Dec 092020


Before listening to the song you’re now about to hear, I had some expectations about what it might sound like, but the expectations were based solely on the previous musical output of one of this new Swedish band’s members rather than any advance descriptive information about the music — of which there was none. What I found turned out to be an electrifying surprise.

The band is Merger Remnant, and it’s a collaboration between Björn Larsson (who performs vocals, guitars, bass, and drums) and his friend Jonas Ström (keys, samples, ambience, guitars). Larsson is best-known to me and to many others as a member of the death metal bands Mordbrand and God Macabre, and that’s what formed the early expectations. Ström, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any kind of metal pedigree.

What they’ve created together, as represented on their debut EP Dregs, is difficult to pin down in genre terms. Based on the song we’re premiering from the EP today — “All-out Violence Upon Life” — death metal is in the mix, but so are strains of black metal, doom, and ambient music, and the song also has a powerful and multi-faceted atmospheric quality. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


I’ve fallen behind in the rollout of this list, having failed to post installments on the first two days of this week. Rather than spend time detailing the excuses, I’ll use the time instead to catch up. Instead of posting one installment today, I’ll be posting two of them. That won’t completely make up for the lost two days, but I’ll figure out a way to make up for the other lost day.

Death Metal is the order of the day, at least for this Part 7, with two heavyweight songs that became addictions for me in 2019. (In case you’re new to this list, you can discover the preceding six installments here.)


Last May the Swedish band Mordbrand (whose music I’ve been trumpeting for a lot of years) released a fantastic two-track EP named Döden / Efter Doden. The lyrics of each song were taken from poems by Gustaf Fröding, who died in 1911, and is considered “one of the greatest poets of verse that Sweden has ever produced”. In his own life he struggled with alcoholism and mental illness, and according to the same source just quoted, “His poetry combines formal virtuosity with a sympathy for the ordinary, the neglected and the down-trodden, sometimes written with his own dialect. It is highly musical and lends itself to musical setting….” Continue reading »

May 202019


Wow, 16 days since I posted the last of these new-music round-ups. And that one came 10 days after the one before it. Not a good track record, but my job has been a jealous mistress lately, or more like a starving wolverine hungry for my flesh. It’s unlikely things will improve in the near future, but for different reasons.

In two days, for the 6th year in a row, I’m flying to Baltimore with a bunch of Seattle friends to take in Maryland Deathfest. My NCS comrades Andy Synn and DGR will be there, too, and I doubt they’ll be spending their free time banging out content for NCS either. And then the week after that I’ll be spending a shitload of time helping to put on the third edition of the NCS-sponsored Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle. My day job probably won’t leave me alone over the next two weeks either.

So, it won’t surprise me if another 16 days pass between today’s round-up and the next one. Or maybe I’ll throw together a round-up that just consists of one new song. Or maybe two, if I skip showers and breakfasts. But today I have five, because I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. Continue reading »

May 132019


Gustaf Fröding, who died in 1911, is considered “one of the greatest poets of verse that Sweden has ever produced”. In his own life he struggled with alcoholism and mental illness, and according to the same source just quoted, “His poetry combines formal virtuosity with a sympathy for the ordinary, the neglected and the down-trodden, sometimes written with his own dialect. It is highly musical and lends itself to musical setting….”

While musical adaptations of Fröding’s verse have been wide-ranging, the range is even wider now because the Swedish death metal band Mordbrand have made two of Fröding’s poems the lyrical subject of songs that will be released digitally and in a 7″ vinyl format on May 15th, via De:Nihil Records — and today it’s our pleasure to present streams of both tracks: “Döden” and “Efter Döden“. Continue reading »

Feb 172017


Wilt is the name of Mordbrand’s new album, and today we’re hosting a full stream of the album one week from its February 24 release by Carnal Records.

Among all the current purveyors of Swedish death metal, Mordbrand have consistently been among the best. They not only deliver the fundamentals of this venerable style of music like the veterans they are, they also have a flair for infusing it with fresh vitality. That’s been the biggest challenge for bands whose music is rooted in this tradition.

Even if you’re a slavish fan of the sound (as I am), you may think to yourself as you listen to many of the newer releases that have been spawned by the Swedish death metal revival, “I’ve heard this before”, even if you like what you’re hearing. The trick that few bands pull off as well as Mordbrand is to maintain the music’s connection to its roots while bringing it forward at the same time. Wilt demonstrates that talent at every turn.
Continue reading »

Jan 062017

Mordbrand – photo by Łukasz Jaszak


It’s been a busy week here at NCS, one in which I’ve spent many (many!) hours readying year-end lists for posting, as well as starting the roll-out of our (i.e., my own) list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ve also had some premieres and interviews and other things. And on top of all that, I got slugged yesterday by a nasty cold. The combined effect of all this has been to prevent me from preparing our usual round-ups of new music.

