Feb 252017


This completes a new-music round-up I started early yesterday with Part 1 and a big Part 2. This concluding installment is pretty big, too.


Al-Namrood is an anti-religious Saudi Arabian black metal band, which has to be a dangerous way for them to spend their time. The first and last time I wrote about them was in 2012 when their third album Kitab Al-Awthan was on the brink of release. Now their sixth album is due for release on CD and vinyl by Shaytan Production on May 16. Its name is Enkar. Continue reading »

Jan 292017


I have a large collection of recent releases or advance tracks to recommend, all of them within the ever-widening spectrum of black metal or reflecting to varying degrees the influence of black metal. I’ve divided the collection into two parts. I haven’t written the second one yet, so I’m not sure if I’ll be posting it today or on Monday.


Formed in Reykjavík back in 2013, Misþyrming (Icelandic for “abuse” or “mistreatment“) was originally the solo project of multi-instrumentalist D.G., but eventually expanded into a full band as a result of D.G.’s desire to perform Misþyrming’s music in a live setting. The band shares members with Naðra and Carpe Noctem, and D.G. is also a member of Martröð and Skáphe. Continue reading »

Mar 032010

Aealo, the 10th full-length offering from Greek extreme metal band Rotting Christ, is by far the most interesting listening experience we’ve encountered to date in 2010. It’s a coherent compilation of lush, passionate, densely layered songs that establishes a new milepost in Rotting Christ’s fascinating musical evolution. When the year ends, something tells us this album will still be in the forefront of our memory.

Thematically, Aealo is organized around concepts of battle, destruction, death, and mourning. And in exploring those subjects, songwriter (and vocalist/guitarist) Sakis Tolis has tapped into ancient Hellenic culture and events. More than any other Rotting Christ production, Aealo incorporates the sounds, rich musical traditions, and mythic history of the band’s homeland.

It accomplishes this feat in part by the use of guest artists, including a female choir from Ipiros called Pilades, Greek-American performance artist Diamanda Galas, and musicians from Greek pagan folk band Daemonia Nymphe. But while incorporating the sounds and ancient musical traditions of their homeland, Rotting Christ have not forsaken the powerful, signature style of their previous discography. Aealo is an intensely emotional and wholly remarkable blend of traditions, and we venture to say the result is like nothing else you will hear this year.  (read more after the jump, and listen to a track from Aealo . . .) Continue reading »

Jan 192010

There are some bands we dig so much that just about anything they do becomes newsworthy on NCS. Rotting Christ is one of those bands. Their last album, 2007’s Theogonia, has become an old friend that we visit on a monthly basis, and we’ve been salivating over the prospect of their new release scheduled for February. It will be called Aealo, and we’ve now learned that audio samples of all the tracks are currently available for streaming on Amazon.fr.  You can also find samples from Aealo mixed in with Rotting Christ tracks from older albums at Amazon.com.

Even though all you can hear is about 30 random seconds per track, it’s enough to increase the salivation to embarrassing proportions. And the samples are really intriguing at the same time — they make clear that Aealo isn’t just a Theogonia clone (though that would have been just fine with me). The most startingly difference is in the appearance of guest vocalist, Greek-American Diamanda Galas, an avant-garde performance artist, vocalist, keyboardist, and composer. Rotting Christ hasn’t been a pure black metal band for a while, and it sounds like Aealo is going to carry it even further away.

Due on February 15 in Europe and February 23 in the U.S. via Season of the Mist, the CD will also feature a guest appearance by Alan Nemtheanga from Irish black metal band Primordial. It’s going to be interesting to see what influence he has on the album. (Note to self: One of these days we have to write about Primordial!)

According to a press release, Aealo will delve deeper into Rotting Christ’s Greek roots (and that’s really evident in the samples that include Galas’s vocals). The band’s guitarist and vocalist Sakis Tolis explains: “Aealo is the transcription of an ancient Greek word into the Latin alphabet. It means thrashing, catastrophe or destruction and reflects the musical and lyrical content of the album.”

Regarding the musical direction of the new album, Nemtheanga said, “It sounds classic Rotting Christ although it sees them continue where they left off with Theogonia, further away from the older ‘satanic’ feel and more into the realm of the ancient Greek gods, mythology and folklore.”

If you’re not familiar with Rotting Christ, here’s a sample from Theogonia:

Rotting Christ: Nemecic