Jan 142022

Welcome to the eighth installment of this expanding list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

This trio of tracks may seem a bit odd, since it includes something from a band whose name is known by throngs across the globe and then two tracks by bands who are probably known to the average NCS visitor but whose profiles are ant-like in comparison to that of the opening band. In my own addled head, what unites these songs is that all three furnish riveting dramatic intensity, and of course they’re all damned memorable.

GOJIRA (France)

It may surprise some of you to know that we used to write about Gojira a lot. It may also surprise you to learn that the most popular post in the history of this site, based on its 32,074 page views (at last count), is one entitled “Why Gojira is the Best Metal Band in the World“, which was written in August 2010 by one of the people who started NCS with me (but fairly quickly lost interest). As a sign of his devotion, his body sports tattoos of imagery from the Gojira song “Vacuity”. Continue reading »

May 042021

(For his first post of the week, Andy Synn takes aim at three of last month’s most sacred cows… but is he here to slaughter them, or just give them a little push?)

Last month saw the release of several new albums from some pretty big and (in)famous names (well, in Metal terms at least) and a resultant storm of press and PR both leading up to and following on from these releases.

And, to be honest, I wasn’t sure whether it was really worth us commenting on them. After all, they’re all well past the point where write-ups and reviews are going to have any sort of major impact on album sales, and have reached a stage in their careers where the fans are going to praise, and the haters are going to hate, no matter what.

Case in point, I’ve seen people calling the new Cannibal Corpse album “boring” even as others declare that it “pushes the Death Metal genre forward” (it doesn’t, but it’s far from “boring”), I’ve read posts claiming that Gojira are either “just a generic groove-metal act” or “the greatest band of the century” (they’re neither, as it happens), and observed several sites giving the latest Vreid a perfect 10/10 score (c’mon guys, it’s good, but do you really think it’s on the level of, say, Master of Puppets or are you just spitting hype because you know it gets clicks?).

That being the case, however, I still feel like there’s a place for a more measured and “objective” analysis of each of these releases, one which doesn’t exist just to confirm the pre-existing prejudices of its readers, which is why I decided to step up to the plate, take one for the team, and attempt to bring a little bit of balance to the force, by reviewing them all myself.

Continue reading »

Mar 272021


In yesterday’s round-up I burrowed deeply into the underground and surfaced with a collection of six songs that I thought were insane and unnerving in different ways. Today I’m on a different tack, leading off with some bigger names and then tunneling into underground depths again.

In addition, all of the following tracks were recommended to me by NCS colleagues and other friends. They didn’t let me down; hopefully you won’t feel let down either. There’s so much genre-spread here that you ought to find at least something that strikes a chord.

(I should mention that my friends didn’t just send me music. They also made me aware of the news that Meshuggah is recording a new album, and that it will feature the return of Fredrik Thordendal, trading places with Per Nilsson. They also passed along an announcement, accompanied by the photo of Peter Tägtgren above, that Hypocrisy’s new album has been completed.) Continue reading »

Feb 172021


What follows is a collection of new songs and videos that different people messaged me about today, plus a few I had noticed in preceding days. With apologies to anyone who might care, I unfortunately don’t have the time to provide as many stumbling brilliant verbal descriptions of the music as I usually do, but nevertheless hope you enjoy all the sounds, as I have.

GOJIRA (France)

Born For One Thing“: feverish tumult with slightly industrialized grooves, trademark atonal pounding, and gripping rhythmic interplay, plus eerie melodic accents… definitely in their comfort zone, and very good…. Continue reading »

Aug 062020


Two old favorites released new singles yesterday, and not just bands who’ve been personal favorites for a very long time but bands whose music has continually evolved, which added a big curiosity factor to the experience. I’m beginning the round-up with those two tracks. As we’re want to do around here, I’m then moving into music from bands I’d never heard of before yesterday, bands whose profiles are buried far deeper in the underground than the first two.


The beautiful animated video for Gojira’s new song is sufficiently engrossing that it pulled my focus away from the song when I first saw it. I definitely had impressions of the music, but needed to listen to it again without watching the video to better appreciate what the band were doing. The video is indebted to a certain work by the French author Pierre Boulle, but it’s especially haunting because of the perils of our current existence. Continue reading »

Jun 262018


Given what I’ve planned to write for the site today, I don’t have time to compile the kind of typically large SEEN AND HEARD round-up I’d like to assemble, but enough time to do something shorter. And so I’ve resorted once again to the QUICK HITS concept that ran almost every day for a week not too long ago. Better than nothing, right?


