Nov 112022

At this site we spend much more of our time trying to unearth underground gems and to push rising stars whose music deserves a push than we do acclaiming bands who are already household names, with big labels and robust PR machineries behind them. That’s not “virtue signaling”, it’s just a fact.

Does this mean we’re elitists who turn up our noses at the music of “big names”? Not at all. Though we pride ourselves on not fawning over those names even when they trip and release music that’s more likely to provoke yawns than excitement, we’re not immune to their allure — after all, most of them got big for a reason, and some are capable of reminding us why, at least until the well of inspiration runs dry.

It so happens that this week produced new songs and videos from a lot of big names, some of whom are returning after long absences. I’ve collected five of them in this round-up. It kind of clears the way for me to spend tomorrow focusing exclusively on names more obscure. Be forewarned: there’s lots of singing here today.


Six years after the release of their last (self-titled) album Obituary will be releasing a new one in January named Dying of Everything. Founders John and Donald Tardy and Trevor Peres are still in harness, and bassist Terry Butler and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews are back for another round too. Continue reading »

Aug 082017


This is, obviously, a humongous round-up of things I’ve recently discovered. I’ve organized it in this way:

First up there are two news items that feature imagery and info about eagerly anticipated new releases but no music. Then I’ve got new videos and music streams by (or related to) a quartet of venerable and revered bands, followed by new advance tracks from two younger favorites who are returning with new releases this year. And then I’ll close this out with music from two bands whom I’ve just discovered.


On most days I post a piece of usually dark or surreal artwork on our Facebook page. I keep an archive of what I’ve posted over the years, as a way of trying to avoid repeating myself. In that archive I’ve counted 22 paintings by the Polish artist Mariusz Lewandowski that I’ve posted over the years since I began doing that, which I think is proof of how strongly I like his creations. But as far as I can recall, he has never created artwork for the cover of a metal album… until now. And his cover for the new Bell Witch album will surely stand as one of the best album covers of the year, if not THE best. Continue reading »

Aug 262016

Thy Catafalque-Meta


As I explained yesterday, what you’re reading now was supposed to be Part 2 of a two-part post that we began with a selection of new songs compiled by DGR. Before I could finish this thing, some new tracks by Meshuggah and Asphyx appeared, and I decided to throw those at you right away. (Speaking of big names, a new In Flames song also appeared (here), but it mainly depresses me.)

Before something else happens to cause further delay, let’s get into the following new music and videos from eight bands — five of whom  are old favorites, plus three new discoveries. (Yes, this is what happens when a round-up is delayed — it grows like a bramble of thorns.)


In mid-July we premiered the first advance track from Meta, the new album by Thy Catafalque. It was a heavy beast, maybe even a surprisingly heavy beast for those who may have formed their expectations for this album based on last year’s Sgùrr. The surprises don’t end there. For example, I can now share with you another song that premiered elsewhere yesterday: “10^(-20) Ångström“. Continue reading »

Dec 092015

Cannibal Corpse tour


Here’s a round-up of news, new album artwork, and a couple of new songs I spotted over the last 24 hours.


We’ll start with some tourism news: Yesterday it was announced that Cannibal Corpse will be headlining a big North American tour that begins on February 12 and runs through March 20. And the direct support for the tour is pretty eye-popping: Obituary, Cryptopsy, and Abysmal Dawn will be along for the ride.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 11, at local and national ticket outlets. Here’s the schedule, which I copied and pasted from Blabbermouth: Continue reading »

Dec 052014


(Grant Skelton, a recent contributor to our site, presents this list of his favorite albums of 2014.)

BelowAcross The Dark River

This band are one of my first forays into doom metal. Like any metalhead, I always appreciate some Sabbath. But on the whole I’ve only recently begun to venture into doom. In all honesty, it’s been refreshing considering that doom seems to be one of the only genres in which the bands aren’t trying to out brutalize one another. If anything, doom bands seem to try to play slower than many of their counterparts (Sunn O)) for example).

“Portal” was the first song I heard from this album, and is definitely one of the standout tracks from the record. Even though it was released back in the spring, it is very appropriate for winter. Every track on this album is dark, dreary, head-nodding doomy deliciousness. If drummer Doc (Jens Vestergren) is using trigger pads for his bass kicks, then they are subtle and devoid of any “clicky” sound. The bass coats the guitars like varnish. Continue reading »

Aug 292014


Editor’s Note: Terry Butler has had an enviable career as a metal musician. He was one of the early members of Massacre (along with Kam Lee, Rick Rozz, and Bill Andrews), a band whose comeback album Back From Beyond was released earlier this year. He was a member of Death from ’87-’90, playing bass on Spiritual Healing (which is being reissued in remastered form by Relapse next month); he was a member of Six Feet Under from 1993 to 2011; and he became a full-time member of Obituary in 2011 and appears on the band’s new forthcoming album Inked In Blood, which is due for release by Relapse on October 28 in the U.S.

