Apr 132020


(Seattle-based writer Gonzo returns to NCS with this review of a new album by the star-studded Old Man Gloom, whose release day was accelerated by the band and Profound Lore Records and is out now.)

Never the types to be conventional, post-hardcore/sludge superheroes Old Man Gloom have again released not one, but two, new albums: Seminar VIII: The Lightness of Meaning, and Seminar IX: The Darkness of Being. Originally not scheduled to be released until May 22, the band decided to stagger the double effort with a surprise release of Seminar IX back in late March. Seminar VIII will keep its original release date of May 22.

To limit any head-spinning confusion, this review covers Seminar IX.

Confused yet? Good, me too. Continue reading »

Mar 212020


After I finished today’s first post I spent almost two hours just going back through e-mails we’ve received over the last three days pushing new music upon us, and recent messages from some friends with their own recommendations, and then creating a list of links to everything that looked interesting. Some of these were new songs or videos and some were complete new releases.

When I counted up the number of links in that list, I found that there were 80 of them. Eighty of them, from just three days of new releases! I’m sure the Bandcamp thing on Friday (where they didn’t take their cut of sales) spurred a lot of this output, but even considering that it’s still insane.

Needless to say, I’m going to be resorting to the OVERFLOWING STREAMS format, in which I pare my own verbiage back to the bone (though I did include artwork this time). Also perhaps needless to say, I’ve barely made a dent in listening to those 80 items. But I’d like to get going with what I’ve found so far that I think is worth recommending, so here’s some of it now, and more will come in the next few days. (By the way, a ton of that new stuff was black metal, so I’ll have my hands full trying to figure out what to put in tomorrow’s SHADES OF BLACK column).


Who would not want a new Katatonia album in these dark, isolated times? The timing is indeed fortuitous, because a new Katatonia full-length will be released by Peaceville on April 24th. The title is also fortuitous: City Burials. Continue reading »

Oct 082014


(Leperkahn soldiers on with the round-ups while I’m AWOL from round-up duty. Here’s his latest collection of new things.)

Hello all. This version’s gonna be a bit short on the descriptions, since I have a boatload of Adam Smith to read, and a paper on the The Iliad that won’t write itself. That said, I figured I needed a break from that, and you all needed some wonderful metal in your lives.


I know I remember seeing some good press behind Shores Of Null’s recent Candlelight-released album Quiescence, and probably even watched one of the earlier music videos they made for one of the tracks. Yet, dunce that I am, I never actually checked out the album, and the just-released video for “Ruins Alive” is proving that was a mistake.

It mixes some doom-y/death-y instrumental work not unlike Insomnium, or something doomier than Insomnium, with Davide Straccione’s absolutely stunning vocals, both his cleans, used heavily and tonally in the vein of Enslaved’s Herbrand Larsen, Extol’s Ole Børud, and Black Crown Initiate’s Andy Thomas (therefore at once stunningly melodic and entrancingly proggy), and his cavernous, funeral doom-y growls. Listening to some of their other music videos, the quality put forth on “Ruins Alive” seems to carry throughout Quiescence. Add that to the long and growing list of albums I need to check out

https://www.facebook.com/shoresofnull Continue reading »

Jul 122012

(London-based guest contributor Alex Franquelli returns to NCS with a review of the new album by Old Man Gloom.)

Forget for a minute that Old Man Gloom is made up of members of some of the greatest and most innovative bands hardcore and metal have seen in the last 15 years. Try to ignore the fact that the predecessor to NoChristmas – is one of the most underrated works in the realm of extreme music. What you are left with is an album whose songwriting and arrangements are the closest extreme metal can be to perfection.

The shifts between post-metal tantrums and the violent beauty of ambient and electronica are in fact less vivid than in the previous release but, after all, in eight years a lot has happened and a different world welcomes a renewed band, while the sheer contrast between the two facets of the spectre is a contrast determined by a sound, which is still in search of a balance but is daring at the same time.

Let’s face it, when Aaron Turner (Isis, Split Cranium, Mamiffer), Caleb Scofield (Cave In, Zozobra), Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders) and Santos Montano (founding member of OMG) met in the studio the first time, not many people would have thought the outcome could be anything less than excellent. And excellent it is.  The sound gracing the speakers when No is spinning is nothing short of an intriguing experience. Enough drones to make Khanate proud embellish the already obsessive thrusts driven by riffs indulging in loops (“Regain/Rejoin”) and feedback (“Rats”) in ways that can be defined as “structural” rather than cosmetic. Continue reading »