Nov 112015

Abbath-ST cover


Greetings again from Anchorage, Alaska, where it’s colder than a well-digger’s ass in the Klondike and where I’ve come down with a raging cold myself. On the plus side, I’ve once again had a few hours to myself this morning before having to dive back into my day-job labors. On the minus side, it’s looking like I may not be able to get back home until Monday, which blows.

In my free time this morning I made a quick scan through the NCS e-mail. Despite the fact that it’s overflowing with stuff that I don’t have time to read, a few things did leap out at me, and I’ve collected those here — presented in alphabetical order by band name.


We’ve previously featured a trio of live videos by Abbath that the band released in the ramp-up to their self-titled debut album (coming from Season of Mist on January 22) and a 7″ single that’s due for release on December 11. Yesterday Abbath debuted the album’s cover art (above) and the first studio recording from the new album, a track called “Winter’s Bane”. Continue reading »

Dec 092014


I thought that once I got back to Seattle on Sunday from my two-week sojourn to the East Coast, things would return to normal. That hasn’t happened. The old fuckin’ day job has continued to have its way with me like a lonely shepherd on a tethered goat. Between that kind of raw treatment and getting other people’s year-end lists ready for posting, I’ve had precious little time to write about new music and videos. I do have a very long list of new things to check out, but I’m afraid all I can do at the moment is toss these two excellent videos your way.


These Italian maestros of blistering symphonic death metal have just released an official video for the song “Epilogue”, which appears on their latest album, Labyrinyth. The video was directed by Francesco Paoli and Salvatore Perrone and features special guests soprano vocalist Veronica Bordacchini (who was a fine addition to the band’s live show when she accompanied them on their NorthAm tour earlier this year), guitarist Marco Sensi, and cellist Shamatiyenko Kostyantyn. Continue reading »

May 062014

Not long ago I got all slobbery over the announcement that Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance, and Necronomicon would be joining forces for a North American tour this year. Today, the schedule for the tour was announced.

It begins in Virginia on June 22 and ends in Denver on July 12. There are 14 shows in the US, five in Canada and — most importantly — one in Seattle.  Yes, I am a self-centered prick, but I know you’ll forgive me.

The tour is timed to capitalize on the release of Titan on June 24 via Prosthetic Records in North America, Titan being the name of the new Septicflesh album. I eagerly await that record, as well as this tour.

If you can’t make out the dates on that tour poster, here they are (celebrate or moan, depending on your location): Continue reading »

Apr 232014

I was away from the internet for 8 hours yesterday. On the one hand, it was kind of refreshing. On the other hand… I sure as shit missed a lot of metal news. The first item I saw upon returning to the wired world was a post by Andy Synn in our NCS group on Facebook, spreading the word about the Conquerors of the World Tour, with a comment: “Stick Dimmu in as headliners and you’d have ALL the symphonic bluster you could muster.” No shit.

Here’s the announcement that appeared on the Septicflesh Facebook page:

“”We are thrilled to announce that we will be returning to North America/Canada with our blood brothers in Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour of Penance and Necronomicon,” comments SEPTICFLESH. “This promises to be a night in darkness to be remembered as we prepare to unleash our colossal new album ‘Titan.'”

No dates yet, but this promises to be one of the year’s can’t-miss outings. As soon as we get the schedule, we’ll slap it up on the site without delay.

Feb 032014

When I got around to picking a song from Fleshgod Apocalypse’s 2013 album Labyrinth for our still-evolving list of last year’s “Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs”, the one I chose was “Pathfinder”. Earlier this morning, the band premiered an official video for the same song, and it’s excellent.

As you may know, Labyrinth is a concept album which draws on the legend of the labyrinth at Knossos on the island of Crete as a metaphor for each person’s search for his or her true self. Some knowledge of the myth may assist in following what happens in the video. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge:

“The myth of the Minotaur tells that Theseus, a prince from Athens, sailed to Crete, where he was forced to fight a terrible creature called the Minotaur. The Minotaur was a half man, half bull, and was kept in the Labyrinth – a building like a maze – by the king Minos, the ruler of Crete. The king’s daughter Ariadne fell in love with Theseus. Before he entered the Labyrinth to fight the Minotaur, Ariadne gave him a ball of thread which he unwound as he went into the Labyrinth so that he could find his way back by following it. Theseus killed the Minotaur, and then he and Ariadne fled from Crete, escaping her angry father.”

