May 312023

(In this feature Hope Gould provides the introduction to our premiere of a lyric video for a song from the forthcoming vinyl and tape release of the latest album by Finland’s Iku-Turso.)

It’s no secret that Finland has mastered the art of melody. The country has long been considered a “satisfaction guaranteed” label for riff-seekers, so it comes to little surprise that Finnish black metal band Iku-Turso tread this path with black devotion. Infusing their melodies with the cold northern spirit of days gone by, Iku-Turso’s 2022 full-length, Into Dawnless Realms, has all the makings of a lost second-wave gem. It built upon the band’s five-year path of Finnish melodic mastery while tapping directly into the golden era of ’90s Norway; buzzsaw guitars, spellbinding synth, and vocalist Lafjawijn’s timeless creaky rasp are gateways to the oft-forsaken past.

We previously shared some words about the band’s 2021 EP At The Crack Of Dawn, whose title track has since been re-recorded in English for last year’s aforementioned full-length, Into Dawnless Realms. To hallmark today’s long-awaited vinyl release of Into Dawnless Realms on Wolfspell Records, NCS is premiering Iku-Turso’s lyric video for “At The Crack of Dawn.” Continue reading »

Oct 072021



Time is always fleeting, but I kidnapped enough of it to write some brief reviews and heart-felt recommendations for three very recent short releases that have captivated me (maybe especially because more often than not I’m angry and depressed these days). The SHADES OF BLACK reference in the post title is intended to provide the clue that this is all black metal, but no two of these releases sound alike.


One of the commenters on the Bandcamp page for Sørgelig‘s new EP Slaves of Tomorrow did a very nice job in capturing part of what makes the band, and this EP, so special:

“I love Sorgelig’s utterly ruthless and nihilistic, yet also surprisingly humane and hopeful, take on primal black metal. Yes, we all live ‘in the prison of dead dreams,’ but we *can* dream, we can rage, we can spit in the eyes of our masters and call *them* the slaves. We can burn this blighted hell of a failing so-called civilization to the ground and build something better”. Continue reading »

Feb 272020


Once gain I’m resorting to the round-up format I use when I’ve run out of time to provide my own scintillating commentary about each of the new songs and videos I’ve chosen to throw your way. For the most part, you’ll just have to listen and then imagine how eloquent and evocative I would have been.

In compiling today’s large selection, which is presented in alphabetical order, I had assistance from my colleague DGR. In fact, he recommended six of the 11 items you’ll find here.



This new Abysmal Dawn track, “The Path Of The Totalitarian“, is the second single from the band’s new album Phylogenesis, out April 17th on Season Of Mist. 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 »