Apr 102020



I wondered whether the words “pandemic” and “pandemonium” were linguistically related. So I did some research.

Pandemic“, a word that originated in the 1660s in reference to disease, means “incident to a whole people or region” and derives from the Late Latin word pandemus, and in turn from the Greek pandemos, meaning to “pertain to all people; public, common” (from pan– “all” and dēmos “people”).

On the other hand, “pandemonium” was coined by John Milton in 1667 in Paradise Lost (though he spelled it “Pandæmonium”) as the name of the palace built in the middle of Hell, “the high capital of Satan and all his peers,” and the abode of all the demons. He built the name from the Greek pan– “all” and the Late Latin daemonium (“evil spirit”), which in turn derived from the Greek daimonion (“inferior divine power”) and daimōn “lesser god”.

So, although pandemics often produce pandemonium, as we’re witnessing, the words aren’t very closely related.

Now that we’re finished with your home-schooling for the day, let’s move on to the musical pandemonium I selected for this round-up. By coincidence, all the music comes from bands who are established favorites of our site. Continue reading »

Jun 112015


Given the amount of hype that the debut album by Gruesome has received both before and since its official release by Relapse Records in April, neither the band nor the album (Savage Land) may need an introduction. Yet the whole point of premieres like the one we’re about to bring you is the off-chance that someone out there may not yet have gotten the memo.

For those who are just discovering Gruesome, they’re a talented collection of artists who’ve honed their chops in many other groups, including Exhumed, Malevolent Creation, Possessed, and Derketa. And the album is an unabashed homage to the music of Chuck Schuldiner and Death.

What we’ve got for you today is an official lyric video for a song from Savage Land that shares its name with the band — “Gruesome”. Continue reading »

Apr 152015


Yes, it’s true, we shove about 100 new songs in your face on a daily basis, but we know your face holds a lot of songs, so we need to keep shoving. Be sure to chew them well and don’t try to talk while you’re doing it, ’cause you could choke to death.


Surely you know about Gruesome by now, because we’ve certainly written about them enough, and we even premiered a song from their debut album Savage Land. They give new meaning to the phrase Total Death Worship.

As of yesterday, the whole album became available for streaming. I don’t know why you wouldn’t go listen to it, unless you’re in a coma, in which case we wish you a speedy recovery and a pain-free removal of the catheter. Don’t forget to share photos of that for our collection. We’re thinking about turning them into a large-format NCS coffee-table book, The Art of Catheter Removal.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, there’s a stream of Savage Land at Decibel. It’s an exclusive, so you and your catheter will need to go here to listen, and you’ll both be glad you did: Continue reading »

Mar 192015


We’ve been beating the drums for Gruesome’s debut album on Relapse Records, Savage Land, since first hearing a couple of early songs that emerged last June. Earlier this month Relapse premiered the album’s fourth track, “Hideous”, and today we’ve got the pleasure of bringing you the debut of the title song.

Gruesome’s membership roster is damned impressive. It includes Exhumed’s Matt Harvey; ex-Malevolent Creation drummer Gus RiosPossessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez; and Derketa bassist Robin Mazen. The idea behind their joining together is equally laudable: Their collective mission was to record music in tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and the almighty Death. Fittingly, they turned to illustrator Ed Repka (Death, Megadeth, Massacre, Athiest, et el) for the gruesome cover art. Continue reading »

Mar 042015


(Guest writer Grant Skelton returns to NCS, singing the praises of a new song by Gruesome.)

Some fans may wish to write off Gruesome (which features members of Exhumed, Possessed, Malevolent Creation, and Derketa) and dismiss them as a knockoff or throwback. The band do openly promote themselves by affiliating with Death, particularly the Leprosy material. To that I respond, “What’s wrong with nostalgia?”

One of the advantages of living in the time that we do is that fans can have access to material from bands who had their heyday in the pre-Internet age. To that end, Gruesome (and their forefathers) can sound completely fresh to younger fans who may just be discovering them. To the veterans, Gruesome offer something classic that doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. They bear the Florida death metal torch, and they bear it well. Continue reading »

Feb 192015


Greetings sistren and brethren. I have a bountiful collection of new songs and album streams to recommend. One of the reasons the collection is so bountiful is that I haven’t had time to pounce upon them with my usual catlike reflexes this week. I am instead moving at the speed of the loris horde in the NCS compound, which is to say, slower than the oozing of maple sap in a Vermont winter. In other words, there’s a backlog — and now the dam bursts.

Don’t be daunted by the volume of music in this collection. Just sip it slowly, a little bit at a time, as you would that jug of 100 proof rot-gut moonshine you keep under the sink next to the dry-aged head of the last person who pissed you off.

I’m presenting the music in alphabetical order by band name — and in this post I’ve only made it up to “L”. I actually have still more new music from bands whose names come later in the alphabet. I hope to package those up for tomorrow. Continue reading »

Jun 072014

I was in a death metal mood this morning and spent some time exploring music from death metal bands I hadn’t heard before. From that foray, I surfaced with two offerings that I’d like to recommend.


Genocide Pact are from Washington, DC. Two of their members (Tim and Nolan) also play in a grind core band named Disciples of Christ, and the third (the drummer, Connor) is a member of other bands as well. To date, Genocide Pact have recorded a demo that was released in 2013 by Malokul, which I discovered because A389 Recordings is distributing it on 7″ vinyl with cover art by Joshy of DC’s Ilsa.

The four songs on the demo are stripped-down and devoid of frills or fads. They lumber and crunch like a phalanx of huge earth-moving machines that haven’t had a tune-up in decades, belching the smoke of distortion and periodically squealing with feedback as the gears come close to locking up. The rhythms alternately bolt forward in a d-beat-driven rush, chug like a hellish locomotive, and stagger like a dying giant, with the crash of cymbals and the vocalist’s hoarse growls cutting through the cacophony of this brute-force demolition project. Continue reading »