Mar 082024

No long-winded introduction today, nor any long-winded impressions of the songs and videos either, because… there are so many of them!

Most of these choices (though not all of them) are from bigger names in the extreme metalverse. Most of them were also suggested by my NCS compatriots, because I didn’t do a great job of keeping up with new releases this week. I do plan to have another roundup on Saturday, as usual, and will dig deeper into obscurities, of my own choosing.

ULCERATE (New Zealand)

This first item is a rarity, just a news item without any music to go along with it. But it’s exciting news, and so I couldn’t resist. Continue reading »

Mar 012022

(Here’s DGR‘s review of the latest album by the melodic death metal band Nightrage, which was released a bit earlier this month by Despotz Records.)

It’s been a weird review batch given that February has granted a small collection of classically inclined melodeath acts.

Nightrage have had a surprisingly long-running career. They can count themselves as among a small handful who have had a surprising number of lineup changes throughout many years, yet through force of sheer stubbornness have somehow managed to continue not only to exist but also to put out quality melodeath releases.

Yes, nowadays they’re on the lighter side of the metal scale but Marios Iliopoulos has been a hallmark of consistency throughout his musical career and also criminally good at writing earworm guitar leads. Nightrage have been an ever-present underdog, even after having some famed vocalists and guitarists pass through their lineup. They’re a sleeker band now but one that hasn’t really seen too much movement in recent years in terms of people coming and going – save for the drummer position – meaning that the Nightrage you see now has become a pretty solid musical landmark, and one that since 2015’s The Puritan and 2017’s The Venomous have been terrifyingly good at the surgical strike of a melodeath song.

Abyss Rising makes no moves to change that. Continue reading »

May 292021


To improve your Saturday, and quite possibly your whole weekend, I’ve collected a baker’s dozen of new songs and videos (including a couple of previously hard-to-find tracks from forthcoming reissues).

I grouped these 13 offerings in ways that I thought made sense. As usual for these kinds of posts, I didn’t take time to track down and upload artwork or purchase links, and I decided to organize my meager introductory comments by the categories I’ve arranged. (Don’t punch me too hard because of the category labels I chose, because I do realize they’re not 100% accurate.)


The first two choices here were recommended by DGR, and the above label clearly applies to both. Andy Synn recommended the third one, and although most people wouldn’t categories Agrypnie as melodic death metal, I do think their new song fits well alongside the first two. Continue reading »

Mar 272021


In yesterday’s round-up I burrowed deeply into the underground and surfaced with a collection of six songs that I thought were insane and unnerving in different ways. Today I’m on a different tack, leading off with some bigger names and then tunneling into underground depths again.

In addition, all of the following tracks were recommended to me by NCS colleagues and other friends. They didn’t let me down; hopefully you won’t feel let down either. There’s so much genre-spread here that you ought to find at least something that strikes a chord.

(I should mention that my friends didn’t just send me music. They also made me aware of the news that Meshuggah is recording a new album, and that it will feature the return of Fredrik Thordendal, trading places with Per Nilsson. They also passed along an announcement, accompanied by the photo of Peter Tägtgren above, that Hypocrisy’s new album has been completed.) Continue reading »

Jun 052019


(Here’s DGR’s review of the new album by Nightrage, which is out now on Despotz Records.)

Every Nightrage album that comes out reinforces the conviction that Nightrage are a band who exist by sheer force of will. Who would’ve guessed that so deep into the band’s career they would finally have a vocalist who would stick around for more than two albums? Yet Nightrage’s Wolf To Man sets that record. Who would’ve guessed that the band’s eighth album kept them to a relatively stable schedule, with a relatively stable lineup, and (as it turns out) a relatively stable formula for music? And on top of all this, that they would manage to finally have a song mentioning the name “Nightrage” within the title? Yet Wolf To Man accomplishes all this.

Nightrage’s career is one that has seen the band go through numerous lineup changes (and even here they wound up changing the rhythm section, with a new bassist and a new drummer, as previous drummer Lawrence Dinamarca found himself busy with a newly revitalized Carnal Forge since 2017’s The Venomous), yet somehow always remain something of a standard-bearer for the mid-2000s melodeath scene, and in some ways its sound. Continue reading »

Aug 172017


(In this long post we have not one but two extended reviews by DGR, one focusing on the 2017 album by the Greek band Nightrage and the second dwelling upon the 2017 album by the Dutch storytellers in Carach Angren.)

