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 »

Oct 202016


Photo by Ann-Helén Moen Nannestad

(On October 28, Dark Essence Records will release Red In Tooth and Claw, the new album by Norway’s Madder Mortem, and in this new interview KevinP talks about the album with vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag and guitarist BP M. Kirkevaag.)


K: So it’s been 7 years since your last album, Eight Ways. About freakin’ time don’t ya say? (LOL)

Agnete: Absence makes the heart grow fonder? But yeah, about freaking time! The album has been ready for quite awhile now, so we’re very impatient to get it out there for people to hear.

BP: Feels great and yes, about bleep bleepin’ time! The grey cloud has finally lifted from this album’s shoulder.


K: With this new album, Red in Tooth and Claw, you finally break free of any genre classification (even though you were kinda hard to pigeon-hole before this anyways). Do you find this to be a blessing or a curse?

Agnete: A blessing, definitely! Rock is supposed to be about rebellion, isn’t it? And to me, that means disregarding or at least questioning norms in general. And certainly norms that would place restraints on your creativity. But I can see that there might be short-term marketing difficulties in it too. It’s hard to slap a sticker on the CD case saying “for fans of some other rock band”, since I think the references would be wildly different for different songs.

To be honest, I don’t really know of anyone out there doing exactly what we’re doing and I’m really proud of that. But it has never been our goal. Our music has just ended up being the way it is because it’s what we like and enjoy playing. Continue reading »

Oct 102016



(Our old friend KevinP has been absent from our pages for an extended hiatus. What brought him back? He’s about to tell you….)

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE: Madder Mortem is one of those clean-singing bands we talk about here because they are just so damn worthy of it. Vocalist Agnete M. Kirkevaag may have some of the most tender whispers, but that’s balanced out with violent screams.

Back on June 11, 2015, we featured a 176-second teaser clip of the new album, Red in Tooth and Claw. And now, FINALLY, we have a release date: October 28, 2016. The first single and lead track to that album, “Blood on the Sand“, is available for your listening pleasure below. Continue reading »

Jun 112015


(KevinP wrote this introduction to a teaser of new music from Norway’s Madder Mortem.)

There’s nothing more enjoyable than when Islander gets his panties so deeply in a bind over a NO HARSH SINGING band, that it takes the skills of SurgicalBrute to remove them.  And as much as I relish his temporary misery, I am grateful that he essentially gives me free reign to talk about what I want (and feel is warranted).  Which brings us to perhaps the most important musical thing for me this year, new MADDER MORTEM music.

It’s been 6 years since their last album, Eight Ways, and while the wait has been semi-agonizing, it also makes the heart grow fonder.  The band released a 3-minute teaser last week with samples of 3 songs to their forthcoming sixth full length album, Red in Tooth and Claw.  Even though it’s only a teaser, it’s enough to get me very very excited, maybe almost too excited. Continue reading »