Dec 012020


Nexul’s new album, Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay, is not for the faint of heart. It’s a shock-and-awe campaign of terrifying blackened death metal that seems thoroughly devoted to ruining minds and bodies through typhoon assaults of unhinged violence intertwined with nuances of horrific dread and paralyzing misery. The fear factor of the music is through the roof, and so is the raw, abrasive, punishing quality of the sound.

But as you’ll also discover if you choose to run this gauntlet, the songs are more carefully calculated than you might expect from what you’ve just read, and more attuned to the elaboration of unearthly atmosphere in the midst of sonic atrocities.

And running this gauntlet from start to finish is just what we’re giving you the opportunity to do today, through our premiere of a full album stream in advance of its December 4 release by Iron Bonehead Productions on CD and 12″ vinyl. Continue reading »

Oct 052020


For the second weekend in a row I made no NCS posts, and this time I didn’t even explain why. The reason was that I took a short vacation with my spouse and friends and spent the weekend in the beautiful wine country around Walla Walla, Washington. There was copious drinking, eating, and sleeping. The covid-related opportunity to average 80 mph (129 kph) driving the 260 miles there and back again was kind of thrilling all by itself. Everything we did was socially distanced (and with only one exception our eating and drinking was done outside), everyone there was masked up, and it felt safe. It was all great, but the weekend left no time for listening to music or writing.

I got back home in one piece late Sunday afternoon, and to extend the holiday my wife and I went out to dinner at a restaurant near where we live that had just re-opened for in-door service. We were the only customers in the entire restaurant, so that felt safe too, though I was sad for them.

With all that behind me, I felt compelled to start this new week at NCS with a selection of new music. Having spent no time this weekend digging deep into what has surfaced over the last week, I made some truly random choices based on some very scattered listening early this morning. But of course I really like what I found, especially because all the songs serendipitously fit together so well. Continue reading »