Continue reading »

Jan 272014

Here we have Part 12 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

Today’s installment of the series is brought to you by the NCS Department of Bombastic Brutality, with an assist from the Division of Wretched Excess. Those segments of the NCS bureaucracy are just full of suggestions, but as much as I like bombast and excess, I find that although such forms of metal expression are fun in the moment, they often lack that contagious quality that’s necessary for selection to this particular list. But today’s two songs are both infectious AND capable of causing epileptic seizures.


I’ve been such a slobbery fan of these Italian maestros that I had a running joke in my posts years ago that I would pay them enough to come live with me and serenade me whenever I wanted, just as soon as those Nigerians who were always offering me bags of gold dust and stacks of cash paid up on their promises. Except I wasn’t joking. Continue reading »

Jan 232014

Dan-Elias Brevig is a wonder. He has taken “The Violation”, by those Italian maestros of utterly bombastic death metal, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and created a completely a cappela cover of the song in a YouTube video. And by “a capella”, I mean that he has not only recorded the growls and falsetto cleans from the song, he has also used his voice to mimic the song’s instrumental arrangements.

Think about the original for a moment, and ponder what this would entail. After you’ve stopped shaking your head and going “No Way!”, move past the jump and see/hear for yourselves. Mr. Brevig calls it a parody, but it’s pretty damned impressive.

(Dan-Elias Brevig is from the vicinity of Oslo, Norway; he has a band named Immetic (whose music may be found here); and his Facebook page is at this location. To give you another example of his pipes in action, I’ve included an Immetic song after the video; it’s partially an exception to our rule, but I’m digging it — and it sort of helps explain his affinity for Fleshgod Apocalypse.) Continue reading »

Dec 022013

I’m still on vacation, and probably should be vacationing instead of spending time on the internet catching up on what’s been happening in the world of metal. Honestly, I expected that nothing would be happening without me there to notice it. You can imagine my shock and dismay in discovering that the world continues to turn even when I don’t pay attention to it. Something is seriously wrong.

Honestly, I didn’t try to dig too deeply into what I’ve been missing, but I did manage to fight through my depression and found a batch of recent things worth mentioning before returning to fucking off.


The last time a band’s merchandising ploy pulled me up short was when Ghost B.C. started selling dildos and butt plugs. But it happened again yesterday when, thanks to a link sent my way by The Autistic Metalhead, I discovered that Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse had started selling their own brand of pasta. It’s true. They’ve got four varieties and they’re shipping worldwide. In my case, it would cost 28 Euro, plus 20 Euro for shipping and handling. Continue reading »

Sep 222013

(It’s been a while since we received a guest post from Dane Prokofiev (who writes everywhere and has his own blog at Zetalambmary), but today he returns with an argument about why it’s worthwhile to use band comparisons in music reviews.) 

I used to dislike comparing a band whose album I was reviewing to another band in my written reviews and only resorted to doing so when I found absolutely nothing interesting about the band’s music to be worthy of description through the use of metaphors. Ever since my exposure to Saussurean semiotics, however, I have changed my mind.

Saussurean semiotics posits that there is no intrinsic connection between words and their meanings. That is to say, it is not natural for the word “dog” to refer to the concept of dog-ness. The word “dog” is a linguistic construct, something that is distinct from the concept of dog-ness. What English-speaking people label as “dog” is labeled as “الكلب” by Arabic-speaking people , “chien” by French-speaking people, “hunder” by Icelandic-speaking people, “犬” by Japanese-speaking people, and “狗” by Mandarin-speaking people. The fact that people use different words for the same object in different languages means that there is no particular connection between the word “dog” and the thing that we refer to as a “dog”.

The product of this arbitrary relationship between the signifier (“dog”) and the signified (the concept of dog-ness) is called the sign, which is the mental image that is conjured in a person’s mind when he or she sees the signifier and understands that it is referring to the signified, aka certain properties that constitute the thing-ness of something. Continue reading »

Aug 272013

(All of the regular NCS staffers have been together in Seattle since last week and collectively took in the performances by Wintersun, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Arsis at Studio Seven on August 23. In this post Andy Synn reviews the show and shares with us some video clips that he filmed that night.)

So… we may have missed Starkill. Apologies all. We were busy having drinks across town at The Oak (very cool place by the way) and ended up staying a bit later than we’d anticipated.

No worries though, because we made it to the venue just in time for Arsis who were, for me, at least, the most anticipated band of the night.


I’ve never seen James Malone and his melodeath marauders before, but I’ve been a fan of the band ever since they released A Celebration of Guilt, so this was a big moment for me, and the band did not disappoint at all.

Malone himself is both a fantastic guitarist and a vicious vocalist, shredding and riffing away flawlessly while barking his venomous, diseased lyrics. Continue reading »