If there is one thing I’m a big fan of doing throughout the year, it’s the inevitable dive backwards into the earlier part of the year in order to play the increasingly desperate catch-up game, to write about releases I’ve been listening to, but never took the time out to say anything about. I’ve got a handful of those, and now that I have a little bit more free time from the day-job (which will be brief, let me tell you, the holiday season approaches) I can finally talk about two pretty constant spins from 2017 that NCS hasn’t had the chance to cover yet, completely glossing over the fact that I’m the guy at the site who will usually wave the flag for both bands.

The two this time around are melodeath stalwarts Nightrage and their seventh (!) album, The Venomous, and the latest batch of supernatural symphonic shenanigans from Carach Angren and their album Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten.

Nightrage – The Venomous

Without descending too much into an image of me in a room with newspaper articles and photos all connected with string in so many ways that I can barely move around inside of it, disheveled with a half-drunk cup of coffee that has somehow managed to turn semi-solid, screaming that “there has to be some sort of connection here!”, I’m starting to think that the melodeath crew of Nightrage have developed a pattern. It’s one I hoped that with the March release of their album The Venomous, the band would manage to break. Continue reading »

May 132015

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

Welcome back to Essential Entries. April has already passed, and it’s hard to believe. It feels like we – at least those unlucky enough to live in areas that deal with winter – were just freezing ourselves stiff, and now the temperatures are in the 80s. Thank goodness. Winter is awful. Thankfully, good music is the antithesis of such, and we’re loaded this month.

Also, my apologies for getting this up a bit late. Yours truly was out of town for over two weeks, and that resulted in a ton of catch-up listening in order to do this right. No way will this column ever be done half-heartedly!

With that out of the way, let’s get to the tunes.


Abyss – Heretical Anatomy

Gritty Canadian death metal. Abyss proves that it’s not all maple syrup and politeness up there. Equal parts catchy and punishing, this proves to be a great debut full-length. Continue reading »

Apr 242015


This is the second of today’s round-ups of newly discovered music. This one should probably be called “Seen and Heard by DGR“, because it was he who linked me to everything collected here (except the final song) over the course of this week.


Paradise Lost is such a “name” that after four days out in the world, their new song “No Hope In Sight” has probably been heard by every sentient creature (and many non-sentient ones) who know of the band. But we haven’t featured it here yet, and since many of our readers are not earthlings, we thought a few of them might not have discovered it yet. So, here it is. DGR says: “It was good sound”. What do you think? Continue reading »

Apr 142015


(DGR wrote this review of the new album by Nightrage.)

Nightrage are a band who seem to exist by force of will. They have gone through numerous lineup changes and, across their discography, a whole smattering of frontmen have appeared, many of whom are names within the realm of melodeath. Since 2011’s underrated Insidious, an album that is easily one of their best and pretty much the spiritual sequel to earlier release Sweet Vengeance (including cameos by the same musicians who appeared on that album), Nightrage have once again found themselves in flux — with members leaving and then slowly being replaced. In the end, Nightrage have become a much smaller group than they were before, with founding guitarist Marios Iliopoulos and bassist Anders Hammer being the remaining constants. They are joined by new vocalist Ronnie Nyman to complete the three-piece that is the current incarnation of Nightrage.

Needless to say, four years is a long time for a band to be out of the limelight, and their new album The Puritan is itself a slimmer beast, one with sleeker and more to-the- point songs that reflect Nightrage’s new, slimmer line-up. It also shows that despite their ever-in-flux membership, Nightrage are still damned good at hitting a melodeath fan right in the pleasure centers of the brain. Continue reading »

Jan 312015

Happy Saturday to all of you. It is not a happy Saturday for yours truly. I am still mired in day-job hell, or more accurately, day-and-night-job hell. Fortunately, other people have been stepping up and providing content for our site, but until I make it to the end of my work project next weekend we’ll still be a bit light on NCS content.

I continue to be way behind in checking out new songs and videos, but I did spot a few this morning that I thought were worth sharing. Because I’ve got to get my nose back to the grindstone, I’m once again just going to throw the music at you with minimal commentary. Continue reading »