Oct 272020


(Andy Synn is celebrating his decade of writing for NCS with a collection of 10 reviews, one for each year….)

You know what I discovered this weekend?

I’ve now been writing for NCS for ten years.

I know. Mind = blown.

Over the last decade I’ve had several different jobs, moved house multiple times, and seen various relationships – both good and bad – come and go. But NCS has consistently been one of the few constants in my life which has helped keep me going through thick and thin.

So I want to say thank you. Thank you to all the bands for all the great music over the years. Thank you to all the readers and commenters (the good ones anyway) for all the kind words, “witty” banter, and support. Thank you to the rest of the core NCS crew, for always having my back (even if/when they disagree with what I’ve written, which inevitably makes them wrong and me right).

And thank you most of all to Islander for allowing me to become a part of the site. Hopefully one day you’ll finally understand just how much you’ve helped change my life.

Anyway, in honour of this momentous occasion I’ve picked out ten albums – one from each year I’ve been writing here, including this year – which I overlooked when they first came out. Continue reading »

Sep 112015

Black Breath-Slaves Beyond Death


(Leperkahn steps forward to shoulder round-up duty — and there have been so many noteworthy new songs over the last few days that he’s stepping forward with a three-part post, to which Austin Weber and your humble editor will also be adding a fourth and maybe a fifth before we’re done today.)

I’ve been meaning to get an album review out at some point (don’t have anything written currently, though I will say that you should go and preorder Horrendous’s upcoming album Anareta immediately if you know what’s good for you), but in the meantime an ungodly amount of new tidbits turned up on the web in the last couple days.

Considering that Islander is slaving away in Anchorage for however long his reptilian overlords command him to, I figure I’d take another stab at covering a few of them – and by a few, I mean fifteen. For your sanity (and perhaps mine, though that might be a lost cause), I’ve divided it up into three posts. We’ll go alphabetically, since there’s way too much stuff for me to want to find any other type of pattern. Continue reading »

Mar 312013

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Tampa’s Dark Sermon.)

Metalcore is a pretty dead venue for the most part at this point.  When the majority of a genre has resorted to knocking off elements from djent in order to maintain any credibility, you know your style is knee-deep in irrelevancy.  That’s why I’m surprised by the debut of Dark Sermon, called In Tongues.

Dark Sermon are a sinister, ravaging band.  Heavy influence taken from The Black Dahlia Murder, Bleeding Through, and At the Gates manifests itself in a sound that definitely comes off more early/mid 2000’s.  The riffs are technical, dark, and draped in an old-school Swedish overcoat, drawing strength from the darker melodic bands of that scene, such as the aforementioned At the Gates, old Arch Enemy, and even Carcass.  The vocals of frontman Johnny Crowder fall between a John Pettibone (of Himsa fame) bark and Trevor Strnad-styled high-pitched shrieks.

“The Shepard’s Staff” wastes no time in establishing the modus operandi of these guys: pedal-point riffing in the Gothenburg tradition accompanied by artillery fire in the form of blast beats and over-saturations of double bass. Continue reading »