Jul 082023

I don’t work regular hours for my “day job” (in quotes because it can require night hours too, because it’s irregular). The upside is that it usually gives me time for NCS in the early part of the day when I do most of what I do around here. The downside is that it sometimes inserts itself unexpectedly, like on a Saturday morning of all fucking times, which is what happened to me today, never mind that it’s also my birthday (please hold your applause).

So, getting a late start on this roundup means it’s not as fulsome as it should be. I was able to manage more than two songs (which was the sum total of what yesterday’s roundup provided), but not many more. But they’re good ones!


Cryptopsy are one of those bands that I think all of the steady contributors to our site have enjoyed for a long time (at least I can speak for myself, DGR, and Mr. Synn). So the news of a new Cryptopsy album and song popped up in our secret discussions very quickly. So that’s where we’ll start… with the video for that new song, “In Abeyance” (especially because it gives us a chance to show off some more of Paolo Girardi‘s artwork at the top of the page). Continue reading »

Oct 162017


(Austin Weber presents our premiere of a new split release by Retortion Terror and Invidiosus.)

We’ve got a special early stream of the new split release from grinders Retortion Terror and longtime NCS favorites Invidiosus for you today.

While the name Retortion Terror may not ring any bells, knowing that legendary grindcore guitarist Takafumi Matsubara (Gridlink, Mortalized) is the main person behind it should pique your interest.

For those who don’t know the story, in 2014, shortly after the critically lauded release of Gridlink’s Longhena, Takafumi suffered a crippling and tragic brain infection that made it seem like he would never be able to play guitar again. But his tireless spirit fought against all odds to come back, and his material here with Retortion Terror is his first musical creation to come out since his incredible recovery. Continue reading »

Feb 032014

(It’s grind time.  High-class grind time.  Austin Weber reviews the forthcoming final album by Gridlink.)

While it’s a damn shame that Discordance Axis, one of the greatest grind bands ever to exist, are no more, we are fortunate that Gridlink continue to thrive. For those not aware of Gridlink, they have former badass Discordance Axis vocalist Jon Chang in their ranks. The rest of their absurdly talented line-up consists of guitarist Takafumi Matsubara (Discordance Axis, Hayaino Daisuki), bassist Ted Patterson (Burnt by the Sun, Human Remains, Hayaino Daisuki), and drummer Bryan Fajardo (Phobia, PLF). Just recently, the band announced that Gridlink will be no more and that the forthcoming Longhena will be their final album, which came as a shock to me.

Longhena is an eloquently crafted swansong that tops all of Gridlink’s prior output, partly due to guitarist Takafumi’s addition of more oddball guitar passages that break up the band’s classy, colossal grinding nicely. Once again, Takafumi proves himself to be one of grind’s greatest riff writers; his efforts are, simply put, incredible.

The first two tracks, “Constant Autumn” and “The Last Raven”, set the tone right: frantic, mind-bending, and bold. Track three,” Thirst Watcher”, stands out as the first curveball of the album. It’s a sparse, meditative instrumental I didn’t see coming. Instrumental on a grind album you say? Yes indeed, and it’s awesome, while strangely not feeling out of place. Continue reading »

Dec 252013

I have my own opinions about Christmas and the whole holiday season surrounding it, the kind of opinions that used to provoke an annual rant on this site (such as this one, which still receives new visits at this time of year despite its age). But there will be no rant this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t changed my opinions. However, it has dawned on me that spewing vitriol about the holiday is somewhat inconsistent with what we stand for at NCS. Life delivers more than enough frustration, aggravation, hurt feelings, pain, sorrow, loneliness, parking tickets, and bad food without us adding to the negativity. I like to think that what we’re about at NCS is delivering things that make life better, e.g., some daily metal and generally good-humored prose.

Despite its shortcomings, Christmas does make life better for some people (though certainly not all). Some people hold the holiday as a sacred occasion. It gives some people an occasion to enjoy the company of family and friends. For others, it evokes warm memories of years gone by. Some simply enjoy the pretty lights and the chance to stuff themselves with yummy eats. In general, I think it’s wrong to put down activities that make people happy, as long as they’re not hurting themselves or others in the process, even if such activities don’t do much for me. So, this year I won’t be complaining about Christmas. Continue reading »