Dec 042020
 

 

(The time has come for us to again launch the rollout of year-end lists by NCS writers and guests, and as always we begin with Andy Synn‘s lists. As has usually been the case, Andy begins with his personal list of the year’s best EPs. We’ll continue with his other year-end lists every day next week.)

Well, here we are again.

Next week I’ll once again be rolling our my yearly round-ups of the “Great”, Good”, and “Disappointing” albums which I’ve heard this year, culminating, as always, in my attempt to narrow down these literal hundreds of entries into ten “Critical” selections and ten “Personal” favourites.

But, first of all, I want to give a shout-out to the many, many, fantastic, fascinating, sometimes frustrating, EPs which I’ve heard over the course of the last twelve-ish months.

This isn’t, obviously, intended to be in any way comprehensive (I never got round to listening to the new Carcass, for example, and I’m still digesting both the new Nexul and Descend to Acheron EPs),  nor is it a definitive statement about which EPs are the year’s “best” (though some of them definitely are) but my hope is you’ll all discover something new in what you’re about to read.

So, with all that out of the way, let’s get started, shall we? Continue reading »

Nov 252020
 

 

(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the first full-length by Exitium Sui, which will be released on November 27th by Naturmacht Productions.)

So from writing about an almost thirty-year-old band who just released their twelfth(!) album, now it’s time to pivot to a brand-new band who only came into existence earlier this year, and who are about to release their full-length debut.

As a certain modern-day TV star might say… this is the (NCS) way.

Now, despite being such a “new” band, Exitium Sui actually have a significant musical pedigree already, as mainman/multi-instrumentalist ES was previously a member of several notable Australian bands (including NCS faves Earth Rot and Deadspace) and is currently also a part of several underground European acts, most notably Lebenssucht and Humanitas Error Est (both of whom we’ve written about here before).

As a result you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that Ad Personam is a highly professional, highly polished, and extremely confident debut that deftly straddles the dividing line between Black Metal and Doom, drawing on, and drawing out, the best bits of both genres. Continue reading »

Oct 252020
 

 

I got a late start on the day and therefore have had to adjust my plans for this week’s column. Running short on time, I’ve had to postpone brief reviews of some recently released albums that richly deserve attention and instead focus on new singles and advance tracks from forthcoming records. But they richly deserve attention too.

I’ve arranged these tracks in a way that provides a flow that made sense to me, starting off one way, taking a turn in a different direction, and then changing course one more time at the end. Coincidentally, one thing these tracks have in common (and they don’t have a lot in common) is that blast-beats are in short supply.

EXITIUM SUI

The title of the first song, “Eviscerate My Withered Soul“, tells you a lot about the mood of the music. Launched by ritual drums, ominous symphonic swells, and grim, seething chords, it stalks forward in a way that leaves feelings of oppressiveness and despair in its wake. Augmented by bestial growls and withering screams, the music’s intensity mounts, creating tension and tragedy in equal measure. There’s a sense of horrible grandeur in the music, commingled with fever and pain. Continue reading »

Aug 052020
 

 

(Andy Synn introduces our premiere stream of a new EP by Exitium Sui, the solo project of ex-Deadspace frontman Chris Gebauer, and presents an interview of him as well.)

Exitium Sui may be a relatively new name, but if you’ve been paying attention to this site over the last several months you’ll no doubt have spotted our coverage of the band’s debut EP, Nuclear Sundown, as well as our preview of “Eviscerate My Withered Soul”, the first song from their upcoming album, Ad Personam (which I’ve heard in full, and it’s a suffocatingly dense and doom-laden slab of grim, blackened filth, make no mistake).

Today we’re bringing you an exclusive stream of The Sinister Business of Selling Hope, which finds the band’s sound pivoting away from the more doom-inflected approach of their first EP in favour of something more closely related to the pulsating blackened belligerence of Leviathan or Blut Aus Nord.

That’s not to say that these four tracks are a total departure from what has gone before – in fact, when the full album is released you’ll likely gain a much better appreciation of  …Selling Hope’s role in the band’s overall development – but suffice it to say that those looking for some seriously oppressive, shockingly aggressive, and crushingly claustrophobic Black Metal will do well to check this one out at the earliest opportunity.

So, please, read on for a full stream of the entire EP accompanied by a short but illluminating interview with band mastermind ES. Continue reading »

Jul 092020
 

 

Despite my new-found strategy of limiting the volume of these round-ups in order to do more of them each week, I found enough time to include new music from five bands in this one. The new stuff I picked for today’s collection based on an early-morning listening session begins with two excellent Jakub Moth videos for a couple of dramatically impassioned songs, and the mood stays serious and intense for the two tracks after that. And then I decided to wrap things up with some good old death metal via Antwerp that’s just plain evil fun.

ALEYNMORD

The first song I picked is a track off the debut album of the wilderness-worshiping Oregonian duo Aleynmord. The album’s name is The Blinding Light, and it’s packaged with cover art by Jef Whitehead. As noted above, Chariot of the Black Moth created the beautifully haunting video for the track. Continue reading »

May 292020
 

 

This has been a weird week: Until now, I haven’t managed to assemble a single round-up of new music and videos. I have written a dozen premieres, some of those full albums or EPs, as well as getting other people’s writings ready to post, so it’s not as if I’ve been a complete slug. But even with all that, in a normal time I’d still manage to curate a collection or two of new things.

Instead, this week I’ve noticed that after mid-day I tend to fall into a malaise, and find it difficult to do much of anything except force myself to tend to the occasional demands of my increasingly not-very-demanding day job. I think I know why this is happening, and might explain it tomorrow. But for now I’ve roused myself enough to get this round-up completed before giving up again. I’m way behind and hope to do more tomorrow.

SELBST

In this first kaleidoscopic selection, you’ll be engulfed by riotous drumming and cascades of harrowing and blazing guitars, whose multi-textured sounds channel feelings of grim devastation and flashes of feral ebullience. The deep roaring vocals have a tormented countenance, and the dense sounds that surround them have a sweeping quality, creating a mixture of mayhem and extravagant brilliance. Continue reading »

Mar 262020
 

 

If you’re okay with this, I’m just going to continue pulling together big batches of new songs, with only brief introductions. Not that I would know one way or the other what you think. But please trust me — I’m not having to bend over backwards to find so many songs and videos to recommend. As it always is, even when I’m including more rather than less, you’re still seeing only a fraction of the new music that fires me up.

I did make one exception to my usual rule of not publishing news if it’s not accompanied by music, because Enslaved is always in a special category. After that, the bands are listed in alphabetical order. There are a couple of exceptions to another rule in here too.

ENSLAVED (Norway)

The news is that Enslaved have completed a new album named Utgard, but that they and their label Nuclear Blast have decided to postpone the release until the coming fall. The first single, and an accompanying video (filmed in Iceland), will be released on May 22nd. Continue reading »