Sep 102013

Painstakingly selected from among the detritus that litters the interhole and the NCS in-box, here are items of interest that appeared over the last 24 hours.


If you need more darkness in your life — and who doesn’t? — then you should listen to Vermis, the new death metal monstrosity by New Zealand’s Ulcerate. The album won’t be released in North America until September 17 (a day earlier in the UK and September 13 in certain European countries), but yesterday Metal Sucks began hosting an exclusive stream of the album. Ulcerate are one of those rare death metal bands who are pushing (or dragging) the genre in new directions. The music of Vermis is harrowing and inhuman, but it exerts a powerful attraction. You should hear it.

THIS is the link for the stream.


The new Carcass album, which we reviewed here, is due for release on September 16. I have a feeling that anyone interested in hearing the new Carcass album has already heard it, but just in case, it’s now streaming in full, too. Nuclear Blast has uploaded the entire album to YouTube. Obviously, it’s one of the biggest releases of 2013, and it also happens to be a fine album. You can hear it next.  (thanks Daniel for the tip) Continue reading »

May 072013

Are you like me?  Have you felt an emptiness in your life because no one has ever made a Black Metal Viking Biker-film With Zombies?  Have you given up hope that this void will ever be filled?  Well, don’t give up!  Stop thinking about opening your femoral artery with a straight razor and just bleeding out with tears in your eyes over the cruelty of life — a brighter day is just around the corner!  Your hopeless dreams may yet come true.

Yes, it’s true. A Black Metal Viking Biker-film With Zombies is in pre-production. Its title is Saga, and it stars none other than Ted Skjellum, better known to metal fans as Nocturno Culto, one of the Darkthrone duo, a member of Sarke, and a former stalwart in Satyricon. This isn’t Skjellum’s first adventure in film-making — in 2007 he released a documentary film about black metal and life in Norway called The Misanthrope — but as far as I know, it’s his first turn as an actor. He will be collaborating with writer, producer, director and photographer Jorn Steen.

In Saga, Culto will play a director of metal music videos who makes a feature-length Viking movie based upon the northern classic Eyrbyggja Saga. In the story, a dead Viking breaks out of his tomb during filming and terrorizes the locals at the shooting location. Culto will also get to ride a Moto Guzzi in the film.

Is your heart skipping a beat over this news?  Well, don’t get too excited just yet, because although all the actors are lined up and the locations are being prepared, there’s still a need for money. Isn’t there always. But you can help! Continue reading »

Mar 302012

This post includes much less news than most news stories at NCS. Usually, if there’s not new music or at least the debut of album art or an album release date, I just wait until there is. Hell, I don’t even have a recent band photo for this thing. But, since the news concerns Darkthrone, I’m posting about it anyway.

For more than 20 years, Darkthrone have been doing things their own way, trends be damned. In fact, if you pay attention to the writings and interviews of Fenriz, you get the impression that very little in the evolution of metal since about 1993 seems to impress him. As the metal genre, writ large, has branched and changed, Darkthrone has seemed bent on diving ever more deeply into metal’s punk/thrash roots.

The band’s last album, Circle the Wagons (2010), for example, was full of references to bands such as Motorhead, English Dogs, Agent Steel, Metallica, Deathside, Puke, Slayer, Omen, and Savage Grace. You could almost say it was a nostalgia trip, except the stripped-down and often quirky songs were so much more original than any mere homage to a by-gone era. The band’s dedication to following their own path, even if the path may be taking you backwards, and their demonstrated skill as songwriters have made the release of new Darkthrone material a never-ending source of fascination.

And that brings me to the news: On March 18, Darkthrone posted this status on their Facebook page: “Right! This weekend was a blast, and we recorded two songs, that now only needs some bass and some mixing. Should be complete next week. Fenriz did a fantastic job on vocal on his song. Some photos should be posted soon.” And then yesterday, they posted this message:

“Ok, the photos did not turn out well. Damn. But I’ll post a couple of them soon anyway. We recorded the two songs “Lesser Men” and “Valkyrie”. They are now fully mixed and it’s a done deal. In July the album will be ready.

Continue reading »

Mar 082010

I’ve been a latecomer to black metal, but it’s been growing on me, sorta like rash that just spreads the more I scratch it. I’ve been trying to further my black-metal education (though still, I haven’t read Hideous Gnosis) while at the same time trying to keep up with interesting new releases across many extreme metal genres — which hasn’t been easy. Only so many hours in the day, unfortunately.

Basically, when it comes to black metal, I feel like a small child. In black diapers. Actually, I gave up the black diapers last week.  Figured it was time.  Because they weren’t black when I started wearing them.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get educated. One thing I’ve learned is that the term “black metal,” standing alone, really doesn’t tell you very much. Bands that work under that banner can sound remarkably different from each other. I suppose I still associate that genre label with tremolo picking, blast beats, and evil-sounding shrieking in the vocals — but I’m discovering that’s a gross generalization that fails to capture the musical variety of “black metal.”

For example, I’ve listened to three new/forthcoming releases in the last couple weeks that are all classifiable as “black metal” but that sound dramatically different from each other — one from a legendary Norwegian band whose members are pictured above and whose name will be found in every history of the genre that has been or will be written — Darkthrone — and one from a band that is painfully obscure outside their home country (and maybe even within their home country) — Nydvind.

I really like both releases, though they sound nothing alike. Collecting some thoughts about each of them in this roundup and allowing you to stream some excerpts is as good a way as any to illustrate the variety in black metal, even as it’s being practiced today. (read on, after the jump . . .) Continue reading »