Jul 052017


(Here’s Andy Synn’s review of the new album by Decrepit Birth.)

The ability to make comparisons between bands is a key tool in the modern reviewer’s repertoire.

As long as it isn’t abused and overused, making clear and accurate comparisons between different, but similar/complementary, acts is one of the best ways to put your audience in the right frame of mind prior to listening to a new album, and to attract the attention of potential new listeners (while also giving them some idea of what to expect).

But, although some comparisons are obvious (often painfully so), there are times when you’ll spend hours banging your head against a (metaphorical) brick wall, only to realise that the answer has been right under your nose the whole time.

And that’s exactly what happened to me mid-way through listening to Axis Mundi. Continue reading »

Jun 212017


(DGR once again takes over round-up duty, compiling a selection of nine items for your listening and viewing pleasure, culled from the last week.)


Clearly nobody got the email that we sent out announcing that we would be incredibly busy late last week Northwest Terror Festing, and therefore decided that it would be a good time to flood the heavy metal world with news. You wouldn’t know that by visiting NCS, because we slowed to a crawl, with writers Gorger and Andy Synn coming through as the heroes keeping the fortress guarded whilst the rest of us rotated between drunk and exhausted.

Now, though, DGR has come to collect his dues, so I have compiled a round-up with every single thing that I kept notes on from Thursday of last week ’til now, and I guarantee you that I’ve still missed a handful of things. Still, though, this collection of music videos, lyric videos, and live performance(s) is gigantic in its own right and it is certified NCS “Fresh”, which means it should only mildly smell like rotting beef carcasses.

Abhorrent Decimation – Conspire

When I first saw the artwork by Karmazid for the upcoming Abhorrent Decimation album The Pardoner, I declared that if the music on that disc could be half as cool as the artwork it bore or the concept behind it, then I would be a happy camper. Well, with “Conspire“, Abhorrent Decimation have shown that they are in good standing on that front — releasing a monstrous six-minute brutalizer. 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 »

May 202017



I’m in Austin, Texas, this weekend. I didn’t think I would have time to do any NCS stuff, but did find myself with some time this morning — though not enough time to do much writing. What I’ve done instead is just collect a bunch of new song streams and videos and some basic info about each one.

I might be able to do the same thing tomorrow, but probably not more than that. Hope you find some things to like in the following eclectic collection. Continue reading »

Mar 112016

Death Fortress-Deathless March


(From time to time Andy Synn posts lists of things that come in five’s… and today he writes about five forthcoming albums that have peaked his interest.)

We’re only just over two months into 2016 now, and yet already we’ve seen the release of a host of stellar albums from across the metallic spectrum, including several (Wildernessking and Borknagar, to name but two) which easily ranked amongst my most eagerly anticipated releases of the year.

So now seems like as good a time as any to pick out five other albums which I’ve been waiting on with (not literally) baited breath.

Obviously this isn’t a comprehensive list. In fact I’ve specifically left out any upcoming albums I’ve already heard (Cult of Luna, for example) or which we’ve covered here at NCS recently (Mithras, Schammasch, etc), in favour of five selections a little more personal to me. Continue reading »

Jul 112012

If you made your way through today’s earlier post about the first direct observation of Dark Matter, then you know we now have an official definition of “fuckload”: It’s a number that’s equal to the number of miles in 18 megaparsecs, which is (yes, I finally did the math1,126,656,000,000,000,000,000. Conveniently, that’s about 1.1 sextillion of whatever you’re counting, which is why it makes so much sense to just call it a fuckload.

And today there was a fuckload of news about forthcoming albums, with album art and release dates and such, plus a press release about a hellacious new tour. I don’t have time to write about the entire fuckload of news items, so I’m just going to pick the four that got the most “fuck yeah’s!” in a random survey I did of myself.

The bands in question are: Hooded Menace, Eyeconoclast, Cryptopsy, and Obituary.  And then at the end, I’ve got a new song from Grave’s next album, because we always have to have the musics.


We’ll start this fucker off with Finland’s Hooded Menace. Today it was announced that their first album for Relapse Records, Effigies of Evil, will be released on September 11 (it can be pre-ordered in a variety of formats and bundles here). David D’Andrea did the album cover, which is cool. Relapse describes the album as “combining the grooving riffs of Black Sabbath and early Cathedral with the fire of classic Autopsy and Asphyx”. Fuck yeah. Continue reading »

Jan 162012

I’m almost to the point of buying a Scion car just to express my gratitude to Scion A/V.  Almost.  Unless you’ve been living in a cave (or the loris compound at the NCS Island), you probably know that Scion A/V has been releasing free EPs and videos from badass metal bands.  But they’re doing more than that.

