Feb 212023

(Andy Synn takes us on another epic journey soundtracked by French Prog-Metal maestros Hypno5e)

There’s every chance that, while you’re reading this article, I’ll be out at the massive Gojira arena show here in Nottingham.

The only reason I mention this is that, for years now, Hypno5e have been (lazily) compared to the Big G, despite the fact that the two bands have little in common apart from their nationality.

In fact, if anything, the two groups have only grown further apart as time has gone by, with Hypno5e opting for the path less-travelled and growing more complex and ambitious with every new album.

Which brings us to Sheol – simultaneously both a sequel and a prequel to A Distant Dark Shore (the two albums forming a closed conceptual cycle) – which finds the band continuing to stretch themselves, and their sound, in ever more compelling, challenging, and unpredictable ways.

Continue reading »

Dec 192019



(In this post Andy Synn combines reviews of three 2019 albums that we haven’t previously paid attention to with the thoroughness that they deserve.)

No big intro or preamble this time. Just three very cool albums delivering only the best in heart-stopping Post-Black Metal, cinematic Prog Metal, and rampaging Death Metal.

Prep your ears accordingly. Continue reading »

May 132012

Klonosphere is a French business devoted to organizing and promoting musical performances and releasing music, with distribution provided by Season of Mist. Their name has been associated with a number of bands we’ve featured at NCS over the years. This morning I discovered that they’ve released an 18-track sampler of music from Klonosphere bands for free download. The sampler includes music from five bands we’ve featured at NCS (each of these names are links that will take you to our features about them):


These bands are all so good — and their music is so diverse — that it bodes well for everything else on this sampler. I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but I did pick out a few songs at random from bands whose names were new to me. I’ll stream those after the jump and provide a link for the download. Continue reading »

Dec 022011

On March 4, 2011, we included a song from a French band called Outcast in a post called Diversionary Tactics. The title of the song was “Elements”, and it was very fucking diverting. To quote from the post: “The riffs and time signatures jump around like barefoot children on a hot pavement, the drums rarely repeat the same patterns twice, there’s a freaky-good guitar solo, and the vocals bray in a hot fury (a mix of hardcore howls and death-metal growls). If you’re a fan of bands like TexturesCiLiCe, and Tardive Dyskinesia, do check this shit out.”

The song was taken from Outcast’s third studio album, Awaken the Reason, which hadn’t yet been released — an album mixed by Jochem Jacobs of Textures and mastered by Alan Douches. Well, here we are in December and the album still hasn’t been released. BUT, the latest word is that it will be coming in early 2012 and that specific info about the release date and the label will be coming within days — AND today, the band released another song from the album called “Abysmal”.

The music still puts me in mind of those three bands I mentioned in the March post — its pneumatic rhythms are pummeling and physically convulsive, with lots of funky, math-metally riffing, but it also includes nice melodic choruses and swirling, proggy, clean guitar solos in between the rounds of heavy, djent-style head-bashing. I am definitely looking forward to the album, just as much as I have been since March. Bring it on! You can hear the song after the jump.

The other offering of Gallic goodness for today comes from a band called Hypno5e, who I had the pleasure of seeing on the Art As Metal tour a couple years ago with Revocation and The Binary Code. Yesterday, Lambgoat exclusively premiered the title song from the band’s forthcoming second album, Acid Mist Tomorrow. It’s a helluva song, parts of which are very strongly reminiscent of Gojira (a plus, of course) and parts of which are soft, melodic, beautiful, and experimentally progressive. And you can hear it after the jump, too. The album should be very interesting and absolutely worth hearing. Fair warning: clean singing is involved. Continue reading »

Jan 272010

We have seen the future of extreme metal, and it is bright!

The METAL AS ART tour featuring Hypno5e, Revocation, and The Binary Code is one we’ve been waiting for with bated breath for months. We’ve been curious about Hypno5e and huge fans of Revocation and The Binary Code for a while now (we’ve written about our admiration for Revocation here and The Binary Code here and here).

On January 26, the wait ended as the tour rolled into Seattle’s Studio Seven, with support from local band 7 Horns 7 Eyes — which was the biggest revelation of the night — and two of your NCS Authors were there.

This was, bar none, one of the best shows from end to end that we’ve seen in many moons. These are young bands that are capable of carrying the future of extreme metal on their shoulders.  If merit counts for anything (and unfortunately, it doesn’t always), these hard-working dudes will find a place in the vanguard and the kind of widespread notice they deserve.

