Mar 042020


One glance at the track list for the self-titled debut release of the multinational band Kannustaa will clue you in that their music is not conventional black metal. Song titles such as “To Give and Forget”, “Don’t Leave Me”, “Encourage”, or the track we’re premiering today — “Mother” — point in different directions than more typical misanthropic, anticosmic, or blasphemous lyrical outbursts of the genre. Truth be told, the music isn’t conventional either.

To be sure, Kannustaa are full capable of viciously stabbing your neck with high-voltage electrification. That much was evident from the first track they released, “Don’t Leave Me”. The wild yowling tone of the opening riff is so potent that it almost drowns out the rampant drumming and the throat-ripping vocal madness. The drumming switches gears into more measured cadences, but the thermonuclear guitar work continues to dominate, rising and falling, twisting and turning, flickering in anguish and moaning in despair, slashing and scything and whirring with incredible vitality. Near the end, the bass becomes a bludgeoning presence, helping to send the song out in an explosive, vertebrae-cracking finale. Continue reading »

Feb 162020


6-6-6. With more NCS time available to me over the last few days than usual, I’ve managed to feature the new music of six bands on each of the last three days. Surely some hellish reward will soon arrive at my door.

For this column I’m beginning and ending with complete streams of recently released debut albums. In between you’ll find advance tracks from forthcoming records, two of them from old favorites of mine and two from new discoveries. I’m very high on everything included here, and have already added tracks from all six bands to my list of candidates for 2020’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.


The Russian band Black Flux made a wise choice in setting the third track on their debut album, Black Stream, to play first at the album’s Bandcamp page. That track, “Пепельные Кубки (Ashen Goblets)“, lofts grand waves of slow-moving melody and glimmering ethereal tonalities over hurtling drums and truly vicious vocals. In addition, the band erupt in flurries of savage, electrifying riffage, while transforming the mood of those grand, cascading symphonic melodies into an increasingly tormented sensation that seems to writhe in agony. Through it all, vibrant bass lines rise and fall. The power of the sound is tremendous, as is the music’s emotional impact, which is wrenching. Continue reading »