What I just discovered is that Scion A/V has been enlisting certain metal labels to round up a selection of their artists for performances in Los Angeles before live audiences, professionally recording the shows, and then prepping audio of the performances for free download.

The first team-up was with Nuclear Blast, who helped arrange appearances of Exodus, All Shall Perish, Origin, and Decrepit Birth at The Roxy in West Hollywood on November 12 of last year. As of today, the digital album of those live performances has become available for free download. Here’s the track list, which happens to include many of my favorite songs from each band:

1.  Decrepit Birth: “Metatron”
2.  Decrepit Birth: “The Resonance”
3.  Decrepit Birth: “Polarity”
4.  Origin: “Banishing Illusion”
5.  Origin: “Evolution of Extinction”
6.  Origin: “Swarm”
7.  All Shall Perish: “Wage Slaves”
8.  All Shall Perish: “Procession of Ashes”
9.  All Shall Perish: “Gagged, Bound, Shelved and Forgotten”
10. Exodus: “Beyond the Pale”
11. Exodus: “Blacklist”
12. Exodus: “Metal Command”
Continue reading »

Aug 032011

I just saw the news about a new tour beginning at the end of September, and I was so excited it nearly gave me heart failure. Our friends at MetalSucks are sponsoring the 2011 CARNIVAL IS FOREVER NORTH AMERICAN TOUR, headlined by Decapitated and including Decrepit BirthFleshgod Apocalypse, Rings of Saturn, and The Haarp Machine.

For my tastes, that is just a stupendously strong line-up. Though I haven’t yet heard The Haarp Machine, I will now hunt down their music with interest, and as for the rest of the bands, well I’m not going to make reference to boners or cum because that would be inconsistent with my previously expressed opinions on the use of such words in metal writing. I will just say that something wet has happened and I am unable to stand up.

After the jump you can see the schedule. I believe it is a fine schedule, because it includes a stop in Seattle. Continue reading »

Sep 022010

Sometimes you can admire the idea of beauty from afar, even when you have no chance of experiencing it for yourself. It’s a melancholy kind of fantasy. It’s sublime, and it’s wistful at the same time. It makes you wish, for a moment and maybe longer, that you were someone else, in some different place.

We had that moment today. We have that moment almost every day, prompted by one thing or another. But it passes, as it must, because life must go on, and no good comes from pining too long over what might have been.

Today’s moment was provoked by finding out, finally, about where the following metal tour would be stopping in North America. It will be called THE DECIBEL DEFIANCE TOUR 2010. It is a thing of immense and terrible beauty. It features these bands:


The thought of this tour transports us into flights of ecstasy, as if soaring high above the earth with all of creation spread before us for the taking. In other words, for our tastes, it’s the most fucking skull-rattling, ass-kicking, intestinally perforating tour of the fall.

It’s also a very melancholy discovery. For all the flights of mental fancy, it brings us very low. At the end, it’s an excrutiacingly suck-tastic discovery. Can you guess why?  (more whining after the jump, of course . . .) Continue reading »

Aug 242010

This is the second part of a two-part post about the SUMMER SLAUGHTER tour’s performances in Seattle and Portland on August 20 and 21. In Part 1, we gave our impressions about the music and posted photos of about half the bands performing in Seattle.

Today, we have a random assortment of observations about our two days of metal in the Pacific Northwest, plus photos of all the bands at the show in Portland.

None of us here at NCS know what the fuck we’re doing with a camera. We like to justify our ineptitude by telling ourselves it’s just like the DIY ethic of underground metal. We also like to make excuses that divert attention from our complete lack of training, such as the constantly changing or almost non-existent light, the non-stop motion on stage, the distance from which we’re taking the photos, and — most important — the fact that we go to shows to listen to the fucking music, not to take photos, so there’s a limit to how much time we’re going to spend snapping away like a fucking tourist.

But, despite our manifold shortcomings as photojournalists, we think these pics are just barely good enough to share, so we’re sharing them — a lot of them, since 11 bands played in Portland and we didn’t miss out on any of them.  (after the jump . . .) Continue reading »