Nov 082022


I decided I would have enough time to prepare a round-up of new songs and videos today. As I checked out candidates, it hit me that a lot of them were in the vein of black and “blackened” metal (with a healthy heaping of death metal in the mix). And so, with apologies to bands in other genre terrains that have also released worthy new music in recent days, I decided to focus this one on the kind of music I usually explore through this column on Sundays.


I was compelled to lead off with “Sojourn” because of the stunning cover art by The Blazing Seer for this band’s debut album Harrowing. But to be clear, the music isn’t an afterthought. Like the album title, the song is harrowing — a blistering, battering, bleak, and bizarre formulation of dissonant blackened death metal. Through the freakish whining and wailing of the guitars, it applies knives to the listener’s nerves, even when it slows, and the drumwork is as discombobulating as it is electrifying. Continue reading »

Sep 122019


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by Imperium Dekadenz, which was released on August 30 by Napalm Records.)

I’ve known the name Imperium Dekadenz for quite a number of years but never checked them out. Their music was classified as black metal, which I hated in my early years as a fledgling metalhead and later on because the label “atmospheric black metal” in particular seemed to be frequently assigned to the absolute worst of bedroom production and gimmicky tripe.

Nevertheless, with the impending release of their new album I decided to check them out for the first time ever, because my metal palate has expanded and because, while atmospheric black metal as a label can still be associated with some of the worst music I’ve heard in my life, I’ve discovered that it also harbors an interesting form of black metal, one that embraces the vocal style and the vibe of occult or generally spiritualist mysticism, but is just doomy melodic death metal when you really break it down. Continue reading »

Aug 252019


Yesterday some of you saw a skeletal version of this post because I hit “Publish” instead of “Save” and didn’t realize what I’d done until Andy Synn pointed it out hours later. By the time of my bone-headed goof I had picked the songs I wanted to write about and had uploaded artwork, added the usual links, put in the html codes for the music streams, and copy-pasted info about the releases from press releases, Bandcamp pages, or YouTube streams — but hadn’t actually written anything of my own about the music.

That’s the same process I follow every time I prepare one of these collections. Usually I don’t stop there, but I’m still on vacation and had some carousing to do, so I deferred the writing. Actually, I had already begun the carousing, which is most likely why I hit “Publish” instead of “Save”.

Anyway, hope you like the music I picked for today’s SOB. I’ve made selections for a second installment of the column, but don’t know if I’ll get that finished before the carousing begins again. Continue reading »

Aug 172016

Imperium Dekadenz-Dis Manibvs


After the elapse of three years since their last album, Meadows of Nostalgia, the German duo Imperium Dekadenz have returned with a powerful new one, Dis Manibvs. We are told that the Latin title, which means “To the Spirits of the Dead”, is a phrase originally found on antique Roman grave markers, signifying the remembrance of lives lost. It seems also to be a form of dedication for this new album, and a fitting one for the music it contains. Today we invite you to immerse yourself in this new record in advance of its August 26 release by Season of Mist. — and to read a track-by-track commentary by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Horaz.

This is the band’s fifth album since the group’s founding in 2004, and it achieves certain challenging objectives unusually well. Chief among them is this: The music is saturated with the powerful emotional resonance of loss, grief, and even wrenching abandonment, and yet at the same time the band have conveyed those deeply dark and dramatic emotional sensations with music of sweeping grandeur and majesty. Continue reading »

Feb 282013


I’m still in day-job hell, or more accurately day-and-night-job hell. All personal plans for listening to albums and EPs and writing reviews are on hold. Actually, everything I do here is pretty much on hold except for quickly checking metal news and doing some fast web surfing in search of new songs — and I make time for that mainly to preserve some feeble semblance of balance in my existence.

In this post are new or new-ish things from four bands that I randomly happened upon. By the end of the post, you may conclude that my efforts at preserving balance have failed and I’ve fallen off the edge.


I discovered this German band in the spring of 2010 and wrote a review of their then-current album Procella Vadens (which is superb), except I wrote it as if Suffocation’s Frank Mullen were writing the review. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Continue reading »

Mar 252010

This is turning into Invisible-Oranges-link-week. A couple days ago we wrote here about a post at that site on the “Top 10 Most Overused Words in Metal Journalism.” The list unfortunately included some of our favorite words, including the word “fucking.” So, of course we had to litter our own post with F-bombs, just to make ourselves feel better. And that drew some pretty goddamned funny comments, which also made liberal use of F-words, including an observation from Cosmo Lee that we were all starting to sound like Frank Mullen.

At the same time as I stumbled across that Top 10 post at Invisible Oranges, I also read Cosmo Lee’s review (here) of a new album by a German black-metal band called Imperium Dekadenz. That beautiful review really grabbed me. As we try to do at our site, Cosmo Lee included a track from the album to stream — and the song just floored me. So without delay I bought the album the quickest way I knew how (iTunes) and listened to the whole thing — and I was even more floored.

I thought, there’s a chance some of our readers at NCS might not also follow Invisible Oranges, and this is music I really need to share. So my original plan was just to tell you the album is awesome, point you to Cosmo Lee’s review, make a song available, and quit while I was ahead. That would have been the smart thing to do, because seriously, I didn’t think there was a snowball’s chance in hell I could improve on Cosmo’s review.

But I’m not so smart. It occurred to me that although I couldn’t improve on that review, I could translate it into the kind of verbiage we tend to use here at NCS. You know, language written by and for mentally impaired people. And then I thought, what the fuck, I might as well go all-in and channel Frank Mullen while doing that!  So here goes:  (read on after the jump, if you’re mentally impaired . . .) Continue reading »