For our detailed review of the performances and a big collection of our amateurish photos, continue on after the jump . . . . Continue reading »

Dec 262009

Here at NCS, we’ve been putting a different spin on year-end listmania. Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even necessarily our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. What we decided to do was create a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. We’re talking about songs that produce involuntary physical movement and worm their way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get ’em out (and wouldn’t want to).

We haven’t ranked our list from #10 to #1 because that would be too much fucking work (and your co-Authors would still be arguing about it this time next year). In addition, when we started naming our entries on this site, we hadn’t yet figured out the whole list. So, we’ve been dribbling them out one at a time, in no particular order.

Of course, only after naming the first 9 entries did it dawn on us that we only had one spot left. If only our tiny brains hadn’t been hard-wired with the decimal system we could have made this “The Fourteen Most Infection Extreme Metal Songs of 2009.” But you reap what you sow. With only one spot left, and still lots of songs on our collection of candidates, picking #10 proved to be especially vexing for your Authors. But now it’s done.

Our list heretofore:

1. AsphyxSorbutics

2. MastodonCrack the Skye

3. AmorphisSilver Bride

4. GoatwhoreApocalyptic Havoc

5. August Burns RedMeridian

6. PelicanEphemeral

7. Scale the SummitAge of the Tide

8. Daath:  Wilting On the Vine

9.  Molotov Solution:  The Harbinger

And to see our tenth and final entry on the list, continue reading after the jump. Continue reading »

Dec 212009

Yesterday we frothed at the mouth over The Binary Code, its just-released full-length Suspenson of Disbelief, and the kick-ass “Metal As Art” tour that The Binary Code is about to launch with Hypno5e and NCS favorites, Revocation. In the course of preparing that post, we put a few questions to the band’s guitarist and co-songwriter Jesper Zuretti, and the dude was good enough to indulge us. Yesterday’s post was so damn long that we didn’t want Jesper’s answers to get lost in the rest of our verbiage, so we deferred publication of the interview til today. If you’re already a Binary Code fan or just beginning to get curious about the band, there’s some interesting revelations in there. Read our interview of Jesper after the jump: Continue reading »

Dec 202009

Last week we put up a brief, rushed post about the one-day-only streaming of The Binary Code‘s December 15 full-length release on MetalSucks.net — brief and rushed because we wanted to give our readers the chance to listen to Suspension of Disbelief before the stream evaporated into the ether. But now it’s time to explain why we thought that alert was worth doing.  And tomorrow, in Part 2, we’ll also share with you our e-mail interview with The Binary Code‘s guitarist/songwriter Jesper Zuretti. Trust me, it’s worth coming back here to read that.

First, the explanation of why we care about this band.  In three words:  shitloads of talent. At all the levels that count. Prodigious technical instrumentation; complex, beautifully structured song-writing; the ability to dive deeply into the technical/progressive side of death metal while at the same time incorporating compulsive grooves and elements of jazz; an abundantly evident creative intelligence that promises future growth. All that and more make Suspension of Disbelief a very impressive full-length debut and The Binary Code a band worth watching closely.

As a reader, I usually lose patience with album reviewers who feel compelled to offer observations about every last track on an album. But there’s so much going on in Suspension of Disbelief that I don’t know how else to fucking do it. So, here goes:

The album begins with a powerful, genre-defying one-two punch. “Suspension of Disbelief (Part I)” is a furious, pummeling, riffage-and-blast-beat-filled onslaught that showcases the band’s technical talent. And then without warning, the music shifts gears into “Suspension of Disbelief (Part II)” — a prog-metal influenced, largely instrumental track that begins and ends with down-tempo atmospheric soloing with high-intensity riffage packed in between. “Mechanical Seas” is tech-death with a groove, but punctuated with melodic synth interludes. “Ghost Planet” is more blast-furnace death metal, featuring a mix of deep gutterals, high-pitched shrieking, and chants; screaming guitar interludes; and some awesome syncopated interplay on the low end between bass and skins. And then there’s a “what the hell?” moment: The closest label I can affix to “Void I” is metal-infused progressive jazz.

Following a brief musical interlude, the band then launches into “The Story,” another genre-bending, technically complex piece with multiple tempo changes, jazzy interludes, and even more vocal variation (including flashes of clean singing). Following another brief instrumental interlude, the band explores the “Human Condition” — more unexpected tempo changes, brutal vocals, crashing riffs and machine-gun bass-and-drum work alternating with more episodes of progressive jazz. “Awaiting Necropolis” is another foray into tech-death territory with probably the most head-bangable rhythms on the album. And then, to finish off this mind-blowing collection we come to “Void II,” another melodic, jazz-influenced number. Continue reading »