Feb 052022

Photo Credit: Evelina Szczesik


I heard a couple of the following tracks last Saturday and saved them for what I hoped would be one of these collections during the last week, but I never had enough time to put one together. The rest of them I checked out this morning (they’re even more recent), along with others I took a pass on, and more that I’ve saved for tomorrow’s Shades of Black column.

In assembling this collection I followed one of our fairly standard strategies: I decided to include some big names at the outset, in the hope that would lure people into the more obscure names that follow, and I included a curveball at the end.

WATAIN (Sweden)

When you know the band is Watain and you see they’ve released a song named “The Howling“, you already have a good idea what’s coming. But Eric Danielsson spelled it out: “‘The Howling‘ refers to the wordless voice of the wild, wailing eerily through the ages, urging us to leave our safe spaces and explore the dark recesses of the great Abyss both within and without. To see it, to learn from it, to know it.” Continue reading »

Mar 282020


Thanks to the amazing Zoom service, I participated in a couple of virtual happy-hour celebrations last night, woke up woozy as a result of that, and then had to do a work-related Zoom conference for an hour and a half this morning. So I’m getting a very late start on this post.

I thought about just not posting anything this Saturday due to the lateness of the hour and my still-hungover condition, but then remembered this recent comment by a regular reader: “Especially now, when days morph into each other and life has slowed down considerably – and we have time to think about perhaps less pleasant facets to our lives – structure and regularity are important. New music, to me at least, is an important element to this….” I feel the same way. And so I decided to at least make a brief start on another giant collection of new music, and then finish it in a MUCH larger Part 2 of this tomorrow.

KREATOR (Germany)

I was helpless to resist beginning this collection with “666-World Divided“. It’s such a blood-pumping, neck-wrecking blast to listen to, with wonderfully vicious vocals, a glorious chorus (that puts me in mind of Scandinavian melodic death metal), delicious soloing, and a segue into very sinister territory with choral voices. The video for the song is also a blast to watch. Continue reading »

Jan 222018


I had a whirlwind out-of-town trip that consumed this past weekend, which is why I was unable to continue the roll-out of this list on Saturday and Sunday. But I’m back home in the Seattle area now, and ready to pick up where I left off on Friday.

And speaking of whirlwinds, there are three of them in this 9th installment of the list. It won’t take you much time to figure out why I grouped them together.


Because thrash is the core of all three songs I’m adding today, and because all three bands are so good at what they do, all three albums were loaded with hellishly catchy songs I could have picked for the list. That was certainly true of Kreator’s latest full-length, Gods of Violence. Continue reading »

Jun 152017


(DGR takes over our round-up rodeo for this Thursday, with a mix of news and new music from 8 bands.)

By the time you are reading this, I will likely be hiding like a coward underneath a fan set on incredibly high as this region of California experiences its first legit summer heatwave of one hundred plus temperatures. Considering that I am a soft wuss who has somehow survived many of these prior, you’d think that attempting to lose weight so that I may one day fit in my freezer with the door closed wouldn’t be the go-to gameplan, but alas, here we are.

You may have noticed by our recent slowdown post that a good chunk of the NCS crew plans to spend the weekend cooped up in a handful of venues in Seattle for the Northwest Terror Fest, enjoying a smattering of different groups. So in order to offset that I’ve made a hefty collection of new music and some album artwork that has slowly been cropping up on the web in recent weeks that have floated by us recently, to be caught in the patented super-porous DGR news net. At the very end I’ll even toss in an album that I came across recently for all of you to enjoy.

So let us sunder forth so that I can quickly go back to attempting to stuff myself onto the second shelf of the freezer next to the frozen lasagna boxes. Continue reading »

Jan 132017


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new 14th studio album by Germany’s Kreator.)

Kreator is a pretty big fucking deal to many people, including me. They are one of the most consistent thrash bands from the genre’s early heyday who have not only produced consistently killer music but have been unafraid to experiment and change things around during their career, always doing so with bold ambition. I’ve been a big fan of the thrash-meets-melodic-death-metal direction the band have been on since Violent Revolution, with Enemy Of God and Phantom Antichrist being absolute modern classic albums that have undeniable power.

In addition, Mille Petrozza is one of my favorite thrash front-men and one of the best riff writers in metal, his voice striking in how pissed-off and forceful it sounds and his riffs bringing remarkable intensity and tasteful technicality. Among the old guard, those talents are almost unrivaled (among modern thrash bands, David DiSanto of Vektor would probably take my vote). And with those confessions of zealous loyalty out of the way, let’s turn to Gods of Violence. Continue reading »

Nov 182016



I have quite a lot of new music I’d like to recommend, but am short on time in what’s left of my blogging day, so I’ll just throw the following three items your way and save the rest for this weekend. Enjoy….


