Jan 312024

(Gonzo returns with another end-of-month roundup of recommended releases, this time shining a light on albums and EPs released by six bands in January.)

January is such a bullshit month.

It’s cold as all fuck, everyone’s burned out – financially, emotionally, professionally – and shows/tours are few and far between. To pile it on, it’s also customarily a terrible month for new music. I wasn’t expecting to unearth much during my monthly search of metal’s grimy underbelly to include in this feature.

Lo and behold, I was dead fucking wrong. 2024 has already seen so many good releases in just over three weeks that I actually had to figure out what not to include here. (Coincidentally, three of the releases are from France, so make of that what you will.)

Regardless of geography, the sharp rise in early-year quality in 2024 is making me rethink old paradigms. Is the January curse on its way out? Am I reading too much into this? Is reality a lie? Are the machines reading my thoughts? Fuck. Continue reading »

Oct 042022


(Our friend Gonzo rejoins us with a collection of reviews and music streams for albums released in September that got him enthusiastic.)

Confession time: A lot of the music I was going to feature in this month’s column was already covered by our own Andy Synn and DGR. Such is the nature of contributing to a blog that runs on well-intentioned chaos, but let me tell you – even though seeing my byline is less common these days, I wouldn’t have it any other way here.

Anyway, I could sit here pontificating about life or personal updates or the change of seasons or the fact that we may be closer to armed nuclear conflict than any of us would care to admit, but I’d like to just make this month’s post about the music. Besides, I’m about to see Meshuggah on a live stage for the first time in way too long and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Here’s some of the September releases I put together that Mr. Synn and DGR didn’t cover – and let me tell you, that took some digging. Continue reading »

Aug 312022

(Chris Luedtke is back at NCS with a review of the sophomore album by Mass.-based Escuela Grind, due for release on September 30 by MNRK Heavy.)

Escuela Grind are no stranger to the, well, grindcore genre. Though being a thoroughly grindcore-centric band, they exist in their own space that sounds like they are channeling Fuck The Facts but from peaks and valleys away. Maybe it is the way they carry their sound, maybe it is their aggressive touring style and their savvy ability to PR themselves. Likely, it is a combination of all (they have some killer merch).

Escuela Grind have been kicking up their discography, especially since the pandemic happened. During which Indoctrination dropped, as well as two EPs titled PPOOWWEERVVIIOOLLEENNCCE and GGRRIINNDCCOORREE. Now, the band’s sophomore LP Memory Theater is up to bat.

It is difficult to put into words when an album feels good but not great. Like a dull ache or even a soft blow. That’s how Indoctrination hit me. I queue it up on occasion and remember that it is a good slab of chaos but a return is not frequent. Maybe it needs to grow on me still. So the question becomes, can Memory Theater step up the game? The short answer is yes. Continue reading »

Jul 152022

Today’s compilation presents a deluge of new songs and videos, so grab a life-preserver while there’s still time. You should probably continue wearing it, because I have plans for channeling another deluge tomorrow.

To get this done in the time available to me this morning, I’ve again dispensed with most of the cover art and have tried to be brief in my intros. But I did try to organize what’s coming in blocks of sound that companionably fit together, even though the blocks themselves collide with each other.


I must begin with the new song and video from Conan (really, as an addict of this band I had no choice). Continue reading »