Dec 222022

(Andy Synn chooses the new album from Iceland’s Misþyrming as his final review of the year)

It’s crazy to think, now that I’m forced to reflect upon it, how long my (admittedly one-sided) relationship with Misþyrming has been going on.

After discovering them just prior to the 2015 edition of Inferno Festival (where I was fortunate enough to see them perform as part of a truly stacked three-band line-up of them, Sinmara, and Svartidauði), I’ve since written glowingly about them multiple times (and included both their previous albums in my annual “Great” list without hesitation) and also caught them live on several subsequent (and, arguably, superior) occasions.

And now, once again, Misþyrming have returned – almost without warning, and with very little fanfare – with a new album (and a new drummer) to give us all the punishment we deserve.

Continue reading »

Jan 062020


Admittedly, I began this year’s Most Infectious Song list in unusual fashion yesterday, diving deep into the underground with songs by unheralded bands from records released on the very last day of last year. However, these next two songs come from better-known bands (though their names are not yet on the tip of every metalhead’s tongue) and from 2019 albums that have received quite a bit more attention (but still not enough).


Misþyrming’s 2015 debut album Söngvar elds og óreiðu opened a lot of eyes — opened them so wide you could see the whites showing all ’round. But these Icelanders were even better than we knew, because four years later they decided to throw us a curveball. Rather than build on the success of their debut with slight iterations on a proven formula, they spread their wings and flew in a noticeably different direction.

I’m not arguing that their second album Algleymi is better than the first one (choosing between them is a very difficult decision), but the fact that they followed their creative impulses even at the risk of not merely surprising people but perhaps even leaving some behind is worth a big round of applause. Of course, I probably still wouldn’t be applauding if their new one weren’t so fucking good. Continue reading »

Jun 172019


(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of three posts we will publish in as many days about the recently completed Ascension Festival MMXIX, which took place in Mosfellsbær, Iceland, on June 13-15, 2019. These are Andy Synn‘s impressions of the event, and the next two are being written by Islander., who took the photos included here, unless otherwise noted)

As the title above indicates, I recently celebrated my birthday (all presents and donations will be graciously accepted), and this year decided to celebrate it in style by attending Ascension Festival in Iceland, where the brooding darkness and overall brilliance of the music was matched only by the brightness of the ever-present sunshine and the brilliance of the company.

So what you’re about to read is a few random thoughts about the experience which, while not totally comprehensive (although I made sure to see something of every band, I’ve decided only to write about the ones which really stood out), should hopefully convince one or two of you to join us at next year’s edition! Continue reading »

May 292019


(We missed our usual Sunday appointment for the SHADES OF BLACK column, but Andy Synn has stepped in to fill that void with this selection of new releases from the black realms.)

Even though we’ve just come off several days of relative quiet here at NCS (due mostly to a certain Deathfest) we’re already at risk of entering another quiet period as Islander (and various others) gets drawn into the day-to-day running of this year’s edition of Northwest Terror Fest.

However, as luck would have it, I’ve got a massive backlog of artists/albums I’ve been meaning to cover, and so have promised that I’ll deliver something new every day this week so that he doesn’t need to worry about juggling both NCS and NWTF at the same time.

So to kick things off I’ve decided to publish my own version of “Shades of Black” to make up for the lack of one this weekend, featuring short reviews of a bunch of bands, taking in a mix of well-known and (reasonably) obscure names, beginning with… Continue reading »

Mar 102018


As I woke up this morning and it hit me that the final edition of Oration Festival was over, I experienced a wave of sadness, coupled with regrets over not having made the trek for the first two years of the event. Oration Fest MMXVIII was, by my lights, an extraordinary experience, one formed by the combination of its setting in Reykjavik (a magical place), the wonderful friends, both old and new, with whom I was able to share the experience, and of course the incredible music.