This week NCS contributor KevinP talked with Terry about Inked In Blood, Obituary’s decision to release it through Relapse after successfully completing a Kickstarter campaign to finance the making of the album, Obituary’s forthcoming tour with Carcass, Massacre’s comeback album, and more. 


K: We are less than 2 months away from the new Obituary album, Inked in Blood, how do you think it turned out?

T: I think it sounds amazing. We took our time writing the album, after all it had been several years since the last one, so why rush it. We mixed it ourselves and took time to make sure we liked the mix.


K: It just dawned on me that this was your first album with the band. Feels like you’ve been there much longer for some reason. It’s been over 4 years now, right?

T: Yeah, I started helping out in Feb 2010 and joined full time in March 2011.


K: Do you think being there that long before recording/writing an album helped you and/or the others?

T: It definitely helped as far as knowing how Donald and Trevor approach writing and arranging songs. I’ve known the guys for over 25 years, so we definitely get along and understand each other. Continue reading »

Aug 112014

Collected in this post you will find news of three U.S. or North American tours. News about the first two is still somewhat incomplete, and I’m a bit late reporting on the third one. All three are enticing.


Last month news surfaced about a tour to be headlined by Deicide, named after their most recent album, In the Minds of Evil. Last night Inquisition posted an announcement on their Facebook page about the tour, which was interesting because when the tour was announced last month Marduk was named as one of the support bands, but now it appears that Marduk are out and Inquisition are in. In addition, Abysmal Dawn have been added to the line-up. Here’s the complete list of bands:


An updated official tour flyer hasn’t been released yet, so I decided to use a photo of an embryo of the short-tailed fruit bat (embryonic stage 19).

Inquisition also included an initial schedule of dates in their FB post, while noting that more dates will be added. Here’s the schedule so far: Continue reading »

Aug 072014

Jet-setter that I am, I’m on the road again this week in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. Until last night I haven’t had as much time as usual to check out new music or write about it. I missed a lot, and am trying to catch up before having to leave the world of metal for the rest of today.

I discovered so many things I want to bring to your attention that I’ve divided them into three parts, this being the second (Part 1 is here). The first three items in this round-up are mainly visual.


Those long-running Floridian death kings Obituary have a new album named Inked In Blood coming out on October 28 via Relapse Records, and yesterday the cover art was revealed. As you can see, it’s brutal. The art is by Andreas Marschall. I’m hoping for equally brutal music. Continue reading »

Jan 272014

I came across some new live videos last night that I’d like to share. The first two are performances by Ævangelist and Artificial Brain at Brooklyn’s St. Vitus bar on January 25, 2014. I’ve been following both bands for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve seen what they look like on stage.

The new album by ÆvangelistOmen Ex Simulacra, was released last November by Debemur Morti. For my money, the most compelling track on a very compelling album is the long closing song “Abysscape”. To quote what I’ve previously written, it’s “a dense, bottomless, indigo whirlpool of doom, made for immersion. Immense grinding guitars match up with immense, horrific vocals and stunning drumwork. Alien keyboard melodies call out like the cries of homeless souls. The ravaging music alternately storms and drifts. You look into the void, and ‘Abysscape’ is there, looking back at you.”

How nice that the Ævangelist video filmed at St. Vitus by Frank Huang was the performance of “Abysscape”. And how nice that the alien nature of the song was matched by an otherworldly performance, beginning with the band’s live bassist — ][ — shrieking his lungs out for minutes on end before the song kicks into gear and lead vocalist Ascaris starts discharging his horrific, abyssal roars. Performing against a red backdrop but nearly immersed in shadow, both ][ and the band’s musical mastermind Matron Thorn are covered in strange sigils, and the top of Ascaris’ face is concealed by a creepy mask. Visually, the band is as arresting and unsettling to watch as their music is to hear. Continue reading »

Jun 082013

You probably already have important plans for this Saturday night. Maybe you’re going to wash your cat in the kitchen sink using dishwashing soap. Maybe you’re planning to light bags of dogshit on fire in front of the door where your fuckwad of a neighbor lives. Perhaps you’re going to stand on a street corner and yell passages from The Iliad at passers-by on a bullhorn. But if you’re stuck at home with nothing to do but stare at the walls and regret your miserable existence, I’ve got an idea you might consider: Grab a brew, strip down to your underoos, and watch Obituary live in the comfort of your own squalor.

That’s right, Obituary is performing live tonight in Tampa, Florida, and they’re going to stream their entire concert, as it happens, in multi-cam HD quality over the interhole. The performance begins at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time and will feature sets of music from Slowly We Rot, Cause of Death, and The End Complete. It will cost you $4.99 US dollars to watch.

Also, the band has invited you to take a pic of yourself watching the show and they will put it on their web site, with the winner of the best pic to be rewarded with a “classic” Obituary t-shirt. I’m foreseeing a lot of ugly pics in this band’s future.

I’m going to have to miss this concert myself. I have bodies to bury that are starting to fill up my home with stink. But if not for that, I’d definitely be doing this. Because FUCKING DEATH METAL. Continue reading »