Oct 272021


(We present DGR‘s review of the latest album by Nashville-based Inferi, out now on The Artisan Era, with cover art by Helge Balzer.)

It’s a mantra often repeated when it comes to Inferi albums – and actually, to a much larger extent, the Artisan Era‘s artist roster as a whole, considering the label’s specialization – that Inferi releases are the sorts of albums that put the tech-death concept of “everything and the kitchen sink” songwriting to shame, the sort of releases where long after the first listen you’re still finding new things that will perk your interest.

Inferi’s latest album Vile Genesis is in that vein, with eight songs absolutely bursting at the seams with different elements, riff worship, frenetic leads, frenzied drumming, hefty bass work, and manic vocals that just constantly seems to be ratcheted up to 120% with absolutely no room to breathe. The band have long since made a name for themselves in the world of ‘we play fast’ but it’s still just as initially overwhelming as it always is.

You’d never think someone managed to figure out how to get a bulldozer to set a landspeed record, but somehow Inferi do it every time they put out an album. You put it on, get run over, and then you do it again and again as the music just whips past you. Which is likely going to be a pretty common occurrence among listeners because Vile Genesis has a lot of really good material to dig into and you’re going to be bowled over constantly doing it. Continue reading »

Aug 212021


The usual torrent of new music continued this past week, culminating in the expected high tide on Friday. Harried by my day job, I couldn’t keep up with what happened yesterday, though my compatriot DGR did, and he again funneled a lot of the new stuff my way. Five of the selections you’ll find below came from him, though I did manage to add eight more advance tracks that I scoped out this morning, to create a lucky 13.

As in other instances of gigantic round-ups such as this one, it includes a lot of bigger names, but I’ve infiltrated some lesser-knowns. It’s like putting out honey to attract flies, and then hoping something they weren’t expecting bites them. Welcome aboard flies! Here we go in alphabetical order:

1914 (Ukraine)

It’s exciting to see an underground favorite such as 1914 (whom we’ve been writing about since their early days) getting picked up by a big label such as Napalm, for the simple reason that it will expose their prodigious talents to a wider audience. The fact that Nick Holmes makes a guest appearance on the song/video that leads off this collection will help as well. Continue reading »

Aug 062021


Over the last few days my NCS comrades (well, mainly DGR) have been shoveling links at me for new songs and videos, in anticipation that I would put together a round-up by today — which is a Bandcamp Friday. Most of those links were for music by bigger-name bands. The thought was that I could also add more obscure names, and that the allure of the bigger names might help introduce the lesser-knowns to more fans.

The problem is that the pile of links has grown to gargantuan proportions, which has made it tougher for me to insert as many other discoveries as I might want and still write up some thoughts about everything. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow. Here’s the A-to-Z deluge I have for today, in alphabetical order.


Prepare for relentless high-speed bludgeoning and crazed fretwork mania as a big rabid mastiff barks in your face at equally high speed. Exhilarating! Continue reading »

Jul 242021


Those of us in the metal trade know that Friday’s have become a dumping ground, or a deluge from above, or a flood tide… pick your metaphor for a day when a ton of new songs and videos drop. Yesterday was in that vein. With help from some other NCS slaves I made a giant list, and did a freestyle kick through it. Found a lot to like, and decided to grab a baker’s dozen of tracks for your entertainment, all of which happened to arrive with videos.

In terms of verbiage, I’m just going to ejaculate my immediate visceral reactions without fully formed sentences or consistent punctuation. Unless I just keep quiet I don’t know how else to manage commentary on so many songs and films, and of course keeping quiet would be sheer torture for moi.

ABORTED (Belgium)

A creepy, horror-drenched intro opens the book on a jolting and blazing calamity that soon goes berserk… despite its title, the song doesn’t really drag you to hell, it fires you into hell with a howitzer… and all the devils are there, ready to rip and ruin… but also to reveal the sweeping, bombastic glory of their awful domain…. Continue reading »

Oct 282020


(This is the second installment in a seven-album review orgy by our man DGR, who is attempting to free his mind for year-end season by clearing away a backlog of write-ups for albums he has spent a lot of time with in 2020. Today’s subject is a new EP by Inferi, released on October 9th.)

As a rule of thumb, releases by the Tennessee-based tech-death crew Inferi tend to be a lot of fun. They made their name in the whirling maelstrom of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink, pyroclastic-flow-of-notes style of hyperspeed tech-death. As much as anything, it’s a blast to see just how far Inferi are going to push each song before they fully disintigrate. While they’ve certainly become one of the groups whose music serves as a snapshot of a scene at the time of each release, there’s purely reptilian amusement to be found in seeing how much a band can shred within a single song.

