Jan 102017


Welcome to the 8th Part of this evolving list of Most Infectious Songs from releases that appeared in 2016. To see the previous installments of the list and to learn the grounds for selection, click here.

I’ve again decided to group three songs together in this episode of the list rather than two, and I’ve again amused myself (and hopefully you) by combining tracks that I feel have a certain kinship among them, even though each one is distinctively different from the others.


Experiment of Existence, the new album by the Chilean band Ripper, was for me a big highlight of 2016. We got the chance to premiere a full album stream, and that was preceded by a review from Todd Manning (aka Allen Griffin) that included these words of praise: Continue reading »

Sep 152016

Hobbs Angel of Death-Heaven Bled


For this listener, the new album by Hobbs’ Angel of Death has been an enormous surprise. From song to song, my smile grew wider and wider when I first heard it, my eyes popping bigger and bigger until I began to fear they’d rocket out of my head and explode against the wall in smears of jelly. The thing is a pure rush of molten metal guitar gold.

I’m sure one reason why the album came as such a huge surprise was that, unlike many of you out there, I was unfamiliar with Peter Hobbs’ history during metal’s glory years in the ’80s, perhaps because bands from Australia in those days labored mainly in the deep underground as compared to their European and North American counterparts.

I’ve learned that his band released two demos in 1987 (Angel of Death and Virgin Metal Invasion From Down Under) and then a self-titled debut album in 1988 on the Steamhammer label. Seven years passed before a second album would emerge (1995’s Inheritance), and then the band broke up.

Hobbs re-formed the band seven more years later, and there have been sporadic festival and tour appearances since then, but only now has Hobbs’ Angel of Death produced an album of brand new music, more than 20 years after the last one. The album’s name is Heaven Bled, and it will be released by Hells Headbangers on October 14. Continue reading »

Aug 032016

Gatecreeper-Sonoran Depravation


I’m finishing this post on the way to the airport, where I’ll board a flight for Las Vegas with my spouse to attend the wedding of one of her nieces. We’ll be there for three days. That may interfere with NCS activity for the rest of the week. If there’s not much up on the site between now and Sunday, that’s the explanation.

But it may not interfere. Everyone I know who will be at this thing, including my wife, plans to spend a lot of time in the casino. I’m not much for gambling; throwing away money in an undoubtedly losing cause tends to sap the pleasure after a while. And since I’m not keen on getting broiled outside, that leaves the hotel room… and metal.

In the meantime, here’s a quick round-up of new music. Because time is short, I have to largely dispense with reviews/descriptions today. The last time I did this, a reader jumped on me for not at least providing a genre description, so I’ll do that. Continue reading »