Jan 192022


(Here’s Alex Atkinson‘s review of a new EP by California-based VoidCeremony that was recently fired into the void by 20 Buck Spin.)

California’s tech-death monstrosity VoidCeremony have given us a quaint dose of things to come with their three-track cassette release At the Periphery of Human Realms.  I usually steer away from tech-death, but something about these four members’ ability to navigate a song like a rabid Cujo always pulls me in.  Their all-star crew, pulling from such heavyweights as Incantation, Stargazer, and Atramentus to name a few, should be enough to get even the most annoying dingleberry a-twinkling.

For anyone who lives under a rock and has not heard VoidCeremony’s debut LP Entropic Reflections Continuum:  Dimensional Unravel, check out NCS’s review back in July of 2020 and listen to it as soon as possible.  It is like falling into a waking manic nightmare. Continue reading »

Jan 172022


(New NCS contributor Alex Atkinson has brought us the following review of a recently released EP by the Oregonian band Mizmor.)

Wit’s End is the funeral doom/black metal band Mizmor’s (aka Liam Neighbors) follow-up EP to 2019’s widely acclaimed Cairn album.  Musically, Mizmor brings back the anguish they’ve become known for, offering up a cohesive half-hour of two tracks that demand focus.  This is not background music for your workday, trust me.

The initial track, “Wit’s End”, is introduced with a spoken-word clip in which vocalist A.L.N. sets the intent of the following 14-minute piece.  The hissing of the analogue tape recording is accented by a simple, melancholic guitar as feedback begins to erode, leading into the second movement of the track.  With a few massive chords and thoughtful drums, the vocals are introduced with chilling agony. Continue reading »

Jan 122022

(We welcome first-time NCS writer Alex Atkinson, who makes his debut with a review of the recently released first EP by the Calgary-based heavy metal band Kontact.)

As our planet continues on its path toward ultimate doom, we must look to the cosmos for relief, enlightenment, and breakneck, extraterrestrial riffing.  Kontact fills the vacuum of space with songs soaked in all the ancient technologies of heavy metal’s heroes while creating a sense of new possibilities that help the surging traditional metal scene remain exciting.  Through the combined forces of Canadian powerhouse Traveler and the downright dirty Blackrat, Kontact has managed to harness their talents to finely (space)craft their debut EP, First Contact.

The album opener, “Ancient Malice”, uses some familiar tropes to build up to an unexpected vocal performance by singer, The Alien.  The vocals sound a bit like Alice Cooper and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard stopped listening to music once they heard King Diamond’s lamentation, “Melissa”, while creating something stark and original inside that space.  This is what really sets First Contact apart from an overwhelming couple years of excellent heavy metal releases.  Surprising vocal melodies are around every corner on this track, not to mention the remaining four powerhouse songs. Continue reading »