Jun 222022


As the years plodded along after the release of Altars‘ impressive 2013 debut album Paramnesia, it began to seem that the band were dead and buried. Its members occasionally surfaced in other groups and projects, but Altars itself remained silent for what turned into more than eight long years. In part this was due to a debilitating illness affecting co-founding member Cale Schmidt (vocals and bass). Yet finally Altars have emerged again, renewed and even more formidable than before.

How this finally happened is a tale we at NCS don’t yet know, but we do know that it included the involvement of Convulsing‘s Brendan Sloan as the band’s new bassist and vocalist, joining founding guitarist Lewis Fischer and founding drummer Alan Cadman. Together, this formidable trio have recorded a new album named Ascetic Reflection that’s now set for release on July 8th by Everlasting Spew Records.

Paramnesia revealed an adventurous songwriting spirit, and that hasn’t changed on the new record, but if you know the first album, you’ll also easily discern changes in the new one, and the song we’re premiering today is a vivid example of Altars‘ evolution. Continue reading »

May 132022


In the outer world, Friday the 13th is often perceived as an unlucky day. But in the crypts, swamps, deserts, and various infernal and post-apocalyptic dimensions where most of our beloved music dwells, the signifiers of luck are reversed. Which makes it strange that on this Friday the 13th we have no music or video premieres on our calendar.

On the one hand, since I write almost all of our premieres, that should have meant I had a block of free time to round up some new songs and videos. On the other hand, I used most of the block going through the thousand NCS e-mails I had mostly ignored all week long. What did that get me? Links to about a hundred new songs and clips I thought might conceivably be interesting — and almost no time to listen and watch. I question my judgment.

To deal with the conundrum, I just quickly picked the following three items and deferred the rest of the sifting process to some point later today or tonight, with the goal of having a more fulsome round-up on Saturday. Continue reading »

Aug 032013

To start the weekend, I’ve collected new death metal in this post that I strongly recommend, from three very good bands.


This UK band made quite an impact with the two EPs they’ve released to date — 2009’s Exalted Emanation and 2010’s Realm of Evoked Doom — and now they’ve completed a debut album entitled Odori Sepulcrorum that’s due for release on September 13 (September 17 in NorthAm) by Profound Lore and the German label Sepulchral Voice. It was reportedly recorded on analog format using vintage equipment, and it features wonderful cover art (above), painted with acrylics on glass by Denis Forkas.

So far I’ve only heard one of the new tracks, “Ovation To A Thousand Lost Reveries”. It made me think of the song we streamed earlier this week from Ulcerate’s new album. It’s a roaring storm of ancient blackened death metal, the riffs moaning and grinding and oozing with putrescence. The drum tone is titanic, and the barbaric vocals echo like roars of the awakened dead across the vault of dank crypts.

Like Ulcerate, Grave Miasma prove that there is still fertile ground for creative growth in the graveyard of wholly dominating death metal. The song is wonderfully inventive while remaining rotten to the core. Stupendous stuff. Continue reading »