Feb 012023

This article makes the third time we’ve paid attention to Ossadas, the forthcoming second album by the Portuguese band Carma. The first occasion was a commentary on the album’s first single, “Memória“. The second was an unusual review of the album written by Axel Stormbreaker, which integrated the music with the viewing of a movie about Edgar Allan Poe named The Pale Blue Eye. And now we present another single from the album named “Monumento“.

The album is an emotional powerhouse, one that deeply immerses the listener in its concept, which was inspired by the Conchada Cemetery located in Coimbra, Portugal. As described by the Monumental Rex label that will be releasing it next month, Ossadas is an exploration of “various cemeterial aspects, such as the architecture, the burials and the atmosphere, and the related feelings – fatalism, futility, loss, mourning, longing, among others.”

The titles of the record’s nine tracks are the most common words that appear on tombs and tombstones throughout the cemetery, and even the lyrics (in Portuguese) contain certain verses engraved on the cemetery’s tombstones. But it’s the music, which integrates funeral doom, black metal, and ambient, that most deeply involves the listener in the ever-present daunting realm of death and all the feelings that it brings. Continue reading »

Jan 102023


(Axel Stormbreaker rejoins us today with a review of a concept album by the Portuguese band Carma, and an idea for a movie to watch along with it. Inspired by the Conchada Cemetery in Coimbra, the album will be released in March by the Monumental Rex label.)

Blending a music record with a Hollywood movie ain’t an easy task to go through. Even if the eerie performance granted by Christian Bale does assist a narrative comparison to Carma‘s funeral doom aesthetics. The trick is, you gotta let your emotions blossom, without revealing any actual spoilers to the plot. Or neglect the very ground rules that bind a music review’s construct.

And you also gotta remember, the screen part involves the prestigious character of Edgar Allan Poe. Which means it needs to be precise in regards to musical highlights, yet it can’t divert from the feeling the movie generates, nor be too abstract when image and sound are aligned. And… oh, it’s not a basic task to complete. You will need to both watch The Pale Blue Eye and listen to Carma‘s Ossadas to grasp how the scenes and the sound flow together. Continue reading »

Dec 242022

In the northern hemisphere Winter officially began on Wednesday, December 21st, the day when half of Earth was tilted the farthest away from the sun, and the shortest day of the year. Since then the days have gradually become longer, not that you’d notice yet. But if you live in North America I bet you did notice Winter over the last few days, kind of like someone deciding to attract your attention by whacking your knee with a hammer. We all fall down!

Here in the Pacific Northwest at the metallic NCS island HQ we were only without power for 10 hours yesterday, presumably because the weight of snow brought some tree limbs down on the power lines that have been strung through them. No power lines are buried here, so they are at the mercy of the trees, and the trees are at the mercy of the wind, which is the usual culprit in the roughly 300 power outages experienced on this island every year, in addition to the occasional snowfalls.

When the power goes, so does the internet, without so much as a wave goodby. I was able to get most of yesterday’s NCS posts loaded and launched by using my phone as a hotspot, the cell service having survived the Winter blow. But I didn’t listen to any new streaming music yesterday, even after the power returned last night. It was kind of a nice break.

Probably some of you had it worse than we did over the last couple of days. At least we weren’t out on the roads or stuck in airports with canceled flights, or maybe something worse. Looks like things remain shitty for a big portion of the U.S. today, but less shitty here because the temp has risen above freezing and now it’s pouring rain instead of snowing, and that will melt all the snow and ice pretty fast. If Winter wanted to give us a real sucker-punch it would drop the temp below freezing again and cause all the vehicles to hydroplane on the roads once again, but the forecast says that won’t happen.

And oh hey, tomorrow is Christmas. Continue reading »