Oct 112017


When you listen to some albums, you get the undeniable feeling that the people in the band really — really — love what they’re doing, that they’re in the throes of a fierce enthusiasm for the kind of music they’re making. And when that kind of passion is communicated through the songwriting and the performances, it becomes highly infectious, like the raging fever of a disease. That’s the feeling I got when listening to Bloodstrike’s new album, Execution of Violence — which we’re streaming for you today in advance of its October 13 release by Redefining Darkness Records and Raw Skull Recordz.

In this band’s case, the principal subject of their explosive devotion is Swedish death metal of the old school, an homage to a pantheon that includes such names as Entombed, Grave, Unleashed, and Dismember — though there’s more than a little Bolt Thrower dedication in the music as well. “Explosive” and “infectious” really are the right words for it — or at least two of the right words. Other words include grisly, gruesome, supernatural, and macabre. Continue reading »

Sep 032017


After being prevented by my day job from listening to much new music during the last half of last week, I binged on new song streams yesterday. The furnace of metal continues to pour out molten steel at a breathtaking rate. I found enough new sounds solely from the black realms to warrant a 4-part SHADES OF BLACK column, but I’ll probably throttle myself and limit it to two parts, with Part 1 coming later today. But in the meantime I couldn’t resist putting together this collection, which at a minimum will wake you up better than a flash-bang grenade and at a maximum may blow your minds to smithereens.

The first three selections are advance tracks from forthcoming albums. The last one is a complete full-length release. Different styles of metal, but all of them both highly infectious and explosively good. Let the slaughtering begin….


There’s enough electrifying energy in “Satanic Raid” to power a large metropolis and enough speed to lap the pack at a NASCAR race, not to mention more than enough feral barbarism to put smiles on the faces of those of you who live to slash and burn (at least through your music). There’s also some kind of immediately addictive poison coursing through the veins of this beast, which is transmitted directly into the listener’s bloodstream. Continue reading »

Aug 162016

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate


I’ve returned from Olympia where I spent three days and four nights immersed in the wonders of Migration Fest. While I still need to write a recap of the festival’s final day to accompany two previously posted recaps, I’ve also started exploring developments in the world of metal that I missed while I was out and about in Olympia. Unsurprisingly, I missed a lot. I’ve selected a mere quintet of items to recommend in this round-up — four of them from old favorites of our site and one by a very striking newcomer.


To say that we’ve been eagerly anticipating the new album from Norway’s Khonsu would be an understatement. Earlier this year, our man Andy Synn named it as one of his five most anticipated albums of this year, largely on the strength of the band’s 2012 debut album Anomalia, which he called “without doubt one of the strongest and most creative debut albums in living metal memory”. And now, finally, we have more details about the album along with a video trailer for it. Continue reading »

Sep 242015

Bloodstrike-In Death We Rot


Almost exactly one year ago I discovered a two-song demo named Necrobirth by Colorado’s Bloodstrike that totally knocked me on my ass (as I said here).  At that point, the word was that Bloodstrike was working on a debut album that they projected for release this year — and now, sure enough, it’s upon us.

The name of the album is In Death We Rot, and it is nothing but Grade A nourishment for the death-worshipping souls of people like me, and all other fans of early ’90s death metal who haven’t convinced themselves that the only albums worth listening to were released 20 years ago. Continue reading »

Aug 232014


Here are three short reviews of three short releases that I think are really good. I’ve been meaning to say something about two of them for the last week or two, and the third I only heard for the first time yesterday — and that’s the one I’ll start with.


I wish I had time to carefully read every e-mail and Facebook message we get from bands and listen attentively to all their music, but I can’t. Instead, what I’m able to check out is a matter of happenstance — it often comes down to whether I happen to have a few minutes to kill at the moment when I read a message that pricks my curiosity.

For example, yesterday I was skimming through the NCS e-mails with a few minutes to kill and saw a message from a Polish band named Soulless Carnage who described themselves as “a blackened death metal crew, inspired by classics like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Grave“. In fact, they’re partially named after a Grave tune (“Soulless”). Continue reading »