Mar 062021
 

 

As forecast last weekend, I’m not able to write my usual NCS weekend posts today or tomorrow. The project for my fucking day job has indeed been consuming me. I haven’t listened to any new metal over the last 4 or 5 days other than what I had agreed to premiere. I didn’t even have time to pay close attention to our in-box or use my other typical ways of ferreting out new music so as to add to my list of what to check out later.

However, a few things did jump out at me yesterday — a surprise new album by Krallice (they do love surprising people), a new 20-minute song off the new Majestic Downfall album, and a video for a new track by Grave Miasma from their next album. I would listen to and watch all of that today if I had time, which I don’t. But because I detest letting a day go by without having new music up on the site, I’m installing the streams of these three things below, even though I haven’t checked them out myself. But it’s a good bet they will be worth your time.

By the way, even though I can’t do more than this today, it would be great if you used the Comments to flag any other new music that would be good uses of listening time. And of course, feel free to let us know what you think about the following streams if you get a chance to hear them. Continue reading »

Aug 132020
 


Krallice

 

(Andy Synn wrote the following compilation of reviews.)

It seems to me that, over the years, the constant cascade of new albums has swollen into a never-ending, unrelenting, flood, to the point where it often feels like we’re almost drowning in new releases.

The only way to cope, I’ve found, is to simply accept that you’re not going to be able to cover everything. There’s just not enough hours in the day to properly preview, review, analyse, and criticise, all of it, especially if you also want to try and maintain some general standards of quality and insight (which, let’s be honest, isn’t necessarily a concern for everyone…).

That being said, a bit of catch-up coverage never goes amiss, which is why I’m dedicating today’s article to four artists who each dropped their newest record – in one case with little prior warning – last Friday. Continue reading »

Aug 072020
 

 

As I suppose most metal lovers are well aware, today is another Friday when Bandcamp is foregoing its share of revenues from sales at their site (they’ve announced that they will continue to do this on the first Friday of each month from now through the end of this year). If I had forgotten, I would have been reminded by the explosion of Bandcamp alerts and messages in our in-box this morning.

In the past I’ve tried to assemble a slew of recommendations timed to coincide with Bandcamp Fridays, as a way of encouraging support for bands and labels. Unfortunately, upheavals at my fucking day job have prevented me from doing that for today — though of course we’ve been recommending music day in and day out for, well, almost forever. So there’s that. Just browsing through our posts over recent weeks and months would give you lots of good options.

But I thought I would at least quickly throw these three new options your way now. Continue reading »

Mar 212020
 

 

After I finished today’s first post I spent almost two hours just going back through e-mails we’ve received over the last three days pushing new music upon us, and recent messages from some friends with their own recommendations, and then creating a list of links to everything that looked interesting. Some of these were new songs or videos and some were complete new releases.

When I counted up the number of links in that list, I found that there were 80 of them. Eighty of them, from just three days of new releases! I’m sure the Bandcamp thing on Friday (where they didn’t take their cut of sales) spurred a lot of this output, but even considering that it’s still insane.

Needless to say, I’m going to be resorting to the OVERFLOWING STREAMS format, in which I pare my own verbiage back to the bone (though I did include artwork this time). Also perhaps needless to say, I’ve barely made a dent in listening to those 80 items. But I’d like to get going with what I’ve found so far that I think is worth recommending, so here’s some of it now, and more will come in the next few days. (By the way, a ton of that new stuff was black metal, so I’ll have my hands full trying to figure out what to put in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column).

KATATONIA

Who would not want a new Katatonia album in these dark, isolated times? The timing is indeed fortuitous, because a new Katatonia full-length will be released by Peaceville on April 24th. The title is also fortuitous: City Burials. Continue reading »

Jan 102019
 

 

Here are a few of the songs and videos that brightened and darkened my night. I encountered all of them in a rush of listening at full dark yesterday evening. Most of them appeared within the last 36 hours. If you’re like me, the flow of these songs will take you from a blazing high down into more cold and wretched depths, and then soaring again — and I’ll close with a stream of a new EP that was released by surprise last night.

WINDSWEPT

All three members of the Ukrainian band Windswept, including vocalist/guitarist Roman Sayenko, are also members of Drudkh, Precambrian, and Rattenfänger. Under the Windswept banner they released an excellent debut album in 2017 entitled The Great Cold Steppe (from which we hosted the premiere of a fiery song, “Shrouded In Pale Shining, So Sleeps Infinite Ancient Steppe”). Having been a fan of that album, it took about a nano-second for me to jump on the band’s new EP Visionaire when I discovered its existence last February, and (as explained here) found it to be powerfully moving as well.

