Dec 222017


After a nearly two-week vacation in which I blogged very little, I returned to Seattle late last week and was promptly slammed by my fucking day job, unforeseen personal obligations, bad weather, and a whole bunch of NCS articles to write or edit, including the continuation of our LISTMANIA series, interviews, reviews, and a bunch of premieres. I can’t really say I need another vacation already… but I kind of do.

Anyway, I haven’t written one of these round-ups in 12 days, and I’m way behind in even listening to all the new songs that have appeared since my vacation began 19 days ago. I started working on this collection early this week but decided to include a couple of songs that have appeared more recently. I hope to do more catch-up round-ups this weekend, including a Sunday SHADES OF BLACK feature, because holidays don’t mean shit around here.


Roughly four and a half years after their last album, Pestilence will release a new one via Hammerheart Records named Hadeon, and earlier this week Hammerheart previewed the album with a single called “Multi Dimensional“. It didn’t take long for my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli to send me an alert about the song, wth a positive message. Continue reading »

Sep 182016

Void Meditation Cult-Utter the Tongue Of The Dead


Welcome to our usual Sunday feature on metal in a blackened vein. I had already pulled together most of these songs last Sunday, hoping to prepare a Part 2 of the Shades of Black installment that I posted then. But I got carried away by the usual flurry of activity that begins on Mondays, and failed. Since then, of course, I’ve come across more black metal that I’d like to recommend. The result is this gargantuan collection. I hope you can find time to at least sample everything.

The songs I originally chose for this post a week ago were mostly on the melancholy, depressive end of the black spectrum, sometimes with a folk influence. I’ve now interspersed some different moods and energies in the collection. (I want to thank my friend Miloš for originally recommending a number of the releases that I chose for this collection.)


To begin this playlist I have a song from the debut album of the hooded Ohio band Void Meditation CultUtter the Tongues of the Dead — which will be released on October 31 by Hells Headbangers. It follows a 2011 demo named Sulfurous Prayers (and those songs were also included in a 2013 split with Sperm of Antichrist, which seems to have been another project of the main man behind Void Meditation Cult, who goes under the name of Desolate Defiler). Continue reading »

Mar 162016

Plebeian Grandstand-False Highs True Lows


Greetings and welcome to Part 2 of a three-part post in which I’ve collected recent songs, EPs, and albums in a blackened vein that I’ve been enjoying and think you might enjoy, too. For the music in Part 1, go here. I’ll post Part 3 later today or tomorrow, depending on how life goes.


We last paid attention to the French band Plebeian Grandstand when Austin Weber reviewed their second album Lowgazers in 2014. They now have a new one named False Highs, True Lows (great name), which will be released on April 29 by Throatruiner Records (LP and CD) and Basement Apes (CD).

I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that you forget the conceptions you may have formed if you heard Lowgazers, but this new album is really something else, to be approached with fresh ears. Continue reading »

Jan 142016

Plateau Sigma-Rituals


It’s been one of those weeks when I haven’t had as much time as I would like to write about newly discovered music. As a result, I find myself with an enormous backlog of new and not-so-new songs, EPs, and albums that I’d really like to mention. In such circumstances, I generally just throw mental darts at my mental to-do lists, and that’s what I’ve done here. However, despite the largely random nature of this selection, the music I’ve chosen to recommend presents some nice genre diversity. Hopefully, you’ll find something below that rings your chimes.


I must thank KevinP for urging me to listen to this first song. The name is “Palladion” and it comes from Rituals, the forthcoming second album by Italy’s Plateau Sigma. Like all the bands whose music I’ve collected in this post, I was unfamiliar with Plateau Sigma before listening to the song, and therefore didn’t know what to expect.

The massive, groaning riffs and beguiling melody grabbed me almost instantly — and then the vocals began. At first I was downcast; I was hoping for some cavernous growls. And then something strange and wondrous happened. Continue reading »