Jan 022015


Today we resume the rollout of our continuing list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.

The songs I’m adding to our list today come from the two most high-profile “comeback” albums of 2014. Both generated a lot of overheated discussion everywhere metalheads congregated to opine and pontificate. Both generated controversy, and in both cases the controversy stemmed from the inevitable comparisons with each band’s own previous landmark works. By now, everyone has chosen up sides. I’m on the side that thinks both albums are very good, and worthy additions to each band’s storied discography. And they both include some of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs.


Few bands have ever made as indelible a mark on the history of metal as this one. In four straight years they produced The Red In the Sky Is Ours, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, Terminal Spirit Disease, and of course Slaughter of the Soul. And then almost 20 years passed before At the Gates delivered their fifth album, At War With Reality (reviewed here). Many bands who have resurrected their careers after a long hiatus would have been better off leaving us only with memories. In this case, we are lucky that At the Gates have come back. Continue reading »

Nov 202014


(Here we have DGR’s review of the highly anticipated new album by Bloodbath.)

There is a knee-jerk reaction provoked by the name Bloodbath, an impulse to instantly want to like what the group are putting forth. At this point, there is a part of me which loves that Bloodbath have as much hype surrounding them as they do,  while likewise also recognizing that the group have become something of an institution.

For some people, they were the first real deep introduction to traditional death metal — especially if you were one of those listeners who checked out the band because a bunch of Katatonia and Opeth band members were in the mix. Not only that, but as something of a tribute act, Bloodbath were also stunningly consistent with their sound. They’re experienced professional musicians already, so there’s none of the sense that they have been stumbling into what they’re doing — they know already.

They know how to write it, and because of that, when you’re listening to Bloodbath you’re hearing a group who are really good at throwing us back to the past when death metal was a dark and disgusting monster that people were scared of — the type of music that was a horror movie incarnate. Continue reading »

Nov 142014


I’ve been on vacation for the last week, got home after a lot of traveling early last night, and then had to turn around a couple hours later to go back to the airport to pick up someone, and didn’t get to bed until very late — without having written any NCS thing for today. And all of my NCS writer comrades have been doing other things besides writing NCS things. So basically, I got nuthin’. And I need to go to work today, so I probably won’t have much for today, period. Whatever I do get ready will be late.

So anyway, I thought I might at least do a quick scan of the interhole for something new, because I hate to post anything on the site that doesn’t have some metal in it. And voila, I came across a link on FB to a just-released music video by Bloodbath for a song named “Church of Vastitas” off their new album Grand Morbid Funeral. I like the song — it’s a slow, brooding, grim, morbid piece of pestilential death/doom with good vocal vomit. The video is pretty simple, but doesn’t detract from the music. Here it is. I’ll be back… at some point… later today. Continue reading »

Oct 142014


Here’s a rather large selection of new songs and videos released in the last few days that I decided were worth your time — and who better than me to decide how you should spend your time?  Exactly.

I’ve arranged these offerings in alphabetical order by band name. It’s quite a varied selection, so I’m hoping everyone will find something to like.


We’re now two songs into the ramp-up for one of the most highly anticipated extreme metal releases of the year — Grand Morbid Funeral, the first album by Bloodbath since 2008. The second song, “Famine of God’s Word”, was revealed yesterday through a lyric video. I’m of two minds about the song.

On the one hand, the instrumental music is just downright vicious — a brutally heavy, galloping, squalling, skin-flaying, gut-punching romp, with an eerie lead guitar melody that floats through the song like a phantasm. Continue reading »

Sep 242014

About a week ago it was revealed that Bloodbath’s new vocalist is none other than Nick Holmes, the vocalist of Paradise Lost. At that time, it was further reported that the new album (Grand Morbid Funeral) “will see the return of the ravenous and cavernous growl that marked Paradise Lost’s debut album, Lost Paradise.”

Well, now you get to test the accuracy of that forecast, because the band have today premiered the first advance track from the new album — “Unite In Pain”.

This is an exclusive song stream, which means I can’t embed it for you. And fuck, I can’t even tell you what it sounds like, because, thanks to my fucking day job, I’m in a place at the moment where I can’t listen. But don’t let that stop you — here’s the link where you can find the song, and then feel free to leave Comments and let us know what you think: Continue reading »

Sep 162014

I’ve arranged the following new video and song premieres in a way that spurs imaginings of you trapped on the upper floor of a building being demolished by jackhammers of an alien design, plummeting toward the ground while shrieking in terror, and then being buried in a drizzling rain. Well, I don’t mean you in particular, I mean listeners and viewers in general. You’ll see.

But first, Sweden’s Bloodbath have finally revealed the identity of their new vocalist — a subject about which I and many others have been speculating since much earlier this year.


