Oct 102021



Last Thursday I seized on the chance to insert SHADES OF BLACK into the work-week with a trio of EPs as a way of trying to clear out a backlog of reviews that had been percolating in my head. I’ve decided to do the same thing today. Rather than include the usual scattering of advance tracks from forthcoming releases I’m focusing entirely on albums and EPs that are already out in the world.

Having said that, I have to confess that these reviews may not qualify as thorough reviews in the minds of some people. They’re more like brief previews and recommendations, leading all you horses to water and hoping you’ll drink.

CROCELL (Denmark)

The name Crocell has stuck in my head on the strength of their past releases (five albums over the course of a decade), despite the absence of anything new for the last 3 1/2 years. If you’ve been haunting NCS for a while, you’ve seen how often we’ve written about them. And so I didn’t waste much time reacting to the news that the band had released a pair of EPs, Funeral Bliss and Baptized in Bullets, on the same day near the end of September. Continue reading »

Aug 272017


I spend so much of each day scurrying around to find and write about new songs from forthcoming releases and to prepare introductions for our own premieres that I rarely have time to write my own reviews of full releases, except in the context of introducing our premieres. On a whim I decided to stop scurrying for 24 hours and share at least a few thoughts about three recent releases I’ve been enjoying.


The new Rebel Wizard EP is out now. It’s described as “Four anti-shamanic pre-fetal negative metal anthemic warnings of ‘one'”. You should listen to it. You should especially listen to it if you have a taste for the kind of creativity that turns out music which is off of metal’s most familiar beaten paths — although you could also think of it as music that creates intersections of well-loved pathways that usually diverge. Continue reading »

Jan 282016

Ithaqua-BØG split


I’d like to recommend a new split release by a Japanese band named Ithaqua and an Australian band named BØG. I don’t know much about either band, and I’ve already now forgotten how I came across this split, but this thing has cleaved my head right in two.


The Ithaqua tracks feature truly mountainous bass-level riffs paired with creepy guitar excretions and banshee-shreiked vocals that contrast with the stupefying low-end weight. I’ll warn you that when the first track “Ghost” really starts to move, it hits a bulldozing groove capable of producing serious neck sprain.

The last couple of minutes in particular are just fucking ridiculous — a mix of unstoppable riff magic and deranged guitar psychedelia. Continue reading »