Oct 052022

(On October 7th MDD Records will release a new album by the Austrian band Mastic Scum, and it’s our honor to premiere a full stream of it today, preceded by an extensive review prepared by NCS writer DGR.)

It is wild to think that were it not for 2017’s Defy EP almost nine years would have passed between releases for Austria’s Mastic Scum. As it stands. almost nine years between full-lengths is getting up there in time, and five years between an EP and a full-length is pretty lengthy as well. Usually when you get gaps like that it is because the band have gone through massive lineup changes or things behind the scenes, usually resulting in some sort of change in sound. Long-lost groups will return and it will play out like a relaunch of the band in those ways, the prior history something for the books and the current format the defining sounding.

It’s hard to even fathom the amount of shit the world has gone through in the span of time between the December 2013 release of Mastic Scum‘s album CTRL and the impending release of their new album Icon. You’d think that with everything we’ve all been through it would be reflected in the Mastic Scum sound, but Icon is kind of incredible because it’s like the band looked at the ever-shifting sands of heavy metal and the constantly changing scenes in death metal, glanced at their own brand of industrial-strength Terminator-murdering death metal, and just said, “Haha, nope”, things are going to stay exactly the same.

Because Icon picks up right where CTRL left off… like almost from the exact moment, down to the four-letter album title that has been every Mastic Scum full-length. The biggest difference here is that Icon is the first Mastic Scum album since 2005’s Mind not to feature a skull up front and center on the album art in some form. Icon is  Mastic Scum once again pummeling the planet for ten songs. Continue reading »

Sep 102022

Thundering Hooves

This was a hell of a week for new metal. All of the following bands released new songs and/or videos (or in Darkthrone’s case just a little Fenriz teaser) and you can check them out by clicking on the names, if you haven’t seen and heard them yet:

Before the Dawn




Lamb of God





I thought all the items linked above ranged from decent to excellent, but I’m not writing about any of them today. I decided instead to focus on music from less well-known names. It was a hell of a week for promising new releases by more obscure groups too. Here’s just a small handful. Continue reading »

Nov 282017


(DGR turned in this review of the new release by the Austrian death merchants in Mastic Scum.)

It has been four years since the release of the full-length disc CTRL by the Austrian death metal (and self-described grind-influenced) machine Mastic Scum. The album, which saw the band moving further into the realm of chunk-filled groove and saw-blade-sharp death metal riffs, was reviewed on NCS way after its release, though we had covered it in the lead-up.

Mastic Scum’s discography has a pattern of large gaps between full-,lengths, usually supplemented by a collection of splits and EPs, and in their case even a live DVD entitled Rage. However, the end of October brought us the release of the group’s new EP, Defy, providing a brief transmission of sound from the otherwise shadow-cloaked world through which Mastic Scum move. Continue reading »

Aug 012016

Volturyon-Cleansed by Carnage


(DGR volunteered for round-up duty to start our week, and brings us new music from seven bands plus new-album news from an eighth.)

We have been trying our damndest to keep up with the flow of music that has been spilling forth from the gaping maw of heavy metal recently, but it has become clear that this is a war that must be fought on multiple fronts. Thus, I find myself once again deploying to the Seen and Heard front lines with a veritable smorgasbord of new music, videos, and album announcements for you to all enjoy.

I had a lot of fun figuring out where to position each band this time, as I have a very symmetrical idea of how things in this Seen and Heard should be approached — resulting in tremendously heavy music spilling into some infectiously light stuff and then returning right back to the abyss from which it came. You may need to settle in for this one; there’s a lot of fantastic stuff packed within this round-up, and it just goes to show that 2016 is proving to be a hell of a year for metal. Continue reading »

Sep 282015

Shining-International Blackjazz Society


(DGR steps up for round-up duty, and he prepared a really big round-up, so big that your humble editor decided to divide it into two parts. Part One is here.)

In case you missed it, Friday was a kind of slow date for the site. We’ve had times like this before, where various outside influences conspire to make sure that we post with the speed at which animals are able to escape the La Brea Tar Pits. That doesn’t mean we weren’t up here in space, lookin’ down on you and keeping track of various rumblings going throughout the web.

I’ve gathered together eight fairly recent developments in the heavy metal world for you all to enjoy. As usual, I’ve tried to catch stuff that has flown under the radar and mix it in with a few things that have likely made a big splash across the web already. This collection of stories covers a pretty good swath of the globe in terms of distance but has a foot heavily planted in the death metal and doom metal realms, making a few labored grasps to the outside genre world.


We turn next to Norway’s blackjazz entourage Shining. The group have been building up to the release of their new disc International Blackjazz Society, and recently the song “Last Day” found its way to the web. Continue reading »

May 212014

(DGR reviews the latest album by Austria’s Manic Scum, a band we’ve featured several times in the past here at NCS.)

