Aug 052023

Hey there, how’s your weekend shaping up? Is it shaping up like this, or like this? Either way, after you make your way through what I’ve picked for this Saturday’s roundup it may be re-shaped into something like this.

I decided to arrange the following new songs and videos in reverse alphabetical order by band name, mainly so I’d be able to start with…


When I think of WarCrab‘s music I think of the kind of whumping sound that would be produced by a giant battering ram pounding against concrete pylons and ejecting the rebar out the other side. I also sometimes think of Bolt Thrower and Crowbar, and not just because Transcending Obscurity Records refers to those bands in the context of describing WarCrab‘s forthcoming album The Howling Silence.

But in the case of the first two singles from the new album, those aren’t the first impressions that come to mind. Continue reading »

Nov 192022


It’s lamentable how little music I’ve written about today. Last night I engaged in an old tradition I’ve rarely observed since covid began marauding in March 2020, i.e., drinking in person with co-workers I usually see only on computer screens. I’m out of practice, and so forgot where the off-switch was, leading to… too damned much drinking.

On my ferry ride home I was thinking about how I would begin today’s column, knowing that I had about three-dozen links to new songs and videos I’d selected out of what I noticed over the last week, and knowing I’d never make it through all that. Fueled by whisky, I wrote this:

Imagine yourself seated across a table from a wizard, or rather what seems like a wavering mirage of a table, alternately expansive and as narrow as a rat’s tail. He buries his hands in a bowl of spiky glittering baubles and throws them at your face. Pleased with your wide eyes and the rivulets of blood coursing down your face, he chortles and beams. The pain and the exhilaration, now you feel alive!, he proclaims. And then black tentacles begin to sprout from his robes and writhe in your direction.

Reading that this morning through eyes almost pasted shut by the goo of sleep, I wonder how the hell that metaphor sprung to mind. The spiky baubles represented all the new songs and videos, I know that much, but the rest of it? The ways of whisky can be mysterious….

Anyway, I don’t feel so great this morning, and the day is rapidly flying by, so what follows is all I’ve been able to accomplish. Maybe these songs will leave you wide-eyed and bloodied. One can only hope. Continue reading »

Apr 022022


I had a hellish work-week at my fucking day job, which caused me to fall behind again in listening to candidates for this weekend round-up. I’ve also got an appointment for a second booster jab coming up soon this morning. Putting those two things together means this round-up will be shorter than I’d like. As is becoming something of a habit, I also included a curveball at the end.


These Swedish favorites of mine have always chosen themes that focus on war, mainly WWII. They’ve repeatedly demonstrated a talent for channeling not just the mad exhilaration and explosive destructiveness of armed conflict but also the pain and grief it brings. It’s not surprising, therefore, that they would record a song for the victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Continue reading »

Jan 292022


We’re getting down to the wire for the completion of this list, so I’m doing my best to pack in as much as I can before I post the final installment on Monday — hence, this Saturday segment, and I’ll add another one on Sunday. I’m also again expanding the remaining segments to include four songs instead of the usual three.

For most of these posts I’ve had some kind of reason for grouping the songs together, even if they may not always be clear to others. But today there’s no reason at all. I’m just flailing around trying not to forget things as the list rushes to a close. To check out all the preceding songs on the list, click this link.

SARKE (Norway)

Darkthrone put out a well-received new album last year and there’s still a chance I might pick something from it for this list, but today I’m adding something from a different Nocturno Culto project, i.e., Sarke. The fact that I’m now including this song should come as no surprise, because I did actually guarantee it when I first commented on the track back in October. Continue reading »

Dec 282021

The high temperature in Seattle on Monday was 23 degrees, making it the coldest day in 31 years according to the National Weather Service. I live close to Seattle, and I feel like I’m in the Arctic, even though I’ve never been to the Arctic. Snow and ice have covered everything in my community and the roads are dangerous, in part because no one here fucking knows how to drive in treacherous conditions.

The upside is that there are attractive snow-covered views out the window in the forest where I live, and I’ve had enough shut-in time on my hands to compile the selections of music you’re about to encounter. If you live someplace where the temps are in the ’70s or ’80s F., or in a frigid place where local governments and residents actually know how to deal with it, please just keep that to yourself.


About 10 days ago this Swedish death metal war machine discharged a new EP named In the Realm of Ash and Sorrow, as a a tribute to their fallen brothers Sven Groß and L.G. Petrov. For this EP the ever-busy JBD riffmeister Anders Biazzi wrote four new original songs and recorded them with vocalist Remco Kreft (Graceless, Soulburn) and drummer Jon Rudin (Wombbath, Pale King), with guitar solos provided by Kreft and Björn Brusse (Graceless).

