Oct 312018



(As Andy Synn did before him, DGR seems to be making a late-season effort to get caught up on planned reviews before year-end LISTMANIA drowns us all. Three reviews today, and some undisclosed number of further ones ahead.)

What you are reading is the beginning of a feature that has taken way too long and gotten way out of control. Meant to be like its older band-roundup-review siblings in the shorter review realm, the reviews in this post become the subject of a whole lot more talking and yapping since I found so much to enjoy on each release. As a result, the finish line continually moved further and further back.

In fact, the Beyond Creation review was about half-written by the time our own Andy Synn posted his (alongside his review of Gorod’s Aethra for those who missed out) and almost wound up being deleted so as to not commit the NCS “Sin” of double-talking over each other. But pride won out on that front, because I was waaaaaay too fucking proud of the opening paragraphs to let it go, which naturally meant one needed to run his mouth for another….ten. You can see how this is playing out.

Needless to say, there are a few other reviews forthcoming that will have us traveling the world, hopefully to catch us up with all of the music that has washed over us in the past few months (not likely! there’s been so much!) in the form of big name releases, celebratory collections, even an alternate universe debut album from a local Sacramento group. What you’ll find here, therefore, is only the start, beginning with some late-September/early-October releases and carrying on from there. Continue reading »

Oct 222018


(Andy Synn has packaged two reviews into this post, addressing the new albums of Beyond Creation, released by Season of Mist on October 12th, and of Gorod, which was released on October 19th through OverPowered Records.)

When I initially wrote and published “A Tale of Two Albums”, comparing and contrasting the most recent Arsis and Revocation records, I had absolutely no intention of ever writing a sequel or follow-up.

However, in conversation with my friends/bandmates recently we got to chatting about the new Beyond Creation and Gorod releases, and I realised that these two would also make great fodder for a co-feature of their own, not only because both bands are going to be on tour together very soon, but also because both Algorythm and Aethra find their respective creators making an effort to expand and redefine their sound… although one of the two albums is certainly more successful than the other in this regard. Continue reading »

Aug 022018


Good morning ladies and germs. Or good afternoon. Or goodnight. Time zones are hobgoblins. Anyway, wherever and whenever you are, I have a couple of new songs to recommend. Not more than a couple because time is a hobgoblin, just like time zones. If I can tame it temporarily, I might have a couple more songs to foist upon you later today after I get some other things finished that I also hope you’ll enjoy.


Yesterday brought the unalloyed joy of a new Beyond Creation song. If you’re a follower of the band’s music, you’ll have a good idea what you’ll get — which is a whole lot of pulse-pushing, eye-popping fun. Continue reading »

Jul 162018


I’ll make this quick:

First, within the last hour or so, Behemoth announced a North American tour (Ecclesia Diabolica America 2018) with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. It begins on October 20th in Phoenix and ends on November 24th in Los Angeles, and includes stops in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as 18 U.S. States. Here’s the current schedule: Continue reading »

Oct 272016



(Andy Synn turns in this review of the live performances by Obscura, Revocation, Beyond Creation, and Rivers of Nihil in Sheffield, England, on October 24, 2016 — along with videos of the performances.)

Our readers in the UK who play guitar or bass will probably have noticed something rather peculiar over the last couple of days. Riffs that they used to be able to play turning into a mangled, lumpen soup of glitches and errors… Fluid solos that they used to rip out with ease skittering away from stumbling fingers… even, in the most extreme cases, a complete inability to even lift their instrument anymore, as if they were no longer “worthy” to wield its power.

And I know why.

You see on Monday night I was there when Obscura, Revocation, Beyond Creation, and Rivers of Nihil selfishly used-up the entire country’s supply of notes and riffs, leading to a crisis of near biblical proportions amongst the string-slinging section of the UK metal community.

