Apr 202021


(DGR has been spending his listening time with some strange musical creatures and has offered his thoughts about them in a two-part collection of reviews, of which this is the first.)

I could probably pay off a month’s worth of bills if I had a nickel for every time I’ve started a dive into a particular release with some variation of ‘this is gonna be a weird one’. But there’s a certain joy I take in continuing to do that in between the varying issuances of brutality and violence that we typically cover.

Sometimes it’s a good breather and other times it feels like a peek into where metal might be expanding in the future, a gaze into realms otherworldly and difficult to describe, where the artiste roams free and unshackled. Mostly, it’s because, despite the fact that strangeness may abound and take us off the beaten path, that can still appeal to many a listener in the world of No Clean Singing.

It’s still metal, because I guarantee you that the constant breaking of conventions and the fusing of different moods into strange creatures is certainly enough to challenge a listener on what they may consider musical. Sometimes it’s in the atmospherics. Sometimes it’s how a band might embrace minimalism. And other times it can be due to just how strange the collection of influences and instrumentation is. Often  it might feel like this is the room where we get to adjust our turtle-neck sweaters, sip on our classiest alcohol, and pretend to be as high-minded and pretentious as we can possibly get.

Long story short, the two that I’ve paired up today are albums I’ve been listening to quite a bit since their release, and while one name is likely more recognizable, I assure you that for both you’ll probably want to buckle up, because this is gonna be a weird one. (I have another pairing of reviews still to come tomorrow.) Continue reading »

Dec 122016



As the title says, this is the second part of a round-up of new music I thought was worth sharing to begin this week. As often happens, in between posting Part 1 and this Part 2 I came across some more new songs I thought were very good, and I’ve added one of them at the beginning of this post.

As explained in Part 1, this particular Seen and Heard includes more minutes of new music than usual because of the presence of numerous full EPs — three of which are to be found below.


This morning brought the premiere of yet another track from the new album by Belgium’s Emptiness. I’ve enjoyed all of them so far, but I think this one is my favorite. Continue reading »

Oct 202016



Well, here we are on a Thursday and this is our first new music round-up of the week. I suppose it goes without saying that, four days into the week, I now have a very long list of songs and videos I’ve found that I like enough to recommend — but don’t have time or room to mention all of them.

I’ve made some choices that range far and wide in their musical styles, but because I have a hard time making choices, this is still a big post despite the fact that I haven’t been able to include everything. Stay with me though, because there’s a lot of good music below.


I first heard of Wędrujący Wiatr through an enthusiastic recommendation by Austin Lunn, the man behind Panopticon. When he first told me about the band, word had surfaced that a new album would be coming out this fall, but no music was yet available;  Austin‘s enthusiasm was based on the band’s debut album, 2013’s Tam, gdzie miesiąc opłakuje świt, and after I listened to it, I understood his passion for the music.

Well, now we have a song from the new album, and it’s pretty magnificent. Continue reading »

Oct 122016



Yes, there are quite a lot of names in the headline of this post, but what follows isn’t quite as daunting as you might think. The first two items consist of news and art for forthcoming releases, but no music yet, and the last two items are just brief teasers of new music. In between I’ve sandwiched four full songs and videos, and I’m quite happy with what I’ve chosen, not only because the music is very good considered in isolation but also because collectively they make for a nice, varied playlist (and the two videos and album covers are quite eye-catching, too). At least it should be nice for people who have eclectic tastes. Here we go….


That’s a hell of a metal album cover up there, isn’t it? It was disclosed yesterday by Italy’s Hour of Penance and Prosthetic Records, who will release the band’s new album Cast the First Stone on January 27, 2017. The cover was created by Gyula Havancsak, whose work we’ve praised before in these pages.

The announcement was accompanied not only by a quote from our site (yay!) but also by the following statement from the band’s vocalist Paolo Pieri concerning the concept of the album, which revolves around the idea that “the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism do not justify the chain of hate that propagandizes the destruction of the West”: Continue reading »

Jun 062014

(Back in February NCS contributor KevinP shared with us an early list of 2014 albums that were peaking his interest. More than three months have passed, and now Kevin brings us five more recommendations.)

