Apr 062024

Saturdays after Bandcamp Fridays should be named just like hurricanes. I’m left staring hopelessly at the wreckage of the NCS in-box and the high-water marks left by the musical flood, which still hasn’t really receded.

In case you were wondering, an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization maintains and updates the annually rotating list of hurricane names, with one name for each letter of the alphabet, except for Q, U, X, Y, and Z. This year the list begins with Alberto. However, I see no reason not to use the letters omitted by the WMO, so let’s call this Saturday Quorthon.

Let’s listen to these 12 songs, all but the last of which breached the surface of the flood during the last week, while we wait (hopelessly) for the carpet to dry out. Continue reading »

Aug 222023

(Our man DGR takes on the new album by the Swedish death metal group Grand Cadaver in the following extensive review, just a few days before the record’s August 25 release by Majestic Mountain Records.)

Grand Cadaver are one of a large handful of throwback Swede-death metal projects that popped up over the last couple years. The stars must’ve aligned just right for the combination of the ‘thirty-year nostalgia cycle’, the trapped-at-home anxiousness of much of the pandemic, and the general creative explosion that seems to have emerged from a lot of people determined not to let Bloodbath have all the fun over the past few years, that we’ve wound up with quite the resurgence of that particular style.

You can always argue that it never stopped, and like much of heavy metal, there is never going to be any one style that actually fully ‘stops’. Given the genre’s obsession with corpses, murder, and the shambling dead therein, it would make sense that it would also continue to lurch along in the underground while the spotlight focuses on other trends.

The recent uptick of such bands, however, also includes groups of seasoned musicians who’ve largely made a career out of other styles of music coming back around to what they grew up with and cut their teeth on, which is largely why it seems like lately you’ve been able to see bands with incredible resumes to their varying parts. Grand Cadaver are one of those,  and they’ve kept pretty busy since launching in 2020, having issued one album and an EP up until now, and now this year we’re being treated to the group’s second full-length, Deities Of Deathlike Sleep. Continue reading »

Jul 122023

(If you’re a death metal fan and you haven’t yet heard The Grifted‘s new album, released in April by Personal Records, you have some excellent listening ahead of you, and you’ll probably be even more interested after you read Comrade Aleks‘ excellent interview with guitarist Stefan Lagergren.)

NCS’ constant followers will remember The Grifted‘s track premiere in March (here). This absolutely classic sounding death metal band from Stockholm drew our attention not only with the killer single “The Maggots Feast” and their debut album Doomsday & Salvation itself, but also with heir shockingly civilized image, very organic and impressive.

The Grifted was founded in 2020 technically, but it’s the renamed version of the Mr. Death collective which used to record two proper full-lengths works and two EPs in a period from 2007 to 2020. Moreover, Juck Thullberg (bass) and Stefan Lagergren (guitars) were founders of the pre-Tiamat band Treblinka and took part in recording of Tiamat’s debut Sumerian Cry (1990).

And it’s right to note what their colleagues Jonas Ohlsson (drums), Jocke Lindström (vocals), and Staffan Skoglund (guitars) certainly know a few things about how to turn everything upside down and unleash the sheer death metal madness upon our doomed world.

This interview should have been done earlier, and I kept it on my mind for almost four months, so I invite you to join our conversation with Stefan Lagergren with a sense of relief and the feeling that the right thing is done. (And thanks to Nathan Birk, Suspicious Activities PR, for organizing this interview.) Continue reading »

Jun 092023

I was supposed to premiere and review an EP today. Despite knowing better, the label and band decided to publish the stream and circulate it to fans without waiting on us. Not the first time something like that has happened around here, but I no longer ignore it when people care so little about our unpaid efforts to help. Time is better spent in other ways, and so rather than finish that premiere write-up I decided to pull together this round-up of new songs and videos that mostly surfaced just this week.

I’ve not put much thought into some clever way of arranging the flow of them, in part because there are so many stylistic twists and turns in what I chose. Just think of yourself as a tennis ball thrown into a dryer with a lot of other tennis balls and start tumbling.


This week Grand Cadaver released a third single from their new album Deities Of Deathlike Sleep. They sum up the album as “Swedish Fucking Death Metal, the way we love it”, and the lack of pretension extends to the name of the newest song: “Vortex of Blood“. Continue reading »

Feb 102023

This has been a rare week when we didn’t have at least one premiere on the calendar every day. That gave me the time to do not one, not two, but three round-ups of new songs and videos, including this one. And I ought to have time for a fourth one tomorrow.

The timing has been fortuitous, because the past week or two has been jammed with new singles and advance tracks from forthcoming records that have piqued my interest (and should pique yours), including the following four, with news of a new reissue at the end.


