Jan 302022


Before we get to the music I have a few announcements:

First, Sundays at NCS are usually reserved for the SHADES OF BLACK column. I’ve made the music selections for it today, but it’s only partially written. Hopefully I’ll finish and post it before I have to depart the site this morning. Whether I do or don’t, my traditional efforts to blacken the sabbath influenced my picks for today’s installment of this list (to see the preceding picks, go here).

Second, my song choices for today’s segment are unusual because I’m opening and closing with two very long songs. Long songs can be fantastic, but I think it’s rare for them to strike people as “infectious”. I think both of these are, in the sense that they are both so memorable.

Third, I’ve been persuaded to break my self-imposed rule that this list must end on the last day of January. I’m going to keep it going for a few more days into February. More on that in what was supposed to be the last installment of the list tomorrow. Now let’s get to today’s selections…. Continue reading »

Oct 262021

(Andy Synn has thoughts about the debut album from Anarcho-Punk Black Metal crew Gravpel)

So much for the “tolerant” left, am I right?

In all seriousness, I’ve always found it pretty ridiculous that bands who espouse so-called “left wing” views are assumed to be soft, sensitive snowflakes… since not only is that patently false, but it also ignores the fact that Heavy Metal, from its very outset, has always been rooted in this end of the political spectrum, hence its rich history of anti-fascist, anti-authoritarian, and even anti-capitalist sentiment.

Of course, Metal as a genre hasn’t always had the most nuanced grasp of politics, I’ll give you that, especially when you consider that most bands tend to define themselves by opposition – being against something, rather than for something – in a rather reactionary, and often self-defeating, kind of way.

But while Swiss Black Metal quintet Gravpel most definitely aren’t afraid to let you know exactly what they stand for – which is taking Black Metal back to its Punk roots and giving an almighty “fuck you” to all the Nazis, bigots, and fascist sympathisers attempting to use the genre to spread their fucked-up world view.

Continue reading »