2014 hasn’t slowed down with the new releases worthy of all our time. If you’re playing catch up, you can see Part 1 here.


I never liked straight-up hardcore and I’m not a huge fan of straight-up black metal either. Wasn’t in 1992, still not today. But when you mix the two together, it’s like “somebody put gasoline on my fuckin’ balls and lit it” (yes, I’m quoting Joey DeMaio, gotta problem with that?). Take the darkness and evil tint of black metal, mixed with the fury and bottom end of hardcore in a nice concise package of mainly 1-2 minute songs & nothing overstays its welcome.

http://hexisband.bandcamp.com/album/abalam Continue reading »

Apr 132014

John Martin: “The Deluge” (1834)

As I mentioned yesterday, the past week brought good song and video premieres in a flood, which was unfortunate only in the sense that I didn’t have time to write about all those discoveries day-by-day as they happened. So this weekend I decided to just flood you with them, leaving behind all but some short snippets of my own sparkling prose and mainly delivering the streams, along with release info.

Yesterday I collected 11 (!) new songs and videos, plus a couple of tantalizing news items, and today I’ve got 12 more, plus a few more news items. Once again, I present them in alphabetical order:


The Song: “Apotheosis of the Hangman”
From: Dismembering the Image of God
Release info: self-released by the band on April 7; below is a new video for the opening track

Vicious melodic death metal with flying fretwork that gets more interesting and seductive as the song progresses. Punches pretty damned hard, too. Continue reading »

Aug 192013

This is the second of two posts in which I’ve collected music I found last night in my searches for new things that would help put me in the right frame of mind for the new week. And by “right frame of mind”, I mean “take no prisoners”. Because it’s a goddamned Monday and I knew I would be feeling mean as soon as I saw the light of the new day. I’ve learned through experience that I do better adding fuel to that fire than trying to get in a compliant, accepting, quietly seething mood.


I found out about this Belgian band, which includes two members of  the excellent Enthroned, via a recent post on CVLT Nation. Their most recent album is 2012’s Error on the Dark Descent label, though they are now writing new songs. Error is available for streaming on Bandcamp, so I embarked on this phase of my listening session by starting at the beginning of it. Because my mission for the night was to sample a lot of bands I had heard about, I didn’t make my way through the entire album. But I did listen to the first five songs (which is four more than I intended to hear), and man was I floored by them.

The music is difficult to describe, drawing from a multitude of genres but with a healthy helping of death/doom, black metal, and sludge. The sound is deeply corrosive and destructive, a howling, vicious maelstrom of sound and fury. It’s massively heavy and violent, and choked with the black ichor of doom. Yet the songs include hugely compelling riffs and attractive melodies, and all of the instrumental performances are dynamic and technically excellent. Continue reading »

Apr 252012

If you’re really perceptive (or you’re one of those people who have no real life outside the confines of the internet), you may have noticed that over the last 10 days or so, I haven’t contributed as much to NCS as I usually do. There are reasons for that, but describing them in detail would be boring. Let’s just say it involved unsuccessful transplant surgery, an inter-species paternity suit, and a rigged auction of antique trepanning implements, and leave it at that.

Anyway, I’m behind on all sorts of things, including current events in the world of metal. I was able to spend a little time today catching up, and I found lots of interesting stuff — a combination of news items and new music. Even after I filtered out items that every attentive metalhead already knows (because those items have already been covered on a dozen other metal sites), what’s left is still too much to cram into one post. So, I’m dividing them between at least two posts, and maybe a third. Here’s the first installment:


The first item is a news item. The news is that Arizona’s Landmine Marathon have recorded a new, self-titled 7″ EP. I like this news (a) because it involves Landmine Marathon, who are awesome, (b) because the cover art (above) is cool, and (c) because I’ve finally made the decision to buy a turntable, so I’ll actually be able to listen to this thing when it comes out. The EP will be released on May 14 and will consist of two songs that were recorded at the same time as the band’s last full-length (Gallows); reportedly, the songs won’t be available anywhere else. You can pre-order the EP at Deep Six Records. I am highly confident that it will be good.

Also, because I haven’t owned a turntable since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I have no idea what to buy, so please leave a comment if you have any recommendations, because that would make it easier on me than doing actual research. Continue reading »