Mar 222023


(Yesterday we presented Chapter I of a “bizarre playlist” compiled by Axel Stormbreaker, and there was more to come… which comes now…)

And now we’re back to our exciting installment(s) after this short, commercial break. This sneaky lil’ bugger just had to rearrange playlists in two parts for them being too fucking long.

I think my neighbors may have ordered about a dozen rocket launchers by now. Next thing I know I’ll be finding an armored tank waiting for me at my porch. It’s best I start with the artsy stuff for a change before moving on to obscure ballsy metal. Continue reading »

Mar 212023

(Attempting to sum up what’s coming in the following article would be a daunting task. So we’ll just say that it’s the work of Axel Stormbreaker and his musical guests, and like the title says, it’s bizarre [but cool]. There’s at least one other Chapter coming too,)

Oh, hi there, it’s your annoying neighbor, again. Here’s my recent list of muzick that has been terrorizing folks who live nearby. True story that, I once fell asleep while digging sounds, only to find notes such as ”TURN IT DOWN” delivered to my doorstep.

Now, I informed NCS it’s best to maintain a certain consistency among styles and I think I sort of got it, yeah, or whatever. Even without the other half of my original list, it still looks too bizarre. So, just chin up and enjoy, life’s too short, or time’s not enough to indulge in all the cool music that’s out there. Continue reading »

Mar 172023

(What you’ll find below is Axel Stormbreaker‘s review of the debut album by Host (the duo of Greg Mackintosh and Nick Holmes), out now on Nuclear Blast.)

My connection to Paradise Lost’s music resembles the terms of a permanent relationship. Its integral qualities may revitalize your body and thought, to a degree you feel capable of achieving nearly everything. While, on different occasions, it can turn out as an ordinary mess that’s so fucking disappointing.

Before you feel the need to educate me, lemme state here I am fully aware the album in question belongs to a side-project, a work put together by its core members mostly for their personal fun. But since the main people are present in an endeavor named after their most “infamous” album, what’s to expect? Plus, the music itself strongly reminds of their alt-metal era. Do we need further boxes to check?

Continue reading »

Mar 152023

Robot God

(The title of this post points the way. Axel Stormbreaker wrote it.)

I don’t get new stoner rock. It’s too trippy, psychedelic, or even “forced” for my taste. Normally, psych aspects do provide some shaky thrills, but not if the said riffs sound watered down to a state of indifference. It’s become too blunt, devoid of all nerve, as if a magical fairy showed up, only to cut their balls off in an instant. And believe me, I ain’t edgy for the sake of it, I’ve overplayed albums I don’t dig to the point of exhaustion, just in case I might convince myself that, yes, yes, I get it now, it’s so great and I’m so excited….

….yeah, OK, I may sound a bit of an asshole here. But let’s be honest, most old-timers I’ve known have shared relative thoughts from time to time. It’s the way people are consuming music these days; they won’t digest it properly, so why should any band spend the next three years in crafting a record. Even if the outcome is bound to sound rushed, sloppy, or even tiresome to some, you receive no assurances your effort won’t drift overlooked in the maze of sordid mediocrity.

Still, you should know none of the following records are perfect by any means. But they do offer some hardened guts, honest riffs, and, perhaps, the needed touch that may intrigue a personal flare of interest. They may not count as the cream of the crop, but they’re far too enjoyable to just not recommend. So, to each his own, but this is my 2022 Dark Horse list of Top-5 Booze Records. With the exception of trendy doom, as I take no interest in bands who excel rather at smoking weed, than writing truthful, heartfelt riffs. Continue reading »

Feb 232023

(Today Axel Stormbreaker focuses attention on an octet of releases by the Virginia-based label Death Eternal.)

Death is final. Death is eternal. Even if there exists some sort of afterlife in what lies beyond, it’s probable we won’t be carrying any of our present memories along. Blame me if today’s mood seems a bit philosophical, but current events can make a guy ponder. You’re wondering what’s the point of it all, or why it’s an aspect all of Earth’s religions won’t dispute. Or even how would our essence grow in the first place, if memories are not supposed to matter.

That being said, Death Eternal Records from Richmond, Virginia is a name rather suitable for an underground DIY endeavor. Especially one that deals with ominous music, even when their criteria do grand salvation on a personal degree. What you may find here, none can quite guarantee. What you shall miss, no one could really answer. All you’ll be getting is nothing besides the dusty offerings of a small-scale label, dedicated to promoting local talent among other relative bands. Continue reading »

Feb 142023


(It’s Valentine’s Day. Axel Stormbreaker has gift ideas.)

Valentine’s Day is a universal holiday of its own uniqueness. Arguably, it may well be the only day of the year when every one of you feels both contrary and guilty simultaneously. The thing is, there’s been so much public discussion about why people should celebrate, or why they just shouldn’t, or even why the fuck should others care how people choose to spend this day. To the very point, a simple reminder of phrasal brawls is enough to mess with your mood momentarily.

