Aug 102017


(Atriarch’s new album Dead As Truth will be released by Relapse Records tomorrow — August 11 — and today we present the debut of a full music stream, preceded by an introductory review from our Andy Synn.)

Here’s a fun story for you.

Not long ago, for whatever reason, I found myself attending a Goth club night, which afforded me an opportunity to observe some of our most unfairly maligned brothers and sisters strutting their funky stuff in their natural habitat.

What surprised me, however, was that, in amongst the expected medley of Fields of the Nephilim and Sisters of Mercy, I heard an awful lot of generic chart fodder as well.

Could it be that our infamously black-dyed brethren (and sistren) are actually just pop fans with a very specific taste in wardrobe?

Maybe so. Maybe not. What’s clear is that I’ll never fully understand what it means to be a Goth (not a judgement by the way, just a statement of fact).

But when it comes to music that inclines towards the darker side of things?

That’s something I can definitely get into. Continue reading »

Jul 242017


(Wil Cifer wrote this review of the new album by Atriarch from Portland, Oregon, coming in August via Relapse Records.)

The Portland band returns with a new full-length that finds the newest incarnation of the band exploring yet another path to heavy.

The gloom is more visceral in the ritualistic pulse of “Inferno”, which opens the album. Singer Lenny Smith shouts out commanding declarations of his spiraling emotional state. Right from the first song they waste no time using an array of vocal colors, from a death rock croon to a black metal howl.

More often than not they creep along at more of a doom pace, yet the darkness they paint these songs with would appeal to fans of black metal. When they do choose to pick up the pace, they do so without using blast beats as an easy way out. Continue reading »

Jun 222017


That’s Jinx Dawson’s coffin up there, rising above the stage at Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle last Saturday night. Trust me, she was about as far from dead as you could get, but that’s where she was, inside that box when the lights came up. The crowd went crazy when she came out, and didn’t stop until a while after Coven finished their headlining set on the festival’s last night.

Someday soon I’ll write about the festival, and maybe a little about the chaotic experience of actually helping put on a festival instead of just watching the show. That’s a box I’ve now checked off on the bucket list, even though it wasn’t on my bucket list before the planning for NWTF began last year. As I think back on the experience, I’m lucky I didn’t kick the bucket before the weekend ended. Nevertheless, we’re doing it again next year, and perhaps I will emerge less exhausted, having learned a few things from the first outing, but probably not.

Anyway, since about the middle of last week I’ve had no time to compile a round-up, and am thankful to DGR for stepping into that breach not once but twice (even though he too helped out with the heavy lifting at NWTF). In the meantime, my list of new things to check out became typically overwhelming. To make the job of choosing somewhat easier, I’ve focused on more recent revelations, and perhaps will dig deeper into the last week or two in the coming days. So, let’s begin…. Continue reading »

Oct 222014

Byzantine, celebrating

Here are a few things that caught my eye yesterday.


There aren’t many bands that all the long-tenured writers at this site like, but West Virginia’s Byzantine are one of them. Their 2013 comeback album got loads of praise here and elsewhere, and so we were stoked to find out that the band had launched a crowd-funding campaign to help finance production of a new album — To Release Is To Resolve.

That campaign surpassed its goal (though contributions can still be made here, which will get you a pre-order of the album), and yesterday brought the announcement that the band have now finished recording all the music for the new record, with only Chris “OJ” Ojeda’s vocal tracking left to be done. But one thing will happen first — and that’s the second piece of Byzantine news we want to spread around: Beginning today, the band are embarking on a tour that will run through the end of October, with Thy Will Be Done and IKILLYA. The dates are after the jump… Continue reading »

Sep 302014


(Leperkahn’s first two round-up posts today were more in the “metal news” category. In this one, he delivers actual streams of recommended new songs and videos.)

Herein lies the latest of my attempts to fill Islander’s shoes in collecting new music and videos. There was only gonna be a few things, but then I found a bunch more. So there’s a lot in here. Sorry, but I’m also not very sorry, since it’s all good stuff.


