Mar 222021


(We present Aleksha McLoughlin’s review of the new album by the British melancholic black metal band Abandoned By Light, just released last week.)

There are few names as prolific in British black metal than Sheffield’s Abandoned by Light, a one-man project that for eight years has been putting out a steady stream of solid records, with this newest one being the ninth overall, and the best effort yet. I must disclose that I have worked on records with Karhmul, but that does not cloud my judgement.

People may remember this project for its origins as a DSBM band, but in recent years Abandoned by Light has shifted over to a melancholic sound. This was done in order to break away from the genre staples of depressive black metal, as many of these songs have a much faster tempo and increased aggression, without sacrificing the intensity.

Like some other Abandoned by Light albums such as The Angel Experiment, one of the band’s most well-regarded releases, Gentle is a concept album, in this instance based upon the 1951 Dylan Thomas poem of the same name, with various references throughout. Continue reading »

Mar 092021


(We present Aleksha McLoughlin‘s review of the third album from slam-tastic Dutch death-dealers Korpse, which came out recently on Unique Leader Records.)

2021 is already shaping up to be a better year than the 365-day horror story that was 2020, as we’ve already been graced with some truly excellent Death Metal releases, including Korpse’s third studio album, which is one of the best Slam records of the past five years.

And although it’s been a long time since the band released Unethical, all the way back in 2016, they’re as unflinchingly savage as they have always been.

This time around, however, in a similar vein to Vulvodynia’s 2019 record Mob Justice, Korpse have switched gears lyrically to address the horrors of the world, as opposed to gratuitous gore for gore’s sake, and it works well, as while Unethical only occasionally touched upon these lyrical beats, Insufferable Violence goes all in.

Continue reading »

Mar 022021


(Not long ago we published Aleksha McLoughlin‘s review of the excellent self-titled debut album by the Finnish death metal band Revulsion, which was released on February 5th by Transcending Obscurity Records, and Aleksha has now followed that up with a live recorded interview of Revulsion members Atte Karppinen (drummer) and Tuomas Alatalo (bassist), a transcription of which you’ll find below.)


What was it like signing up to Transcending Obscurity Records? They have some great bands on their label, like Gaera and De Profundis.

It was exciting, of course; our first signing and immediately to an international label. We obviously had heard about them through Sepulchral Curse and Sadistik Forest, we know the guys from that band. So we already had friends who had signed up with them. It was quite a clear choice in that sense because we already had an idea of what they could do and what kind of connections to the industry they had, how we could get our music out there.

We were surprised how quickly Transcending Obscurity Records responded to our questions about the signing. Yeah, it didn’t take long for him to reply. He was like, “Let’s get this album out there, let’s get you guys some visibility”. Because it’s obvious today, in this kind of competitive environment, with a lot of bands, labels and everything like that, it’s hard to get your voice out there and get your band seen and stand out. Continue reading »

Feb 152021


(We present Aleksha McLoughlin‘s review of the debut self-titled album by the Finnish death metal band Revulsion, which was released on February 5th by Transcending Obscurity Records.)

It’s been over ten years since the last proper release from Finland’s Revulsion — their 2011 EP Defiled. Now the band are back to find their place among their country’s death metal greats alongside Abhorrence, Convulse, Depravity and Demigod. The long wait was certainly worthwhile, because Revulsion’s self-titled full-length debut is one of the best death metal albums to come out in recent years.

“Last Echoes of Life” opens the album with persuasive vigour and unrelenting aggression, very much setting the stage for how the rest of the record is set to play out. Immediately you are met with the powerful vocal attack of Aleksi Hunta, whose fierce aggression not only fits the music perfectly, but also lends weighty sincerity to the proceedings. Continue reading »

Feb 042021


(This is Aleksha McLoughlin‘s review of the new album by the Belarusian band Eximperitus, which was released by Willowtip Records on January 29th.)

Eximperitus are a band who have not only lived up to their hype and mystique but surpassed all expectations on Šahrartu in every way imaginable.

It’s been five long years since the band released their full-length debut, and all that time away has resulted in not a second wasted. On their newest release, Eximperitus have focused on atmospherics, dynamics, and an ingenious use of layering to create music that genuinely sounds as alien as the imagery. Continue reading »

Feb 012021


(We present Aleksha McLoughlin‘s review of the new album by the South Carolina doom band Legba, which is set for release on March 5th, along with a stream of all the music.)

In times of pandemic and civil unrest, exactly what price are we willing to pay to escape back to a time long since passed? Legba’s newest release proves that such sentiment cannot come without a price.

Legba are no strangers to inserting social commentary within their music, most noticeably on their prior album Hell, and yet the samplings of news reports telling of COVID-19 as it grips America might be their most haunting inclusion yet. Further still is the shocking fact that that report might actually be the cheeriest thing on this album, and that’s saying something. Continue reading »

Jan 262021


(We welcome a new contributor at NCS — Aleksha McLoughlin — who begins with a review of the new album by the revised Brazilian death/thrash band Nervosa, which was released on January 22nd by Napalm Records.)

April 2020 seemed like a death sentence for the female-fronted thrash/death metal band Nervosa. Guitarist and founding member Prika Amaral had the tough choice to make when it came to replacing their entire line-up. The result isn’t a resounding triumph, but it does enough to justify the band’s place at the fringe of female-fronted extreme metal.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way early on: Even when upgrading to a four-piece from their tried and tested original trio, Diva Satanica (Bloodhunter) simply lacks the vocal power of Fernanda Lira, and Mia Wallace’s bass lines are largely buried in the fairly mid-heavy mix.

“Venomous” opens the album as it means to go on. Guitars have a significant body; very much leaning into that old-school razor-thin tone and presence. We’re assaulted as listeners by a steady combination of bouncy thrash and proto-death guitar riffs that are catchy, but occasionally ring hollow. Continue reading »