Feb 012022

First Fragment

As explained yesterday, I decided to plow through my self-imposed end-of-January deadline for finishing this list because it became apparent to me that I had overlooked a number of tracks that really needed to be included. Worse than that, I had really given short-shrift to a few entire genres of extreme metal. Since one of my objectives for the list has been to give a snapshot of what the preceding year brought us across a range of genres, that deficiency needed to be remedied, at least to some extent.

Technical death metal is one of the genres that hasn’t really gotten the exposure it deserves in the list as it exists so far. Today’s installment is an effort to at least partially make up for that, and I’ve also included a technically adept band whose music is often classified as melodic black/death.


“Let’s face it, 2021 has been a ridiculous year for the Tech Death scene.” That’s how Andy Synn began his review of First Fragment’s Gloire Éternelle, and who could argue with that? But it’s also fair to say that despite the intensity of the competition First Fragment still stood out. Continue reading »

Jul 072021


(We present another one of DGR’s typically deep-dive reviews, this time focusing on the latest album by Hannes Grossmann, which is out now.)

Hannes Grossmann has over the years become one of metal’s more prolific names and certainly one of metal’s more recognizable drummers, and for good reason. His unerring precision behind the kit could make anyone jealous. Had Gene Hoglan not already earned the nickname ‘The Atomic Clock’ through his own hard work, Hannes could easily step up as the next candidate to experiment with how gravity affects time via blastbeats after being launched into space.

When you have a resume that has included banner names of the tech-death scene and on some of their landmark works, it’s easy to understand how Hannes has gained the following he has. It also makes sense, then, that he could easily make his way in the world of solo projects, and in fact has been doing so for four albums now, the most recent of which — To Where The Light Retreats — saw release in early June, following a solo single last year. Continue reading »

Feb 172020


(We present Karina Noctum‘s recent interview with Hannes Grossmann, the German drummer, composer, and producer who made his name drumming with such bands as Necrophagist, Blotted Science, Obscura, Alkaloid, and Hate Eternal. His most recent solo album Apophenia was released last year, and he is now recording a new solo album.)


As a drummer you have played various styles of metal throughout the last years. You’re also a successful composer and producer/sound engineer. Which task and what style do you find the most challenging?

To me it is very important to have an even work balance between writing, producing and drumming. I wouldn’t be satisfied if I just played drums for various bands. My first professional band was Necrophagist and it was extremely difficult to play their music. But it wasn’t the technicality I was interested in in the first place, it was the fact that the music was something unique, something new.

Of course technical stuff like Blotted Science and Necrophagist was the hardest to play on the drums, mainly because it’s fast and complicated. There isn’t any room left for improvisation, unlike in Obscura or Alkaloid. In those bands, being a main songwriter, I have much more freedom to express myself on the drum kit. But then writing and producing is really tough. Especially the last Alkaloid album Liquid Anatomy was difficult. Overall it is probably the hardest record I’ve done, but also the most rewarding. So it really depends. I can say that with every difficult task I have grown as a musician. Continue reading »

Sep 062016

Khonsu-The Xun Protectorate


(DGR prepared this large roundup of new music streams, with one item added by the editor.)

I’ve been slowly gathering up this veritable feast of heavy metal for this roundup, basically doing my usual duty of being the last line of defense for metal news that often pops up and we didn’t catch right away for a variety of reasons. This time around, I’ve got a huge collection of six [now seven] different items, some of which I’m sure you’ve likely crossed paths with but we didn’t dedicate words to and others because they may not be in the usual NCS coverage wheelhouse. I even managed to include some serious lighter fare this time, to help brighten up the mood musically after the first two full onslaughts [now three] hit your musical listening systems.

So let’s kick this thing off with a real quick one that happened as I was writing this intro, and then dive into the meat of it and romp around in its innards for a while.



This one is going to be quick, mostly because there isn’t a huge block of heavy metal music proper — but it just happened, and I’ll be goddamned if I don’t say that I am immensely excited for this disc. Continue reading »

Jul 272016

Hannes Grossmann-The Crypts of Sleep


Approximately one month ago my comrade DGR spilled a lot of words at our site about a very exciting piece of news — the rising presence on the horizon of a new solo album by the phenomenal Hannes Grossmann, and the release of the first advance track from the album. Today we’re delighted to bring you the premiere of a second song with an accompanying lyric video — “Hail Satan” (that’s the name of the song, as well as our reaction to it) — and a reminder about the crowdfunding campaign that’s necessary to put the entire album in our grasping hands.

