Feb 012024

With 15 years of recordings and performances behind them, the French extreme metal band Necrowretch likely need no introduction to the horned denizens of this site, nor any added fuel of anticipation for their forthcoming fifth album Swords of Dajjal, which we’re presenting today on the eve of its release by Season of Mist.

But it’s worth knowing that the new album was one of those unexpected fruits of the covid pandemic, which ruined the band’s touring plans in support of their just-released fourth album but provided a pause they used for the creation of this new fifth full-length. And thus Necrowretch spent more time writing and fine-tuning Swords of Dajjal than they’d ever spent on previous releases.

Not only that, the band changed their gear, their sound, their tuning, and even initially wrote the songs on acoustic 12-string guitar. The result, as described by the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist Vlad, is the group’s “most black metal record, with splashes of death metal here and there”.

He adds: “Whereas on the previous album all tempos were pushed to the extreme, there’s far more variety here to be found. It also gave us free reins to reach a more mystical, Biblical if you will vibe”, fed by Vlad‘s experience living in Turkey in the late 2010’s. Continue reading »

Nov 242023

Here in the U.S., where I am, it’s been a holiday week. For the rest of the world, it was just another Thursday. The holiday continues today, but even elsewhere in the world it’s not just another Friday.

For decades here, the day after Thanksgiving has marked the beginning of shopping season for the upcoming Christmas holidays, but it seems to have spread its infection elsewhere, even in the world of metal, based on the volume of e-mails I’ve received offering discounts on records and merch from locations in Europe as well as North America.

Well, why fight against the tide? Today, for one day only, we’re offering a 50% discount on the price of subscriptions to NCS, which is normally zero. Get ’em while they last.

I resisted the obvious temptation to limit today’s collection of new music to black metal, but it’s all still pretty black. Continue reading »

Feb 082017


There is lot to appreciate about the artwork (by Nekronikon) on the cover of the new album by the French black/death band Necrowretch. The teeth, which seem to sprout from every orifice, including orifices that shouldn’t exist. The multitude of horns. The hooked wings. The tentacles, both thick and thin. The torrent of blood being vomited into a chalice. And the eyeballs… the eyeballs. The only thing better (or worse) would be if this ghastly montage came to life and began to move.

Well, guess what! If that is your wish, it has been granted. And if that is not your wish, it has been granted anyway!

We present the premiere of a video for the title track to Satanic Slavery, the new album by Necrowretch. It brings the blood-chilling cover art for the album to life. But of course, the true (and evil) delight comes from the music. Continue reading »

Jan 192017


This is the third part of a mid-week round-up that I had originally planned to post yesterday, along with Part 1 and Part 2.

When I originally planned this tripartite collection of a dozen songs and videos, I had found a kind of musical theme or connection between the songs I allocated to each Part. But since I didn’t get Part 3 posted as planned, in the meantime I’ve changed one of the tracks I had originally planned to include here, and then also added a fifth one. So the theme of Part 3 has fragmented, and now we’ve got a lucky 13 items in this collection as a whole.

The music in here is still damned good though — and I’m still keeping my verbiage (relatively) short.


Man, it has been a long and sorrowful wait for new music from Woe (you should thank me for not saying “woeful”) — because I’ve really enjoyed the band’s previous releases, and four years have passed since the last one, an album named Withdrawal. The wait is over. Continue reading »

Mar 162015


(In this post Dan Barkasi continues his monthly series recommending music from the month just ended.)

Here we go for round two of Essential Entries. You guessed it – we’re covering February this time. Yeah, yeah, suspense isn’t this guy’s strong point.

January gave us genius like Desolate Shrine and Agos, which is just what was needed to start things off right. How does February measure up? To quote one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time, “Great Scott!” If you don’t get that, I bestow upon you great shame. But yeah, February did bring the noise (no Public Enemy included). Here’s the proof, in no particular order.

A Forest of StarsBeware the Sword You Cannot See

Self-described as a secret society from Victorian-era 1895, A Forest of Stars compose music that’s as intricate and unique as their theming. Black metal with a lot of psychedelic elements is the most basic description, but really, their music is so much more. It’s a continuing story, and their latest chapter is awe-inspiring. Invest the time, as there’s a lot of layers, with the payoff being oh so worth it. Continue reading »

Oct 182014


I’ve included in this post reviews of two new short releases that I strongly recommend to lovers of infernal music.


This five-person German black metal band whose members don’t publicize their identities released a 2009 demo (With Burning Tongues), an EP (Fire and Faith) in 2010, and then a full-length album (Consolamentum) later the same year. After the passage of nearly four years, they have now returned with a two-song release named Deathless Light that the World Terror Committee will release on Samhain (October 31).

