Jan 302021


I picked a half-dozen songs for today’s round-up, most of which I paid attention to based on friends’ recommendations. It was easy to do that because I was already a fan of every group included here. If you don’t immediately recognize all the names, I’ll forewarn you that there’s a lot of whiplash in this playlist, which is to say that the music diverges sharply from song to song. On the other hand, the variety increases the odds that you’ll find something to like.


I was so excited to find out that Aetherian would be releasing a new song and video yesterday. For a band that only have one EP and one album to their credit since the release of their first single in 2014 we’ve written about them literally a dozen times, including reviews of that EP and album. They earned all that attention because their brand of melodic death metal is so very good. Their melodies (which tend to lean on the melancholy side of things) are beautifully crafted and moving; when they charge hard, they’ll give your pulse rate a swift kick in the ass; and they always seem to have a few surprises up their sleeves as well. Continue reading »

Jan 252018


Another day, another edition of our Most Infectious Song list, with a trio of black metal tracks and a song that might be a bit of a cheat.


With their 2015 debut album, As All Light Leaves Her, Australia’s Advent Sorrow made a beneficial change in their sound. As Andy Synn wrote in his review, they “shed the symphonic grandeur that permeated their debut EP in favour of an all-round darker and more desperate form of borderline DSBM-style sonic despair… resulting in an album of bleak, harrowing melody and torturous metallic agony that errs closer to the sound of Infestus or early Shining than it does the more dramatic Dimmu Borgir-isms with which the band first made their name”. Continue reading »

Dec 052017


(DGR reviews the debut album by the Greek band Aetherian.)

The genre-realm that skirts the line between doom and melodic death metal is one that has become increasingly crowded over the years, especially as some of the more long-running groups have rocketed up in popularity. The line between the two blurs constantly, and the bands that walk that path have developed into a very recognizable genre grouping in their own right, with bands like Insomnium having quickly moving to the forefront.

The pacing of most of these bands firmly plants them within the melo-death realm, and Greece’s Aetherian with their debut album, The Untamed Wilderness, don’t stray too far from it. Continue reading »

Nov 112017


You can go long or you can go short. You can pound your musical erogenous zones or you can shrivel up and go dry from something far outside the rim of your bullseye. You can fragment your mind or feel it coalescing in configurations that become receivers of new visions. Every day there are new opportunities.

I’m speaking of metal, of course. I got doses of all those experiences this week, but bit off almost more than I could chew with this week’s flood of premieres, and got squeezed by my fucking day job on top of that, so I failed to compile a round-up until now, and hence it’s a big one.

Catching up is an impossibility, of course, and this time it happens that my choices (all the way up to the last one) are mainly indulgences in a particular mood rather than my usual effort to throw darts all over the metal dartboard. The one thing I haven’t done is incorporate black metal, because I have tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column for that.


We’ve been writing about this Greek band for years, beginning with their first single in 2013 and including their second one in 2015, their debut EP released the same year (and reviewed by DGR here), their amazing single and video from last year, “The Rain”, the first single (“Seeds of Deception”0 from their debut album, The Untamed Wilderness, which will be released by Lifeforce Records on November 24th, and the second one (“Shade of the Sun”). And now there’s a third, accompanied by a video. Continue reading »

Oct 162017


You may have noticed that my posts have been scarce over the last few days — nothing at all over the weekend (Andy’s Best of British kept us from going dark altogether) and only one post on Friday and one on Thursday. The reason is that last Thursday my employer hosted its annual retreat, which was in Montana this year.

As usual, it has a very good time. But between the travel, the work-related meetings, the staying up late while getting hammered with co-workers, and the watching of some playoff baseball, NCS temporarily fell far down the ladder of my life. I wasn’t even been able to keep up with our e-mail traffic or my usual daily searching through statuses of friends, bands, and labels on Facebook.

