Aug 292022


(This is Wil Cifer‘s review of the new album by Britain’s Conan, released earlier this month by Napalm Records.)

Conan the Barbarian from Cimmeria is one of my favorite fictional characters, so a band named after him did not sit well, nor would I want a band called Bruce Banner or Frankenstein’s Monster sitting in my iPod. This set my mind against this British band when I checked out their first album. It felt like burly but otherwise nondescript sludge that did not impress me. Now, four albums worth of time has passed and I have put that behind me and was ready to listen to their newest album objectively.

It carries a great deal of thundering thump that resonates with more sonic heaviness than their first album. The vocals are howled with more conviction. Often labelled as doom, rather than a depressed plod, they lunge into an aggressive tempo for “Levitation Hoax” , and have a rawer, more sludged-out apocalyptic darkness to their sound. They even delve into more traditional, almost modern metal, grooves on songs like “Ritual of Anonymity” to create a flowing pulse of menace. “Equilibrium of Mankind” has a heavier weight to its throb. The tempo is less aggressive than the previous song. Continue reading »

Jul 152022

Today’s compilation presents a deluge of new songs and videos, so grab a life-preserver while there’s still time. You should probably continue wearing it, because I have plans for channeling another deluge tomorrow.

To get this done in the time available to me this morning, I’ve again dispensed with most of the cover art and have tried to be brief in my intros. But I did try to organize what’s coming in blocks of sound that companionably fit together, even though the blocks themselves collide with each other.


I must begin with the new song and video from Conan (really, as an addict of this band I had no choice). Continue reading »

Oct 302021

I know I sound like a broken record, but this past week was a crazy one on all fronts for me, and so I did a piss-poor job keeping up with new metal, largely neglecting the NCS in-box and failing to make the usual list of candidates for round-ups. I did make that list this morning, but it took a ton of time, and I didn’t have much room left to dig very deep into it.

However, I dug deep enough to feel some inspiration about what to include in this compilation. I chose music from two Seattle bands that I happened to see in early live performance by both of them at the same show more than four years ago. I picked two more songs that came with Halloween-themed videos, because of course Halloween is tomorrow. And I chose a curveball to throw at the end.

I had a difficult time figuring out what to use as the opening song for the collection, but eventually settled on the one you’re about to witness, in part because of the video’s setting.

BESNA (Slovakia)

I guess Besna couldn’t find a barren warehouse for their live video for “Fúga“, so they had to make do with the ramparts of an ancient castle called Strečno in northern Slovakia, perched atop a 103-metre-high calcite cliff (it was also the location of a World War II battle between the German army and the Czechoslovak resistance). Continue reading »

Mar 132021


I’m going to indulge myself and let you know what’s recently been going on behind the scenes here at our putrid site before we get to the music below.

As I moaned and bitched about over the last couple of weeks, I have indeed been crushed by a project for my day job. For many days last week I couldn’t do anything but write premieres I had promised to do, and for two of those days I couldn’t even do that. Thankfully, Andy Synn stepped in and did the editing and posting of some things written by others (and by himself) so that the site didn’t go dark.

While consumed by work, I couldn’t even pay much attention to our email or announcements on social media and music-related messages from friends. But the worst part of that project ended yesterday, and I did a little catching up (just a few days’ worth), enough that I made a list of 47 songs and videos to check out (I’m not making that up). Of course I’ve only randomly jumped around in that list. I’ll probably never get to the rest of it, much less everything else that came out while I was missing in action. From that random darting around I picked the following songs and videos. Continue reading »

Aug 272020


(Earlier this year the Heavy Psych Sounds label announced a series of splits called Doom Sessions, and Volume I (released in mid-July) featured songs by the UK’s Conan and Italy’s Deadsmoke. This prompted Comrade Aleks to reach out to the label and the bands with a few questions, and we present the results today, along with music from the split.)

It’s important to keep some unity during this shitty time. Paradise Lost says “Faith divides us, Death unites us”, but indeed there’s a damn lot of things which divide us – politics, Covid, politics again, etc. Split albums always offer this sense of unity inside the heavy scene, and here we have one.

