Sep 142023

(Andy Synn offers up another triple-taste of British steel)

Let me tell you something, the last quarter of this year is absolutely packed with awesome (and potentially awesome) new releases.

And that’s just as true when you take a look at the UK scene too, with a bunch of big names and new contenders scheduled to drop their proverbial bombs over the next couple of months.

As a primer for all that, I’ve selected three albums – two from last month, one set for release next week – that I can practically guarantee are going to end up on several end-of-year lists.

They really are that good, embodying the best of the best of merciless Metallic Hardcore, audaciously unorthodox Black Metal, and dynamcally doomy, drone-inflected Post-Metal, respectively.

Continue reading »

Aug 092023

If you’ve been a regular visitor to this site over the last 7 years you’ve seen the name Geist a lot, because over that span of time we’ve published a multitude of Geist song and video premieres, record reviews, and show reviews. The reasons for all that attention can be summed up in a few quotes pulled from some of those articles:

“Coming across like a younger, hungrier, and – more importantly – groovier, sibling to bands like Cursed and Converge, the Newcastle-based quintet strike a careful balance between raw intensity and pinpoint precision….”

“…delivering an absolutely stunning set of pissed-off, punk-fuelled polemic and scalding sonic shrapnel… both impressively tight, yet as raw and fractious as the wildest of riots, every track… detonated like a pipe-bomb flung into the audience….”

Geist unleash some of the angriest, most vitriolic Metallic Hardcore I’ve heard in a very long time, pulling a total of zero punches and taking no prisoners in the process.”

“Through a feral mix of dark hardcore, crust, and metal, they channel emotionally raw and devastating sensations (and bone-busting force) through their debut album Swarming Season.”

There’s a lot more where all that came from, but you probably get the point. We’re very high on Geist‘s music, and thankfully they show no signs of slowing down, because they’re now preparing to release their second album Blueprints To Moderate Sedation in September of this year through Cursed Monk, Black Omega, and Trepanation Recordings. And as you can tell, today we’re premiering an explosive song and video for the new album. Continue reading »

Mar 022020


(On March 1, 2020, Andy Synn witnessed the performances of Harrowed, Calligram, and Geist at the Chameleon Bar in Nottingham, UK, and provides this review of the show, accompanied by videos that he made.)

It’s a little-known fact, but Hardcore was my “first love” when it comes to “alternative” music.

In fact, bands like Earth Crisis, Shai Hulud, and Vision of Disorder weren’t just some of my earliest encounters with music outside of “the mainstream”, but were my gateway into Metal too.

And while my tastes have definitely moved on since then, I’ve still retained a lot of love for the more metallic side of Hardcore, especially when/where it collides with other, even heavier, genres (last year’s Fuming Mouth and Totaled albums being prime examples).

My attendance at this evening’s gig was, therefore, pretty much mandatory, as all three of the bands on the bill (all of whom I’ve written about here before) have, over the course of the past couple of years, developed a well-deserved reputation as some of the best proponents of Metallic Hardcore that the UK has to offer.

And how was I going to say no to the opportunity to see them all together in a small local venue no more than twenty minutes from my house? Continue reading »

Jan 312020



(Andy Synn turned in this review of the performances by Leeched, Geist, and Tuskar in Nottingham, England last night — January 30th — with some of his own video documentation of the experience.)

Sometimes, despite all our best intentions, things just don’t work out quite the way we want them to.

That was certainly the case this evening, as, for various reasons which I won’t go into here, I ended up being massively delayed getting to this show, and therefore missed both the local openers Pemphigoid and Underdark.

This was actually doubly-unfortunate too – firstly because while I’ve never been the biggest fan of the latter, the last few times I’ve seen them it’s felt like they’re finally starting to live up to (at least some of) the hype , so I was hoping to see if this trend continued, and secondly because I’ve not yet managed to catch the former band live, and this was going to be my first chance to do so.

Still, putting aside these regrets and recriminations for the moment, I suppose you’re all wondering how the rest of the show went? Continue reading »

Oct 172019



(In this edition of Andy Synn‘s series on recommended releases by UK bands (presented by the letter “G”), the focus is on Geist, Gévaudan, and Godeater.)

Being a British writer for what is, primarily, a US-based (though not necessarily US-focussed) publication like NCS occasionally puts me in some odd, awkward positions.

For one thing, the level of autonomy afforded to me here is far greater than anywhere else I’ve written for, and, due to our location/reputation, there’s never any pressure on me to blindly “support the scene”, something which often forces other, UK-based, sites/zines to grit their teeth and find ways to be gratingly polite/positive even when they don’t really want to.

On occasion this “outsider” status has come back to bite me, for instance when a band (or their fans) decide I’ve not been nice enough about them, or when I’ve simply refused to cover a band because I didn’t think they were all that good, but, for the most part, it’s a very freeing position to be in, and not one I take for granted.

Hopefully it also absolves me of any accusations of bias or favouritism – I’m not covering these bands because I’m trying to ingratiate myself with them, or “the scene” in general, I’m doing it because I think our readers will want to hear them! Continue reading »

Aug 212019


That photo up there, it’s a classic example of the calm before the storm — the members of Geist holding still for the camera. Even in that frozen moment, you get the sense of barely repressed menace, a perception of people who are much more comfortable exploding on stage than waiting while the timer ticks toward the detonation.

And man, these dudes from the northeast of England really are explosive. Through a feral mix of dark hardcore, crust, and metal, they channel emotionally raw and devastating sensations (and bone-busting force) through their debut album Swarming Season. And the video we’re premiering today for an album track named “Sleep Deprived” captures them in their true element, throwing themselves with utter commitment into the performance of the music (rather than waiting for the shutter to click). Continue reading »

Aug 062019


I had time last night to check out a bunch of new songs that surfaced in recent days, and from that listening excursion I decided to pick the ones below for a Tuesday playlist. Serendipitously, all the bands have one-word names. However, both their locations and musical styles are diverse. You’ll encounter varieties of old school death metal, black metal, metallic hardcore, and death/crust — and I hope you’ll like all of it, because I sure as hell did.


Metal-Archives lists two long-defunct bands named Darkened, one from Sweden and one from the UK. The Darkened whose music I’ve chosen to begin today’s round-up is obviously neither of those, though the line-up of this new band does include members from Sweden and the UK — as well as the U.S. The band may be new, but those members will be known to many of you through their numerous other projects: Continue reading »

Aug 092017


The British band Geist (from Durham and Newcastle) describe their music as “too metal for the punks and too punk for metalheads”. Undaunted, and perhaps even more furiously energized, Geist have nevertheless continued to gouge and scar the landscape of the northeast of England, and their latest concussive assault is a release named Disrepair. It will be discharged on September 22nd by a consortium of labels led by WOOAAARGH, and we have the premiere of teeth-loosening track named “Dear World“, packaged in an official video.

“Dear World” is not too punk for this metalhead, but since I’m an old former punk, maybe my opinion is suspect. It’s definitely heavy enough that it should appeal to metalheads — and it’s grim and murderous enough that it ought to appeal to both camps. Continue reading »

Sep 142016



Seeing Red Records, in cooperation with the German label WOOAAARGH and the UK’s Vetala Productions, have brought together two bands from different sides of the Atlantic for a split 7″ release that threatens to boil the ocean between them  into the atmosphere. The bands are Sunlight’s Bane from Michigan and Geist from the northeast of England. Two songs from each band appear on the split, and it will be released on September 16. To whet your appetites (or snuff them out completely), we have a full stream of the split below.

Both of these bands are making their first appearance at our putrid site, and so a few words of introduction are in order. Continue reading »