Of Sunless Realms is the newest EP from the band, weighing in at a compact – for them – twenty-two minutes and five songs. Every previous time when covering a band of their ilk – including those their current label The Artisan Era likes to traffic in – it has always felt justified to warn people to gird themselves a bit for a massive journey ahead, simply because such bands really, really like to pack as much as they possibly can into every song. Surprisingly, Of Sunless Realms works in their favor simply because of its compact length – about as no bullshit as Inferi can get – with five songs that provide a tantalizing snapshot of where the band are now. Continue reading »

Mar 212019


Let’s be clear up-front: The End of an Era | Rebirth is not a reissue. A mere reissue of Inferi’s 2009 second album, The End of an Era, would have been welcome for those who relish physical editions of music they feel passionate about, and those are almost impossible to find these days. But as the name suggests, The End of an Era | Rebirth is a great deal more than a re-printing of the original CD.

During 2018, in addition to releasing their latest album, Revenant, and engaging in extensive tours, Inferi also found time to re-record The End of an Era. It thus features not only new performances by the band’s current line-up (which is significantly different from the one that recorded the original album), captured with more robust production techniques, but also presents changes in the bass-guitar and drum contributions to the music. And on top of all that, the revised album includes eye-catching new cover art by Helge C. Balzer.

One track from Rebirth has already surfaced, and today, in advance of the album’s April 12 release by The Artisan Era, we present another one through a lyric video (which is itself loaded with wonderful artwork): “Quest For the Trinity“. Continue reading »

Dec 312018


(DGR is actually turning NCS into a coffee table book, but slowly, one day at a time, from now through Friday.)

About halfway through the year I actually thought I was going to make it through the year-end with a solid Top 30 list and nothing more. For a good chunk of the year, 2018 seemed to move in fits and starts — there would be large batches of album releases and then a couple of quiet weeks, then another small collection, and so on. A lot of the more consistent older guard were on something of an “off year” too, so at first I wasn’t expecting to see a large cast of repeats from two years ago making themselves known. I’ve gotten used to a two-to-three year album cycle, so I half-expected stuff to start pointing towards a real loaded front-half of 2019.

But alas, instead the back-half of 2018 turned out to a be a flood. Not just in bands that I’ve consistently enjoyed either, but a whole bunch of new faces that have either been hammering it out over the years and put out some genuine surprises, or people with some absolutely stunning first-time exposures on my end. Not only that, but who would’ve expected an actually pretty solid -core resurgence, with a lot of groups that had thought to hang it up deciding 2018 would be a good year to resurface and put out some stunningly good releases (at least in some cases).

As a result, 2018 proved to be an absolutely massive year. In some ways I think people’s year-end lists are reflecting just how vibrant the year was for our specific subsection of the musical sphere. While people lament that rock ‘n’ roll is dying or has become lame, heavy metal seems perfectly content to just be the constantly angry and forever roiling collective of music — as if it has found a sort of equilibrium in comparison to the mainstream world outside. Which is how you wind up with stupid shit like this, where I once again have FIFTY (warning ahead of time: if you think this introduction is getting verbose, do I have a surprise for you) albums to talk about in wrapping up this tire fire of a year. Continue reading »

Jul 162018


I’ll make this quick:

First, within the last hour or so, Behemoth announced a North American tour (Ecclesia Diabolica America 2018) with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. It begins on October 20th in Phoenix and ends on November 24th in Los Angeles, and includes stops in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, as well as 18 U.S. States. Here’s the current schedule: Continue reading »

Mar 052018


(This is the second part of DGR’s round-up of selected new songs and videos that appeared over the last couple of weeks. You can find Part 1 here.)


Inferi – Behold The Bearer Of Light

Right now, the hyperspeed tech-death, melodic-death, black-death, everything-kitchen-sink-and-broken-down-freezer-in-the-backyard metal crew of Inferi are out on the road, touring with Aethere, Alterbeast, and Grindmother as part of Alterbeast’s Feast album release tour. It’s been four years since the group’s last incredibly packed album The Path Of Apotheosis, but those moments of silence shall soon wane as the group have an upcoming April 21st release in the form of Revenant. Continue reading »

Feb 172014

(In this post NCS writer DGR reviews the new album by Inferi.)

Inferi are a band who I’ve had every intention of talking about for a very, very long time but never had the perfect moment to do so. The Nashville, Tennessee based group play a style of metal that can rotate between technical death metal, melodic death, and epic-fueled thrash metal at the drop of a hat. They have always seemed to be defined by two things for me: The sort of insane ambition of a band who cut absolutely no corners and make absolutely no compromises; and the sort of high-speed energy equivalent of a spark landing on a trail of gunpowder, rapidly accelerating and heating into a massive explosion.

The group have been fighting it out as something of a working band’s band for the better part of seven years, and as of late January they have finally put out another disc — five years after their last one — entitled The Path Of Apotheosis. It was a long time coming, and so massive in scope and scale that it is hard to believe it came from a group scratching it out day-by-day in the underground. There is a reason why it has taken me longer than two weeks to review this album, because holy hell, is this thing a packed disc. I can say right away that if you’re a bang-for-your-buck person, you can probably understand my yammering, because wow, is there a lot here.

Yet, with five years and finally some momentum behind them, do Inferi get to take advantage of their moment in history? Does the massive wall of sound and scale that the band put forward actually become anything other than grandeur for grandeur’s sake? Continue reading »