Sep 262017


(Today Austin Weber begins a multi-part series focusing on 2017 releases that we haven’t previously reviewed. Parts 2 and 3 will follow tomorrow and Thursday, and further installments are expected next week.)

In spite of what the naysayers will tell you, I’m of the opinion that there’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of good metal releases coming out all the time, many of them coming from new groups or independent groups that we’re just now catching onto for the first time.

This lengthy round-up has been in the works for awhile, but I kept adding more and more to the list of what I wanted to cover, and that delayed it until now. The focus here is on releases that dropped in 2017 that haven’t been covered at NCS yet. We’ll run through a boatload of harsh and unorthodox black metal, mountains of mathcore, death metal of all stripes, a few technical grindcore acts, a ton of different prog-metal bands, some sick instrumental metal jams, and a whole lot more. Hopefully you will find something new you enjoy in each installment.


Once again, I have the fine folks at Mathcore Index to thank for showing me another band I felt compelled to cover, and this time it’s Retail Monkey. Continue reading »

Sep 192017


(Austin Weber wrote this review of the new album by Pyrrhon, which was released on August 8 by Willowtip Records and Throatruiner Records.)

Pyrrhon occupy a unique place in the death metal landscape. From their inception on, they’ve only gotten stranger, darker, weirder, and more unorthodox, after beginning as an already outside-of-the-norm band but one still recognizable in most ways as a purely death metal group in their early years.

The real turning point was 2014’s The Mother of Virtues, a release that really saw them dive into the deep end of madness and experimentation paired with searing and uncomfortable heaps of dissonance. It was an album that even I struggled to comprehend initially, though countless repeat listens helped, as did seeing them play the material live in 2014, which really helped it click for me even more.

After that, they embarked on a series of EPs, simultaneously pushing the improv. and experimental aspect harder, while also returning to a more “digestible” form of death metal for some of the songs. Given that, I had high hopes and a lot of questions as to what their newly released album, What Passes for Survival, would have to offer. But above all, I went into it knowing not to place expectations on it, since Pyrrhon are an amorphous and ever-shifting beast — and this album holds true to that established maxim. Continue reading »

Sep 062017


(Austin Weber prepared this post highlighting the upcoming 2017 edition of Louisville Deathfest, which boasts an especially killer line-up this year.)

Here in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky we have a yearly metal fest event called Louisville Deathfest. The event serves to highlight a mix of local acts and acclaimed national groups many of us know and love. I’m writing a short post about it here because this year’s line up is fucking ridiculous and it only seemed right to try to shine a spotlight on it for anyone who may not have heard about it but might be intrigued enough to make the trek for it.

A two-day pass for the event is currently a mere $30, with single one-day passes just $20, though I would assume day-of-show prices might be higher as is normal.

Without further adieu, here is the incredible line-up I was speaking of, and I’ll have some short observations to make after listing them. Continue reading »

Sep 062017


(Austin Weber prepared this post about news of a new release by a favorite band — the multinational combine known as Coma Cluster Void.)

Just one year after their amazing 2016 debut, Mind Cemeteries, made a massive and terrifying impression on the death metal world, the international dissonant death metal/math metal collective that is Coma Cluster Void are back at it again.

Yesterday, the band unveiled the artwork and teaser video for their upcoming EP entitled Thoughts From A Stone. Which is a single-song composition clocking in at over 21 minutes. The EP is set for release on Friday, October 13th, through Translation Loss Records. Continue reading »

Sep 042017


(Austin Weber presents our premiere of the debut album by the two-person project Cora Canning.)

Some of our readers may be familiar with the mind behind today’s stream of Cora CanningUnveiled Webbing, as it was spawned by the mad scientist from a project called Nostril Caverns that I’ve been covering here at NCS since last year.

Nostril Caverns is Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Chris Balch’s one-man band, which has been active since 1999. The project’s music has covered a wide variety of styles and mergers between genres depending on the release, but often revolves around grindcore, technical grindcore, death metal, black metal, prog metal, and also improvised/experimental music. Earlier this year at NCS, I covered his latest 99-song technical deathgrind (with black metal influences) release, Spatial Lacerations, and I continue coming back to it.

In between sessions of work on his current absurdly ambitious plan for an upcoming release in which each song will be composed of 100 unique sections (instrumental demos of which are available for two of them here and here), he partnered with his friend and fellow multi-instrumentalist Dave Turnbull to create Cora Canning’s Unveiled Webbing, which we’re streaming early below. Continue reading »

Aug 212017


(Austin Weber brings us his review of the new album by the Boston-based ensemble Ehnahre, as well as the premiere of a full stream of this fascinating new record.)

