Jun 072023

(Several of us here glommed on to Ironmaster’s recently released second album (via Black Lion Records), but thought it would really hit the bullseye with DGR. We weren’t wrong, as his following review demonstrates abundantly.)

Rarely does a disc go flying by you with such velocity that it could’ve killed someone (ala Hellraiser 3) and found itself embedded in the drywall near your writing desk, but such is the case with Ironmaster‘s sophomore album – and second on a year-over-year churn – Weapons Of Spiritual Carnage.

While we fancy ourselves having an understanding of each other’s musical tastes here, it’s not often that one would gamble fully on handing an album album over with the statement, “This seems like it is well positioned within your wheelhouse”. But that happened with Weapons Of Spiritual Carnage, a release whose promo arrived and was so quickly flung in your favorite long-winded impostor-syndrome-suffering writer’s direction that yes, we’re probably due a trip to the local home improvement store here soon in order to repair ‘promo disc stuck in wall’. It’s not like whatever customer service person we get is going to understand what we’re talking about anyway. Continue reading »

Dec 242021


Whether you celebrate Christmas because of its religious significance, or simply indulge in its old pagan trappings, or only try to keep your head down and get through it like running a gauntlet, I hope you have a joyful holiday. Of course I’m about to try to make it more joyful by sharing some dark, dreadful, and exhilarating tunes that have recently surfaced in the manifold realms of metal. Before doing that I’m going to digress in a way that I don’t think I have ever done before at NCS.

Some of us who can afford it at this time of year look for ways to make charitable contributions, and I want to suggest one. It arises from a severe misfortune that has befallen my friend Dustin Carroll.

I knew him first as the bassist for the Seattle-based metal band A God or Another, and later has a member of the bands Addaura and Bréag Naofa. But the context in which I got to know him better was through his volunteer work for Seattle’s Northwest Terror Fest, which I’ve been involved in producing and supporting since its inception, and which we’re planning to resume (covid willing) next year. Continue reading »