In August 2010 one of the people who started this site with me, but hasn’t been involved since 2011, wrote a post with this title: “Why Gojira Is the Best Metal Band in the World“. Almost eight years later, I’m pretty sure he still believes that. And after almost eight years that post still gets hits; in terms of traffic, it’s in the all-time Top 5 pages visited on our site.

Eight years ago, that writer was trying to draw more attention to a band that had only toured the U.S. once, as a support band for In Flames, and not even principal support — that position went to All That Remains. Now, of course, Gojira are a global phenomenon, and still have a soul. And In Flames and All That Remains? The less said about them in their current musical incarnations, the better. Continue reading »

Jan 072017


Here’s Part 6 of this evolving list, in which I’m adding two more songs, one that I would guess will be well-known to most readers and one that may have been overlooked by most, or possibly forgotten because it appeared relatively early in 2016. Apart from the fun of running back through lots of good music over the last year, I entertain myself in putting this list together by deciding how to group songs for each of its Parts. I discovered some interesting similarities in these two songs that I thought would make them a good pairing.

To see the other selections for the list so far, as well as an explanation of what criteria were used in making it, go here.


We received hundreds upon hundreds of reader suggestions for this list. I aggregated and alphabetized all of them, and that master list revealed that Gojira’s album Magma was the source of more reader recommendations than anything else released last year (narrowly edging Anaal Nathrakh).  But the recommendations were split almost evenly between two songs:  “Silvera” and “Stranded”, with one vote cast in favor of combining “Magma” and “Pray” into a single selection. Continue reading »

Jul 092016



If you’re reading this, it means you survived another week. Congratulations. That seems like good cause for celebration, since about 155,000 people die every day on average.

To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of new music I sifted from the never-ending torrent of new metal over the last 48 hours, presented in alphabetical order by band name.


The Italian death metal band ADE, whom we last mentioned in these pages almost four years ago, have a new album headed our way on July 15 via Spain’s Xtreem Music. Like its predecessors, Carthago Delenda Est again draws upon themes from ancient Roman history, and the title suggests that its focus is on Rome’s efforts to destroy the North African city-state of Carthage in the Punic Wars. The Font of All Human Knowledge tells us: Continue reading »

May 202016



I haven’t heard Gojira’s new album Magma, but my comrade Andy Synn has. And last night he alerted me to the fact that Gojira would begin streaming a new song today — a song he described as “one of the really good ones” on Magma. And so they have. And so it is — really good, I mean.

The name of the song is “Silvera”, and it’s presented through a video directed by Drew Cox. The music is powerful and jolting, with a swirling Eastern-influenced melody that’s urgent and intense. It’s unmistakably a Gojira song, bursting with passion and displaying many of the band’s hallmark ingredients — yet it also differs from their past output, featuring more clean vocals (which will evidently be a hallmark of this new album) and coming to a close in a way that might seem premature in comparison with the band’s older work. Continue reading »

Apr 212016



In late March, when I read Rolling Stone’s interview/listening-session (here) with the Duplantier brothers about Gojira’s new album Magma, I became increasingly uneasy. Reading Kory Grow’s descriptions of some of the songs that he heard while talking with the brothers in their New York City studio made me fear that Gojira had morphed into a French variant of Mastodon, making a big sweeping turn into radio-friendly rock.

He wrote that “the band has taken a different route with the album compared to past riff-fests”, and referred to “almost-industrial rhythm[s]”, “brittle guitar line[s]”, “almost gothier riff[s]”, “Joe singing a monk-like chant”,  “sorrowful, gothy vocals”, flutes and cowbells, and lots of four-minute songs because “people’s attentions are shorter now” (Joe’s words). In the final paragraph, Grow wrote, “they’re eager to show a different side of themselves on the new record and see how their fans react to it”.

Well, now we have some actual music, because within the last two hours, the band debuted a music video for the new album’s first advance track, “Stranded”. Continue reading »