Feb 272019


I feel like I should subtitle this installment of the list “The DeathGrind Bloc”, or at least “The DGR Bloc”.

Heretofore, I haven’t included much grindcore, of the deathly variety or not, on this list. It’s not that I don’t enjoy grind. In fact, as a mechanism for achieving a cathartic release through the kind of violent fury that would land me in jail if I tried to act it out myself, it’s hard to beat. But for some reason I don’t often encounter grind songs that have the kind of catchiness and distinctive memorability that would make them “infectious”, as I conceive that classification.

In the case of the three songs below, I think they pass that test. Or maybe I’ve just fallen too far under the influence of my comrade DGR, who recommended each of these songs for the list, and reviewed two of the three albums that include them — hence that other subtitle.


I think it’s likely that during the more than 9 years NCS has been in existence, we’ve written about Aborted more than any other band (and by “we”, I mean every one of the longest-standing writers for our site). I count 36 articles, which include premieres of songs and full albums, interviews, show reviews, commentary about a host of advance tracks, and even a previous appearance on the 2014 edition of this Most Infectious Song list — not to mention appearances on year-end lists, which I didn’t attempt to count.

So yes, we have a soft spot in our hearts for Aborted, or at least a soft spot in our skulls, which becomes softer and more worn-down with each new Aborted release. Continue reading »

Jan 012019


(Here’s the second installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

This segment has some interesting patterns in it. The grindcore power hour makes its appearance here, as I’m a sucker for a whole lot of high-speed songwriting over blasting drums, and there’s still some spill-over from the veterans who remained fairly consistent (which you’ll note, defined a lot of part one). As we reach the bottom of the list you’ll start to see some new faces, stunning debuts and incredible full-lengths, and from here the list only gets more and more wild.

As of this writing I’m not sure how to describe the next few segments, but you’ll note that the albums tend to get a little bit more heartfelt, vicious, and a whole lot more passionate as we get further and further into this list. If anything I’d say the immediate thing I’m noting is that the high-twenties of this affair fully sell me out as having had a giant tech-death party. But right now, let us enjoy this current batch of madness as we bounce around from the worlds of grind, to high speed death metal, to a pleasant prog-death and sludge metal break, only to finally close things out with a tremendous crushing of skulls. Continue reading »

Feb 202018


(We present DGR’s review of the new album by the Swedish/Finnish trio Afgrund, which was released last month.)


There’s already been a couple of victorious return-from-the-ashes releases so far in 2018, and one of the earliest — after a long period of silence — was on January 5th, courtesy of Swedish/Finnish grind collective Afgrund.

Still somewhat embroiled in a dispute with others in their history over who owns the name has resulted in potentially two versions of the band existing. The three-piece group presented here consists of founding and long-time members Andy, Pat, and Panu, who among the three of them were with the band in one form or another from their first releases up to the 2012 album, The Age Of Dumb. On January 5th, this group returned under the Afgrund banner with a new album, eleven tracks jammed into a little over twenty-three minutes, delivering a dark and pessimistic fiery blast of grind-and-punk under the title The Dystopian.

The Dystopian feels like Afgrund returning home in more ways than one, not only because the lineup consists of founding members but also in the way The Dystopian moves and what it consists of. It sounds like Afgrund knocking down all of their old favorites all over again, reaching into a comfortably familiar bag of tricks in order to dispense high-speed blasts and yells about the world of today. The Dystopian is Afgrund performing a delicate balancing act, viewing the world through a current lens yet throwing themselves back in time in order to effectively restart the band. Continue reading »

Dec 122017



(Like the good cowboy he is, DGR has stepped forward to handle round-up duty today.)

We at NCS are big fans of posts full of genre whiplash, and this roundup of things that caught our eyes and ears last week will likely be one of those. We try to always keep our giant fish net of news-and-music catching open for stuff to fall in and we like to clean it out whenever we get the chance, even though you would’ve figured that last week things should have slowed down just a bit…you would think.

However, just because it’s close to the end of the year and time for everyone to begin writing up summaries of their favorite albums of 2017, and just because our editor managed to escape from the loris horde encircling the NCS compound for a vacation, does not mean heavy metal got the hint and decided to slow down for a bit. We did here in our little comfortable corner of the ‘net, but that doesn’t mean everyone did. And so we go outside to clean off the radar dish and see what landed in the net over the past week. Continue reading »

Sep 042013

(DGR reviews the new EP by multinational grindmongers Afgrund.)

Afgrund’s Corporatocracy EP comes from an interesting realm of music. Sparing the full grind history lesson, Afgrund have long been making noise as the part of grind that shares more DNA with death metal than it initially displayed. 2012’s The Age Of Dumb was a compact bit of fury born of absolute hatred and disgust. It displayed many older influences of modern grind’s roots as well, from the punk riffs to the political consciousness, in addition to the more modern aspects of death metal that have been slowly working their way into the genre – including the excellent hybrid that has become known as deathgrind.

Grind has oft been a difficult genre to define (and likewise, I could not even begin to purport to be an expert on it based on nothing more than the occasional cursory glance) because if you ask some, the very definition of what it is now is conflicted, without any understanding of what the “grind” actually was in the music. Some bands took to the rapid sense of speed. Other bands then brought in many punk influences and added it to the music (its short songwriting existing as an almost blatant Fuck You! to conventional songwriting) and began to incorporate activism as well.

Somewhere along the line, many bands eschewed the sort of social  consciousness that had long been part of grind, owing in part to its roots in punk music, not even forgetting the massive influence of bands like Napalm Death and Discharge in this scene. Instead, some bands became almost nihilistic – focusing on the fact that the world is a mess and being angry about how fucked up it is, offering no solution, instead surrendering what little aid the logical brain could offer and appealing entirely to emotion, the raw blast furnace of anger and rage giving birth to bite-sized bits of death metal drumming buried behind a wall of simplistic circle pit riffs and someone screaming at the top of their lungs. Continue reading »