I was entirely unfamiliar with Madrid’s Frozen Dawn before Islander emailed me a link to a new video they released a couple days ago. The video is for “Banished, The Everlasting Confinement”, off their second album Those of the Cursed Light, which is out now via Xtreem Music. Broadly, it’s melodic black metal, but it has dug some serious hooks into my brain. Check it out below, and order the record if you like it via the Bandcamp page below. Continue reading »

Sep 072014


I spent a chunk of yesterday catching up on new music premieres and teasers from last week. I’ve collected four of the best in this post, representing a range of metal styles.


Portland’s genre-bending Atriarch are preparing for the release of their third album, An Unending Pathway, via Relapse Records on October 27. It’s available for pre-order here. Last week one of the new album tracks had its premiere. The title is “Collapse”.

This new song is well-named — it sounds like both a physical and an emotional collapse, the kind from which there won’t be a rebuilding. The rumbling drums and sour guitar melody dominate the song, with the vocal mix of horrific growls and psychedelic wails giving it the air of a ritualistic chant. Before it ends, all hell breaks loose; the drums become spine-shattering, the vocals turn to ghastly shrieks, the bass and guitars become an explosive wall of sound. Doom on… Continue reading »

Oct 292012

This is just a quick note about three full-album streams, two of which began today and one that started last Friday. In my humble opinion, these are albums worth hearing. They provide, after all, a better vehicle than any review for deciding whether the music is worth getting.


I’m very high on Widowmaker, the new album by UK’s Dragged Into Sunlight. I explained why in this review. I also pointed out that the album is really best considered as one long song divided into three parts. At the time of my review, the only thing available for public streaming was a preview clip. That was better than nothing, but for an album conceived and executed as a single work, there’s really no substitute for hearing it in that way. You can (and should) do that at the Terrorizer site: HERE


We’ve written quite often about California’s A Band of Orcs. Because we are no fools. Because when the Domination comes, only select humans will be spared. By sucking up relentlessly, I figure we’re improving our odds of survival. Orcs are mercurial and prone to unpredictable behavior when their blood is up, so there are no guarantees. So I’m performing a further act of obeisance by telling you that the Orcs’ debut album is now streaming in full. Continue reading »

Oct 012012

I’ve been missing in action more than usual over the last 4 days, having been kidnapped by work-related travel and activities that were fun, but  cut deeply into blog time. I’m now back home on this Sunday night and have been trying to find out what I missed in the world of metal. Of course, I missed a lot that interested me — too much to capture in a single post — so I’m going to pick out just a few of the items I thought were worth spreading around.


I first came across Portland’s Atriarch through their 20 Buck Spin split release with Oakland’s Alaric — and that whole split release is just chock full of win. If you haven’t heard it, check it out on Bandcamp here.

Atriarch is now on the Profound Lore label and their first PL release will be Ritual of Passing, scheduled to hit the streets on October 30. The cover art up there is by Stevie Floyd (Taurus). I saw that Pitchfork recently premiered the album’s third track “Altars”, and then I saw that PL had put the song up for streaming on SoundCloud as well. And I checked it out. Fuckin’ glad I did, too. Continue reading »

Jun 012012

I’ve been doing actual paying work all morning. I took a break not long ago and cast my baleful eye around the interhole and my NCS e-mail box to see what there was to see and hear. And these are things I thought worth passing on.

First, that cover you see above is for a tribute album to Emperor called In Honour of Icon E, which will be released on June 25 by Metal Swamp. It’s a very nice piece of art, created by Wolkogniv of Folkingrimm Art.

It also looks like it will be a very nice album, with Emperor covers by the likes of Demonical, Helheim, Horna, Taake, and Setherial. I’ll give you the full tracklist rundown after the jump, but the news for today is that the album has gone up on Amqzon for pre-order, which means you can hear snippets of each song here. Continue reading »