Sep 122023

(We gave a very favorable review here to the second album by the German band The Circle, which was released last month by AOP Records. Comrade Aleks enjoyed the album too, and that led to the following interview with the band’s composer and guitarist Stanley Robertson.)

Stanley Robertson (guitars) and Alex Wirt (bass) played together in the epic melodic death metal band Vagrant from 2016 to 2020. They both decided to change its name to The Circle and change the style as well, to symphonic black metal.

When Alex left The Circle, Stanley recorded the project’s first album Metamorphosis on his own with guest vocalist Asim Searah in 2021, and then Stanley, Asim and Philipp Wende (drums) recorded the sophomore album Of Awakening as a trio.

The album was released by AOP Records on August 18th, and it was interesting enough to make me want learn more about this band. Hameln’s guitarist Stanley Robertson is here with us tonight.

(We thank Nathan Birk (Suspicious Activities PR) for organizing the interview.) Continue reading »

Sep 072023

(On September 1st The Sinister Flame released the second album by the German black metal band Baxaxaxa, and its impending release prompted Comrade Aleks to reach out to the band’s drummer Condemptor for an interview, which we now present today.)

German black metal act Baxaxaxa was formed in Niederwerrn, Bavaria in 1992. The demon after which the band was named didn’t help them much from the start, and Baxaxaxa was disbanded in the very same year after recording the Hellfire demo. And more than strange – Baxaxaxa was resurrected in 2017 by its original drummer Condemptor.

He gathered around himself a few more musicians (partly his colleagues from another black metal outfit, Ungod) and slowly new songs started to appear. The band’s new satanic exercises entitled De Vermis Mysteriis was released on September 1st.

Moreover, Baxaxaxa is going to hit the road and bring some black metal enlightenment to law-abiding citizens of Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Ridgewood, and Lombard on the second decade of September. Continue reading »

Aug 042023

(On this Bandcamp Friday we lead off with a new interview by Comrade Aleks of David Briones, founder of the Chilean death/doom band The Black Harvest, whose newest album (an excellent one) was just released this past March by Australis Records.)

David Briones started his career in Chilean underground with the death metal band Son in Curse. He has performed vocals and guitars there since 2002. He does the same in the death/crust band Rotten Hate and – what’s more important – he runs the death-doom band The Black Harvest.

Technically started in 2004, the band was almost inactive until 2014 when the first demos managed to appear. The band signed a deal with local label Australis Records, and as result the label released two albums – the self-titled debut (2017) and the fresh sophomore work Mortuary Dogma (2023). The new material absorbed all the best from the UK Three legacy, and Paradise Lost’s fans will dig “The Succubi Delight”, a track which represents the band as an official video.

Let’s support this killer band and pay some attention to David’s story of The Black Harvest and things related to the Chilean underground. Continue reading »

Aug 012023

(In this new interview Comrade Aleks spoke with the Bangladeshi death metal band Kaal Akuma, who have already made a very strong favorable impression with both their 2021 debut album and a new EP released this past April by Nuclear Winter Records.)

Kaal Akuma appeared in one of the March Seen and Heard issues here – the death metal band from Bangladesh with a new EP Turiya released in April by Nuclear Winter Records. Their fierce, savage, and chaotic full-length In the Mouth of Madness (Dunkelheit Produktionen, 2021) didn’t pass unnoticed either, but this band needs wider exposure and so we do what we can.

The last known line-up is Rivoo (vocals, bass), Ah Puch (drums), and Akif (guitars), and this trio surpassed the rawness of uncontrolled anger embodied in the debut and made Turiya not only authentic but a more dangerous and focused entity. Just three tracks grant a 21-minute experience of macabre death and madness. Let’s learn more what Kaal Akuma hide behind these songs.

(We thank Nathan Birk (Suspicious Activities PR) for organizing the interview.) Continue reading »

Jul 312023

(Everyone knows that Doom Metal is Comrade Aleks‘ main love, and although his interviews have branched out into other dark genres, today he returns to the old flame with a very interesting discussion with members of the Spanish band Misty Grey, whose newest album was released in June of this year.)

