Jan 092014

Welcome to Part 3 of my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (more or less) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.


When the members of the NCS staff got the chance for an advance listen to Soilwork’s 2013 album The Living Infinite, it was greeted by the sound of bodies falling off chairs and hitting the floor. Before hearing it, I think it’s fair to say that we were all highly skeptical. It was, after all, a double-album from a band whose recent track record had not inspired tremendous confidence in their ability to create two albums’ worth of high-quality music. Man, were we wrong. Continue reading »

Dec 172013

(Just a few days ago we published Fork Tongue’s list of the year’s best demo’s, and now we bring you his list of the year’s best EP’s. More of his lists will be coming in the days ahead.)

I used to hate EP’s. My thought was always, “hey guys, just wait until you have enough material for a full length”, and that was that. I’ve softened on that over the last couple of years because I realized I was missing out on some good stuff. Case in point, 2013. If I hadn’t decided to separate EP’s from LP’s, a few of these would be candidates for my best album list.

1. BölzerAura

Seemingly everybody knows about Bölzer already, and rightfully so. If you ever wanted a Death Metal band to border on the dissonance of Deathspell Omega or Blut aus Nord, here you go. These guys are poised for big things whenever they decide to drop an LP. Now, go get lost in “Entranced By The Wolfshook”.

Continue reading »

Nov 202013

This is really just another “Seen and Heard” post, but something about this collection of things I noticed over the last 24 hours put the image of “wreckage” in my mind. You’ll see why. And all of the items concern 2014 releases.


I saw that Hellthrasher Productions is going to release a 7″ split by two Vancouver wrecking machines who are favorites of this site, Mitochondrion and Auroch. It is described “a conceptual song divided in two halves, with one title and one set of lyrics”, and it’s expected in early 2014. Both of these bands are at work on new full-length albums for Profound Lore, which will be on our highly-anticipated list for next year — and so will this split. Artwork and further details will be forthcoming.


This next item consists of relatively recent updates that I just noticed concerning the titanic black/death entity from Switzerland known as Bölzer. First, they will have a new three-song EP entitled Soma released by Invictus Productions in 2014 (and yes, that also goes on our highly-anticipated list of 2014 releases). This is expected to be a fitting complement to the band’s stunning 2013 EP, Aura. Second, they will be performing at next year’s Maryland Deathfest. And third, the band’s 2012 demo Roman Acupuncture, which was originally released on hard-to-find tape, is going to be issued on vinyl next year by Iron Bonehead Productions. Continue reading »

May 022013

Here are some things I heard yesterday that grabbed me. I’m starting with two bands who were new to me and finishing with two of whom I was already a fan.


Yesterday we posted Andy Synn’s engaging and informative interview with Alan Cassidy, The Black Dahlia Murder’s talented new drummer and formerly the hitter for Abigail Williams. If you haven’t read that yet, you should. At the end of the interview, Andy asked him for musical recommendations, and Alan made a pitch for an Italian band named Synapses. The name was new to me so I investigated.

It turns out that Synapses are a relatively new band whose debut album Expiation was released by Deepsend Records in February 2012, and they’re currently at work on a follow-up. Some tracks from the album are on YouTube and I listened to one called “Assault of the Weak”.

I can understand why Alan Cassidy thinks these dudes are awesome. It’s because they are indeed awesome, and a big reason why is drummer Riccardo “Cannibale” Fanara. “Assault of the Weak” is a fairly brutal form of highly percussive, fleet-fingered death metal with rapid-fire guitar and bass riffing and roaring vox. But as balls-out blazing as the hi-tech music is, it incorporates some mighty grooves and some inventive (and acrobatic) drumming. I’m particularly digging the snare hits, which come in unexpected places and punctuate the blasting in creative ways. Continue reading »