Jan 242021


We had a rare day with no posts yesterday. I spent most of my free time clawing through the hundreds of mostly un-read e-mails that had piled up in our in-box last week, and made a gigantic list of new music to check out, and then attempted to do the checking. I didn’t finish listening to everything because the list was so long. But of the new stuff I heard, the following collection kind of assembled itself.

I don’t think any of these bands require an introduction. All of their names are prominent. And all the songs until the last one have a pronounced old school death metal flavor. They’re also all heavy on the chugs, and the death metal tracks include uniformly ferocious vocals. Melvins obviously aren’t a death metal band, but their new song is also heavy on the chugs, and there’s also another reason why it fits in an “old school” round-up.

P.S. If you came here today expecting to find a SHADES OF BLACK column, be patient. It’s coming.


As mentioned above, there are a lot of powerhouse vocalists in this collection I’ve assembled, beginning with the inimitable Martin van Drunen (a lot of people do try to imitate him, and to be honest, some do so with some success, but there still ain’t nothing like the original). Continue reading »

Jan 162017


I feel like wallowing in the warmth of a certain kind of guitar tone today, along with a certain kind of delicious death-metal gut churn and head battering.

Yes, you’ve arrived at the 12th part of our growing list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Should you be inclined to explore the tracks that preceded these three beasts, click this link.


Astoundingly in this day and age, when more venerable metal bands with prominent names are phoning it in than showing they still have fire in their bellies, Asphyx released one of 2016’s mod satisfying death metal records. Continue reading »

Aug 252016

Meshuggah-The Violent Sleep of Reason


Earlier today I posted Part 1 of a planned two-part Seen and Heard round-up of new music, with the first Part prepared by my comrade DGR. What you’re looking at now isn’t the Part 2 that I had planned to write, because while I was toiling away on that, Meshuggah and Asphyx released songs from their new albums. Rather than tack them on to my original selection of cuts for Part 2, which is already pretty large, I decided to throw them at you now, and convert my original Part 2 into Part 3. Unless something else pops up and Part 3 becomes Part 4, because I haven’t yet figured out how to make time stand still.


The title of Meshuggah’s eighth album is The Violent Sleep of Reason. Nuclear Blast plans to release it on October 7. That’s obviously a big deal, given how vastly influential Meshuggah has become over the years, not to mention the high quality of their music. The first single from the album, “Born In Dissonance” premiered not long ago at Rolling Stone, along with an interview of drummer Tomas Haake, who as usual wrote the lyrics for the song. Continue reading »

Jul 262016

40 Watt Sun-Wider than the Sky


Yesterday I loaded up a Seen and Heard round-up with music from 9 bands I had discovered in a single morning, most of them of the more obscure variety. Today I’ve again decided to focus exclusively on things I discovered through a whirlwind tour of our in-box and Facebook this morning, but this time the bands have a higher profile than yesterday’s group. Of course, these things are relative; the odds are that none of the people you encounter today who aren’t already your friends will have heard of any of these bands. And of course that is their loss.


This first item him me like a bolt from the blue. Although I haven’t been regularly searching for news about 40 Watt Sun, I think in the recesses of my mind I just assumed we would never have another album by this particular project of Patrick Walker (ex-Warning) — but indeed we will, in less than three months’ time. Continue reading »

Jul 192016

MDF XV revised flyer


Ten days have passed since the last time I put together a round-up of news and recommended new music, which is an unusually long gap. Perhaps needless to say, trying to catch up is out of the question. What I’m going to do instead is just pull together some big news announcements from the last 24 hours in this post (plus one related recent song), and then collect a few more recent music streams in a second part that I’ll post a bit later today.


On June 30, as we dutifully reported, the organizers of Maryland Deathfest announced the first round of confirmed bands for the XVth edition of the festival, scheduled to take place on May 25-28, 2017, in Baltimore. Just minutes ago, MDF announced a second round of confirmed bands — plus some surprising news about where the festival will, and won’t, take place next year. Here are the new confirmed names: Continue reading »

Nov 132015

Damnation Festival 2015


(Andy Synn provides this report on the 2015 edition of Damnation Festival in the UK.)

It’s been a few years now since I last attended Damnation Festival, the annual celebration of all things dark and metallic hosted (as always) at Leeds University Student’s Union. But this year I knew I simply couldn’t miss it, as not only were a number of my favourite bands playing (hello Sólstafir, hi there Primordial) but also two bands I’ve been a fan of since their very first albums, but whom I’d never actually managed to see live before (The Ocean, Altar of Plagues).

