Mar 282015


I’m back at the NCS compound in the vicinity of Seattle after a month away from home, and it sure as hell was good to sleep in my own bed again last night, with the lice who know me instead of the strange ones inhabiting my hotel room mattress. I’d say they’ll miss me, but I probably brought a few of them home with me as hitchhikers.

Well, enough about me and my parasites. I found some videos that came out yesterday that I thought were cool. Without further ado, here they are, presented in alphabetical order; there’s also an exciting tour announcement in here:


A couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of premiering a song named “Miscreants” by the Dutch death metal band Apophys (whose ranks include members of God Dethroned, Prostitute Disfigurement, Detonation, and Toxocara, among others). Their debut album Prime Incursion will be discharged by Metal Blade next month. And what I spied yesterday was the premiere on Gear Gods of a play-through video for another new song named “The Antidote”. According to the band,

“The song tells a story of humanity’s ultimate cure for itself, a final solution as people start to transform into beings that are focused on nothing other than consumption. This gives it a twist one could see relevant to our current society. Eventually the urge to consume backfires resulting in humanity consuming itself and thus, providing the answer to the final problem; us.” Continue reading »

Dec 112014


I’m really backlogged in listening to new music, and the list of things worth checking out grows on a daily basis. Last night I did manage to sift through part of my collection of enticing links and found this quintet of tracks that I thought were worth throwing your way. Diversity is again the organizing principle.


The UK’s Ethereal, about whom we’ve written frequently in the past, have been signed by Candlelight Records, and the first release for their new label will be an album entitled Opus Aethereum (due in February 2015). The very cool cover art for the album is above and was rendered by Tripple Seis Design.

But the first song in this collection isn’t from the new album. It’s a cover of Darkthrone’s “Fucked Up and Ready To Die” from 2003’s Hate Them. Ethereal recorded it for a Darkthrone tribute album named One Cold Night In Norway, which will be released as a free download through Speed Slaughter Productions on December 13. Ethereal recently uploaded their cover to YouTube, and it’s excellent — dark, ravenous, brooding in its atmospherics, heavy as granite yet ghostly in its void-faring journey — and ultimately a swarming assault on the senses. Continue reading »

Jul 032014

We were early supporters of Death Grips, and have written about them repeatedly since the beginning. They were “metal”, even though they weren’t metal. They’ve always gone their own way, not only in their unusual approach to making music but also in refusing to conform to expected behavior in the music industry (remember when they gave a big FUCK YOU to the Epic/Columbia label by releasing No Love Deep Web for free download in advance of the label’s official release?). And now they’ve done it again — disbanding at the height of their popularity, with an announcement late yesterday that was just as unexpected as the timing of their album releases.

Above is a photo of a farewell note that they posted on their FB page. It promises one last double-album later this year. Many bands have announced their break-ups only to resurrect themselves later. I don’t think this band will do that. Here’s the text of the hand-scrawled note:

“we are now at our best and so Death Grips is over. we have officially stopped. all currently scheduled live dates are canceled. our upcoming double album “the powers that b” will still be delivered worldwide later this year via Harvest/Third Worlds Records. Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision. above and beyond a “band”. to our truest fans, please stay legend.”  Continue reading »

Jun 092014

Here are four startling new events that happened over the weekend.


Death Grips released the first half of a new album last night. As is their want, there was no advance notice, or at least none that I saw. The name is niggas on the moon. It’s 8 tracks long, it’s streaming in full on Soundcloud and YouTube, and it’s free to download. And all 8 songs feature Björk. Seriously.

The band’s announcement says this 8-song release is the first half of a double album, the name of which is the powers that b. They say it will be released later this year on Harvest/Third Worlds Records.

I haven’t started listening to the music as I write this on a Sunday night, so I’ll save any thoughts about it for a later update. Or maybe someone else around here will provide some thoughts. I’m expecting weirdness.

To download the music, click this link:

Stream it below. Continue reading »

Apr 042014

(NCS guest contributor Leperkahn decided that for a school project he was going to spend a week without metal. He received a lot of suggestions from our readers, and this is his report on Day 4 of the experiment.)

Very early on in my music listening career, I was very much into rap. Part of it might have been the combination of the ease of access to it (all I had to do was go to the Top 100 iTunes songs chart to find plenty of stuff for my young ears) with the misguided idea that girls had “cooties” or something, and that listening to other types of pop would make me “girly”. In hindsight, I want to slap my former self for ever thinking like that, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was the way I thought once.

Nevertheless, I used to be mostly a rap fan (specifically the popular stuff). That all changed when I first picked up, played, and became obsessed with Guitar Hero III (maybe as a third or fourth grader; I’m not in the mood to calculate when exactly it would have been). That elucidated to me the wonders of classic rock, and sent me on a decade-long tailspin that has landed me here, deeply entrenched in the metal underground.