Of the two songs on this release, both of which are long, the title track will appear on a forthcoming full-length album, while the second — “Garden of Stone” — was recorded exclusively to this release. Both songs are tremendously effective in creating atmospheres that are staggeringly heavy, grim, and often sorrowful — yet they are both charged with energy and passion, and the mainly clear production only magnifies their black power. Continue reading »

Jan 232013

Between last night and this morning, I finally found a little time to resume my usual spelunking through the interhole in search of metal nuggets of interest worth sharing. And here are a few of the items I found.


I found that Finland’s Finntroll have been rolling out versions of the cover art for their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled 2013 album. The artist is Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa (whose FB page is here). They began with a pencil sketch of the cover and today they added the fully inked version that you see above. Presumably, we will eventually get the color version (the images are appearing on Finntroll’s FB page). Fuckin’ cool, no? To see a larger version of the art, click the image above.


I first discovered (and wrote about) this French duo  a year ago when I saw they had been based solely on two demos (in 2009 and 2010) and a four-song EP in 2011 — Putrefactive Infestation, which I reviewed in that first post. Later, I also reviewed a two-song 7″ named Now You’re In Hell. I’ve been looking forward to their debut album, Putrid Death Sorcery, scheduled for release in North America on February 5 (order here). I previously featured the eye-catching album art by Montenegran artist Milovan Novakovic (which you can see again next). Continue reading »

Dec 102012

Metal does not honor your putrid rules.

Okay, I’m not talking about YOUR rules, especially if they include visiting this site like your life depends on it. I’m talking about the rules of all those other people, like the rule that says Mondays must suck. Because metal hath brought these gems to your Monday.


I think this is my fourth post about the new album from Finland’s Mors Principium Est (pictured above) since I found out about it in July. Entitled …And Death Said Live, it has already been released in Japan, it’s due for release in Europe and Australia on December 14, and North Americans will be able to get it on January 15.

As you can tell, this is an album I’ve been eagerly anticipating. Over the weekend I discovered that it’s now streaming in full at the Finnish Inferno web site. At that same location, you will find a track-by-track commentary by the band’s vocalist Ville Viljanen, and that of course will give you English-only speakers the always-hilarious opportunity to let Google Translate work its magic on the Finnish language. Continue reading »

Nov 142012

Sakis Tolis, laying down a soothing lullaby. 

Once again, your intrepid editor has sifted through the ever flowing stream of metal news and new music to find those gleaming nuggets that will enrich your daily lives.  Actually, I don’t know if you’ll give a shit about any of this, but I do, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?  No need to answer, that was a rhetorical question.


We’ve already reported that Rotting Christ are at work on their 11th studio album, but today I saw a few more tidbits of news: The album will be entitled Do What Thou Wilt, and it will hit the stores on March 1, 2013. We usually don’t write about such happenings unless we have a bit more juice to go along with it, such as album art or a song premiere. But these Greek maestros are the kind of band whose every move interests me. And I’m particularly interested to see if the new album will be a further step down the path of strongly folk/ethnic-influenced metal exhibited on Aealo.

I also saw today that the French band Necrowretch have finished the recording and mastering of their debut album for Century Media. It was recorded in late August at Blackout Multimedia studios in Brussels by Phorgath of Enthroned and its title will be Putrid Death Sorcery. The cover art is being prepared by Milovan Novakovic from Montenegro, who also created the beastly cover for the band’s last EP, Now You’re In Hell (reviewed here). And if you’re wondering why this news matters, check out some Necrowretch music right after the jump. Continue reading »

Sep 302012

I first became curious about Necrowretch (from Valence, France) in February 2012 when I saw that they had been signed by Century Media based solely on two demos (in 2009 and 2010) and a four-song EP in 2011 — Putrefactive Infestation. I tracked down and listened to that EP and reviewed it here.

At the time of that review, there were plans for the Belgian label Detest Records to release  a 7″ NecroWretch EP titled Now You’re In Hell before the band turned to recording their debut album for Century Media. That release did happen last spring, though I overlooked it until recently.

The 7″ release includes two songs — an original Necrowretch number called “From A Hideous Summoning” and a cover of Death’s “Zombie Ritual” from Scream Bloody Gore (1987), which Necrowretch recorded on the 10th anniversary of Chuck Schuldiner’s death. Yesterday, Necrowretch uploaded the original track to YouTube, with the video providing a detailed survey of the beautifully beastly cover art provided by Montenegrin artist Milovan Novakovic. Continue reading »