Aug 292020

Fates Warning


(Because your humble NCS editor has done a shit job compiling new-music round-ups in recent weeks, our contributor Gonzo stepped up and offered to begin doing that himself on Fridays, and this is the first edition. It actually would have been posted yesterday, on Friday, except your humble editor fucked that up too.)

Suffice to say, it’s been a fucking weird year.

Weirder, perhaps, is the fact that so much new music keeps rolling out from all corners of the earth; weirder still is that most of it is quality material instead of half-assed live albums, comps, EPs, singles and cover albums.

Most of it.

(I’m looking at you, In Flames.)

Before I start spiraling into a tirade about my odious thoughts on the Clayman reboot, allow me to get right to it: Yesterday, August 28, marked another Friday in this endlessly bizarre, dystopian and occasionally terrifying timeline we all just call “2020,” and it marked another day of new metal coming to assault our eardrums.

This one’s a glorious mix of old and new, and some stuff I’ve been anxiously awaiting for a while. Continue reading »

Feb 282020


Fires in the Distance is a Connecticut-based band that includes three members of the long-running melodic death metal project Archaic Decapitator. Their friendship and existing familiarity with each other’s talents created a smooth path into this new project, but the musical conception of Fires in the Distance gave it a distinct identity, one that draws upon death/doom influences as well as inclinations toward atmospheric and progressive metal. Among their inspirations, the band cite such groups as Man-Eating Tree, Type O, Enshine, Swallow The Sun, Amorphis, and Dark Tranquillity.

The band’s debut album, Echoes From Deep November, is now set for release on May 22nd. Conceptually, as the band have told us, “The record primarily encompasses a perpetual struggle with mental health, primarily living with major depression. The songs generally reflect the progression of going through the peaks and valleys of torment and internal rationalization of existing with chronic mental illness.”

Serious and decidedly melancholy subjects, to be sure, and the music does indeed have strong emotional resonance. But listening to it is far from a depressive experience, as you’ll discover through our premiere of the album’s opening track, “The Climb“. Continue reading »