Aug 312022

Recommended for fans of: Dragged Into Sunlight, Celeste, This Gift Is A Curse

Heed this warning: Danish dynamos Hexis are… not exactly easy listening, let’s just say that.

In fact, their abrasive amalgam of Black Metal and Hardcore – liberally dosed with enough sickeningly sludgy moments to ensure that the listener never becomes too comfortable or complacent – has, if anything, only gotten harsher, heavier, and just generally nastier, as the years have gone by… as you’re about to discover.

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Jul 132022

We’ve been enthusiastically writing about the Danish blackened hardcore band Hexis at NCS since 2012. In that time they’ve released two album and an assortment of shorter works, and in combination they’ve shown us a formidable band constantly on the move forward. They’ve now landed at Debemur Morti Productions, which gives us added comfort that we haven’t been entirely crazy all these years in our Hexis enthusiasm, and it’s DMP that will be releasing the band’s third album Aeternum on August 26th.

Anyone familiar with what Hexis have done so far knows that their musical ingredients have increasingly ranged beyond their backbone of hardcore and black metal, and the new album is undoubtedly their most diverse yet. It’s not the kind of album where you can listen to a track or two and figure out what everything else will sound like. As DMP reports, the three years of work on this album have allowed the band “to refocus and redefine their thunderous sound into a truly distinctive beast which merges violent Hardcore, desolate Black Metal, brooding post-Metal and elements of Dark Ambient with the churning ruthlessness of bass-driven Industrial and Grind”.

Not surprisingly, then, three tracks have been released so far in the run-up to the album’s release, and now we bring you a fourth one. These songs display the album’s dynamism and diversity of songcraft, but even four of them don’t provide a complete map of the soundscape that awaits listeners. They are, however, very effective in proving that the album is remarkably intense on multiple levels, and well worth a complete investigation. Continue reading »

Jun 052022

Photo by Liana Rakijian

I picked the music of six bands for today’s foray into blackened realms, four of them whose previous releases I enjoyed and two of them new discoveries.

The first four selections below are advance tracks from forthcoming releases. The last two are complete streams of records that were released just two days ago. Those latter two sunk their fangs into me, and I decided to feature them here while the venom was fresh even though I haven’t had the time to fashion thorough reviews.


Early last year I had the pleasure of premiering and reviewing Hulder‘s debut album, Godslastering Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry. Mine were not the only eyes opened wide by that very impressive first strike. It’s fair to say that it launched a wave of attention and popularity that Hulder has been riding ever since, both on-stage and off.

But Hulder‘s solo creator hasn’t been content to just let that wave carry her for as long as it might have. Instead, she has recorded a new EP named The Eternal Fanfare and moved from Iron Bonehead Productions to 20 Buck Spin, which will release it on July 1st. The new EP convincingly shows that Godslastering Hymns… wasn’t a flash in the pan. Continue reading »

Oct 012017


This is the second part of today’s collection of new black and “blackened” metal (Part 1 is here). Even with a two-part article, I’ve still had to leave material behind, including a few full releases that I need more time to digest. I’m hoping I’ll get to those in the coming week.

There are some full releases included below as well. As is becoming typical, time constraints have prevented me from writing proper reviews, and instead I’m singling out individual tracks as a way of giving you a guide, and hopefully inducing you to explore further.


Four years after the last album, Arckanum has returned with a new one named Den Förstfödde (“The Firstborn” in English), but alas, Arckanum has made clear that this will be the final one in a career that dates back to 1993. Continue reading »

Mar 292017


We’ve been following the Danish band Hexis since 2012, posting reviews of their early split with As We Draw and Euglena, their 2014 album Abalam, and a remarkable video for the song “Septem“, which will appear on the band’s new album, Tando Ashanti. Hexis have also participated in split releases with This Gift Is A Curse, Primitive Man, and Redwood Hill, while also releasing a trio of EPs and playing more than 300 shows across a range of nations.

The new album will be released on April 14 by by Init Records on CD, by Halo of Flies and Alerta Antifascista on vinyl, and by Bloated Veins on cassette tape. The strength of the band’s previous releases should be reason enough to spend money on one or more of these editions, without more inducement, but today we have an exclusive full stream of the album to take any remnants of guesswork out of the decision. Continue reading »

Mar 072017


Well, for those of you who actually pay attention to such things, I obviously failed to post Part 2 of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK column, which I began (here) on Sunday and said I would continue on Monday. And in the meantime, of course, more new metal in a blackened vein has appeared, and it happened to be new music that I really like. So I’ve adjusted my plans (i.e., I’m making this up as I go along so what else is new).

Part 1 of this feature included full album streams, and my intent for the original Part 2 was to focus on individual advance tracks I’d picked from forthcoming albums. I still intend to do that, except that has become Part 3. What I’m doing here is focusing on the new tracks that grabbed my attention yesterday.


I’ve been very curious to hear Dysangelium, which is the debut album of Sweden’s Ensnared. Dysangelium will be jointly released by Invictus Productions and Dark Descent on May 12. The first track, which debuted yesterday, is very promising. Its name is “Apostles of Dismay“. Continue reading »

Jun 062014

(Back in February NCS contributor KevinP shared with us an early list of 2014 albums that were peaking his interest. More than three months have passed, and now Kevin brings us five more recommendations.)

2014 hasn’t slowed down with the new releases worthy of all our time. If you’re playing catch up, you can see Part 1 here.


I never liked straight-up hardcore and I’m not a huge fan of straight-up black metal either. Wasn’t in 1992, still not today. But when you mix the two together, it’s like “somebody put gasoline on my fuckin’ balls and lit it” (yes, I’m quoting Joey DeMaio, gotta problem with that?). Take the darkness and evil tint of black metal, mixed with the fury and bottom end of hardcore in a nice concise package of mainly 1-2 minute songs & nothing overstays its welcome. Continue reading »

Feb 042012

For anyone who thinks we’ve been insufficiently faithful to the name of this site in recent days, I have a few things for you this weekend that will set you straight.

As record labels go, I think Throatruiner has to be a short-listed finalist for best label name ever. They have also been putting out some tasty releases, if your taste runs to unstructured violence. Take this one for example. It’s a three-way split with international flavor. The three bands are as follows:

AS WE DRAW •• Described as a French “post-metal” band, their contributions to this split follow up their 2010 album, Lines Breaking Circles. Throatruiner recommends them to fans of Ken Mode, Breach, and Old Man Gloom.

EUGLENA •• A Russian band whose preceding release was an EP called An Anxious Surface. Throatruiner compares their music to that of Buried Inside, Plebeian Grandstand, and Botch.

HEXIS •• This is a Danish band that slathers together hardcore, black metal, and sludge. By coincidence, they were recommended in a recent NCS comment by Old Man Windbreaker.  Before contributing to this split, they released a self-titled EP and then a full-length album called XI that debuted last year. Throatruiner recommends them to fans of Celeste, Crowpath, and Blut Aus Nord.

Each of these three bands contributed two songs to the split. I have some quick reactions to them them after the jump, along with a stream of the whole split — which can be downloaded for free or for any price you think is fair. Continue reading »