I’ve still been watching the appearance of new songs and videos and adding them to a list. It’s a long list. I picked a few items off of it for this post. Since the weekends at NCS are essentially all my own, I might prepare some more round-ups for Saturday and Sunday. It’s also possible this cold will cause me to curl up in a ball on the floor and whimper in misery until Monday.

By the way, it looks like we’ll finish LISTMANIA next week. I still have a few excellent lists in hand to post on Monday and Tuesday, and a few more might arrive, but I think we’ll be done soon. The Most Infectious Song series will of course continue until I pick some arbitrary stopping point, which will probably be January 31.

That’s it for an update. Onward to new music…. Continue reading »

Aug 262016

Mordbrand-In Nighted Waters


I’ve developed a habit through years of experience, much like Pavlov’s dog was trained to salivate at the sound of the bell: When I learn that Sweden’s Mordbrand have released new music, I drop what I’m doing and hungrily scamper over to the music player to listen. This happened yesterday when, without advance warning, a new Mordbrand EP popped up on Bandcamp. The name of it is In Nighted Waters.

This new EP is actually the Mordbrand half of a split LP with California’s Gravehill, which will be released in the U.S. by Doomentia and is now available in Sweden via Carnal Records. It includes four original songs and a cover of “Compost Christ” by Bluuurgh… (rearranged by Mordbrand and including guest vocals by Mike Abominator (Necronizer, ex-Gravehill). Continue reading »

Apr 182016



It feels like June is going to be the start of murder season this year. I’m not sure of the exact date, so just circle the whole month in red on your calendar, preferably with someone else’s blood. Sometime that month, as best we can tell, Doomentia Records will release a split LP by Mordbrand from Sweden and Gravehill from Hellheim, California (aka Los Angeles).

The LP will combine two new EPs, one by each band with separate artwork, and they deliver two different but equally lethal forms of death metal slaughtering. Mordbrand’s half is entitled In Nighted Waters, and Gravehill have branded their offering with the name Skullbearer. Today we have for you the premiere of one of Mordbrand’s five tracks on the split, “Cold Womb”, as well as a stream of a Gravehill song called “Upon the 6th Chime”.


I’ve been following Mordbrand since their debut release in a 2010 split with Evoke and have spilled words about virtually everything they’ve released since then. They were very good at the start and have only gotten better. Two of the band’s three members, guitarist-bassist Bjørn Larsson and vocalist Per Boder, were involved in the recent revival of the legendary God Macabre, and maybe that experience has added an extra dose of morbid energy, because In Nighted Waters is sounding like Mordbrand’s strongest work yet. Continue reading »

Feb 172016

Mordbrand-Hymns of the Rotten


Man, the flood of enticing new metal just doesn’t stop. In only the last couple of days I’ve found so many new songs I’ve become excited about that I could write a half-dozen of these round-up posts just for today, and by the time I finished I’d probably be able to find just as many new things for tomorrow. Sadly, my time is not completely my own, and my fucking day job is nagging at me, so this will have to do for now.

But before I get to a few of the new songs that have peaked my interest (two of which are well-earned exceptions to our “Rule”), I’ll start with a new compilation of previously released songs that’s well worth your time.


Mordbrand will be a familiar name to regular NCS visitors — because I’ve written about virtually every one of their releases. And I’ve done that because everything they’ve done to date has been so damned good. And now they’ve revealed a new release that provides both an efficient jumping-on point for people new to the band and a welcome collection for existing fans. Continue reading »

Aug 272015

Mordbrand vidclip


One of these days I’ll learn that part-time, half-witted metal bloggers shouldn’t make promises about what they’re going to do. Yesterday I wrote that I would post two round-up’s of new music in an effort to partially catch up on all the new songs that had emerged since the last one I compiled five days earlier, but that obviously didn’t happen.

However, thanks to Austin Weber, we do have two today, with this being the second one. One silver lining to the cloud of my tardiness is that since yesterday I discovered one more item worth recommending to you — and it’s the first one in this post.


For those who haven’t religiously followed my scribbling over the last few years, I will confess that I’m a slavish fan of Sweden’s Mordbrand. It’s not that they have any compromising photos of me, it’s because they’ve been so consistently good at what they do. Out of all the outstanding songs they’ve released, perhaps my favorite track is “That Which Crawls” from their 2014 album Imago — and today they released a video for that very song. Continue reading »