Sep 152016



Roughly 24 hours from now Dark Descent Records will release The Hidden Paths To Black Ecstasy, which is the debut album of the Greek black metal band Nox Formulae. Circle the date in red, preferably in your own blood, just to ensure that no distractions divert you between now and tomorrow. Trust us, this is an album you don’t want to miss. And to make even more sure that your memory doesn’t fail you, we have a full stream of The Hidden Paths for you to hear right now.

NCS contributor Lewis Edwards reviewed the album for us only two days ago. He praised it for the band’s ability “to strike the balance between originality and familiarity”, the strength of their skill in varying the dynamics of each song, the near-perfect approach to production, which achieves “a sense of frosty eeriness which is noteworthy even for black metal’s infamously high standards” while “providing a thick platform for the more crisp sound of the guitars”, summing up the album as an “assured, refined, and generally well-crafted piece of work” that “speaks volumes about the maturity of the band”. Continue reading »

Sep 132016



(We welcome guest contributor Lewis Edwards, who wrote the following review of the new album by the Greek band Nox Formulae.)

Few bands in black metal manage to strike the balance between originality and familiarity, and those that do usually tend to go through the “trial-and-error” process before crafting that perfect sound. This couldn’t be any further from the truth for Greek legion Nox Formulae, however, whose debut album The Hidden Paths To Black Ecstasy is an unforgiving lesson in how to take influence from your contemporaries while simultaneously creating something genuine and distinguished.

Intro “NOXON” sets the tone for the rest of the record, with its steady, ritualistic percussion creating a sense of unease from the very start. This unease turns out to be well-founded, as “The Shadow Smoke” then rips through the air with its brittle, trebly guitars and reverberated background notes. It’s a truly memorable way to open up an album, reminiscent of the way in which Darkthrone pummel the listener after a foreboding intro in their quintessential album, A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Continue reading »

Jun 212016

NOX Formulae-The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy


This is another day in which we have felt compelled to throw more new music at your head than any normal person has time to hear. Many abnormal people (other than us) won’t have time to listen to all of it either. I tell myself this is why I should continue writing some words about the streams we recommend, as a way of helping listeners choose what to play and what not to play, given their own tastes. Obviously, I’m choosing to ignore the likelihood that no normal person has time to read all the words either.

Between Part 1 and Part 2 of today’s round-up, we’ve furnished new or newly discovered music by 10 bands. Five more are featured below.


On the distant future day of September 16, 2016, Dark Descent Records will release the debut album of a Greek black metal collective known as Nox Formulae. The album’s title is The Hidden Paths to Black Ecstasy. Yesterday I received a Bandcamp e-mail alert that one song from the album had been set up for streaming, a two-part piece named “Hidden Clan NXN – Pt a. Eleven Rays of Sorat, Pt b. Black Magic Assault”, and that’s the first item in this round-up. Continue reading »

Feb 152016

Mantar-Ode To the Flame


I had originally planned to post this yesterday, to make the Sabbath blacker, but didn’t quite get it finished. I’ve collected five new songs from forthcoming albums and a brief review of an EP released last month. The songs are stylistically diverse — in fact, this is one of those installments of this column where not all of the music is even going to fit the broadest definitions of black metal — yet there is a shared “depressive” quality among many of the songs (and I use the term in a genre sense). And of course I found everything very good and very memorable and hope you’ll enjoy it, too.


As I’ve previously written, Mantar’s new album Ode To the Flame is one of my most eagerly anticipated releases of 2016, both because I thoroughly enjoyed their debut album Death By Burning and because I was so blown away by their live performance at last year’s Maryland Deathfest. A few days ago we got our first full glimpse of the new album via the premiere of a song called “Era Borealis“. Continue reading »