Jul 272022

(Last month the Polish “epic doom” crew Monasterium released their third album, Cold Are The Graves, via Nine Records, and that prompted Comrade Aleks to reach out for the following interview.)

I believe that my colleges here will confirm this simple thing: the best reward for our job here is any support we’re able to provide to the bands we’re talking about. And a good interview is a rewarding experience in itself, so it’s easy to return to some bands I interviewed before when they have news to share. Well, that gives an illusion that life isn’t bad in the end and there’s a bright side after all.

Today Monasterium‘s new album Cold Are the Graves brings this silver lining among dark clouds of daily news. This epic doom metal band from Kraków, Poland keeps on providing heroic and triumphant hymns to obscure memories of our past and fantasy realms for nearly eight years, and despite a relatively short career there are three full-length albums in their discography as well as a good reputation due to their dedicated approach to epic doom as it should be.

One of the band’s merits is its stable lineup, because Tomasz Gurgul (guitars), Michał Strzelecki (vocals), Filip Malinowski (bass) and Maciej Berniak (drums) have played together since 2014 (and three of them played before that in the same band, named Sadman Institute). However two are enough to tell the story of Cold Are the Graves, so here are Tomasz and Michał. Continue reading »

Jun 162022

(Here’s three albums released last week that Andy Synn thinks you need to hear)

As you may have noticed, we do a fair bit of “retroactive reviewing” here at NCS, mostly because… well, we only write about things that we like and sometimes it takes a while to work out how much we like something and how to express that.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still cool to be able to offer advance reviews of albums we think you’re going to love (both the new Exocrine and White Ward albums, for example, aren’t out until Friday but have already received glowing write-ups), but when we find something we really like and want to talk about it doesn’t really matter if it’s been out for a while – after all, it’ll be new to someone!

So here’s a triple-header of short-but-sweet reviews for three album released last Friday – some epic Doom from Monasterium, some crusty Death Metal from Neolithic, and some scorching Black Metal from Umbra Conscientia – that definitely deserve some extra love.

Continue reading »

Sep 192016



(Our friend Grant Skelton prepared this review of the self-titled debut album by Poland’s Monasterium.)

I have yet to reach satiety when it comes to doom metal. Each new release I come across only seems to whet my appetite rather than quench it. Perhaps a hearty diet of doom simply begets a desire for even more doom. And since I dine daily on doom, I discovered a gem of an album from Poland’s Monasterium. Their self-titled album is currently available from Greek label No Remorse Records.

The stoneclad cover art by Michal “Xaay” Loranc depicts a skeletal coat-of-arms. This banner seems to mark a threshold that, once crossed, will entreat the listener on a journey throughout various mythologies of history. Lyrically, the songs featured on this debut deal with subjects such as martyrdom (“Christening In Blood”), persecution (“A Hundredfold Cursed”), and human sacrifice (“In The Shrine Of The Jackal God”). The liner notes also feature seven unique drawings to accompany each of the seven tracks. Loranc’s artwork adds a deeper dimension to each of the tracks, allowing the listener a visual narrative into the lyrical descriptions. Continue reading »