Apr 202023

(Andy Synn continues our long-running relationship with Chicago’s Chrome Waves, whose new album is set for release next week)

It’s crazy, when you think about it, just how long we’ve been writing about Chrome Waves, publishing our very first post about the group – then made up of The Atlas Moth‘s Stavros Giannopolous, ex-Nachtmystium guitarist Jeff Wilson, and former The Gates of Slumber drummer Bob Fouts (RIP) – in December 2011.

And while things have certainly changed quite a bit since then – the group essentially began all over again in 2018, with Wilson and Amiensus vocalist/guitarist James Benson forming the new core of the band’s ever-evolving line-up, which now also features bassist Zion Meager and drummer Garry Naples – we’ve continued to follow their career with both fascination and appreciation aplenty over the years.

But what’s particularly fascinating about their upcoming fourth album, Earth Will Shed Its Skin, is the way in which it attempts to weave the two most distinctive aspects of the band’s sound – the cathartic “Post-Black Metal” side that appeals to fans of TombsDeafheaven, and the like, and the shoegaze-y Alt-Rock side that recalls the best of acts like Hum and Catherine Wheel – into a single, coherent whole.

Does it succeed? Or does it shatter under the weight of everything it’s trying to achieve? Let’s find out!

Continue reading »

Dec 162022

I’ve been reading my friend Andy‘s writing about metal for more than a decade, and even so, what he’s done this week had been mind-boggling. I marveled at how much music he listened to this year and at his ability to make year-end selections, organize them, and write about them distinctively. I mean hell, I marvel at how much time it must have taken him just to put all the embedded links to the streams in his articles this week!

All of which is to say that his week-long series of lists deserves the spotlight, and deserves all the time it would take you to go through them and make your own discoveries. His series ends today, but LISTMANIA will roll on next week as we begin posting year-end lists from other NCS contributors, including the annual five-part list from DGR.

Last weekend I announced that, by design, we wouldn’t have the normal volume of premieres on the calendar this week in order to keep the focus on Andy‘s series (and a few lists I’ve shared from “big platform” sites). I thought I might take advantage of the lull in premieres by compiling more new-music roundups during the week than I can usually manage. I admit that does seem a bit inconsistent with the goal of keeping the focus on year-end lists, but the lure of spreading the word about new music is a powerful one.

I did manage to get a roundup done on Monday, but failed at the next chance on Wednesday because of interference from paying work. Today, as you can see, I was able to follow through. I’ve also got things lined up for the usual Saturday roundup too. Continue reading »

Sep 082021

(Andy Synn presents another fully justified exception to our usual rules in the form of the exceptional new album from Pittsburgh’s Chrome Waves)

It is always fascinating, often a little bit thrilling, and even occasionally slightly fulfilling, to watch a band achieving its true/final form.

This is not, in any way, an attempt to downplay the quality or value of said band’s previous work – which, in this case, includes an extremely solid debut in A Grief Observed and an even better (and emotionally deeper) second album in last year’s Where We Live, along with a couple of shorter, but equally intriguing, releases along the way – but an acknowledgement that growth, be it physical, emotional, or musical is an ongoing process whose end point we don’t always know in advance.

Case in point, even the most casual listener, on their first run through The Rain Will Cleanse, the third album in as many years from prolific “Post-Black Metal” group Chrome Waves, will quickly realise that the band have pretty much abandoned… or, perhaps it’s better to say, grown out of… their more blackened influences (the only real remnant being the scattered shrieks strewn here and there throughout cathartic closer “Aspiring Death”) in favour of a sound that favours the more emotive and expansive, Post-Rock, Post-Punk, and Shoegaze-inspired side of their identity.

It’s still recognisably the same band, yes, but is also just as clearly the next step, the next necessary step, in their ongoing evolution.

Call it the beginning of their post “Post-Black Metal” phase.

Continue reading »

Aug 132021


It’s a rare day when I have no premieres to write for our site, and no posts to edit and format from any of our other writers either. So I spent the extra time listening to more than the usual number of new songs and videos released this week, and found a whopping 16 of them I wanted to recommend.

Rather than put them all in a single post, which might have been like hitting you in the mouth with a bag of nails, I’ve divided them into two parts, arranged alphabetically from the beginning of Part 1 to the end of Part 2 — beginning with A and finishing with Z.


It’s been a long wait for something new from this very talented Washington State black metal band, but now they’re back with a new album named A Distant Fire, and a first advance track from the album that’s a sure sign the wait has been worthwhile. Continue reading »

Sep 162020


(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Chrome Waves, which is set for release on September 25th by Disorder Recordings.)

So far in 2020 there have not been more than a handful of black metal releases that have inspired me to put them in heavy rotation. The sub-genre of depressive black metal has become even more scarce in terms of quality. I find this odd because 2020 has begged for bleaker, darker music. I know I can plug DSBM into the search bar of Bandcamp and find an abundance of poorly programmed drum machines under thin over-processed guitar tones.