Imagine for a moment, if you will, that the NCS offices are run like something out of a sitcom and that occasionally something will happen that will cause your lovely writers to flip out and fling a bunch of paperwork into the air while exclaiming to the world some form of prostration to a higher power after realizing that they had fucked up in such a way that could only be described as massive.

Now, imagine that this event took place over several days instead of all at once due to this lovely writer’s crazy work schedule when he realized that there had been a couple of albums in 2013 that he had every intention of writing about but yet had completely glossed over until one of the groups in mind released a music video for one of the best songs on the disc — and all of it came rushing back to him, causing him to reenact the above scenario with aplomb.

Every day, returning home from work and picking up every piece of paper — of which there were many, mostly ignored bank statements since it’s the only one I keep on my desk… and I don’t need a bi-weekly reminder that I’m fucking broke and only own one thing to put paper on, my desk — and then flinging them back up into the air so that they scatter all over my room, because if anything, I am a sucker for ambience, so that I could be reminded of the initial comedic/panicked state in which I started this review because I really, really felt the NCS readers deserved a fully in-depth look of this disc, and reminded that although it came out in goddamned December that they should really check said album out — though yelling, “Ah, Christ!” over and over again grew tiresome, so that was quickly cut out of the act.

Such was the case was Mastic Scum and their hammering 2013 release CTRL. Continue reading »

May 122014

Mondays are usually big days for metal premieres, and today is no exception. We had one ourselves (but of course you’ve already checked that out, haven’t you?), and I’ve selected a few more that I thought were worth spilling some words over — and worth your ear and eye time, too, of course. I’ve included two of them in this post, along with another recent premiere; all of these are new videos.


I’m sure we could think or more things to write about this band’s new album Splinters, but we’ve written quite a lot already. So I’ll just crib from the last line of our review and leave it at that:  “Splinters is straight-up volcanic desolation at its finest”.

What’s new from Vallenfyre today is an official video for the title track, which premiered at Metal Hammer. It’s an excellent song and the video is a very well-made, very creative interpretation of the music. I quote from the band’s statement about the video: Continue reading »

Feb 202014

As you can see, I’ve decided to forge ahead with alliterative titles for the daily music round-ups this week. Lucky for you, there are only two more days in the week after today. Also lucky for you, I have found five pleasurable new songs over the last 24 hours that will put you in a chokehold, kind of like erotic asphyxiation.


This Rhode Island duo’s 2012 debut album Misery Wizards turned a lot of heads, and now Metal Blade is primed to release their second album — II: Void Worship — on April 1 (a few days earlier in Europe). I was attracted to this news by the colorfully killer album art by Adam Burke, and that in turn led me to explore the album’s first advance track, “The Paladin”.

Whereas Misery Wizards was largely a crawling, bludgeoning behemoth of classic doom, “The Paladin” rocks very fuckin’ hard, driven by utterly filthy and utterly irresistible riffs. It’s a smoking, chugging steamroller of a song, with The Wizard’s wailing vocals riding over the top like a ring-wraith. The doom isn’t gone, but it’s been super-charged. This one is already on my list of candidates for 2014’s most infectious songs. Continue reading »

Jul 052010

Lots of social networking feeds are used in ways we don’t understand. We’re talking about people who use Twitter and Facebook posts and MySpace bulletins to tell the world about their latest bowel movement or what they just ate or their current mood or what they just did with their right index finger. Sometimes it’s funny, and we know lots of bands think it’s good marketing — a way to keep their names in the forefront of people’s heads. But most of this minute-by-minute minutiae is just dull as dishwater, or worse.

But because we’re still feeling slightly guilty about using up today’s NCS space with an extended rant about Dave Mustaine, we thought we ought to do something else before calling it quits for the day. So we’re indulging in that same Twitter-esque impulse to just tell the world what we’ve been doing this morning. Don’t worry — we’ll keep the details of our latest bowel movements to ourselves. This will have something to do with music, though in a completely random way.

It’s just a log of what we’ve listened to and/or watched in our day so far. We’re not even recommending it. It’s just what we did, and like all those tweeters out there, we just presume you’ll be vividly interested.

First up is something that’s NSFW, but since it’s a holiday for most people in the U.S. and since most of our readers are probably out of work anyway, we’ll forge ahead. Plus, it will give us a chance to one-up some of the video nastiness that our guest contributor Steff Metal served up in her post about Metal from NZ a week ago.

This lead-off video, which is brand new, is from an Austrian band called Mastic Scum. It’s for a song called “Construcdead” from the band’s 2009 album, Dust. The song is a bruising piece of street-gutter death metal that’s pretty good. The conceptual theme of the video is someone’s idea of over-the-edge debauchery, framed in a metaphor of vehicular wreckage.

So, if it’s been a while since you snorted coke, shot-up with heroin, cavorted with oiled-up dominatrixes, stuffed your face with food, been bull-whipped, had a golden shower, took it up the bunghole with a black dildo, or dribbled snot uncontrollably — well, you can relive those fond memories by watching this:   (after the jump, of course — and more of our morning log follows it . . . .) Continue reading »