Dec 142018


Our focus on LISTMANIA at this time of the year tends to diminish the frequency of round-up posts such as this one; even when I’m not doing the writing myself, the behind-the-scenes work that I do to get year-end features ready for publication (such as Andy Synn‘s impressive week-long series of lists, and DGR’s week-long series of catch-up reviews, both of which concluded today) takes some time. My ability to listen to new music and select songs and videos to recommend has been further restricted by the two-week vacation I took, which ended last weekend, and by way too much holiday-season partying this week.

Our 2018 LISTMANIA orgy isn’t nearly finished, by the way. Next week we’ll begin rolling our year-end lists from other NCS writers and guests, and at some point I’ll start revealing my own contribution to LISTMANIA — a list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. But I still do hope to throw in a new-music round-up every now and then.

The three new songs you’ll find below, all of which come with music videos, barely make a dent in my backlog, but I hope to do a bit more catching up with another SEEN AND HEARD post tomorrow and the usual SHADES OF BLACK column on Sunday. Continue reading »

Mar 242014

(NCS supporter KevinP came up with an idea. Unlike his idea that the NY GIants will return to the Super Bowl in this decade, it’s a good one, so we’re going with it. Read on…)

If you are like me (shudder at that thought for a moment) then you get overwhelmed with all the new music that comes out over the course of the year.  Call it professional curiousity (I guess I feel special today calling myself a “pro”), but I’m always on the hunt for new bands and music (even from older bands). I feel some type of moral obligation to myself to hear as much as I possibly can.  But there’s simply not enough hours in the day and we all miss a plethora of releases.  Then at the end of the year I comb through endless “Best Of” lists trying to see what I missed and what I should check out.

So instead of waiting until the end of the year and trying to pack it all in at once (which inevitably causes even the best of us to overlook something by not giving it enough time), I propose after each quarter of the year (that’s every 3 months for those of you who failed math), we all list 5 releases that each of us recommends everyone check out (in the Comments section below if that wasn’t painfully obvious). Continue reading »

Jan 022014

(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Legion of the Damned from The Netherlands.)

This is a good way to start the New Year.  I’ve been a fan of Legion of the Damned’s (or LOTD from here on out) brand of blackened death thrash attack since they formed.  They’ve managed to put out nothing but consistently good to great albums since they started.  What’s kind of surprising to me is that even though these guys have a six-album discography, a lot of people don’t know who they are.  Because of that, I’m going to write this review from a kind of introductory perspective, rather than assuming that our readers already knows of these guys.

The way to really view LOTD’s music is old school as fuck.  In thinking about all of their influences, all the bands they obviously look to, focus on the early end of those catalogues.  We’re talking Hell Awaits Slayer, Pleasure to Kill Kreator, Scream Bloody Gore-era Death.  The black metal influences are more difficult to pinpoint; they are more just an extra element mainly added into the guitar performances.  The name of the game is gritty, fast as hell, riff-driven thrash metal with death metal and black metal fringes.

The name of LOTD’s latest offering is Ravenous Plague.  It’s a fitting name, because everything about this album is like a fast-moving, civilization-slaughtering disease at work.  This album is a bit on the filthier side as compared to their previous work, which always maintained a more mechanically precise attack.  This is, to my recollection, the most that the band’s thrash roots have dominated their sound, and the result is pretty fucking killer.  Ravenous Plague is nothing but ravenous feral sonic evisceration. Continue reading »