Jan 042022

(Andy Synn presents three more albums from last year that you may have missed)

You may not realise it, but I’m actually a little behind (already!) with this series of “Unsung Heroes” articles, as I’d originally meant to start posting them last week.

Unfortunately I’ve been sick with a (thankfully relatively mild) dose of that which shall not be named for a little while now, and between the lethargy, breathlessness, and general mental fuzziness I’ve not really had it in me to get any writing done.

Until recently, that is, as you may have already noticed that we’ve published one of these articles already (focussing on Grieving, Kollapse, and Monument of Misanthropy), with at least one more… and possibly another after that… lined up to follow this one.

So let’s all cross our fingers and hope that this renewed burst of mental energy I’m feeling portends a quick recovery, as I’ve got lots of albums from last year still to write about even before I get started on whatever 2022 has to offer!

Continue reading »

Oct 032021


And now to conclude the big round-up of new songs and videos I started here earlier today. I’m continuing to arrange everything in alphabetical order by band name, picking up where Part 1 ended, and continuing to add only scattered comments instead of more effusive verbiage.

LOCK UP (Sweden)

Last weekend I started a round-up with the same cover art you see above, though at that time there was no music. Now there is, along with a video made by Chariot of Black Moth. The song is from Lock Up‘s new album The Dregs of Hades (November 26, Listenable Records), and includes vocals from Kevin Sharp (Venomous Concept, ex-Brutal Truth) was well as Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates). Prepare for screaming, scathing, hammering death/grind madness. Continue reading »

Feb 052019


Another day, another pair of songs for my list of highly infectious tracks from 2018 releases. Without further ado, here they are (you can check out the preceding installments of this series here):


The first track I’m adding today is “Lightless“, from the 2018 album Shed by Denver-based Mire. A choice of something from this album might have seem fore-ordained, since it made Andy Synn‘s “Personal Top 10” year-end list, as well as No. 33 on DGR’s year-end list. But not so. I don’t always agree with my colleagues’ views about albums, and even when I do (as in fact I do here), that doesn’t mean the album will necessarily be home to one or more genuinely infectious songs. But I do think this one is. Continue reading »

Jan 012019


(Here’s the second installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music.)

This segment has some interesting patterns in it. The grindcore power hour makes its appearance here, as I’m a sucker for a whole lot of high-speed songwriting over blasting drums, and there’s still some spill-over from the veterans who remained fairly consistent (which you’ll note, defined a lot of part one). As we reach the bottom of the list you’ll start to see some new faces, stunning debuts and incredible full-lengths, and from here the list only gets more and more wild.

As of this writing I’m not sure how to describe the next few segments, but you’ll note that the albums tend to get a little bit more heartfelt, vicious, and a whole lot more passionate as we get further and further into this list. If anything I’d say the immediate thing I’m noting is that the high-twenties of this affair fully sell me out as having had a giant tech-death party. But right now, let us enjoy this current batch of madness as we bounce around from the worlds of grind, to high speed death metal, to a pleasant prog-death and sludge metal break, only to finally close things out with a tremendous crushing of skulls. Continue reading »

Dec 142018


(Andy Synn concludes his week-long round-up of metal in 2018 with this list of his ten personal favorites among the year’s great and good albums.)

So, after all the stress and struggle involved in putting together all my various lists which preceded this one, now it’s time to relax and turn my attention to those albums, whether “Great” or “Good”, that make up my personal favourites of 2018.

Once again I decided that I wouldn’t include any “Honourable Mentions” this year, as to do so would essentially mean reproducing a good 60-70% of my previous lists (although, that being said… do try and give Agrypnie, Disassembled, Hundred Year Old Man, The Agony Scene and Void Ritual a listen if you get chance) and instead decided to focus solely on the ten albums which I’ve listened to the most and/or which have made the biggest impact on me this year.

Funnily enough, while the actual process of working out which ten records best represented my listening habits over the last twelve months was as complicated as ever, the write-up was much easier than I expected it to be, as it just so happens that I was responsible for reviewing almost all of them! Continue reading »

Jul 032018


As you may have noticed, I compiled another round-up earlier today, though I was just following instructions with that one, all the choices having been urged upon me by my comrade DGR (and Andy Synn, in part) to suit a What Year Is It?!? theme. I haven’t completely escaped the urgings of my comrades in this collection either, since three of the songs and videos were pressed upon me by Mr. Synn.

However, although I’m less the curator of this particular gallery and more like the slovenly dude who frames the stuff and hangs it on the wall, I did include music of my own choosing at the end (and for better or worse, I’ll be picking everything for our Independence Day round-up tomorrow).

But before we get to all the music, I have a couple of news items (and even the second of those was brought to my attention by my colleagues).


How could I resist the opportunity to brandish (extra-large) the painted artwork of Eliran Kantor at the top of our page again? Obviously, I couldn’t. It will appear on Krisiun’s new album, Scourge of the Enthroned, marred by text, as follows: Continue reading »

Jun 222018


(This is Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by Denver-based Mire.)

As you may (or may not) have noticed, over the last several days I’ve covered quite a few “major” (or, at least, relatively major) albums/artists here at NCS, and left the more underground stuff to my colleagues, co-writers, and contributors.

However, in an attempt to redress that balance somewhat (as well as to salve my stinging conscience) I’ve decided that my final review of the week should be dedicated to something new, but much less well-known, which is what brings us to this perfect little piece of prodigious Prog-Death wizardry courtesy of Denver duo Mire. Continue reading »