Misty Grey first met in Madrid in 2011. This is one of the very few Spanish doom metal bands, and doom-heads know Misty Grey due to their honesty, passion, and good taste.

Another thing is that the backbone of the group in the vertebrae of Juan (guitar), Robin (bass) and Javier (drums) seems to have fallen victim to the gypsy curse or something like that: They were not lucky with either of the ladies who recorded vocals for the first and the sophomore albums, and the necessity to find a new singer was a scourge for the band.

Their new album Visions After Void was recorded with the new front-man Angel Flores, who sang for almost a decade in a local Viking folk band. And you know what? Angel is incredibly good in doom metal too. His range is much wider than that of the former vocalists, and he easily copes with both hard rock and epic parts previously uncharacteristic of Misty Grey.

These seven tracks recreate the recognizable atmosphere of traditional doom, they reflect the composer’s talent and passion, and this material has a sense of belonging to the modern doom scene too. Although what kind of modernity is something special, as the album is dedicated to the work of the German film director Fritz Lang, who authored the large-scale expressionist dystopia Metropolis (1927) and one of the first “noir” detectives M (1931).

To be honest, I can name a couple more doom albums that are entirely dedicated to dark cinematography masterpieces, so it’s not entirely true to praise Misty Grey for originality, but you know… They are original in their own way, and Visions After Void surpasses many of the modern doom albums. Juan (guitars). Javi (drums) and Angel (vocals) introduce the band to NCS’ readers in this in-depth interview. Continue reading »

Jul 272023

(Next month Hammerheart Records will release a new album by the Finnish death-doom metal band Asphodelus, and that impending event led Comrade Aleks to contact the band for the interview that we now present.)

It’s an interesting coincidence – the last interview I completed was the interview with Temple of Dread, whose new album Beyond the Acheron (which will be out on August 11th via Testimony Records) touches themes of Ancient Greek mythology. And the new album of Asphodelus, Sculpting from Time (out on August 25th through Hammerheart Records) deals with similar topics as well. But this is the only similarity between the bands, as Temple of Dread performs their own original death metal and Asphodelus are into very obscure death-doom with gothic flavours and the taste of the early ’90s.

So Asphodelus was born from Cemetery Fog, founded in 2012 in Finnish Hamina. Sculpting from Time is Asphodelus’ second full-length work, and naturally it’s the most mature material they have ever released. The main feature of these songs is a true sense of old school death-doom with an authentic vibe of “cloudy” Tiamat and a mix of a straight-in-your-face approach with atmospheric melodies.

Sculpting from Time sounds like a tape lost in 1993 and found nowadays, mastered, mixed anew, and served a bit raw. Here you’ll find out more about the band and their forthcoming release.

(Thanks to Marianne Aarts, Hammerheart Records, for organizing the interview.) Continue reading »

Jul 182023

(Temple of Dread‘s new album Beyond Acheron, which features artwork by Paolo Girardi, is set for release in August by Testimony Records. Over time we’ve appreciatively written about their music on several occasions, and even premiered their last album, and today Comrade Aleks joins in, with an engaging interview of guitarist/bassist Markus Bünnemeyer.)

German death metal band Temple of Dread is another unit well-known to NCS’ readers. The trio of Markus Bünnemeyer (guitars, bass), Jörg Uken (drums) and Jens Finger (vocals) shoot out albums one after another regularly, so if you skipped their first release Blood Craving Mantras (2019) then you probably heard World Sacrifice (2020) or Hades Unleashed (2021). As good as these albums were, the new one Beyond Acheron is stronger, darker, and sometimes even more epic.

Temple of Dread’s fourth album will be officially released on August 11th by Testimony Records, but we used our chance to get in touch with the band right now.

