Feb 012020


I missed two weekdays in the rollout of this list, and I want to make up for that, so that’s the justification for breaking my promise to finish this list by the end of January. I have this installment today, and I’ll have another one tomorrow, and then on Monday I’ll tie things up with a black bow by listing all the songs from start to finish. Of course I won’t really be finished, because a ton of deserving songs will have been omitted. I will just have forced myself to stop.

Today’s four songs are all well-deserved exceptions to our porous rule about singing. The musical styles of the songs are all different from each other. All together, they make for an enthralling (and infectious) playlist.


Wil Cifer reviewed GastiR – Ghosts Invited for us, and concluded with this paragraph: “This is one of the few albums this year that I have been able to just leave on a let-play all day, on endless repeat, and not get bored with it. If you do not need your black metal to live on blast alone and prefer the feel of darkness, then this is more than worth your time”. Continue reading »

Sep 232019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the French band Klone, which was released on September 20.)

It appears that some people have developed a few misconceptions about this site, so perhaps it’s time to clarify some things.

Firstly, we don’t make any money from NCS. We don’t run ads. We don’t take any money from labels or PR firms. None of us get paid for this. We do it for the love of music, and as a way of expressing ourselves. And, maybe if we’re lucky, what we write makes a connection with someone else along the way.

We also don’t do this for notoriety, or clicks, and while we’re aware that certain opinions or ideas might be controversial we don’t write anything for the specific purpose of courting controversy (despite a few recent examples which might suggest otherwise).

Not only that, but we also don’t have any formal structure for the way we work. No-one is “assigned” anything. No-one is given a specific field or remit or genre to focus on. We just each write about whatever grabs us or inspires us and try to keep everyone else informed so we avoid stepping on each other’s toes as best we can.

We’re also not totally opposed to clean singing, even if the site name suggests otherwise. In fact we were originally going to be called “No Clean Singing That’s Shoehorned In Purely For the Purposes of Increasing Sales or Radio Play” but that was ruled to be maybe a tiny bit too long.

Anyway, now that’s all cleared up, on to Klone. Continue reading »

May 052016



The 2016 edition of the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is now in the history books. It was the first edition of the festival to be presented at the newly renovated 013 venue, and it boasted a typically impressive and diverse line-up of bands. While none of the NCS scribes was on hand for this year’s event, we do have beautiful photos of many of the performances, thanks to Kris T. Therrian of 17 seconds photography.

We’ve divided these photo collections into four parts, one for each day of the festival, and we’re been rolling them out on successive days here at our site. You can see photos from Day One here, Day Two here, and Day Three here. Once again, many thanks to Kris for letting us share these memories with you. For more info about her artistically impressive work, visit these links: Continue reading »

Jan 132013

Welcome to the Part 14 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (almost) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two I’m announcing today, click here.

Most of the song pairings I’ve selected for this series have had something in common — for example, they’ve shared a similar genre affiliation or at least a common nationality. But today’s picks are a complete mismatch, like those last two clean socks you find in your drawer that don’t even remotely go together. But I love both these songs, even though it’s a big stretch to include the second one in the list at all.


This Pacific Northwest band’s 2012 album Sentenced To Life was a big breakout for them. It has received a ton of critical praise and it brought the band a ton of enthusiastic new fans. BadWolf reviewed it for us last March (here), and then later named it to his list of the year’s Top 10 albums (the “no clean singing” version), with these words: “Words do not sufficiently describe how much I love this record’s mix of d-beat, thrash, NWOBHM, and Swedish death metal. . . . [S]eriously, if you have not, go buy this album. Satisfaction guaranteed.” Continue reading »

Nov 122012

(UK-based NCS scribe Andy Synn was present for the November 10 performance of Gojira, Trepalium, and Klone in Nottingham, UK, and delivers the following review. Video clips from the show that Andy filmed appear at the end of the review.)

Here’s a tip: however heavy you think Gojira are on record, multiply that by a factor of 5 for their live show. My god, even the melody lines have a brooding heaviness that steps up significantly from their recorded output. They are just a stunning, devastating live act.

That being said, all that power would be for nothing if the venue weren’t able to handle it. Nottingham’s own Rescue Rooms has, over the past couple of years, transformed itself into a prime location for metal gigdom – despite the more indiefied aura and clientele of the venue (and accompanying lounge/bar). The stage is big, but intimate; the layout of the venue is (barring one unavoidable supporting pillar) really good for both the taller and shorter members of the crowd (particularly with the balcony above); the PA is powerful and can be incredibly clear in the right hands. Plus there’s a bar at the back, one in the balcony area, and access to the lounge/bar in the other half of the venue. Three possible sources of alcohol is always a good thing. Continue reading »

Oct 012012

Earlier today I collected a handful of items I saw and heard in my catching-up time last night, but since posting that round-up I’ve discovered even more new metal that’s worth passing around. The bands featured in this post are: Encrust (U.S.) Trepalium (France), Klone (France), and Unfathomable Ruination (UK).


