Apr 272022

(Andy Synn invites you to open your eyes, and your ears, to the morbid magnificence of Myopia, the recently-released collaborative album by Mizmor and Thou)

I am, as has been well-documented by now, something of a sceptic when it comes to so-called “supergroups”, whose main impact on “the scene” tends to be just taking up space and column inches which would be better off given over to less well-known (and better) bands.

There are exceptions to this “rule”, of course, and the common factor between them seems to be a real sense of collaboration, a partnership driven by an irresistible need to create, as opposed to the crass commercial aspirations or lazy self-aggrandisation which tends to fuel the majority of these shallow vanity projects.

Thankfully, as you may already have guessed, this new collaboration between Mizmor and Thou – written and recorded in secret and released without any prior fanfare to coincide with their joint-performance at Roadburn Festival last week – falls firmly into the former camp, and finds the two bands joining forces to create a singular piece of anguished, blackened art that truly feels far, far greater than the mere sum of its parts.

Continue reading »

Jan 172022


(New NCS contributor Alex Atkinson has brought us the following review of a recently released EP by the Oregonian band Mizmor.)

Wit’s End is the funeral doom/black metal band Mizmor’s (aka Liam Neighbors) follow-up EP to 2019’s widely acclaimed Cairn album.  Musically, Mizmor brings back the anguish they’ve become known for, offering up a cohesive half-hour of two tracks that demand focus.  This is not background music for your workday, trust me.

The initial track, “Wit’s End”, is introduced with a spoken-word clip in which vocalist A.L.N. sets the intent of the following 14-minute piece.  The hissing of the analogue tape recording is accented by a simple, melancholic guitar as feedback begins to erode, leading into the second movement of the track.  With a few massive chords and thoughtful drums, the vocals are introduced with chilling agony. Continue reading »

Jul 212019


We missed a day yesterday, dammit. I spent too much time listening and not enough time writing — so much time listening that I have many things I want to recommend across many heavy genres. I liked the way the following four tracks flowed together, so I’ve collected them here. The plan is to post a second installment of this round-up tomorrow. It goes in very different directions than this one. I’m not posting it today because I want to make time and room for the usual SHADES OF BLACK column, which will arrive soon(ish).


I spent an hour yesterday listening to Mizmor’s new album Cairn, which is how long it takes to proceed through the record’s four long tracks (they range from 10 minutes to 18 in length). It’s an emotionally overpowering experience, as stunning as the Mariusz Lewandowski painting (“Time Immemorial”) that Mizmor’s alter ego A.L.N. commissioned for the record. Of the album’s four tracks, the opener “Desert of Absurdity” is the first one out in the world, and the first one in today’s collection. Continue reading »

May 242018


The 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival is in the history books. From April 19th through April 22nd at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, metal fans got the chance to choose from among performances by more than 100 bands across four stages and a fascinating array of musical genres. NCS was fortunate to be represented by the fantastic New Orleans-based music photographer Teddie Taylor, who made a visual record of the event for us.

We left it to Teddie to decide which bands to see; no doubt she had a lot of difficult decisions to make — and we had difficult decisions of our own in determining which of her images to share with you (they’re all really damned good!). We’re dividing this collection of pics into four parts, one for each day of Roadburn 2018. You can find her photos from Day 1 here, and Day 2 here. Continue reading »

Aug 182016

Migration Fest poster


This is a recap of the third and final day of the first edition of Migration Fest, organized by 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media and conducted in Olympia, Washington, on August 12-14, 2016. My recap of the pre-fest show and Day One can be found here, and the Day Two write-up is here.

I’m not as prompt in concluding this review of the festival as I was with the first two parts, but other commitments to our putrid site plus inconsiderate intrusions by the routine of daily life have screwed with my time since I got back to Seattle on Monday. On the other hand, the delay enabled me to upload videos of Day Three performances to YouTube, and I’ve collected those at the end of this post. I still intend to add more videos to the other write-ups as well. Continue reading »

Jul 022016

Grave Desecrator-Slaughtbbath split


For those of us here in the U.S., today is the beginning of a long weekend in which we celebrate the nation’s independence from another country, which recently declared its own “independence” from Europe and now can’t seem to figure out what to do next. But since we have a couple of presidential candidates here in this country that most people don’t like, I guess we’re having some trouble figuring out what to do next, too.

I nearly decided to take the day off from blogging, not because I’m feeling very “patriotic” but because I’m feeling really lazy. I decided instead to make a feeble compromise with myself: I have a ton of new music I think is worth hearing, but I’m just going to spread a lot of it out for your perusal without any commentary. I feel kind of shitty for doing that, not because you really need my commentary but because I think I owe it to the bands to explain why I think the music is worth hearing. But I guess this is better than doing nothing at all.

Tomorrow we’ll be bringing you an EP premiere and something else, probably another Shades of Black post and/or the first “That’s Metal!” post in months. Unless I continue to indulge my feelings of laziness. Continue reading »