Mar 312023


The Infernal Sea – Photography by Jay Russell

Well, this was another ridiculous week for the release of new music and videos designed to tease forthcoming records, not to mention the release of complete albums, EPs, and splits. Sadly, it was also another week when I couldn’t manage to catch up to them in other round-ups. At least I got a bit of a head-start today on the usual Saturday and Sunday collections, when more catching up will occur.


Oh hell, where to start? Well, how about with a new single from NCS favorites The Infernal Sea?

Apostle of Gehenna” is a nice surprise, since about 2 1/2 years have elapsed since the band’s last release (the Negotium Crucis album, reviewed here), though there’s nothing “nice” about gaping jaws of the hellhound in the artwork (the work of Rob Gould). Continue reading »

Feb 152021


(We’ve already published one review of Nervosa’s new album (here), but now take the unusual step of presenting another one by long-time NCS writer TheMadIsraeli, who has pursued an unusually exhaustive approach to assessing it.)

This year I’ve decided to take an unorthodox approach to reviewing.  Any album you see me review this year, for the most part, will have been bought for money with me basing my purchase decision purely on the available singles, even when we have promos.  So far I am enjoying this odd “put my money where my curiosity is” approach to checking out music in a critical perspective on 2021. It’s also allowing me to approach metal I otherwise might not take a second glance at.

I am also trying to make a commitment to upping the quality of my writing.  A benefit to reviewing Perpetual Chaos long after it was released is it gave me the ability to assemble a full spread of materials to consume surrounding the album.  Just for this review I listened to the album ten times in a row, not counting listening in the car or as background during gaming sessions and the like.  That’s 44:30 x 10, which comes out to four hours and forty-three minutes.  I also consumed the band’s entire track-by-track video (here) and watched all four parts of the Perpetual Chaos recording documentary.

I also did a once-over pass-through of the band’s previous work, that being 2014‘s Victim Of Yourself, 2016‘s Agony, and 2018‘s Downfall Of Mankind.  I further used my sense of perfect pitch and my skills as a guitarist to learn to play every song on Perpetual Chaos so as to become immersed in the composition approach and riffing mindset of guitarist and founder Prika Amaral.  I recommend watching all of the aforementioned videos before reading my review in full.  The record also contains two surprising left-field but fantastically implemented guest appearances, with “Genocidal Command” featuring Destruction’s iconic banshee wailer Schmier, as well as Flotsam And Jetsam‘s Eric A.K. on the track “Rebel Soul”. Continue reading »

Jan 262021


(We welcome a new contributor at NCS — Aleksha McLoughlin — who begins with a review of the new album by the revised Brazilian death/thrash band Nervosa, which was released on January 22nd by Napalm Records.)

April 2020 seemed like a death sentence for the female-fronted thrash/death metal band Nervosa. Guitarist and founding member Prika Amaral had the tough choice to make when it came to replacing their entire line-up. The result isn’t a resounding triumph, but it does enough to justify the band’s place at the fringe of female-fronted extreme metal.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way early on: Even when upgrading to a four-piece from their tried and tested original trio, Diva Satanica (Bloodhunter) simply lacks the vocal power of Fernanda Lira, and Mia Wallace’s bass lines are largely buried in the fairly mid-heavy mix.

“Venomous” opens the album as it means to go on. Guitars have a significant body; very much leaning into that old-school razor-thin tone and presence. We’re assaulted as listeners by a steady combination of bouncy thrash and proto-death guitar riffs that are catchy, but occasionally ring hollow. Continue reading »

Jan 242021


We had a rare day with no posts yesterday. I spent most of my free time clawing through the hundreds of mostly un-read e-mails that had piled up in our in-box last week, and made a gigantic list of new music to check out, and then attempted to do the checking. I didn’t finish listening to everything because the list was so long. But of the new stuff I heard, the following collection kind of assembled itself.

I don’t think any of these bands require an introduction. All of their names are prominent. And all the songs until the last one have a pronounced old school death metal flavor. They’re also all heavy on the chugs, and the death metal tracks include uniformly ferocious vocals. Melvins obviously aren’t a death metal band, but their new song is also heavy on the chugs, and there’s also another reason why it fits in an “old school” round-up.

P.S. If you came here today expecting to find a SHADES OF BLACK column, be patient. It’s coming.


As mentioned above, there are a lot of powerhouse vocalists in this collection I’ve assembled, beginning with the inimitable Martin van Drunen (a lot of people do try to imitate him, and to be honest, some do so with some success, but there still ain’t nothing like the original). Continue reading »

May 122018


One of my friend Andy’s objectives in launching our Saturday Waxing Lyrical series (the new edition of which is here) was to make it possible for me not to worry about coming up with something to post on Saturdays. I get to party on Friday nights, sleep in on Saturday mornings, and loll around like a walrus in penguin shit for hours after waking.

So I’m sort of defeating the purpose of Andy’s generous gesture by doing this post… but only sort of. I couldn’t resist throwing these brand-new hell-blazing tracks and videos at you because I had so much fun listening to and watching them yesterday and this morning, but I’m not going to take the time to explain what happens in the songs or why I like them so much. I’ll just give some basic info and let you have at it.

There’s some good geographic dispersion in this collection, as well as a lot of enviable talent on display. Also, if you happen to have some asbestos underoos, you might want to pull those on to protect your nether regions. Continue reading »

Oct 082015

Nervosa 2


(Our friend Derek Neibarger (Godless Angel) interviews Fernanda Lira of the Brazilian band Nervosa.)

A short while ago I wrote a post in which I praised the Brazilian thrash/death trio, Nervosa. Fernanda Lira, Prika Amaral, and Pitchu Ferraz have been bringing their awesome brand of metal to the masses since 2010. Their first full length album, Victim of Yourself, was released in 2014 through Napalm Records, and the band has been on the road ever since.

I was hooked from the first moment I heard “Masked Betrayer” off of their debut EP, Time of Death. Simply put, Nervosa is a hundred different kinds of badass. So I was extremely excited when I was granted an interview with bassist/vocalist Fernanda. As you’ll soon see, she’s extremely cool, passionate, and a true metal warrior. A huge thank you to Mona Muliski for making this possible! Continue reading »

Aug 092015

Nervosa - Photo by Pri Secco
photo by Pri Secco

(Our friend Derek Neibarger (Godless Angel) introduces us to a Brazilian band that he’s very excited about.)

My introduction to the Brazilian thrash trio, Nervosa, came in January of 2014 in the form of a promotional video which showed the band performing the track “Masked Betrayer” from their debut EP, Time of Death. The first four minutes of the video were dedicated to interviews with vocalist/bassist Fernanda Lira, drummer Pitchu Ferraz, and guitarist Prika Amaral. I couldn’t understand a single word of their native tongue and my attention nearly wavered up until the short film switched to the band ripping their way through “Masked Betrayer” in what appeared to be their rehearsal space.

The music was raw, fast, and aggressive, and I was immediately transported back my teenage years when I was swept away by the thrash movement of the mid ’80s. This was the same savage energy and intensity that corrupted my youth and branded me a metal junkie for life. I couldn’t wait to hear more Nervosa! Continue reading »