Dec 092023

Happy Saturday, or whatever other day you’re in when you come across this collection of new music.

I’m taking a lazy way out here — mainly just spewing a bunch of new metal songs and videos at you without much, or any, of the usual commentary. It’s actually not because I’m feeling lazy, it’s because I’m getting crushed by my fucking day job. Sadly (very sadly for me), it’s going to get worse as we approach the end of the year, and even worser in January.

I’ve never given any details about my job, but it’s not 9-5. Some days it might be Noon-3, but other days it might be 5 (a.m.) to midnight, and I have no control over the schedule. Mostly it leaves me plenty of time for NCS. Now, and increasingly until mid-January, it’s going to choke me.

At some point soon I’ll explain what that’s likely to do to some portions of our annual LISTMANIA extravaganza and the usual schedule of daily premieres, but not now. Now I only have time enough to start the spewing of this new stuff I’ve enjoyed, presented in alphabetical order by band name. Continue reading »

Oct 212023

It’s that time of year again, when my wife and I argue about whether to get tooth-rotting treats for potential visitors on Halloween night. Her argument: We haven’t seen a trick-or-treater at our house in 20 years. My argument: But it could happen, and wouldn’t we be embarrassed having to offer something like licking peanut butter from a spoon?

Rather than let the arguments drag on I used to buy tooth-rotters on the sly and hide them, just in case. But she’d always find them and then I’d catch hell for being a moron. I guess I’ll just keep the spoon and peanut butter handy. Maybe two spoons so I can eat some first to prove it’s not poisoned.

Well, enough about familial contention. Here’s some contentious music for your Saturday. Continue reading »

Jan 042023


Welcome to Part 3. Like yesterday, I was influenced to put these three songs together because of the videos that were paired with them, and because all three are shades of black metal.


Kanonenfieber had a productive year, following up quickly on the brilliance of the band’s 2021 debut album Menschenmühle. Last year they brought forth two EPs, Yankee Division and Der Fusilier, and both of those included songs I put on my list of candidates for this list as soon as I heard them. But it was the standalone single “Stop the War” which won out.

I confess that the subject matter and the video tipped the scales. If there had been no video and I hadn’t known why the song was written I probably would have chosen “Der Fusilier I“, or at least it would have been a harder choice. Continue reading »

Jul 182022

(Andy Synn says… grab your laudanum and snuff, it’s time for some glorious musical depravity)

All that glitters is not golden… or so they say. And Imperial Triumphant have spent the last several years peeling back the gilded veneer of New York city to reveal the rotten apple beneath.

Along the way they’ve continued to push the boundaries of Black Metal – both sonically and structurally – to the point where it’s debatable if the term even applies to their music any more.

Of course, the issue with constantly pushing boundaries like this is that you rarely have time to stop and take stock of who and where you are, with the result being that the idea of external progress often trumps the possibility of internal growth.

Which brings us to Spirit of Ecstasy, an album which – unexpectedly – finds Imperial Triumphant looking more inwards than forwards, seemingly more at home, more at ease, more comfortable, in their own shining skin then ever before.

But “comfortable” doesn’t mean “complacent” by any means. Because a band with nothing left to prove is also a band with nothing left to lose…

Continue reading »

May 202022

When I woke up this morning I had planned to do a big round-up of 8 new songs and videos that I’d picked during a listening/viewing session yesterday afternoon. Bleary-eyed, I found messages from Mr. Synn telling me about four other new songs and videos that had popped up overnight from bands we all favor. What to do?

What I decided to do was go with those four newer ones today, plus one of the 8 I picked yesterday, and push the others I found yesterday into another round-up tomorrow. Trust me, even with the slight delay those others will be well worth your time on Saturday.


“Atmospheres awash with mysterious origins. Sacred rites of passage and formidable knowledge lead to marvels of engineering. Funnelling the mass into a finite horizon all roads travel in duality. Blurred is the line between real and illusion as the last scream of truth is destroyed by evil so grotesque. It transforms into a lone rider traveling into the forbidden darkness…”

Those are the words proffered by Imperial Triumphant for “Maximalist Scream“, the first advance track from their new album Spirit of Ecstasy, which comes with this intriguing cover art: Continue reading »

Jul 242020


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of Imperial Triumphant‘s new album, which will be released on July 31st by Century Media Records.)

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Vile Luxury, the career-defining 2018 release from Avant-Black trio Imperial Triumphant, is a modern-day classic.