For those who may only now be discovering Hannes Grossmann, he is a Nuremberg-based writer and producer who is probably best known as a drummer for such bands as Necrophagist, Obscura, Blotted Science, Alkaloid, and Hate Eternal. In addition to being an amazing musician, he was a principal songwriter for Obscura as well as a creative force in the remarkable Alkaloid, whose debut album The Malkuth Grimoire was one of 2015’s best.

Two years ago, he released his first solo album The Radial Covenant, which was also financed through a crowdfunding campaign, and this new one is named The Crypts of Sleep.
Continue reading »

Jun 212016

Hannes Grossman


(DGR had so much fun stepping up for round-up duty last week that he’s already back with more new songs to recommend. And later today you’re humble editor will throw in Parts 2 and 3 of today’s round-up.)

Just as we managed to post our last series of huge collections of music, even more delicious goodies came to our attention span over the past week whilst we lay on rocks under the sun attempting to capture flies. This time around, music that leaked out within the past few weeks is what we’re hoping to cover — with one notable exception that is a bit more of an anthropology act waiting at the bottom.

Last week saw a handful of huge premieres — including one day at our very site that saw seven pretty huge ones — and we’re hoping to help spread the news. This installment is, again, pretty death-metal-heavy but moreso stuff that has been on the fringes of the genre than stuff that is straightforward blasts and sewage growls. We’re going to cover the tech realm, the thrashier side, the melodic side, and then into one band who covered a vast amount of ground before they went into hibernation. There should also be some pretty hefty names for you all to recognize as well, which made last week fairly exciting to say the least. Continue reading »

Feb 202014

(Our friend Austin Weber returns with another collection of short reviews, with album and song streams.)

While 2014 doesn’t appear to have as many big league releases coming thus far, new and upcoming bands of all stripes will no doubt fill the void in quality. What follows are a smattering of different songs to hear and love or hate. Hate is more fun, but who knows maybe you will find something you enjoy?


Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed numerous metal writers describe a band as sounding like Obscura. Whether or not that’s true, the point remains that it’s hard to get more Obscura-sounding than Hannes Grossmann, because duh, he is in Obscura. The Radial Covenant is his first solo record, written entirely by him, and accompanied by a jaw-dropping assortment of metal gods and legends. The album was crowdfunded into existence and just recently released. I should not need to explain how beyond-badass the ripping technical and melodic death metal core of The Radial Covenant is, though the experimental and progressive sides to the record are just as phenomenal. This is a higher quality death metal release than most of what’s coming out right now. So go buy it now, don’t be a late adopter. Continue reading »

Oct 072013

Here are a few new songs I came across in my adventures through the interhole today. I came across other songs, but trust me, you don’t want to hear them. These, you want to hear. Serendipitously, they all have something to do with the word “Aeon”.


It was only last year that Metal Blade released Galloping Blasphemy, the debut album by Satan’s Wrath, a two-man Greek “Satanic blackened thrash” band. But lo and behold, the label is already planning to release a second full-length, Aeons of Satan’s Reign. What’s more, it began streaming a new song today by the name of “Die White Witch Die”.

Poor Jesus, once again made the source of refreshment for the goat lord, but I do like the colorful cover. I also do like “Die White Witch Die”, voiced as it is by one of the goat lord’s hellish minions and filled as it is with rockin’, thrashin’, bloody minded riffs, plus an infernally good slowdown. This isn’t old school, this is roughly three old schools packed into one. Sick guitar solo, too. Continue reading »

Mar 112010

It’s not uncommon that when we see a national tour on its Seattle stop, there’s one or two bands that caused us to shell out for the tickets and one or two that we can pretty much take or leave — or worse yet, that we simply have to endure, as part of the price paid to see who we really want to see.

But that sure as hell wasn’t our reaction when we first heard about The American Defloration Tour. Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura, Augury, and HateSphere. We would have paid to see any one of those bands. To see them all on the same bill was just a fucking bonanza!

So when that stellar line-up took the stage at El Corazon on the night of March 9, all three of your NCS Co-Authors and our entourage were there to bear witness to the awesomeness, and we now file this report, along with a few photos (for which we apologize, because we forgot to bring the good camera and used a borrowed camera that hadn’t been charged and ran out of juice and, well, shit happens).  (read on after the jump . . .) Continue reading »