Oh, and some band named At The Gates. Who are apparently pretty famous or something. Continue reading »

Aug 092015

Rearview Mirror


Though The Number of the Blog went to blog Valhalla long ago, I still stay in touch with its founder, Professor D. Grover the XIIIth. Recently he suggested that NCS might consider reviving the idea behind an old TNOTB series called “Morning Wood“. I thought it was a good suggestion, and so here we are… with the inaugural post of what I hope will become a weekly Sunday series, borrowing the “Morning Wood” idea but under a new name.

With very few exceptions, the music we write about at this site consists of recent, new, or forthcoming releases. In The Synn Report, Andy does provide monthly retrospectives about entire discographies of selected bands, and we’ve had a few other retrospective-style series in the past as well, but we mainly focus on the here and now. But the focus of this new Rearview Mirror series will be metal songs from the past. And I do mean individual songs — these posts are going to be short, but hopefully sweet. Continue reading »

Sep 242012

Come forward and bow down, for the Grand Supreme Blood Court is in session . . . and their judgment is Death, always Death. The only question is how will the sentence be carried out? The Court is about to answer that question, and based on the song we’re premiering for you today, there will be blood, and pain.

GSBC may be a new band, but it’s packed with Dutch death metal veterans. In addition to three current members of AsphyxMartin van Drunen (vocals), Bob Bagchus (drums), and Alwin Zuur (guitars) — the band also includes lead guitarist Eric Daniels (a member of Asphyx for the recording of five of the band’s first six albums and now returning to metal after a decade-long hiatus) and bass-player Theo van Eekelen (Hail of Bullets).

The Grand Supreme Death Court’s debut album — Bow Down Before the Blood Court — was mixed by the legendary Dan Swanö (Edge Of SanityBloodbath) and it’s scheduled for release by Century Media on November 12 in Europe and November 20 in the U.S. The gruesome album cover was created by Axel Hermann (AsphyxGraveUnleashed, etc.).

Lyrically, the debut will be a concept album based on an historical Blood Court that actually existed, though the details have yet to be revealed. Today we have the first taste of the music — “Piled Up For the Scavengers”. Continue reading »

Sep 182012

Somehow I missed the news earlier this year about the formation of Grand Supreme Blood Court, though with a name like that I’m puzzled about how it could have eluded me. However, the unveiling yesterday of the cover art for their debut album, created by Axel Hermann (Asphyx, Grave, Unleashed, etc.), remedied the situation. It appears there will be blood and death, which is an appetizing prospect.

The prospect becomes even more mouth-watering when you understand who’s in this band. It’s the brainchild of former long-time Asphyx guitarist Eric Daniels. After being essentially out of metal for almost a decade, Daniels picked up his guitar again and started creating riffs. He shared them with select friends, and GSBC was eventually born. In addition to Daniels, it includes current Asphyx bass player Alwin Zuur (who plays guitars along with Daniels in GSBC), Bob Bagchus (Asphyx) on drums, Theo van Eekelen (Hail of Bullets) on bass, and the always stunning Martin van Drunen (Asphyx) handling the vocals and lyrics.

GSBC has finished recording a debut concept album — Bow Down Before the Blood Court — which was mixed by the awesome Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath) and is scheduled for release by Century Media on November 12 in Europe and November 20 in the U.S.

With a five-man line-up, four of whose members consist of current or former members of Asphyx, the obvious question — which Eric Daniels will no doubt tire of answering until GSBC’s music is finally released — is what GSBC has to offer that’s different from the music of Asphyx? Continue reading »

Feb 232012

Quite a few news items were delivered to the NCS Island today via carrier pigeons, which are our preferred mode of news transportation. Unfortunately, a few of the pigeons dived left when they should have dived right and landed in the loris compound, where they were unceremoniously converted into squab tartare. We’ll never know what important messages those brave aeronauts were carrying. But the ones who made it safely to the NCS editorial offices revealed the following:


Yours truly can testify that the new Asphyx album Deathhammer is a delicious serving of primal death-doom with more hooks than you’ll find in this guy. But you don’t have to take my word for it, because DECIBEL has started streaming the whole album here.


High On Fire’s new studio album De Vermis Mysteriis has now been scheduled for an April 3 release by eOne Music. It was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts’ GodCity Studios with producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. The album title apparently comes from a fictional grimoire created by Psycho author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu mythos.

According to the press release I got, “The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus, and ‘a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors’ eyes.'” However, portions of the release were obscured by pigeon dung, so I can’t swear I got the Jesus twin thing right. Continue reading »