Unorthodox, unconventional, and uncompromising to a fault, its fusion of moody soundscapes, abrasive, blackened belligerence, and free-wheeling, jazzed-up instrumentation sounded like nothing else at the time, and still has very few peers or rivals today.

Such success, however, can easily be an albatross, a noose, a shackle, and it raises the question – how does any band, any artist, respond, react to, or reject, the pressure to follow up such a magnum opus?

The answer of course, is that they go bigger, go bolder… they go back in time and back to the future… they go to Alphaville. Continue reading »

May 292020


This has been a weird week: Until now, I haven’t managed to assemble a single round-up of new music and videos. I have written a dozen premieres, some of those full albums or EPs, as well as getting other people’s writings ready to post, so it’s not as if I’ve been a complete slug. But even with all that, in a normal time I’d still manage to curate a collection or two of new things.

Instead, this week I’ve noticed that after mid-day I tend to fall into a malaise, and find it difficult to do much of anything except force myself to tend to the occasional demands of my increasingly not-very-demanding day job. I think I know why this is happening, and might explain it tomorrow. But for now I’ve roused myself enough to get this round-up completed before giving up again. I’m way behind and hope to do more tomorrow.


In this first kaleidoscopic selection, you’ll be engulfed by riotous drumming and cascades of harrowing and blazing guitars, whose multi-textured sounds channel feelings of grim devastation and flashes of feral ebullience. The deep roaring vocals have a tormented countenance, and the dense sounds that surround them have a sweeping quality, creating a mixture of mayhem and extravagant brilliance. Continue reading »

Nov 062019


(Andy Synn was fortunate to catch the Nottingham stop on Imperial Triumphant‘s current European tour, with support at the show by Bast and Abduction, and transmitted the following report along with videos of the performances.)

If you’re not at least a little bit concerned about the state of the underground Metal scene in the UK then you’ve not been paying enough attention.

It’s nothing to do with a lack of talent, by any means, as there are innumerable bands out there right now who are all more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the best that the rest of the world has to offer. No, the real concern is a combination of two factors.

First, there’s the ongoing gentrification of our inner cities, with rising rents and rapacious developers continuing to exert crushing pressure on our small-to-mid-sized venues (we’re losing two of my favourites, Temple of Boom in Leeds and The Flapper in Birmingham, very soon), which in turn results in both greater competition for dates between bands as the live circuit contracts and more and more promoters/venues pivot towards courting more profitable, mainstream-friendly fare.

Then there’s the ongoing travesty of Brexit which, regardless of the politics behind it, is going to make it much more difficult for small/medium sized bands to tour the EU, and is likely to also cause problems for foreign bands wanting to tour the UK (where the margin of feasibility, when all costs and logistics are summed up, is often razor-thin).

So please, make sure to support your local promoters and local venues whenever and wherever you can. Because without them gigs like tonight’s extraordinary experience just wouldn’t be possible. Continue reading »

Jan 282019


The two tracks I’ve added to this list today are diabolically inventive, and in different ways they awaken primal fears and desires. They also happen to include lyrics of rare eloquence and evocative power.


“Built around a core of discordant, dissonant Black Metal, but embellished and expanded by a freakish array of jazzy elements and avant-garde ingredients, Vile Luxury is an album which revels in its own chaotic contradictions as a way of challenging and exploiting the expectations of its audience.”

Those were among the impressions my friend Andy provided in his review of the 2018 album by New York’s Imperial Triumphant. “By turns unsettling and off-kilter, moody and malevolent”, he wrote, “its warped blend of jarring juxtapositions and stark contrasts sees the group… making purposeful use of both harsh shifts in tone and smooth segues between styles to keep the listener on the edge of their seat and to maintain an aura of potent unpredictability”. Continue reading »

Aug 132018


(In this post Andy Synn has packaged together six new reviews of six outstanding new albums across a range of metal sub-genres.)

I don’t know about you, but this year I’m finding it far harder than ever before to stay on top of all the new and upcoming releases proliferating throughout the Metalsphere.

Partially this can be attributed to the growing pressures of my day job, combined with the fact that I’m currently renovating my house and working hard on Beyond Grace album #2 (with an eye also turned towards future work for both Twilight’s Embrace and Apathy Noir too), but a lot of it is just down to this simple truth… there’s simply too much music, and not enough hours in the day, to cover it all.

Still, it wounds me to think of all the great (and good) albums and artists out there who our readers might otherwise be missing out on, so consider this another desperate attempt to redress the balance somewhat. Continue reading »