Jan 062023

Can you see what I did for this fifth Part of the list? After spending minutes scanning up and down the alphabetized collection of more than 500 song candidates I still have left, and feeling my vision begin to blur, I let my orbs drift up to the top where all the A’s are. Only 42 songs up there.

That’s right, 42 songs just by bands whose names begin with A, but it still made it a bit easier to focus. And having focused, the following three songs jumped out at me from memory. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the last time you’ll see an A-band on this list.)

By coincidence, or maybe not, all 3 of them are high-speed, high-intensity tracks that involve some blazing guitar work. In other words, if your ass happens to be dragging, these will fix you right up and propel you into the weekend ready to fight the world (doesn’t mean you’ll win, but you’ll make a good showing). Continue reading »

Mar 032022

(In late February Metal Blade Records released a new album by Colorado-based Allegaeon, and our old friend TheMadIsraeli has re-surfaced with the following review.)

I’ve been taking a sizable break from NCS to recover from the holidays, to the point where I decided not to submit year-end lists or any of the usual annual stuff you see from us here, and… I’m glad I took the break.  To be real for a second, sometimes it can just get exhausting to keep up with the constant barrage of new shit. Sometimes you want to just listen to old stuff, sometimes you don’t want to listen at all. At the peak of my NCS output I legit listened to 300 albums a month guaranteed.  ALL while juggling college and family that needed taking care of to some degree or another.

However, that doesn’t mean I still don’t get a rush out of hearing the new stuff, whether that’s from underdogs or reliable all-stars.  Allegaeon’s Damnum was always my album from the start as a way to come back to the site reviewing. It was the first thing I had knowledge of that I was truly excited about coming into 2022.  Also, it just felt fortuitous that it came out the same day as Elden Ring if I’m being honest. Continue reading »

Apr 122019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by the Colorado melodic death metal band Allegaeon, set for release on April 19 by Metal Blade Records.)

Ever since I first wrote about them back in 2011, Allegaeon have proven themselves to be America’s best argument for the continent’s viability in the melodic death metal space since The Absence.  They have shown consistency, growth, and a level of sophistication that’s rare, even if that growth and willingness to expand their sound in multiple directions have resulted in a discography that doesn’t hit everybody the same way from album to album.

I’ve really enjoyed the more consistent sound this band have been dialing in, though, since Elements Of The Infinite (funnily enough, the last Allegaeon album I personally reviewed here), where they’re trying to hit this interesting note that sits somewhere between Soilwork, Nevermore, and Dream Theater while incorporating some other more bombastic straight-forward death metal elements into things.  Suffice it to say, I like all Allegaeon, but I’ve found myself liking this incarnation of the band the best by far. Continue reading »

Mar 162019


I’ve gotten dramatically busier at my fucking day job over the last week (and unfortunately it’s going to get worse in the weeks ahead). I’m way behind in crawling through the hundreds of e-mails we get each day (no telling how many indie pop masterworks and ED treatments I’ve missed), and have had no time to do the other things I usually do in an effort to discover new music that isn’t being plumped by press releases.

Fortunately, a cadre of faithful allies had left messages for me, which collectively gave me the six songs and videos you’re about to see and hear. And so, I’m grateful (in order of their recommendations which appear below) to Rennie (starkweather), DGR, Andy Synn, eiterorm, Miloš, and Rennie again.


On May 10th Nuclear Blast will release the first album from Possessed in over three decades.They lined up Peter Tägtgren to mix and master it, and enlisted Zbigniew Bielak to create the cover art. And, as Rennie wrote in his message to me, it sounds like they didn’t miss a beat, 33 years after Beyond the Gates. Continue reading »

Feb 112019


(Andy Synn wants you to know that he took in another show. This time, Obscura, Fallujah, Allegaeon, and First Fragment drew him to the environs of London on February 8th, yielding this report plus video of the event.)

For whatever reason, possibly known only to the gods themselves, tonight’s show was one of three big package-tours plying their metallic wares in the capital all on the same evening, with Behemoth/At The Gates/Wolves In The Throne Room on at Kentish Town Forum and Psycroptic/Aversion’s Crown/Within Destruction/Hadal Maw/Hollow World making The Dome in Tufnell Park their home for the evening.

Thankfully, as I’d caught the latter tour a few days earlier in Manchester, my choice between the remaining two options was an easy one to make, as while I’m a fan of practically all the bands on both bills (to a greater or lesser extent), I wasn’t hugely taken with either of the most recent Behemoth and At The Gates albums, whereas I was very high on the most recent Obscura album (and, spoiler alert, the upcoming new Fallujah too).

So it was off to the O2 in Islington for me! Continue reading »

Jan 062018


I had a very busy week, both on and off our site, so busy that I wasn’t able to cobble together a round-up of news and new music. However, I did try to keep abreast of what was coming out, and my list of intriguing tracks that appeared over just the last week is YUGE — so YUGE that I’m afraid I’ll have to resort to an OVERFLOWING STREAMS post on Monday, one in which I don’t do anything but just stitch together new music streams and release details without commentary.

