the lucky Part 13 in the continuing rollout of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

I missed a day in the rollout yesterday because of my fucking day job. To make up for that, we’ll have an extra-strong, double-dose of ass-kicking to begin the day.


We posted not one but two reviews of Aborted’s 2014 album, The Necrotic Manifesto, one by BadWolf (here) that accompanied our premiere of a full-album stream and one (here) by TheMadIsraeli. We could have posted five reviews, because everyone among the longest tenured staffers around here (including me) agreed — and its rare for all of us to agree on anything — that the album was fantastic. Continue reading »