Feb 212019
 

 

Apart from the main criterion for this list (“infectiousness”), there’s no stylistic organizing principle to the three songs I chose for today’s installment. The genres represented here are all different from each other, though on second thought maybe there is something in common: They’re all electrifying, with explosive energy bursting through the speakers when you listen.

By the way, I guess it’s worth mentioning that I haven’t ranked the songs as I’ve rolled out the list. The fact that I’m posting songs at this point, near the end of the list, rather than closer to the beginning, doesn’t mean I think they’re less infectious or less good than the tracks which preceded them. I’ve been figuring out the list as I go along, and so the ordering is pretty random.

ALLFATHER

Britain’s Allfather delivered a polemical and sonic powerhouse of an album last year, And All Will Be Desolation. As Andy wrote in his NCS review, “the band’s Sludge-injected, Hardcore-inflected, proto-Death Metal sound remains as potent and punishing as ever, and invites praiseworthy comparisons with the works of High On Fire, Crowbar, and early Sepultura at their very best…. If you like your Metal heavy and heartfelt and not too polished… and you’re looking for an album where you can practically feel every ounce of blood and sweat and tears which went into its creation… then this one is for you”. Continue reading »

Aug 162018
 


Allfather

 

(As he is want to do from time to time, Andy Synn has selected three new releases by three UK bands to spotlight in this collection of reviews and streams.)

While the main purpose of this column – to highlight and hype up some of the best and brightest bands in the UK Metal scene – is pretty obvious, the process has also forced me to take a long hard look at its many faults and failings at the same time, in particular its unfortunate tendency to favour familiarity and celebrate mediocrity over supporting bands who might actually have something unique or interesting to offer.

Now, unsurprisingly, statements like that are unlikely to endear me to the self-declared gatekeepers and “defenders of the faith” who interpret even the mildest criticism as a sign of disloyalty and grounds for instant excommunication… but then I’ve been considered persona non grata by a lot of them for a while now, so what else is new?

Of course every year there’s a handful of break-out acts who, through a confluence of fortunate timing and hard-fought graft, manage to win over the hearts and minds of the record-buying public without pandering to the lowest common-denominator, but these are definitely the exception, rather than the rule, and the number of painfully generic bands I’ve encountered attempting to (misre)present themselves as “the next big thing” – all without a single interesting or original riff to their name – vastly outweighs the number of artists out there who actually possess a real voice and vision of their own.

That being said, the three bands I’ve singled out here all definitely have that special “x-factor” which makes them stand out from the crowd, and it’s albums like these which makes winnowing through all the sound-alikes and also-rans worth it in the end. Continue reading »

Jun 252018
 

 

I wasn’t able to post a SHADES OF BLACK column or anything else yesterday, but fear not, all is well here in NCS land; I was just wholly consumed all weekend with activities related to my fucking day job, almost all of them quite pleasurable but nevertheless not conducive to my listening to new music or writing about it. I did manage to go through some of the songs on my ever-burgeoning list of new releases last night, and what follows are the ones I chose to recommend on this Monday morning.

I also have in mind presenting a collection of three new EPs that made an impression while I was listening last night. Don’t know if I can pull that off today, but I do know that before the day is out we’ll have a review of Craft’s new album and premieres of two other albums that I’m confident you’ll enjoy.

ALLFATHER

My colleague Andy Synn gave quite a positive review to the debut album by UK’s Allfather in 2016, which concluded as follows: Continue reading »

Dec 092016
 

lock-up-band-2016

 

I’ve been immersed in compiling LISTMANIA features the last few days, but at the same time I’ve been noticing the appearance of new songs, many of them from albums headed our way in the new year. I’ve rounded up 9 of them here that I’ve enjoyed, with a range of metallic styles. I organized them sort of like a bell curve, with things starting hard and then getting more melodic in the middle, and then descending again into increasing ugliness and violence by the end.

Also, serious question: Should I divide collections of this length into smaller parts and spread them out over the day? Or does it matter?

LOCK UP

I’m afraid that if I googled “lock up” these days, I’d get stories about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The world obviously needs to grind again, and the real Lock Up is here to help us do that. Continue reading »

May 042016
 

Allfather-Bless the Earth With FireBurial-Unholy Seditionwode cover art

 

(Andy Synn presents a trio of reviews, with accompanying music streams.)

So today’s column is actually a bit of a coincidental confluence of events and circumstances.

My original intent was simply to put together a single piece of writing covering three separate bands as something of a direct response to last week’s epic Schammasch triple-review. However, as I started to pull together the necessary three albums to fulfil this idea it dawned on me that what I was actually doing was accidentally putting together another edition of my “Best of British” column, such as originally reared its ugly head last year.

Call it coincidence. Call it kismet. Call it what you will. But whatever you call it, prepare yourself for some homegrown metallic thrills and spills of the Sludge/Doom/Hardcore/Black/Death variety! Continue reading »

Mar 022016
 

Allfather-Bless the Earth With Fire

 

Following their debut release, last year’s No Gods, No Masters, UK-based Allfather signed with Static Tension Recordings for the release of a new EP named Bless the Earth With Fire, which is scheduled to hit the streets on April 29. Today we have for you the premiere of a song from the EP called “Raskolnikov“.

What the song demonstrates in spades is that Allfather are capable of creating music that hits like a sledgehammer to the back of the neck but sticks in the memory as well. They also know how to start a song in a way that grabs your attention immediately. Continue reading »