When I began to get more immersed into rock, and especially once I found heavier metal, I began to swear off all types of rap, perhaps in realization of how awful my music taste once was. Honestly, I hadn’t even tried to look into rap for years, until this project hit. Continue reading »

Feb 142014

This has been one hell of a week for new songs and videos. I have a list of good new things as long as my… arm… and although I’ve been doing my best to round up the best of what I’ve noticed, I’m still coming up… short. Although I won’t be able to cover everything before the week ends, I do have this one final collection of head-wreckers. Happy Valentine’s Day motherfuckers. If you’re sad about being alone on V-Day, just gaze into the eyes of that cat, and remember… we love you.


Heathen — the forthcoming album by Thou from Baton Rouge, Louisiana — is on my list of highly anticipated 2014 releases.  It is due to arrive from Gilead Media on March 25 and is now available for pre-order here. I discovered this morning that while I wait for that apocalyptic monstrosity, I will have something else from Thou to while away the hours. Specifically, Thou have made available for free on Bandcamp a compilation entitled Ceremonies of Humiliation. It collects all of the band’s musical output from split releases prior to the release of 2010’s Summit.

Ceremonies of Humiliation will also be released as a triple-LP set, though I haven’t yet seen a projected release for that. After the jump, you can gaze upon the Ceremonies cover and stream the entire collection. There is no love in it. Continue reading »

Nov 132013

Death Grips still takes the prize for not metal, but metal. And without warning they’ve just dropped a new album, for free download of course, entitled Government Plates.

But that’s not all. All at once they’ve also uploaded a flood of new videos, one for  each of the 11 new songs. That’s right — a new album and 11 new videos within the space of an hour. No fucking around.

It’s all so much, so fast, that I haven’t had time to process it yet. I’m just getting the word out there. A review may, or may not, come later.

After the jump you’ll find a full stream of the album and all the videos. Click THIS or THIS to download Government Plates (these are links provided by the band, though I can’t promise they will work at the moment). Continue reading »

Aug 222013

“Birds” is the name of a new Death Grips jam that came out of nowhere this morning. It’s a free download. If you click this link, the download will start immediately:


If you’re the cautious type, you may want to hear it before you download. You can do that after the jump.

If you wonder why this metal blog has been on the now-crowded Death Grips train since early days, it’s because we drank this bleach. It goes big.




FUCK YOU Continue reading »

Mar 042013

(I bet you thought we’d finished our 2012 Listmania series. Think again. BadWolf brings us one more list.)

Three months into 2013, here’s another top 10 about 2012. These are my favorite articles to write every year, and also the most difficult. 2012 in particular was a musical gauntlet. The more promos we get here at NCS and at the other sites I write for, the more metal I listen to, the more I need non-metal records to give myself a break. It’s an infinite feedback loop.

I thought this would be an easy article. So many of my favorite artists in my favorite genres released albums in 2012 that I anticipated the article would write itself. Needless to say, things did not turn out that way. Old favorites like Marillion and Titus Andronicus released middle-of-the-road records. At the same time, I developed a tremendous appetite for hip-hop. One version of this list was entirely populated by rappers, which would have necessitated another top 10 list.

Also, so many metal labels released more-or-less rock records that I debated including them. In the end I opted not to: you know who Graveyard are, and they don’t need me for a cheerleader (seriously, though—listen to Graveyard).

In the end, these ten albums made the cut more-or-less based on play counts alone. They all share certain qualities with my favorite metal albums: intense sound, aggressive or melancholy delivery, vocals. You could call those things the core of my taste. Perhaps they’re also at the core of yours. Continue reading »

Jan 142013


(NCS writer BadWolf was in the audience when Death Grips played Detroit last November, and he provides the following report.  The very cool photos accompanying this review were taken by BadWolf’s partner in crime, Nicholas Vechery.)

This show was a long time coming. I first heard Death Grips almost exactly a year ago to the week as I write this article, and almost instantly the group became something of a personal muse to me—I wasted no time pimping the group here, and later made them the subject of my first article for Stereogum. In 2012 the band released two albums, both excellent, and in between booked-then-cancelled a major summer tour. For better or for worse, 2012 saw MC Ride and drummer Zach Hill ride the popularity wave at its very zenith, leaving many of their loyal fans tumbling in the surf. So when Death Grips booked a second tour, and played Detroit’s Magic Stick on November 19, attendance was mandatory.

I attended the show with photographer Nick Vechery, too late to catch any of the tour’s opening act, genre-bending MC Mykki Blanco. Although Blanco hails from NYC’s now-prominent Brooklyn hip-hop scene, I find his music less appealing than, say, Azalia Banks on her 1991 EP.

Death Grips took the stage just after Vechery and I purchased our beer. Continue reading »