Sep 052023

(Andy Synn recommends four more albums from last month that he doesn’t want you to miss)

As has been well established by now, if it comes down to a choice between covering bigger names or lesser-known bands… we’ll almost always plump for the latter.

Sure, it decreases our potential reach a little, but it also increases the impact of what we do – one more positive review in a sea of hyperbole isn’t exactly going to “move the needle”, but a bit of praise (usually mixed with a bit of constructive criticism) from us can do wonders for a band with more limited exposure.

In that vein, then, today we’ve got some punky, d-beat loving Thrash (Colony Drop), some terrific “true” Black Metal (Cvinger), a genre-bending riff-odyssey (Hekser) and a shamelessly OTT slab of symphonic extremity (Sanguine Glacialis), all of which you may have overlooked during what was an extremely busy August.

Continue reading »

Jul 242023

On their debut album Brace for Impact, the Seattle band Colony Drop have found a particular kind of sweet spot, which accounts for the glowing reactions that have already started pouring out from both so-called “music critics” like us and listeners looking for a hell of a good time.  They’ve whipped up a stylistic amalgam that’s wild in its diversity but doesn’t sound either artificially bolted together or chaotic, and they’ve chosen lyrical themes that could be summed up as… the revenge of the nerds.

That last point isn’t intended as a criticism, by the way, because even though most of the above-ground world thinks of metal as a hellish house of malignant horrors, you’d be hard-pressed to find a nerdier group of fans of any kind of music (including, to be clear, the perpetrators of this site).

As one example of the sweet spot Colony Drop have made for themselves, today we’re premiering the album’s fifth track out of 11, a song called “The Clockwork Grip” that’ll knock your teeth out and light a fire under your imagination. We’ll provide our own introduction to it, but let’s start with comments by CDrop lyricist/vocalist Joseph Schafer (an old friend of this site and the long-timers who toil here): Continue reading »

Jun 272023

As you can see, I found just enough time after finishing today’s two premieres to jump quickly into the non-stop churn of new songs and videos and grab just a few of them to hurl your way.


Full disclosure: Colony Drop‘s frontperson Joseph Schafer is a very good friend, and at one time a writer for NCS who long ago helped propel us into a higher orbit before going on to become editor at Invisible Oranges, a writer at other high-profile publications such as Decibel, and a leading co-conspirator of ours in the production of Seattle’s Northwest Terror Fest.

Now with that out of the way, here’s why I’d be recommending Colony Drop‘s genre-bending new song “Colony Drop (Brace For Impact)” even if the vocalist had been hooded and anonymous: because it’s one hell of a rocket ride. Continue reading »

Sep 242021


Man, my head is spinning once again over how many new songs and videos I want to recommend from the week that’s now ending. There are only six of them in this roundup, and there’s not much rhyme nor reason about why I picked these — other than the fact that I like ’em — because they provide a pretty wild series of musical twists and turns rather than some kind of cohesive flow from one to the next. But I am smiling at the whiplash it’s going to give you. I guess I should add that in different ways they’re all pretty fuckin’ intense.

I’ve got a very busy weekend ahead, but I hope to collect a few more new things from the past week’s deluge in posts on both Saturday and Sunday.

1914 (Ukraine)

I’m beginning with a couple of very dark and (as promised) very intense songs, the first of which is 1914‘s “Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)“. If you’re not already familiar with the horrific World War I event that’s the subject of the song, you’ll learn about it in the prelude to the animated video. Continue reading »