Needless to say, I’m way behind. So what I’m doing here is collecting some music I actually had planned to post last Thursday, but ran out of time before leaving Seattle — though I have added two more songs I became aware of since then. Continue reading »

Aug 112017


In this post I continue an end-of-week round-up that I began here earlier today. I’ll post a third installment on Saturday. In this one, we have new music from five favorites of our site, all of whom are returning this year with new releases.


I’ve already published two previous posts about the new Enslaved album, E, even without any music to share with you. Now we finally have an advance track, “Storm Son“, which arrived today in the form of an animated music video designed by Josh Graham.

The song is a 10-minute beguiler, described as follows by songwriter/guitarist Ivar Bjørnson: Continue reading »

Jul 232016



Getting a very slow start on this Saturday.  Went to sleep very late last night without having begun writing the post you are now reading, and then slept for 9 hours — and still didn’t want to get out of bed. I can’t remember the last time I slept for 9 hours, or anything close to that. I felt groggy as shit for a couple of hours after waking up. Pretty sure that was sleep grogginess rather than the after-effects of all the wine I consumed last night with my spouse and some friends. Pretty sure.

Either way, I now feel more alert and invigorated, having listened to the music collected in this post. This collection doesn’t really make much of a dent in the long list of new tracks and videos I came across since the last round-up I assembled. As usual, there’s not much rhyme or reason to why I picked these selections rather than others. Austin Weber also contributed one of these items, as you’ll see below.


On July 20, Singapore’s Wormrot announced that they will be releasing a new album named Voices on October 14, and they revealed the great cover art you see above by Zahir Sanosi (aka Kilas). Voices comes five long years since their last album, Dirge. Wormrot made a video to announce the new album, and it includes a new song from the album called “Fallen Into Disuse”. Continue reading »

Apr 152016

Systemik Violence-Fuck As Punk


Hey there. It’s good to be back on round-up duty. As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, I had to spend the last four days in something like the Bataan Death March for my fucking day job, except I was able to eat food and wasn’t scarred for life watching all my friends around me die in misery. I didn’t have to crap myself while walking either. But, I mean, by modern first world standards for a well-paid office worker it felt brutal. Please don’t shed too many tears, ‘cuz it’s over.

Anyway, there ain’t no fuckin’ way I can catch you up on all the good stuff I spotted since last Sunday and couldn’t write about, so I’m not even going to try. And I’m working on not feeling anxious and miserable about it. I don’t understand why people frown on having a few shots at breakfast. It’s very therapeutic. Here are some jewels you probably won’t find at some other metal site.


Speaking of therapeutic, the debut EP of Portuigal’s Systemik Viølence will do a masterful job of helping you discharge your desire to kick the living shit out of everything and everyone around you, without going to prison. Continue reading »

Mar 122015


(DGR reviews the debut EP by Aetherian from Athens, Greece.)

Oftentimes, when a writer disappears for an extended length of time, the writer will usually return to the fold — because really, the muse is always calling, siren song being strangled from her (because really, we have to METAL around here) — with tail tucked between the legs, bevy of excuses in hand (most pretty valid), ‘aw shucks’ look on the face, and full of apologies, ready to be welcomed back with grand plans and a ton of material to work with.

I can’t do that this time. I disappeared because work kicked my ass. It’s been a well-known fact that NCS is a labor of love and it is our passion (and that of many others) that keeps the site running. We happen to be in a very blessed position where we don’t have to worry about ad-buys and traffic, and therefore we can sort of freely write about what strikes us. But our amateur status also opens up the scenario in which actual real life takes over, and for about a month and a half I was the aforementioned single digit that was being smashed into dust on Napalm Death’s Apex Predator. Continue reading »

Jan 232015

Well, the last time I did what I’m about to do, I had breaking news and new music concerning 18 bands that all became public in a single day. That was two days ago. And now I’ve got a collection of song streams and videos from 19 bands that I spotted since I wrote that last post, all of which I think are worth recommending.

Most of what’s in here is brand new; a few of songs are simply new to me. Once again, because this collection is so overstuffed, I’m presenting what I found with a minimum of commentary… in alphabetical order by band name. Continue reading »