May 122021


To my surprise, I found time to compile this mid-week round-up. It’s not quite as long as these things usually are, consisting of only four advance tracks from forthcoming releases, but it will make the next one I do that much less bloated. The music I chose is stylistically diverse, but all of it brings an electrifying intensity. Might be something on here you’ll want to add to your wish list.


Seattle’s beloved Drawn and Quartered are returning with their eighth album, Congregation Pestilence, preceded by the just-released single, “Rotting Abomination (The Cleansing)“. It’s indeed rotting and abominable, and also a mouth-watering feast for death metal ghouls. Continue reading »

Jul 192018


(This is as much a testimonial from the heart as it is a review, and it comes from our friend Vonlughlio, recently transplanted from the Dominican Republic to the U.S.)

This time around I’ve been given the opportunity to do a review for Drawn and Quartered’s new opus The One Who Lurks, and forever will be grateful for this opportunity, for this is a band that has been releasing amazing albums for over 20 years and that in my humble opinion should be more recognized for their musical contributions.

I recall the first time I found out about this band as a teenager back in the Dominican Republic, alongside many other greats (Incantation, Immolation, Death, Deicide, and many more). The impact it had is still present and clear today in my late 30’s. So why do I mention this, you might ask? Let alone name the other classic bands? Because, for me, those bands and this one are at the same level, and Drawn and Quartered have been consistently releasing music that has only gotten better in time, while maintaining their signature sound. Continue reading »

Jul 122018


I suppose I ought to confess at the outset that as a resident of the Seattle area for a couple of decades, I became a devoted fan of Drawn and Quartered long ago. Because they’ve been long-time fixtures in the Seattle underground for a couple of decades themselves, that means I’ve been able to watch them perform on numerous occasions, and have always left with a sore neck and a crooked, fiendish smile on my face. It therefore won’t surprise you to learn that I’ve had their new album The One Who Lurks high up on my radar screen since it was first announced — especially since six long years have passed since their last one, Feeding Hell’s Furnace.

That confession, by the way, wasn’t intended as an acknowledgment of any kind of bias. This band earned my loyalty (and that of many others, both here and around the globe) because they’re just really damned good. I say it only because I was prepared to like the album, based on history, before I ever heard it.

But I will say that, even with that history of enjoying records and performances, this new full-length still surprised me. It proves not only that Drawn and Quartered have plenty of gas left in the tank, but that they’ve tapped into some kind of eldritch fuel source that ups the octane even further beyond the premium juice that has driven the pistons of this savage death machine before. Continue reading »

Nov 232017


If the analytical stats about the composition of our visitors are correct, about half of you will be observing Thanksgiving Day while for everyone else it will be just another day. It’s sort of just another day here at NCS — as you can tell, we’re still posting about metal — but it’s also Thanksgiving Day here in Seattle. And inevitably, I’m feeling thankful.

To give thanks, you need someone or something to thank, don’t you? In the tradition of this holiday, the idea is to express gratitude to some higher power, but if that seems like a fantasy (as it does to me), you become mindful of the thanks you owe to other people instead. Since our eighth birthday was only a few days ago, I’ve already thanked all the people (including you) who have contributed to the perplexing longevity of NCS. Today, I’m feeling especially thankful to the bands who help make life pleasurable, even during the dark days when it’s a struggle to find anything else that makes you feel thankful.

And so, voila, here’s a random selection of recent news and new music for which I’m grateful, with few words (because I’m headed off soon for a Thanksgiving get-together with family and friends).


I was late in getting around to checking out Amenra’s new video for the song “A Solitary Reign” off their new album Mass VI, which is out now via Neurot Recordings (and was reviewed here by Wil Cifer). It is a captivating video, made by Tine Guns, the mother of Amenra guitar player Mathieu Vandekerckhove’s son, Wolf. The song is completely captivating as well, perhaps the high point of Mass VI. The music was described in this way by the band’s Colin H. Van Eeckhout: Continue reading »

May 052014

Behemoth, Goatwhore, 1349, Inquisition, Black Crown Initiate, and Drawn and Quartered performed at Studio Seven in Seattle on Saturday night (May 3, 2014). It was one of my most eagerly anticipated shows of the year. But I had a sinking feeling about it before the concert began.

I paid extra to get advance VIP tickets for myself and some friends (for what turned out to be a sold-out show) because they promised a meet-and-greet and early admission. An e-mail from the ticket-seller notified us that we needed to be at the venue no later than 3:45 for the meet-and-greet, and even earlier than that to pick up the tickets at will-call. This provoked groans, given that the show wasn’t scheduled to begin until 6:00. Of course, this was a metal show, and the odds were high that nothing would actually happen at 3:45, but we didn’t want to risk missing what we’d paid extra for. So we were there at 3:30. And of course nothing happened until 4:15.

In the meantime, we got soaked when the drizzling rain outside the venue became a downpour. And while shaking ourselves like wet dogs in a doorway we speculated that since this was the last stop of the tour, the promoters might have been having trouble waking up any of the musicians for the meet-and-greet. This suspicion was strengthened when we were finally ushered inside, to find obviously fatigued representatives from all the touring bands sitting along a long row of shadow-shrouded tables in the dark venue, waiting one-by-one to sign tour posters we were given at the door. Continue reading »