Thankfully, however, I’ve been informed that a fresh shipment is being piped in from the mainland, and so normal proceedings should be resumed by the weekend or thereabouts. Continue reading »

Feb 182015


A lot of exciting things have happened in the world of metal over the last 48 hours, despite the fact that I haven’t had time to write about them. Yes, amazingly, it’s true: When trees fall in this forest, they make a sound even if you don’t hear them (or read about them) on this putrid blog. I will mention a few of the occurrences in this post, and then collect more for a post tomorrow.


Yesterday Relapse Records released a digital sampler that, at least in my memory, is the most humongous collection of songs yet released in a digital format. And on top of that, it’s a “pay what you want” offering.

It’s part of the label’s celebration of its 25th year in business, and it includes more than 180 tracks, one from almost every band that has released an album or EP on Relapse since 1990. The sampler can be streamed and downloaded via Bandcamp at this location: Continue reading »

Feb 112015


I have NCS scribe Austin Weber to thank for pointing me to the two videos in this post. Both of them are playthroughs by phenomenal musicians. Both of them appeared yesterday. Both of them should put a big grin on your face. Austin introduces the first one, and I scribbled something about the second.


Written by: Austin Weber

Venezuelan two-handed eclectic and exotic tapping machine Felix Martin is back at it again, melting minds across 14 strings and two separate fretboards. In between his recorded material, he often posts interesting concept videos where he tries new things. This latest video shows him exploring various Meshuggah-style polyrhythms and coming up with some absolutely wild stuff. The second half of the video in particular continually builds and spirals into a dense labyrinth of undulating thick grooves. Continue reading »

Oct 152014


As I write this I am sitting on an airplane at about 40,000 feet somewhere over the Rocky Mountains. I am having to fly across the country because of my fucking day job, and once I get where I’m going, I will have to fucking work — pretty much day and night until I make it back to Seattle on Saturday night.

I tell you this not to pique your curiosity — because I can’t tell you what I’m doing, or I could, but would then have to kill you — but as an explanation of why there will be some scarcity in our posts between now and Sunday. Also, the “Seen and Heard” title is only half true:

The wi-fi on this plane isn’t good enough to let me stream music, so I actually haven’t heard anything — other than the guy sitting next to me snorting his phlegm every 10 minutes, the dude in front of me snoring, and the dull roar of the engines. Also, I have to fucking work on the plane beginning pretty damned soon.

Well, enough of my whining. Here are some things I’ve seen in my scampering through the inter hole this morning, and some things I would like to hear when I have the chance. Continue reading »

Sep 102014

Once again I find myself in the miserable position of having many new songs I’d like to write about before ending our posts for the day but having only time to write about one (I blame my fucking day job). So, what to pick?

Ironically I’m picking one I can’t even play for you here, because it’s streaming exclusively at another site. But the song is so good that I want to send you over there to hear it. The song is the title track to the forthcoming second album by Montreal’s Beyond Creation, Earthborn Evolution.

It’s really the kind of music that should be held up as an example of how to use extravagant, technically exceptional performances in the service of an actual song, rather than as ends in themselves. “Earthborn Evolution” is thus a marvel both for the wizardry of the instrumental spellcasting and for the musical flow, dynamics, and memorability of the song as a musical composition.

So even though I know how wrenching it will be for you to leave our humble site, please do go here and listen (but do come back to us if you have any thoughts you’d like to share about the music): Continue reading »

Aug 282014


(Austin Weber provides the following introduction to a new song by Canada’s Beyond Creation that premiered yesterday.)

While lyrically speaking, the newly premiered Beyond Creation track, “Neurotical Transmissions”, may indeed mirror its title, the song itself resembles anything but the byproduct of a neurotic disheveled mind. It’s a graceful and epic song that diverges into a bevy of progressive moments amidst its fierce, full-throttle storm.

A back and forth trade-off of spiralling melodies and Dominic Lapointe’s warm, effusive bass rumblings sets the tone, quickly outgrowing its mid-paced beginning and switching direction on a dime toward a plane of mind-boggling pyrotechnics and machine-gun drum bursts, while the band make sure along the way to supplement the cutthroat moments with a series of titanic grooves that add plenty of contrast. Continue reading »