Apr 252024

Long ago the Ukrainian extreme metal band Hell:On established their musical philosophy, and in the nearly two decades since their formation in Zaporizhzhia they have stayed steady, only sharpening their swords and their magicks and magnifying the power of their delivery.

“Atmospheric death metal” is one way of describing their music, a way of trying to capture their union of high-powered death metal ferocity, oriental melodies, and “tribal” ingredients, which create mystical, shamanic shades of light and darkness.

This union is on full display in their new album, which fittingly is named Shaman. It was intended for release two years ago, but then the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupted those plans, and of course life as a whole in their country. But now they have a May 17th release date via Archivist Records and we begin to see the fruits of their creative endeavors. Continue reading »

Oct 202020


Three weeks ago we premiered a song named “The Architect’s Temple” from a forthcoming album by the Ukrainian death metal band Hell:On. That album, Scythian Stamm, is Hell:On‘s sixth full-length in a career that began in 2005, and it’s set for release on November 1st. Today we have the pleasure of premiering another song from the album, which is presented through a video that includes the lyrics.

Those lyrics are taken from an English-language translation of a poem named “Заповіт” (Zapovit), which translates to “Testament”. The poem was first published in 1845 and written by Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, and political figure, as well as folklorist and ethnographer. According to this article, “His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language.” The article also reports that he was convicted in 1847 for promoting the independence of Ukraine from Russia and for ridiculing members of the Russian Imperial House. The translation of “Заповіт” used in the video was made by John Weir. Continue reading »

Oct 012020


As you can see, the cover art for Hell:On‘s new album, Scythian Stamm, is spectacular. And apart from seizing the attention of the eyes (and of the viewer’s imagination), it also very well suits many aspects of the music crafted for the album by this Ukrainian death metal band. Like the artwork, the music itself generates visions of otherworldly menace and power, of monstrosity and hideous glory.

Now fifteen years into their career, Hell:On have had plenty of time to focus and hone their sound, and this new sixth album makes that clear through superior songcraft and a combination of shuddering force and mesmerizing sorcery. This much is evident even from the single song we’re premiering today in advance of the album’s release on November 1st by Hell Serpent Music. Its name is “The Architect’s Temple“. Continue reading »

Nov 052015

Vaee SolisPsychophobia

Vorage coverHellion cover

(We welcome back Norwegian guest contributor Gorger, who has provided us with another feature on bands we seem to have overlooked at NCS. For readers of Norwegian, please check out Gorger’s Metal.)

Thirteen months ago I did a short series of reviews (here and here) under the moniker “Metal Not Previously Featured On NCS”. Now that Islander is busy gazing into the sky I thought I’d chip in a contribution once again. (What? He’s working? Well, that’s what you get for only looking at the pictures).

There are more creative serpentine forces lurking and dwelling in the underground than ever. With all new creeping and crawling releases that are spewed forth, no one can keep track of everything. Thus, good stuff flies under the radar, undetected or forgotten and lost in the pandemonium (along with you-know-who). Continue reading »