Jan 272021


Like all the best-laid plans of mice and men, my goals for the rollout of this list have obviously gone seriously awry. With Part 10 having gone up on January 18th, I’ve missed six weekdays. That’s six missing installments of the list that will be very difficult to make up if I stick to my plan of finishing the rollout by the end of January. Which means I will probably have to change that drop-dead date, because I’d really like to load the list with more tracks than the remaining days of this month will allow, and I’m still busy enough with other things that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to double-up the installments every day.

Anyway, on we go…


Necrophobic’s 2020 album Dawn of the Damned was one of those records that was home to multiple candidates for this list, and as I considered them, no one track clearly stood out above the others. In an effort to settle on just one song, I sought the input of Andy Synn. As usual, he was very little help. He suggested it would be a choice between “Mirror Black”, “Dawn of the Damned”, and “As the Fire Burns”, which simply confirmed my own selection of candidates — though I also had “The Infernal Depths of Eternity” in that group. Continue reading »

Mar 222020


I’m still working my way through that list of 80 potentially interesting new songs and full releases that I mentioned in Part 1 of this big round-up. Of course, not all of those 80 are going to pass my smell test, and I couldn’t write about all of them even if they did. But there’s still a lot I want to recommend, and so with the exception of the first item below, I’ll just be offering brief impressions along with the streams.

If all goes as planned, there will be a Part 3 tomorrow. A SHADES OF BLACK column will follow this one today, whenever I finish writing it.


From 1989 to 1994 Winter released only one demo tape (Hour of Doom), one album (Into Darkness), and one EP (Eternal Frost), and nothing since then. But those recordings were enough to cement their place in the history of extreme metal and to become the jumping-off point for countless other bands in the doom and sludge genres for the last 30 years. And thus when Svart Records announced weeks ago that it would be releasing an album by a band it characterized as “a long-awaited continuation of what Winter would have been”, I sat up and paid attention. Continue reading »

Mar 112020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by German’s Heaven Shall Burn. It’s set for release on March 20th by Century Media and features cover art by Eliran Kantor.)

Heaven Shall Burn are, undeniably, one of my favourite bands. Their signature “Death Metal-core” sound – equal parts Bolt Thrower, Earth Crisis, and In Flames – is just so instantly recognisable, and instinctively appealing, that it feels like it was made for me and me alone.

Of course I’m far from alone in my love for the band, whose crossover potential means that they could just as easily hit the stage alongside Cannibal Corpse as Code Orange, Unleashed or Unearth, Kreator or Killswitch Engage, and comfortably hold their own, and sometimes it seems like the only thing preventing them from a major, mainstream breakout is their stubborn refusal to compromise their ethics, or dilute their heaviness, to suit the demands or expectations of others.

Still, I have to admit that when the band announced that their next record was going to be a double-album I was a little bit sceptical. Continue reading »

Feb 122020


One week has passed since I posted the last of these round-ups, and dozens of new songs have emerged since then that I’d happily throw your way, in addition to the many dozens I haven’t foisted upon you from preceding weeks. However, it turns out that I had overlooked new tracks from some of my favorite bands, discovering those only two days ago. I can’t resist including them here, along with a few newer discoveries.


We seem to have fallen off the radar screen of Century Media, because we haven’t received a single press release about the new album by Heaven Shall Burn, whose many previous releases we’ve covered with religious fervor. Even worse, none of my NCS compatriots breathed a word to me about the fact that three songs from the new album have debuted for public consumption. I had to find out about them yesterday via a YouTube side-bar. What is the world coming to? Well, I know it’s going to shit, I just didn’t know it was this shitty. Continue reading »

Jan 252017


In this 17th part of our 2016 Most Infectious Song list, I’m adding three songs that were all made for headbanging, or at least vigorous head-nodding, knee-bobbing, and toe-tapping, even though they’re scattered across different parts of the metal musical map.


I’ve been meaning to write about WarCrab and their 2016 album Scars of Aeons (released digitally by Black Bow Records) but so far haven’t succeeded. The album did appear on Grant Skelton’s year-end list, where he wrote: “Warcrab’s breed of deathened sludge (sludgened death??) is certain to quench your rapacity for beefy slow-to-mid death metal”. And on May 1 of this year, the album is going to be released on CD for the first time by Transcending Obscurity. 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 »

Aug 242016

Heaven Shall Burn-Wanderer


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn.)

Recipe for success: one part Bolt Thrower, one part Earth Crisis, one part Swedish Death Metal (of the more melodic variety), and a heavy helping of Germanic thrash. Garnish with relevant philosophical and socio-political themes and roast for 15-20 years in a blaze of righteous fury.

It’s a recipe which has served Heaven Shall Burn extremely well over the years, and, though there have certainly been some valid criticisms of the band for sticking too closely to their own formula at times, it’s one that’s been responsible for keeping the German firebrands right at the forefront of the European Metalcore scene (which, with its slightly more raw and Death Metal influenced sound, I’ve often considered to be subtly distinct from its eventually more commercialised American cousin).

So I don’t think it would have surprised anyone if, on their eighth full-length album, the band had simply elected to continue with the same sound which made Iconoclast, Invictus, and Veto so successful. Why fix what isn’t broken, after all?

But… unexpectedly… that’s not exactly what happened… Continue reading »

Jul 202016

Heaven Shall Burn-Wanderer


In yesterday’s Part 1 of this large round-up, I said I would post Part 2 later the same day. Someday I will learn that part-time metal bloggers who have actual paying jobs and/or families who occasionally need their attention should not make forecasts of what they plan to do on the blog. Not even what they think they will accomplish later the same day, or even in the next hour. That’s just laying the groundwork for stepping on your own crank, so to speak.

Anyway, here’s Part 2, which unlike yesterday focuses on new or newish music that I wanted to recommend rather than simply announcements. One silver lining to the delay is that it enabled me to add the first item in this collection, which appeared late yesterday.


Our small band of beleaguered writers at NCS includes some ardent (perhaps even slavish) fans of Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn. I count my own self on the slavish end of the spectrum. And so yesterday was a banner day, because… Continue reading »

Sep 302015



(This is Part II of a multi-part article prepared by our Russian friend Comrade Aleks. Part I is here.)

This is the second part of an article describing events that took place on the Eastern Front of World War II through the eyes of few extreme metal bands. This part is written with the musical help of Heaven Shall Burn, Marduk, Jucifer, Hell’s Domain, Vergeltung, and Tank; also here you will find exclusive comments from Darknation, Tales of Darknord, and Caducity… and some historical explanations from Wikipedia, of course, as such huge text would be pretty difficult for me to write and it could eat much more time. Continue reading »

Jan 072014

At long last, we begin our list of 2013’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. This is the fourth year I’ve compiled such a thing. With each year, the list has grown longer — last year I made myself stop only after the list had mushroomed to 56 tracks. I don’t know how long the 2013 list will be, because I’m still working on it. But I know what the first 3 songs will be, and if you continue reading you will know, too.

I will continue posting a pair of songs more or less daily until reaching the unknown end. The songs are unranked and appear in no particular order, because ordering them would be too difficult. If you’re wondering what this list is all about, go HERE.


Heaven Shall Burn are what you get when you force Earth Crisis and Bolt Thrower to conceive a child, and then have that child raised by At The Gates and Carcass, while supplementing their intellectual development with a steady diet of Kant, Marx, and Baudrillard.” That’s what Andy Synn wrote when he reviewed this long-running German band’s 2013 album, Veto, and it does make a kind of demented sense. Continue reading »