Jun 012022

(We present Todd Manning‘s review of the new album by Haunter. It was released earlier this month by Profound Lore.)

Hailing from Austin Texas, the trio known as Haunter released Discarnate Ails via Profound Lore on May 6th. While only consisting of three songs, the album is nothing short of an epic journey through complex and progressive death metal.

The album opens with the ten-plus-minute song “Overgrown With the Moss”. The clean guitar that opens the track hints slightly at early Metallica at their most subdued, but this quickly gives way to a mammoth riff and powerful vocals. The feel is black metal in its scope but death metal in its density. A melodic guitar figure adds to the feeling of grandeur, yet things change again to a bit of Gorguts-inspired dissonance. More clean guitar work returns and things continue to shift and transform. And all this in the first half of the lengthy piece.

Obviously, Haunter are not lacking in ambition, and thankfully they’re able to execute all of this with great skill. Continue reading »

Sep 202019



(Andy Synn presents an extra-large Friday round-up of highly recommended new releases, from Apparatus, Consummation, Crypt Sermon,  Eternal Storm, Foscor, Haunter, Soheil Al Fard, Toadeater, Weight of Emptiness, and Witch Vomit.)

Inundated and overwhelmed with new releases as we are here at NCS it’s no surprise that a lot of albums this year have gone unpraised and unremarked upon.

And this situation looks likely to only get worse going into the last quarter of the year, as there’s a frankly astounding number of new albums yet to come before 2019 draws to a close.

Heck, today alone sees highly-anticipated new releases from Cult of Luna and White Ward, an unexpectedly killer comeback from Exhorder, as well as some seriously good new records from less well-exposed, but no less deserving, artists like Coffins, Engulfed, Urn, and more.

But, chances are you’re likely to have already read a lot about all those bands, either here or elsewhere.

So, instead, I’m going to take this opportunity to draw your attention to a bunch of albums (some big, some small) that you may have missed over the last few days/weeks/months. Continue reading »

Aug 222019


After the strength of Haunter‘s 2016 debut album (Thrinodia) and splits with Crawl, Sovereign, and Black Vice, hopes have been high for this Texas band’s next album, which is now set for release on September 13th by I, Voidhanger Records. It is no exaggeration to say that even the most fervent and optimistic hopes have been exceeded. Across the five substantial tracks included on Sacramental Death Qualia, Haunter have created an authentic musical adventure. Their compositions have become even more creatively elaborate, more technically demanding, and more unpredictable. The whole trip is one of those forays into extreme music that’s capable of leaving listeners wide-eyed and breathless.

The album invades a small sector of music that isn’t densely populated, a place sought out by travelers who enjoy high-flying progressive adventurousness — when it’s experienced within an extreme framework, intertwined with the sounds of violence and insanity, of desolation and despair.  Sacramental Death Qualia delivers its mind-bending permutations with exactly that kind of harrowing intensity, but its surprises don’t end with the intricacy of the movements and the sharpness of the dark mood swings. As you’ll discover through the song we’re presenting today, Haunter are equally capable of creating moments of spell-binding beauty. Continue reading »

Aug 052019


I might have bitten off more than I can chew in the concluding installment of this column, which began here yesterday: After opening with one advance track, I’ve included complete streams of four album-length or EP-length releases. There’s also a risk that I’m serving up a platter of blackened metal that’s too heavily laden for most of you to consume. I’ll have to hope that you at least sample everything. You might find one or more prized additions to your music collection.


As I organized the selections in this second segment of this week’s column, it seemed fitting to begin and end it with the talents of Elijah Tamu. Here at the beginning you see an example of his striking visual art, in the cover of Sacramental Death Qualia, the new album by Texas-based Haunter. At the end, his musical talents will be on display. Continue reading »

Jan 082018


In an effort to catch up with new music that appeared last week (or in some cases that I only discovered last week), I’ve resorted to a two-part OVERFLOWING STREAMS post. And for those who haven’t noticed the format of these posts, they’re a form of personal surrender to the flood of new music. I enjoy writing thoughts about what I want to recommend, but in posts such as this one I just let the music speak for itself because there’s so much to recommend that I don’t have time to blurt out my own reactions.

In the first part of this post I decided to collect only new split releases that I’ve recently found. To be sure, these aren’t the only splits that I’ve discovered recently — some I intend to listen to but haven’t heard yet. These, I’ve at least listened to once and have had positive reactions, and perhaps you will too. The first one is really hot off the presses, since it just appeared over the weekend. Continue reading »

Feb 142017


(Here we have a trio of reviews by Andy Synn, who’s still not finished with 2016.)

So it looks like, barring some sort of unforeseen intervention by an outside source, this will be my penultimate catch-up post for 2016, and very soon I’ll be able to divert my full attention to new releases – both from lesser-known acts and from bigger names – from 2017.

In the meantime, however, here are three more killer albums from last year that really deserved a lot more attention and acclaim than they received. Continue reading »