May 152020



(In this post Andy Synn has compiled reviews of six recently released EPs that will make your shut-in time more bearable.)

In the unending onrush of new albums coming out every month it’s easy to lose track of some of the smaller, though no less stellar, examples of ravaging riff-craft being released at the same time.

The thing is, sometimes what you want is more of a snack than a full meal, which is why it’s important that we make room in our schedule, now and then, to really appreciate some of the sweet metallic morsels like the six I’ve selected here today. Continue reading »

Mar 122020


Welcome to NCS. Watch your spacing — maintain at least 6 feet between you and the cellar-dwellers next to you. If you feel like sneezing, please run for the nearest exit. Sub-vocalize “FUCK! THIS RIPS!” rather than eject spittle into the air at full volume. And as always, pee on your hands as a reminder not to touch your damned face all the time.

I had planned to pack a lot more new music into this feature but my spouse discovered a local pharmacy that’s still selling hand sanitizer, limit two per customer, and insists that I get my ass over there and pick up two more. She wasn’t impressed when I told her to put on a clown nose and dark glasses and go back herself. So, since I have to hurry off, my plan is to prepare another one of these posts tomorrow (by which time I’m expecting to have new tracks by Panzerfaust, Secrets of the Moon, and Black Crown Initiate to consider as add-on’s to what I’ve already got in hand).


On April 24th, 20 Buck Spin will release Stolen Angelic Tongues, a new EP by Vancouver’s Auroch, a band I’ve been devoted to for a very long time. It consists of five tracks that the advance press describes as “drawing upon the magical and spiritual traditions of South America and the Caribbean as their histories, past and present”. As you can see, it also includes tremendous cover art by Lupe Vasconcelos, and it further includes the return of original Auroch vocalist Culain and eerie ambient recordings by Night Profound and Aos Si to bookend the recording. Continue reading »

Oct 062017


The weekend is nearly upon us. And before we close the books on the work week and begin whatever we cook up for the site on Saturday and Sunday, I thought I’d collect a few recent and recently discovered items of interest — two items of news at the outset, and then five new songs. I should mention that we also have two more premieres coming today… don’t miss those!


Morbid Angel being the iconic band that they are, even their belching after a sumptuous meal would provoke strong and inconsistent reactions among a vast fan base. Just imagine the reactions to yesterday’s announcement of a new album, one whose name begins with a “K” and is framed by the cover art you see above.

I usually don’t read extended comment threads on the internet, unless they appear on this site, because it’s like walking at night through a park littered with dog turds where the owners didn’t have the common courtesy to put them in flaming bags. But I read a few yesterday on Morbid Angel’s announcement. Continue reading »

Apr 062017


As explained yesterday, since writing the first part of this SEEN AND HEARD collection I’ve discovered more news and more new music that I want to share with you. Rather than try to cram all of it into a single Part 2, I’ve divided it again, sort of like an amoeba. It may continue to divide, the cells combining to form something horrid and parasitic. Or not… but there will at least be a Part 3 (which I plan to finish in time for posting tomorrow).


In January 2012, God Dethroned played a farewell performance at the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise. That farewell was a sad development for me and many others. But then, in July 2014 frontman Henri Sattler announced that the band would be returning to the stage. At that time only Sattler and drummer Michiel van der Plicht remained from the band’s last line-up, to be joined by guest musicians whose identities weren’t then revealed. In writing about that news almost three years ago I noted that although Sattler’s statement hadn’t explicitly addressed whether the reunion would consist of more than new live shows, “we can only hope that a new album will be coming, too.” That wish has been granted. Continue reading »

Sep 282016

Auroch-Mute Books


On October 21, Profound Lore will release the third album by Vancouver’s Auroch, which is named Mute Books. The album will be released in different formats, with each of them featuring differing artwork by Cold Poison connected to the different aspects of the album. On one of them, these words are visible: “Silentium est aureum” — the Latin source of the phrase “silence is golden”. And if there is a “title track” to the album, it is probably the one you are about to hear:”Say Nothing“.

These related phrases have meaning yet to be revealed, but the music itself is anything but quiet.

