Jan 182018


I’m a bit rushed today, thanks to rude interference by my fucking day job, so… no multi-paragraph preamble to this edition of my growing list of infectious songs. I’ll just say that I grouped all three of these bands together because, each in their own way, they achieved success last year through genre-blending.


When I heard the first single (“XI”) from this Lithuanian band’s debut album, End of Chapter, I had a suspicion that we had something very special on our hands. By the time we ourselves premiered the second one (“XII”), I had a firm conviction that this record would stand well out from the pack and become a highlight of the year. Finally being able to hear the full album provided confirmation. Continue reading »

Jun 092017


Yesterday, in a single release, Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions premiered enough new music from stylistically significant bands to populate an entire SEEN AND HEARD post here, in addition to furnishing many other previously released songs that are well worth hearing and re-hearing.

I spotted this compilation not through the push of press promotion, but because many of my musician friends and other appreciators of extreme music spattered my Facebook feed with notices about it. So glad they did.

And because the stream is on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, I’m installing it below. And there you will hear brand new songs by Arkhon Infaustus, Monolithe, Spectrale, and Heir — about which I’ll offer some unrequested impressions — plus other excellent songs from previously released albums by Au-Dessus, Time Lurker, Pénitence Onirique, Maïeutiste, and Pensées Nocturnes. Continue reading »

May 042017


Things are going to slow down here at NCS until early next week. As of this morning I’ve left Seattle with Ms. Islander for a short vacation, and blogging isn’t part of any planned activities. Any attempts by me to do any NCS stuff besides hurriedly post whatever I might receive from other contributors would be met with severe punishment, or at least a cold shoulder.

I thought I’d pull together a round-up of new music before we left, but found myself with too little time to write impressions of the songs I chose. So this will be more bare-bones than usual.


The last time I wrote about this band, almost exactly two years ago, I began by saying that, “By my lights, Sweden’s Entrails can pretty much do no wrong”. Back then the context was their new album Obliteration. Now they have a new one named World Inferno, which will be released by Metal Blade on June 16th. Continue reading »

Mar 242017


It’s still soon, but not too soon, to forecast that the new album of the Lithuanian post-black metal band Au-Dessus will become one of this year’s best albums. The first two advance songs from the album are that good. The first one appeared earlier this month, and the second one is here for you to discover today.

The band’s first release was a self-titled EP (albeit a 30-minute EP) released in 2015. Its five tracks were labeled “I” through “V”. The new album is named End of Chapter, and the song titles pick up where the first release left off, beginning with “VI” and closing with “XII: End of Chapter“, which is the enormously powerful song we’re bringing you today. Continue reading »

Mar 112017


To begin our series of weekend posts I’ve assembled the following collection of diverse new songs, one of which comes with a video. Tomorrow we’ll have a premiere and an extra-large SHADES OF BLACK post. I might try to work in something else, time permitting.

Apart from the quality of the music, I also chose the following songs for this post because of the quality of the cover art for the forthcoming albums that will include them.


I dipped my toes in the roiling dark waters of this Lithuanian band’s music when I impulsively selected their self-titled debut for an episode of the now nearly defunct MISCELLANY series two years ago. Now they are returning with a debut full-length entitled End of Chapter, which will be released on May 19 by Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions. Continue reading »

Feb 282015


I don’t write installments of this long-running series with any kind of regularity, so I always begin by reminding people how it works. On a very random basis I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard before (usually bands whose names I’ve only discovered recently) and I listen to one or two songs, usually from their most recent releases. I write my immediate impressions of what I’ve heard, and then I stream the music so you can make up your own minds.

This experiment differs from just about everything else we post on this site because I don’t know whether I’ll like the music before writing about it. Granted, I tend to get enthusiastic about a very wide range of metal from a very wide range of bands, and in the case of the four bands that are the subject of this MISCELLANY excursion, three of them were recommended recently by friends whose opinions I respect — so that’s a bit of a cheat on my self-imposed rules for the series. Anyway, here we go…


I heard about this Chicago band through a recommendation from one of the nameless members of Venowl. I’ve now forgotten what topic we were discussing that prompted the recommendation, but I hung on to the name, as well as the link to the Sun Splitter Bandcamp page. Their most recent release is an album named Time Cathedral that came out in January of this year. Continue reading »