Ehnahre are one of the most interesting groups in metal, a lot of which is due to how much their music draws so liberally from outside of metal, specifically from classical music, chamber music, jazz, film score music, avant-garde, improv, and beyond, with all of this married to a love for all things experimental and harsh, wrapped inside a doom metal, death metal, and sometimes black metal influenced framework.

They’re a rare group, one whose sound is amorphous and ever-shifting from release to release and from song to song, delivered with a scope and love for long-form compositions that ends up making their music feel like it’s a world all its own. For those new to Ehnahre, both current and former members have spent time playing in fellow avant-garde metal experimentalists Kayo Dot  if you need further evidence that this project is worth paying attention to.

I’ve been following the project for many years now, and finally got around to covering them here at NCS starting in 2016 when we helped Ehnahre do an exclusive early stream of their sprawling double album, Douve. That was followed by a second 2016 release in the form of an EP called Nothing and Nothingness, that I also made sure to cover here at NCS. So I’m happy to continue supporting them here with an early stream of their new album, The Marrow. Continue reading »

Aug 142017


(Austin Weber reviews an album that has made a deep impact on him, and many others — the fascinating debut by the quartet who’ve named themselves John Frum, out now on Relapse Records.)

Typically, if I run too far behind on turning a review in, I have to accept that my time is probably better spent moving on to something newer. For once, I’ve felt a pressing urge to break that self-imposed rule, because John Frum, and the demented form of death metal found on A Stirring in the Noos, are simply too brilliant not to provide a full and proper review here at NCS.

Like most people new to John Frum, I was curious what the album as a whole would sound like, and hopeful that their enormous combined talents would make for something special. I was not, however, ready to have my brain scrambled, and my expectations destroyed, to the immense degree that A Stirring in the Noos has managed to do for me. I’ll admit that during my initial phase of listening, I was unsure how I felt about this release, sensing weaknesses in some of the tracks that I’ve now come to appreciate as crucial and important within the context of the full experience they’re delivering. But we’ll touch on that point more in a bit. Continue reading »

Jul 262017


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a guitar playthrough video for a new song by the star-studded Canadian group Conflux Collective.)

Last year an interesting new death metal project from guitarist Chase Fraser (Continuum, Scour, ex-Son of Aurelius, ex-Decrepit Birth, ex-Animosity) was launched. Called Conflux Collective, the group consists of an array of the best death metal musicians in Canada, including bassist Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation, Scour).

The group’s three song EP from 2016, The Inception, which I put on my year-end list at NCS for good reason, featured a different well known Canadian death metal vocalist on each song, utilizing the talents of Cryptopsy vocalist Matt McGachy, Beneath The Massacre vocalist Elliot Desgagnés, and Coma Cluster Void, Akurion, and ex-Cryptopsy vocalist Mike Disalvo.

In addition, the release also featured the talents of highly skilled drummer Tommy McKinnon (Akurion,ex-Neuraxis) on all three songs, plus contributions from bassist Hugo Doyon-Karout (Equipoise, Beyond Creation, Brought By Pain) and ex-Aborted guitarist Eran Segal. To say the talent level on The Inception was stacked is an understatement. Continue reading »

Jul 032017


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a single off the debut EP by Indiana’s Emulsified.)

The Indiana death metal scene has been on a roll lately, birthing multiple talented new acts, including ones we’ve covered here before such as Breeding Filth. Two of their members can now be found in a new project called Emulsified, whose debut single we’re premiering today. This new project leans even more heavily toward the endlessly brutal and bludgeoning side of death metal, yet with a fresh twist on it that’s their own thing.

The project started in 2016 and currently consists of two Breeding Filth members, Derick Harshbarger on guitar and vocals and Angel Gaeta on bass and vocals. Rounding out the line-up is drummer Kevin Baum, who also plays in Human Filleted.

Today we’re bringing you the exclusive premiere of the group’s debut song, a filthy and deranged ode to sonic savagery called “Cadaveric Abdominal Inflation”. Continue reading »

May 242017


(Austin Weber introduces our premiere of a new single by NY’s Buckshot Facelift.)

For many of us, the metal scene is a family of its own, and when one of our own passes, we often try to pay tribute in some form, and in some situations help raise funds for their families who are left behind. As a band who have always viewed their local scene as their family, Buckshot Facelift are releasing a new song we’re premiering today called “Bobby Boy”, in honor of their local deceased friend Rob McAllister.

The song is a chaotic and interesting slice of weird, genre-bending grind, which is oddly the norm for Buckshot Facelift. It’s a raging elegy for a fallen comrade, one that’s played tightly, but in a free-flowing manner, cycling and rampaging through genres and passages with wild abandon like a drunken rhino on LSD. Continue reading »