Dec 092019



(Andy Synn prepared this collection of reviews, covering three excellent 2019 albums to which we haven’t previously devoted sufficient attention.)

Despite promising to take some time off after last week’s orgy of lists here I am, back again, with more bands/albums for you to check out.

My plan, as it stands right now, is to spend the next week or two, if/when I can, catching up with a few bands who either missed out on last week’s year-end round-up, or who made the lists but haven’t received a full write-up here as of yet.

The reviews themselves may be a little shorter than usual, simply due to time constraints on my end, but hopefully they’ll prove just as insightful as ever. Cough…

Anyway, today we’ve got some groovesome Satanic Doom, some progressively inclined Melodeath, and some nasty Blackened Sludge, so there should be something for (almost) everyone to discover. Continue reading »

Oct 092019


On their new album, Void Cult Rising, the Neapolitan band Naga have created a meditation on death, not only the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one but also an apocalyptic vision of the end of all things. In approaching calamities of such vastly different scales through their music, the band have fused the bleak, gut-rumbling heaviness of sludge, the downcast resonance of doom, and the nihilistic acidity of black metal. The sound is grim and raging, crushing and inconsolable.

The opening track of the new album, which follows a 2014 debut full-length (Hēn) and a 2016 EP (Inanimate), is “Only A God Can’t Save Us“, a title that seems to be a dismissive play on familiar words, and the music suggests that we can’t save ourselves either. We have a stream of the song for you today, in advance of the album’s November 15 release by Spikerot Records. Continue reading »

Mar 182017


I’m in a jam again. This was a busy week for me at my fucking day job, and I had a bunch of personal stuff to deal with that was unrelated to NCS, so I didn’t have time to post any round-ups of new music on top of the other things I did write and edit. I didn’t even have time to make my all of the usual daily forays through our clogged in-box or pay close attention to the music that friends and bands were posting on Facebook.

Even so, when I started listening to new things last night I had a large list of songs to check out. I liked more of those than I’ve got time to write about now. I picked the following five because they make a diverse playlist (and because they’re really good, of course).


I’m beginning with a track that absolutely floored me when I heard it, and it has continued to floor me every time I listen to it again. It’s the final song on an album named Explore the Void by the Finnish band Craneium. Continue reading »

Apr 102014

As promised, I’m posting three editions of MISCELLANY in three successive days, this being the second.

Here’s how the MISCELLANY game works: I pick bands whose music I’ve never heard, usually focusing on under-the-radar groups whose names I’ve never heard before either. The selection process is random; for these three editions of the series, I tended to focus on bands who’ve written us recently. I try to limit my listening to a song or two and then write my impressions, while streaming what I heard so you can form your own opinions. I don’t know in advance whether I’ll like the music, so there’s an element of surprise involved (good or bad). For this listening session I investigated the music of three bands.


Ophidius are an instrumental death metal band from New Jersey. Their debut album (or I suppose you could call it an EP too), The Throat of the World, was released via Bandcamp last December and it’s available for a price you name. It consists of four songs, and the band explain that the compositions were inspired by “The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim”. Continue reading »