But I decided I would do something for today as a head-start (in addition to working on a SHADES OF BLACK post for tomorrow), and here’s what I’ve done: I picked the latest recommendations from three of my NCS colleagues, and then added one of my own, which happens to be the latest new song premiere that I’ve listened to. But first, a news item…


A few days ago the administrator of Panopticon’s official Facebook page posted the artwork you see above, along with these few words: “Slip case cover for the new double album. the scars of man on the once nameless wilderness. Out in March on Bindrune Recordings in the USA and Nordvis in Europe. Art by Hanna Larsson of Sólfjall Design.” Continue reading »

Sep 022016

Allegaeon-Proponent For Sentience


(Here we have Andy Synn’s review of the much-anticipated new album by Colorado’s Allegaeon.)

So I’ve already seen a few reviews for this album eking their way out onto the interweb, several of which have gone down the desperate, obsequious route of “OMG guys! This is the best album ever! It’s perfect! Allegaeon are the future of metal! Please pay attention me!”

And don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a great album, and I’ve been a big fan of the Colorado quintet myself for quite some time now, it’s just that I fail to see the value in such shameless fawning and bootlicking. Do these people really think there’s some sort of value in blowing smoke up a band’s ass like this? When everything is written about IN BLOCK CAPITALS HYPERBOLE!!! and when every album is given a 10/10 rating… what’s the damn point?

Heck, as much as it must be nice to be praised for your work, the majority of the bands I’ve dealt with and spoken to over the years have told me that they’d rather read one well-thought-out review that offered a balance of creative compliments and constructive criticism than ten sprawling screeds written by people who either clearly have their own agenda to promote, or who are simply unable to write something that isn’t just gushingly saccharine and sycophantic.

Anyway, now that I’ve got that little rant out of my system we can get down to the business of reviewing (and praising) Proponent for Sentience, Allegaeon’s fourth full-length album, and their first with new vocalist Riley McShane. Continue reading »

Jul 202016

Heaven Shall Burn-Wanderer


In yesterday’s Part 1 of this large round-up, I said I would post Part 2 later the same day. Someday I will learn that part-time metal bloggers who have actual paying jobs and/or families who occasionally need their attention should not make forecasts of what they plan to do on the blog. Not even what they think they will accomplish later the same day, or even in the next hour. That’s just laying the groundwork for stepping on your own crank, so to speak.

Anyway, here’s Part 2, which unlike yesterday focuses on new or newish music that I wanted to recommend rather than simply announcements. One silver lining to the delay is that it enabled me to add the first item in this collection, which appeared late yesterday.


Our small band of beleaguered writers at NCS includes some ardent (perhaps even slavish) fans of Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn. I count my own self on the slavish end of the spectrum. And so yesterday was a banner day, because… Continue reading »

Mar 152015


(In this post Austin Weber updates us with news of forthcoming metal tours.)

Metal Injections Presents: Cryptopsy/Soreption/Erimha US Tour

It’s been several years since Cryptopsy have toured the United States, but now they’re coming back, and they’re bringing along some sick support acts to sweeten the deal. Soreption is definitely a favorite around here at NCS. Their sleek combination of mechanical grooves and technical death metal is incredible, and last year’s Engineering The Void was an amazing effort by the band. US Death metal act Disgorge and Montreal-based black/death group Erimha round out the tour bill. Continue reading »

Jun 302014


(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Colorado-based Allegaeon, which is out now on the Metal Blade label.)

I really fucking like technical melodic death metal. I like melodic death metal in general, but when you’ve also got technical guitar showpieces that call to mind melodic lines written by great classical composers of old, it’s just a trip. Allegaeon have been on top of this particular game, as far as newer American blood is concerned.

I’ve really enjoyed the way these guys have played with their sound since they first began putting out music; the evolution they’ve undergone has been interesting to watch. Their self-titled EP was simply a solid, excellent tribute to the melodic death metal style as a whole, with the band wearing their influences on their sleeves. Their debut Fragments of Form and Function was a technical marvel for the style, while Formshifter took a grittier turn and turned up the focus on groove.

I have to admit, however, that while I loved Formshifter, I was slightly turned off by the heavier groove direction. While the music still had the signature Allegaeon tech-melodeath style going on, that aspect of the music was diminished to accommodate the magnification of groove. Which is why I am glad that Elements of The Infinite now exists. It proves that a band who I had honest fears might be stagnating into groove-driven drudgery were merely revealing a different shade of their sound. Returning with the technicality and full-frontal speed, Allegaeon have stormed back this time, not as a MELODIC death metal band, but as a melodic DEATH METAL band, if that makes any sense. Continue reading »