Jul 142015

Deathwhite-Solitary Martyr


(Our friend Leperkahn has been slaving away at college for, like, forever. But he has surfaced again with some musical recommendations.)

Hey friends. I truly can’t remember the last time I wrote something here. I feel a bit of shame about this, but you know what, there’s no time like the present, and now I’m breaking my silence. I’m gonna string together some short pieces on stuff you might want to check out based on my most recent download history. A good deal of it breaks our Golden Rule here at NCS, but frankly we’ve broken that rule so frequently in the past couple years that it’s really only become a guideline at best. We’ll start with a band I found just tonight.


I had absolutely no idea these dudes existed prior to listening to a promo of their new EP Solitude Martyr (out August 14th according to their Bandcamp page) that Clawhammer PR sent over to me. I tend to look at a good deal of the promos that brush through my email inbox (*hint hint*), though obviously I haven’t done a great job of translating that to writing about them (looking to change that sense of lethargy that’s become such a comfortable crutch). Continue reading »

May 122015


(Our pal Leperkahn took a break from his studies and wrote this review of the new second full-length by Baltimore’s Noisem.)

Hi guys. As some of y’all who’ve lurked around this cult for a while might know, my writing output has plummeted considerably more or less since I started up my time here at The University of Chicago. Put briefly, UChicago surely earns the unofficial slogan “If I wanted an A, I would’ve gone to Harvard”, and taking four paper-based classes doesn’t leave oodles of time to wax ecstatic about the wax I’ve been literally of metaphorically spinning.

That said, when I have a moment (or pretend to have a moment, to the chagrin of future me), I still like to pop in here and give my two cents about stuff I’ve been digging that might not have been properly reviewed here yet. Also, in the case of Noisem, I’ve got a streak and reputation to keep up here – I’ve reviewed everything they’ve done for NCS except for the split 7” they put out with Occultist, and even that was mentioned in my review of their Consumed 7”. Thus, I’m here once again, and for good reason – if you thought Agony Defined or any of the material released from these guys since then has been good, just wait until you dig into Blossoming Decay. Hell, even if AD wasn’t your cup of tea, give this one another shot – it’s a whole different beast from its predecessor(s). Continue reading »

Mar 042015


(Leperkahn provides this Local Focus feature, putting the spotlight on bands from two towns. For details about this Local Focus project, go HERE.)


A little while back Grant Skelton came up with the idea for Local Focus, which I find to be a great idea. Since I now split my time between Chicago for school and San Diego at home, I figured I’d do a double-feature of sorts on both, since I have things to talk about for both of them. With that, we’ll start with my hometown, San Diego.


These guys are a relatively new stoner doom crew, forming in 2013, featuring Martin Arguelles on guitar, Lewis Davis on bass, and Ross Zafar behind the kit. They released their debut EP, Razorleaf, in November of last year, though I just recently got around to hearing it. It features three songs, though all of them are at least nine minutes long, and the final two are more than eleven minutes long. Continue reading »

Jan 092015


(Well, this is it. The final list in our 2014 LISTMANIA series. And it comes our way from Leperkahn. On Monday, I’ll have a wrap-up that collects final thoughts and links to every list in the series.)

Hello once again, my fellow NCS comrades. This list comes a lot later than I had planned, considering I’ve been off school since the 11th of December. It seems I get better at procrastination with age.

Speaking of school, 2014 was a bit of a big year in that regard. This time last year, I had just submitted my last college applications; now, I’m one quarter deep into my first year at The University of Chicago. Having this massive transition right in the middle of the year, much more drastic than the between-grade changes I’d become accustomed to the past 12 years, made it really hard to make this list. January 2014 might as well have been the Dark Ages, in my mind.

The demands of school also cut into, and continue to cut into, my writing time here. You may have noticed that it’s been a bit patchy (if you noticed it at all), beyond that 10-day stretch where I decided to impersonate Islander with the round-ups. Nevertheless, I still got some reviews and such out in my first full year as a guest writer. Continue reading »

Nov 032014


(Leperkahn returns to NCS with this review of the latest release by Obliterations from Los Angeles.)

I just came off my first midterms week of college. As expected, this resulted in quite a bit of anger and stress, and a wish to blow off said stress both during and after the week. Basically, I was in dire need of something that would make me want to careen off of people, bumper-cars style, something to accompany the cathartic screams of rage and frustration that come with trying to understand that damn delta-epsilon proof. Luckily, that’s exactly when Obliterations came out with a new record, Poison Everything.

I nearly had a panic attack when I heard these guys’ first self-titled EP roughly a year ago. Their brand of ballsy hardcore punk was exactly the kind of thing I needed to blow off college app stress, with its self-professed mix of Black Sabbath and Black Flag. This time around – after throwing in one more EP in the interim – the band have tossed in just a touch of Motorhead, particularly on the “Ace of Spades”-like opening for “The One That Got Away” and the bluesy swagger of “Shame”. That said, this record is largely just an extension of the EPs before it, a collection of raucous two-minute explosions boiling over with cathartic rage and riffs that Greg Ginn wishes he wrote. Each track is merely another sonic punch in the face, with only the title track breaking up the feverish pace before “Shame” marks the album’s transition to a more oozing, slow-burning anger, as on “Ad Nauseum”, “Open Casket”, and closer “The Middle Of The End”. Continue reading »

Oct 022014


(Leperkahn continues to soldier on with roundup duties…)

Hello again! My stint emulating Islander continues. This time I put all of the songs and videos in alphabetical order, mostly because that happened on accident.


