Apr 082018


I’m deep in the heart of Texas today for my fucking day-job, and will be deep in the heart of Philadelphia tomorrow for the same reason, but in the meantime I’ve managed to cobble together some streams of new music from the black realms, and some thoughts about each selection.


It may be my imagination, but it seems that more and more bands who have a devout following are choosing to spring their new releases without much warning or PR assistance. That’s what Leviathan did one week ago, with the release of Unfailing Fall Into Naught through Ascension Monuments Media.

This new album is a compilation of tracks previously released in other formats. It includes Leviathan’s contributions to a 2004 split CD with Xasthur (released by Profound Lore Records) and a 2006 split with Sapthuran (released by Battle Kommand Records, and then later released by Southern Lord in 2007 as a stand-alone Leviathan EP called The Blind Wound). Continue reading »

Aug 102016



(All the way from sunny Norway, our blog brother Gorger is back, this time with a special mid-week edition of our usual Sunday column focusing on metal from the past.  To find more of Gorger’s writings, type “Gorger” in our search bar or visit Gorger’s Metal.)

In Norway, pilsner, a light golden beer with a mild and refreshing taste, an eponymous brand originated in the Czech area of Plzeň, or Pilsen if you will, has by far been the beer of choice for most people for decades.

As a white wine of beers (not that it’s weissbier (wheat beer), it’s rather a pale lager), not too unlike Heineken, Budweiser, Miller Genuine Draft, or perhaps Miller Lite, I’d suppose. It’s an unrivaled thirst quencher, but for those moments when you want to enjoy some rich flavored beer, some of us have always turned to the red wine of beers, bayer (a dark lager), ale, porter, and such.

Beer is metal, but it’s not music, so by now, you’re undoubtedly wandering just what the hell this has got to to with metal. As darker, tastier types of beer have grown in popularity over the past few years, and micro breweries have popped up everywhere, we’ve seen a rash of bearded hipsters enjoying it. And whilst it’s a positive thing, it also accumulates that angered feeling of “why the hell didn’t you drink it ten years ago, like some of us did, if it’s so tasty, you fucking pussy”.

Similarly, we all have some obscure underground gems that we almost keep to ourselves, and only sport whence appropriate. If these became majorly famed, hell even trendy, that would undeniably ruin some of their magic, right? Still, I feel like I’ve had these bands to myself for ages, and time is ripe for sharing the murky grandeur with you all. Besides, this music ain’t becoming totally mainstream any time soon anyway. Brace yourself for a true pitch black attack! Continue reading »

Apr 132015


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Leviathan.)

Let’s address the corpse-painted elephant in the room right away, shall we?

No, not that one… this one. You see, I consider this album my first real exposure to Leviathan. Oh I’ve heard the music before now, in different ways and at different times, but Scar Sighted is the first time I’ve ever sat down and really listened.

And what an album it is. Marrying its frostbitten spite and blackened vitriol to a more forward-thinking, dare I say progressive, ambition, it takes a melding of the old and the new and beats them black and blue until the necessary sonic form is achieved, bearing both its borrowed influences and its harrowing inspiration with unashamed pride.

It’s vicious, it’s tormented, it’s utterly uncompromising and… in its own way… horribly beautiful. Continue reading »

Feb 132015

Presented below, for your entertainment and edification, is a collection of songs and videos I discovered this morning. All but one are new. All are recommended. No two of them sound alike.


Within the last couple of days Noisey published an interview of Leviathan’s Jef Whitehead by Drew Millard, preceded by Millard’s thoughts about the subject of the interview (“Whitehead’s a scary guy”). If you want to read that, the link is below. But the main point of attraction to me was an accompanying premiere of a new song from Leviathan’s forthcoming album, Scar Sighted (due for release by Profound Lore on March 3). Below, I’ve included the Soundcloud stream for that, too. Continue reading »

Jan 212015

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth


I’ve commented before about the enormous flood of stream premieres, new album announcements, label signings, and other metal news that has been unleashed since the beginning of the year. But yesterday may have reached new heights of ridiculousness in terms of the number of noteworthy things I saw in a single day.

In fact, yesterday brought so damned much cool stuff that I’d either have to write a half-dozen posts or do what I’m doing here instead — just funneling streams, links, artwork, and news blurbs your way with a minimum of commentary. The bands are presented in alphabetical order — all 18 of them. In most cases, you can enlarge the cover art and photos by clicking on the images in this post. Continue reading »

Jan 152015


“Eagerly awaited” is an overused and often mis-used term. How can something be eagerly awaited if you don’t know you’re waiting? But in the case of Leviathan’s new album Scar Sighted — which is due for a March 3 release by Profound Lore — it’s genuinely eagerly awaited, and also long-awaited.

