Feb 022020
 

 

As predicted at the end of yesterday’s penultimate segment of this list, I spent hours agonizing about what to include in this final Part. And in the end, despite the internal misery occasioned by having to make a final choice among so many strong remaining candidates, it’s still a largely random outcome — even though this final episode includes a LOT more songs than usual. Basically, I went with my gut, slightly aided by my brain, which thought this sequence of tracks might be a fitting conclusion. At a minimum, it’s more directly in line with the title of this list than yesterday’s choices.

The first three songs are guitar spectacles, the fourth and fifth ones keep the savage energy in the red zone in different ways, the sixth moves into malevolent brutishness (with serious risk of sore-neck syndrome), and then we shift gears into downright epic territory with the last two stirring and marvelously multi-faceted songs, which seemed the right way, in farewell, to express how glorious metal was in 2019.

MATTERHORN

I first stumbled across the Swiss band Matterhorn in the spring of 2018 when they had two songs up for streaming in advance of Iron Bonehead‘s CD release of their debut album, Crass Cleansing, and I came away very impressed. I had a tough time categorizing the music, describing it then as a stew of extremity that included elements of thrash, speed metal, punk, black metal, and death metal — and the overall impact was electrifying. Continue reading »

Feb 272019
 

 

(This is DGR’s review of the new album by the French symphonic death metal band Gorgon, which was released by Dusktone on January 18, 2019.)

In the mental picture of our pretend NCS office that I keep in my head — when there isn’t somehow a gigantic fire in the corner that no one can explain — I often imagine the handful of us as having desks, as if we were respectable, upright citizens. So when I often say that a promo was “slid across my desk”, I’m projecting what I know of my fellow writers onto the surmised reasons why they may have sent a certain disc my way as they strolled by. This does happen, in the virtual world if not in a world of desks, as we are often determined to find music that we can share with each other, as well as all of you.

The arrival of France’s Gorgon and their latest album Elegy at the NCS office was one of those moments, where I felt as if I could sense the album slowly sliding my way, especially as more and more details of the group were revealed — as if it had become sentient itself and our meeting was an inevitability. Continue reading »

Jul 272016
 

Krieg-Photo by Hillarie Jason

 

(We welcome back Neill Jameson (Krieg) with the second installment of a multi-part post devoted to under-the-radar black metal releases worthy of greater attention. You can find Part 1 here.)

As we slog through the bullshit heat and humidity of the summer one could say the best activity to beat the heat is to stay indoors, shun your asshole friends who think hiking on the surface of the sun is enjoyable, grab a drink and bide your time listening to music. It’s a good distraction and perfect excuse not to go outside and get skin cancer in the name of “fun in the sun”.

This is the second part of my blathering about black metal releases you should listen to because I’m under the misguided impression that I have decent taste. This might turn into a three-part series because I keep thinking of random records at inopportune times like when my boss is trying to explain new vital procedures at work. Continue reading »