As Heavy Psych Sounds Records have launched a series of splits entitled Doom Sessions, I made the decision to support it with such short interviews as you’ll find below. Doom Sessions first edition includes songs from the almighty crushing Conan (UK) and their younger sludgy brothers Deadsmoke (Italy). A few words from the label’s founder Gabriel Fiori (Black Rainbows band) clarify a few details about this series as well. Continue reading »

Jan 092019


As old-timers among the followers of our site will remember, I have a habit of grouping songs in the rollout of these lists in a way that makes sense to me. Part of the fun is in pairing up tracks that sound made for each other, sometimes because they share genre characteristics and sometimes because the flow of the mood just seems right. I had the feeling that combining the two tracks in this installment would be a good call — but you be the judge of that. I’ll add that both tracks were initially released with videos that I quite enjoyed; the first one in particular was one of the best of last year, in my humble opinion.

I should mention that if you happen to be encountering this series for the first time, you can go here to find out what it’s all about.


Many metal bands have come up with unique descriptors for their own music rather than rely on conventional genre terms. Most of them are simply clever (or not very clever) marketing tools rather than labels that have any meaningful connection to the music itself. But Conan’s name for their own brand of sound couldn’t be more perfect: “Caveman Battle Doom”. And I happen to have a crippling weakness for those sounds, perhaps because the music itself is so crippling. Continue reading »

Jul 312018


As you can see, I have enough new songs and videos I’d like to recommend that I’ve divided them into two parts. I thought the first three in Part 1 belonged together because they all rock, albeit in very different ways. The first two are explosive, the third one crushes, and although the fourth one blasts instead of rocks, it reconnects with the energy of the first two and rockets it into the clouds.


Our reviewer proclaimed Cobra Speed Venom as the best album by The Crown since the pinnacle of their career (which he identified as Possessed 13), and perhaps their best album, period, with the band “displaying a reckless sense of abandon” while putting “a lot of emphasis on fist-pumping anthemic melody”.

I also loved the album, and the song that’s the subject of the band’s new video is probably might favorite of all the tremendous ones to be found within Cobra Speed Venom. Continue reading »

Jan 302017


We’re down to the penultimate day for the rollout of our 2016 Most Infectious Song list. I’m in a bit of a panic, because I’m having so much trouble deciding how to end it. There are still so many songs that I feel are deserving of a place on the list, but it also seems awkward to continue a 2016 list of any kind past the first month of the new year.

And I suppose I should remind you that because I have so much difficulty as a list-maker, I didn’t have the list completed when I began the rollout, and to an extent, I’ve been making it up as I go along. That’s why tomorrow’s ending is arbitrary, and why there is a degree of randomness in what’s on the list and what isn’t. What’s not random is my conviction that all the songs I’ve picked are worthy of the awards.


I ask you, if you can’t make an exception to our Rule about singing for the likes of Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund, Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnaes, and Kristoffer Rygg, then who could justify an exception? Continue reading »

Dec 112015



They look so friendly, don’t they? Sitting there in front of that wall of green as if they hadn’t a care in the world. But once they put their game faces on, crank the power, and begin dropping riffs and drum beats as big as meteor strikes, it’s a different story.

I’m a relative latecomer to Conan. What really sold me was their performance at last May’s Maryland Deathfest. It may have been the heaviest set I saw at the whole festival. I certainly can’t remember any other band that delivered a more pulverizing performance. By the time they finished, I think I had something like the concert-goer’s version of PTSD. My teeth vibrate just thinking about it again.

They’ve called their music “Caveman Battle Doom”, and they’re right in this sense — Conan’s music exerts a primal appeal, as if they’ve figured out how to wake up elements of our DNA that have been dormant since the last ice age. Their new album is named Revengeance, and it’s set for release on January 29 by Napalm Records. Today we bring you the premiere of a lyric video for the album’s title track. Continue reading »

Dec 052015



Infernal greetings to one and all on this fine Saturday. Once again I’ve assembled a playlist of especially impressive new songs from among those I heard over the last 24 hours. I hope you like them.


This first song has appeared under mysterious circumstances. I learned of it from Grant Skelton, who learned of it from someone else and then passed the link on to me. It appears to be the title track to Revengeance, the third album by Conan from the UK, which is set for release on January 29 by Napalm Records. This is Conan‘s first release with producer Chris Fielding on bass and vocals, along with drummer Rich Lewis and founding guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis. Continue reading »