Oct 072022

To say that Maurizio Iacono has nothing left to prove is to state the obvious. After 14 studio albums from Kataklysm (and a host of other releases), four more full-lengths from Ex Deo, numerous global tours and festival performances, and many other endeavors in prominent aspects of the music business, he’s already secured a rare level of success in the world of heavy metal and a secure position in its history.

Having nothing left to prove, however, doesn’t mean having nothing left to say. How else does one explain his decision to create a new band at this very mature stage of his career? That is in fact what Maurizio has done with the formation of Invictus, a group that makes its recording debut with an album named Unstoppable on October 21st via the MNRK Heavy label. Continue reading »

Jul 242021


Those of us in the metal trade know that Friday’s have become a dumping ground, or a deluge from above, or a flood tide… pick your metaphor for a day when a ton of new songs and videos drop. Yesterday was in that vein. With help from some other NCS slaves I made a giant list, and did a freestyle kick through it. Found a lot to like, and decided to grab a baker’s dozen of tracks for your entertainment, all of which happened to arrive with videos.

In terms of verbiage, I’m just going to ejaculate my immediate visceral reactions without fully formed sentences or consistent punctuation. Unless I just keep quiet I don’t know how else to manage commentary on so many songs and films, and of course keeping quiet would be sheer torture for moi.

ABORTED (Belgium)

A creepy, horror-drenched intro opens the book on a jolting and blazing calamity that soon goes berserk… despite its title, the song doesn’t really drag you to hell, it fires you into hell with a howitzer… and all the devils are there, ready to rip and ruin… but also to reveal the sweeping, bombastic glory of their awful domain…. Continue reading »

Jun 162021


We’re not paid by the word around here (we’re not paid anything around here). But if we were, I wouldn’t make enough from this post to buy a cheap beer. Being short on time today, I’ve resorted to what I seem to be doing with increasing frequency in these round-ups, i.e., just foisting music and videos on you without commentary, artwork, or links.

Rest assured, however, that I’m foisting the following songs and films for a reason — because I think they’re worth your time. Or at least some of them will be worth your time, while others might not be your genre-cup of tea. I don’t expect that everyone out there will be as small-c catholic in their tastes as I am.

I did have enough time to briefly summarize the release info for the records that include the music I’ve chosen — or, regarding the first item, the artwork I’ve chosen, because there’s no music yet from that album. Continue reading »

Mar 142020


Yesterday was crazy. And no, I’m not talking about the latest coronavirus developments (though those were depressingly crazy too). I’m talking about the ridiculous flood of new songs and videos that were discharged into the electronic ether. Nowadays there are always a lot of new releases on Fridays, but yesterday was a Friday the 13th, and that always triggers a rabid Pavlovian response among bands and labels.

Rather than try to winnow down everything I thought was appealing into a five-or-six song SEEN AND HEARD column, which would have over-stressed my feeble brain, I decided to throw up my hands and resort to the Overflowing Streams format — just shove all these new songs and videos at you with only brief commentary by me.

The thing is, there’s SO DAMNED MUCH STUFF HERE, particularly because I also included a few things that surfaced in the few days preceding Friday the 13th, that I decided to cut it into two parts to make it a little more digestible. Everything is arranged in alphabetical order by band name. If I don’t get the second half ready to go today, you’ll find it here tomorrow along with our usual SHADES OF BLACK column.


I was inclined to include this first video simply so I would have an excuse to put Eliran Kantor’s cover art at the top of this page, but wound up digging the song too. Continue reading »

Mar 132017


(DGR reviews the new album by the Italian band Ex Deo, which was released last month by Napalm Records. Okay, they’re really from Canada.)

One of the common narratives for a band returning from hiatus is the “boy, has it been a long wait for a new disc” lead-off, and 90% of the time these are generally correct. Usually a group returns to fans desperate for new material and the wait, after a while, no longer feels like an eternity and quickly becomes just another fun fact. Any long wait tends to do that.

This is not the case with Kataklysm mainman Maurizio Iacono’s Roman-themed symphonic death metal side project Ex Deo. In fact, Ex Deo enjoyed one of the shortest formal hiatuses (hiati? hiatus’?) I’ve heard of, with the project being put on hold in early 2014, two years after the release of the album Caligvla, and then being reactivated in late 2015 to work on the album that would eventually become their new disc, this year’s The Immortal Wars.

I generally enjoyed Caligvla, so I was one of those who was initially bummed out by the hibernation of this Kataklysm-save-for-one person project, and then just as immediately excited by the prospect of a new disc. Granted, when you look at it on paper, there is a five-year gap between albums. Continue reading »

Nov 112016



I haven’t been listening to as much new metal this week as I usually do. Something to do with the seismic impact of our election, I suppose. But I did start digging into new things last night and today. I’ve collected a handful of new songs in this post and will spread more of them before you over the weekend. As usual, no two songs in this group are stylistically alike.