I learned about this first video through a Facebook post by a Scandinavian musician friend, who introduced it this way: “This is how you thrash… not the sorry excuse of music Metallica just released.” Well, I must confess that made me smile. Putting to one side whether the slap at Metallica is warranted, Kreator’s new song is definitely a scorcher, with a made-to-shout-along chorus and a solo that ought to get lots of clawed fingers thrust toward the sky. Continue reading »

Feb 192015

Agostino Arrivabene – “Vanitas In Refraction”


(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli presents his list of thrash metal’s Top 10 albums of all time. The first five picks appear in this post, and the remaining five will appear in Part 2 tomorrow [here].)

This particular list is something that’s going to piss some people off and perhaps spark some sarcastic comments.  It would probably do that regardless of the contents. When you don’t include anything by The Big Four, of course you don’t understand the roots of the genre and are dissing genre-defining classics.  But if you do pick anything from The Big Four, you’re unoriginal, have no underground cred, etc., etc.

Thrash is a style of metal that gets taken pretty fucking seriously, as opposed to others where there definitely seems to be a more “you like what you like” mentality.  In my observation, It’s also the sub-genre of metal where the recognition and respect of the eldership are most likely to make or break your credibility as a fan of the music.  The thrash community is almost zealot-like in the way it can ostracize you because you don’t think Metallica and Megadeth were the pinnacles of the style.

I’m gonna be one of those guys who has nothing from The Big Four on his list, so I’ll be expecting the hipster comments for sure.  My list, as per usual, is not numbered in any kind of order that denotes anything. Continue reading »

Sep 262012

(In this post DGR reviews the performances by Kreator, Swallow the Sun, Solanum, Blessed Curse, and Black Mackerel at Sacramento’s Ace of Spades on Sept. 24, 2012.)

I understand that there are people out there who don’t have weekends off and likewise work crazy schedules where their two days off aren’t in succession, but Monday shows always seem a little crazy to me. Few people are brave enough to venture out of their homes, knowing full well they either have Tuesday off or have work the next day, to attend a show on a Monday.

I also know that being in a band is a 7-day per week job, so Monday on their end is just another day. But I’m musing about Monday shows in part to explain what seemed like a somewhat small turnout for this one.

Ace Of Spades was about 1/3rd full, which is around 200-300 people, which is a lot, but Ace Of Spades is a pretty big place and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a show where people had space to pit, rock out, and in general have their own personal space without having to worry about crashing into other folk. Parking was also easier than hell to find this time, too.

I’d like to extend a fuck yeah to those of us who did go to a show on a MONDAY, because damn, it seemed like we had a hell of a time, didn’t it?

Continue reading »

Jun 182012

I’m so easily diverted from my plans and projects. When it comes to this blog, the occurrence of coincidences tends to distract me like few other things do. I don’t think I’m any more superstitious than the average joe, but coincidences in my metal browsing seem to blare forth commands: STOP WHAT YOU WERE DOING AND WRITE ABOUT THIS NOW!!! And so I do.

I’ve been thinking about thrash today, prompted by our publication of TheMadIsraeli’s review of Kreator’s new album, Phantom Antichrist. As I’ve explained before, thrash is one of the few metal genres that I can only take in small doses. I don’t deny that good speed metal is energizing, and like most metalheads, I do appreciate a catchy riff and a shreddy solo. But so much thrash sounds so much alike to my ears that it can become numbing. And I guess I’m one of those people who TheMadIsraeli chastised for not being enamored of the traditional thrash vocal style. That’s not intended as an artistic criticism. I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of taste.

Anyway, while pondering these subjects and trying to reflect with part of my brain on why I’m not more enthusiastic about thrash, I came across two pieces of thrashy metal from new albums that Pulverised Records will be releasing in North America on August 14 (both of which can be pre-ordered here). One is a new song by a Japanese speed-metal band named Fastkill, and the other is a previously released song that I overlooked from that very long-running death metal band (now based in The Czech Republic), Master. I got a kick out of both songs, and I’m trying to figure out why. Continue reading »

Jun 182012

(To start off our week, TheMadIsraeli reviews the lucky 13th studio album from Germany’s Kreator.)

Why the fuck do I seem to be in the minority for liking thrash metal in today’s scene?  I think people have gotten too spoiled on pretentious, boring, modern metal like post-SYL Devin Townsend and Between the Buried and Me to realize what brutality or savagery is any more.

Thrash metal IS metal at its very core.  It captures the essence of it, quantifiably, in such a way that I don’t understand how anyone could dislike it.  The dislike of the vocals especially baffles me.  Yeah, thrash vocalists who actually try to do bullshit like sing need to get the fuck out, but it’s beyond me when people fail to see the rabid ferocity in, like, you know, SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS AT THE RISK OF COMPLETELY DESTROYING YOUR VOCAL CHORDS!

Anyone who is willing to put their voice on the line for metal earns my seal of approval.  What thrash vocalists such as Tom Araya do can’t be buffered all that much by technique.  It’s the very reason he and some others sound like shit nowadays.

Mille Petrozza, though, has somehow managed to keep shrieking like a banshee without an end in sight and has never lost a bit of the venom in his voice.  On the riffing front, his sword has also not dulled one iota either.  He’s persisted against all odds with Kreator, who really, at this point, are just Mille and company in my view. Continue reading »