And it’s long-awaited not simply because four years have passed since True Traitor, True Whore, but because it seems that Wrest (Jef Whitehead) has been through a lot of significant changes in his personal life, the kind of changes that couldn’t help but influence the music (see this interview of Wrest to learn what I’m talking about). I’ve been very curious to hear the results.

And today we finally have the first piece of music from Scar Sighted: A track named “All Tongues Toward” is now available for listening — and it comes with another piece of Wrest’s artwork for the album: Continue reading »

Dec 202014


Here is a collection of recommended items from the blacker end of the metal spectrum that I spotted and heard yesterday; I have some others that I’ll feature tomorrow. I wrote most of this last night, just before the alcohol-soaked holiday party hosted by the place where I work. The parts that don’t make any sense were written this morning as I began the long road to recovery.


Yesterday brought additional details from Profound Lore about the next album by Leviathan: As previously disclosed, the album’s title is Scar Sighted; it will be released March 3 digitally and on CD; it was produced, engineered, and mixed by Billy Anderson; and it includes nine tracks. There was also this info about the album’s packaging, with a reference to the artwork I’ve included at the top of this post:

“Scar Sighted” will be packaged as a boxed CD edition (the only version of the CD this will be available as) which will come with eleven two-sided inserts featuring exclusive paintings by Jef Whitehead himself (one of them being the one pictured, LEVIATHAN logo watermarked specifically for online purposes, there is no actual front cover for “Scar Sighted”). The vinyl edition, to be released a month or so after the CD/digital version will also be specially packaged and will be released via the artists’ own Devout Records imprint (in which we will directly update you on its progress in due time).

This is an album I’m eager to hear, in part because I have a feeling it will include some surprises (see this interview of Wrest for reasons why I think that). This is the track list: Continue reading »

Oct 012014


I’ve been waiting for this one anxiously. And then, as (bad) luck would have it, when my beautiful pumpkin orange vinyl copy of this 7″ split arrived late last week from Holy Terror Records, my turntable decided to turn mulish and uncooperative. Fortunately, Holy Terror relieved my frustration and spared that turntable a severe beating when it decided to begin streaming the two songs on Bandcamp beginning late yesterday.

The split features songs by two of the longest-running and most influential of U.S. black metal bands, Leviathan and Krieg. It is a natural pairing in many respects, not least because of the friendship between Leviathan’s Wrest and Krieg’s N. Imperial, and thus it’s not surprising that the idea for it was conceived almost a decade ago. Yet only now has the split become a reality. Impressions of the music follow… Continue reading »

Mar 082014

I’m still away from home doing job-related stuff that has left almost no time for searching out new metal, listening to music, or blogging.  I will be going home tomorrow, with hopes that NCS life will return to normal after that. I’m about to dive back into another day-long bout of job-related stuff, but before doing that I thought I’d throw a few things your way.


CVLT Nation has recently unveiled a series of free compilations that are well worth exploring. The first, which was released two days ago, is a compilation of Black Sabbath covers: Seven different bands perform the eight songs on Sabbath’s 1971 classic, Master of Reality. The bands are:

Primitive Man
Cult of Occult
Graves At Sea
Albino Python
Usnea Continue reading »

Mar 042014

(NCS writer BadWolf interviewed Neill Jameson of Krieg and Twilight, whose third and final album is due for release in a couple of weeks. To say it’s a wide-ranging, no-holds-barred discussion would be an understatement. You don’t want to miss this.) 

When it comes to the US Black Metal movement, few individual musicians have made as much of a splash as Neill Jameson. He released his first demo tape as Imperial in 1995—just a year after Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. In the nearly twenty years since, Jameson has produced raw and honest “bedroom” black metal as the sole member of Krieg. Many consider his 2004 LP The Black House to be essential USBM listening. There will be a new Krieg album this year on Candlelight, but first Jameson needs to live through the press cycle for the third Twilight album, III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb.

Jameson had his hands full recording III, dealing with a rotating cast of characters. Twilight has been blighted by negative media attention since the arrest of founding member Blake Judd (also of Nachtmystium). Judd is now out of the band, but Thurston Moore of esteemed noise-punk outfit Sonic Youth is in. Alongside them stands super-producer Sanford Parker, as well as Stavros Giannopoulos of The Atlas Moth and Wrest of Leviathan. These five musicians are giving Twilight the swansong the project deserves.

Jameson took time out of his busy schedule as proprietor of a record store (the man’s Facebook posts, often putting his own customers on blast, are among the funniest you’ll read) to talk with NCS about the tumultuous story of Twilight, from beginning to end. Continue reading »