Apr 252021


Much like yesterday I got a very late start this morning, having enjoyed a long night of virtual carousing with a big group of co-workers at my fucking day job. Like yesterday I thought I’d just pull together a couple of things for this usual Sunday column so I wouldn’t be too late in posting it — and again reconsidered. Just too much stuff I want to share.

This two-part post thus provides a lot to take in. I’m confident that few people will enjoy everything I’ve chosen — though I’m equally confident you’ll find at least something to enjoy if you at least taste-test everything I’m recommending.

I organized this collection by beginning Part 1 with two singles that I thought were great companions for each other and then following them with a stylistically very different EP. Part 2, which I’ll post tomorrow, will include streams of five complete releases that I will only have time to introduce briefly.

DJEVEL (Norway)

Like the cover art for Djevel’s new album Tanker som rir natten, the second advance track released last week is lunar in its atmosphere, a wintry nightside excursion that’s deeply immersive. In its manifold sensations it’s dreamlike, depressive, menacing, and I’d go so far as to say romantic. But it’s as visceral as it is mesmerizing, thanks to Faust’s gripping drum performance (the vibrant timpani-like booming is an especially nice touch) and the warm companionship of the bass, performed by new member Kvitrim (Vemod, Mare), who also handles the harsh vocals. Continue reading »

Jan 312020


(This is Karina Noctum‘s interview of T. Ciekals, the principal creative force behind Djevel and NettleCarrier. The focus of the discussion is Djevel, whose most recent album was released last October by Aftermath Records, but the conversation includes news about both bands, as well as a third one, Ritual Death.)

On the occasion of Djevel’s release concert for their latest album called Ormer Til Armer, Maane Til Hode in Oslo, I got to talk to its mastermind T. Ciekals about the particulars behind his musical creations. I think pretty few bands now evoke the Black Metal ambience of the old days in a convincing and natural way like Djevel do. This is one of the reasons I had to include Ormer Til Armer, Maane Til Hode in my year-end list. In this interview there is also some good news not only of Djevel, but of NettleCarrier as well, which is another one of T. Ciekals‘ creations that I consider to be excellent and absolutely recommend to all of you who thirst for dark music. Continue reading »

Jan 202017


I’ve let two days go by without a further installment of our Most Infectious Song list, because my time is not wholly within my control, but whose is? To make up for lost time, I’m doubling up on the size of today’s edition.

But the goal of catching up isn’t the only explanation. As I pondered which songs to roll out today, these six seemed to step forward and proclaim “We belong together”. When you hear them one after another perhaps you’ll perceive the connections between them as I did, and if you do, perhaps you should seek psychiatric care. (The preceding songs on this list can be seen here.)


The first track today is “Flammen im Vakuum“, and it comes packaged with a very well-produced video by Melanie Werner that I enjoy watching almost as much as I enjoy the song. Continue reading »

Sep 132016



I sometimes wonder whether our putrid site is the perpetrator of sensory overload. I am wondering that today, as I shovel vicious music from 9 bands at you on the heels of DGR’s four-band round-up earlier today and nine music posts yesterday. Who can listen carefully to this much music? I mean, besides your slaves here at the NCS asylum, who clearly have some kind of metal psychosis?

I assume the answer is, Not Very Many. Normal, reasonably well-adjusted people will pick and choose. This is a satisfactory answer because it allows me to justify my indulgence in vomiting forth descriptive adjectives and metaphors that may act as guides to the picking and choosing. And with those unsolicited confessions about my state of mind out of the way, here we go again… with different shades of black, death, and doom.


To begin, I want to share with you the first single from Djevel’s new album (their fourth), Norske Ritualer. The name of the song is “Vi slakter den foerste og den andre, den tredje lar vi gaa mot nord“. Continue reading »

Apr 202013

Here are three excellent new songs that caught my attention over the last 24 hours. The bands are Djevel (Norway), Power Trip (U.S.-Texas), and In the Burial (Australia).


This band is composed of musicians from other well-known Norwegian bands, including vocalist Erlend Hjelvik (Kvelertak), bass-player Lloyd Hektoen (“Mannevond”) (Koldbrann, NettleCarrier), and drummer Dirge Rep (NettleCarrier, ex-Enslaved). But despite the impressive collective talent of those people, the star of this show is songwriter/guitarist Trond Ciekals (also in NettleCarrier). He shines on one of the band’s new songs, “Stjernesluker”, which premiered last week and will appear on Djevel’s second full-length, Besatt av Manne og Natt.

Even when the song is blasting and whipping like a cyclone, the tremolo melody casts a dark spell, but the music also transitions into a slow groove that will get your head nodding while more swirling guitar melodies work their magic. The rhythm section is also top-notch on this song, and Hjelvik delivers a sulfurous vocal performance. I like this song a lot, and it’s a promising sign for the album as a whole. Continue reading »

Dec 082011

This is a different spin on Listmania. For this post, we’re jumping outside North America and landing in Norway. Also, this isn’t really a “Best Album” list. Let me explain:

NRK is the state-owned Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. It operates three main TV channels, three main radio channels, and several “niche” channels on radio and the internet. The NRK P3 radio channel is mainly aimed at younger listeners in the 15-30 age bracket, and of course, since this is Norway, it includes a healthy dose of metal. As far as I can figure out with help from Google Translate, “Pyro” is the name of the NRK P3 radio program that focuses mainly on metal and hard rock.

Last week, the Pyro web site rolled out its 2011 list of the most promising metal bands in Norway. I found out about this by seeing a Facebook post by a Norwegian band who showed up on the list. I got curious, and so I visited the site. Now, because this is radio programming, I figured the music wasn’t going to be quite as extreme as a lot of the metal that’s our bread and butter here at NCS. On the other hand, this is fucking Norway, and so I decided it would be worth spending some time exploring what they had to offer — and I guessed right.

I don’t speak Norwegian, of course. So, I used Google Translate. It rendered the Norwegian text on the web site into a kind of English . . . the kind spoken by people who’ve suffered some kind of severe trauma to the speech center in the brain. But I could get the gist of the text, and so I’ve tried my best to clean it up and make it mean what I think it means. But since this isn’t really a translation, I may have fucked it up. All errors are mine, not Pyro’s.

On the other hand, I’m not terribly worried about the text, because the site included music from each of the bands, so we’ve got music to hear, and the music is what counts, isn’t it? Continue reading »