Apr 012020


We have SO MUCH planned for your enjoyment at NCS today, but I made a last-minute decision to begin with this interactive post (at least I hope it will become interactive).

Last night a metalhead friend sent me a Facebook message asking: “If you happen to have some scuzzy, vile, positively abrasive new music that you can put up or recommend my way, I’d certainly appreciate the fuck out of it.” I have my own plentiful stockpile of such stuff, but I thought I’d reach out for other ideas. So I posted his request on FB and asked for recommendations. I mentioned that I didn’t think my friend was a big black metal fan, so suggested that BM should probably be filtered out of the suggestions. Other than that, I asked people to open up the sewers on me.

And I did get suggestions, which I decided to leave below. And I further decided this morning to make an open call to anyone reading this post to leave your own recommendations in the Comments for our mutual benefit (but here there’s no need for you to filter out black metal). So go ahead, open up the sewers on me — and remember that the subject of the request is for scuzzy, vile, positively abrasive that’s NEW (or at least new-ish). Continue reading »

Mar 042020


A long five years (and change) have passed since the Wisconsin death metal band Ara released their debut album, Devourer of Worlds. That proved to be a serious eye-opener and jaw-dropper, an approach to technical death metal that our review likened to an amalgam of such bands as Anata, Gorguts, and Necrophagist, presenting complexity, dissonance, and brutality, and achieving “a fine balance between beating you down and freaking you out”.

Five years on, and now we welcome the return of Ara, most of whose members also share roster spots in the sludge metal/post-rock band Northless. Their sophomore album Jurisprudence is now set for release on May 15th, and today it’s our pleasure to present a premiere stream of the title track. Continue reading »

Jan 302015


(Austin Weber wrote this review.)

It’s been awhile since I came out with anything labeled under my “Underdogs” series here at NCS, but some recent events have influenced its return — mainly that Islander is stuck in work hell, and this site needs content damnit! But more specifically, it needs what we do best: coverage of music that few others do.

So, the plan is for me to do one of these a day (on weekdays) to help out, and also to give me a chance to write about more of the bands I keep finding online. Some may be shorter than this, but all will cover exceptional bands you need to hear from various metal subgenres.

The first target in the resurgency of this series will be Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based technical death metal omni-wizards Ara. Continue reading »