Jul 162021
 

 

As you can see, I had time enough yesterday to make my way through a lot of music that surfaced over the last week or so, and found a lot to like — even more than you’ll see here, because I decided to devote this round-up exclusively to songs with videos and leave the others for another time. The visual approaches are quite wide-ranging and so is the music. I decided to set them out in alphabetical order by band name, and that coincidentally turned out to make for an interesting sonic sequence.

Get popcorn, or whatever else you like to chew on while glued to a screen, and perhaps a preferred intoxicant, then sit back and get ruined or rapt or both.

BENIGHTED (France)

Benighted teamed up with Metal Injection for the premiere of a lyric video for a new digital single, “A Personified Evil,” which includes guest vocals by Francesco Paoli from Fleshgod Apocalypse. As if the song weren’t slaughtering enough without him. Continue reading »

Jun 192021
 

 

As America’s reopening progresses, yesterday my work place re-started the in-office, in-person Friday afternoon happy hour event that had been a weekly mainstay for decades… even though our workplace is still officially closed to the public and employees are not required to be there, but permitted to be there if they’re fully vaccinated. Some people have taken advantage of that permission, for various reasons. But even people who haven’t chosen to do that showed up for the happy hour party late yesterday. We miss each other, and we have missed this alcohol-fueled tradition.

I wasted no time in getting hammered, and didn’t make it back home until close to 11 p.m. I don’t feel terrible this morning, just a bit groggier than usual, but I did sleep in. So I’m late in getting to this roundup, with almost no time to do the usual searching around for new music to recommend. Fortunately, my NCS co-conspirator DGR did that for me. He recommended everything I’ve collected here, except for the first item, which I knew I wanted to feature anyway, and he knew I was already aware of it.

Because I’m so late getting this thing together, I’m again (mostly) dispensing with my usual commentary, links, and artwork. In a couple of instances I’ve included what DGR wrote in recommending the thing, and I did identify for you the record that’s the source of each song, plus the release info. As it happens, all of these selections arrived with videos. Continue reading »

Jan 222021
 

 

It’s been another one of those weeks when a smorgasbord of distractions (did you hear we inaugurated a new President?) prevented me from doing much more at NCS than write up the premieres I’d agreed to do. As the days rolled on I noticed dozens of new songs and videos that I’m anxious to check out. I haven’t gotten to most of them; I guess I know how I’ll be spending this weekend. But I did seize on a few of them, and from those I picked the three included in this quick Friday round-up.

BEYOND GRACE (UK)

Yes, I suppose you could accuse me of nepotism with this first pick, given that our own Andy Synn fronts the band in question. But I’m just so thrilled for him and his band that I honestly haven’t given a second thought to my decision to lead off with this new song and video. And it’s not just that the song and video are so good, it’s also that the video premiered on the day of an announcement that Beyond Grace had signed to Prosthetic Records for the release of their next album. Continue reading »

Jul 302019
 

 

To continue with the round-up I began earlier today (here), I’ve got another wide scattering (stylistically speaking) of new music and videos, and as I did in the first post I’ve snuck in an announcement that (sadly) I’m not able to accompany with new music.

PAGANIZER

I decided to begin with this new Paganizer track for three reasons. First, because I needed to see Dan Seagrave‘s fantastic artwork for the new album at the top of our page until tomorrow. Second, because I have a crippling weakness for the music of Rogga Johansson, and Paganizer is the oldest and longest-running of the numerous groups to which he has devoted his talents over the last quarter-century. And third, because the track is a killer. Continue reading »

Jul 022019
 

 

Surprise! After a busy June in which I was only able to complete four of these round-ups over the entire month, I’ve now finished two, back to back, in just the first two days of July. One must make hay while the sun shines, although in my case I treat that proverb as less of a command than a suggestion, and one that I don’t follow much more often than “why do today what you can put off until tomorrow”.

