Oct 302018
 

 

(Despite what the title of this post says, Andy Synn hasn’t managed to review every fine 2018 album and EP we’ve heretofore failed to write about, but he does catch up with more than two dozen of them.)

While lots of blogs/zines are already (or soon will be) switching their focus away from covering new releases and towards consolidating their annual “Best Of…” lists, here on NCS island we’re still doing our very best to bring as many new (and some not so new) albums/artists to your attention as possible.

Of course the truism that “there’s simply too much music out there” remains as painfully accurate as ever, and it pains me to admit that I/we simply can’t cover all the releases we want to, in the depth we want to, no matter how hard we try.

So consider this article a voluntary mea culpa acknowledging our limitations and a (probably futile) attempt to make amends a little bit to all the bands and artists who we may have missed or ignored over the last several months, as well as to shine a light on a couple of upcoming releases you’ll probably want to keep your eyes/ears open for. Continue reading »

Sep 212018
 

 

This has been another banner week for new metal, and fortunately I’ve had enough time to compile one more round-up to follow the one from two days ago. Of course, even the combination of the two doesn’t provide a comprehensive display of everything I’ve been enjoying this week. As usual, the choices I’ve made were impulsive, though I also made the usual effort to include variety in today’s post.

I also hope this late-week collection will make up for the fact that I won’t be writing anything for NCS this weekend because I’ll be traveling on a short vacation. However, we should still have a Waxing Lyrical column from Andy tomorrow, and our ally HGD has stepped up to do Sunday’s Shades of Black feature (I’ve seen his selections, and they’re good ones). I’ll be back in the NCS harness on Monday.

DEIPHAGO

Deiphago describe their music as “Experimental Hyper-speed Satanic Bestial Metal” — and every word of that is true, perhaps never more so than on the track I’ve chosen to begin today’s collection. It simply doesn’t sound like anything else you’re likely to find in the realms of black metal or black/death. It challenges convention, it viciously shoves us out of our musical comfort zones, it’s likely to leave you bewildered and bedazzled (or at least severely unbalanced). Continue reading »

Sep 162017
 

 

(Andy Synn is playing catch-up in a furious torrent, with brief reviews and streams of music from 12 striking 2017 albums.  Open wide… dine like queens and kings.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again)… the vast array of music now available at the touch of a button is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at it.

And while I generally celebrate the fact that I’m now able to search out and discover music from all around the world with an ease that’s quite mind-boggling when you think about it, the sheer plethora of albums clamouring for my attention means there’s simply not enough hours in the day to give them all the attention they deserve.

As a consequence of this, my “to do” list has swollen to a frankly rather distressing size over the last 4-5 months, so I’ve made an executive decision to clear my slate a little bit by pulling together twelve albums, which we’ve thus far failed to cover properly here at NCS, into one collective round-up.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we? Continue reading »

Jul 232017
 

 

Another Sunday, another edition of SHADES OF BLACK, and this time I’ve chosen advance tracks by six bands from forthcoming releases. Two of those releases are reissues of earlier works, but the bands were new to me despite the existence of those earlier efforts, and perhaps they’ll be new to you as well.

MALOKARPATAN

In the fall of 2015 the Slovakian band Malokarpatan released their debut album Stridžie dni (“the witching days”), which turned out to be one of the biggest and best surprises of that year, even though I didn’t tumble to it until early 2016. With lyrics written in a local dialect, the album was based on the grotesque myths and folklore of Western Slovakia, based on “rural witchcraft, drunkenness and also national pride.” As I wrote then: Continue reading »