I’ll have some more perhaps excessively emotional things to say about all that at the end of this post, but the first order of business is to provide photos, videos, and accompanying personal reactions concerning the performances last night by these bands, who appeared in this order: Almyrkvi (Iceland), Inferno (Czech Republic), Misþyrming (Iceland), Svartidauði (Iceland), Vemod (Norway), and Rebirth of Nefast (Ireland/Iceland).

Once again, the high-quality photos you’ll find below were made by my Seattle friend Tanner Ellison; I made the rest of them, and the (sadly mediocre) videos, with my phone. Continue reading »

Jun 142017



The latest edition of Roadburn Festival took place at Tilburg, The Netherlands, on April 20-23, 2017, and L.A.-based photographer extraordinaire Levan TK was there to capture the performances on film.

We are fortunate to bring you some of his amazing photos, divided among the days of the festival, with his photos from the third day in this post. To see the photos from Day One, go here, and the photos from Day Two are here. Photos from the final day of fest will be coming soon.

P.S. Levan was quick to get us these photos. The delay in sharing them is entirely the fault of our half-wit editor. Continue reading »

Jan 292017


I have a large collection of recent releases or advance tracks to recommend, all of them within the ever-widening spectrum of black metal or reflecting to varying degrees the influence of black metal. I’ve divided the collection into two parts. I haven’t written the second one yet, so I’m not sure if I’ll be posting it today or on Monday.


Formed in Reykjavík back in 2013, Misþyrming (Icelandic for “abuse” or “mistreatment“) was originally the solo project of multi-instrumentalist D.G., but eventually expanded into a full band as a result of D.G.’s desire to perform Misþyrming’s music in a live setting. The band shares members with Naðra and Carpe Noctem, and D.G. is also a member of Martröð and Skáphe. Continue reading »

May 042016



The 2016 edition of the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is now in the history books. It was the first edition of the festival to be presented at the newly renovated 013 venue, and it boasted a typically impressive and diverse line-up of bands. While none of the NCS scribes was on hand for this year’s event, we do have beautiful photos of many of the performances, thanks to Kris T. Therrian of 17 seconds photography.

We’ve divided these photo collections into four parts, one for each day of the festival, and we’re rolling them out on successive days here at our site. You can see photos from Day One here and Day Two here. The remaining installment will appear tomorrow. Many thanks to Kris for letting us share these memories with you. For more info about her work, visit these links: Continue reading »

Mar 082016

Katatonia 2016


If you recall yesterday’s “Seen and Heard” round-up, I explained that I had fallen so far behind that I had a list of 30 new tracks from over the last week that I thought were worth exploring. And sure enough, the list has only grown, because so many other good new things popped up in the last 24 hours. So I’m starting with the four newest items and concluding with four from last week.


Yesterday brought details about the next Katatonia album, as well as a very brief teaser video. This will be their tenth studio full-length, with the title of The Fall of Hearts. It’s set for a May 20 release by Peaceville Records. Here’s the artwork (by Travis Smith, of course): Continue reading »

Sep 242015

Photo by Rakel Erna Skarphéðinsdóttir (web site here).

(We welcome Argentinian journalist Matías Gallardo, who brings us this interview with multi-instrumentalist, composer, and frontperson D.G. of the phenomenal Icelandic band Misþyrming.)


As ironic as it might sound, during the last couple of years Iceland has become a hotspot for black metal. To the work of bands like Svartidauði, Carpe Noctem, and Dynfari, we now have to add a new stellar name: Misþyrming.

Formed in Reykjavík back in 2013, the group (Icelandic for ‘abuse’) fronted by multi-instrumentalist D.G. is one of the most glorious revelations of the year within the genre. Capable of mixing the darkness of French anti-heroes like Deathspell Omega and Blut aus Nord with eerie atmospheres and a wicked sense of melody, the quartet’s debut album Söngvar elds go óreiðu (‘Songs of Fire and Chaos’) promises more than a cold chill to your spine. Brace yourselves: Misþyrming is coming. Continue reading »