This tremendously impressive band moved from strength to greater strength over the course of their Chasm EP (2016), their debut album Cacophony of Terror (2018), and their Monolith of Corrosion EP (2021), and now they’re returning with a second album named Deformity Adrift that’s set for release on May 5th via their label Total Dissonance Worship in the US and Vendetta Records in Europe. Continue reading »

Apr 142022


I intended to complete and post this round-up yesterday, but my fucking day job rudely interfered. In the meantime I’ve been alerted to a bunch of other new songs and videos that surfaced yesterday. Trying to include them now would result in further delay, so I’ll just have to save them for later. Almost half of what you’ll find below came my way via DGR, and one more from a friend and former NCS writer, and the rest I somehow found on my own.


“IT’S GLORIOUS. I mean this is like it fell right out of a time machine from the Colony sessions.” That’s what DGR wrote when he alerted some of his fellow NCS slaves to the existence of this first song, which is the title track to The Halo Effect‘s new album, Days of the Lost. And if you don’t know, one reason for the Colony reference is that this band includes a bunch of former In Flames members (Jesper Strömblad, Niclas Engelin, Peter Iwers, and Daniel Svensson) plus Dark Tranquillity‘s Mikael Stanne behind the mic. Continue reading »

Nov 152021



(This is the first Part of a week-long series of reviews by DGR as he tries to clear out a back-log before year-end Listmania descends.)

With year-end season quickly approaching it’s time for the final sailing of the good review ship. This time, like every year, there’s a collective of music that’s been unleashed over the past few months – and earlier, because the search for new noise never really stops – that deserves to be written about.

Whether it’s a surprise release from a larger name or a ‘why did we never follow up on this’ way down the line, this attempt to briefly review a whole smorgasbord of metal releases that emerged over the last few months is an effort to get some names out there before year-end season fully takes over the website and yours truly does the annual exercise of numbering things for my own amusement.

Throwing yourself into the heavy metal maelstrom never stops being fun – especially when you emerge from the other side with no clear idea how you’re still standing – so who knows what else we might discover in the near future. In the meantime though, here’s the first installment of a huge batch of offerings that may please the musical hordes. Continue reading »

Sep 042021


Can’t you read plain English? It says “Labor Day”. It doesn’t say “Holi-Day”. So I’m just following the prescribed agenda, and laboring.

Because I unexpectedly agreed to write a whopping four premieres yesterday, I had no time to begin rounding up a selection of songs and videos that surfaced this past week. Leaving that until today has resulted in another massive collection, again featuring too many bands to name in the post title.

As it happens, the majority of the new music you’ll find below is accompanied by videos. It also happens that almost all of the new songs are high-speed devastators. This isn’t entirely by accident, because many of them were recommended in our NCS group by DGR, who tends to prefer musical riots over other forms of audio entertainment. And once I’d gotten into that kind of groove, I tended to stick with it in choosing from among other possibilities I checked out.


We’ll start with a new lyric video for a frantic new song by Archspire, in which vocalist Oliver Rae Aleron goes faster than a cattle auctioneer and the rest of the band spits a variety of bullets even faster — but then abruptly the song gets dreamy. Continue reading »

May 252021


(Here’s DGR’s review of the debut death metal EP by a group of Swedish veterans who’ve taken the name Grand Cadaver.)

It’s very likely that a large part of what might catch people’s eyes with a project like Grand Cadaver comes from the band’s lineup – so much so that I assumed our search bar had to be broken within our smoking crater of the internet since I could’ve sworn they’d gotten a shoutout here before.

The project itself is one of many recent creations of the swede-death revivalist forge. While the genre has never gone away, the last few years have seen a humongous resurgence of groups playing that blueprint-perfected, chainsaw-toned, snare-drum-thumping style of death metal. The revivalists often seem to have been made up of names from larger projects – many from the melodeath scene even, as if to stake some sort of claim along the lines of ‘We can play this type of shit too!’.

In the case of the newly founded Grand Cadaver project you have Dark Tranquillity‘s Mikael Stanne at the vocal front, and alongside him stands journeyman drummer Daniel Liljekvist (whom you might recognize as having sat behind the kit for In Mourning and Katatonia in times past), with Stefan Lagergren (whose resume is deep in the death metal scene, including an early stint in Tiamat as well as years in Expulsion), Alex Stjernfeldt (most recently of Let Them Hang, and Novarupta) and Christian Jansson (Pagandom, ex-Transport League) completing the lineup. To say that the group’s resume is stacked is putting it mildly.

So, when you see names like that with the death metal tag attached to it and a near-thirteen-minute EP entitled Madness Comes… you pretty much know what you’re in for from moment one. Continue reading »