Windswept now have a new album for us, which will be released by Season of Mist on February 8th. Its name is The Onlooker, and the first track in today’s collection is one released yesterday with the interesting title “Gustav Meyrink’s Prague“. (If you’d like to learn about Gustav Meyrink and of how his life changed in Prague, check this article.) Continue reading »

Jul 232018
 

 

The second annual installment of Austin Terror Fest took place in the heart of Texas on June 15-17, 2018, proudly co-sponsored by NCS. It featured performances by 30 bands from around the U.S. (and outside it). It was a great event, and we’re already anxious for ATF 2019 (and yes, work is already under way to present the third edition of the festival next year). We were very fortunate that New Orleans-based photographer Teddie Taylor was there to document the fest through her lenses, and to share her photos with us so that we, in turn, can share them with you.

Last week we presented photos from the first day of the festival and the second, and today the focus is on the performances that took place on the third and final day, with sets by nine bands at Austin’s Lost Well. And without further ado, here’s our selection from the many great images that Teddie captured during these performances: Continue reading »

Nov 212017
 

 

I knew Krallice planned to release another album this year, but the timing was reserved as a surprise, and the surprise was delivered last night. The name of the album is Go Be Forgotten.

I was fortunate to hear the album a few days in advance of its release, though I still didn’t know when the bomb would be detonated, and I still found myself scrambling to collect my thoughts. But Krallice’s music so predictably scrambles my brain that I doubt I would have been any more coherent if I’d known the precise day and hour of this one’s release.

However, fears about lack of coherency have never deterred me from expressing myself, nor will they here. But all I can really manage is to tell you the way the music makes me feel… and I can also venture the opinion that I think this is the best Krallice album yet. Continue reading »

Oct 312017
 

 

I posted the first two parts of an extra-large SHADES OF BLACK column on Sunday, intending to post the third part yesterday after first arranging all the music in alphabetical order by band name and then dividing the collection into three segments. I obviously didn’t get the final segment finished — mainly because it contains the most music of all three parts, with four complete albums or EPs in addition to a new video.

Perhaps needless to say, I haven’t written in detail everything I’d like to say about all four of the complete releases, but I hope I’ve written enough to lure you into listening for yourself.

KRALLICE

On Friday of last week, without much advance fanfare and no musical teasers, Krallice released their seventh album, Loüm. It’s available as a digital download now, and orders can also now be placed for CD and LP editions. It includes lead vocals, lead synths, and lead lyrics throughout the album by Dave Edwardson of Neurosis, as well as painted cover art by Carl Auge. Continue reading »

Dec 232016
 

krallice-prelapsarian

 

(Andy Synn has pounced with alacrity upon the just-released Prelapsarian by Krallice and prepared this timely review.)  

Oh you poor, deluded fools… did you really think we were done with reviews, simply because we’re currently mired in the depths of Listmania? And did you really think that I was done writing, just because my week-long list-stravaganza, was finally done?

Perish the thought.

In truth I’d actually intended to get more writing done this week, but I ended up being busy practically all day (and all night) Tuesday, and somewhat hungover on Wednesday… so this is my first real chance to sit down and get my brain back into gear. Worry not though, as I have at least one more review, and this month’s edition of The Synn Report, planned for next week.

But, in the meantime, let’s cast our eyes (and ears) over Prelapsarian, the latest dose of extravantgarde extremity from the ever-prolific Krallice. Continue reading »

Aug 132016
 

Migration Fest poster

 

Here I am on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Olympia, Washington, still pinching myself to make sure what I’ve been experiencing isn’t some kind of fantasy (or more likely, incipient dementia). Yesterday was the first day of Migration Fest, and the night before that was the unofficial start of the party with a three-band pre-fest show. In a nutshell, it’s been an absolute blast so far. More words (and amateurish photos) to follow.

This is, of course, the first edition of what by all rights should become a never-ending tradition, a labor of love jointly organized by Adam at Gilead Media and Dave at 20 Buck Spin, with support from a whole bunch of their tireless friends and family members. They assembled a stellar line-up of bands, and based on what I’ve seen so far (at least from a fan perspective), they’ve been executing on the plan like a well-oiled machine. Continue reading »