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 »

Jan 132014
 

Since the weekend began I caught up with a flood of hair-raising new songs and found so many worth recommending that I’ve collected them in two posts, this one being the second of the day (the first is here). I probably should have divided them into 4 or 5 posts, but since the unofficial motto of this site seems to be “long-winded”, why bother? New music from six bands is gathered here. The common theme of the music is… high-speed brutality!

BENIGHTED

This French death metal band will be releasing their seventh album, Carnivore Sublime, in North America on February 18 via Season of Mist. Last week they debuted one of the new songs in music video form. Its name is “Experience Your Flesh”. It depicts the kind of classroom daydream where the roles of tormentor and tormented are reversed — but it’s a gore-splattered kind of fantasy, one that befits the song itself.

And the song itself is a blast furnace of brutal death metal, with bone-cracking/gut-slicing riffs, high-velocity percussion, and a high-low tandem of guttural roars and hair-on-fire shrieks. The phrase “takes no prisoners” comes to mind. Continue reading »