To begin this collection I don’t actually have a full song for you, but whenever the remarkable Eliran Kantor discloses a new album cover, that’s reason enough for me to give the album some space. The one you’re gazing at above is his painting for The Immortal Wars, which is the new album by Ex Deo. Continue reading »

Sep 212012

(After a bit of a hiatus, TheMadIsraeli reappears with this review of the new album by Ex Deo.)

Whoever thought Roman battle metal would actually be a thing?

I certainly didn’t.  I remember seeing the video for Ex Deo’s “The Final War (The Battle of Actium)” and had three thoughts.  This is one of the most well-done music videos I’ve ever seen, why are all the dudes from Kataklysm producing music better than Kataklysm, and where can I acquire this masterpiece!?

So yeah, Romulus was a pretty sweet album although it did start to drag a bit at the end.  I didn’t really fault them for this, it was a new idea and they were trying something different.  Now we have the band’s sophomore album Caligvla.  I’ve eagerly anticipated this just to see how Ex Deo’s sound would manifest itself after coming into full fruition, and I’m quite enjoying the result.

For the uninitiated, Ex Deo play a style of imperialistically charged melodic death metal with appropriate ethnic instrumentation to capture the spirit and the chaos of Rome at its most bloody.  The most peculiar part of this band, however, is the fact that they are all of Kataklysm, plus one other member.  This is odd for me, considering that if I had to pick a Canadian band who couldn’t possibly bore me more, it would be Kataklysm (although the first three albums did hit a sweet spot with me).  Continue reading »

Aug 102012

Ex Deo — the “other band” of Kataklysm frontman Mauriozio Iacono — has completed a new album entitled CALIGVLA, the thematic focus of which is Rome under the unhinged rule of Emperor Caligula.

You remember Caligula, don’t you? The emperor who demanded that he be worshipped as a living god, threatened to make his horse a consul (and actually did make him a priest), slaughtered innocent people for amusement, prostituted his sisters to other men (and allegedly engaged in incestuous relations with them), and indulged all manner of sexual perversity, turning his palace into a brothel? The first Roman emperor to be assassinated? The subject of an infamous 1979 movie starring Malcolm McDowell and financed by Penthouse?   Yeah, that guy.

The album is scheduled for release by Napalm Records on August 31, and a couple days ago Napalm began streaming the first official video for the album, for a track called “I, Caligvla”. Two things jumped out at me about the song: First, it’s a real headbanger. Second, it includes a lot of bombastic orchestral music in conjunction with the thundering riffage — more so than I remember from Ex Deo’s last release.

As for the video, if you’re getting your hopes up about scenes of bestiality and fisting, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. About as deviant as it gets are a few swats at a shapely female butt and some gladiatorial combat for the emperor’s amusement. Still, I thought it was worth sharing. And after that . . . I’ll come to two new songs from Finland’s Hooded Menace. Continue reading »

Aug 092012

Due to a combination of morning-long work commitments and another 5-hour flight home without wi-fi, this will likely be the last NCS post of the day.  Things should be more (ab)normal tomorrow.

In this post, I’ve quickly collected a variety of items that caught my eyes (and ears) last night.


Cattle Decap posted this status on their FB page last night: “We sodomized the city of Budapest, Hungary tonight. On Thursday we spill our seed upon the citizens of Czech Republic at Brutal Assault. Bye, bye fuckers”  At times like these, it’s fun to imagine the reaction of people outside metal if they knew how our bands showered gratitude on their fans. We, of course, only laugh.


I included news of this tour in a post on July 10 when only 13 dates had been announced. Now, a more complete schedule is available. I’m so fucking pleased to see a Seattle stop on the list. Septic Flesh . . . Krisiun . . . Melechesh . . . Ex Deo . . . Inquisition . . . wow . . . Continue reading »

Jul 102012

Oh my fucking dog. Take a close look at that tour poster above. Upon returning from my birthday Blog Break, I found a message from BadWolf with a link to this beautiful thing, and I nearly peed myself with excitement.

Okay, to be brutally honest, which is the only kind of honest we know how to be at NCS, I did pee myself, though it’s possible that’s the result of general diminution in bladder control that comes with advancing age and an “I can’t be bothered” attitude about going to the bathroom when the first tingling urges appear. Some people would say that I ought to quit fucking around and start manufacturing the NCS-branded adult diapers I’ve written about before, with the “Massive Wall of Penis” logo in the front and the Blastanus logo in the rear, and then start wearing them myself. But for me, I think a little urine stank improves my personal aroma.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Conquerors of the World 2012 Tour. It’s a North American tour and it features these bands:

Septic Flesh
Ex Deo

As for the tour schedule, it’s still developing, but it starts in October, and after the jump you can see the initial list of 13 dates. Also . . .  PIG DESTROYER! Continue reading »