As the album’s title may correctly suggest to you, however, the songs are organized into “chapters”. Because this is music, you could also think of them as movements in an interconnected compositional narrative. The title of the first chapter is “Trefoil Is the Grail of Perdition“. It consists of three songs, all of which are connected to each other thematically and musically. Last month, DECIBEL premiered the second song in this first movement of the album, a track named “He Wreathes the Cross“, and “Say Nothing” is the third of those. Continue reading »

Aug 182016

Migration Fest poster


This is a recap of the third and final day of the first edition of Migration Fest, organized by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media and conducted in Olympia, Washington, on August 12-14, 2016. My recap of the pre-fest show and Day One can be found here, and the Day Two write-up is here.

I’m not as prompt in concluding this review of the festival as I was with the first two parts, but other commitments to our putrid site plus inconsiderate intrusions by the routine of daily life have screwed with my time since I got back to Seattle on Monday. On the other hand, the delay enabled me to upload videos of Day Three performances to YouTube, and I’ve collected those at the end of this post. I still intend to add more videos to the other write-ups as well. Continue reading »

Aug 182016

Darkthrone-Arctic Thunder


This harried compiler of new music is especially harried today. I’m in the middle of a quick trip to Denver with not much free time on my hands. But the last 24 hours have brought so many good new songs that I want to throw them your way even at the cost of not getting to spill as many words about them as I would like.

And I’m concluding this collection with a somewhat older song debut that I’ve only just discovered.


As we previously reported within an hour of the announcement, Norway’s Darkthrone will be releasing a new album entitled Arctic Thunder (named for an old Norwegian band of the same name). Based on comments by Fenriz about the album, as well as its cover art, I speculated that we might be on the verge of an enticing return to the sound of the band’s earlier days. Well, now we have more than speculation to go on, because at 11:00 Eastern time here in the U.S., Darkthrone debuted a song from the album — the name of which is “Tundra Leech“. Continue reading »

Jul 292016

Meshuggah revolver ad-2


I mentioned in a post earlier this week that I’ve been distracted during nights this week by a televised political convention (because I am a political junkie with low willpower), and I also had to make a quick out-of-town trip. Metal didn’t wait for me while I was diverted, and so I have an immense list of new things from the last few days that I want to recommend. I’ve cut the list down to a mere 10 items, which I’ve collected here. Seriously, I’m aware that 10 is a lot, so I’ve choked back my usual desire to spill a lot of words.

I’m starting with two news items and then following those with 8 new songs or videos, presented in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.


I no longer subscribe to Revolver magazine. If I still had the subscription, I might have seen the full-page ad at the top of this post, which so far seems to be the only disclosure that Meshuggah’s new album The Violent Sleep of Reason will be released by Nuclear Blast on October 7. Here’s another fan pic of the ad: Continue reading »

Jun 092016

Mitochondrion-Auroch-In Chronian Hour


Auroch and Mitochondrion are two Vancouver, BC, bands with interlocking parts who have been favorites of this site for a long stretch of years. They have joined forces in a split release called In Cronian Hour that’s finally on the brink of release via Dark Descent and Hellthrasher Productions, and we’re damned fortunate to bring you a stream of the split today.

We’ve been waiting for this release a long time — I first wrote about plans for the split in November 2013. Yet despite the passage of years, this week turns out to be excellent timing for the debut of the music stream: Less than two weeks ago, both bands proved their power once again with staggering sets at Maryland Deathfest 2016 (reviewed here), and less than two weeks from now Auroch will undoubtedly do it again in Vancouver as part of the stacked line-up at this year’s Covenant Festival on June 16-18.

People who have seen the bands perform within the last six months have probably heard both of the songs on this split. They’re striking songs, even heard individually and separated in time, but they’re connected. Continue reading »

Jun 042016

Alewife brunch1
Friday beer/brunch at Alewife with friends.

For those of you just now joining this series about Maryland Deathfest XIV, I’m in the process of highlighting the bands whose performances were the best of the ones I saw and heard in Baltimore beginning on Wednesday of last week.

Rather than doing a day-by-day recap, I’ve organized the bands into four somewhat loosely defined categories. Yesterday’s feature was a “Shades of Black” collection of black metal bands, and before that was one under the heading “Swedish (and Dutch) Death Metal Supremacy”. I’m calling today’s celebration “The Black Death“, not only because that describes the general style of music performed by the following six bands, but also because they all spread a lethal kind of auditory plague.

Presented in the order in which I witnessed the performances over 5 nights and 4 days, and I’ve again included my photos of each band (most of which are gathered at the end of this post). Continue reading »