I’ve come to learn that the opinions of some MetalSucks scribes are either very good or very bad, so that it can be hard to tell whether something a given writer is recommending is worth my time. I tend to gamble on some of their posts in the hopes that a given band will fall into the former category, and I hit a bit of a jackpot in Poland’s Abusiveness. To put their sound succinctly, they sound somewhat like what newer Marduk would sound like if they subtly included some atmospheric keys and/or strings (or at least I think I hear keys and/or strings). On first gander, pitting those two together could be an odd match, but Abusiveness do it with aplomb on the song “Proces”, crafting an exhilarating six-ish minutes with blistering leads and an absolutely radiant solo maybe three or four minutes in. (There’s an ambient bit for the last minute or so that I don’t quite understand, but at that point you can just skip the end.)

“Proces” is from their new album Bramy Nawii, their new album on Arachnophobia. You can pick up Bramy Nawii with free shipping worldwide here if you dig the song featured below. Continue reading »

Sep 302014

(Leperkahn introduces the just-released title track from the forthcoming album by Ireland’s Primordial.)

This is pretty late for our normal posting schedule, but when it comes to Primordial, scheduling becomes irrelevant. These guys are my favorite band from Ireland and one of the strongest on the planet, and I’ll be damned if Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill isn’t one of the best vocalists to have ever walked the Earth.

On the heels of their positively euphoric and magnificent Redemption at the Puritan’s Hand, Primordial have just released the title track as the first song premiere from their new album Where Greater Men Have Fallen. True to form of their past efforts, “Where Greater Men Have Fallen” encompasses roughly eight minutes of swelling melodies, epic soundscapes, and the darkly poetic bellows and croons of Nemtheanga. Continue reading »

Sep 302014


(Leperkahn’s first two round-up posts today were more in the “metal news” category. In this one, he delivers actual streams of recommended new songs and videos.)

Herein lies the latest of my attempts to fill Islander’s shoes in collecting new music and videos. There was only gonna be a few things, but then I found a bunch more. So there’s a lot in here. Sorry, but I’m also not very sorry, since it’s all good stuff.


I was entirely unfamiliar with Madrid’s Frozen Dawn before Islander emailed me a link to a new video they released a couple days ago. The video is for “Banished, The Everlasting Confinement”, off their second album Those of the Cursed Light, which is out now via Xtreem Music. Broadly, it’s melodic black metal, but it has dug some serious hooks into my brain. Check it out below, and order the record if you like it via the Bandcamp page below.

http://www.reverbnation.com/truefrozendawn Continue reading »

Sep 302014

(In the second of three round-up posts for today, Leperkahn delivers news of forthcoming albums of interest.)

It seems that yesterday roughly an eighth of the entire metal universe announced the recording of new albums on the horizon, or provided updates on said recordings. I’ve collected the ones that especially caught my eye below, much to the chagrin of my wallet.


According to a Nuclear Blast press release that Islander forwarded to me, Enslaved are entering the studio to record their 13th album. “Main recordings for the as-yet-untitled new album are taking place at Duper and Solslottet Studios in Bergen, Norway with additional recordings done at Conclave & Earshot Studios (presided over by ENSLAVED members [vocalist/keyboardist Herbrand] Larsen and [lead guitarist] Ice Dale), and Ivar Bjørnson’s Personal Sound Studios.”

The band will also apparently venture to Valevåg, a rural woodsy area south of their hometown of Bergen, for additional recording (the band had previously gone there to record their 2012 7” Thorns).  The album will apparently be produced by Larsen, bassist/vocalist Grutle Kjellson, and guitarist Ivar Bjørnson with Iver Sandøy, with mixing done by the inimitable Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden.

Considering how much RIITIIR – and for that matter pretty much all of the Enslaved catalog – kicked ass, I’m sure we can all bet that this will open minds and crush faces.

https://www.facebook.com/enslaved Continue reading »

Sep 302014


(Our brother Leperkahn continues to shoulder the burden of rounding up news and new music during my vacation from that task.)

Attempting to do Islander’s job is WAAAAY harder than I ever would’ve thought it to be. Luckily, unlike the last stream dump, this one has a bit of a theme, namely that they’re all full-album streams.


The NCS camp in general has expressed widespread approval for Stench’s new album Venture – we even went as far as to premiere a track from it here . It’s now streaming in full at Decibel here. I think at this point we’ve said our part on this one – now it’s your turn to voice your opinion.

The album is slotted to come out October 7th via Agonia Records – look for it at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stench-official/213520935347849 Continue reading »