Feb 072018


(After an absence of more than two years, our old comrade deckard cain has returned to NCS with a guest review of the fourth album by the Swedish band Agrimonia, which was released by Southern Lord on January 26th.)


In an Old English medical manuscript, ‘Agrimonia’ was cited as an herb, a panacea for all supposed ailments.

‘If it be leyd under mann’s heed,
He shal sleepyn as he were deed;
He shal never drede ne wakyn
Till fro under his heed it be takyn.’

Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish Death Metal paints quite a vivid picture of the country’s trajectory into death metal haven, the first chapter of which is dedicated entirely to hardcore punk and its variants. The gradual shift from heavy metal to speed/power to thrash metal might as well have been wholly discarded in favour for a much more two-way exchange between hardcore and death metal.

There are exceptions to this, of course, but for the sake of brevity one cannot dissociate one from the other. Most of the now seminal Swedish death metal bands had a background in hardcore punk and crust, and one cannot miss the clear crossover spirit that so pervades the earlier releases of said bands. So, the Swedish lineage may be considered a tad different from other strains. Continue reading »

Dec 312015


deckard cain YE list


(After quite an absence, our old comrade deckard cain rejoins us with a list of his favorites — both metal and not-metal — from 2015.)

And yet another year of death, destruction, and hopelessness has come to pass. Religion still culls by the thousands, earthquakes still shake people’s idea of reality, capitalism and poverty are still in vogue, guns have turned into mouthpieces, digital connectivity is constantly separating man from himself. No longer do we have communities nor are we individuals, just a floating image of what could have been on somebody’s idea of a mirror. The Damocles sword no longer hangs over our heads, it is recast into the guillotine that falls ever so swiftly, upon our neutered minds.

Paranoia will consume us before the source from where it stems does……

And here, solace is only found in the darkest of places… in that very form of music that finds its essence in the throes of realism. Continue reading »

Dec 192014

(We welcome our old friend deckard cain back to the site. He brings us his list of the 50(ish) best albums of 2014, listed in no particular order, despite the appearance of numbers.)

Greetings brethren!

And yet another morbid year turns to dust, leaving only ashes in its wake. Dread sells on the television, nations bathe in the crudity of oil, religions find legitimacy through violence, virus and vermin swing the scythe ever so swiftly, and the world inches ever forward to becoming an all encompassing panopticon.

Our lives are doomed. But there is beauty in doom. And music in all its glorious manifestations (let alone metal) keeps our sanity at bay. 2015 was good for metal. And so shall it be with each passing year. More doom equates to more room, nay more cause for metal to remain relevant.

Imagine. Several years from now, as humanity is laid decimated or completely brought to naught, an alien species lands and scours the land for the remnants of a civilization that once was. They find amidst the rubble of a once glorious city, caked in the dust of the preceding eons, a curious looking circular disc. With the words etched, stark in their prophetic reach, “The Dead of the World”.

And with that I start the first entry in my list. Continue reading »