In addition, the band recorded a cover of the Entombed song “Drowned” in remembrance of L.G. Petrov, and that one features Gustav Myrin on guitars and bass, with Myrin and Daniel Gustavsson doing the solos. Continue reading »

Aug 222020


Sigh. Yet another week when I didn’t have enough time, or didn’t set aside enough, to do even one round-up of new music. I did do a lot of listening last night and this morning, and found enough promising new black metal to fill a two-part SHADES OF BLACK post tomorrow, and then narrowed down other things I found into this post. As the title suggests, it leans mainly into death metal or blackened death of various kinds.

There are four complete releases in the following collection, which I book-ended with singles from forthcoming records.


One of my favorite practitioners of Swedish death metal, Just Before Dawn, will be returning on September 25th with a new 45-minute soundtrack from the warzones of the last global conflict. The title is An Army At Dawn, and Raw Skull Recordz will handle the release. Once again, JBD riff-meister Anders Biazzi has enlisted a platoon of guests — 10 guest vocalists and three guest guitar soloists, if my count is correct — along with his steadfast JBD allies Gustav Myrin (guitar/bass) and Jon Rudin (drums). Continue reading »

Apr 102020



I wondered whether the words “pandemic” and “pandemonium” were linguistically related. So I did some research.

Pandemic“, a word that originated in the 1660s in reference to disease, means “incident to a whole people or region” and derives from the Late Latin word pandemus, and in turn from the Greek pandemos, meaning to “pertain to all people; public, common” (from pan– “all” and dēmos “people”).

On the other hand, “pandemonium” was coined by John Milton in 1667 in Paradise Lost (though he spelled it “Pandæmonium”) as the name of the palace built in the middle of Hell, “the high capital of Satan and all his peers,” and the abode of all the demons. He built the name from the Greek pan– “all” and the Late Latin daemonium (“evil spirit”), which in turn derived from the Greek daimonion (“inferior divine power”) and daimōn “lesser god”.

So, although pandemics often produce pandemonium, as we’re witnessing, the words aren’t very closely related.

Now that we’re finished with your home-schooling for the day, let’s move on to the musical pandemonium I selected for this round-up. By coincidence, all the music comes from bands who are established favorites of our site. Continue reading »

Apr 272018


It is time once again to cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war, and simultaneously to ring the dinner bell in the heads of those Pavlovian dogs among us who salivate at the sound of chainsawing riffs and the movement of skull-plundering rhythms. Bolt Thrower may have fought their last battle, Hail of Bullets may have been drained of life, Asphyx may be pondering their next move, but Just Before Dawn continue to rise in gruesome power and terrible glory.

On their new album, Tides of Glory, all the key ingredients from previous releases remain in place — the thematic focus on events from the Second World War; the head-hooking, body-moving riffs; the monstrous power of the enlisted vocalists; the obliterating might of a rhythm section firing on all cylinders. But while riff-meister Anders Biazzi and his combat-veteran comrades haven’t made any dramatic departures from the old-school death metal stylings of the earlier albums (and it would be a rude shock if they had), they’ve still found ways to up their game. Continue reading »

Apr 282017


I left Seattle on Monday for my job and arrived home again near midnight last night. I woke up four hours later because there is very little justice or fairness in the world. Before my eyes would focus properly, I saw messages from friends on Facebook that alerted me to the two new tracks I’ve collected here. I have a fuckton of other new music to sift through since I didn’t have time to assemble a SEEN AND HEARD round-up while I was out of town, but I decided to get these two tracks up on the site without delay, even before the coffee kicks in.


Three years after Blood Mantra, Poland’s mighty Decapitated are returning with a new album named Anticult, which will be released by Nuclear Blast on July 7th. Last night the album’s memorable cover art appeared on the web, and this morning, before the sun rose out here on the U.S. west coast, Decapitated detonated a video for a new song named “Never“. Continue reading »

Apr 192017


As mentioned in the first installment of this mid-week round-up earlier today, I have enough items I want to spread around, and enough time to do it, that I’ve divided the collection into multiple segments. There might even be a Part 3, but we’ll see how the day goes.

Part 1 was a sequence of songs specifically organized as a playlist because of a certain flow and mood in the music, at least as discerned by my twisted head. This Part 2 has no unifying theme, other than my own interest in everything here. There are a couple of news items at the outset, and then some very good music.


Just Before Dawn will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors, but for any newcomers, it has been the studio project of Swedish musician Anders Biazzi and his drumming ally Brynjar Helgetun, with a changing array of vocalists and guitar soloists. It’s one of my favorite current purveyors of old school Swedish death metal. And now JBD will be moving out of the studio in order to destroy a few stages. Continue reading »