Feb 112019


I delivered a double dose of new music and video recommendations last Thursday, but of course (as expected) a ton more new stuff appeared since I made those selections. In fact, everything I’ve chosen for this post surfaced just since I finished that last round-up. I had planned to post this collection on Saturday, but it snowed at the NCS compound, the power went out, and that was the end of that plan. Just as well — now you can use this playlist to start the new week on a heavy note.

I’m beginning with a trio of vicious death metal attacks, moving to a pair of more melodically-minded, and much more entrancing and doom-influenced, songs, and then finishing up with a real ripper. We don’t want anyone locked into a steady place for too long; that’s how brain cells get moldy.


By chance, two of the new songs in this post are from albums slated for release by Dark Descent Records, and this is the first of those. This is also the first of two Texas bands in this playlist. The album is Damnatio Ad Bestias, the second full-length released by the venerable Texas band Imprecation since they rose from the dead in about 2009 after a long hiatus. Continue reading »

May 122015


(Our pal Leperkahn took a break from his studies and wrote this review of the new second full-length by Baltimore’s Noisem.)

Hi guys. As some of y’all who’ve lurked around this cult for a while might know, my writing output has plummeted considerably more or less since I started up my time here at The University of Chicago. Put briefly, UChicago surely earns the unofficial slogan “If I wanted an A, I would’ve gone to Harvard”, and taking four paper-based classes doesn’t leave oodles of time to wax ecstatic about the wax I’ve been literally of metaphorically spinning.

That said, when I have a moment (or pretend to have a moment, to the chagrin of future me), I still like to pop in here and give my two cents about stuff I’ve been digging that might not have been properly reviewed here yet. Also, in the case of Noisem, I’ve got a streak and reputation to keep up here – I’ve reviewed everything they’ve done for NCS except for the split 7” they put out with Occultist, and even that was mentioned in my review of their Consumed 7”. Thus, I’m here once again, and for good reason – if you thought Agony Defined or any of the material released from these guys since then has been good, just wait until you dig into Blossoming Decay. Hell, even if AD wasn’t your cup of tea, give this one another shot – it’s a whole different beast from its predecessor(s). Continue reading »

Sep 032014

(NCS contributor Leperkahn recently winged his way to France for a period of study abroad — and on the way he penned a couple of reviews, including this one.)

I was just about to get really productive, and start catching up on the backlog of reviews I’ve been meaning to do. I was so ready to get that fulfilling feeling of being back on track, at least in a small part. It was really gonna happen this time – for the first time in a bit of a while, I had the motivation to write, and the emptiness of a couple of long flights en route to Paris to do them. I had it so nicely planned and organized.

Then Noisem released a new 7”, and all of that went to absolute shite.

As I write this (on said plane), I’ve had a digital copy of it for maybe a day at most. I’ve now listened to it probably ten times, if not fifteen. This is a roundabout way of saying HOLY MOTHERHUGGING SHITE THIS THING ABSOLUTELY BLOODY SLAYS. Continue reading »

Aug 102014

Last weekend (August 2-3) I spent two beautiful days in Denver attending the Denver Black Sky Festival. For someone who had never attended a metal festival of any kind before this year, I’ve had three great experiences in a row — MDF in May, Gilead Fest in July, and now Black Sky in August. I’d like to say I deserved it, but who would I be fooling?

The festival took place at The Gothic Theater and at Moe’s BBQ, both located in the same block on S. Broadway. I made the trip with three compatriots from Seattle, and we met my NCS comrade Badwolf from Toledo in what became an MDF reunion (and an unanticipated turning point for BadWolf’s life). We spent Saturday and Sunday at The Gothic, and missed some bands we ideally would have wanted to see at Moe’s, but had to make some tough choices.

The Gothic is a very cool, spacious, multi-level, vaulted-ceiling venue, with a wrap-around balcony on the second level, a big floor, and a great main stage with good lighting. The festival organizers set up a second stage opposite the main one, just in front of the bar at the rear of the floor. They called it “In the Round”, because its location enabled the audience to stand all around the stage; you could stand behind the second stage as well as in front of it (and you could also look down on it from the balcony above). Continue reading »

Sep 062013

(Leperkahn returns to NCS with this guest review of the debut album by Baltimore-based Noisem.)

Noisem scare me.

Not because of their music of course. I, like most of you, have become accustomed to music most would slander as dreadful, terrifying noise.

It’s because they are 20, 19, 18, 17, and 15 years old. I’m older than half of this band, and I’m still in high school. Meanwhile, these guys have crafted (or perhaps recrafted – this was released initially by a label called Black Mess Productions as Endless Aggression under the band name Necropsy) an album chock-full of some of the best thrash riffs of the year, and have just landed a tour supporting The Black Dahlia Murder. Makes me reconsider just what I’ve been doing with my life, to still be here as a mere blogger.

The young age of these Baltimore thrashers elicits some comparisons to another young-but-fiery band who hit the scene with a bang about a decade and a half ago – Poland’s Decapitated. Both feature virtuosic young guitarists who recruited their younger brothers to drum with dumbfounding speed and precision in their bands (in Noisem’s case, Sebastian Phillips taught his brother Harley how to play drums so that he could switch to guitar). Though Vitek understandably still holds the advantage over Harley, the younger Phillips still beats away at the skins admirably as the band tear through nine tracks of ripping deathrash in about 26 minutes, taking no prisoners and never looking back or slowing down throughout its runtime. Continue reading »

Aug 142013

I’m still catching up on what has happened in the world of metal since yesterday. Here are a few more items worth talking about.


A bit earlier today I wrote about the latest artwork, news, and music concerning the new Skeletonwitch album. If I’d just waited an hour, I could have included the fact that Skeletonwitch are embarking on a North American tour this fall with The Black Dahlia Murder (as the headliner) and Fallujah. And on selected dates, that group of miscreants will be joined by Wolvhammer (who are vicious killers in their own right) or Noisem (also murderous).

This is going to be one very fine evening in the pit of musical hell. Unfortunately, it appears I will have to get in the car to visit hell, because the tour isn’t going to hit Seattle. To see if it will threaten your town, check the schedule after the jump. Continue reading »