Dec 172020



(Andy Synn wrote the three album reviews collected in this post.)

As you may know, List Season is now officially over (for me anyway, though not for the site)… which means Post-List Season is officially open!

Now I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that over the past few years (and beyond) we’ve been experiencing another one of those periodic Old School Death Metal “revivals”, where it seems like everyone has been competing to find the most effusive and hyperbolic way to praise the latest batch of Floridian-meets-Finnish Death Metal disciples (especially, or so it seems, if they’re American).

One reason for this, I’d imagine, is that we’ve now reached a point where a certain generation of bands, fans, and writers who weren’t old enough to take part in the original rise of the genre, or the early waves of Old School nostalgia, have risen to positions of prominence/notoriety, and by praising, supporting (and sometimes over-hyping) the current crop of retro riff-mongers they’re now able to relive – if only vicariously – the “classic” days of the genre which they missed out on.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some absolute gems to have come out of all this (several of which we’ve written about here before now), and so I’ve decided to dedicate today’s edition of “The Unsung Heroes of 2020” to three more of them, one of which was a firm favourite on my “Good” list, another of which took a prominent position on my “Great” list… and the third of which might, if I’d discovered it sooner, have forced a major rewrite of my “Critical Top Ten” this year! Continue reading »

Jan 082018


In an effort to catch up with new music that appeared last week (or in some cases that I only discovered last week), I’ve resorted to a two-part OVERFLOWING STREAMS post. And for those who haven’t noticed the format of these posts, they’re a form of personal surrender to the flood of new music. I enjoy writing thoughts about what I want to recommend, but in posts such as this one I just let the music speak for itself because there’s so much to recommend that I don’t have time to blurt out my own reactions.

In Part 1 (here), I collected some newly discovered splits. This one is devoted mainly to new advance tracks, some of which just premiered today, with a few full-album or EP streams in the mix. Continue reading »

Jun 162015


(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the previous month.)

Here we go again! With May long behind us, there was a lot of material to sift through, along with a hell of a time at Maryland Deathfest to remember. All good things!

Overall, May wasn’t the best month this year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some gems to uncover. Quite a good amount, actually, with the selections coming from a broad spectrum. Hey, that’s why I’m here – to give you the goods from all over! I try to deliver. Maybe not as exciting as the pizza delivery guy bringing carb-loaded goodies, but I do what I can!

Onward! Continue reading »

Oct 202012

I think I’m back home after a week of being here, there, and everywhere. I woke up disoriented, jet-lagged, and thinking about the lyrics to “Once In A Lifetime” (Talking Heads). Was that my beautiful wife in bed next to me? Is this my beautiful house I’m in? Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down. Letting the days go by, water flowing underground. Into the blue again . . .

I’ll get my shit together before the day is out, but at the moment the shit is kind of scattered and incoherent. After a week of having not much time to call my own, I’m also way fuckin’ behind on the metal. A lot of catching up to do, a lot of new music to hear, a lot of gibberish to write. But I ought to make a start right now, shouldn’t I?

For example: Yesterday our friends at The Monolith turned on the site and made it go live. If you haven’t checked out that site, you should give it a whirl. A couple of very good dudes who’ve been slumming here at NCS after The Number of the Blog shut down — groverXIII and DGR — will be writing over there now, as will a bunch of other folks from other blogs who we’ve gotten to know and admire since we started NCS. We wish all of them much success with the new venture.

I also heard some new tracks that I thought you might enjoy, from ILSA, Devolved, and Rage Nucleaire.

To begin, I saw that CVLT Nation has started streaming a new ILSA track from their new album Intoxicantations (to be released by Baltimore’s A389 Recordings on Nov 23). I fuckin’ love the artwork for the album, which was created by ILSA’s drummer, Joshy: Continue reading »

Jul 302012

Here are a few items of interest I came across this morning that I thought were worth spreading around.


Winterfylleth are a UK black-metal band whose name should be familiar to long-time NCS readers, since I’m high as a kite about this band, having fallen head-over-heels for their second album, The Mercian Sphere (2010). In May, I reported that Candlelight Records was re-issuing the band’s debut full-length, The Ghost of Heritage, after a remastering by Colin Marston. What I didn’t realize then but have discovered this morning is how close the band were to completing their third album.

Now I know that Candlelight is prepared to release a new Winterfylleth album — The Threnody of Triumph — in September. I also saw that the September issue of Zero Tolerance magazine will include a feature on the band AND a track from the new album — “Void of Light” — on a bonus CD. I’m hoping that song will surface on the web soon. I’m eager to hear the new album. You should be, too. Find Winterfyleth on Facebook here.


I saw today the album art for the forthcoming album by D.C.-based crust/doom occultists Ilsa. It’s a real eye-catcher: Continue reading »

May 152012

I saw this on a friend’s FB status. Too damn good not to share.

That isn’t the original photo, however.  This appears to be the original photo:

Hell, for all I know, the second one was Photoshopped, too.  Regardless, it’s also awesome.  I’m all in favor of reasoned, dispassionate, intelligent discourse about the issues of the day.  But sometimes you just gotta say Fuck This Guy, which is a sentiment I’ve been having a lot since seeing some of the predictable right-wing reactions to President Obama’s coming out in support of gay marriage. Continue reading »

Apr 162011

(Thanks go out to NCS reader/commenter Surgical Brute for today’s guest post, which focuses on five bands that may be new to you; they were certainly new to me, but I’m damned glad I know about them now: Anatomia, War Master, Grave Ritual, Adorior, and Ilsa. I’m also happy to learn about the Rites of Darkness festival that, to date, has confirmed appearances by 41 bands, including the likes of Behexen, Demonical, Interment, Mitochondrian, Sargeist, Valkyrja, and Vasaeleth, in addition to the bands that are the focus of this post.)

Okay, as you know, Islander was looking for some articles to use as fill-ins so he didn’t lose any days on the NCS website. I stupidly said Id try to put something together for him, and…well… here we are.

I guess I should start with a little bit about me. My name’s Rob, but I usually use the tag SurgicalBrute (no there’s no story behind it . . . so don’t ask). Compared to a lot of you, I’ve only been into metal for a very short time, but after dabbling with metalcore a little bit I found Amon Amarth’s Twilight of the Thundergod. I couldn’t stop listening to the title track, and I’ve been devoted to the metal gods ever since. I listen to most of the different styles (grindcore being the exception), but I prefer either old school death metal or folk/viking metal.

Now, I’m not much of a reviewer; frankly, I suck at it. So I was trying to figure out what I should write about. Well, as some of you may know, I try to stay pretty tapped into metal’s underground.  So I figured I’d make a suggestion list of bands most of you may not have heard about. I’ll also include a brief description of theses bands

This isn’t just any list though. No . . . I’m going to tell about 5 lesser known bands you should check out at Rites of Darkness 3, which is happening in San Antonio, Texas, on December 9-10.  (continue reading after the jump . . .) Continue reading »