Dec 122019


It seems that every time I write about Kawir, over a span of many years, I feel compelled to introduce them anew, because although they’ve been around since the early ’90s and were as important to the character of Greek black metal as bands such as Rotting Christ, Varathron, and Necromantia, I worry that they still don’t get the high level of recognition they deserve. And despite their longevity, Kawir are one of those rare bands for whom long years haven’t diminished the blaze of their creative fires.

I was a huge fan of their last album (reviewed and premiered here), 2017’s Εξιλασμός (Exilasmos), and now Kawir are following that wonderful record with a new album named Adrasteia, which is set for release on January 10, 2020, by Iron Bonehead Productions. As usual, Kawir have drawn upon Greek mythology for their inspirations and lyrical themes, and they’ve also enlisted some notable guests — Macabre Omen’s Alexandros on all clean vocals, Norwegian vocalist Lindy-Fay Hella on the song “Colchis,” and Melechesh’s Ashmedi performing a guitar solo on “Danaides.”

We’ve previously commented (in glowing terms) about the album’s first track, “Lemniades“, and today it’s our good fortune to present a second one — “Tydeus” — named for a mythic hero, a prince of Argos by marriage into the fanily of King Adrastos, and one of the “Seven Against Thebes”. Continue reading »

Nov 042019


This column is a day late, shorter than I’d planned, and written more hurriedly than I would like. Yesterday was full of personal obstacles to working on this, and I’ve got to leave home at an early hour this morning for a one-hour drive to the county courthouse because I’ve been summoned for jury duty. Three cheers for democracy!

It’s unlikely I’ll be put on the jury, but I have a feeling I’ll be stuck in the courthouse all day, which will play havoc with getting anything else done for NCS today other than this post and a premiere/review that I managed to finish last night.


If you’re not a fan of the Polish band Arkona it must be because you’ve never heard their music (even though they’ve been around since ’93) or you just don’t like black metal. I can’t think of a third reason. Their new album (the seventh of their career), Age of Capricorn, is one of my most anticipated releases of this fall/winter. It’s coming out December 13th via Debemur Morti Productions. Continue reading »

Jan 112018


And so it begins. Just as we’re approaching the end of our 2017 LISTMANIA series, we’re beginning another list — and it’s the only one for which your humble editor is personally responsible. I don’t have the mental ability or emotional maturity to make my own list of best albums, but I do force myself to make the list that begins today, though as you’ll discover, it’s not an easy process for me (though it does make for a lot of fun listening).

In fact, as in every year when I’ve done this, I’m starting the rollout of this Most Infectious Song list without having finished it — which means I don’t know how long it will be or when it will end. As in past years, I’m making it up as I go along. I’ll do my best to post 2 – 4 songs every day until I arbitrarily decide to stop, though I might miss a day here and there. My goal is to finish by the end of January, but no promises.

If you think this is a ridiculously inept way to make a list, you might consider that between the list of candidates I sporadically made for myself as 2017 rolled on, plus the lists provided by our readers (here) and by my NCS colleagues, I have a master list that includes almost 700 songs. It’s a mix of big names and very obscure ones from across virtually every metal sub-genre you can think of. Continue reading »

Nov 032017


Anyone who has studied the fascinating annals of Hellenic black metal will recognize the name Kawir. Their roots are deep and old in the underground, their music has always been distinctive, and the lyrical themes of their songs have consistently drawn from the wellsprings of ancient Greek mythology. They were the subject of a Rearview Mirror post that I wrote (here) to celebrate one of their older works, and yet they also released a fantastic album more than 20 years after that one in the form of 2016’s Father Sun Mother Moon.

Even though that album included more than an hour of new music, Kawir have returned with a new 42-minute opus named Exilasmos, which is being released today by Iron Bonehead Productions. It is a rare piece of art, one that follows a fascinating conceptual narrative extracted from Greek myth and provides powerful music that’s a match for that enduring narrative’s larger-than-life scale and the horrors and tragedies it describes. Today we have a full stream of the album, along with the following review of its remarkable accomplishments. Continue reading »

Aug 182017


And so we come to the end of another work week. Three days have passed since the last round-up of new music I pulled together, and those have been eventful days for the release of new metal, not even counting the many excellent premieres we introduced ourselves. I’ve had to resist the temptation to cram a big mountain of them into this post (instead of a small mountain), in part because I’m off to the airport again for a long weekend in the Rocky Mountains, capped by the coming of a black sun on Monday.

I hope you’ll enjoy the picks I’ve made for this truncated round-up, and that you’ll enjoy the two more premieres we’ll be bringing you later today. I think I’ll have time to pull together some more new music this weekend despite being away from the forested NCS fortress near the Puget Sound.


I’m beginning this collection with a new single by Minnesota’s Astral Blood, in part because it gives me the opportunity to post not one but two pieces of artwork by Luciana Nedelea that will cover the front and back of the album from which it comes. The album is named SYZYGY, and the front piece is above. This is the piece for the back cover: Continue reading »

Apr 082016



I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon sifting through that massive spew known as the NCS e-mail in-box and then wading through the hip-deep effluent of the interhole, searching for things worth hearing and seeing, so that you don’t have to dirty yourselves doing it. It was filthy work, as it always is, but as always happens I found some chunks of gold gleaming amidst the vast rivers of mediocrity. I actually have a pretty long list of discoveries that I think are worth sharing, but here are a few of them. Perhaps I will have time to include more later today, or this weekend.


Rotting Christ delivered a new lyric video yesterday for the song “Les Litanies de Satan“, which includes guest vocals from Vorph’s frontman Samael dramatically reciting (in French) excerpts from Charles Baudelaire’s poem of the same name (from the volume of poetry entitled Les Fleurs du Mal), which inspired the song. The track, which appears on the band’s latest album Rituals (reviewed here), is a majestic, surging hymn to the fallen angel, and the video is interesting to watch as well. Continue reading »

Feb 282016

Rearview Mirror


Welcome to another Sunday edition of this continuing feature, in which we recall metal from the past. The band I’ve chosen for today — Kawir — is a Greek black metal institution, with a long string of splits, EPs, and albums dating back to 1993. The last full-length was 2012’s Ισόθεος (Isotheos) — though a new one will soon be upon us.

Though widely respected and influential, Kawir don’t have quite the same name recognition as other Greek black metal bands of a similar vintage, such as Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh, or Varathron, though perhaps to a greater extent than any of those bands, Kawir has embraced ancient Hellenic culture in their music, with lyrics sung in ancient Greek and songs built upon the rich traditions of Greek myth and legend. Continue reading »

Sep 162015

Otargos-Xeno Kaos


This is the somewhat delayed second part of a round-up I began this morning. The earlier edition featured new videos and songs from some of metal’s bigger names. The music in this one comes from more underground sources, and not all of it is brand new, though all of it is newly discovered by your humble editor. And of course all of it is recommended for your ears.


In his review, Andy Synn summed up the last album by the French band Otargos (2013’s Apex Terror) as music “both utterly devastating and virulently infectious, a truly unique and lethal strain of post-human black metal” — “a visceral, gut-wrenching experience, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality”.

Otargos have now completed a new album named Xeno Kaos that will be released by Kaotoxin Records on November 13. The label recently unveiled a song from the album named “Dominatrix”, and it’s a potent concoction of reptilian melodic grace and unrestrained ferocity. I’m still trying to close my mouth after hearing the drumwork on this song, and I also need to look for a couple of teeth that got knocked out. Probably need a tourniquet too. Continue reading »