Aug 292023

(Andy Synn rekindles his long-standing love affair with Canada’s Cryptopsy)

It’s an unfortunate truism that life often forces us to make difficult choices.

Paper or plastic? Ketchup or mustard? Which one of your children would you save in a house fire…

Ok, so that last one is (thankfully) much more rare, but my point is that some decisions often seem impossible.

Case in point, next week sees the release of new albums from two of Death Metal’s heaviest hitters and techiest titans, aka Dying Fetus and Cryptopsy.

But chances are I’m only going to get chance to write about one of them prior to their shared release date.

Of course, the more perceptive amongst you may have already worked out which record I chose to cover, but I want you to know, all the same, that the decision wasn’t easy…

Continue reading »

Jul 082023

I don’t work regular hours for my “day job” (in quotes because it can require night hours too, because it’s irregular). The upside is that it usually gives me time for NCS in the early part of the day when I do most of what I do around here. The downside is that it sometimes inserts itself unexpectedly, like on a Saturday morning of all fucking times, which is what happened to me today, never mind that it’s also my birthday (please hold your applause).

So, getting a late start on this roundup means it’s not as fulsome as it should be. I was able to manage more than two songs (which was the sum total of what yesterday’s roundup provided), but not many more. But they’re good ones!


Cryptopsy are one of those bands that I think all of the steady contributors to our site have enjoyed for a long time (at least I can speak for myself, DGR, and Mr. Synn). So the news of a new Cryptopsy album and song popped up in our secret discussions very quickly. So that’s where we’ll start… with the video for that new song, “In Abeyance” (especially because it gives us a chance to show off some more of Paolo Girardi‘s artwork at the top of the page). Continue reading »

Jan 042019

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

Nov 282018


(Despite having spent last night in Nottingham running a gauntlet of especially vigorous sonic punishment, our Andy Synn still had sufficient remaining wits about him to deliver this report of the event, with video documentation of the beatings.)

Those of you who know me well, and probably some of those who barely know me at all, will be aware of my general distaste for the whole “brotherhood of Metal” shtick that frequently gets bandied about by certain publications.

Don’t get me wrong, the power of music to bring people together and unite them behind a common cause, a common feeling, still astounds me at times, but the whole cliché about Metal being a “brotherhood” is one that’s too often deployed as a disingenuous disguise for arrogant elitism or a flimsy excuse for chasing the lowest common denominator (and, occasionally, both at the same time).

Still, there are times when even my well-documented cynicism has to be put on hold, and the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and positive energy of last night’s show was certainly one such occasion. Continue reading »

Oct 242018


(Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Cryptopsy, which is set to drop this Friday, October 26th.)

So I didn’t intend for this week to be some sort of “Seven Days of Tech Death”-style celebration, but considering that on Saturday I published an interview with James Malone from Arsis, on Monday my reviews of the new Beyond Creation and Gorod albums went up, and I already have a suitably tech-tastic edition of The Synn Report lined up for Friday… well, it looks like things have ended up that way regardless.

So, I thought to myself, why not stick with this trend and pen a few thoughts about the soon-to-be-released new EP from those stalwart sons of Canadian darkness, Cryptopsy? Continue reading »

Oct 172018


Cryptopsy tell you to “Fear His Displeasure“, but if you want to know what real fear is, take a turn in a Cryptopsy mosh pit. Those of us who’ve seen Cryptopsy live over the last few years have witnessed the spectacle of the band (metaphorically speaking) regularly injecting their audience into a cyclotron, quickly spinning it up to extravagant speeds, and then smashing it apart so that all the occupants go careening into a roiling mass of human wreckage.

It turns out, however, that it’s almost as much fun to watch the band (or in this case, two of the members) without an audience, standing against a black backdrop, displaying the mechanics of what they do to create such bruising, bone-breaking, blood-spraying mayhem in a live setting. What we’re talking about is a new play-through video that we’re happily premiering today, which features Cryptopsy guitarist Chris Donaldson and bassist Olivier Pinard performing their parts of “Fear His Displeasure” off the band’s new record The Book of Suffering – Tome II. Continue reading »

May 242017


(Andy Synn (and other fiends here at NCS) is attending Maryland Deathfest XV, which begins a bit later this week, and here he names the five bands whose performances are highest on his list.)

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a little event called “Maryland Deathfest” happening this week, and I’m lucky enough to be attending for the second year in a row.

As a result, my contributions to NCS are going to be somewhat… minimal… until next week (though I do have a little something blast-tastic lined up for Friday for you all), while I do my best to develop and nurse a cumulative five-day hangover/bangover.

In recognition of this momentous occasion, however, I thought I’d put together a quick list of the five bands I’m most looking forward to seeing at MDF this year – although thinning it down to only five definitely wasn’t easy! Continue reading »

Dec 112015

NCS Best of 2015 graphic


(So far, our year-end LISTMANIA series has mostly been devoted to year-end lists from other sites and print zines, but today we begin rolling out our own lists, and we start with the first of six that Andy Synn is preparing. Every day next week we’ll post his remaining five.)


Such is the chaos that is my life at the moment (in between trying to get my End of Year List/s done, I’ve also been putting together a PhD proposal/application, booking a photo shoot for Beyond Grace, TRYING to book shows for next year for us, and helping some good friends move house) that I almost forgot about my annual semi-traditional round-up of all the great EPs I’ve heard this year!

Yes, yes, I know there are several bloggers and/or sites out there who argue that EPs should be considered right alongside full-length albums when it comes to summing up matters at the end of the year… but I’m not one of them.

No, I think EPs deserve their own category, and their own specific focus, and so I’ve written this little round-up to give some of the year’s shortest, sharpest, releases their due. Continue reading »

Dec 092015

Cannibal Corpse tour


Here’s a round-up of news, new album artwork, and a couple of new songs I spotted over the last 24 hours.


We’ll start with some tourism news: Yesterday it was announced that Cannibal Corpse will be headlining a big North American tour that begins on February 12 and runs through March 20. And the direct support for the tour is pretty eye-popping: Obituary, Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn will be along for the ride.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 11, at local and national ticket outlets. Here’s the schedule, which I copied and pasted from Blabbermouth: Continue reading »

Sep 282015



(DGR steps up for round-up duty, and he prepared a really big round-up, so big that your humble editor decided to divide it into two parts.)

In case you missed it, Friday was a kind of slow date for the site. We’ve had times like this before, where various outside influences conspire to make sure that we post with the speed at which animals are able to escape the La Brea Tar Pits. That doesn’t mean we weren’t up here in space, lookin’ down on you and keeping track of various rumblings going throughout the web.

I’ve gathered together eight fairly recent developments in the heavy metal world for you all to enjoy. As usual, I’ve tried to catch stuff that has flown under the radar and mix it in with a few things that have likely made a big splash across the web already. This collection of stories covers a pretty good swath of the globe in terms of distance but has a foot heavily planted in the death metal and doom metal realms, making a few labored grasps to the outside genre world.


In case you missed it, we here at NCS have a bit of a soft spot for the melo-doom band Enshine and all their related shenanigans. The group recently allowed us to premiere their song “Adrift”, and that song was an awesome teaser of things to come for the group’s upcoming album Singularity. Recently, Enshine uploaded another song to the web in the form of “Resurgence” and boy, in NCS parlance, is it a doozy. Continue reading »