Oct 302018


(Despite what the title of this post says, Andy Synn hasn’t managed to review every fine 2018 album and EP we’ve heretofore failed to write about, but he does catch up with more than two dozen of them.)

While lots of blogs/zines are already (or soon will be) switching their focus away from covering new releases and towards consolidating their annual “Best Of…” lists, here on NCS island we’re still doing our very best to bring as many new (and some not so new) albums/artists to your attention as possible.

Of course the truism that “there’s simply too much music out there” remains as painfully accurate as ever, and it pains me to admit that I/we simply can’t cover all the releases we want to, in the depth we want to, no matter how hard we try.

So consider this article a voluntary mea culpa acknowledging our limitations and a (probably futile) attempt to make amends a little bit to all the bands and artists who we may have missed or ignored over the last several months, as well as to shine a light on a couple of upcoming releases you’ll probably want to keep your eyes/ears open for. Continue reading »

Apr 072018

photo by Unai Endemaño


(Andy Synn returns with another installment in his Saturday series about lyrics in metal, and today we have a fascinating and eloquent discussion by J. F. Fiar, the vocalist and bassist for the Spanish band Foscor, who has penned the lyrics for their songs, in Catalan and English, for the last four years.)


Foscor’s latest album, the stunning Les Irreals Visions, was a beautifully bleak, moody and multifaceted delight, and was so good I declared it one of the Critical Top Ten albums of 2017 and at one point described it as:

“…an album that is simultaneously easy to pick up, and nearly impossible to put down…”

Hopefully, like me, you’ve found it just as difficult to stop listening to and, if so, you might be interested in hearing from the band’s long time vocalist J. F. Fiar about his life, his lyrics, and everything he’s learned along the way! Continue reading »

Sep 162017


(Andy Synn is playing catch-up in a furious torrent, with brief reviews and streams of music from 12 striking 2017 albums.  Open wide… dine like queens and kings.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again)… the vast array of music now available at the touch of a button is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it.

And while I generally celebrate the fact that I’m now able to search out and discover music from all around the world with an ease that’s quite mind-boggling when you think about it, the sheer plethora of albums clamouring for my attention means there’s simply not enough hours in the day to give them all the attention they deserve.

As a consequence of this, my “to do” list has swollen to a frankly rather distressing size over the last 4-5 months, so I’ve made an executive decision to clear my slate a little bit by pulling together twelve albums, which we’ve thus far failed to cover properly here at NCS, into one collective round-up.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we? Continue reading »

Apr 112016

Foscor video frame


The Spanish band Foscor trace their roots back to 1997. Since then they’ve released four full-length albums, the last of which was 2014’s Those Horrors Wither. Almost 18 months ago we featured an excellent video for an excellent song from that album named “Graceful Pandora”, and today we’re happy to help premiere a video for the album’s title track.

The new video is the product of RFH Photography and IRA Photography, with editing by Foscor guitarist Falke. As the band explain, “‘Those Horrors Wither’ would be meant to show the relevance which primal fears hold to get to know ourselves, to know our flaws, and ultimately how we deal with the difficulties life itself makes us face. These Horrors are silenced by society, culture and history, relegating the individual too often to its least significance.” Continue reading »

Sep 252014

I was about to write that the videos collected in this post are off our usual beaten path, but upon reflection I concluded that we don’t really have a single beaten path. It’s more like a tangle of different paths from which the wanderer usually emerges beaten. Like an ant swarm, there may be a pattern in them, but when viewed from the air they would appear chaotic. Nevertheless, these videos in different respects are still probably off on tangents from the usual tangle at this site. Onward we go!


The Spanish band Foscor trace their roots back to 1997. Since that time they’ve released three full-length albums, all of which have recently been made available on Bandcamp (here), along with the rest of their back catalogue. They’ve completed work on a fourth album, Those Horrors Wither, which is projected for release on November 25 (CD and vinyl). In advance of that, the band are releasing a 7″ single named Graceful Pandora, which includes the title track (it will appear on the album) and a second song, “Grand Believer” (which was recorded during the sessions for the new album).

Recently the band premiered a music video for “Graceful Pandora” that’s interesting to watch and interesting to hear. It’s perhaps even more impressive because the video was written and produced by the band and directed by Foscor guitarist Falke (with cinematography by Adrià Escanilla). Both the song and the video take as their subject the legend of Pandora and what she unwittingly set free upon the world by opening the famous box. As the band explain: Continue reading »