This is what makes Chrome Waves‘ new album such a treasure. It sounds great and is as dark and melancholy as I might want when I am taking my meds. Continue reading »

Aug 182020


The Chrome Waves song we’re presenting here has multiple meanings, some intended and perhaps one that’s merely a relevant coincidence. As for the intended meanings, the band’s James Benson (also in Amiensus) explains:

“‘New Skin‘ is quite literally about shedding away your past, and the growth of humans as they begin to learn. It pertains to the way someone is raised is not always the worldview of the entire population of the country, or world. However it also addresses recognizing that there is some type of comfort in going back to how you were raised, and the worldview you grew up around, or the culture.”

That conception is a kind of dichotomy: The process of maturation inevitably involves, to greater and lesser degrees, shedding the skin of where we came from and who we were, sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. If we’re lucky, we continue to slough away bad habits and bad memories and allow ourselves to become new, but sometimes we lose good things as well. Especially in godawful times, what we’ve left behind can sometimes be worth re-discovering. Continue reading »

May 272019


2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for Chrome Waves. With a revised line-up in place, they released their powerful debut album, A Grief Observed, in March. In April they released a great cover of Nirvana’sSomething In the Way” on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. Earlier this month they announced their signing with Avantgarde Music for the European release of A Grief Observed on vinyl and CD. They have also recently announced tours with Tombs in June, and with Suicide Forest in August. And today it’s our good fortune to premiere a new Chrome Waves single named “Bound“, accompanied by a video that provides a beautiful match for the music.

For those who might be encountering Chrome Waves for the first time, or perhaps for the first time since the band’s self-titled EP in 2012, the current line-up is as follows: Continue reading »

Oct 102012

Chicago guitarist Jeff Wilson is a busy dude. In addition to his bands Chrome Waves and Wolvhammer, both of which we’ve praised here at NCS in the past, he’s also a driving force in a new collective called Doomsday. He’s got some heavyweight talent along for the Doomsday ride, too:

Bassist Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber, Chrome Waves, Apostle Of Solitude)
Guitarist/vocalist Jon Woodring (Bones)
Drummer Zack Simmons (Goatwhore)
Vocalist Zion Meagher (Anti-Human Thesis).

In some ways this group is like a Nachtmystium alumni reunion, since Wilson, Woodring, Simmons, and Meagher were all previously involved with that band — and Doomsday’s self-titled, six-song EP was engineered by Nachtmystium’s Sanford Parker, along with Carl Byers (Coffinworm). It will be released on November 6 by Wilson’s newly founded label Disorder Recordings, and it features brilliantly occult cover art by Christina Caperson.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the details out of the way and nearly sunk this review under the weight of all those links, I do have a few words to say about the music: It’s really fuckin’ good. Continue reading »

Jul 132012

Two more quick items to pass along, and I hope my day job will allow time for one more post like this one before this day is over. Fucking day job.

The items in this post are both videos. The first one comes from a UK band called The Rotted, whose most recent album Ad Nauseum was released by Candlelight last fall. We never got around to reviewing it, but I’ll tell you what, it’s a fuckin’ blast!

The new video is for a song from that album called “Surrounded By Skulls”. Can you guess why the mere title of that song appeals to me? But it’s not merely the title that’s appealing. The song itself is virally infectious. It’s a combo of crusty hardcore punk, d-beat, and death metal that’s irresistibly catchy, with a real shout-along chorus. The video is a kick to watch, too. Looks like a live show by these dudes would be some head-busting fun. Also, there are a lot of skulls.

The second video is from Chrome Waves, a band I’ve written about twice before. The last time (here), I was raving about a song from their debut EP called “Light Behind A Shadow”, and lo and behold that’s the subject of the band’s first official video, which Metal Injection premiered today. By the way, the album was released earlier this month by Gravedancer Records and it can now be ordered as a CD from this location, as well as downloaded from iTunes and Amazon mp3. Continue reading »

Mar 292012

Josh Eldridge used to be head of publicity at Century Media Records, and then later in business development and A&R. I remember him fondly because he was the first major label rep who gave NCS a shot at a song premiere for a big-name band (Deicide’s “How Can You Call Yourself A God”). Later still, he became the head of marketing for The MuseBox marketing company and founded his own business called ConspiracyPR.

Now, in partnership with MuseBox, he has formed a new metal label called Gravedancer Records and has made a deal for worldwide distribution of the label’s first three signings by EMI. And these aren’t just any three signings. The first bands signed to Gravedancer are Byzantine, Chrome Waves, and Conan. This shows extremely good taste (not that we hold ourselves out as arbiters of taste, of course), and a reason to pay attention to what Eldridge and Gravedancer do next. Allow me to elaborate:


The revival of this West Virginia band, with the reuniting of Chris Ojeda and Tony Rohrbaugh, was one of the real bright spots of news in 2011. TheMadIsraeli interviewed both of them for this post in February, and we’ve been following their progress closely. Small pieces of awesome music have surfaced now and then, enough to make us confident that Byzantine’s next album will be something special. The most recent taste of what’s to come is a Chris Ojeda playthrough that has now appeared on YouTube. That’s the first thing that will greet you after the jump. Continue reading »