As in the case of yesterday’s post, I’ve culled these selections to provide variety, in the hope of appealing to a range of tastes, and mixing at least one widely known name with others that should be better known and still others that are brand new.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES

Milano” is the name of the second advance track from this powerhouse instrumental trio’s new album Blood Year, which will be released on August 2nd by Sargent House. As compared to previous releases, the album is billed as “Russian Circles at their most brutalising”, “fully embrac[ing] the most forceful aspects of the band’s repertoire”, in which “blissful respites and ebbs of calm are fewer and farther between”. Continue reading »

Nov 052018
 

 

As most of you will know by now, one of our longest-tenured writers, Andy Synn, is also the frontman of the UK “omni-dimensional death metal” band Beyond Grace. Their debut album, Seekers, was released in July 2017, and while the group are now hard at work on a second album, they’re giving us a reminder of the music on Seekers through a play-through video that we’re happy to premiere today.

The song chosen for this new video is “Black Math Ritual“, and the performers featured in the video are the current Beyond Grace guitar duo extraordinaire of Tim Yearsley and Chris Morley (the latter of whom joined the band after the recording of Seekers). Continue reading »

Jul 072018
 

 

(In this episode of WAXING LYRICAL, Andy Synn interviews himself, in his capacity as lyricist/vocalist of the UK band Beyond Grace.)

Those of you who know me well – and even some of those who don’t know me that well – will probably be aware of my love of words. That’s partially the reason I write for NCS after all, to share and communicate my thoughts and ideas through writing. It’s also why I wanted to make this column a regular thing, because I know a lot of writers and lyricists feel the same way, and put a lot of thought and effort (and depth) into their work, which often goes unappreciated.

Today’s edition, which I’m shamelessly hijacking for my own purposes, is a bit of a special one, as it’s precisely one year since the release of our debut album, Seekers, and we’ve decided to commemorate this by unveiling a brand new (ish) version of “Demiurge”, featuring guest vocals by Adam Cook of A Hill To Die Upon, which can be downloaded for free from our Bandcamp page right now.

So if you’d like to check this out, and learn more about the way I write (for Beyond Grace at least) then please, click on! Continue reading »

Feb 272018
 

 

I’m beginning today’s round-up with two recent videos, which are quite different both visually and musically but which share two common features: Both were directed and produced by the same person (Eric Revill-Dews of Bigger Boat Film), and both include the voice of our own Andy Synn, in all its increasingly varied range of tones.

And then I’m following those two wonderful videos/songs with a selection of other recently discovered releases that also helped make my listening session last night a real joy.

TWILIGHT’S EMBRACE

Until watching this first video for the song “Dying Earth” I had no idea that any place in England could look as vast, as inhospitable, or as starkly beautiful as Derbyshire in the wintertime. Until reading the credits I assumed that the three grim-visaged gentlemen in Twilight’s Embrace had smuggled themselves on board a flight to Scandinavia (though of course I’ve never been there either). Apart from teaching me something new about the landscape of England, the video also proved to be a wonderful match for the music… which is itself as powerfully moving as the vision of those snow-covered reaches. Continue reading »

Jan 312018
 

 

It pains me to say it, but this is not only the 20th installment of this list, it’s the last one. I’m feeling some pain because I haven’t really finished the list, but if I don’t stop now I’m afraid you’ll be reading Part 50 at some point in March. Tomorrow I’ll have a “wrap up” for the list, with links to all the tracks I’ve called out since beginning it earlier this month. Please hold off scorching me for not naming your own favorites until tomorrow. Thanks.

Unlike most of the previous installments in this series, there’s no real rhyme or reason to why I grouped these five songs together. It was just one last frantic effort to load in a few more beloved passengers before the train left the station.

POSSESSION

“Fall on your knees! Take the oath!” How can you resist the chorus in this track? I can’t. I know that the words are part of Possession’s skewering of the Church, but I like to think of the words as an exhortation to the metal faithful, sort of like, “Swear to the dark, you unwashed bastards!” Continue reading »

Jul 152017
 

 

(Andy Synn’s band Beyond Grace released their debut album, Seekers, one week ago, and almost immediately it became available for download on pirate music sites. In this post, Andy shares some reactions to those events and questions what to do about it.)

As some of you may be aware, my band recently released our debut album (I’ll stop going on about it eventually, I promise).
What you might not be aware of is that fact that the album leaked online for illegal download the same day it was released… something which, let’s be honest, isn’t exactly an uncommon occurrence these days.

The thing is, I’m really not sure how to respond to this unfortunate turn of events. There’s several options available to me/us right now, but I’m just not certain what the right move is. Continue reading »