Jul 012023


When I started this blog 13 years, 7 months, and 10 days ago (but who’s counting?) I had very few ambitions. One of them was to continue posting about metal straight through the weekends for as long as this NCS lark might last, no days off.

Back in those days of the internet’s infancy, blogs devoted to metal were few in number (none of them were fancy enough to call themselves “web sites”), and I thought being the only such place with something new on the weekends would attract a few more visitors. But my main motivation was to tangibly demonstrate that NCS wasn’t a business, and writing for NCS wasn’t a job, and never would it be. Because if it were a job you’d get the weekends off, right?

13 years, 7 months, and 10 days later, I’m still not pausing NCS on the weekends. In all that time we’ve had some weekend days where nothing new went up, but not many. Maybe a dozen days, certainly not more than two dozen. Illness, injury, and apocalyptic hangovers have taken their tolls, but not nearly as often as you might think. However, weekends like this one pose a special challenge. Continue reading »

May 202023


I began this morning like I’ve begun every morning since the start of the pandemic: sitting on the deck of my home in the forest drinking a triple-espresso, smoking cigarettes, and reading the local, national, and international news on my phone.

It’s not something I can recommend in good conscience. Smoking is bad for you and the news is almost invariably depressing. But today the birds around me were in full song and the news included a story about a woman who had a “loud and full body orgasm” during the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The article where I learned about this included a link to a list of “The 10 Best Orgasm Symphonies”, compiled by British music journalist Norman Lebrecht in celebration of the woman’s scream. The article also quoted opera soprano Renée Fleming: “Let’s not forget that the word ‘climax’ is a common musical term. It has to do with musical tension and its release.”

With this in mind, I started making my way through my gigantic list of new songs and videos from the past week or two, listening for climaxes. If you get one while listening to what follows, just keep that to yourself. (Joking of course — I want to hear all about it!) Continue reading »

Oct 072022

To say that Maurizio Iacono has nothing left to prove is to state the obvious. After 14 studio albums from Kataklysm (and a host of other releases), four more full-lengths from Ex Deo, numerous global tours and festival performances, and many other endeavors in prominent aspects of the music business, he’s already secured a rare level of success in the world of heavy metal and a secure position in its history.

Having nothing left to prove, however, doesn’t mean having nothing left to say. How else does one explain his decision to create a new band at this very mature stage of his career? That is in fact what Maurizio has done with the formation of Invictus, a group that makes its recording debut with an album named Unstoppable on October 21st via the MNRK Heavy label. Continue reading »

Feb 212022


(Our Denver-based contributor Gonzo had the good fortune of seeing live performances by Dark Tranquillity, Kataklysm, and Nailed To Obscurity about 10 days ago, and he sent us the following report along with some of his photos.)

I’m sure this is the case with pretty much everyone who’s going to read this, but I’m pretty fucking sick of talking about the pandemic, what “normal” looks like, how long it’s been since we saw X band at X venue, and everything in between.

But in the case of the tour that rolled through The O Theater in Denver last Thursday night, I’d be remiss not to frame it against the backdrop of the aforementioned frustrations. Three incredible metal bands – Dark Tranquility, Kataklysm, and Nailed to Obscurity – are touring the US right now and none of them are native to this country. I don’t know when the last time that happened, so that alone is worth celebrating.

It certainly didn’t hurt that all three bands put on shows that made it seem like they – as well as tours featuring international acts in general – were never gone. Continue reading »

Aug 052020


We present an audio stream of DJ Jet‘s lively telephone interview with Maurizio Iacono, frontman of the renowned Kataklysm. Their new album Unconquered will be released by Nuclear Blast on September 25th.

The interview covers such subjects as the effect of the pandemic on Kataklysm and the band’s plans for the release and promotion of the new album,  its impact on the activities of other bands for whom Maurizio provides management services, and of course his insights into the music, lyrics, and artwork of this fiery new album and how it became a reality (as well as the status of work on the next Ex Deo record).

After the interview, also check out the video for the first single for the album, a track named “The Killshot“. Continue reading »

Mar 312018


A few of my NCS comrades have been nudging me to do a round-up that includes the latest songs revealed by At the Gates, Kataklysm, and Light This City. I didn’t have time to do this yesterday when I got that nudging, but decided to do it today even though Andy’s latest Waxing Lyrical post would have given me an excuse to check out from NCS writing for the day. And since I decided to pull those three songs together, I added one pick of my own.


I suppose you’d have to be living under a rock not to know that At the Gates have a new album headed our way. For you under-rock dwellers, To Drink From the Night Itself will be released by Century Media on May 18th. Yesterday brought another single from the album, packaged with a wonderful video created by Costin Chioreanu of Twilight 13 Media. Continue reading »

Jul 232015

Kataklysm-Belphegor tour


Just a few quick notes in here about three new North American tours that were announced within the last week. Two of the headlining bands — Kataklysm and The Black Dahlia Murder — also premiered new songs yesterday, so I’ve included a stream of them below as well.


This is an interesting mix of co-headliners — Canada’s Kataklysm (whose new album Of Ghosts and Gods was given an initial assessment by Andy Synn for us here) and Austria’s Belphegor (whose most recent album was 2014’s Conjuring the Dead). The complete schedule is below, but first, a video… Continue reading »

Jun 252015


(Andy Synn wrote the following first impressions of Kataklysm’s new album — and there IS a summing-up at the end.)

So I’ve decided to do something a little different for this review. Instead of my usual over-wordy, over-intellectualised stream of self-congratulatory bullshit (quality bullshit, of course) I’m going lo-tech and lo-fi with this one!

So after the jump you can follow my first impressions in a semi-live manner, as I note down my random feelings and musings from my first listening session to the band’s new album.

Ok, so, here we go… pushing play… Continue reading »

Apr 292015


Here’s a bit of fairly hot-off-the-press news from Canada’s Kataklysm:  First, they’ve announced that their twelfth studio album Of Ghosts and Gods will be released on July 31 (via Nuclear Blast Records).

Second, as you can see, they’ve disclosed the cover art, which was created by an artist called artist Surtsey. I like it. (According to the band, the background shows an ancient incantation written in Aramaic.)

And third, they’ve announced that there will be music videos created for every one of the album’s ten songs, with each video crafted to reflect the concept behind the music. Continue reading »

May 162014

Here are a couple of North American tours announced this morning that I thought were worth spreading around. The music in the two tours lies on divergent ends of the metal spectrum, but both shows should be excellent.


This death metal blockbuster is co-headlined by Suffocation and Kataklysm, with Suffocation closing the shows on the US dates and Kataklysm playing the final sets in the Canadian shows. Accompanying those two heavyweight acts on this tour will be Jungle Rot, Pyrexia, and Internal Bleeding.

As the poster up there indicates, the tour schedule hasn’t been announced yet.

Now, changing gears… Continue reading »