May 312022

The music of Ataraxy has become a confluence of heart-rending and hideous poetry, and violent, pulse-pounding turmoil. It brings together the soul-splintering downfalls of doom and the electrifying ravages of death metal, and shrouds those striking unions in an atmosphere that isn’t of this world, but seems instead to radiate from spectral realms that lie on the other side of death.

Even from their beginnings, Ataraxy have been very good, but the old cliche that “This is their best work yet!” is inarguably true in the case of this Spanish band’s newest album The Last Mirror, which will be co-released by Me Saco Un Ojo and Dark Descent Records. The songwriting here is both more refined and more unsettling — more elaborate, more prone to the creation of startling contrasts, and even more effective in drawing the listener down haunted and harrowing pathways of heartbreak, horror, and rampant savagery.

Everyone who has been paying attention already got a vivid sign of Ataraxy‘s multi-faceted achievements on this new album through the advent of its stunning first single, “Decline“, and today we bring you another sign via our premiere of “Visions of Absence“. Continue reading »

Dec 222017


After a nearly two-week vacation in which I blogged very little, I returned to Seattle late last week and was promptly slammed by my fucking day job, unforeseen personal obligations, bad weather, and a whole bunch of NCS articles to write or edit, including the continuation of our LISTMANIA series, interviews, reviews, and a bunch of premieres. I can’t really say I need another vacation already… but I kind of do.

Anyway, I haven’t written one of these round-ups in 12 days, and I’m way behind in even listening to all the new songs that have appeared since my vacation began 19 days ago. I started working on this collection early this week but decided to include a couple of songs that have appeared more recently. I hope to do more catch-up round-ups this weekend, including a Sunday SHADES OF BLACK feature, because holidays don’t mean shit around here.


Roughly four and a half years after their last album, Pestilence will release a new one via Hammerheart Records named Hadeon, and earlier this week Hammerheart previewed the album with a single called “Multi Dimensional“. It didn’t take long for my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli to send me an alert about the song, wth a positive message. Continue reading »

Jul 282017


Colorado-based Dark Descent Records must be very, very happy with 2017. (I’m talking about their slate of music releases, of course, because many other things about the year suck harder than a shop vac.) Here we are just past the halfway point, and Dark Descent has already served up new albums by the likes of Heresiarch, Undergang, Father Befouled, Bestia Arcana, Ascended Dead, Phrenelith, Ensnared, GorephiliaCraven Idol, Lantern, Excommunion, Sarcasm, and Diabolical Messiah, and a new EP by Devouring Star (and I might have overlooked something).

But with more than five months left in the year, the label has a lot more nastiness up its sleeve, and today we’re getting a big taste of what’s to come. Today Dark Descent has released via Bandcamp and YouTube a new sampler that consists of a whopping 11 track premieres all at once, and they all happen to be from releases we’ve been very eager to hear, or that come as very intriguing surprises. Many appear headed our way before year-end; some may not arrive until 2018.

Below you’ll find some info about those 11 offerings, plus impressions of the music (aided by a bit of a sneak peak we got in advance), and of course streams of each song. To begin, here’s the track list: Continue reading »