(Thanks to Jan, SureShotWorx PR, for organizing the interview.) Continue reading »

Jul 172023

(Today we have a discussion among two Russians, our interviewer Comrade Aleks and the frontman of the death metal torturers Cenobite, whose newest album was unshackled in late May.)

I interviewed Kostek Dolganov, who performs bass and vocals in the Russian old-school death metal band Cenobite, just two years ago. Despite all odds the band and their label Svanrenne Music prepared a new full-length album which naturally surpassed the debut Dark Dimension we discussed the last time.

Fans of savage and violent death metal rooted in the legacy of Obituary, Entombed, Autopsy and Asphyx will like their stuff, so let’s take a look at what the label tells about the album:

Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience is the wheel of suffering, tightly fitted with chains to a bent figure, creates the impression of inevitability, fate, overcoming. The band continues the tradition of the debut album, composing the worst anthems of old school death metal, sustained in the mystical atmosphere of a frightening empty basement of cold torture. Where chains ring, bones rattle, drafts blow, and martyrs are awaiting their fate in mud and blood… in anticipation of the torment of the flesh and exploration of the limits of terrible experience”.

It sounds a bit blurred, so let’s investigate a bit more about Torment Your Flesh and Explore the Limits of Experience with Cenobite’s chief. Continue reading »

Jul 122023

(If you’re a death metal fan and you haven’t yet heard The Grifted‘s new album, released in April by Personal Records, you have some excellent listening ahead of you, and you’ll probably be even more interested after you read Comrade Aleks‘ excellent interview with guitarist Stefan Lagergren.)

NCS’ constant followers will remember The Grifted‘s track premiere in March (here). This absolutely classic sounding death metal band from Stockholm drew our attention not only with the killer single “The Maggots Feast” and their debut album Doomsday & Salvation itself, but also with heir shockingly civilized image, very organic and impressive.

The Grifted was founded in 2020 technically, but it’s the renamed version of the Mr. Death collective which used to record two proper full-lengths works and two EPs in a period from 2007 to 2020. Moreover, Juck Thullberg (bass) and Stefan Lagergren (guitars) were founders of the pre-Tiamat band Treblinka and took part in recording of Tiamat’s debut Sumerian Cry (1990).

And it’s right to note what their colleagues Jonas Ohlsson (drums), Jocke Lindström (vocals), and Staffan Skoglund (guitars) certainly know a few things about how to turn everything upside down and unleash the sheer death metal madness upon our doomed world.

This interview should have been done earlier, and I kept it on my mind for almost four months, so I invite you to join our conversation with Stefan Lagergren with a sense of relief and the feeling that the right thing is done. (And thanks to Nathan Birk, Suspicious Activities PR, for organizing this interview.) Continue reading »

Jul 052023

(Comrade Aleks admits that he has a tough time getting into death metal, but he has succumbed to the rough charms of Scotland’s Coffin Mulch, and you’ll get a sense why when you read his interview with the band’s vocalist Al today. The interview was conducted before Memento Mori‘s release of their debut album, which happened just a few days ago.)

Members of the Scottish death band Coffin Mulch played anything but death in their old days. The band’s bass-player Rich was doing traditional doom, new guitarist Derek (who joined in 2022) plays stoner still, drummer Fraser is in a sludge band, and vocalist Al sang in a couple of local bands too. But for five years now they have been cutting furious, sophisticated, and charged death metal with psychotic enthusiasm.

Spectral Intercession is their first full-length album, but even before that, the band did not sit idly and released a demo, and then a damn good EP. Coffin Mulch will enchant fans of old fashioned Swedish death metal and bands like Autopsy and Asphyx. Their focus, their passion, and their punk DIY vibe impress as well, and so I, a person who has a hard time getting into the cadaverous charm of death metal, strongly recommend you Spectral Intercession.

This killer interview with Al is another reason to pay attention to Coffin Mulch. (We thank Nathan Birk (Suspicious Activities PR) for organizing the interview.) Continue reading »