Apr 272018


(Our friend Grant Skelton returns to NCS with this vivid review of the debut full-length by Virginia’s Foehammer, released on April 6 by Australopithecus Records. It is the second review of the album we’ve published.)

Foehammer’s self-titled EP, which was released in the spring of 2015, was one of the first ventures I made on my descent into doom metal. Up to that point I’d dabbled, almost exclusively, in extreme bands experimenting with increasing the speed at which they played. After nearly 20 years of such apoplectic throttling, something in my psyche (soul?) began to yearn for auditory victuals from the other end of the speed spectrum.

And I dove head-first into the boggy, bottom-heavy bombardment of “Stormcrow.” This track thumped my brain like a warclub. I couldn’t listen to it enough. So naturally I chomped at the bit to review the EP. It teased proficiency; giving us only a flash of what Foehammer could really do.

I’m glad to say that, three years later, Foehammer’s dormancy has ended! A full-length offering has arrived. It is a cavernous, blunt-skulled, Neanderthal brute entitled Second Sight. Continue reading »

Apr 182018


(Andy Synn has compiled reviews of six new releases in this mid-week post.)


Despite our best efforts to the contrary, there still remains a certain cadre of people convinced that there’s some sort of nefarious motive or hidden agenda behind the work we do here at NCS.

So, in the interests of clarity and transparency I’d like to begin this piece by restating a few things.

For one, you should be aware that we don’t host any ads here at the site, take in any money from bands/labels, and don’t receive any kicks for clicks. This place is entirely independent and self-funded, and it’s going to stay that way.

Similarly we’re not beholden to record labels for access or coverage, nor do we favour “big” releases over less well-known ones. We’ll write about them, sure, if we feel like we want to, but the general ethos of this site has always been to focus on less well-known and less widely-covered, bands.

And while we have built up a good relationship with certain labels/agents over the years, this has largely been based upon a reputation for scrupulous honesty. We won’t host a premiere, conduct an interview, or write a review, unless we actually like the band/artist in question, and while we always try to accentuate the positive, we’re not afraid to provide (constructive) criticism when it’s warranted.

As a matter of fact we’ve actually been blacklisted or downgraded by certain agents/agencies in the past simply because we weren’t nice enough about their bands…

Anyway, all of this preamble is really just a long-winded way of saying that the following collection of reviews hasn’t been paid for or solicited in any way. It’s just a bunch of albums I’ve stumbled across in the last few weeks/months that I felt like writing about and recommending to you all. Continue reading »

Feb 122018


The flood of outstanding new metal is unceasing. I actually wouldn’t mind a break — not long, mind you, maybe a week or 10 days of absolutely no new music at all. But since that won’t happen, I’ll continue doing my best to tread water and keep my flaring nostrils above the tide.

Here’s a collection of new tracks that I sifted from those that appeared late last week. In genre terms, they’re all over the map.


It has gotten increasingly difficult to predict what Glorior Belli is going to do from album to album, or even from song to song. The one you’ll find below is “Deserters From Eden“, the first single off this French band’s new album, The Apostates. Continue reading »

Mar 312015


(In this post, Grant Skelton reviews the forthcoming debut release by Foehammer, which has taken us by storm here at NCS.)

2015 is shaping up to be a good year for doom metal. The recently reunited Goatsnake have a new album due out on Southern Lord in June. That record label likewise just remastered and rereleased Warhorse’s buried gem As Heaven Turns To Ash (thanks to blend77 for turning me on to that!). Ahab are back in the studio crafting some new opus of seafaring sorrow. Most recently, I became hooked on a certain drum-and-bass duo from Seattle whose disconsolate dirges channel spirits of those who met untimely ends (Bell Witch). Also, Hooded Menace have absconded to whatever crypt they slithered from to record something new. The last I read about Sourvein, they were finishing up recording vocals for their new album. While my musical palate for doom has yet to be satiated, the latest morsel whetting my appetite is the debut self-titled EP from Annandale, Virginia’s Foehammer.

I first learned of Foehammer when Islander posted a Miscellany roundup that included them (here). That post introduced Foehammer with a song called “Stormcrow,” one of the names of Gandalf from Tolkien mythology. In the Tolkien universe, King Théoden christens Gandalf with that title because his arrival usually bodes ill for the denizens of Théoden’s kingdom. And the Tolkien references don’t stop there. The name “Foehammer” comes from a translation of Glamdring, a sword which proves most deadly in Gandalf’s employ. Storms of crows and hammers of foes are accurate imagery to describe this band’s music. Continue reading »

Mar 302015


With a weekend of listening behind me, I’ve got a stack of new songs I want to recommend that rivals the height of a mighty redwood. Unfortunately, my brain is only the size of a mighty walnut, and I didn’t get enough of a head-start to pull them all together for a round-up today. So, here are three, and more will come tomorrow.


As regular readers know, I have a debilitating weakness for old-school Swedish death metal. If I don’t get my fix on a regular basis, I start to get the shakes and have even more trouble formulating complete sentences. Fortunately, one of the best of the current purveyors of obliterating Swe-death has a new album coming our way via Metal Blade, and this past weekend I caught up with the first single. The band is Entrails, the album is Obliteration (of course it is), and the song is “Beyond the Flesh”.

The roots of Entrails in this style of music go deep, the band having achieved their first incarnation in 1990. And despite moldering in the grave for a full decade, they’ve turned in one winner after another following their reanimation with 2010’s Tales From the Morgue. If “Beyond the Flesh” is a good indicator, the new album will be another one. Continue reading »

Jan 022015


Yesterday I noticed a Facebook post by Baltimore’s Grimoire Records about a forthcoming release by a Virginia band named Foehammer and a song from the album that had debuted on Bandcamp. So I visited the Grimoire Bandcamp page — and discovered three more forthcoming Grimoire releases that I didn’t know about (surprising as it may seem, I haven’t yet become omniscient). So I decided, what the hell, this seems like good fodder for the next MISCELLANY experiment. And since I haven’t written a MISCELLANY post in two months, I decided there’s no time like the present.

To remind you about the MISCELLANY rules, I randomly pick albums or EPs by bands whose music I’ve never heard (usually by bands I’ve never heard of either), I listen to a track or two, I write my immediate impressions — and then I stream the music so you can make up your own minds. Unlike everything else I write about at NCS, I don’t know in advance what the music’s going to sound like or whether it will be worth the attention. Don’t try this at home — I’m a trained scientific professional and I can handle the risks.


Foehammer’s self-titled release appears to be a debut album, scheduled for discharge by Grimoire on March 3, 2015. The one song that’s streaming is a 10-minute track named “Stormcrow”. It’s one of three long-form tracks on the album. I like the album art (by Luciana Nedelea). Turns out that “Stormcrow” is quite likable, too. Continue reading »