Then again, metalheads feel even more divided for their own reasons. Especially, when the ones who choose to see to the needs of their better half got no clue as to what present they should be purchasing. Should it be a bouquet of roses, some exquisite chocolate box, or a rock ballad compilation? Most ideas seem so trivial, applied to the point of exhaustion. What present could you possibly choose that won’t appear as a petty option?

So, have no concern you troubled rascals! Dr. Love Stormbreaker is here to answer the dilemma that’s been dividing mankind since the birth of capitalism. Yes, you should celebrate Valentine’s Day and yes, you can do it in kvlt style! What I am about to give you is my ultimate top 5 cult tape list of Aloe City Wrld Records, each one selected according to your own special needs. Continue reading »

Jan 102023


(Axel Stormbreaker rejoins us today with a review of a concept album by the Portuguese band Carma, and an idea for a movie to watch along with it. Inspired by the Conchada Cemetery in Coimbra, the album will be released in March by the Monumental Rex label.)

Blending a music record with a Hollywood movie ain’t an easy task to go through. Even if the eerie performance granted by Christian Bale does assist a narrative comparison to Carma‘s funeral doom aesthetics. The trick is, you gotta let your emotions blossom, without revealing any actual spoilers to the plot. Or neglect the very ground rules that bind a music review’s construct.

And you also gotta remember, the screen part involves the prestigious character of Edgar Allan Poe. Which means it needs to be precise in regards to musical highlights, yet it can’t divert from the feeling the movie generates, nor be too abstract when image and sound are aligned. And… oh, it’s not a basic task to complete. You will need to both watch The Pale Blue Eye and listen to Carma‘s Ossadas to grasp how the scenes and the sound flow together. Continue reading »

Jan 032023


(Axel Stormbreaker returns… and we’ll let him explain what he’s up to this time.)

I didn’t expect myself writing another movie-themed article that soon. Mostly due to my usual concern of saturating a fun idea; especially since a similar installment has been in the cards for a quite a while. The thing is, while I’m firmly convinced we can never have too much of a good thing in our hands, it’s best to remain prudent towards any concept that’s relatively uncommon in metal reviews.

But then again, there are definite exceptions to any rule. Especially, in the occasions when any admirers of fictional cinematography experience outright negligence to an offensive degree. An educated guess is most writers out there will either praise, or bash, or even unfold mixed opinions any readers are (vaguely) aware of. So, here are six, six, six cult records instead (or any other of your own choosing) to play repeatedly, while watching The Witcher: Blood Origin on mute. Continue reading »

Dec 282022

(NCS contributor Axel Stormbreaker takes part in our year-end LISTMANIA series with his picks for the year’s “top 10 dark horse releases,” embellished with quotes from a certain 2000 movie and the book it was based on.)

A good compilation tape, like making a “dark horse” year-end list, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention. I started with “Ljúshtaeshrhendlhë Jecan Glézma”, but then realised that you might not get any further than track one, side one, if I delivered what you wanted straight away. It’s a long song too. So I placed it in the middle of side one.

And then you’ve got to up it a notch. And you can’t have raw music and bright music together, unless the raw music sounds like bright music, or the other way around. And you can’t have two tracks that are too aligned, unless you’ve done the whole thing in parts. And the order from start to finish should be correct, regardless if you split it in segments. And… oh, there are loads of rules.

So, here we go. No bands that are well appraised are included. People will listen to their records anyway. Continue reading »

Dec 232022

(NCS contributor Axel Stormbreaker returns today with a review of the new album by the multi-faceted Mute Ocean black metal project from Saint Petersburg, Russia.)

Despite how metal implementations have been maneuvering their way around jazz themes for more than two decades, few existing examples manage to present an approach equally concise to Mute Ocean’s Caravan. A record inspiring, unifying, as well as controversial to the beliefs of the few; or the many, depending on a random reader’s viewpoint. An in-depth review follows.

I seriously don’t like most lyrics. My elusive boredom may well reach a point when I’d rather sit all day watching the paint dry, than reading the actual verses of most songs I enjoy. Before anyone feels offended, lemme clarify here: I state this while I too used to be an awful lyricist back in the day. Especially, since the art of great lyricism rivals poetry; a tree that bears fruit, only when thoughts stretch the very fabric of reality.

Did that sound pretentious? Well, not really. See, myself, I function more like an old-school computer. Analytical, methodical, calculative, with a dry sense of humor on top of everything. Aspects that could probably help anyone become somewhat of a bearable writer, yet a horrible lyricist in any regard. Reading interviews, liner notes, as well as finding out the deeper thoughts that construct an artist’s view do always seem interesting. But reading the said lyrical part? Man, that tends to feel nothing besides a colossal waste of time. Continue reading »