Yes, that’s right — just a couple hours ago Metal Hammer officially revealed that Bloodbath’s new vocalist is none other than Nick Holmes, the vocalist of Paradise Lost. He was indeed born in 1971, which was the first clue that Bloodbath offered way back in February. He was not the person I guessed then (I guessed Jörgen Sandström). I didn’t even seriously contemplate Mr. Holmes, given his predominant vocal style — but Metal Hammer reports that the new album (Grand Morbid Funeral) “will see the return of the ravenous and cavernous growl that marked Paradise Lost’s debut album, Lost Paradise.”

Metal Hammer further reports that the album will include guest appearances by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy.

Surely you have some thoughts about this revelation, so feel free to sound off in the Comments. Continue reading »

Sep 112014


We have three song premieres coming your way on the site today, and I’m busy getting them ready to roll out, but I decided I needed to take a break for this one piece of news (published by Metal Hammer) to which my comrade Andy Synn just alerted me. Because it relates to the new album by Bloodbath.

First, they haven’t yet announced who will be the new vocalist in place of Mikael Åkerfeldt, so don’t bother asking. However, they have announced that the name will be revealed on September 16 via Metal Hammer. I already made my guess back in February (here).

Second, the name of the new album was disclosed today — Grand Morbid Funeral. It sounds like a grand name.

Third, the cover art was revealed — you can glimpse it above.

Fourth, it will be released by Peaceville Records on November 17.

Fifth, the press statement released today includes these titillating comments by guitarist Anders Nystrom: Continue reading »

Mar 212014

Well, yesterday at NCS didn’t go exactly as I had planned. We did have a couple of excellent song premieres and an interesting play-through video, but my old fucking day job prevented me from pulling together a round-up of new developments in the world of metal — of which there have been many in the last 48 hours. So I’m gathering a few in this post even though the reports aren’t as timely as I would have liked. By coincidence, all the items (but one) involve venerable Swedish bands.


Few albums in recent years have generated as much controversial commentary at our site than Opeth’s Heritage. It seems that all we had to do was mention that 2011 album, and conflicting opinions would come out of the woodwork like termites. It has been used as an example of both a band who betrayed their fans and one who felt free to let their artistic impulses dictate their direction rather than commerce. Some thought it was a fine album, others thought it was as dull as dishwater.

Yesterday, we got news about the band’s next album. Via an interview of Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt and Fredrik Akesson, Loudwire reported that the 11th studio (not yet titled) has been completed and projected for release in June. Loudwire has heard the album and wrote this: “Opeth’s songwriting is top notch on the album, but once again, the record features no guttural vocals.” Continue reading »

Feb 202014

Are you sitting down?  You should sit down before reading further.  Sweden’s revered Bloodbath added a note on their Facebook page earlier this morning. I’ll share it at the end of this post. In a nutshell, it indicates that Bloodbath have written 10 new songs and will begin the recording process next month. And that should mean we will have a new Bloodbath album in 2014, the first one since 2008’s The Fathomless Mastery.

Based on the note, it’s apparent that there will also be a new vocalist on this album — one who is neither Mikael Åkerfeldt nor Peter Tägtgren. The Facebook note provides clues to the new vocalist’s year of birth by listing a string of deadly disasters, ending with the statement, “The new singer for Bloodbath is born. Oh dear”.

To save you a bit of time, all of the listed disasters occurred in 1971. To save you a further bit of time, I’ve listed after the jump the names of some vocalists born in 1971, identified through my own half-assed research. I will say that the most likely candidate from the names I’ve found is Jörgen Sandström — who is currently the vocalist for my beloved Torture Division and also the vocalist/bassist for The Project Hate MCMXCIX (he also provided vocals, bass, and guitar for Grave on their first three albums and also played bass with Entombed from 1997-2004). Continue reading »

Apr 052012

In a year that has already delivered enough superb tech-death releases to give frenetic-metal addicts a month’s worth of wet dreams, we now have one more from a remote locale: South Africa. But the debut album by Bloodbeast is not the precision music of accelerated, machine-like aliens. It has no avant-garde injections of jazz fusion. It isn’t the musical equivalent of a chalkboard crammed with the formulas of quantum mechanics.

No, Bloodlust is the maniacal fever dream of ghouls, a canvas sprayed with blood splatter, a landscape decimated by a lurching horde of the electrified undead. It’s a technically masterful fusion of death, grind, and thrash that takes no prisoners and wants to drink your spinal fluid. I was fortunate to get an advance listen to the music, but thankfully, the album has now become available for everyone on Bandcamp.

Bloodbeast is a new band, but its members are veterans of the S.A. metal underground. The band’s leader, Van Zyl Alberts (aka Van666), was also the guitarist and co-vocalist of Architecture of Aggression, a long-running progressive death metal band we’ve written about several times at this site (e.g., here). The other members have paid their dues in outfits such as Bile of Man, Fuck the Corpses, and Demented Martyr. Joining together in Bloodbeast, they’ve clearly found a musical vehicle that suits their interests and successfully integrates their talents. Continue reading »