Okay, first thing you should do is click THIS LINK to see a bigger copy of that stupendous cover art up there.

Is that not killer? It’s the cover for From Birth To Soil, the debut album by a Chicago quintet who call themselves Encrust. The artwork was created by Ryan Kasparian (whose work we’ve featured elsewhere on NCS) and Chris Angelucci. Not coincidentally those two happen to be one of Encrust’s two guitarists and the band’s vocalist, respectively.

From Birth To Soil was released by Density Records last week, and on the same day the band premiered a lyric video for one of the album’s tracks, “Engine of Deceit”. I only caught up with the video today, and I’m really digging the music and the lyrics. The song is a big, swaggering, brawling hybrid of sludge/stoner riffs, pile-driving percussion, and death-metal vocals. There might be some way to avoid headbanging to this song, but it would probably require severing all the nerves to your neck muscles. Continue reading »

Sep 062012

Here we are, still rounding up new music (and a new video) that debuted yesterday or early this morning. If you missed the last post because you were doing something unimportant by comparison, like performing open heart surgery, there are killer new songs from other bands in that one, too. In this one we have new music from Eyehategod (New Orleans), Klone (Poitiers), and Slash Dementia (Äänekoski), plus a new video from De Profundis (London).


NOLA sludge legends Eyehategod have released a new 7″ single via A389 Recordings, who will sell it to you here on laser-etched green vinyl. Its title is “New Orleans Is the New Vietnam”, and it’s apparently the first new track the band have released since the demo tracks on 2005’s Preaching The End Time Message.

The song is now streaming on the A389 Bandcamp page. It’s a cool song, and by “cool” I mean it will punch you in the spleen. Fat stoner riffs duke it out with pachydermal stomps and Mike Williams somehow rises up in the middle of all that heaving weight spewing pure pissed-off punk invective. Give it a listen after the jump, and begin preparing yourselves for the band’s next album, which is in the works. Continue reading »

May 132012

Klonosphere is a French business devoted to organizing and promoting musical performances and releasing music, with distribution provided by Season of Mist. Their name has been associated with a number of bands we’ve featured at NCS over the years. This morning I discovered that they’ve released an 18-track sampler of music from Klonosphere bands for free download. The sampler includes music from five bands we’ve featured at NCS (each of these names are links that will take you to our features about them):


These bands are all so good — and their music is so diverse — that it bodes well for everything else on this sampler. I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but I did pick out a few songs at random from bands whose names were new to me. I’ll stream those after the jump and provide a link for the download. Continue reading »

May 172011

Too infrequently, we write about music that we pick out for listening based solely on the album cover art, not knowing anything about the music itself. Last July we did that for an album called Black Days by a French band called Klone. To crib from what we wrote about the album back then:

Well, it’s not my usual cuppa tea, which tends toward the more skull-pulping leaves grown on the jagged crags of Tartarus. For one thing, there’s a lot of more-or-less clean singing. . . . But, unexpectedly, I’m really diggin Klone. At a very high level (like, from space), the music straddles a line between the darker side of progressive metal and Chevelle-style hard rock. The instrumentalists are sharp and technically impressive, and even when his vocals are clean, Yann Ligner has an invigorating edge to his voice. The songs cover a wide range, from crosses between doom and prog, to melodic headbanging anthems, to dark dreams of hypnotic ambiance.

Today, we have some news to report about Klone: First, they’ve released a brand new two-part single called The Eye of the Needle that’s available for free download — and it’s absolutely worth hearing. Second, we came across a recent official video for one of the songs from Black Days, and it’s absolutely worth seeing. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »

Jul 022010

Yes, it’s time again for another installment in our irregular “Eye-Catchers” series. In case you’ve forgotten, this is both an ongoing experiment and a vehicle for discovering new music. The experiment is designed to test the completely illogical hypothesis that cool album art tends to correlate with cool music. There’s really no reason why the two should go together, but in our experience, they do go together more often than not.

Of course, our experience is completely random and anecdotal, with no statistical significance behind it at all, and undoubtedly the day will come when we’ll see a cool cover and then run for the vomitorium after we start listening to the tunes. But since we started this experiment back in April, most of our test cases have validated the hypothesis.

This experiment also provides a way for us to explore new music that we otherwise might not discover. We see eye-catching album art, and based on nothing but that, we go listen to the music.

As we explained in an earlier post, as a way of picking new music, it’s like throwing a dart at a dartboard or putting a quarter in a slot machine and pulling the handle. It makes no logical sense, except there’s so much new music from so many new bands out in the world that randomization sometimes seems as good a way as any to make choices.

Today we’ve got two test cases — two bands we had never heard before. The first one is a band from Poitiers, France, called Klone. They recently released their third full-length album, Black Days, on Season of Mist. The album cover is at the top of this post.

The second one is an unsigned band from Oregon called Arkhum, and they’re on the verge of releasing their first album, Anno Universum, in August.

How did these bands fare in our Eye-Catchers test? Read on after the jump to find out (and, for your trouble, we’ll have some music for you to hear . . .) Continue reading »